Preschool Curriculum

Looking for that infant/childcare, pre-school or student care with caring teachers or enrichments? Share your findings here.

Postby huskies » Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:52 pm

Hi Insider,

Very insightful. I have been teaching my son at home and he is quite advanced for his age. He will turn 3 next year and I am looking for a preschool that has a well established curriculum. Have checked out Kinderland at Sunshine Place, Montessori at Jurong Ext, Raffles Preschool at Turf City, Qdees at Yunnan and Pat's at Arena. Quite like Pat's Schoolhouse but unfortunately charges childcare fees. I am a secondary school teacher so I am aware of what makes a good curriculum. Are you a teacher too? Any recommendations?

Huskies

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Re: Preschool Curriculum

Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:09 pm

insider wrote:...unfortunately most parents don't know how to assess curriculum...


This is very true. I believe this is a very critical area which we need some form of certification and standardization.

insider, any quick pointers for us regarding what we should be looking for when assessing childcare curriculum?

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Preschool Curriculum

Postby kwcllf » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:57 pm

Hi insider,

Thanks for giving some insight into the curriculum of pre-schools. Although an established childcare chain may have a curriculum that sounds impressive, citing certain 'prestigious' programmes, it is also important how it is carried out. As parents, sometimes we don't have any idea what is actually going on day-in-day-out. According to the timetable, the latter half of the day is set aside for "bridging programme", "free-play", enrichment programme, etc........ I think this is giving the cc too much leeway as I understand, the children are usually left to do things or play on their own to while away time.

I think MCYs should look into how the curriculum is being carried out but I think they just vet them just once when the cc is set up. As long as it "meets" their criteria, the cc is allowed to operate.

As parents, I think we should take a more pro-active approach to ensure our children are properly educated or stimulated, or it will be such a waste of time.

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Postby huskies » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:28 am

Hi Insider

Thanks for the very detailed tips and I totally agree about the showering part! A real waste of time, not to mention the dangers of wet floors and running children!

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Preschool Curriculum

Postby kwcllf » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:41 pm

Hi insider,

I am not saying that free play is unimportant and that children have to be given lessons all the time. As the saying goes "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". But the problem is.......there is often more free time than what you have stipulated, 30-45 minutes.

The problem is, I think, most CCs are lacking in quality. They may be reasons as stated by you.............but ultimately, the children are shortchanged, not to mention when we are not paying "peanuts" every month.

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Postby foreverj » Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:09 am

hi insider

thanks for sharing. based on your experience, may i check whether time-out sessions r actually allowed to be carried out for toddlers 18 months to 3 yrs old age group? my daughter's new teacher actually implements standing in a corner as "punishment"/consequence if a child does not listen to instructions. wat i gather is also based on wat my daughter tells us when we ask her questions about what happens in class. but i want to get a sense of wat is appropriate before i speak to the director of the school abt this. appreciate your thoughts. thanks.

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Postby mom2boys » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:04 am

Hi insider,

Thanks for the sharing :)

that's is also one of the reasons why when choosing CC for my kids. I've also chosen one of the franchise by chambridge learning centre..any feedback on this.

The curriculum is quite intensive and the teachers informed that from K1, children will hv spelling, writing etc...so my son (N2) is quite behind time :(

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Postby foreverj » Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:55 am

hi insider

thanks for your advice. guess my husband and my perception of the new teacher is not just on wat our daughter tells us but firstly based on our own interaction with her. somehow my experiences with her tells me she's "highly clinical" and although wat she does may fall within wat the textbooks tell her, she falls short of what we feel is a loving and truly sincere teacher. and wat our daughter shares with us are very often things we discover by accident like she will imitate her teacher and shout quite loudly "cannot do this, cannot do that" etc. n when we ask her "just like who", she say "like teacher xxx"

bottomline, i dun think i can fault her for doing or saying some of the things she did, becos she is afterall "human". however, my grievances abt her is more on where is her starting point? did she do/say the things out of sheer frustration and the expectation that "i'm the teacher and u must do as i say" or did she do it out of the hope that the child wil learn about cooperation in the context of the school environment?

i m unlikely to kick up a big fuss over my own opinion of her given that my daughter wil change teacher in a month's time. it is my firm belief that "no cc is perfect", we just need to find a place where we r willing to work around the limitations they have. ultimately, if its a place that our children r able to flourish n enjoy n learn new things, grow in independence, pick up the right social skills and value system, all at a price that is affordable for us, it is good enough.

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Postby happypoppy » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:45 pm

insider wrote:
mom2boys wrote:chosen one of the franchise by chambridge learning centre..any feedback on this.

The curriculum is quite intensive and the teachers informed that from K1, children will hv spelling, writing etc...so my son (N2) is quite behind time :(


mom2boys,

Emmm….I take it that you are referring to Cambridge Child Development Centre as I have not come across a franchise system under Chambridge…

If you are referring to Cambridge, I know they have a full set of updated curriculum coz I managed to take a look at it when helping my friend to evaluate the centre that she is interesting in (think they just updated their curriculum this year coz I remember seeing the copyright statement as 2008). Really having a full set of curriculum is a very important criterion to me when I evaluate centre and so it scored points based on this (I get skeptical when principals can’t show me at least part of the centre’s curriculum or can’t even name the writer of their curriculum). My further dig into their curriculum shows that the curriculum was written by the management team in their HQ and its basically reggio-inspired (project based) with academic objectives weaved into it. A visit to their classrooms showed extensive use of mind maps / kids work and that’s a relatively good indicator that that centre that I visited is preaching what the curriculum says… (One thing that caught my attention was when I was told that Ms Tan, the ex principal of Nanyang Kindergarten, was among the management team and is one of the writers. I have heard many positive things about Ms Tan and so the inference maybe there that she will not generate rubbish…)

Personally, I prefer a project base centre than a thematic one. The first five years of my experience were on thematic and subsequently with the learning of new approaches in preschool education, I am more inclined towards project base as I have seen the greater benefit that a child can get in a project base one instead of otherwise. Nevertheless, a 100% project based centre is quite impossible in Singapore coz we have to prepare kids for P1. A 100% project base centre will not have spelling…

At what part of the K1 will the centre you visited start spelling? In the beginning of K1 or the later part of K1 (I didn’t see this in their curriculum)? I don’t quite like spelling in preschool years but can still accept if it is done after mid of a child’s K1 instead of the beginning part of K1 (too stressful for those just graduated from N2 to K1 to start spelling – not necessary).

Having said that, I am not saying that all Cambridge centres are good. It’s just that at least they have a full curriculum to begin with and the rest is pretty much in the hands of the staff of the individual centres (the theory vs application part). The rest of the considerations pls refer to my earlier post.


Insider, thanks for taking the time to share with us on the going-ons in the preschool sector. It has indeed been very useful and informative for 1st time clueless mummies like me.

However, coming back to the question posed by Chief Kiasu, can you give us some pointers as to what a full set of curriculum should comprise? How do I go about assessing the quality (ie. continuity, logic, 'comprehensiveness' etc) of the curriculum in the short span of time that I spend visitng the cc/ discussing with the administrator? Should I also make an effort to meet up with the principal rather than just the administrator only?

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Postby panicmum » Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:36 am

dear insider
thanks a lot for your sharing. have you encoutered any cc with full curriculum which satisfy ur criteria?? what do you think of Creative O which is located in Jurong East?

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