A K2 parent tells us why she’s loved Pibo’s Garden Playschool since her daughter was a toddler. They love it so much, in fact, that they moved back early from overseas!
Looking for a preschool for your child? What’s a better source of information than a fellow parent?! Singaporean mama Snowlin Elangovan tells us why her family has loved Pibo’s Garden Playschool from the moment her daughter Kiara began attending at the age of 20 months (at 5 1/2, she’s now about to complete K2!). Pibo’s offers two lovely, nurturing locations in Bukit Timah, one at Dunearn Road near Adam Road Hawker Centre and another near King Albert Park at Hua Guan Crescent. Read on to learn more about Kiara’s positive experience at the King Albert Park location, from attentive teachers to a stimulating, holistic curriculum…
How did you first hear about your school?
We heard about Pibo’s from a family friend who’d considered sending her child there but had to decide otherwise due to the distance from her home.
What factors played into your decision to send your child to Pibo’s?
- School environment
- The school’s educational philosophy
- Low student-to-teacher ratio
- Competency and disposition of the staff
- The positive vibe present
Did you take a tour of the school before making your decision? What were your first impressions?
Yes I did. I had an excellent first impression of the school. I appreciated how cosy the environment was – very similar to a home. Children’s works were well-documented and displayed everywhere. The displayed work showed the thought process of the educators, and how they had endeavoured to involve the children in authentic and active learning. Most importantly, I loved that the voices of the children could be heard/seen (literally and otherwise). There was active discussion and participation in every activity – ranging from class discussion to sand play. The children were engaged and happy.
Furthermore, the centre principal, Ms Kiren, and the other teachers were friendly, eloquent and passionate about their involvement in the kids’ development and lives as a whole.
How did your child adjust to the school? Did the school take any special measures to help with the settling in process?
My daughter Kiara was always a clingy and shy child. Therefore, I was anxious about sending her to preschool at 20 months. The very first day that I dropped her off, she teared up. I waited around the corner. Barely a minute later, I received a reassuring message and a picture from her then-teacher Ms Fatin that showed Kiara enjoying herself in the sand pit. There has been no looking back for us since. She enjoys every moment she spends in Pibo’s. We had to withdraw her from Pibo’s for a year as we followed my husband on his overseas posting. During this time, I kept in touch with Ms Kiren through emails and calls. I returned to Singapore with Kiara a year earlyso that she could go back to Pibo’s. Kiara was placed in the good hands of Ms Margarita’s class when she resumed school and progressed to Kindergarten 2 to Ms Irene’s class. This speaks volumes about the significant role Pibo’s has played in my child’s life.
What in your opinion are the three greatest strengths of the school?
It is a Community:
Pibo’s is not just a school but more of a community of learners and friends. The parents, teachers and children work in partnership to enjoy this phase of our children’s lives. We are all partners in their development. We are friends who lean on each other for support.
I have never met a more dedicated group of teachers. They are devoted to the well-being of the children. The teachers have most importantly imparted to my daughter good values, taught her good behaviour, and nurtured her as an individual.
Apart from teaching the children, the teachers have been a constant source of support for me as a working mother. They engage in discussions with me, provide me with valuable feedback and are willing to advise me when I face challenges in parenting. Without their support, I would have never been able to pursue my post-grad and further my career.
I am a big believer in the term ‘Joy of Learning’. I want my children to enjoy discovering the environment around them. I want them to be in control of their learning, to be curious, to be challenged and have the opportunity to think, as well as express their views. The curriculum in Pibo’s not only caters to all of the above-mentioned needs, but is also a well-balanced curriculum that has efficiently combined the rigours of numeracy and literacy with the joy of learning and simply being a child.
How does the school include parents in the community?
We have many celebrations that we are invited to. The celebrations are kept informal and fun. The entire set-up of the school is such that the parents naturally become friends. I have made some truly good friends through Pibo’s. We meet up other than play dates and even visit each other despite the fact that some of them have moved overseas!
Parents are also invited to come along on field trips, get involved in activities like ‘Bring a pet to school’, ‘Share a book’, ‘Movie Date with Mum’ and so on. There is always plenty going on!
How does the school keep you informed about your child’s progress?
We have class chat groups where we are sent updates, pictures and other information. We receive weekly emails that show us the overarching theme for the term, daily lesson outlines/objectives, and a newsletter that documents their activities. We have termly one-to-one meetings with the teachers and we are given a detailed termly report. Now with the launch of LittleLives Family Chat room and the weekly pictures of Kiara in action updates, I could not ask for anything more! Apart from all this, I can always drop-in, text or chat with the teachers and they are always willing to help!
What is the number one thing you’d miss if you transferred your child to another school?
I would miss everything about this school! It is wonderful!
What kind of child (or family) would you say would be the best fit for this school?
Families who place emphasis on the development of the child as an individual and are concerned with holistic development will find Pibo’s to be a perfect fit. Any child will thrive and blossom in such a caring environment.
What extra-curricular activities or out of school programmes does the school offer that you have taken part in?
Pibo’s has two excellent extra-curricular activities where trained coaches conduct ‘FIITercise Sports’ (an exercise program) and ‘Dancing Toes’ (an excellent hip-hop dance class), and Kiara is involved in both of these programmes. As a parent, I join in most field trips and celebrations.
Pibo’s Garden Playschool
Dunearn Road: 1 Dunearn Close Singapore 299574, Tel: (+65) 6466 2639 (Ms Sabrina James)
King Albert Park: 7 Hua Guan Crescent Singapore 589034, Tel: (+65) 6465 0019 (Ms Kiren Kaur)