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EtonHouse Garden School by the Bay Review

EtonHouse will open a new standalone pre-school in March 2023; located in Gardens by the Bay, the focus will be on sustainability and nature.
At a glance
School type
Private
School phase
FS/KG
Inspection rating
No rating
Availability 2022/23
No data
Availability 2023/24
No data
Status
Planned
School year
Jan to Dec
Owner
EtonHouse

Nearby nurseries

1.2km
1.7km
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EtonHouse Garden School by the Bay
School type
Private
School phase
FS/KG
Inspection rating
No rating
Availability 2022/23
No data
Availability 2023/24
No data
Status
Planned
School year
Jan to Dec
Owner
EtonHouse
MORE arrow_drop_down

EtonHouse will open a new standalone pre-school in March 2023; located in Gardens by the Bay, the focus will be on sustainability and nature.

EtonHouse Garden School by the Bay will open next year to offer a unique nature-based early years programme from nine months through to six years. 

It is the latest school to be opened by the well-established EtonHouse group, which has 15 pre-schools and schools in Singapore and more than 120 schools spread across the world. The group’s pre-schools have a reputation for their close-knit community, friendly and nurturing learning environment, and strong bilingual programme. Other pre-schools in Singapore include Claymore, Islander and Upper Bukit Timah, and many students move into one of its primary schools – Broadrick, Thomson, and Sentosa – or the all-though Orchard school.

The school’s location is certainly a huge part of its appeal. Located at the Bayfront Pavilion in Gardens by the Bay, the EtonHouse Garden School by the Bay will call one of Singapore’s most popular garden and horticultural attractions home. The early years curriculum will take full advantage of the school’s location and focus on nature education, sustainability and community.

Children will spend 50% of their time outdoors, and there will be several curated programmes with nature education specialists and horticulturists from Gardens by the Bay on the timetable.

EtonHouse Group CEO Ng Yi-Xian said:

"I am very excited for the many ways in which this school will make a difference in the lives of children. Not just the children in the school but also the wider community. The experience in the heart of the most iconic, dynamic, and innovative garden space, which is the pride of Singapore, will provide families and staff an unparalleled early years experience, one that will be woven intricately with nature and sustainable practices. What better way to raise a child!"

The pre-school will offer wraparound care from 7am to 7pm, which may suit the busy schedules of many working parents. It also follows the academic calendar of January to December.

The pre-school also widens the choice of international pre-school education for parents. There’s a huge pre-school sector in Singapore including both government-run and private kindergartens and pre-schools that are part of an international school. As a standalone pre-school, Garden by the Bay offers various advantages: students are given priority for admission into an EtonHouse primary school; it prepares students for a smooth transition into ‘big’ school; and students who stay with the school group have a greater chance of continuity in terms of friends and routine.

It can also be easier for children to have that feeling of belonging, which can be harder to deliver in a school that has hundreds of students as old as 18 years. And, like other EtonHouse pre-schools we would expect it have a charm and warmth of a small nursery with a genuine village feel.

Elizabeth Scahill, Principal of EtonHouse International Pre-School Claymore, adds.

“As a smaller community, each family and child are known by name by the teachers and staff in the school. The learning that takes place is tailored to each child, learning style, competencies and interests rather than as a group. Being in an environment that is nurturing throughout the early years prepares children to be ready for their transitions to larger international schools such as taking the bus and navigating a large campus. We provide them with skills of confidence, independence and responsibility, setting them up for success in those situations.

“A standalone pre-school offers a more tailored approach to education, allowing for deeper connections between teachers, children as well as the learning concepts that they engage with, with more meaningful collaboration with parents. Smaller schools allow for learning to be differentiated more as well as build children's character and confidence as they nurture meaningful connections with peers and adults. The overall feeling of community is more present at a small school as teachers, families, and children can connect more frequently and meaningfully than at a big school, creating a positive learning environment for children.”

Read our reviews of EtonHouse (Orchard); EtonHouse (Broadrick); EtonHouse (Thomson); and EtonHouse (Sentosa).

Curriculum

In common with other EtonHouse pre-schools in Singapore, Gardens by the Bay will follow a curriculum that is based on the philosophies of the Reggio Emilia educational project from Italy. This offers a child-led, enquiry based programme that supports the growth and development of inquiring minds. Children are encouraged to explore their environment and express themselves using multiple forms including dialogue, singing, movement, drawing, painting, designing and constructing, collage, dramatic play, and music.

The curriculum centres around an approach based on each individual child's strengths and abilities, with a strong focus on the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills. This is offered in a bilingual (English/Mandarin) language environment.

The curriculum recognises the benefits of providing a learning environment that promotes continuous positive development of social, cognitive, emotional, physical, and creative strengths, enabling children to explore values, broaden communication skills, collaborate and engage in group problem solving experiences, make personal choices, and develop and present ideas and theories.

What makes Gardens by the Bay unique, though, is its focus on sustainability and nature. Children will be learning in an environment where many resources are upcycled, they learn the importance of recycling, and they get involved with a modern-day aquaponics farming programme by growing produce in their own outdoor edible garden.

The teacher-child ratio will range from 1:2 in infants through to 1:15 in KG2, which is significantly lower than in other pre-schools and nurseries in the area.

Read our interview with the founder of EtonHouse, Ng Gim Choo: Our Focus is not Profit, it's Passion

Campus and facilities

Outdoor facilities look and sound fantastic, particularly for families looking for plenty of outdoor learning and play-based learning. There will be a Supertree playground for play and exploration, biophilic play area, bioactive terrarium, discovery pond, bug hotel and a sensory garden.

Admission and fees

The pre-school is enrolling children from Infants to Kindergarten 2 (nine months through to six years). Fees have not yet been announced.

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