Your Top 5 Pre-school Curriculum Options

Not sure which pre-school to send your little one to? As well as location, cost and facilities, one of the key considerations has to be curriculum. Whether you’re interested in play-based learning or a more academic focus, Singapore’s wide choice of pre-schools offers a variety of different learning approaches. Here are some of the most popular pre-school programmes – and how they differ.
Your Top 5 Pre-school Curriculum Options
By Carli Allan
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Above: Tanglin Trust School's youngest learners follow The Curiosity Approach

It may seem like only yesterday you were swaddling your little one – and now they’re taking their first steps towards big school (gulp!). While there’s no hard-and-fast rule about what age a child should start pre-school, nursery, or kindergarten, there is a wide choice of international schools and standalone nurseries offering places to children as young as 18 months.

There’s a huge pre-school sector in Singapore including both government-run and private pre-schools/kindergartens, and it is diverse in both pedagogy and curriculum. So, how do you make the right choice? As well as deciding between a standalone nursery or a pre-school attached to a school, you need to consider which pre-school curriculum is right for your child – the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Montessori, the IB’s Primary Years Programme, or modern methods such as The Curiosity Approach?

Which pre-school do I choose?

Many of Singapore’s most popular international schools offer nursery and kindergarten classes in a self-contained early-years’ centre with its own community of classrooms, learning pods and recreational areas.

Children can benefit from being part of a larger school environment with all the opportunities that an all-through school can offer. These can range from access to sports and arts facilities to after-school activities and bilingual programmes. They often have lessons from specialist subject teams, such as Mandarin, swimming, music, dance and PE, and have access to outstanding facilities that smaller nurseries simply cannot offer.

However, one of the strengths of a standalone pre-school is that it’s easier for children to have that feeling of belonging – and this can be harder to deliver in a school that has hundreds of students as old as 18 years. Pre-schools within international schools cannot always match the small class sizes, low teacher:student ratios, and intimacy of a standalone nursery – and they will only offer pre-school childcare during term-time. Also, parents may simply prefer the charm and warmth of a small nursery that has a genuine village feel.

Read more: Which Singapore International Schools Have a Pre-school?

Which pre-school curriculum is right for my child?

One of the many joys of living in an expat-friendly city such as Singapore is having a wider choice of curricula than you may have in your home country. But the more options you have, the more difficult it can be to settle on one. WhichSchoolAdvisor guides you through the different pre-school curricula offered in Singapore to help you take that big step for your little one.

Read on to learn more about the following curricula:

Next: The Curiosity Approach

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