bilingual schools to check out
We check out some of the top bilingual preschools in Singapore to give you a clearer idea of their programmes and curriculum.
Chengzhu Mandarin Kindergarten
Launched in January 2016, this preschool runs a four-hour programme in a Mandarin-rich environment. Nursery classes are conducted in Mandarin, providing full immersion in the language, while kindergarten kids have an hour of English exposure per day in preparation for Primary 1.
It offers a themed-based curriculum designed by early childhood and Mandarin language specialists from Singapore and China. Kids are exposed to speech and drama, music and movement, storytelling, role-play, art and craft, as well as Chinese cultural arts activities such as calligraphy and brush painting, folk dance and folktales and poetry.
The school features a children’s library with a collection of 2,000 books relating to Chinese culture which kids can enjoy at the reading loft or borrow to read at home.
Launched in 2000, Elfa Preschool offers a Chinesefocused bilingual learning programme designed to nurture children’s love of the language.
As part of its Chinese curriculum, children participate in a wide range of activities such as story-telling, theme-based dramatic play, music and hands-on activities, which develop their creativity, social skills, as well as logical and problem-solving skills. Its programme also places emphasis on moral values, festivals and cultures relevant to Singapore’s context.
At Elfa, 70 per cent of the pre-nursery and nursery classes are conducted in Mandarin to help build a strong foundation. For Kindergarten 1 and 2 classes, 60 and 50 per cent of the classes are conducted in Mandarin respectively. Visit www.elfapreschools.com
Maple Bear Singapore
Headquartered in Canada, Maple Bear’s curriculum emphasises on nurturing bilingual language and literacy. Kids in its bilingual immersion preschool programme are exposed to both English and Chinese.
Each class is assigned two teachers who speak each language and are present throughout the children’s time in school.
Maple Bear believes that “learning is fun” and children learn best through sensory experiences and their innate curiosity. Its centres boast indoor and outdoor play areas, and kids can expect plenty of fun, exciting hands-on activities that encourage them to create, explore and discover the world around them.
Afternoon enrichment activities such as sports, speech and drama, and music, are available for children attending its full day programme.
Mindchamps Chinese Preschool
All Mindchamps’ preschools run on an exclusive award-winning academic curriculum, which is based on almost two decades of solid research and development designed to enhance child development in the areas of sensory, motor, intellectual, linguistic, emotional and social development.
Its Chinese preschool follows the same programme, with playgroups, nursery and kindergarten classes carried out mainly in Mandarin. Students in its Chinese preschool programme will also experience arts and cultural appreciation activities, such as clay modelling, painting and calligraphy.
In addition, children get exposure to Chinesefocused values, which are incorporated into the preschool’s activities. For instance, qualities such as gratitude are highlighted through Chinese tea appreciation.
Visit www.mindchamps.org/ chinese-preschool