The growth of young children is influenced by many factors. Their social, physical and emotional development directly effects on their overall development and on the individual or adult they will become. Hence, it is important that we understand the need to invest in young children and maximize their future well-being. The progression of young children begins from preschools. Their primary goal is to offer the students a world-class education and create global citizens by not just mugging up syllabus but by fulfilling their holistic development as a superior human being. One such preschool that has achieved this goal is the Blooming Buds Pre-School.
Based out of Hong Kong, this preschool provides an excellent bilingual (English and Mandarin) Reggio Emilia based education. Primarily focusing on preschool education, Blooming Buds caters to the needs of children 2 to 6 years old and their families. It provides a safe and stimulating environment where individual ideas and thoughts are encouraged so as to promote a lifelong passion for learning and exploration.
“Children have to be educated but they have to be left to educate themselves,” – Ernest Dim
Propelling the same thought, Blooming Buds Pre-School is sought for fostering self-educators. Any child who graduates from Blooming Buds Pre-School develops a life-long passion for learning. At the school’s heart lie its values of inclusivity, individuality, curiosity, creativity, and charity. It cultivates an environment of excellence where its students’ development is anchored on student-centric and tailor-made Reggio Emilia based curriculum.
Galvanized by the above-mentioned approach, a Blooming Buds Pre-School’s student demonstrates characteristics like:
- Self-learning skills: Children are capable of constructing their own learning.
- Social and Environmental Responsibilities: Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world by communicating with others
- Great Communicating skills
The Backstage Story
This revolutionary school is the creation of Rafaella Tung. If not for her parental instincts, she wouldn’t have realized that she needed the best education for her offspring. She soon realized that the education that the children received at that time could be further challenged and improved. “I believe children to be competent, communicative and collaborative regardless of age, but schools almost seemed to work against that. At the time, it was still very much about teacher-directed, thematic learning and there was a heavy emphasis on academics even at an early age,” comments Rafaella.
“I knew that research and studies in early childhood education dictated a lack in problem-solving skills and diminished creativity in those who got the “fast-track” of learning from adults as oppose to through trial and error, and I also knew that foundational skills such as those are exactly what my daughter would need in a drastically changing world,” she further adds.
This made Rafaella wonder, what if she founded a pre-school that caters to such needs and nurture children into adults while instilling in them all the future-needed skills. This initiated the birth of Blooming Buds. Born out in Rafaella’s living room in year 2009, the pre-school gained recognition as a full functioning pre-school in 2012. While commenting about its mission Rafaella asserts, “As the first Reggio Emilia inspired preschool in Hong Kong blending best practices from Italy and USA with the uniqueness of Hong Kong culture, it is our vision and mission to change the educational climate here, to advocate for the children, to empower parents to make informed choices and bring together educators in providing best practices.”
Lessons beyond Classrooms
Blooming Buds Pre-School believes that a child’s advancement is not just limited within the four walls of a school. Understanding the importance of a collaborative relationship between children, educators, and the wilder community, the school promotes an emergent curriculum that is flexible and constantly evolving.
Guided by the guidelines and values of the Creative Curriculum (USA), the Blooming Buds Pre-School ensures the inclusive development of every child. Bring with it a three-decade old tradition of education, this curriculum stays at par with the latest research in the field of early childhood education. This helps the school to stay abreast on the best practices in teaching. The framework outlines key areas based on the developmental stages of learning for infants through to age 6.
It includes the following areas:
- Science and Technology
- Social Studies
- The Arts
The goal of education is building intelligence and character and Blooming Buds Pre-School works to achieve the same. While Blooming Buds focuses on nurturing the talents, skills and academic achievements of students, it equally gives importance on nurturing them into responsible adults. The Character Education Program, an initiative of Blooming Buds Pre-School fulfills its mission of instilling positive character traits in its students.
Keeping in mind the heritage and culture of the nation, this program promotes the below-mentioned “Eight Virtues + One” of Confucianism.
- Filial Piety and Respect to Elders
- Empathy and Kindness
- Propriety and Good Manners
- Honesty and Devotion
- Common Good and Fairness
- Equality and Balance
The students of Blooming Buds Pre-School are confident, critical thinkers, communicators, creators, collaborators and problem solvers. However, achieving this is the collaborative effort of parents, other schools and the community. Characterized by inquiry and creativity, each classroom of the school has a designated English and Mandarin teacher. Acting as facilitators of the school, teachers are co-creators of knowledge. The individuality of each student is paramount to the school and its faculties and hence they work together to achieve their ultimate goal; inspire a lifelong love for learning and bring out their highest potential.
Imparting Value-Based Education
To further support the purpose of the school, it has introduced various activities that supports the tailor-made curriculum of the school. These activities are embedded into the daily schedules of the students to help them better understand their lessons. In line with what is mentioned here, the teachers of this pre-school create lessons with specialists in the community and conduct regular visits and, meets with mechanics, zero waste shops, Chinese opera singers, etc. Through these activities, the students are immersed into the world of real-life situations and experiences which further elevates their holistic development. At Blooming Buds Pre-School, students engross themselves in a world that is driven by their own imagination.
Kids have a very curious and imaginative mind. They are always at something, either learning new things or creating new things. The right pre-school will cater to this quality of theirs and help them in implementing their idea or ignite their curious minds further. This is the reputation that Blooming Buds Pre-School has developed. At Blooming Buds Pre-School, children actively construct theories of their world and bring their world into reality through hands-on experience and social interaction with teachers and peers.
Apart from these the pre-school has introduced a certain program that keeps them engaged in an educational and fun world. The DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read, a daily program of the school encourages children to read and instil in them the love towards reading. The school also organizes an interactive session once a week, wherein parents visit the school to share their favorite stories.
The school celebrates, Master Chef Day, once in a week, wherein the children in Pre-Nursery and above explore their culinary talent. This simple act of cooking pancakes provides a wealth of opportunities in building basic math, pre-literacy and reading. Hundred Languages Day is yet another activity introduced by the school.
This is one of the programme introduced by the school, wherein in the school welcomes different specialists to share with children the many different ways in which they can express themselves. Architects, Animators, Musicians, etc are some of the experts that have visited the school to share thier insights about life, culture and other things. In Reggio Emilia, they talk about the hundred languages of children, and show children how to express their thoughts in different ways. Additionally, the school also arranges Family Trips, Parent Child Activity Day where parents are invited to be a part of the children’s educational expedition.
Words of Trust
“We are so thrilled that we chose to send our child to Blooming Buds. We wanted him to be in a bilingual, open, and fun learning environment. Then every day going to school became the highlight of his day. As parents we found the class curriculum to be innovative and fun… After two years of being a Blooming Bud, Simon was accepted into a well-established international school. We really appreciate the care and hard work that has made Blooming Buds top notch.”
– Danny and Liyong C
“As an early childhood teacher for 20 years, I was looking for a pre-school that would nurture my child’s curiosity and creativity by providing developmentally appropriate learning experiences. Discover the hidden gem that is Blooming Buds.”
– Joanne D
“The Reggio Emilia teaching approach here has helped to nurture Brandon into the inquisitive, confident, creative, and social toddler that he is today; one who is passionate about learning. Your love and efforts have helped Brandon grow and blossom.”
– Baldwin Y