The early childhood years are critical in your child’s development. During the first six years, children grow fast and the experiences every child encounters influences character. These early years feature rapid learning and unlearning of new things. The child acquires habits, skills, and tries to understand everything around them. To provide the ideal situation for development, early childhood education (ECE) comes in handy.
In Singapore, the government recognises the essential role ECE plays and invested heavily in the sector. The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) established in 2012 regulates the ECE sector in the country. The sector has developed rapidly and today, learning is safer, more efficient and more impactful.
Planning to enrol your child in a preschool programme? Read on to discover some trends in early education within the Singapore ECE sector.
1. Play-based Learning
One of the main features of early childhood schools is the emphasis on play. For a long time, the play was a way for kids to relax and settle into the school environment. However, psychologists have identified play as one of the most effective techniques to promote learning. The use and creative and active play in preschool programmes show promising results in brain development.
Psychologists and researchers such as Lev Vygotsky and Jean Piaget have shown the impact of allowing kids to interact with the environment for maximal development. Play-based schools are now a big trend in the country. If you want to provide the best easy childhood education for your child, look for an international school in Singapore that integrates play in learning.
Some techniques of play used to promote learning include enjoyable play, independent play, process-oriented play, movement play and cooperative play. Teachers create an environment that encourages different aspects of play. Ultimately, you note a big change in your child’s early development.
2. Outdoor/ Nature-based Learning
Nature is no longer something to learn in textbooks, visuals, or images. Nature-based learning is a big trend in early childhood education. While classroom learning remains a key feature of preschools in the country, more teachers have embraced the outdoor environment for learning.
Outdoor learning helps kids interact with nature and offers a great opportunity for discovery, creativity, and problem-solving. Learning in the outdoors also helps in the introduction to mathematical skills, and sciences. Kids discover their environment and teachers guide them to understand what it’s all about. More importantly, nature-based learning allows kids to experiment while having fun. It’s an opportunity for kids to quench their curiosity.
The best preschool teachers create fun outdoor learning activities that can range from counting objects, naming, gazing at stars, listening to sounds, moulding stuff with mud or clay. While outdoors, kids can shout, jump and express themselves creatively.
At the same time, they interact and form friendships, cooperate in doing tasks and learn the importance of teamwork. Nature-based learning also promotes gross and fine motor skills. Your child stays fit and also learns important skills such as holding a pencil or paintbrush.
3. Tech-Centric Learning
Singapore is a leader in technology and this is evident in virtually every aspect of learning. In early childhood education, technology is now a big trend as the best schools endeavour to offer more convenience for learners. In a rapidly changing society, technology offers an opportunity for children to learn fast and for parents to easily monitor progress.
Children can now learn through tech-based devices such as tablets and laptops. Teachers use projectors and other digital-based classroom tools to promote effective learning. Collaboration between teachers and parents is now easier through different communication platforms. Technology has improved ECE greatly by increasing the involvement of parents.
The best preschool teachers have innovative digital activities that promote learning. From watching TV, listening to music, playing games and internet browsing, technology offers many opportunities for learning. Ordinary classroom activities from drawing, writing, to content creation are now possible through the latest technology.
4. Increased Learner Assessment
The growth of preschools as an integral part of the education system has brought critical changes to the system. Gone are the days when kids would just play and have fun before going home. Today, preschools are an important stage for the assessment of kids’ development.
Teachers use specialized assessment tools to determine the child’s readiness for formal education. The assessment not only determines your child’s learning improvement but can also identify any learning difficulties. Some of the tests done in preschool include language, vision, hearing, and speech tests and development and intelligence.
Teachers also look at children’s behaviour and holistic progression as part of the assessment. Through test results, teachers can customise learning and promote development in different areas of a child’s life.
Are you wondering what to expect in your child’s preschool? Well, these are a few of the trends in early childhood schools today. The top early childhood programmes in the country embrace these trends to promote learning. These trends provide a better learning environment for learners.