Keen to know what goes on in a day at the happiest place on campus at SAS? The early learning center children are more than happy to share what they get up to!
At the Singapore American School (SAS) early learning center, educators believe children are curious, creative, and highly capable. Relationships are at the core of the SAS learning experience, and together, children and adults co-construct understanding about themselves, their community, and the wider world. Together, children and adults create an environment of possibilities that fosters meaningful inquiry, strong connections, and rich understandings. Welcome to the wonderful world of the early learning center (ELC) at Singapore American School. Let’s take a peek at what goes on in a day here – as told by the SAS children themselves!
Arrival at the SAS Early Learning Center: “We put our bags in our cubbies,” explains Agi.
As the buses start to arrive, ELC children are warmly greeted by their friends and adults in their learning community. Some children wait eagerly at the door to welcome friends who have not yet arrived, while others explore the learning invitations set up in the environment. There is always something new to discover: a recycled space rocket, a rainbow beaming from a light projector, or even a family of snails.
Snack Time: “You eat snack,” shares Walker.
A time for making connections with each other, snack time is enjoyed by all of the members in the learning community. Children share stories from home, talk about the learning ahead, or ask questions about the world around them.
Connection Time: “We read books, do the calendar,” explains Mia.
Throughout the day we gather together to connect with one another about our learning. Thirty-two children, two teachers, and two instructional assistants make up the learning community and come together to plan the day. ELC children participate fully in their learning journey. Children and adults share stories, photos, videos, or artefacts from the previous days, and talk together to plan the next steps in their learning. In the ELC this year educators are focused on shared research and are looking deeply into “What do we learn about children’s understanding of self, others, and the world through the stories they tell?”. During connection time you will see educators documenting many of these stories.
Outdoor Learning: “I love going to the slide, monkey bars and climbing, and riding bikes!!” says Kiki.
The outdoor learning environment welcomes big body movement and collaboration. Children work together to build castles, ride bikes, cross the wobbly bridge, scale the climbing wall, dig for treasure in the sandpit, and swing across the monkey bars.
Story Time: “We read books. I like to read human body books,” shares Soren.
The children cool down with water and meet together for a story. Children in the ELC often ask for their favourite books, The Gruffalo, and Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus! or bring a special book from home to share with their friends.
Chinese: “We sing in Chinese,” shares Amelia.
Each day children learn Chinese through songs, stories, and practical experiences. This is an opportunity to develop their spoken language skills and engage in cultural competency.
Lunch: “My favorite thing at lunch is TALK!” laughs Kai.
At lunchtime, children talk about their day, their food from all around the world, and their families as they eat lunch together with their teachers and friends.
Reflection Time: “I talk about what I do and stuff,” explains Aidan.
Time is taken to reflect on the group’s learning each day. As they grow comfortable with one another the children of the ELC speak confidently about their learning, sharing their thoughts and wonderings. They also bring their own questions and ideas for the following day’s learning.
Exploring Time: “I like to get wet! I like to play in the courtyard with everyone!” explains Katie.
The environment in the ELC is rich with possibilities. During exploring time the children and teaching adults work together to explore their interests and delve into inquiries. In the atrium, children create and build with the big foam blocks. In the courtyard, children investigate water, paint on the giant tiled wall with rollers and brushes, engage in a clay workshop, or build obstacle courses. Inside, children paint, build with magnetic tiles, retell stories with puppets, make observational drawings, create messages which are passed to friends, build with wooden blocks, design models, and snuggle on the sofa with their favorite book. The environment is set up to encourage independence, and they readily access a wide range of materials which bring their ideas to life.
Move and Groove: “We swing and find letters on the wall,” shares Ahana.
This daily movement class is an opportunity for children to learn to move safely and imaginatively, developing basic skills and confidence in themselves both as a mover and student of movement concepts. The children gain knowledge and experience through a full range of rhythmic activities and dramatic enactment, music and dance, developmentally appropriate games, and guided discovery. The goal of physical literacy and building a love for physical activity is paramount.
Library Day: “We take books from the library, we can take two books,” explains Shaurya.
The library is a source of much joy each week, as the children have the opportunity to borrow their very own books to take home.
Goodbyes: “We take a bus and sometimes we take a car if we are picked up,” says Hannah.
The children and adults say goodbye and thank each other for another wonderful day of learning together. As they walk to the bus, the children speak to their teachers about the day’s learning, or their upcoming playdate with a school friend. Another teacher greets parents at the door and all the children head home, eager to return the following day to see what new discoveries await.
If you are keen to see the happiest place on campus for yourself get in touch with the school’s admissions team for a tour!
Singapore American School, 41 Woodlands Street 41, email@example.com, Tel: (+65) 6363 3403, www.sas.edu.sg