Every day a new study seems to come out suggesting that children learn best through discovery and play. Yet this is hardly a new notion, and was perhaps initially postulated by the 20th century child psychologist Jean Piaget and others in what’s called “The Developmental Interaction Approach”.
According to this theory, there are five key “developmental domains” of childhood: physical (developing physical functions, including eyesight and motor skills), social (the way a child interacts with others), emotional (the way a child creates emotional connections and develops self-confidence), language (the way in which a child communicates), and cognitive skills (the way in which a child organises information and comes to make sense of the world).
If you feel like you’re taking a college psychology course with all this terminology, mamas, you’re not alone. Luckily those smarties at Stamford American International School have got a team of experts that have designed their Early Years Program to engage and develop young minds through each of the five domains.
Physically, little ones develop through the SMART Steps & Perceptual Motor Program. With these two carefully calibrated programs that run from age 2 through 5, kiddos acquire and develop a full range of gross motor skills to ensure they hit developmental milestones through movement.
Socially, Stamford’s Early Years students enjoy a unique (and quite civilised!) lunchtime experience in which they dine family-style on delicious, nutritious dishes designed by celebrity chef Emmanuel Stroobant. This informal style encourages kiddos to watch each other, work on table etiquette and try new foods that their friends are also eating.
Emotionally, children begin specialist drama lessons in Kindergarten 2, engaging through creative movement, storytelling, and puppetry as well as honing their own vocal and dramatic expression and developing teamwork skills. Drama makes for imaginative, creative and confident communicators who can work cooperatively with others (both classmates and hopefully siblings at home too!).
Starting at age 2, Stamford students enjoy daily foreign language exposure, with a choice between Mandarin and Spanish. This August Stamford will also introduce its Mandarin Immersion Program starting from Kindergarten 1, with equal instruction from trained early childhood educators in both languages.
We’ve already told you about the amazing impact music and playing an instrument has upon a child’s cognitive abilities — rest assured Stamford has got this one aced, mama! Early Years students start with specialist music lessons and progress to the world-renowned Suzuki Violin Program in Pre-Kindergarten. Their reasoning abilities are further developed with a unique Math Enrichment Program offered from the age of 5 onwards to support students whose abilities exceed their grade level work.
Truly every detail of the Early Years Program has been carefully designed to engage and develop young students on an individual basis across a broad range of areas, from art, to music, to literacy and math. Find out more about how to give your child a head start to academic success at Stamford’s next Open Day on Friday June 12! Make sure to register soon, mama, as spaces are filling up!
Stamford American International School, 1 Woodleigh Lane (off Upper Serangoon Road), Singapore 357684
Tel: (+65) 6602 7247, www.sais.edu.sg