bilin­gual schools to check out

Young Parents (Singapore) - - New! Series -

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.

Visit www.chengzhu.edu.sg

Elfa Preschool

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.

Visit www.maple­bear.sg

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

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