Programme

Foundational Approach (Fundamental/Developmental)

The early years are when foundational developmental blocks are laid for future growth and formation of children. The body, soul and spirit of young children must be holistically nurtured within a wholesome educational environment so that they will be successful learners throughout their lives.

Multi-pathways Approach (Multiple Intelligences)

Each child has a unique ‘cognitive profile’ that describes the different natural intelligences of the child and impacts the way a child learns. We provide different pathways to learning that integrate the differences in the intelligences in order to help children learn more naturally.

Nurture Approach (Learning Process)

We provide an environment where children learn and socialise with one another with support and guidance from nurturing teachers.

Integrated Approach (Curriculum Systems)

We use an eclectic approach where the best of different practices are integrated.
 •  Multiple Intelligences Approach (Howard Gardner, US)
 •  Inquiry-based Learning – Project Approach (Lillian Katz & Sylvia Chard, US)
 •  Play-based Learning – hands-on activities
 •  Nature-based Learning – integrating nature

Our curriculum materials are gleaned from various sources.
 •  Key to Learning (Vygotskian Approach), Russia
 •  Phonics Foundation, Singapore
 •  MATAL (Creative and Critical Thinking), Israel
 •  State of the Art Program (Visual Arts), USA

Our curriculum incorporates the most current and advanced global practices in early childhood education. These educational practices are designed to form the foundational developmental blocks found in our SPICES curriculum.

SPICES (Developmental Blocks)

S – Spiritual
Character Building and Moral Development

P – Physical
Bodily-Kinaesthetic Development

I – Intellectual
Verbal-Linguistic and Logical-Mathematical Development

C – Creative Arts
Visual-Spatial (Artistic, Dramatic & Dance) and Musical Development

E – Emotional
Intrapersonal Development

S – Social
Interpersonal Development

The Pre-Nursery programme, which is flexible and less structured, has creative play and the multiple intelligences of children as its underlying philosophical basis. Thematic activities and learning materials from Key to Learning all foster the different developmental areas of the children.

St. James’ Church Kindergarten is the first preschool in Asia to use Key to Learning, an early childhood programme based on the educational and developmental theories of Vygotsky. Children will pick up language and numeracy skills, as well as social skills through an integrated process of learning through creative play.

Art and craft, construction, cookery, dramatic play, music and movement, outdoor activities, physical development, sand and water play, and story-telling sessions are all features of the Pre-Nursery Playgroup programme.

Key to Learning modules covered at the Pre-Nursery level:


Artographics
Cultivates the essential skills required both for writing and creative artistic expression. Develops “art vision” and introduces different symbolic tools – composition, rhythm and colour

Construction
Develops mathematical language and goal directed behaviour. Children analyse the structure of objects, plan, articulate their plans and execute them using building blocks.

Expressive Movement
Develops emotional intelligence, non-verbal communication skills, creativity and productive imagination through body movement, gestures, facial expressions and music.

Sensory Mathematics
Develops the ability to analyse the external, visual qualities of objects using sensory standards such as colour, shape and size. It builds the foundation for the development of mental abilities.

You-Me-World
Using symbols and visual models, children learn about themselves as physical, emotional and social beings; about the natural and material world, about living things and inanimate objects.

English

Our English programme aims to develop children’s literacy skills and competence in the language. The phonics component teaches children the basic skills in reading and spelling decodable words, as well as recognising sight words. The programme combines stories, rhymes, literacy activities, reading, spelling and creative writing. Together with our in-house materials, we use 8 readers per year from Nursery to K2.

Chinese

Our thematic approach helps develop children’s interest in Mandarin by building their language abilities through listening, speaking, recognising Chinese characters and reading. The programme combines stories, songs, rhymes, literacy activities, games, reading and writing, and introduces children to the Chinese culture, customs and good values.

Mathematics

Our Mathematics materials are from Key to Learning, an early childhood programme based on Vygotskian theories of learning. 
Sensory Mathematics helps the Nursery children recognise and apply fundamental sensory standards of colour, shape and size. It embeds fundamental conceptual learning in carefully structured and sequenced everyday activities. The tasks offer systematic procedures for developing foundational mathematical understanding. 
Mathematics introduces the Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2 children to the concepts and language of mathematics and develops fundamental understanding of mathematical relationships. Children learn the concepts of number, quantity and measurement in fun and meaningful ways.

