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Preparing Methodist pre-schoolers for primary school

Preparing Methodist pre-schoolers for primary school

For six-year-olds, transitioning from preschool to primary school is a momentous milestone. To help them prepare, Kindergarten Two (K2) pupils in the Methodist Preschools got a taste of the primary school experience when they visited Methodist primary schools in September.

On 21 Sep, 31 students from Foochow and Toa Payoh Methodist Preschools had an eye-opening experience during their tour of Methodist Girls’ School (MGS). Accompanied by their four teachers and confident Primary One (P1) students as their tour guides, they discovered facilities not typically found in a preschool.

At the school canteen, buying food, managing money and carrying the food to the table by themselves was also novel for the preschoolers, but the warm company and friendly guidance of the MGS student-buddies made the whole experience a less daunting one. They also got to attend lessons and participate in class activities with their new P1 friends.

Mdm May Ten, Principal of Foochow Methodist Preschool, said, “It is important to help children transition from preschool to primary school so that they will not fear the ‘big school’. A primary school visit helps children understand and see for themselves first-hand the differences and similarities between preschool and primary school.”

On 22 Sep, Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (PLMGS) hosted 46 students and six teachers from Sengkang Methodist Preschool (SKMP). After a warm and enthusiastic welcome upon arrival, selected lower primary PLMGS buddies took the pre- schoolers for recess time at the canteen.

The K2 preschoolers then joined their new friends in their classrooms for an authentic experience of primary school. The SKMP children were also taken on a tour of some school facilities before wrapping up the visit with a craft activity. Not only did they go home with fond memories of their PLMGS visit but also with a beautiful rainbow fish artwork made with their new friends!

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Ms Joanne Low, SKMP Principal, shared that the visit benefitted both students and staff. It provided the opportunity for her teachers to reflect on their current practices and make necessary adjustments to SKMP’s teaching pedagogy to smoothen their preschoolers’ transition into primary school.

It was the turn of Bedok Methodist Preschool (BMP) on 23 Sep. The visit to Geylang Methodist School (Primary) saw 40 preschoolers with their seven teachers being warmly welcomed with an address by the GMSP principal, Mrs Jennifer Choy. This was followed by a short presentation on “Life in Primary School”, which set the stage for a tour of various school facilities including the Heritage Wall, bookshop, canteen, gardens, playground, selected classrooms, library and Art rooms.

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Student-buddies from P1 and P2 were assigned to each BMP pupil to walk them through the quintessential experience of buying food and eating at the canteen during recess. The enthusiasm and care shown by the GMSP student-buddies were so heart-warming that even the introverted ones among the BMP cohort were seen warming up to, and chatting freely with their buddies!

Ms Patsy Wee, BMP Principal, was appreciative of the warmth and sincerity of GMSP which permeated the welcome speech, detailed planning and arrangements. “I believe our preschoolers went away feeling excited and less fearful about the next phase in their life—entering P1 next year!” she said.

Fairfield Methodist School (Primary) also hosted Faith Methodist Preschool’s K2 pupils —albeit virtually—in October.

The collaboration between Methodist Preschools and Primary Schools for these visits has led to meaningful and beneficial experiences for the preschoolers and accompanying staff teams. As Ms Jane Chan, Vice-Principal of Toa Payoh Methodist Preschool, put it: “The transition period between preschool and primary school is crucial as success is associated with a lasting positive impact on the child’s academic and social performance.” The warm and positive memories created for the young ones are all thanks to the efforts and warm hospitality extended by the primary schools.

By Chan Yuey Sum, Marketing Manager, Methodist Preschool Services Pte Ltd (MPSPL) / Photos courtesy of Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School, Methodist Girls’ School, Geylang Methodist School (Primary) and MPSPL

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