March 27, 2013
MOE's First Five Pilot Kindergartens In Primary Schools And The Community
The Ministry of Education (MOE) will set up 15 pilot kindergartens in the next few years. Of these, five will start operating and enrol Kindergarten 1 (K1) children in January 2014. All five pilot kindergartens will be set up within HDB heartlands - four located in primary schools, namely Blangah Rise Primary School, Dazhong Primary School, Farrer Park Primary School and Punggol View Primary School; and one in the community at Block 489C Tampines Street 45. The pilot kindergartens will operate two sessions in the morning and afternoon, and each session will be a four-hour programme.
Parents can submit the registration form between 8 and 19 April 2013 for Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident children born between 2 January 2009 and 1 January 2010 (both dates inclusive), to apply for admission to K1 classes in the pilot kindergartens in 2014.
Admission is not on a first-come-first-served basis. Should the number of applications exceed the number of vacancies; priority will be accorded based on citizenship, household income and proximity of home address to the pilot kindergartens. Please refer to Annex A for the registration details.
For the first year, the pilot kindergartens located in the primary schools will start with an enrolment of 120 children each, while the pilot kindergarten located in the community will start with an enrolment of 80 children. Please refer to Annex B for the locations of the five pilot kindergartens.
The monthly fee for the pilot kindergartens is $150 for Singapore Citizens and $300 for Singapore Permanent Residents. Financial assistance will be available to families of Singaporean children with gross household income not exceeding $3,500 (or per capita gross household income not exceeding $875). Please refer to Annex C for details on the financial assistance provided and resulting monthly fee.
Interested parents will be able to find out more information about the pilot kindergartens at the road shows, which will be held between 1 and 5 April 2013. Please refer to Annex B for details of the road shows.
Catalysing improvements to uplift pre-school education
The curriculum in the pilot kindergartens will be guided by the principles spelt out in the refreshed Kindergarten Curriculum Framework (KCF), which aims to nurture children holistically. The teachers will use the teaching and learning resources developed by MOE. In line with the KCF, children in the pilot kindergartens will be engaged in learning through purposeful play to build their self-confidence, nurture their positive attitudes towards learning as well as develop their social, literacy and numeracy skills. All these will lay a strong foundation for their future learning.
The curriculum will have a distinctive Singapore content, using local themes, stories and songs that draw on things and experiences familiar to children. This will help them make meaningful connections across different learning areas. There will be ample opportunities for teachers to use local songs and dances to design music and movement activities to strengthen children’s social and emotional, physical, language and cognitive development.
The curriculum will also include resources for Language and Literacy development - in both English and the three official Mother Tongue Languages (MTLs), namely Chinese, Malay and Tamil. However, the model of MTL provision may vary across centres, depending on the actual enrolment of children who take each of these MTLs at each kindergarten. There will be a strong emphasis on language learning, in particular, for children to develop listening and speaking skills which will facilitate their language learning in later years.
MOE will share the teaching and learning resources developed in the process with other pre-school operators. The Ministry will also work with pre-school centres that offer good programmes, to study various approaches and identify best practices to enhance the learning of pre-schoolers. Best practices that are found to be scalable, sustainable and suitable for the Singapore context will be shared with all pre-school operators. These efforts will help to catalyse quality improvements in pre-school education across Singapore. MOE and the Ministry of Social and Family Development will also continue to work with the operators of pre-school centres, through the newly-formed Early Childhood Development Agency to raise the standards of pre-school education.
Training for kindergarten teachers
As the quality of teachers is critical to the quality of education, there will be a strong emphasis on ongoing professional development for the teachers in the pilot kindergartens, so that they continually sharpen their pedagogical skills, and participate actively in refining the curriculum and teaching and learning resources used in the pilot kindergartens.
Partnership with Parents
Partnership with parents is key to enriching the child’s learning experience. Teachers will help parents understand developmentally-appropriate approaches for the holistic development of their child, provide regular feedback about their child’s learning and development, and share learning resources and kits to enable learning to continue at home.
MOE will gather the views of the industry, public and parents as we pilot the different approaches and collaborate with the pre-school sector to raise the quality of pre-school education in Singapore.