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THE STAR Tuesday 2 September 2014

Exploring creativity > 4 Outstanding and passionate learners > 10


Shaping
the young
StarSpecial
2 BRIGHT KIDS StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014
Avenue to
global success
By ANUSHIA KANDASIVAM
T
HERE are 80 fully operational
international schools in
Malaysia today. There is one
in almost every state, with the
concentration being in the central
states of Peninsular Malaysia.
This is a long way from
when Malaysia had only one
international school back in 1946
a home school with two pupils
that in later years would evolve
into The Alice Smith School.
Eighty seems a lot for a
population of 30 million, but Hong
Kong has about the same number
of international schools for a
population of a little more than
seven million.
The increasing growth of
the international school market
in Malaysia mirrors that of
Asia, where, according to the
International School Consultancy
Group, a resource for market
intelligence on international
schools, worldwide growth of this
industry is largely focused.
There are 3,766 international
schools in Asia, more than that in
Europe, Africa, the Americas and
Oceania combined.
This is no surprise, as Malaysia
is in a stage of rapid development,
and the Asian economy is now the
fastest growing economic region
in the world.
This means that investments
of all kinds are pouring in from all
over the world.
With these investments come
expatriate workers who create
a demand for international
education for their children,
which prompted the Malaysian
government to encourage foreign
investment into education and
position Malaysia as a regional
education hub.
This symbiotic relationship has
created a perfect recipe for the
expansion of the international
education market in Malaysia,
seen numerous new international
schools crop up in recent years
and even encouraged private
schools to start offering an
international curriculum or
convert their existing curriculum
into an international one.
Smorgasbord
The number of international
schools available gives students
and parents a wide choice when it
comes to curriculum and location.
Though the highest number
of international schools can be
found in the central region of the
country the Klang Valley and
Selangor emerging economic
regions are experiencing a surge
of education investment.
Johor, for example, led by
EduCity Iskandar Malaysia, a
government-designated education
hub, now has 11 fully operational
international schools.
There are seven in Negri
Sembilan and three in Malacca.
There are new schools opening all
over the country every year.
This continued growth also
makes for healthy competition
among schools and can only drive
up the quality of the education
provided.
At the moment, the growth
rate of international schools in
Malaysia is about 14%, which is
certainly not a saturated market.
Competition in the market
space is healthy. If anything it
serves as a check and balance
mechanism to maintain the
necessary quality in the education
system, says Martin George,
headmaster of Epsom College in
Malaysia.
To avoid saturation in the
future, it would be interesting
to see the Ministry of Education
limit the number of licences
that are granted for private and
international schools.
This might help to protect the
market from oversupply which
will allow the schools to focus
on whats most important, that
is the quality of education rather
than competitive marketing. On
the other hand competition is
inherently healthy and certainly
helps to keep schools on their
toes when it comes to the quality
of educational provision, he
continues.
Judging by the rate of growth
of the international education
industry in Asia, however, it
seems there can only be more
investment of this kind coming
Malaysias way.
Globalised education
International schools were
originally a means by which
expatriate families could educate
their children, often with the
education system of their native
country.
Malaysia has a long history
and tradition of foreign direct
investment and an expatriate
workforce, so the occurrence and
multiplication of international
schools were part of the countrys
natural development.
The increasing
growth of the
international
school market
in Malaysia
mirrors that
of Asia, where,
according to the
International
School Consultancy
Group, a resource
for market
intelligence on
international
schools, worldwide
growth of this
industry is largely
focused.
But as Malaysia continues to
develop and the local population
becomes more auent, and as
people become participants of
a globalised community and
more aware of the international
opportunities available out there,
the draw of an international
education becomes bigger, leading
to more and more local students
enrolling in international schools.
According to the ICEF Monitor,
a resource for the international
education and student travel
industry, as recently as 30 years
ago a high percentage of students
at international schools were
expatriate children, but the trend
has now reversed.
Now, about 80% of students
at international schools are local
children.
These local children are seeking
quality education and an English-
medium curriculum as a means
to acquiring a place at a respected
and recognised international
university.
The ICEF also states that about
30% of all international schools
in the world are bilingual with
English as the primary teaching
language usually combined with
the local language.
