Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Holistic Development - We mean business!

Star Learners takes on a holistic approach towards the development of each child as we believe that every child is born with a gift; one which you need to take time to discover and nurture.

With the above in mind, we always plan loads of hands-on activities like cookery and painting to help in the development of our talented Star Learners! The best part is, learning opportunities are aplenty during such structured play times.

Cookery gives us the chance to teach measurements, time and also a chance to practise rote counting the fun way. Painting on the other hand gives children the freedom to really express their ideas, strengthen their hand-eye coordination and build their confidence level because as far as Art is concerned, there is no right or wrong and every piece of work is unique and priceless!
Let's all work together to bring out the best in our Star Learners by giving them loads of opportunities to impress us!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Its a Whale? Its a Shark? No, its a Whaleshark!

We planned a special lesson for our star Learners at Branksome on 22nd July. It was a presentation by a marine biologist Nobina, who specialises in whale sharks.

Before the start of the presentation, the children were led to imagine they were in the ocean and to share what they saw. Big names like sea cucumbers, clown fish, sea horses and octopuses came to mind naturally as they were already exposed to sea creatures and the amazing ocean as part of our character development program, Stanley Starfish.

All the children were wondering what exactly a whaleshark was (to be honest, adults too were also wondering just as much)! To our amazement, it was actually a shark which got its name by its sheer size which can span 20 meters long; meaning it is the largest fish in the ocean!

What was also really interesting to know was that it was actually possible to tell whalesharks apart because they have spots on their body which are unique to the individual, just like our thumbprints.

A mummy whaleshark gives birth to many babies but only one or two baby survives because the mother does not look after its young(this was when we saw many children sulking because they felt sorry for the baby whalesharks and this also means they do appreciate our care!). It feeds on plankton and all it has to do was to open its mouth and suck in the water together with the plankton just like a vacuum cleaner.

We were also taught to protect whaleshark as they are fast disappearing from earth because they take very long to grow and most does not even have the opportunity to grow! And oh yes, did we mention they are centenarians who can live to a hundred years old.

To increase interactivity between the children and Nobina, we played a spot matching game. We also got the children to pass along an envelope containing the names of different places where whalesharks live around the world.

What a amazing addition to our Star Learners knowledge bank!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fabulous Friday!

Art, in the eyes of adults often means carefully drawn and painted concrete figures or pictures.

However, to all the folks at Star Learners, we are not at all bothered about well-defined silhouettes. We see the freedom to express and creativity as key!

With this in mind came the idea of a Fabulous Friday! We gave our Star Learners a wide array of "paints", ranging from melted chocolate, cocoa powder and all you can imagine! The children were free to paint using anything and they really did! Besides hands and feet, they also made great use of their other body parts like their little tummy bulges. The school was turned upside down but we say it is all worthwhile cause we "earned" a priceless masterpiece, with compliments from our Star Learners. Or should we say Star Artists!

A peek into our Star Learners' world!

Kids often have their own opinions and are usually bursting with ideas.

In line with our tagline of "Building confident, creative children with character", we went on to give our children an opportunity to voice out! See how they surprised us with their answer and
we sure know we are doing a good job but at the same time, how to improve our centre and its services to our Star Learners!

What do you think of coming to school?

Qi Yun: We come to school to learn.

Raeann: Yah, not to day dream. We come to school to learn and be smart.

Steffi: Teachers are kind to us in school.

Danelle: School is fun. We can be smart if we come to school!

Sher Tynn: I can be clever if I come to school.

Steffi: Meet a lot of friends.

Alden: We can play with friends.

Niccole: School is okay.

Steffi: Then we can have gym lessons and go for Speech and Drama classes.

Yulin: We will learn more about everything!

Steffi: Teachers teach a lot of things.

How about friends?

Niccole: Friends are okay too.

Raeann: They are kind and clever!

Melissa: My friends are happy.

Yixin: They are nice.

Sher tynn: They are good.

Steffi: We should have more parties, like Janelle’s party. That was fun!

Fieldtrips? Which were the best?

Danelle: Zoo. Kids world is good. We like the water, swimming and all that.

Kimi: I like Pizza Hut.

Damian: Me too!

Alden: Me too! It’s nice!

Qi Yun: Fish farm! Can catch fish.

Rane: I like Pizza Hut. Can eat pizza!

Raeann: Yah can eat pizza.

What else would you like or want in Branksome?

Steffi: I wish Branksome has bigger toilets!

Danelle: I want a swimming pool!

Sher Tynn: Jacuzzi for shower!

Steffi: A barbeque party?

Wan Ni: More toys.

Kimi: I want a basketball court.

Raeann: No, a football field!

Rane: I want an indoor playground. We cannot go outdoors when its too hot. So during sunny days, we can play indoor!

Danelle: We can have a soccer match if we have a football field.

Yulin: Make Branksome more beautiful. Can paint all the walls blue; like blue sea with fish?

Damian: I want a pond.

Sher Tynn: I want playground for climbing!

Danelle: Can you paint a garden on the wall?

Wan ni: I want to celebrate Christmas with a Christmas tree in Branksome.

Steffi: A puppet corner. Then we can have a puppet show!

Edison: I want a swimming pool!

Qi yun: Outdoor playground will be fun!

Steffi: I also think Branksome should have an art teacher.

Do you like Branksome or Eunos more? Why?

Rane: Branksome because it’s beautiful!

Kimi: Branksome. It is nice.

Rane: But Branksome needs to be cleaner.

Steffi and Danelle: Our classroom is messy.

Steffi and Danelle: Everyone's classroom is messy.

Qi yun: School is fine. I like Branksome.

Damian: Branksome school is so busy. We have got things to do all the time.

Raeann: Branksome is messy but it is fun!

Alden: Old school is better. More fun.

Danelle: Branksome better, bigger outdoors!

Qi yun: Yah. Branksome better. It is new!

Raeann: Got hopscotch!

Rane: Don’t have already. Now got tiles.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Learning through experience!

It is often a great challenge explaining "disasters" to children especially since they are well looked-after at Star Learners and well-protected at home.

We came upon such an opportunity though, on a recent field trip to Go Go Bambini! Imagine a mini "Katong Flood" which our Star Learners had to overcome in order to board the bus to our destination. We started telling our children what and how different natural disasters affect people around the world and of course, teach our children to appreciate living in Singapore and the importance of resilience and how it can help us achieve what we want in life!

Upon reaching Go Go Bambini, the children faced yet again, a challenging rock wall. Our Star Learners were raring to have a go at it, not at all intimidated!

In recognition of their efforts, they were "rewarded" with a rolling good time at the ball pit and lunch at a private function room!

We say "Way to go"!