This mum tells us why she loves the curriculum at Blue House International Preschool – and why her little ones do, too!
We all know a good education starts from early childhood, which is why choosing the perfect preschool is a big decision for a family to take. When it came to finding the right fit for her two daughters, mum Kristen Jones Unger considered many factors before deciding on Blue House International Preschool. Want to know why she chose it and how much her kids are enjoying it there? Read on…
Hi Kristen! Tell us about your daughters attending the school.
My oldest daughter began attending Blue House shortly after we moved to Singapore, joining the pre-school cohort. My younger daughter attends open-play at the Blue House Infant & Toddler Atelier, which she began at six months of age. Both girls love to explore and are self-directed learners. They love to read, create, and construct things.
What were the most important factors for you in selecting a school?
The most important factor was that the school needed to be a place where she wanted to go each day. I personally believe didactic curriculum is unnecessary for young children and that, instead, they learn through exploration, collaboration and play. As a result, I looked mostly into Montessori and Reggio Emilia options. I wanted a school where my daughter would be well cared for, but also where she could continue to be an agent in her learning journey and not just a passive participant.
What was the ultimate deciding factor that led you to choosing the school?
Blue House was the only school I visited where its philosophy of education matched its execution. It fully embraces the Reggio Emilia approach, going as far as to allow the essential questions that kids investigate each term to be generated by the children themselves. Teachers show up as observers and collaborators rather than directors of play. Every decision is made with a focus on the children. Also, the facility is beautiful and feels like a magical oasis each time I visit.
How has the school lived up to your expectations?
When the circuit breaker hit, I saw firsthand the upside of sending my child to Blue House. Of course, she missed her teachers and friends, but I didn’t feel like I had to contend daily with a child who wanted me to entertain them. My daughter was completely content to design her days based on projects she created and wanted some help executing. Some of these ideas came from the wonderful suggestions of teachers via the home-based learning platform, but many came from my daughter herself. I witnessed a child empowered by her own creativity and I credit Blue House for helping cultivate this independence and self-direction.
What do your children like most about attending Blue House?
My eldest is a big fan of outdoor play. The multiple sandpits encourage kids to work together and get messy. She relishes being able to change into a backup pair of clothes afterwards because she’s covered in a mixture of sand and water. She also loves her teachers and speaks of them with reverence.
How have the school’s facilities benefitted your girls?
Stepping on to Blue House’s campus always brings a smile to my face. From the “Little Blue House”, to the beautiful Infant & Toddler Atelier and Pantry, to the secure ground floor classrooms and outdoor space, space is purposeful and soothing. Whenever I’m on campus, I don’t want to leave!
How did the school make you and your children feel welcome?
Being new to Singapore, Blue House was integral to this country beginning to feel like home. Through parent evenings on campus to the creation of a class WhatsApp group, I quickly appreciated how easy it was to connect with the parents of my daughter’s peers.
For my girls, Blue House offered a special session for new students, allowing them to acclimatise to the space and meet their teachers ahead of returning pupils. For anxious parents separating from their kids for the first time, the Pantry space upstairs is a blessing. You can camp out “on campus” but out of sight, but still feel like you can swoop in if your child has difficulty adjusting in the early days.
What do you value about Blue House?
That it’s committed to staying true to itself. Everything is done with a true understanding of child development and what kids need to thrive. I also value how the staff celebrate each child for who they are. There is true mutual respect between adults and children, which I believe leads the students to respect and show up for each other in incredible ways. My daughter shows a high level of attunement to her peers when reflecting about the day, and really cares about them and their feelings.
How does the school engage parents?
Each day, teachers prepare a reflective journal with snapshots of spontaneous moments. I relish receiving it as it’s a great launchpad for me to discuss the day with my daughter. Additionally, teachers are very responsive to email and host parent evenings each term where you can dig deeper into the work being done in the classroom. Pre-Covid-19, parents were welcomed into the classroom to partner with the teachers on experiences, which was a lovely opportunity.
What advice would you give other parents trying to choose a school?
Don’t just think about what you want your kid to learn, but about who you want them to be. The right school will encourage them on this path through experiences that nourish their mind, body and soul.
Thank you, Kristen!
This post is in partnership with Blue House International Preschool.