This blending of local culture
and language with a global
learning approach is a prevalent
characteristic of international
schools.
This is certainly true in
Malaysia, where it is compulsory
for local students to learn Bahasa
Malaysia.
Most schools also offer
other modern languages it is
interesting to note that the most
popular on offer nowadays is
Mandarin, as opposed to French,
which was the go-to second
language offered by many
international schools 10 or 15
years ago.
Recent data collated by the
ICEF indicates that the market for
English-medium international
schools is predicted to grow
signicantly this year and into the
foreseeable future.
> TURN TO PAGE 3
Kuala Lumpur 21
Johor 11
Labuan 1
Malacca 3
Negri Sembilan 7
Pahang 3
Penang 8
Perak 3
Perlis -
Putrajaya 2
Sabah 2
Sarawak 4
Selangor 31
Terengganu 2
Kedah 1
Kelantan 1
International schools
in Malaysia
StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014 BRIGHT KIDS 3
Creating well-rounded students
T
HE International Certicate of
Secondary Education (IGCSE)
is gaining popularity in this
country. The IGCSE is a globally
recognised qualication that
spread over two years Year 9 and
Year 10.
The IGCSE assessment is
conducted by two exam boards,
Cambridge International Exams
and Edexcel. Students who
pass the IGCSE are eligible for
international pre-university
programmes.
The IGCSE offers a wide range
of subjects and reinforces high
academic standards through its
practical approach to teaching
and learning. It offers a balanced
curriculum and exible course of
study.
Students are assessed via
written papers and a variety
of tests and are also given the
opportunity to choose the subjects
they wish to undertake.
In this day and age success
cannot be measured by a students
grades. Success comes from
being a well-rounded individual
who has knowledge about many
topics, can interact with people of
different demographics and have
a sense of condence seen in his
personal and professional life.
For schools to develop well-
rounded individuals, teachers
must nurture and provide
interactive learning environments
for students to excel. Schools
should also provide opportunities
for students to travel for them to
learn about other countries and
cultures.
The Cambridge IGCSE
curriculum gives students the
opportunity to go on study trips
and the Global Perspectives course
encourages them to learn about
other countries and cultures.
Learning about the world
through books, magazines,
newspapers and communicating
with people is greatly encouraged
by teachers.
Students get involved in a
variety of activities that help
develop creativity, leadership,
critical-thinking and problem-
solving skills. They are taught to
be open-minded and experience
new things and gain perspectives
to develop a new appreciation for
different things.
Teacher support should be
constant in helping students score
higher marks and improve on their
weaker subjects. With the proper
support and encouragement,
greater condence can be
developed in students.
Students are also challenged to
participate in sports, debates and
creative activities such as drama
and musicals.
Cambridge IGCSE encourages:
Thinking skills
Problem solvingl Application of
knowledge
Communication skills
These areas are critical for
the development of 21st century
learners who will take their
place in the global arena. Schools
that offer the Cambridge IGCSE
embrace these elements.
UCSI International School,
Subang Jaya is committed to
the delivery of the Cambridge
curriculum and the development
of 21st century learners.
The mission of the school
is to provide a challenging
international education that
will nurture students to become
knowledgeable and responsible
global citizens.
Global citizenship requires
the ability to develop a greater
appreciation for diverse cultural
perspectives. UCSI International
School, Subang Jaya strives to
inspire students to be committed
to active service in and a sense of
responsibility for local, national
and world communities.
UCSI International School,
Subang Jaya provides students
with the opportunities to develop
their talents, capacities and
interests to the highest degree.
In addition, having an
environment conducive to
learning will improve, develop,
nurture and help students
to realise their full potential.
Dedicated and supportive teachers
and staff also contribute to the
development of successful IGCSE
graduates.
n For more information, visit
ucsiinternationalschool.edu.my
UCSI aims to develop
students who exhibit
widespread knowledge and
are capable of interacting
with a wide variety of
people.
Students get involved in a variety of
activities that help develop creativity,
leadership, critical-thinking and
problem-solving skills in the Cambridge
IGCSE curriculum.
