A confirmation email was sent to me together with an observation note. Pretty formal, a good and simple guide for us. Daddy has taken time off to accompany me for school visit. I wanted to bring Asher along but Ms Fee said only adults are allowed for first visit as to ensure minimal disruptions to the classes.
I didn’t really take note of the address, I only found out EYM is actually a corner bangalow house situated at Sunset private residential area when we arrived.
Not electronic gate, just a unlocked lock hooks on the door latch. Okay, after all, we are staying in a very safe country, child abduction is not common, I only worry about children safety.
Once we entered the walkway, we saw tricycles. First thing on my mind : there must be lots of fun playing outdoor.
Remind me of my childhood, we used to play at our front yard, have barbecue at our back yard and even play badminton on the road right in front of our house. The cars did not horn, we would step aside and let them pass. Now we wish our children to have a fun and memorable childhood like ours. A little tough in this small island, to own a piece of land like this easily costs us few mil of dollars.
Some works done by EYM children at another side of walkway. Plenty of space to dry the children’s art/paint work.
Suppose to be a car porch area, now it is a well-ventilated outdoor classroom. Love the idea, the K2 children were having group discussion over here and later on, they moved to the garden.
A big garden is a plus point for EYM. We saw 2 boys sitting on the mat in the garden, sharing their snacks and chatting, just like having picnic under the sun. The different is, they were in school and not a park or beach.
Outdoor play, the children can choose what they want to do or play with their classmates. Some were roaming freely, some were having fun at water play area.
These girls chose to have their snack on the picnic table instead.
Observation : K1 children “work time”. I’m impressed, the children were independent and well behaved. Most importantly, the montessori approach and activities develop spatial awareness in them. This is something we really need to work on.
Besides observing how the teachers conducted their lessons for K1 and K2 children, Ms Fee also walked us through 2 classrooms. Both were Mandarin classes, we were informed that there were about 15 children in N2, separated into 2 small groups so the ratio is kept at 1:<9
As for the N1 children, they were as cute as button. All seated on the designated black line and listened to teacher as she introduced gardening tools to them. After that, they walked to the garden. I think they were learning how to plant onions in the garden, the topic they were learning was in line with the show they will be watching at Esplanade, Hello Ling. The show is about Ling's garden, growing plants with sun and all. Just like theme based learning, children can relate better when they watch the show after all these hands on activities and exposure. For the same reason, there are always activity worksheets and reading before and after Asher watches a play.
Besides, I observed that the young children were encouraged to go to the loo on their own. Oh well, good and bad, back home, Asher goes to the toilet, wash hands and dry his hands without my help but in school, I don't think he is allowed to go toilet on his own, most children either have toilet break partner or the teacher will be the one accompanies the child to the toilet, at least that's what I see in EK and AT. It is good to learn early but I think young toddlers don't really know how to wash their hands properly after toilet break.
Overall, the first impression is not bad, the principal is friendly, the environment is peaceful and conducive for learning. Outdoor play area/garden is a plus point for this montessori preschool. No air con, the windows are open and the classrooms are very well ventilated. We are quite certain that Asher will go to a montessori based preschool for K1 & K2, daddy and I just need to view few more school around this area before we decide which will be the one for him.