Are you planning to enroll your child in a preschool programme? Well, this is one of the best decisions you can make. Preschool in Singapore might not be mandatory, but it has a significant impact on your child’s social, emotional and physical development. It’s easier for your child to adjust to the rigorous formal school life. Some basic life skills taught at this level influence your child’s overall growth.
Now that education systems are dynamic, check for the latest trends in preschool before you enrol your child. Preschool Singapore programmes rank highly in the world and shift according to global early childhood trends. By learning these trends, you can find a school that quickly adopts the best trends.
Read on to identify the latest preschool trends.
1. Technology in Preschool
To say that technology influences modern life would be an understatement. Technology powers virtually every aspect of modern life. From education, transport, health, fitness, shopping, business, to sport, there’s no ignoring technology. Preschools have integrated the latest technologies for improved efficiency in learning and reduction of preschool fees.
Digital technologies are now part of the preschool environment. You’ll find devices such as iPads, video games, touch and swipe devices, interactive technologies and more. Students can now create content on digital devices and share the same with teachers and even parents at home. Of course, preschool teachers are in control of technology use. They develop tech-based content and activities while still using some traditional learning aspects.
2. Nature-based Learning
Children love nature and this is a fact that early childhood educators have now learnt to utilise. Nature-based learning happens with the natural environment. Preschools can create such spaces and make it easier for children to interact with nature. Here, kids play, interact and learn basic skills while interacting with nature. This environment promotes risk-taking, spontaneity, open-ended interactions, exploration, discovery and connection with nature.
Think of a skill like counting; a teacher uses natural objects to help students learn numbers. Instead of writing numbers on a board, learners first learn the names of objects such as trees and animals. The teacher then moves on to help learners count these items. Examples of nature-based play spaces include sand, rocks, mud, plants, trees, edible gardens, water and other elements of nature.
Nature-based learning is fun and more effective. Teachers can integrate nature into their programmes and help develop fine and gross motor skills, academic skills, problem solving skills and many other crucial skills. While at it, the teacher can also teach the importance of caring for the environment.
3. Remote Learning
While this might fall under digital technologies, it’s a trend that requires special focus. The disruptions caused by the global health crisis over the last two years have affected education greatly. Experts say much of the change that has happened is permanent. For this reason, remote learning qualifies as a trend on its own.
With promotion of safety and wellness taking priority, early childhood programmes in Singapore have embraced remote learning. Children can now attend classes from anywhere and this is highly beneficial. In one of the most digitally-oriented societies, the switch to remote learning has happened fast. Parents appreciate the need for preschool. Teachers on the other hand wanted to keep the programmes running and this is where digital platforms came in handy.
With time, the blend of remote and in-class teaching will take shape. More importantly, experts will help iron out challenges that arise in these digital programmes. One thing you can’t avoid as a parent is some form of remote learning for your preschooler.
4. Incremental Role of Parents in Early Childhood Learning
The devastating changes necessitated by the global crisis from 2020 have had a positive impact on early education. With parents forced to work from home, they can now have a bigger role in their children’s early school activities.
This is one of the trends across the world. Parents can finally talk to teachers and collaborate more to help the child learn. This partnership for the sake of the child has improved learning. Ultimately, the beneficiary is the child who can now benefit from increased monitoring both at school and at home.
Evaluation is at the heart of successful learning. For a long time, preschool programmes haven’t emphasized evaluation. In most cases, evaluation would only happen through observation. But things have changed and today, teachers collaborate with child psychologists and clinicians to perform holistic assessment of children.
Testing not only focuses on academics but also on physical and emotional fitness. In addition to standardized testing, the specialists can also use language and speech tests, vision and hearing tests and observation. Early assessment helps teachers, parents and health experts understand any learning needs of a child. By identifying children with learning disabilities, it’s easier to provide them with the assistance required from an early age.
If you plan to take your child to preschool, start by learning these and other trends. You can prepare your child from an early age by introducing these aspects of learning. When you choose a learning programme, consider one that has embraced such trends for improved quality of learning.