Preschool review: Red SchoolHouse (Upper Thomson)

We conclude our series of reviews for Red SchoolHouse at the ‘model centre’ at Midview City in the Upper Thomson area. Read on for the full details…

red schoolhouse upper thomson The front entrance of Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson.

During our previous visits, Mrs Rachel Ding (founder of Red SchoolHouse) mentioned that Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson is known as the ‘model centre’ which she set up in 2011 to consolidate the operations of all Red SchoolHouse centres in one place.

I’ve always wondered what being the ‘model centre’ meant so I decided to find out for myself — by making a trip down to Red SchoolHouse at Midview City, which is located at Sin Ming Lane within the Upper Thomson vicinity.

red schoolhouse upper thomson Kids in the Nursery class settling down to begin the day's lessons.

As always, Rachel was there to welcome me with her signature warm smile. I arrived at the centre just as the day was about to begin for the kids, after being dropped off by their parents/caretakers.

What does it mean to be a ‘model centre’?

I was excited to explore the vast centre — Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson is housed in a commercial building lot at Sin Ming Lane, taking up 4 levels of space, complete with a rooftop playground.

red schoolhouse upper thomson Kids having fun with hula hoops at the rooftop playground of Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson.

According to Rachel, Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson is known as the ‘model centre’ because the school functions as the headquarters for all Red SchoolHouse centres. In addition, the teaching staff at Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson also play the role of mentors to student teachers from renowned institutions in Singapore such as Nanyang Institute of Management, SEEDS Institute and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Thus, the centre acts as a model teaching centre for students who are currently pursuing their higher education in early childhood education. These student teachers will be given the opportunity to gain some hands-on teaching experience under the guidance of the teaching team at the centre.

red schoolhouse upper thomson Parent participation is strongly encouraged at Red SchoolHouse. Here, a student's mother is seen facilitating an arts and crafts session with the Nursery 2 kids.

Currently, there are over 70 kids enrolled at Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson, placed under the care of 20 teachers. The centre takes in an average of 2 student teachers per term, and exposes them to the SPICE curriculum.

Innovative lessons in session

red schoolhouse upper thomson A class activity in session with the interactive whiteboard at Red SchoolHouse Midview City.

At Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson, lessons for the little ones are kept fun and interactive by using a variety of teaching materials and tools. One great example is the interactive whiteboard that is used for kindergarten classes.

As explained by Rachel, this learning tool is basically made up of a projection of the day’s worksheet on a huge whiteboard. Kids will take turns to complete the exercises by using a marker-like tool, which acts as a stylus that they can use to drag and drop items within the projected worksheet.

red schoolhouse upper thomson In this activity, kids are tasked to fill up the cart with the correct number of apples.

I was pretty impressed with the fact that kids are introduced to some basic workings of a computer-based activity sheet from a young age. This will help prepare them for the e-learning platform that they will be using for lessons and homework during their formal school education.

Of playtime and field trips

red schoolhouse upper thomson Kids enjoying themselves with paint and brush at the rooftop playground.

Playtime at Red SchoolHouse provides kids ample opportunities to express their creativity and put their motor skills to work. This often takes place at the centre’s rooftop playground where they can run around freely and make use of the specially designed playground equipment.

Daily lesson plans also include art sessions outdoors, where kids are given the freedom to paint and doodle on a dedicated window panel.

red schoolhouse upper thomson Snapshots from some of the field trips that take place every month.

Aside from the usual lessons at the centre, Rachel shares that the teachers at Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson also organise monthly field trips for the kids — to places such as the Health Promotion Board, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Butterfly Park and even an otah factory.

The SPICE curriculum

Red SchoolHouse offers a holistic SPICE curriculum for kids between 18 months and 6 years old. Spearheaded by Rachel, the SPICE curriculum is a collaboration between a pool of local educators from Red SchoolHouse, as well as seasoned lecturers from various education institutes in Singapore.

red schoolhouse upper thomson Student teachers setting up the recycling corner for the kids.

The curriculum focuses on developing the Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative and Emotional aspects of each child using a local approach, with the main goal of nurturing happy, successful children and preparing them for formal school education in Singapore.

In the SPICE curriculum, emphasis is given on hands-on learning through a collection of specially-designed teaching materials as kids are given plenty of opportunities to develop their meta cognition, as well as open-ended and higher logic reasoning from nursery to kindergarten levels.

red schoolhouse upper thomson A child from the Nursery 1 class going through the 'Letterland' activity.

To help them reach their highest potential, kids at Red SchoolHouse are given ample opportunities to play, explore and discover the world around them. Class sizes are kept small (below the teacher-child ratio required by the Ministry of Education/Early Childhood Development Agency) to ensure that no child gets left out during lessons.

Rachel shares that the team of teachers and educators are continuously improving the curriculum to provide more opportunities for experiential learning to train kids to be happy, successful and prudent individuals. There are also plans to facilitate an exchange learning programme with the Red SchoolHouse overseas school in Shandong Province, China.

Visit Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson today!

If you’d like to know more about the curriculum and enrichment programmes offered at Red SchoolHouse Upper Thomson (plus other exclusive registration perks), do log on to http://www.redschhs.com/ or visit the school at the following address:

34 Sin Ming Lane, Midview City

Singapore 573955

Tel: 6353 3200

Do check out our reviews of other Red SchoolHouse centres:

Red SchoolHouse Woodlands