Because of our move to Bkt PJ area in Dec, I'll have to hunt for a preschool for Ai Ai again.
Much as we love Singapore Montessori, we'd have to move to Bkt PJ area so I can get some family support with baby #2.
We visited these schools today:
1. Gracefields Kindie at Teck Whye:
- nice surroundings which R likes
- principal just left last term, so now new principal is actually a K2 teacher who is continuing to teach the K2 class (R didn't think she was very kids friendly :P)
- snacks look good e.g. kway teow/macaroni/bread rather than biscuits all the time
- there's schoolbus so it's a plus point
- I looked at their timetable: everything is 15-20mins only e.g. assembly for 15mins in morning followed by 20mins of English, 20mins of Chinese, 20mins of Music etc etc. Would 20mins of everything be a little short? By the time the kids pack up for art, it's 10mins wasted and then they won't spend that much time on the next subject. This I am afraid is not very good for developing focus and concentration?
- Fees: $750/term which is cheaper than Gilstead branch at $990/term (but Gilstead had great reviews plus Mandarin Immersion Program from N2 onwards)
- Sessions: 3hr lessons (AM or PM)
2. Innate Montessori:
- we just popped by today during lesson time even though principal asked me to go at 430pm, cos I wanted to see what lesson time is like
- Nice surroundings with well-behaved children; they even have a pool at the back which is gated; Montessori materials are all very new and well-kept. Lots of international kids there (Caucasians, Koreans, locals)
- Got funny feeling about principal though; she is also the teacher for K1 and K2 levels. She has a condescending tone when she speaks. She is also strict which I don't mind, but not the condescending (how-come-you-don't-know? she will roll her eyes) kind of attitude which I am not comfy with. A little local girl asked her how to spell "playing" and she told the girl "You know how to spell "pla" yeah? So pla and ay and ing, now what do you get?" The girl obviously looked intimidated by the principal cum teacher and just nodded her head and walked away, but I suspected the girl still doesn't know. She didn't just use the tone on this girl, but to a few others too. Can be detrimental to kid's self-esteem I think, even though the pure Montessori curriculum is strong.
- Fees for 4 hr program (AM or PM): $500/mth less $150subsidy = $350/mth (swimming included)
- Additional $65/mth for English and Chinese Speech and Drama lessons every Fri
- Overall, I don't like the feeling... very tensed. In fact, Ai Ai was shaking her head even before we went into the school... and she kept saying "Sophie don't like..."
Now do you believe kids have sixth sense?
Our hunt for a preschool in Bkt PJ area continues....