From next year, MOE will start operating and enrol Kindergarten One pupils across its five pilot kindergartens. The kindergartens are located within HDB heartlands, with four based in primary schools, namely Blangah Rise Primary School, Dazhong Primary School, Farrer Park Primary School and Punggol View Primary School, and one in the community at Block 489C Tampines Street 45.
The open space in Dazhong Primary School serves as an area for the pilot kindergarten.
To raise the overall quality of pre-school education, MOE will set up 15 kindergartens in the next few years. Appropriate teaching and learning resources will also be developed at these pilot kindergartens. Best practices found suitable could then be shared with other pre-school operators to improve the overall quality of pre-school education.
The kindergartens in the four primary schools will take in 120 children each, while the one located in Tampines will take in 80 children for the first year. The kindergartens will operate two sessions in the morning and afternoon, with each session being a four hour programme.
In line with the refreshed Kindergarten Curriculum Framework, children in the pilot kindergartens will learn through purposeful play.
The curriculum in the MOE pilot kindergartens will be guided by the recently refreshed Kindergarten Curriculum Framework (KCF). In line with the KCF, children in the pilot kindergartens will learn through purposeful play, under a curriculum with a distinctive Singapore content. The refreshed curriculum aims to move away from over preparing children academically, but instead, supports their holistic development by nurturing positive learning attitudes.
'Education is not just about academic success, we want to focus on preparing each child in the social-emotional aspect, as well as to ignite a passion for learning,' said Minister for Education, Mr Heng Swee Keat.
Depending on the needs and actual enrolment of children in each kindergarten, the curriculum will also include resources for Language and Literacy development, in both English and the three official Mother Tongue Languages, namely Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
'With the pilot kindergartens based in our school, this will help pre-school children mentally prepare themselves of what to expect when they are in Primary One. The proximity allows us to work closely with the kindergarten principal so that we can understand specific learning needs of the children. Primary school teachers are able to interact with the children at an earlier stage, which makes the transition to Primary One much smoother for the child,' noted Ms Ng-Teo Sock Hua, the Principal of Dazhong Primary School.
Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident children born between 2 January 2009 and 1 January 2010 (both dates inclusive) can apply for admission to K1 classes in the pilot kindergartens in 2014. Registration is from 8 and 19 April 2013. Admission will be accorded based on citizenship, household income and proximity of home to the pilot kindergartens. The school fees range from S$150 per month (for Singapore citizens) to S$300 per month (for Singapore PRs). MOE's Financial Assistance Scheme will also apply to students studying in these MOE-run kindergartens, where families with a gross monthly household income below S$3,500 will receive subsidies.
The pilot kindergartens help pre-school children mentally prepare themselves and smoothen their transition to Primary One.
Jamaliah Binte Selamat, a resident who stays near Dazhong Primary School, welcomed the move. 'Having a MOE-run kindergarten located in a primary school nearby is definitely a good move as it is so much more convenient. I also believe that the new curriculum will be rigorous and the learning experience beneficial to my grandchildren.'
MOE Pilot Kindergartens Roadshows
Parents who are interested to enrol their children in the pilot kindergartens can visit the roadshows to find out more details.
For more information on the pilot kindergartens, click here.