The Nursery Program at Prep is designed to give young children the foundation skills for their move up to the Kindergarten Program. Children learn basic emotional and social skills to help them be effective members of a group. They are shown how to take care of their surroundings and help tidy up the classroom. Academic performance is not a priority in the Nursery. Rather, the focus is on building creativity, curiosity, self-esteem, concentration and independence using child-centered and ‘hands-on’ approaches.
The Nursery comprises of 2 functional rooms, the Montessori Room and the Activity Room. The children spend time in both rooms each day, as well as having time for outdoor activities in our large urban garden and newly designed play area. In the Montessori Room the children work with specially designed toys and games, many of which are self-correcting, that help them develop many skills, from fine motor skills and muscle control to developing purpose in their action, problem-solving skills and individual responsibility. In the Activity Room children have opportunities for free play, choosing from materials and activities that build imagination, artistic creativity and self-expression. Teachers prepare theme-based activities for the children. The two rooms complement each other, with the Montessori Room exposing children to a quiet and orderly learning environment with related benefits of concentration and self-direction while the process in the Activity Room is less structured, building the child’s inspiration and expression.
The children develop English language skills in both rooms and in all activities throughout their waking day at PREP. Native English speaking teachers communicate in English with the children at all times. Children who are ready are taught pre-writing and early phonics skills
The nursery accepts children aged from 18 months to 3 years. The Program begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday to Fridays. At the opening activities of the day there is a flag ceremony, Music and Movement activity and Circle Time where they join the older Kindergarten children. After this they spend the rest of the morning in the Nursery rooms where the children are kept busy until midday, when they shower, take a nap then wake around 2:00 p.m. before going home at 2:30 p.m.
The PREP Kindergarten program is designed for children aged from 3 to 6.5 years. It combines 2 different approaches to early childhood development and education. For most of the morning the children learn in conventional age groups (K1, K2 and K3) but these are disregarded in the afternoon, when a mixed age child-centered class is used and children have freedom to direct their own activities. In this way the children gain independence and self-motivation in their learning whilst their achievement and progress in core learning areas is assured.
The opening segment of the day takes place outdoors and includes a flag ceremony, a garden game and a music and movement routine. The children then move inside for ‘circle time’ and setting the calendar for each day of the week. For the rest of the morning the children learn in their age group of different classes (K1, K2 and K3). There are 3 class times, covering the typical range of learning areas including language, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education and performing arts. 3 languages are taught – English, Thai and Mandarin Chinese.
After lunch the mixed age (integrated) approach is used – we call it ‘Work Time’. It takes place in a large classroom which is divided into 11 sections or learning centers of various sizes, each devoted to a learning area. In each area we have put selected toys, games and activities that the children can use by themselves. Our goal is for each center to stimulate the children into playing, working and learning by themselves. Teachers are stationed at the 3 language tables and the math corner to assist and direct children as necessary. Children choose their activities from a work board, which is changed daily. After Work Time the teacher reads a story to the children to complete the day’s learning.