Advancing from Early Childhood (the kindergarten or preschool grades) to Grade 1 can be an exciting milestone for early learners. For some children though, the transition can be challenging. At One World International School Nanyang Campus, we ease that transition through a series of activities that promote familiarity and continuity.
One World International School, or OWIS, is a leading international school in Singapore for preschool, primary and secondary education, partly because of the supportive and nurturing environment we provide at each grade level to ensure student success. This is most helpful for our youngest learners — those moving from Early Childhood 3 (the equivalent of the final year of kindergarten or preschool) into first grade.
At a Parent Partnership Series seminar hosted by Ms Neha Kaprani, Grade 1 Coordinator and Teacher at OWIS Nanyang, we invited parents to inform them about how we support the transition process for the young children under our care. Here is an edited version of her presentation.
How OWIS Bridges the Gap between Early Childhood 3 and Grade 1
Children in our Early Childhood grades have multiple opportunities to view the rest of the school campus and interact with older students in unit shares or assemblies. In particular, towards the end of the school year, students in Early Childhood 3 are introduced to the Grade 1 classrooms in planned preparatory sessions. They also have the chance to meet and greet Grade 1 educators.
Other ways in which our school supports the transition include:
Specially-trained educators: First and foremost, OWIS employs highly qualified and trained educators at every grade level from Early Childhood through Primary School to Secondary School. Our educators focus on modelling kindness and alleviating student concerns. Our kind, compassionate educators in our Grade 1 classrooms help students transition with the least amount of fear or anxiety.
Collaborative activities: Next, we take extra care in helping young students settle into their new environment. To do this, we follow several procedures:
- Students set up their new classroom together as a team, with their classmates and teacher.
- The class works together to devise classroom agreements.
- Students play team-building games.
- Students perform activities aimed at helping them to make and retain friends.
- The class works together to build community.
- Students read and write stories about friendship.
- Students sit with a buddy.
Curriculum that Emphasises Inquiry-Led Learning: Our educators believe that students who enjoy school not only perform better academically, but also get more out of their classroom experience. To this end, One World International School Nanyang Campus uses the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, or IB PYP, an engaging curriculum that emphasises hands-on exploration, discovery and play. This framework is implemented in Early Childhood and Primary School, so our preschoolers are already familiar with the play-based and inquiry-led learning approach. Students are encouraged to take ownership of their progress and to use their imagination to problem-solve. Educators work on instilling increasing independence.
Enlisting the Help of Parents and Families: The educational experience at OWIS is a cooperative effort among students, educators, and families. Parental contribution is vital to student success. To this end, OWIS educators are steadfast in keeping the lines of communication open and flowing in both directions. Parents are encouraged to talk with their children regarding the important transition from Early Childhood 3 to first grade. And it’s helpful for families to work with young children regarding independent activities such as tying shoes, getting dressed and more.
Because One World International School is a leading international primary school in Singapore, more families seek enrolment in our Grade 1 programme every year than in other grades. However, students who are already enrolled in our Early Childhood programme receive priority placement. For this reason, enrolling your child in our Early Childhood programme is recommended, especially if you intend to continue your child’s education in our Primary School.
If you would like more information on becoming an OWIS family, we invite you to connect with one of our friendly Admission counsellors today or join our school tour.