The Nursery is usually the first year of education for any child in Singapore. It is a component of the kindergarten pre-school education system, but is usually considered by many to be a separate system on its own.
Children attending nurseries usually have a different uniform from their years in kindergarten. The nursery uniform is usually more geared towards outdoor activities as compared to the kindergarten uniform, which is more formal and suited for indoor learning.
In order to let children reach Primary 1 by age 6, nurseries would only admit children of age 3. Old children would not be admitted into nurseries but into kindergartens. This is so as to ensure that the entry age into the formal education of Primary 1 is standardized at 6 years old.
Aims of the Nursery
As the Nursery is essentially the first year of education for children, aims for the nurseries are usually pitched at a lower expectations of the children. This is done so as to allow the children to become more accustomed to the demands of the education system.
The Nursery aims to orientate children from their homes to schools. It is common for young children to cry and be unwilling to leave their parents on the first day of school. Hence, this shows the need for Nurseries to orientate the children such that they would become more independent and would fit in with the school life.
The Nursery also has the basic aim of developing children’s interest in learning. The Nurseries would employ interesting and non-print resources to teach their children about various concepts. Through hands-on activities, it is believed that the young children would develop curiosity in learning, such that they would be eager to find out more about things that may seem foreign to them.
The main focus of Nurseries would be on developing the young child’s social skills through having fun activities with them. The teachers would usually engage children in activities that they would find to be fun and entertaining. Through these activities, children would interact with their peers of the same age, and hopefully develop friendship amongst them. Through these activities, the children would learn about peers and the fact that each person is different in their own way.