Brighton Montessori has long been regarded as a preschool with a unique, hands-on teaching approach. We find out more about Sunset Way principal Suzee Reza, and what she loves about leading the school...
It’s always exciting to learn about the people behind a great preschool in Singapore, especially someone as experienced as Suzee Reza, Principal of Brighton Montessori’s Sunset Way campus. Not only does this lovely lady have more than 10 years’ experience in the early childhood industry, she also firmly believes in a teaching approach that brings out the best in every child. With the campus’ open house coming up on 16 September, we chat with Suzee about her educational philosophy, the school’s teaching approach, and the exciting expansion of the campus.
Please tell us a little about yourself – where is your hometown and what would your students be surprised to know?
I was born right here in this sunny island of Singapore and come from a family of five. My students will probably be surprised to know that I love to sing! I choose to believe I am quite good, but those who have heard me might beg to differ.
What’s your philosophy towards education?
I believe that every child is unique and has the potential to bring something special to the world. Equipped with the right stimulating environment, the child will be able to grow emotionally, socially and intellectually.
How is your school different from other international schools in Singapore?
We understand that every child learns differently. Our individualised approach allows children the freedom to explore with the guidance of our dedicated educators. Using specially designed Montessori materials, children will learn the concepts of language, mathematics, culture and practical life skills, all at their own pace.
What kind of curriculum is offered – can you tell us a little about the teaching approach?
We adopt a hands-on and one-to-one teaching approach, with concrete to abstract methods. Our classroom and teachers offer age-appropriate activities to encourage the children to be more independent and confident as individuals.
We’ve heard there are some changes underway at Brighton’s Sunset Way campus too! What can you share?
With the expansion of our campus (now two times its original size), parents and children can look forward to having our very own music studio, as well as more spacious classrooms and play areas. For the first time, Sunset Way will also be offering ballet enrichment classes.
Tell us about your school’s community: who are the people who love sending their kids to school there?
Parents who send their kids here are mostly locals, usually PMEBs. Apart from watching how fast their kids learn and progress, our parents love the fact that their kids are always smiling and looking forward to school, and overflowing with stories to tell them about their day.
What is your advice for parents when it comes to looking for a school?
Young parents should take the time to understand the different types of school curriculums, and which best fits their child. They need not feel pressured to pick a top school or one based solely on high recommendations. I strongly advise parents to do their own research, visit various schools and talk to the principal. They should then be able to know if the school is a right fit.
Can you share any lessons you’ve learned about communicating with kids throughout your years in education?
Maintain eye-contact and express interest in what they are saying without being intrusive. As adults, we tend to express our opinions while putting down theirs. Talk with them and not at them. Children’s confidence soars when they feel their voices are equally important.
What do you love most about leading this school?
I have a sentimental attachment to this school as we started out small and have more teachers and children than when they first opened, many of whom are siblings. Leading a school that shares the same vision as me is something I hold close to my heart.
Find out more at www.brightonmontessori.com.sg, and head down to their Open House on 16 September 2017. You can also grab 50% off the registration fee and $600 off if you enrol your child before 30 November 2017! T&C apply.
This post is sponsored by Brighton Montessori.