Not sure which preschool to send your little one to? Don’t worry, we’re here to help with our ultimate guide of the types of preschools in Singapore.
As parents, we want to give our children nothing but the best. And in Singapore, we’re fortunate enough to be able to provide a world-class education for our kids. Moreover, preschool is the first ever school experience our children will have, making it all the more important to choose the right one.
If you’re overwhelmed by the different types of preschools available on our island, fret not! This handy guide will tell you everything you need to know about the different types of preschools available. You can also find the teaching method that appeals to you the most and go from there. Every parent will have a different set of expectations from their little one’s preschool – find one that suits your family best. Read on to find out more!
The Montessori curriculum is progressive and focused on child-directed learning. It believes in letting children have a hands-on experience in the classroom. As it’s child-directed, your little ones will take the lead. Teachers will guide them as they learn at their own pace and move freely around the classroom.
Moreover, it also emphasises teaching children everyday skills. They’ll be guided in taking care of their own belongings or cleaning up after themselves! It’s believed that these life skills are essential and should be taught from an early age. While the classrooms and lessons in a Montessori are structured, little ones are still given the freedom to make their own choices.
Where to find this in Singapore Brighton Montessori, Brainy Child Montessori, Green Tree Montessori, House on the Hill Montessori, Little Hands Montessori Kindergarten, Little Oaks Montessori Kindergarten, Montessori Children’s House.
2. Reggio Emilia
The Reggio Emilia curriculum values children as strong, capable, and resilient. Originating from Italy, it’s a progressive approach to Early Childhood Education. They’ve adapted each Reggio Emilia preschool to meet the unique needs of the community it’s in. This means adapting Reggio Emilia schools to meet the needs of Singaporean culture. This method of teaching also focuses on child-directed learning. It’s also their belief that kids are driven by their own interests to learn more.
There’s also a strong emphasis on social-learning, such as: collaboration, working in groups, etc. The fundamental belief of a Reggio Emilia preschool is to value each child’s thoughts and questions. They also encourage communication between students and teachers. It’s also their belief that the environment acts as the 3rd teacher, inspiring children and teaching them about their surroundings.
Where to find this in Singapore LeClare Preschool, UWC South East Asia, Blue House Nursery & International School, Odyssey The Global Preschool, EtonHouse International Education Group, Between Two Trees, The Children’s Place, Little Hands, White Lodge
3. Theory of Multiple Intelligences
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences is based on research that every child has 8 types of intelligences. These include: musical-rythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. Children excel in certain intelligences, while being weak in others.
However, this curriculum believes that kids can enhance their “weaker” intelligences. Lessons and activities in that area of intelligence help them improve. For example, if a child is weak in logical-mathematical intelligence, activities related to math can enhance and “strengthen” his intelligence in this area. It’s their belief that the focus should be on each child’s unique abilities.
Where to find this in Singapore Preschool for Multiple Intelligences International, Posso Preschool, ChildFirst
Play-Based curriculum believes that it’s the natural way for kids to learn. They utilise different types of play to build important life skills in children. There’s also a focus on sharing and independence, as opposed to a rigid plan. Plus, play-Based preschools tend to emphasise on activities such as music, crafts, sensorial play, etc. It’s ultimate goal is to “let kids be kids”.
5. Waldorf Steiner
The Waldorf Steiner curriculum focuses on the uniqueness of each child. Kids direct learn via self-initiated play. Little ones learn through sensorial experiences, such as by exploring their environment. There’s also a focus on artistic activities! For example, storytelling, music, and arts are staples of this curriculum. This helps kids to develop their imagination and creativity.
In addition, teachers guide children to use their hands, and teach them practical skills from a young age. Activities such as cooking, gardening, and handiwork are part of everyday learning. They also believe in establishing a predictable routine to establish security in children.
Where to find this in Singapore Waldorf School
6. High Scope
High Scope learning uses “active participatory processes” to develop a wide range of skills in children. This curriculum focuses on problem-solving, interpersonal skills, and communication skills. Additionally, the teaching framework supports kids as they freely pursue activities that peak their interests. It also uses the practice of “scaffolding”, where teachers gently extend kids’ thinking and reasoning during lessons.
Where to find this in Singapore British Council Preschool Singapore
7. Whole Brain Learning
Whole Brain Learning is based on the left brain + right brain research. This curriculum aims to integrate subjects from both sides to fully develop a child’s learning capacity. There is also emphasis that the process of learning is just as important as results. In addition, teachers guide and encourage children as they explore their surroundings. The curriculum also includes music, arts, and play for a more well-rounded education.
Art-Based preschools integrate academia with different disciplines of art. Art is a tool to broaden kids’ horizons, and encourage holistic development. This also allows children to “think out of the box” and solve problems creatively. Moreover, it aids children in developing their imagination and creative thinking skills.
9. Mandarin Focused
Mandarin Focused preschools are an immersive experience in Mandarin instead of English. This helps to cultivate a love of the language as opposed to it being just a Mother Tongue. Also, as parents are likely to speak English to their kids at home, this encourages language competency in both languages. The curriculum incorporates activities such as calligraphy, opera, and Chinese painting. This also helps children appreciate Chinese culture more.
10. Singapore National
Singapore National preschools provide quality yet affordable education for children. Its main focus is holistic development that helps to build social skills and confidence in kids. Furthermore, they emphasise academic knowledge, practical skills, and a disposition for life-long learning. There’s also a focus on imparting the distinctive “Singapore flavour” and culture to little ones.
Where to find this in Singapore MOE Preschools
In recent years, collaborative preschools have sprung up around Singapore. Repton Schoolhouse (opening Jan 2019) is a preschool combining Singaporean and British curriculum. Another is Hampton Pre-School, a PCF child-care centre managed by Montessori group EtonHouse. While these collaborative preschools are relatively new, they help children get the best mix of different teaching styles. If you’re keen in immersing your child into various curriculums and disciplines, collaborative preschools are a great starting point.
12. IB International Preschools
While the IB curriculum is offered at a secondary and tertiary level in Singapore, it’s not often found in preschools. This curriculum is primarily based on promoting the development of kids’ IQ and EQ skills. Also emphasising a culture of respect among children and teachers. “The Learner Profile” is the key method they use to nurture students to be internationally-minded. Additionally, it’s also adapted according to Singapore Preschool education, and focuses on key concepts and skills to help children be ready for Primary education.
With 12 types of preschools to choose from, it’s easy for parents to become overwhelmed! However, with this handy list, you’ll be able to get the gist of each teaching method. We suggest researching the top 2 or 3 options that fit best with your family. Furthermore, no matter which preschool your little one attends, they’ll be getting the best education possible right here in Singapore!