2 new Chinese preschools help kids master Mandarin


Young Parents Team
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There’s a new Mindchamps preschool in Tampines Central, and it’s the first of its kind. Mindchamps Chinese Preschool offers the same curriculum and enrichment as the brand’s other centres, but delivers it primarily in Mandarin.

Playground and Nursery 1 level children will have 90 per cent Mandarin exposure, Nursery 2 children have 70 per cent, and Kindergarten 1 and 2 kids will be exposed to 60 per cent in preparation for Primary 1.

It has also added a Chinese Culture Appreciation programme to give preschoolers insight into China’s history and culture through clay modelling, Chinese painting and calligraphy, Chinese theatre, Chinese chess and Chinese tea.

According to a report in The Straits Times, this preschool will contribute up to 3 pages of content in Thumbs Up Little Junior, a Lianhe Zaobao publication for preschool children. It’s part of a collaboration with the SPH Chinese Media Group – SPH has a stake in Mindchamps.

Fees start at $1,680 per month. Call 9769-9025 or e-mail enquiries.cps.tampines@mindchampsClick here for more details.

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Start them young and make it fun – that’s the approach that this centre takes. Unlike the brand’s other centres, kids in Nursery 1 and 2 here undergo full Mandarin immersion – the teachers speak nothing but Mandarin to them, even if students use English to respond.

In K1 and K2, the kids move to a bilingual environment, where each class has two teachers – one English-speaking and the other Mandarin-speaking – so they can develop English skills in preparation for formal schooling, without losing the strong Mandarin foundation they’ve built.

To facilitate its Reggio-inspired curriculum, the classrooms are set up for specific learning areas. These include the light area, where pupils learn explore light and shadows, the print area, which focuses on language and literacy, the performance and visual arts areas, and the construction area. As part of its Mandarin focus, Chinese culture and arts are also incorporated in lessons.

The centre offers only three-hour preschool services with the option of morning or afternoon sessions. Fees start at $2,100 per term (10 weeks). Find it at 681 Bukit Timah Road, on the Hwa Chong International School campus. Click here for more details.

While this centre does not have ties to Hwa Chong, the Etonhouse International Education Group and Singapore Chinese High School – which runs both Hwa Chong Institution and Hwa Chong International School – have partnered to create a Hwa Chong Etonhouse Institution. According to a press release from October 2014, the new school will eventually have a bilingual, bicultural, International Baccalaureate curriculum for pupils from kindergarten to primary school levels. No launch date has been set yet. 

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