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BRMC Kindergarten ranked as one of Singapore’s Top 10 Preschools

The BRMCK Management, Ms Leong, the Principal, and her staff have been true to the church’s mission of reaching out to children and directing them to Christ by educating with a difference.

BARKER ROAD Methodist Church Kindergarten (BRMCK) has been ranked by Edupoll as one of the top 10 preschools in Singapore.

This ranking was based on Ministry of Education (MOE) guidelines for parents to assist in their selection of a preschool for their children. The guidelines are based on qualifications, experience and motivation of the principal, the teaching and administration staff; overall quality, environment and size of facilities; teaching philosophy and curriculum; teacher-to-student ratio; costs; types of food served; quality and quantity of learning tools and toys; and religious values, among other things.

Edupoll is the largest aggregator of general education information in Singapore. The BRMCK Principal, Ms Leong Sau Ling (class of 1979, ACJC) is a Colombo Plan (Education 1988) Scholar with double Masters Degrees – MEdMan (UWA) and MEdEC (Monash). She is International Baccalaureate trained and has been teaching in international schools both locally and overseas before joining BRMCK.

When she took over the leadership of BRMCK in July 2005, she researched the specific educational needs of BRMCK children and promptly revised the existing curriculum to an International Baccalaureate Inspired Inquiry Based Curriculum so as to better meet the needs of the children.

The current team of teachers are experienced, skilled professionals who hold the Diploma in Preschool Teaching, Diploma in Preschool Leadership, and Bachelors and/or Masters Degrees in Early Childhood Education.

About 30 per cent of them are graduates. Some of them are former preschool principals, vice-principals, department heads or award-winning teachers noted for their excellence in preschool teaching.

Teacher training to deliver the new IB programme was conducted throughout 2005 and 2006. Training was undertaken by Ms Leong and international trainers. BRMCK is the first local preschool to adopt international teaching methodologies in the delivery of its curriculum.

In addition to the new international teaching methodologies, all BRMCK teachers are given training in music, dance, speech/drama and the fine arts.

Along with teacher training, there was an overhaul of the school library, sand and water play centres, the creation of a nature studies conservatory, indoor play centre, a well-equipped Sick Bay and a child-size Speech and Drama Theatre. To keep up with the demands of 21st-century education, BRMCK classrooms have been equipped with a wash basin and soap dispenser, mini-library, creative writing centres for K1 and K2, listening posts and a computer for IT-backed learning activities. In addition, N2, K1 and K2 BRMCK students are given weekly IT lessons conducted by an IT Specialist Teacher in the IT Laboratory.

Regular parent workshops and talks are conducted. Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTC) are held twice yearly at the end of the first and second semesters although teachers are in regular contact with parents in between PTC meetings.

Enrichment courses such as Before- After School Montessori Classes, Before-After School Chinese MI Intensive Classes, Ballet, Dalcroze Eurthymics, John Langrehr Thinking Skills, Ceramics, English and Chinese Speech and Drama, Guitar, Violin classes, etc were introduced to make BRMCK a one-stop preschool education centre.

A substantial number of parents enrol their children for all the enrichment classes. This means that these children spend the whole day in BRMCK – from 8.30 am to 4 pm. Transport and meals are taken care of by the school, thus freeing parents from unnecessary worries and their weekends for the much-valued quality family time together.

Meals are carefully planned, and BRMCK menus are sent regularly to the nutritionist at KK Women and Children’s Hospital for endorsement.

True to its mission as an outreach arm of Barker Road Methodist Church, BRMCK starts each day with a 15-minute Devotion/Worship period. This is a fun time of worship and claiming of God’s promises.

Children are taught to apply biblical principles in their daily lives through fun and creative exercises which they are able to relate to. In addition, the Gospel of Christ is actively presented to both children and parents during school celebrations such as the Chinese New Year, Easter, Book Week, Kindergarten Sunday, Annual School Concert, Mid-Autumn and Christmas.

The BRMCK Management, Ms Leong and BRMCK staff have been true to the church’s mission of reaching out to children and directing them to Christ by educating with a difference.

A parent, Mrs Joy Chan, in an email to Ms Leong, wrote: “I was thrilled to learn that BRMCK has been ranked as one of the top 10 preschools in Singapore. I am sure many other mothers would agree with me that this would not have been possible without your leadership in creating and maintaining a superior learning environment for our children.

“Kudos and my heartiest congratulations to you and your team for a job well done,” added Mrs Chan, whose son Alex is in a K1 class.