Our education philosophy is centred on relationships – every child, teacher, parent, staff plays a part in defining the environment in which children learn, play and grow.
Be it personality, interests, abilities or learning styles, no two children are the same. Teachers and children alike come together in a vibrant environment at The Caterpillar’s Cove, rich with love, respect and equal opportunities to grow.
Our teaching approach facilitates learning:
We want our children to notice and feel inquisitive about the environment; to reflect on the changing formations of a cloud; be charmed by an opening bud; appreciate the logical simplicity of mathematical order. As they visit and re-visit an area of interest, they construct and co-construct their knowledge and build theories of the world around them.
They say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. That is why we encourage play in our teaching; Play makes learning natural and incidental as it builds on every child’s in-born curiosity. This learning process is further enhanced when adults talk with them, and get them to reflect on their experiences.
When children play together, they learn from one another. When confronted with questions, problems or conflicts, they learn to discuss, negotiate and find answers together.
Children develop diverse competencies and experiences within many social contexts. Our teachers seek to understand their characteristics and these contexts, and this knowledge is applied in the planning of a curriculum that encompasses both child-initiated and adult-facilitated experiences.
Children need the support of adults to help them in the process of self-regulation. For instance, they will not simply follow an instruction to take turns. Adults need to explain the importance of doing so and teach them skills to occupy themselves while waiting for their turn, thus turning a potential conflict into a meaningful learning situation.
We believe in striking a balance in children’s learning modes, that is, through directed and facilitated learning experiences. Direct learning occurs when children interact with the environment, and form their own perception and meaning from the events and things around them, which may not always be correct. A facilitated learning approach acknowledges an individual’s learning potential and that learning is diverse. Through a facilitated learning experience, the ability to scaffold learning through appropriate and meaningful experiences with skilful facilitators such as a parent, teacher or even peer to help the learner focus on what is important and seek to bridge his/her thinking with concepts and principles that can be applied to a different and/or broader context. By combining both approaches, we aim to develop effective thinkers and problem-solvers, who can:
Professionalism armed with early childhood education qualifications that range from certificates to Master’s degrees, each of our teachers brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in working with young children into the classroom. As members of the larger learning community, they contribute to setting quality benchmarks by collaborating with other professionals on educational research. At the same time, they are constantly looking to strengthen and broaden their areas of expertise, adapting their teaching methods to new findings, ideas and theories.
In order for education to be effective, our teachers first seek to establish bonds with the children. Holistic learning – intellectually, socially and emotionally – then takes place in a nurturing, emotionally safe and supportive environment.
In the process of teaching, our teachers take on roles ranging from mentors to companions. This is because the goal is not just about absorbing facts or solving tasks; more importantly, it is the thought process and skills used to arrive at the solution.
Beyond cognitive capacity, our teachers seek to foster children’s self-esteem, motivation, character, civic responsibility and respect for individual, cultural, religious and racial differences.
We believe in cultivating effective partnerships with families through consultation, collaboration and negotiation.
It is our responsibility to advocate respect and empowerment of children in the larger community.