Kindergartens are private schools that provide young children with pre-school education, preparing them for the demands that the primary school would require. The kindergarten equips children with the necessary skills that they would need as they progress up to primary school education.
The Kindergarten education system is split up into three years of schooling, Nursery, Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2. Pre-school education is not compulsory in Singapore although it is a choice taken up by most.
Aim of Kindergarten
As the kindergartens are essentially schools preparing children for their future education, the basic aims of kindergarten are simply yet effective.
The kindergarten aims to foster in young children the ability to think and to learn. As it is critical for the child to have the ability to think and process information in primary schools, the kindergarten plays the role of developing this ability. Thus, the kindergarten curriculum is geared such that the child would learn to think for himself and make decisions after considerations.
The kindergarten is also the place where basic language foundation is laid for the children. Language is an essential tool to survival and hence, there is a need for a firm and sturdy foundation in language. In the kindergarten, children would be taught the basics of the language; how to communicate in the English Language and their mother tongue language.
The kindergarten education system also places heavy emphasis on moral education. Children are to be taught from young to differentiate right from wrong and to appreciate and respect the needs of others. Hence, in the kindergartens, children are allowed to interact with each other, forming close friendships through their daily learning adventures. Through their forged friendship, it is hoped that the child would be able to develop interpersonal social skills, which is necessary in our current society.
The kindergarten also aims to foster in children the right spirit of learning – curiosity. In kindergartens, children are encouraged to be curious, to ask questions about anything they are unsure of and to show enthusiasm in new activities. Curiosity is cultivated in the young as it is an important characteristic that would determine one’s success in life.
Lastly, kindergarten is also the place where the psychomotor abilities of the child are honed. The kindergarten plans and executes activities that encourage children to have hands-on experience. These activities include the playtimes that children have, which they usually spend at a playground near the kindergarten. The activities would train up the children’s psychomotor abilities, preparing him for the more demanding Physical Education curriculum that would be taught from primary school onwards.