Wee Care’s Great Starts programme seeks to give children an enriching immersion experience in Mandarin. Classes are mapped onto Wee Care’s highly successful Bright Starts programme and incorporate fun, exciting, hands-on and play-based activities in Open Learning, Life Skills, Numicon Math and Science, with the added distinctive feature of Mandarin as the language of instruction. Children continue to enjoy English lessons in Phonics and Literacy, but the main emphasis is always on understanding, thinking and speaking in Mandarin. There are many opportunities for purposeful play and social interactions with peers.
Children who attend Great Starts are fully immersed in a Mandarin-speaking environment. This has been shown to increase their confidence in speaking and using Mandarin in natural contexts. In addition, receptive comprehension of Mandarin discourse, spoken in the context of dialogue, develops as the teacher seeks to establish shared meanings through meaningful learning and experience-based activities with her students.
Children who are typically exposed to a monolingual environment benefit from this opportunity to engage with their peers and caring adults in a stimulating, non-threatening and nurturing Mandarin setting. Research has consistently demonstrated that bilingual children exercise more flexible thinking processes when making sense of the world around them. Great Starts is a means thus to enhance thinking skills in the more complex globalised world that we all live in.
ACTIVITIES and FORMAT
The Great Starts programme is designed to give children a choice between going to school two, three, four or five times a week (daily). Each session lasts three (3) hours and comprises the following:
Welcome and Music Time
Classroom Instruction (1 hour)
Open (Experiential) Learning (1 hour)
Snack, Circle, Nature and/or Sensorimotor Time
Closing and Goodbye
In terms of content, the daily subjects are:
Mondays: Language Arts (in English) and Numicon Mathematics (in Mandarin)
Tuesdays: Open Learning (in English), Letters & Phonics (in English)
Wednesdays: Life Skills (in Mandarin) and Mandarin
Thursdays: Open Learning (in Mandarin) and Mandarin
Fridays: Language Arts (in English) and Science (in Mandarin)
The Great Starts programme is available only on weekdays with lessons running from 2pm to 5pm.
PARENT / CAREGIVER INVOLVEMENT
Children who are attending school for the first time without the accompaniment of their parents and caregivers may have separation anxiety. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to co-operate with Wee Care educators to assure their children and to help them to settle down in school.
A Profile of Progress, showing some of the lessons taught and more importantly, the different categories of the individual child’s development, will be made available to all parents at the end of each semester.
CLASS SIZE and EDUCATOR-CHILD RATIO
Each class can accommodate a maximum of fifteen (15) children only, who are led and taught by three (3) Wee Care educators.
ADMISSION and FEES
Children are admitted into the Great Starts programme at the start of each 10-week or 12-week term through the completion of a Parent-Toddler PlayGroup Programme, a parent-accompanied Holiday Programme, a Primer Programme or a personal admission consultation. Such an admission procedure will enable parents and children to get to know the Wee Care teachers and the school environment prior to starting school. The impact of separation anxiety will also be reduced. Therefore, direct and/or mid-term admissions are given on a case-by-case basis only.
Programme fees (incl. of GST) and the corresponding deposit (excl. of GST) are as follows:
Deposits are refunded according to the terms and conditions of registration.
After ascertaining from our School Administrator that vacancies are available, please:
- Register your child using the prescribed Registration Form that is available at each of our centres.
- Pay a Registration Fee of $220.00 (including GST with effect from January 2016) and an Insurance Fee of $3.00 upon registration. These fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- Pay a Deposit upon registration to guarantee your child’s place at Wee Care. The Deposit amount is based on the programme chosen and is refundable according to the terms and conditions of cancellations and withdrawals.
- Submit the Registration Form and the requisite fees in person at our centre or by post. We accept payments by cash, NETS and cheques.