> FROM PAGE 2
Development and aspiration
THE biggest driver of the international
education market is certainly the growing
auence of the local population all over
Asia, but what is it that makes these parents
choose international schools in the rst
place?
The national education system in
Malaysia has long been bemoaned, and
though reform has already been initiated
through the Economic Transformation
Programme, the National Policy on
Early Childhood Education and other
improvement and restructuring strategies,
this kind of change requires time and long-
term monitoring.
The education of children, however, is
an immediate need. Nowadays, instead of
just relying on free government education,
parents who are in the know and have
the means are looking for high-quality
education that will provide their children
varied opportunities for higher education
and in their careers and enable them to be
successful adults in a globalised world.
International schools provide this kind of
education because they can offer students
and parents much more than a different
curriculum.
It is a consistent form of education,
philosophy and classroom delivery that
is recognised worldwide. The ethos and
smaller classroom sizes also t well with
excellent teachers who are trained to
develop students from all angles and not
just in terms of academic results.
A school is not just about achieving A
grades. It is moulding a child for nation
building and service. This requires a strong
set of values, a supportive community, and
an emphasis on selessness, leadership and
intellectual development, says George.
This well-rounded child, the stuff of
parents, politicians and policy makers
dreams, is fast becoming a reality.
The nation builders that are produced
by these education systems bring diverse
ways of thinking and experience with
an international community to the table
and so are just as vital to the countrys
development as the purely home grown
products of the national education system.
Children deserve a high-quality education to
become well-rounded learners.
4 BRIGHT KIDS StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014
Students learn to work independently and explore means of expression that suit
their individual styles.
Exploring
creativity
A
RT is part of our everyday
life and has also been an
integral part of education
from the earliest of times. Art
was previously used for recording
historical and religious data in
the forms of cave paintings and
engravings.
Formal educational institutions
have commonly made art a part of
students learning.
Related subjects include
languages, art, drama and dance,
which are considered the creative
stream of education.
Art is also one of Nilais IGCSE
subjects and gives students the
opportunity to express themselves
in a discipline that is challenging
but tailored to the individuals
interests and form of expression.
Art brings a practical aspect
to study-oriented subjects
without losing any of the rigours
associated with the British
curriculum.
Students learn to work
independently, explore means
of expression that suit their
individual styles and view the
world from a bigger perspective to
become accomplished researchers.
They are exposed to art from
around the world, to countries and
their art histories, the different art
movement and famous artists.
Student research has to meet
stringent criteria in terms of
the working process and should
represent their personal interest
and what they learn in their
coursework.
NIS embraces other criteria
in its curriculum, including
the formation of character,
attitudes and ethics, which are
qualities that will put students
in good stead when they enter the
workforce.
Developing independent
thinking and acquiring character
traits that lead to success as adults
are essential skills for students.
Coping with challenges, dealing
with disappointment, learning to
persevere and solving problems
in dicult circumstances are life
skills of successful adults.
The educational route provided
at Nilai equips students with the
qualications to further their
education and chosen career. By
Caroline Page
n Caroline Page is an art
and design teacher at Nilai
International School.
For more information,
call 06-8502 188 or visit
www.nis.edu.my
Students
learn to work
independently,
explore means
of expression
that suit their
individual
styles and
view the world
from a bigger
perspective
to become
accomplished
researchers.
StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014 BRIGHT KIDS 5
1.
Wash your hands
with sufficient
amount of soap.
Scrub your
palms.
Scrub each finger
and between
fingers.
Scrub your nails
on your palms.
Scrub the back
of your hand.
Rinse your hands
with clean water.
Dry your hands
with a clean
towel.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
H
OME-COOKED meals are
always the healthier food
option. However, as many
people these days lead busy lives,
it is easier to eat out at nearby
restaurants or hawker centres.
Malaysians are known to be
food lovers and it is common for
people to eat their favourite foods
such as fried kuey teow, nasi
lemak, roti canai, fried chicken,
chips and burgers quite regularly.
If you eat out often, here are some
tips to help you eat foods that are
healthier and more nutritious.
