As a parent, one of the most important decisions you will make for your child is the decision to enrol your child in a preschool programme. With multiple early childhood education philosophies such as Reggio Emilia and Montessori, there is much to consider when selecting a preschool or kindergarten in Singapore. Parents need to be confident that they have found the best match for their child, not only with regards to the academic aspects of their education but also relating to the environment and activities that the school offers.
Another important consideration is whether your child will be enrolled in a formal early years programme or a more informal daycare programme. Choosing a formal preschool programme tied to the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) offers several important benefits for children. It helps to give them a step in the right direction and get them ready for the next phase of their education. As you evaluate your child’s options, these are some benefits of the early childhood programme at OWIS:
1. Head start into the IB PYP curriculum.
OWIS follows the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), a curriculum framework that includes an “Early Years” component designed for preschool-age children prior to the start of primary schooling. This programme teaches children to be inquisitive learners, to ask questions and to dig deeper into topics. It helps make learning fun through play. It focuses on the personal growth of each child and is catered to their needs; encompassing emotional, physical and cultural values as well as academic requirements. The programme as a whole gives our young learners the basic skills to become lifelong learners who are equipped to thrive in this rapidly changing world.
Our EC3 children transitioning to Grade 1 often have a higher achievement level since they are already familiar with the curriculum expectations, unlike new Grade 1 entrants. Our early childhood teachers also work closely with Grade 1 and Grade 2 teachers, helping to ensure a seamless transition between the “Early Years” programme and into Grade 1 IB PYP.
2. Learning as they play.
The PYP Early Years component emphasises the importance of self-led, inquiry-based learning. At OWIS, we provide our youngest learners, starting from nursery or Early Childhood 1 level, with a stimulating learning environment that integrates the natural world into the classroom, both indoors and outside. This rich environment allows young children to learn through play and more formal activities, offering an important balance between self-inquiry and structured learning. They are able to get hands-on experience within their learning and have the opportunity to experiment to find answers to their questions. They can let off steam and maintain their physical wellbeing while simultaneously learning. A structured curriculum brings purpose to everyday play and children “learn” without feeling constrained or restricted. Our teachers strive to cultivate intellectual curiosity and creativity from the earliest age.
3. Familiarity with the school environment.
At our Nanyang campus, our early childhood block is designed to be like a school within a school. We offer a supportive, nurturing environment and small class sizes that are comparable to an outstanding preschool. We have a range of resources and areas available that promote a vibrant and exciting learning space. We cap class sizes at 18 students, helping young learners form close bonds of friendship. This is important as it ensures that children feel confident with their peers. They are also able to learn the importance of friendships and positive working relationships from a young age. Since our early childhood block is also part of our larger campus, young learners will gain familiarity with the school environment, helping to facilitate a smooth transition to primary schooling.
At OWIS Nanyang and OWIS Suntec, we understand the critical importance of early childhood education. The top preschool programme in Singapore will lay a strong foundation for your children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. To learn more about the difference our approach to early childhood education can make for your child, please contact us.