Find out what makes the Kindergartens, which won the awards for Kindergarten excellence, tick.

9 projects were considered for the Outstanding Kindergarten Innovation Award this year, some of which were nominated by members of the public.

Nine kindergartens emerged as winners of the MOE-AECES [Association of Early Childhood Educators (Singapore)] Awards for Kindergarten Excellence,  at the Kindergarten Learning Forum 2010.

The Outstanding Kindergarten Innovation Award recognises kindergartens that have implemented impactful and innovative projects to enhance learning experiences at preschools.

Living Sanctuary Kindergarten 

Living Sanctuary Kindergarten, which  won the Distinction Award, initiated a project called ‘PLUG (Play and Learn with Understanding and Glee)’. When the teachers faced difficulty in purchasing resources to meet the learning needs of the children at different levels, they developed their own educational aids, with built-in self-check devices.

These tools, that were used to assess children’s learning,  were tailor-made to reinforce Phonics, Vocabulary, Spelling and Numeracy across all levels.

And to the children, these tools were fun like toys, and they engaged in learning through play.

Since its conception two years ago, teachers here have created an impressive collection of diverse  tools, all made from scratch with recycled materials.

Besides being a cost-saving alternative for the school, PLUG is  a way of teaching and learning in the kindergarten. And most importantly, with these hand-made tools, teachers have created engaged learners.

Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Kindergarten  

At Sarada Kindergarten, children are empowered to learn.

Its innovative project, ‘Children in Action’ is founded on the belief that children understand the minds of children better than adults, and that self-regulation should be inculcated in them.

What gave rise to the idea moment? Teacher-initiated strategies had limited effects on guiding the children’s behaviour as they moved from one location to another within the kindergarten, like when they were going up and down the stairs.

During a discussion with a group of K2 children, teachers engaged them in identifying possible solutions, generating action plans and evaluating their strategies.

And children are not the only ones who benefitted. The teachers  too shared that they were enriched professionally. As this pilot project was a success, the kindergarten will include more children in the project next year,

Sarada Kindergarten won the Distinction Award.

Ascension Kindergarten 

The kindergarten, which also won the Distinction Award, embarked on the project ‘Discovery Arts Empire’ for younger children because they believe that learning should be fun and children should be immersed in meaningful activities that are not too overwhelming and complex for them.

Through online research and sharing sessions, teachers discussed the developmental needs of 2 to 3-year-olds, and the activities  appropriate for them.

The activities focused on engaging the children’s senses, giving them space to express their creativity and emotions, providing opportunities for them to explore, discover and make sense of the world around them.

Some of the activities created to engage the children were ‘Morphodoodle’, ‘Gelatine Mono-painting’, ‘Oobleck’, ‘Clay Wind Chime’, ‘Sandsorial Play’ and ‘Mazerati’.

Far Eastern Kindergarten 

The kindergarten rode on the YOG theme and embarked on a school-wide project – ‘Little Olympics’

This project developed the children’s research, craft and problem-solving skills. The children took charge of their learning and decided what they wanted to do for their project.

In this learning journey, the children researched on the Olympics via online tools, visited the Youth Olympics Games learning centre, participated in coaching clinics by parent experts, experienced news production, simulated the YOG Journey of the Torch, and hosted the YOG Team and Mascots.

The school programme was modified to include regular Olympics-related show and tell, news bulletins and outdoor play.

YOG themes were also weaved into English and Chinese sessions.