Choose often:
Foods that are steamed, roasted,
boiled or cooked in soup are
always the healthier option. Foods
such as steamed pau, skinless
roast chicken, boiled eggs and
clear mee hoon soup with meats
and vegetables are not only
healthy, but also delicious.
When ordering food, always
request for more vegetables and
for your food to be prepared with
less salt and oil.
When choosing drinks, opt for
beverages that are less sweet and
more nutritious such as milk,
soya bean milk, fresh fruit juices,
yoghurt drinks or plain water.
Choose occasionally:
Foods such as nasi lemak, fried
rice and fried noodles should be
consumed moderately (once or
twice a week) as they contain
some valuable nutrients but are
also high in fat.
Choose less often:
Try to limit your consumption of
foods that are high in calories, fat,
salt and sugar to not more than
once a week. Some examples of
these foods include kuih, banana
fritters, keropok lekor, doughnuts,
carbonated drinks and cordials.
Always remember to choose
smaller serving sizes and if
the serving is big, share it with
someone. It is also good to vary
your food choices. For example,
you can have noodles one day
and the next day you can opt for
porridge. Remember to vary your
fruit, vegetable and meat intake
too and always ensure that the
foods you choose are clean and
fresh.
Trust your senses when
choosing foods
Foods that have gone bad emit
a type of smell and taste and this
is how you know when the food
is not good for consumption. It is
important for you to know this as
consuming stale food can make
you sick.
See, smell, taste
Here are some helpful tips to
help you identify foods that have
gone bad using your sense of sight,
smell and taste.
See if the food has a slimy
texture or if it is a different colour
from what it is supposed to look
like in its natural or cooked form.
Another thing to look out for in
your food is mould.
Smell to determine if the food
has an unusual or unpleasant
odour.
Taste to determine if the food
tastes unusual. If it does, chances
are your food is spoilt or stale.
Guide to choosing safe
foods
For cooked foods, choose ones
that are:
Still warm and fresh
Not exposed to ies or other
insects
Handled using clean utensils
such as chopsticks, spoons and
forks
Not touched by hand during
purchase
In food containers that are not
cracked or chipped
In plates or bowls that have not
The Nestl Healthy Kids
Programme is aimed at improving
nutrition knowledge and promoting
active lifestyles among school
students aged between seven and
17. It consists of two modules a
Primary School Module called the
Nestl Healthy Kids Programme,
and the Secondary School Module
called Program Cara Hidup Sihat.
Both programmes are based on
a multi-partnership approach,
collaborating with national health
and educational authorities such
as Ministry of Education, Nutrition
Society of Malaysia and Universiti
Putra Malaysia. To learn more
about the programme, visit
www.healthykids.org.my
About the Nestl Healthy
Kids Programme
been in contact with dirty plates,
bowls or utensils.
For packaged foods, choose
ones that:
are not past their expiry date
have exteriors that are not
damaged. Foods in cans or packets
should not be leaking, dented or
bulging.
Trust your sense of sight, smell
and taste to determine if the
food in the packaging is safe for
consumption.
Always be alert
When eating at the school
canteen, you should inform your
teachers if you see:
Foods that have signs of being
spoiled or stale
Foods that have damaged
packaging or with past expiry
dates
Food handlers who use
unhygienic methods to handle
food.
Always be mindful of the food
you consume, rely on your senses
and you will be able to avoid a bad
case of food poisoning.
Seven steps to
proper hand washing
Wise
options for
eating out
6 BRIGHT KIDS StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014
Top-quality British
boarding school in Malaysia
E
PSOM College in Malaysia,
a highly esteemed
co-educational British day
and boarding school for students
aged three to 18, opens the doors
of its rst overseas campus today.
The new students start their
rst day of school in ECiMs new
campus in Bandar Enstek, which is
about 15 minutes away from Kuala
Lumpur International Airport.
The 50-acre (20ha) state-
of-the-art campus is ready to
be the centre for ECiMs broad
curriculum and has been built
with unrivalled academic,
co-curricular and boarding
facilities.
Long history
The 150-year-old school has
always had strong links to the
medical profession in the UK,
which goes hand-in-hand with its
outstanding science programme.
Historically, Epsom College
has its roots in the Victorian-era
school built for the children of
doctors who had died from the
diseases they were hoping to cure.
