“Raising a child takes a village”, and as a mum, I cannot agree more.
With the right support system, parenting can be smoother so parents are assured of peace of the mind when they are away.
An important consideration is the right caregivers for your children.
So, I made a trip to one of the three branches of My First Skool in Yishun where many kids are cared for by their grandparents while their parents are at work. But, why do their parents send them to childcare/preschool if family members are available?
During my visit, I found out that a certain child is in this school because his mum used to be from the same school! That certainly spiked my mummy senses to unearth more facts!
Impacting young children in more ways than one
Our children are learning everyday whether we realise it or not. And at school, teachers have an instrumental role in nurturing a child’s attitude and development.
While speaking to Mrs. Wani, the Principal of My First Skool at Block 769A Yishun Ring Road, I found out that one of the teachers has taught across two generations of a family! In fact, this teacher is currently teaching her ex-student’s son – talk about dedication and passion for nurturing the young.
This is Mdm. Chen Xiaoling who has been teaching at My First Skool for 20 years! Surely, the love of her job and passion in education has taken her further than she thought.
With committed teachers at school, and a holistic approach to educate inquisitive young minds, My First Skool envisions to bring out the best of each child and prepare them for primary school.
Through the six learning domains (namely, Language and Literacy, Numeracy, Discovery of the World, Motor Skill Development, Aesthetics and Creative Expression, Self and Emotional Development) school becomes a window to learning about self and others.
Exploration and learning
When I was at the preschool, I noticed that despite the presence of potential distractions, the children were able to focus on their activities whether individually or in a group! This took me by surprise because… don’t young children have short attention spans?
Nursery kids play to learn, while working on their motor skill through discovery.
I observed that each class was split into smaller groups and the children were allowed to choose their preferred skill-based activity stations to start with. And the role of the teachers? They were roving facilitators who guided them. This worked well even for children as young as 18 months!
This teaching method allows children to work independently as well as in a team, fundamentally enhancing social skills and personal development through play. Exploration of their senses piqued these curious minds, and through experience they learn.
The premises are carved out for a variety of learning opportunities as well as an extension to their learning themes. Most of these crafts are handmade by the teachers – fusing upcycling and commitment, no less!
The three branches of My First Skool at Yishun are involved in the community too. They work closely with their community partners, which lets the children participate actively in community events. It builds a sense of community involvement from a young age.
Even children as young as 18 months have the opportunity to be involved by performing in community celebrations, visiting homes for the aged and joining litter picking initiatives to name a few.
Child caring and education require teamwork. How does My First Skool support parents in their children’s learning?
Recognition for a job well done
Walking the talk that each child is unique, My First Skool takes steps towards an inclusive culture.
During our conversation, Mrs Wani spoke about a child who had been rejected by five preschools. Through dedicated observation and analytical understanding, the educators discovered that the young child was unable to manage his high energy levels. This led to “behavioural issues” such as outbursts or big emotions. Parents and teachers worked hand-in-hand and saw tremendous improvements in his behaviour. Indeed, believing in a child reaps returns, and he has been thriving in school for the past one and a half years!
A job well done deserves recognition and this led the school to be conferred with the CEO Service Awards (team) under the Talent Awards, which commends unsung heroes for going beyond their call of duty to make a difference.
What’s more, two of the three My First Skool in Yishun have also been accredited with the SPARK certification. Block 796A has earned a re-certification of the SPARK (Teaching & Learning), Block 612 is SPARK-certified and Block 423 is geared towards SPARK achievement too, as new centres require at least two years of operation prior to application.
With stringent standards in place, it’s little wonder that parents in the Yishun vicinity are sending their children to preschools that take educating young minds seriously.
On the left: Teachers guided the students to create their own masterpieces for the Vehicle-themed lessons. On the right: Creative use of materials to put together some animals.
Teamwork with parents
Without the educators, there would be no school. Investing in the team allows them to grow individually and as a unit. Teachers attend termly courses, and Principals take the helm to train the teams for continued growth. I learned that their teachers have been with the school for at least four years; well, a low turnover speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
“Raising a child takes a village”, and parental support makes a difference in their children’s learning journey too.
My First Skool believes that parent-teacher relationships are essential, and the support and open communication ultimately benefits their children.
The teachers at My First Skool Yishun dedicate effort to prepare weekly Educational Kits for all. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not homework. In fact, the activities help families set aside parent-child bonding time. With our busy schedules as working parents, this considerate gesture saves us time from hunting for child-appropriate lesson plans or activities – definitely a relief for many parents!
With carefully put together Educational Kits, parents and children can share a craft session or a topic discussion at home too!
To further support parents, the pre-school that I have visited prepares bi-monthly newsletters which includes parenting tips as well as updates about school happenings.
While the children are in school, parents also gain insights about their children’s progress via the parent portal app!
Find out more about My First Skool
It seems like My First Skool takes going beyond the classroom very seriously to ensure holistic and continual learning. Their passion is infectious, and to parents, this offers additional confidence when selecting a preschool.
If you are looking for a preschool in Yishun, you’d be happy to know that these three My First Skool are conveniently located near the MRT station, and within the estates.
Be one of the first 10 successful registrants for the 2016/2017 intake* to receive a free Goodie Bag worth $70. SMS Yishun <your name> <your contact number> to My First Skool at 8128 2990 now!
To find out more about My First Skool, visit: https://www.myfirstskool.com/ or call 6509 7887.