South East Asia Awards 2021

14 APAC / South East Asia Business Awards 2021 , Preschool of the Year 2021 – Singapore Little Paddington has become the number one preschool in Singapore due to its approach of ‘holistic child-led experiential learning’ and keeping its children at the heart of everything it does. The preschool is holistic in that it has a balanced focus on wellbeing, social and emotional development as well as core values including kindness, resilience and independence. It character development focus helps children to develop the full extent of their capabilities, talents and even academic success. It is child-led with a curriculum that sparks curiosity, exploration and creativity, and it designed to encourage children to be forward-thinking and innovative. The children are respected and they are viewed as competent thinkers and communicators. Little Paddington has adopted an enquiry- and research-based approach which motivates children to identify their own issues and questions. Children acquire knowledge through examination and problem solving. By being experiential it focuses on hands-on project work and reflection. Each term, the preschool focuses on a specific educational theme, which becomes the base for enquiry. Little Paddington provides integrated learning experiences where children feel valued, confident and independent. Where appropriate, cross- curricular links are made to ensure the learning is meaningful and relevant. Little Paddington’s programmes offer limitless possibilities, a depth of learning across diverse areas including languages, creative arts, numeracy, appreciation of different countries and cultures, science and technology, motor skills and physical development. Teachers at Little Paddington are inspired by supporting the children as they embark on their learning journey. Their focus is on enhancing self-directed learning by creating an environment that is stimulating and engaging, and most importantly, where children feel safe, secure and nurtured. The preschool believes that every child is unique and its approach focuses on highlighting each child’s strengths. It provides a learning environment that is full of holistic knowledge and loving guidance. The atmosphere at Little Paddington is special. There is a great deal of emphasis in establishing a warm and welcoming environment within the preschool. This has become the signature of each of its five campuses across Singapore. When children and their families join Little Paddington, they become part of a wider Paddington community, where every member is valued, and positive relationships between children, staff and parents are continuously deepened. Little Paddington has and continues to work through and overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19. The pandemic impacts the school in all facets: daily operations, interactions with children and their families, and most of all, programme implementation. From the onset of the circuit breaker, Little Paddington’s teachers and leadership were forced to adapt overnight to a distance learning programme. Teachers kept children engaged in a virtual setting from 9am to 5pm, ensuring that their learning was affected as little as possible. They used various forms of technology such as apps, videos and live-streaming to engage children in meaningful learning. To ensure children were not being exposed to an excess of screen time, families received packages to take home every two weeks with materials and supplies for children to take part in hands-on experiences at home. Early childhood education, just like most other industries, is seeing a growing trend in educational technology and apps. More and more, children are using interactive apps and programmes for learning across many domains. The preschool’s science atelier introduces hands- on technology such as robotics and coding. Teachers must be very aware of and stay current in research regarding children and screen time to ensure that children are prepared for a world evolving and revolving around technology, but to take precautions to protect children against the detriments of having too much screen time. Little Paddington believes that the use of technology should be engaging, active and interactive, rather than passive. Since many of its children are from international families, Little Paddington recognises that COVID-19 has changed the way that family members spend time together. It is an exciting time for Little Paddington as it has a lot of exciting new projects underway! It recently opened a new school in Bartley, which has a digital room with immersive and interactive installations to ignite creativity and open a world of possibilities through the adventure of exploration. Imagine children playing a giant piano with their feet, then jumping on numbers to solve a mathematical puzzle! They are even able to see their own creations and artwork come to life onscreen as animations on interactive backdrops. The digital room helps to create a stimulating environment to bring learning to life. Additionally, Little Paddington is working together with a sister company to develop educational technology and apps geared specifically towards preschool children in Singapore. Company: Little Paddington Preschool Contact: Anandita Singh Raha Email: [email protected] Web: Apr21310