How to Choose the Best Singapore International School Providing Montessori Education?

Rema Rajiv
Oct 19, 2021
GMP

Introduction

If you are from Singapore and thinking about what type of education would be right for your child, you have come to the right place. Each parent hopes to find the best educational program for their children. 

We all are aware of the lasting impact that early learning experiences have on a child’s development and future learning. Hence, it is the responsibility of the parents to find a suitable educational program for their children. 

There are many options available for a Singapore International School and it can be quite confusing.


What is Montessori education?

You might be confused about what exactly is Montessori education? For more than a century now, the child-focused approach which was developed by Dr Maria Montessori, an Italian Physician has been the basis of transformation across schools around the world. 

Contemporary research validates the effectiveness of Montessori based education. The key elements of this program meet the educational goals that this generation’s parents have for their children which include the ability to connect with others, the potential to be productive throughout their lives and to grow into capable people who will have a strong sense of self. 

You can notice something is different as soon you enter a Montessori classroom. They are immediately recognizable. You will see the students working independently and in groups, with specially designed learning materials, deeply engaged in their work and very respectful of their surroundings and themselves. 

The Montessori approach to education inculcates rigorous, self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in all areas of their well being and development- emotional, physical, social and cognitive.


An Early Developmental Approach in Singapore International Schools

With Montessori based education, the growth of the child starts early. The early years play a very important role in setting a strong foundation for a child to become what he/she wants in the future. 

Montessori education is self-paced and student-led but guided, enriched and assessed by caring and knowledgeable teachers, the leadership of their peers and a nurturing environment. 

Within the community of a multi-age classroom which is designed to create natural opportunities for independence, accountability and citizenship, children embrace a multi-sensory learning and passionate inquiry. 

Individual students follow their curiosity at their own pace by spending the time that they need to fully understand each concept and meet individualized learning goals. They are given the freedom and support to question, make connections and probe deeply into different topics. 

The children who have studied in the Montessori based schools grow up to be enthusiastic, confident and self-directed learners who are accountable to both the community and themselves. 

They learn to think critically, work collaboratively and boldly and live with integrity. This is the best outcome any parent can wish for their children. 


Salient Features of the Singapore International School Following The  Montessori Approach

1. Classrooms

The classrooms are intentionally created with a lot of activities. The students are free to choose the activity that they want to work with. This helps them to make choices based on what they are interested in. 

While some students might naturally want to work alone, some will be interested in working in groups. As the children grow and get matured, the curriculum intentionally gives small group instructions and collaborative activities to do. 

The combination of independent, partner, small group and whole group lessons introduce the students to different learning relationships and interpersonal dynamics and valuable skills for the interactions outside the classrooms. 

Allowing the students to form their own choices based on internal motivation rather than adults directing them, builds a strong foundation for developing capable children.

2. Activities

The students are given activities where they can take care of their learning. They are given opportunities to practice, review and move forward based on their capabilities and interests. 

The teachers assess the children daily by observing their interactions in the classroom with their peers. They use their knowledge of academic outcomes and child development to prepare an environment that is stimulating and accessible - physically, emotionally, socially and academically. 

They try to develop an individualized learning plan for each student based on his/her unique abilities and interests. They give the students the freedom to seek out new knowledge and pursue answers to their questions.

3. Knowledge

The Montessori based approach lessons align well and exceed the state learning standards by making sure that the children are introduced to complex learning concepts through hands-on experience that leads to deep understanding. 

The curriculum is intentionally grouped into 3-year cycles instead of a year-by-year cycle. This respects the fact that children develop and master the concepts at different speeds. 

The teachers help and support their growth through all aspects of the curriculum ensuring that he/she is exposed to a full sequence of lessons in each area and also provide new challenges when required.


Let's Debunk the Myths

Myth #1: Montessori Is Expensive

Fact: Many people equate Montessori with luxury and private school education, yet public, tuition-free Montessori schools have recently begun to appear in communities all over the world.

Myth #2: Teachers at Montessori Do Not Teach

Fact: Montessori teachers work as mentors in the development of a child's independence. The youngster is allowed to explore and learn through self-correcting materials after the teacher has presented them. The teacher's observation of the youngster aids in lesson planning.

Myth #3: Classrooms at Montessori Are Chaos

Fact: Montessori classrooms can appear chaotic due to the several activities that may be occurring at the same time. However, each child's work differs from that of his or her friends.

Myth #4: Montessori Is Just a Trend

Fact: Montessori is not a new concept in education; it has been around for a long time. Maria Montessori's educational theory was first presented in the United States in the 1960s and has since spread throughout the world.

Myth #5: Montessori Is Completely Playful

Fact: Maria Montessori felt that a child's work is play. The youngster can explore their environment and work with preferred things at their own pace because of their interest.

Myth #6: Montessori Kids Will Have Problems Transiting To Traditional Schools

Fact: Montessori children are more adaptable to change than other youngsters. They may quickly acclimate to meeting new people because of the grace and respect principles they are taught in Montessori. 

Even though some have questioned the academic rigour, Montessori students have been shown to outperform students in traditional schools.


Also Read:- What are the facilities that children get in a playschool in Singapore?


Conclusion

It is not enough to just educate one's children in academic fields to assure that they will succeed in a global environment. Singapore international schools are leading the way in assisting parents in safeguarding their children's futures by focusing on holistic development in all of their pupils. Parenting is a wonderful experience, but it also comes with a lot of obligations. 

We always want the best for our children as parents. The decisions we make have a significant impact on a child's life, and one of the most crucial is selecting a board or a school. This selection is critical because it establishes a strong foundation that will lead to a lifetime of achievement.

Rema Rajiv

Ms Rajiv has been an Early Childhood educator and practitioner for the past 15 years at GIIS. She heads the Global Montessori Plus (GMP) Programme, supporting kindergarten students in their learning and holistic development to maximise the potential of every student. She has been instrumental in implementing developmentally age-appropriate curriculum that provides a strong foundation for lifelong learning. She is well-respected due to her rich experience in the field and passion for working with preschoolers, helping establish a good rapport with the parent community.​

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