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How This School’s Curriculum Encourages Kids to Take Charge Of And Be Excited About Their Own Learning

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“It is delightful to see how the PioneerTown program at XCL American Academy has sparked entrepreneurial spirit in our students and helped them to develop creativity and problem-solving skills. I believe these skills will inspire many students in their future careers.”

Imagine a school where kids are allowed to make decisions about what and how they learn! What would their learning journey look like? Total chaos or a classroom full of motivated and highly engaged students? Step into the learning spaces of XCL American Academy (XAA), and you’ll find the latter – a play-based learning environment where students are empowered to take the lead in their educational journey. We had a chat with the XAA Nursery and Kindergarten teachers to gain some remarkable insights into their students’ educational journey. It’s fascinating to hear how effectively the XAA curriculum encourages students to become pioneers in self-discovery, displaying curiosity, and developing an enthusiasm for learning! 

Irene Charles, Kindergarten 1 Teacher

What do you love the most about XAA?

I love XAA for its pioneering spirit throughout all grades from Nursery to Grade 8. The school’s innovative approach to education allows us to be at the forefront of new ideas and practices. I am passionate about the play-based learning environment in the Early Years and genuinely believe it fosters creativity, problem-solving skills, and social interactions among children.

Tell us about the student-led learning journey in your class.

This year, my group of enthusiastic Kindergarten 1 children (4-5-year-olds) embarked on an exciting exploration journey driven by their fascination with volcanoes. Inspired by their curiosity, they constructed a paper mache volcano and conducted eruptions using baking soda, vinegar, Diet Coke, and Mentos. They used their imagination and problem-solving abilities to learn about volcanoes and how they work. Their interest in volcanoes led them to explore the world of dinosaurs and the prehistoric era. The children engaged in palaeontologist role-play, searching for dinosaur eggs and discovering intriguing clues along the way. Through these activities, they developed their curiosity, teamwork, and communication skills. I believe engaging in a hands-on and cross-disciplinary learning experience ignites their passion for exploration and nurtures their curiosity for discovering new things.

PioneerTown program at XCL American Academy

Caitlan Winter, Kindergarten 2 Teacher

What are your best memories of your class’ learning journey?

One activity that stands out this academic year was a fun STEM challenge conducted during our science class. Having previously studied the impact of sunlight on Earth’s surface, particularly its provision of heat and light, along with the potential harm of excessive exposure, the students were tasked with designing and constructing structures that would provide shade from the sun. Working in groups, students were provided with various materials to build with, including craft sticks, paper rolls, tape, and paper plates. Once the shade structures were completed, we brought them outside into the sun to test their efficacy by using UV-sensitive beads. These beads started off white but quickly changed their colour to bright neon upon exposure to the sun. The students were so happy to see that their shade structures were effective at blocking out the sun.

It was incredible to observe the children working together and applying what they had already learned to design and build their own models. I believe that when students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge through hands-on, project-based activities, they are able to gain a deeper understanding of the content as well as gain insights into the practical applications of their knowledge in real-life situations or problem-solving scenarios.

What unique features in XAA add value to the child’s development?

The most unique feature is definitely the PioneerTown Program. All our students have been introduced to various economic and entrepreneurial concepts through this curriculum. Even Early Years students (who themselves are not directly involved in the curricular aspect of the program) have picked up these concepts and model them through creative play. I have observed our Kindergarten 1 students set up their own “PioneerTown” on the playground, engaging in play-based activities and selling recess equipment to their peers. In addition, my Kindergarten 2 students participated in this activity by designing a lemonade stand in the classroom during free-play periods. It is delightful to see how the PioneerTown program has sparked entrepreneurial spirit in our students and helped them to develop creativity and problem-solving skills. I believe these skills will inspire many students in their future careers.

at XCL American Academy has sparked entrepreneurship in students across the school

XAA offers an authentic and high-quality American education for children aged 2–14. Their unique learning environment is underpinned by American values and a personal character development program that prepares students to become agents of their own success. The carefully selected curriculum has been tried and tested in the United States and worldwide and empowers young learners to become the pioneers of tomorrow.

Want to know how XCL American Academy can nurture your child to be curious, confident and excited about learning? Book a personalised tour to speak with the XAA admissions team!

location-icon-1024x1024-1-e1620963611654XCL American Academy, 2 Yishun Street 42, Singapore 768039, Tel: (+65) 6230 4222,

Brought to you in partnership with XCL American Academy

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