Creative teaching in Malaysia kindergarten
Big Apple is a kindergarten that emphasizes not only on academic but also on extra-curricular activities. With more than 12 branches nationwide, Big Apple started its franchise business in March 2018.
Since 25 years ago, Big Apple Pengkalan, Ipoh has rightly gained a concrete reputation on providing a comprehensive learning experience for toddlers and children aged 18 months to 6 years. Housed in a commodious, purpose-built facility, the aim is to provide a place that sets a strong academic foundation and help children develop a love for learning within a caring, supportive and safe environment. This is reflected in the school’s philosophy of education “To Inspire and Nurture the Young Minds”.
From nursery (18 months to 3 years) to kindergarten (4 to 6 years), the school offers an academically focused curriculum, balanced by rich opportunities in sports, enriching activities and performance. The approach towards learning is one that develops children intellectually, physically, socially, artistically and morally.
A Robust and Diverse Malaysia Kindergarten Program
Diversity is seen as a core strength and the size of the school allows for a very rich, robust curricular and co-curricular program. A range of programs and activities are instituted to support young learners through a blend of curricular and experiential learning, using a thematic approach.
Literacy and numeracy are key. A concrete, practical approach is taken for children to learn math through counting, measuring, recognizing patterns, et cetera. Children are supported by a phonics system and an internationally-recognized program – Cambridge English: Young Learners. This gives children the capacity to learn and improve English, communicating effectively through reading, writing, listening and speaking. Language development is also supported by interactive learning opportunities in Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia. Additionally, plentiful presentation opportunities are offered through the school’s Junior Speaker program. It is designed to help children express themselves better, become more articulate and increase their confidence in public speaking.
The curriculum strives to meet multifaceted dimensions of learning by including a rich array of artistic and movement courses of study. The learning context is integrated with art and craft, music and movement, sand play, water activities, cooking and baking, gardening, physical education, practical life exercises and street chalk drawing. Teachers use a multi-sensory approach to engage the whole child in the learning process rather than simply imparting intellectual information. Lessons are enriched with stories, songs, games and educational toys to make learning fun and stimulating.
Learning is supported by E-learning using iPads from time to time but integrating technology into every lesson is not a dominant focus. There is commitment for children to achieve balance and excellence as observed through the school’s efforts in building new facilities to expand curricular offerings. The physical plant of the school is undergoing current development to include a fully equipped science lab, story house, little kitchen, just to name a few.
The academic atmosphere is supportive and progressive. Teachers set a tone of energetic and lively engagement within and outside the classroom. Class sizes are small, allowing for an individualized approach to learning. Teachers introduce skills and concepts when it is appropriate given the children’s physiological and emotional development. Extra coaching is offered to students who need additional support.
Field trips, sports days, concerts, performances and holiday camps all find a place within the delivery of the curriculum. The school gazes beyond the classroom walls, allowing a global perspective on the course material. Previous holiday camps looked into educating children to be adept at international communication and engagement through music and creative art activities taught by specialist educators from the United States of America.
Productive Parent-Teacher Relationships
Through its long operational history, the school maintains strong links with the families in the community. The school prides itself for strong communication with families to establish productive partnerships that will better place children for a smoother transition into further education and the society. Full-day programs are developed with the needs of working parents foremost in mind and meals are a plus.
Spreading out creative teaching through franchise
At Big Apple, careful attention is given to the individual learning profile of each student, building on their strengths, developing their unique talents and skills, and providing support for areas of growth. For over two decades, the school have helped children build skills and develop tools to be successful throughout their lives. The school has grown in the intervening years to include eight locations within Ipoh and will continue its expansive growth strategy by expanding in the Klang Valley, all while striving to “be better and be different”. Currently, Big Apple has 9 branches in Perak and 4 branches in Selangor(Klang, SS2,Setapak & Sungai Besar)