Many parents today are investing in an early years’ education and enrolling their children into preschool starting from the age of two. An early years’ education prepares children to enter primary school by equipping them with basic academic, social and communication skills. There are a few factors to consider when choosing a preschool such as curriculum offered, teaching credentials, teaching methods, physical activities offered and safety.
There are a number of international preschools in Asia that offer globally recognised early years curricula based on the Montessori programme, Reggio Emillia approach, Waldorf philosophy and many more.
Here are five international preschools you can find in Singapore:
1. EtonHouse International Preschool
EtonHouse International Preschool is parked under the EtonHouse International Education Group. The education group is headquartered in Singapore and has established 120 schools in 12 countries. In Singapore, EtonHouse International Preschool currently has 12 branches in areas such as East Coast, Bukit Timah, Central and Sentosa. All preschools follow the same educational philosophy which is based on the “Inquire-Think-Learn” curriculum, inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. EtonHouse International Preschool welcomes children from 18 months to six years of age. At the preschool, students are immersed in a bilingual environment which is an important component of the EtonHouse education. All preschool classrooms are led by English and Mandarin-speaking teachers who interact with students in both languages. After leaving preschool, local students may continue their primary education at national Singapore schools whereas international students can transition to EtonHouse International School.
2. Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse
Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse was originally established as The Kiddiwinkie Place in 2003. The preschool’s first centre was located in Newton and is part of the Nurture Education Group. In 2013, The Kiddiwinkie Place officially opened as Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse. Today, Kiddiwinkie has six branches across Singapore accepting children aged 18 months to six years old. The preschool’s curriculum follows an enquiry-based approach with a balance of play and school-readiness. In addition, the education at Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse is based on three underlying principles — constructivism, ecological systems theory and neuroscience. Childcare and infantcare programems are also offered at Kiddiwinkie.
3. Shaws Preschool
Shaws Preschool was established in 1989 by Lucy Shaw. It is one of the first play-based preschools to open in Singapore. Currently, Shaws Preschool has five branches in the Serangoon and East Coast areas. Toddlers and children aged 18 months to six years old can enrol in Shaws Preschool. The preschool’s core curriculum revolves around four elements – Literacy, Mathematics, Bilingualism and Sports. Classes are led by Mandarin speaking teachers and sports coaching is held twice a week. In addition, the curriculum is enhanced with subjects such as introduction to coding, environmental concepts, sustainability and sensory play. STEAM education is also integrated into the curriculum.
4. The Orange Tree Preschool
The Orange Tree Preschool has three branches in Singapore. The preschool offers a unique child-centred and holistic curriculum to children aged 18 months to six years old. All aspects of the curriculum are linked to age-appropriate themes that represent children’s needs, interests and skills the best. The curriculum also focuses on developing children’s communication skills in both English and Mandarin. Other highlights of the curriculum are cross-culture appreciation, creative arts, music and movement, mathematical concepts and science.
5. White Lodge Kindergarten
White Lodge Kindergarten opened in 1999 with a small student enrolment and a handful of teachers. Today, the kindergarten has five branches across Singapore. The White Lodge Curriculum focuses on arts & craft, sensory activities, drama, music and movement, gross and fine motor activities, literacy, numeracy and science. In addition, the kindergarten has a comprehensive Mandarin curriculum which is based on the Singapore Kindergarten and Primary School frameworks. Students are taught Mandarin twice a day through storytelling, songs, art projects and performances, among others.
Here are some good questions to keep in mind when choosing a preschool for your child:
- Do you think your child would benefit from a more academic or play-based curriculum?
- Are the teaching techniques used at the preschool up-to-date?
- How to the teachers handle conflict, tantrums and physical outbursts of emotion by children in the classroom?
- What types of physical play and exercises are incorporated into the preschool curriculum?
- Is there a CCTV installed and a security guard present at the preschool premises?
To find out more about international schools in Singapore, make sure to use the powerful School Finder on www.EducationDestinationAsia.com.
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