Art & Craft

Activities like painting, printing, drawing, collage work and handcraft allow children another medium of expression that is fun and absorbing. Attention is focused on aesthetic appreciation and creativity. Besides individual art creations, children will also be involved in group art projects. There is often integration between art activities and other activities in the programme, and we use a combination of our own materials and an American programme, State of the Art Program (Visual Arts).

Music & Movement

While elements of music and movement are interwoven into the teaching of English, Chinese and Mathematics, there is a separate time set aside for the exploration of music and movement.

佳美音符 (Jia Mei Ying Fu) is a creative Chinese Music and Movement Programme designed and developed by Our Music Classroom (OMC) Pte Ltd. Jia Mei Ying Fu’s curricula is based on a SONG STRETCHER™ approach where songs/chants/rhymes/music are ‘s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d’ through vocals, body percussion, instrument play, and movement. This kinaesthetic approach helps children internalise the music process and builds their creative expression. Jia Mei Ying Fu utilises music & movement as a vehicle for language development and music appreciation. Through fun and creative music and movement activities, children will be engaged and immersed in meaningful Chinese Language experiences.

Children will be involved in singing, movement, musical games, body percussion and appreciation of classical and multicultural songs. Elements of music such as beat, rhythm, dynamics, form and tempo are embedded in the lessons. This specialised music and language immersion curricula aims to build a strong foundation for future formal advancement in both music and language

Creative and Critical Thinking

During Creative and Critical Thinking lessons, children have the opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas. It is a time where children are encouraged to ask questions and to come up with logical answers themselves. The emphasis is on the observation of the environment using all the senses. Components of the MATAL Early Childhood Programme from Israel form the basis in developing these critical thinking skills.

Learning Centre Activities

Various learning centres, including art, construction, dramatic, English, Chinese, Mathematics and library, are set up in the classrooms to provide opportunities for independent learning. Learning centres offer a variety of activities and materials that cater to the multiple intelligences of children, and children can choose to go to the learning centres that interest them.

Mini Projects & Project Work

Every term, the children will spend a few weeks on mini projects based on the Project Approach. We believe that involvement in projects will enrich and add a new dimension to children’s learning which is fairly fluid in nature. Also the children play an integral part in making choices and determining the direction it takes.

In Term 3, the children will spend several weeks on a major project and different classes explore different topics. This project work culminates in an Open House where children present and share with their parents what they have learnt.

The Project Approach  involves three phases:

Phase 1 – Brainstorming, questioning, discussing & planning
Phase 2 – Investigating, interviewing & field trip
Phase 3 – Selecting, compiling information & presenting

Key to Learning

Key to Learning is a unique educational developmental cognitive curriculum for the Early Years, specially designed to provide optimal learning experiences.

Key to Learning modules covered at the Nursery, K1 & K2 levels:


Artographics
Cultivates the essential skills required both for writing and creative artistic expression. Develops “art vision” and introduces different symbolic tools – composition, rhythm and colour Nursery

Developmental Games
Develops children’s ability to imagine and to solve problems creatively, looking for their own novel solutions and learning to check that these solutions are plausible. Nursery

Sensory Mathematics
Develops the ability to analyse the external, visual qualities of objects using sensory standards such as colour, shape and size. It builds the foundation for the development of mental abilities. Nursery

Creative Modelling
Develops creativity and allows children to work together to realise different ideas and to create artistic compositions by exploring materials, colours and textures. Nursery & K1

Construction
Develops mathematical language and goal directed behaviour. Children analyse the structure of objects, plan, articulate their plans and execute them using building blocks. Nursery, K1 & K2

Story Grammar
Helps young children develop a love of story, ownership of story language and a profound understanding of story structure. K1 & K2

Logic
Develops children’s ability to analyse objects and events, see their “invisible” sides, identify their most essential characteristics, think sequentially, draw conclusions, classify and systematise information. K2
While these special activities are optional, children are strongly encouraged to participate. Parents are required to give their consent and make the necessary payments for these activities.

Excursions/Field Trips

The children are taken on excursions or field trips thrice a year, in Terms 2, 3 and 4. These provide enriching opportunities for children to visit places resulting in meaningful learning experiences. These trips create lasting and memorable impressions in the minds of the children.

Annual Concert

This is the highlight of the year and a much talked-about event. Our concerts are musicals of exceptionally high quality and are a feast for the senses. Every child in K1 and K2 is given an opportunity to participate in this exciting event.

Camps

We offer a variety of camps for Nursery, K1 & K2 children, especially during the term holidays. Children will enjoy the fun-filled as well as educational and creative camp activities.