The Little Tree House: Nurturing Young Intellectuals, Delivering Holistic Learning
The Little Tree House| Anna Belle Thomas

A comprehensive learning experience and holistic development initiatives for a child at preschool level become the foundations of its future in academics and personal life.

With a mission to create an exciting and inspiring learning environment that encourages children to develop a love for learning and a love for life, The Little Tree House, Selangor, Malaysia sets a profound example that clearly explains the importance of the aforesaid foundation. Established in 2015, the preschool is a collaboration between HELP Education Group and OSK Ventures International.

At The Little Tree House (TLTH), it is an established belief that learning should occur in a fun, meaningful, interactive, real and holistic way. The school aims to nurture children under its care, to become all-rounders who cherish learning.

TLTH’s vision is to provide a higher quality learning environment with positive outcomes which will encourage future ready learners by enabling them to acquire a lifelong love for learning.

With a deep respect of for the unique and magical minds of children, TLTH strives to create an environment that fosters learning, builds confidence, self-esteem, social skills and supports children’s overall individual needs. TLTH empowers children by offering opportunities where they can make decisions and solve problems in their everyday lives.

TLTH recognizes that children learn best through hands-on and meaningful activities. Thus, a range of structured and unstructured, active and quiet, self-directed and adult-initiated learning opportunities are implemented through individual, small group and large group activities.

The preschool’s curriculum is designed in accordance to the needs and capacities of young children, where each unique child’s learning styles and interests are respected. This in turn supports them to develop holistically – physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually, leading them to become lifelong learners.

Pertaining to its tradition of academic excellence, The Little Tree House is supported by the HELP Group Faculty of Education and Languages and also the Faculty of Behavioural Science for enriching children’s learning experience.

Redefining Distinction

At TLTH, children play, learn, interact, and grow in a nurturing environment. The school ensures that every child is given authentic learning experiences, providing them a platform to develop a love for learning.

It also makes sure that children are equipped with essential knowledge, skills and dispositions for formal schooling, be it a National, Private or International School.

The Little Tree House is also a place to foster children’s love of reading. Children get access to a wide range of print and digital reading materials that are tri-lingual. They not only acquire academic knowledge, but also appreciate these media for enriching personal interest and lifelong learning.

Book Centre – TLTH’s wide collection of books has been selected to ensure that its teachers and children are given only the best books to browse through, in the comfort and conduciveness of the  library at The Little Tree House.

Play Area – In developing its children’s gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and health and safety awareness, TLTH ensures that children are given plenty of opportunities to be physically active on a daily basis at its purpose-built Play Area. This also enhances the development of its children’s co-ordination, control and movement in a safe and guided environment.

The Guiding Light

The Little Tree House is being successfully led to zeniths of success and growth by Anna Belle Thomas, the Academic Director and General Manager. With over 20 years of professional working life in the pre-school education sector, she specializes in handling children with difficulties, special needs and parenting counselling.

Her vast experience includes managing a kindergarten business and a language centre for preschoolers where she was responsible to stakeholders for performance management and to the parents with respect to moulding and preparing preschoolers for their life-long learning.

In 2016, she started off as a teacher-cum-trainer at TLTH. Within the same year, she was promoted to be the General Manager based on her flawless performance. Currently, she wears various hats in TLTH  which include being the Academic Director, General Manager and running a Special Education Needs programme.

Under her portfolio, she manages two schools and assists in implementing new programmes to strengthen the curriculum for continuous improvement and benefit of the preschoolers. She oversees two establishments and leads two principals and a team of 13 staffs. As a trainer, she also conducts trainings in providing professional development to all staff, responsible for the implementation of appropriate early childhood practices.

She loves working with TLTH, and nurturing children to be the best that they can be is her lifelong passion. With this, she was the Honorary Secretary in Early Childhood Education and Care of Malaysia (ECCE) from 2017-2019.

Setting Benchmarks

Character building education is one of the important components of TLTH’s programme. Qualities such as compassion, independence, resilience, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness will be instilled, forming the basic core of children’s positive mental health and motivation for learning. Through storytelling, activities and daily routines, teachers put emphasis on interactions that affect children’s behavior, thoughts, feelings and actions, encouraging the building of positive characters.

This is proven by parent’s testimony from one of the students who graduated in 2017. Her child had intense emotions during early childhood years. Hence, the Academic team of TLTH advised that the school focuses on her emotions and character building rather than academic studies. She put her trust on the teachers of TLTH and saw significant changes on her child over a short period of time. Her child was more positive, cheerful and confident.

In TLTH, each unique child’s learning styles and interests are respected and parents do appreciate it.

TLTH believes that families play the biggest role in the life of a child. Believing so, it commits to providing the best guidance, education and care to the children as well as their parents and guardians. Acknowledging the importance of connecting parents, guardians and teachers, the school’s doors are open for communication via appointments and email.

Parents are kept updated on the events and functions involving their children and any other relevant information about the center via newsletter and mobile apps. Parent-Teacher meetings along with a detailed assessment of children’s learning progress are organised so that parents can review and discuss their children’s development.

TLTH provides each child with a high quality early childhood experience and school readiness. “We want to make this a positive experience ensuring that coming to us is enjoyable as well as beneficial,” says Ms. Anna.

The school’s programme integrates both the International and Malaysian Curriculum which is implemented through an Integrated Thematic Approach. It includes Montessori influence and Play-based methods to ensure a well-rounded curriculum.
Using the thematic approach, the school also ensures that children are responsible for their own learning; this can be done by allowing the children to actively search for multiple resources that are related to the topic, and to think critically on how one activity is related to another.

In Foresight

In terms of school expansion, TLTH is in the midst of adding on one more school this year in Malaysia. Currently it has 2 schools located in Selangor. Both the schools cater to local residents and expatriates.

Based on international best practices and current national policy, the Malaysia Ministry of Education is committed to moving more students with special needs towards the inclusive education programme and raising the overall quality of the provision.

To echo the same message, TLTH also provides S.E.N Programmes for children aged 3 to 7 years with learning difficulties or disabilities compared to their peers of the same age group at both of its preschools located at USJ One and Atria Shopping Gallery respectively and the demand is growing.

“We aspire to reach out to more special education needs students in order to support and give them readiness to fit into the society when they grow up,” Ms. Anna expresses.

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