To a parent, a child’s education is of utmost importance. With the child learning to walk and talk, parents start to teach the basics of communication. These days a perfect work-life balance is difficult to come by with life becoming increasingly hectic. Parents do get maternity and paternity days off but there are limits to the same and beyond a point they have no option but to go back to work. Sending a small child to preschool is an option though most parents worry about how a child so young shall cope up and adjust to new surroundings and faces.
Their concerns aside, one of the best decisions parents can ever take for their child is to make them go to preschools. Letting the child mix up with children of his/her age, how-so-ever young, helps them develop social and emotional skills. With children from varied backgrounds coming to such preschools, children get early exposure to various cultures and learn to identify and cope.
At preschools, a child is exposed to various aspects of life such as numbers, letters and shapes. Between the age of 3 to 6 they are said to be extremely adaptive. At this stage, physical activities like playing constitute an important part of their lives as it helps develop their motor, social, emotional and intellectual skills. Growth in imagination, attention span and enthusiasm take place during this age.
To develop these skills in the appropriate manner, children so young should be kept away from all forms of interference from adults as they tend to learn quickly, react and absorb everything that happens around them. In a pre-school’s structured setting, the child gets the freedom to do their expected best. In addition, a child’s language skills get enhanced with the help of trained teachers and they grow increasingly curious given the environment of learning all around them.
Summer Fields Preschool helps its students find answers to questions that arise in their minds at this age. Nestled in a quiet and peaceful location in Sri Hartamas in Kaula Lumpur, the preschool welcomes both local and international students from an age as young as 1½ years up to the age of 6. Built in an area of 5000 square feet, it allows students the freedom to roam and discover things for themselves. Along with a the uniquely structured classroom, the school also provides an amazingly beautiful landscaped garden outdoors which has just the right kinds of outdoor play equipment for young children.
Summer Fields is definitely one of the best preschools given the cozy neighbourhood it’s nestled in. The classrooms too are purpose-built with a range of teaching materials suitable for every age group. Also provided are reading corners, play areas and specially designed child-sized toilets for younger students.
Dynamic Personality of Summer Field’s
Tan Soo Yee, the Founder and Principal is the person behind the formation of Summer Fields Preschool. Tan is a qualified early childhood educator with an International Diploma in Montessori Education. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the prestigious University of Southern Queensland, Australia and a certificate in Special Needs Education. With such a vast body of knowledge and experience which extends over a decade, Tan has made exceptional progress as the Principal of Summer Fields.
Her experience before Summer Fields include a brief engagement with a childcare centre in Australia. On a personal level, Tan always had a passion to create learning spaces for children focused mainly on their growth and development. She believes in nurturing in her students, a feeling of curiosity and lifelong interest in learning. Over years of fine-tuning, she has managed to achieve a balance between curiosity and curriculum. She endeavors to ensure that her students experience a play-based and child-focused environment that benefits them all through their lives.
Summer Field’s Extraordinary Vision and Mission
Summer Fields was founded with the main aim of providing residents of Sri Hartamas quality childcare and education. With the help of thematic integration, she has balanced the school’s curriculum between play and studies which is said to make the students academically sound. That besides, Summer Fields prepares its students to move along unhindered with their academics to the primary school level which are of high standards, both in Malaysia and abroad.
For a child to proceed further at the primary level in Malaysia, certain academic skills are essential. Summer Fields has designed its curriculum accordingly. Says Tan, “Students who have been with us have had the experience of learning in a play-based, child-focused environment, while at the same time are academically ready for the next step in their education.” Tan believes that the main focus of Summer Fields is to make their students learn while enjoying the process.
Unique Teaching and Learning Strategies
Being accredited by the Ministry of Education of Malaysia, it is an honour to be at Summer Fields which believes in evolving with the times, a necessity of the day. A play-based education system that also incorporates a thematically integrated curriculum, learning becomes fun and interesting for its students. Due to the methodology, children adapt quickly to fun and hands-on experiential learning. Tan says, “Our curriculum consists of thematic topics that are carefully planned and encompasses the six main learning areas: Language, Social-emotional skills, Numeracy, Creative Arts and Music, Fine and Gross motor skills and Science.”
At Summer Fields, teachers take special efforts to develop a child’s personality. That said, parent’s involvement in bridging the child’s learning process ought to start at home itself. To motivate a toddler towards learning, it is thus important to maintain a home to preschool network. To this end, Summer Fields always makes sure the parents remain updated of the child’s progress, his/ her likes and dislikes and suggestions to provide the right reinforcements at home. To this end, projects and activities are formulated that require children to share their experience from home or parents to assist in gathering materials for their child which gets completed in the school with the help of peers. Such activities are presented in thematic projects and sessions such as ‘Show & Tell’.
Current Scenario in the Education Sector
“As an early-childhood educator, it is important to keep reviewing teaching methods so as to keep up with shifting trends. Change in our daily lives as also in teaching methodologies are essential to know, so as to help a child adapt to a new environment and system,” Tan opines.
Most children these days have the privilege of experiencing new and interesting ideas through the use of technology. Technology as we all know today plays a vital role in our daily lives as compared to yesteryears. It also plays a significant role in education.
That said, the ideal state would be a balance between technology and living in the real world lest we take away the advantages and experiences of being in the real world using tactile materials such as text books, developing writing skills, having personal experience and relationships with nature etc
With the rising standards of education, there is a pressing need to keep up with technology and trends. Parents these days demand high-quality infrastructure and a child- friendly environment with the best of amenities for their child/children. Tan says, “Given the opportunity, we certainly hope that one day we’ll be able to expand our school and upgrade our infrastructure to better the learning experience for our students.”