Early Childhood is the foundation of a child’s education when most connections and discoveries take place. Our Primary School provides a rich and dynamic learning environment for children from the age of 3 to 11 years. Our Early Childhood begins with Nursery and Kindergarten. During this critical time, children begin to read, write and build the foundations of numerical and scientific understandings.
To achieve this strong foundation, young learners need to be nurtured in a safe and happy environment, one where they can lead their learning, take risks and make mistakes, and learn from every new experience.
In the early years, the teacher’s role is to mentor the child, providing them with opportunities to explore and discover, and to guide them in the creation of new knowledge and greater understandings. We recognise that learning in Early Childhood is unique and differs to a Primary School experience, as the focus is on a more nurturing role. Nexus therefore only employs internationally experienced Early Childhood teachers. We also ensure our support staff are experienced working with young children; 61% of our classroom assistants have degrees.
Language is very important; as an international school this is often the first time children experience a language that may not be their mother tongue. At Nexus we deliberately employ staff from across the globe that are able to speak a range of languages to help children communicate and build confidence.
To ensure your little one receives all the right guidance and encouragement they need to lead their learning, we ensure that we have a high adult to learner ratio.
The curriculum in our Early Childhood is based on the globally recognised International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). Our PYP is an educational curriculum and philosophy that is authorised and evaluated by the International Baccalaureate, one of the most transferrable curricular taught in over 109 countries around the world.
The PYP areas of learning are language, mathematics, social studies, science and technology, arts, and personal, social and physical education. In addition, all of our learners will experience learning in a second language. This is taught through intensive and immersive daily language lessons from specialist teachers. Families have the option of French or Mandarin. We know that even in Early Childhood, high standards are crucial. Our curriculum standards are based on those recognised by PISA and OECD as world class. We use Singapore standards for Maths, the UK and New Zealand standards for English, and the Australian Science curriculum.
Learning in our Nursery and Kindergarten classes is through a mixture of teacher-directed and child-initiated activities. Well-planned play both inside and outside, is a key way in which young children learn with enjoyment and challenge. Play based learning gives children opportunities to explore, observe, hypothesise, question, and discuss to clarify their understanding. We also provide daily opportunities for children to develop early reading, writing and number skills with creative and imaginative adult support.
By the end of the Early Childhood programme we aim for learners to see themselves as confident and fluent readers, keen to explore a range of stories and non-fiction. In Maths, we aim for learners to have a strong foundation in the ‘basics’ such as number bonds, shape recognition and simple addition and subtraction.
Phonics and simple reading and writing are taught through games, and children are taught to write with a purpose. An example of this is using a monkey who visited the pod whilst the children had gone home, leaving behind banana peels. Then the monkey left them a note saying he enjoyed visiting their pod and playing with their toys. The children could only communicate back via notes and the writing was fun, elevated and exciting. Play included creating special toys for their monkey friend, and building places for him to eat his bananas and sleep.
At Nexus we recognise that young children move from more self-focused behaviour, to learning and playing alongside each other, then learning to collaborate together. This is taught through making connections with other children, sharing needs and wants in a positive way, and understanding and communicating with others.
Social skills are developed through activities focused on playing together with positive encouragement. We give children the skills to work with partners, such as actively listening by sitting knee-to-knee and eye-to-eye. Children come together in group work, learning to actively listen to others, share ideas and develop concepts together.
Independence is key to social development. We work with parents to encourage each child to be independent, to pack their bag, put their shoes on, open their lunchbox etc. We build their confidence with routine and easy to use elements (like velcro!); this is where we allow them to make mistakes and learn from them.
Throughout Early Childhood, we model positive relationships in an environment where children have high levels of independence, self-esteem and self-confidence. To boost these positive bonds we encourage a strong parent-school relationship where parents actively contribute and join our classes for projects. “The school has been a fantastic environment for the girls. The Nursery and Kindergarten pod is our favourite area of the school where the amazing team of teachers have built a creative, fun and safe environment by incorporating elements of the Reggio Emilia Approach into the programme. All of our girls loved the Nursery (and want to go back!).
We also love the genuine open-door policy that is encouraged in the Early Childhood classrooms. Knowing that parents are welcome to pop-in or volunteer in the classroom and help with the activities is very reassuring.
Another big plus is the parent community – it’s extremely supportive and friendly, and a great place to meet people. Perfect especially for new parents in Singapore! The Nexus Parent Group hold regular coffee mornings, workshops and social events, so there is always something going on for us to be a part of.”
Nexus parent and mother of 3 girls, Alex is in Year 3, Sadie is in Year 1 and Pippa is in Nursery.
At Nexus we have large dedicated indoor and outdoor spaces that are designed for little learners, with furniture and resources created just for them to help develop their independence.
Digital technology is only used in Early Childhood when it enhances active and creative learning. Learners may explore their environment and use an iPad to photograph the 2D and 3D shapes they can find around the campus. Learners will not be encouraged to be passive ‘consumers’ of digital technology, such as using ‘educational games’.
Our facilities include:
A dedicated pod with outside access that is separate from the rest of the school
Outdoor spaces that have a range of activities including mud kitchen, tyres, scooters, teepees, sand and water play areas
Pods that allow for individual or collaborative work, designed with flexible spaces that can be tailored to each lesson
A swimming pool with weekly swimming lessons
A specialist Music room
A specialist Art room
Age appropriate self-contained toilets, bag storage and dedicated dining area
In 2020 we move to our new campus in Aljunied which has taken all the above elements and improved them to ensure that we are providing the best learning environment for your child. We are excited to have a double story treehouse for our little people (Nursery to Year 2), allowing for free flow between indoor and outdoor learning.