What gives a preschool in Singapore staying power, and a great reputation with families? When choosing a preschool for our child, parents know it isn’t just about finding a teaching approach that aligns with our parenting style, and a location that’s convenient for our family: our choice is often made as soon as we meet the people who make a school tick. We had a chat with Audrey Tan, Senior Principal of Learning Vision at Raffles Place, and the new Interlocal branch at Pasir Panjang, which opened in May this year. Audrey has an impressive 21 years of experience in early childhood education under her belt, so we wanted to find out what she loves about her work!
Hi Audrey, please tell us a little about yourself – where is your hometown and what would your students be surprised to know?
My students might be surprised to know that I used to be quite the tomboy who climbed trees and played voraciously around the Katong estate where I grew up.
What’s your philosophy towards education?
Every child. Every Teacher. Our asset.
What kind of curriculum is offered at Learning Vision? Can you tell us a little about the teaching approach?
Into our seventh year operations at the current location, Learning Vision at Raffles Place has a stable team of teachers and progressive curriculum to work with children from infancy to their proud graduation at Kindergarten 2. Besides a comprehensive program to ensure readiness for the real world, our centre embraces multiculturalism and adds value to developing confidence and social awareness with annual Christmas carolling at Starbucks, recycling projects with H&M and ‘Save-the-earth’ outreach to the community.
Our children are empathetic, inquisitive, articulate and confident. With the new Interlocal centre, we have taken what Learning Vision has learnt in the past 28 years and made it better. Located at Pasir Panjang business district, the team of educators has reimagined the 70,000sqm space into a unique learning environment where children from two months to six years old (infants to kindergarten levels) are supported to explore their interpretations of this world through our award-winning curriculum. At Interlocal, our children are inspired by discoveries while we hone their unique natural strengths and propel them forward.
Tell us about your school’s community: who are the people who love sending their kids to school there?
We have a good mix of parents working in the CBD area and expatriates who live in the nearby residences.
What do you think are the greatest challenges young people face today? And the greatest opportunities you feel are open to them?
The greatest challenge is to strike a balance between the digitized world and the importance of keeping the humanness in relationships and interactions with people. The greatest opportunities are in making technology work for us (automation, efficiency, convenience) instead of revolving our lives around it (being glued to the screen or losing the human touch in connecting with people).
Can you share any lessons you’ve learned about communicating and connecting with kids throughout your years in education?
I have learned that we can learn from children no matter how young they are. I was at my centre’s infant care the other day and observed how an eight-month-old tried to use pincer grip to pick up a small block. As she was just developing that fine motor dexterity, it took some effort and a lot of time to do it. However, she was tenacious in her task. After a good three minutes of unyielding attempts, she picked up that block and smiled happily at her educarer. The takeaway for me is never give up. Try until you succeed!
What do you love most about leading your schools?
I love the culture of amiability and friendliness at our schools. Everyone greets everyone cheerily in the morning – our leaders set the tone by greeting all staff, children, parents, grandparents and domestic helpers. There is a reciprocal feel-good effect being part of this amazing culture.
This post is sponsored by Learning Vision.