A child attending an MOE Kindergarten (MK) may take up the role of a cook or customer at a local restaurant, all during lesson time. But this is not just play, as the child will also learn about different environments, and interacting with others. The concept of learning through purposeful play features strongly in the new MK curriculum, which will be implemented in the five new MOE kindergartens opening in January 2014.
150 parents attended the information session held at Punggol View Primary School on 31 August 2013.
The new MK curriculum is closely aligned to the refreshed Kindergarten Curriculum Framework (KCF), launched in February 2013. The refreshed KCF covers six learning areas, namely aesthetics and creative expression, discovery of the world, language and literacy, motor skills development, numeracy, social and emotional development.
To enable children to learn in a real and familiar context, teaching resources used in the MK curriculum will have a distinct Singapore flavour as they learn about things and places around them, such as local festivals, traditions and food. Designed based on local cultural aspects, children will learn through stories, songs and dances, a step towards knowledge acquisition beyond text books. Children will also spend about an hour a day on their mother tongue languages.
To support active learning, an organised environment would be set up to allow children to be meaningfully involved in role-play in an almost authentic setting. This is where the classroom may be turned into a restaurant or a market. For a restaurant setting for example, children will get to design the menu and signboard, negotiate among themselves on the roles to take on, whether as a customer, waiter or cook, and practise words and phrases commonly used.
Activities would be planned to achieve certain learning outcomes, and the use of authentic contexts will help children meaningfully engage themselves when they learn about things familiar to their environment.
Features of the New MOE Kindergarten Curriculum
The MK curriculum is organised around four broad themes -
1. Who am I?
2. Who are the people and what are the places around me?
3. Who do I share the world with? and
4. How do things work?
These topics allow children to explore and first learn about themselves, before the learning is extended to others beyond their social circle and eventually to the world.
As part of helping children apply what they learn, children will embark on a project each term where they are required to investigate a topic of their interest.
To enable children to learn in a real and familiar context, teaching resources will have a distinct Singapore flavour, such as local festivals, traditions and food.
Through this, they will have the opportunity to explore, ask questions, and have discussions with their peers and teachers before making an informed decision about their project. This will help children to build up their exploration skills, confidence and problem solving skills, thus strengthening a positive disposition towards learning.
Flagship Programmes - Starlight Literacy and HI-Light
MOE has developed two programmes to lay the foundation for nurturing early childhood bilingualism and enhancement of holistic development.
The Starlight Literacy programme is a story-based curriculum that develops children's language skills through songs and stories. Early reading skills such as phonetics, which places emphasis on letter-sound relationships, will be taught to all children. The programme will focus on learning through fun and enjoyment, and teachers would be conducting Shared Reading sessions using Big Books to talk about the stories, and relate these stories to their own experiences.
Teachers use enlarged picture books, called Big Books, to help children talk about the pictures in the books and relate them to their own experiences.
In the HI-Light activity, children will get to explore different patterns that can be found in the environment. After children are able to recognise and identify patterns, teachers will use relevant teaching aids to extend their understanding and eventually allow the children to apply what they have learnt by creating their own patterns. Children will also get a chance to fine-tune their motor skills, hand-eye coordination and exercise creativity at the same time.
Through activities like these, children will learn to develop their linguistic and numeracy concepts, and enjoy learning through purposeful play.
For more information on MOE kindergartens, click here.