Preschools in Singapore no longer have a teacher-led, cookie-cutter curriculum. In place, there are a wide range of award-winning pedagogies, beautifully designed campuses, first-class amenities, and language immersion programs. With the many options and with every institution providing unique and varying features, it can be daunting to choose the right school.
When selecting a school, the highest priority is looking for a place where your child will be happiest. Academics are essential, but your child has many years to learn ahead of him or her. Pre-school should have a joyous environment where your child learns to love school and makes happy memories. It would help if you considered several factors when choosing a preschool. They include:
The food your child will be fed
You are in control of your child’s nutritional intake at home. Therefore, it is natural to worry about the kind of meals served in school. First, make sure that the preschool serves fresh food, which is prepared in-house instead of catered. This way, you can be sure that there will be freshly-prepared food daily with minimal food contamination chances. Some schools have an in-house nutritionist to formulate meals, especially to ensure your child gets all the daily nutrients.
The student-teacher ratio
Parents are familiar with the exhaustion of getting their children to sit still or chasing after them. If you have ten children of similar energy levels in one class, you will probably begin understanding why having a small student-teacher ratio is essential.
It is difficult for teachers to divide their attention between larger numbers. Therefore, when class size is smaller, your child is likely to get greater dedicated attention. In addition, with the outdoor play and excursions, smaller classes mean there is a lower chance that your child will get hurt or lost.
The teacher’s credentials
If the teachers at a particular school have additional credentials to add to their basic ECCE certification, you can be sure that they will have more to offer when it comes to managing classrooms, literacy development, and teaching techniques. Inclusive schools like My First Skool also have in-house speech therapists and occupational therapists to assess the progress of every child in areas of language, speech, sensory, and gross motor skills. This is an excellent choice for parents with children who have special needs and need additional support.
The teacher turnover rate
When the teacher turnover rate is low, the teachers are happy, and the educational environment for your kid will be higher. The teachers should be happy and invested in your child’s development and learning. Your child will feel appreciated and not disgruntled. When not considering happiness, it takes time to get children acquainted with their teachers.
The learning approaches in preschools in Singapore differ. Examples include:
This approach is about empowering children. Children can vote and nominate for the topic that interests them most. After that, the class will take a deep dive into the theme with project work and planned lessons.
If you want your child to know more than one language, you can choose a pre-school with a bilingual immersion core curriculum. Such schools have teachers who know different languages to ensure children become competent in two languages.
If you prefer hands-on, independent learning, search for a pre-school in Singapore with this approach. This style of curriculum uses several activities to equip minors with holistic life skills. For instance, such schools plan their classes with three-hour uninterrupted work cycles to enable their students to build greater focus and keep themselves ready for formal education. Therefore, your child will not experience culture shock when they join primary school.
The Waldorf approach shares some similarities with Montessori in terms of making young ones ready for real-life with practical activities in the classroom such as gardening and baking. However, the Waldorf approach focuses more on artistic development, emphasizing painting, storytelling, and music.
This approach harnesses the natural curiosity of a child to fuel its day-to-day learning through investigation, learning, reflection, and problem-solving. Inquiry-based schools utilize a skills-based curriculum with programs that enable children to take the helm of their classroom learning while their teachers merely facilitate and assist classes.
By considering these factors, you can find a pre-school in Singapore that will provide your child with the best education and environment.