Leap SchoolHouse – Enrichment Centre Review

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LEAP SchoolHouse™ is a newly-launched enrichment centre located at City Square Mall. It caters to children from 8 months to 6-years-of-age, and they currently have 17 enrichment programmes under them.

To prepare our children for school, we send them to preschools and day-care as a stepping stone to getting an education. While most preschools do a decent job of educating our children, unfortunately some just concentrate on a worksheet-based education and miss out on teaching through creating a context for a more wholesome experience. Thankfully that was not the case at LEAP SchoolHouse™.

LEAP SchoolHouse™ is a newly-launched enrichment centre located at City Square Mall. It caters to children from 8 months to 6 years of age, and they currently have 17 enrichment programmes under them.

At our recent trip down to check out LEAP SchoolHouse™, we were greeted with a welcoming handshake and a warm smile, before being brought around to view the centre. The first thing that struck us was how clean the centre was. Esther Lim, Founder of LEAP SchoolHouse™ shared that they steam-clean the carpets once a month and all toys are cleaned on a weekly basis. “We try to promote a clean and healthy environment for both the students and the parents as we want them to be comfortable,” she shares.

Although heavily pregnant, Esther still has no qualms about being actively involved in the centre. “I truly enjoy being here!” She laughed. “Both my older children come here to learn and to socialise. They absolutely refuse to leave even after lessons are over!”

Esther explained that LEAP SchoolHouse™ is focused on offering literacy programmes to pre-schoolers. LEAP SchoolHouse™ sees the following as their mission:

• To build an environment where children will grow up with a love for reading and learning

• To strive to engage young learners into basic literacy by focusing on the four main skill domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing

• To be given equal opportunities to all to explore, interact and learn

Although many programmes are offered at LEAP SchoolHouse™, one constant feature is the fact that young learners are always actively engaged and participating in meaningful tasks derived from either the reading experiences that they have shared in class with their teachers or the language activity that they are engaged in. Esther enthused: “One of the programmes that’s gaining popularity is our Chinese Speech & Drama lessons. The children enjoy it as during the lesson, they get to learn through play. We use speech and drama as a kinaesthetic platform for them to express themselves whilst making learning fun and interesting. The education system is rigid and demanding enough and we certainly do not want learning to be a gruelling experience at LEAP!”

Other LEAP SchoolHouse™ curriculum coverage includes:

For children three years and under: BEC Programme™ (Beanies, Explorers, Creators)

BEC™ is an immersion programme to literacy with general lesson structure that includes:

• Free play/Science Exploration

• Rhythm and song

• Gym work

• Story time

• Thematic activity

• Flashcards Time

• Post activity

For children three years and over:

• LEAP Kids programme™ (Half-day classes)

• Ants on the Apple ( Phonics Programme)

• Literacy through stories

• Speech and Drama

Philosophy

Esther believes that a positive learning environment is important in order to encourage children to create ideas in learning and for positive thinking to take place. It is also important for young children to see their learning experiences as integrative and interwoven with their surroundings as this will definitely help in creating new levels of understanding to take shape. That is why at LEAP SchoolHouse™, lessons are often revisited, with language and print concepts reinforced through meaningful activities. At LEAP SchoolHouse™, failures are not seen as a stumbling block, but regarded as a challenge to overcome and celebrated when ultimately, the child achieves.

Laughter

Esther expressed the importance of promoting positive attitudes towards self and others while working towards achieving their goals. She quipped: “At LEAP SchoolHouse™, we walk the talk. As we aim to educate the children in a unique yet holistic manner, as teachers, we also work toward integrating the latest methods of teaching into the classes. One way of achieving that is to build on each other’s strengths and knowledge. Ultimately, we want to hear from the young children, the thrills in their laughter as they are learning through the meaningful play moments and learning experiences that we have created for them.”

Engagement

Learning and thinking cannot be nurtured in a vacuum. An integrated learning approach is therefore adopted at LEAP SchoolHouse™ to further increase the chances of the children being able to contextualise their learning experiences. To stretch the young learners further, Esther affirmed that children are also constantly challenged to ask questions and make inferences as they carry out language tasks in their classrooms. Activities like story-telling sessions also create opportunities for the stories that the children have been reading about to come alive.

Active Participation

Building a relationship with your child's teacher can be a boon for every parents involved. Your child will feel more secure at school knowing that you are involved and know what's going on. Your child's education will be enriched by your involvement. LEAP SchoolHouse™ encourages parents to actively participate during lessons with their children.

Esther reflected: “Parents are an integral part of any learning process at LEAP SchoolHouse™. We want the parents to sustain learning with their kids back at home as this will greatly increase the chances of knowledge acquisition much faster. Also having parents in the lessons gives us the opportunity to establish a constant communication flow between the teacher, child and parent.”

What we loved

The eco-friendly way that LEAP SchoolHouse™ adopts while communicating with the parents - via emails, phone calls and also direct interaction. They are not a worksheet-based centre, so students will not feel like they are in school. They also practice transparency with the parents, and this open approach has been very well-received on both sides.

In addition, we love the way LEAP SchoolHouse™ infuses opportunities for experiential learning to take place constantly within the classroom. For example, the theme of the month during our visit was ‘PLACES’. To model real life experiences into the learning activities, a supermarket was set up. On display were a vast selection of shopping items like bread, milk and other groceries for the children to role play a trip to the supermarket. There was even a cute little pink cash register for the little kids to ‘ka-ching’ their way around! Such moments of infusing the teaching of literacy, simple mathematical concepts as well as ideas on environmental awareness will truly excite any child!

Summary

If you are looking for an enrichment centre that you AND your child can both be a part of, LEAP SchoolHouse™ is the place for you. LEAP SchoolHouse™ is open from Mondays to Sundays, 9am – 6pm, and located at 180 Kitchener Road, #09-09/10, City Square Mall, Singapore 208539.

For more enquiries, call 6634 0828, or email: [email protected]. You can also visit their website at www.leapschoolhouse.com.sg

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