Today, Epsom Colleges students
are still equipped with the skills,
attitudes and knowledge needed
to get into top medical schools
in the UK and also into other
challenging professions globally.
Students are still coming to
ECiM with similar aspirations but
just as in the UK, ECiMs focus will
be broader and more developed in
other areas.
We provide opportunities for
children to develop in all sorts of
ways. They may come to us with
a deep love of science, which we
will continue to develop.
At the same time, we will
ensure they have opportunities
to try different things and gure
out what their other passions in
life might be, and give them the
opportunity to develop them
through their teenage years and
into their adult life, says Jane
Smith, head of ECiMs Prep School.
Continuing legacy
Epsom has a rich tradition of
rst-class British education and
higher education success. Its well-
rounded curriculum places equal
emphasis on academics, sports,
art, music, drama, character
building and leadership.
The academic programme at
ECiM follows the British National
Curriculum, culminating in the
IGCSE examinations and leading
on to the A-Levels examinations.
Epsom UK boasts records of
91% passes graded A*/A-B for the
IGCSE/GCSE examinations and
more than 83% for A-Level graded
A*/A-B. ECiM is ready to continue
this legacy of excellence.
Classes are taught in
English by highly qualied and
experienced UK teachers, many
of whom posses masters degrees
and additional professional
qualications. They complement
ECiMs team of local Bahasa
Malaysia and Mandarin teachers.
There is also a strong emphasis
on co-curricular activities as
the school strongly believes that
learning and development outside
of the classroom help shape a child
into a well-rounded and successful
individual.
Through these activities,
students will learn to be
responsible and disciplined
individuals who can be trusted
and relied upon.
The teacher leading the activity
becomes a role model for the child,
and as the student works with
the teacher outside a classroom
setting, he will be able to observe
the adult as a real person working
in the real world.
Students and staff working
together outside the classroom
provide the added advantage
of greater mutual respect and
improved understanding of what
makes the other tick.
ECiM also continues Epsoms
boarding tradition. The modern
boarding experience at Epsom
is part of what makes the school
unique and distinct from other
establishments regionally. The
school offers exible boarding
options as well as weekly
boarding.
According to Smith, ECiM
is taking the full and weekly
boarding concept to the next level
in Malaysia by offering
exi-boarding.
The school has also hand-
picked Housemasters and
Housemistresses who meet the
schools strict criteria, as these are
the people who will be inuencing
the emotional, physical and
educational development of
the students.
Parents and students can be
assured of high standards of
pastoral care within the Epsom
House system.
A world of opportunity
ECiM maintains strong ties
with Epsom UK, which means
that there is a possibility for
exchanges for students and
staff, as well as opportunities for
other collaborative projects and
expeditions.
ECiM is not a franchised
school; it is very much an
extension of the UK school.
There will be opportunities for
students and staff to collaborate
on projects, compete in sports,
and even have video conferencing
of lessons.
We will work to ensure that
the link between the schools
continues to develop, says Martin
George, headmaster of ECiM.
The school also provides
numerous scholarships and
bursary awards to enable
deserving students in the Asian
region to study at ECiM.
ECiM is conducting student
assessments and hosting campus
tours for interested parents and
families. For an appointment,
e-mail registrar@epsomcollege.
edu.my
n For more information, visit
new.epsomcollege.edu.my
Historically, Epsom
College has its roots
in the Victorian-era
school built for the
children of doctors
who had died
from the diseases
they were hoping
to cure. Today,
Epsom Colleges
students are still
equipped with the
skills, attitudes and
knowledge needed
to get into top
medical schools in
the UK and also into
other challenging
professions globally.
ECiMs well-rounded curriculum places equal emphasis on academics, sports, art, music, drama, character building and leadership. The schools Sports Centre houses 10
badminton courts, two basketball courts, three squash courts, a dance studio and a gymnasium.
One of the many courtyards in the 50-acre campus in Bandar Enstek. In time it will
be lush with greenery.
StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014 BRIGHT KIDS 7
Igniting a passion for the arts
A
LIFE without passion is a
life unfullled. This quote
expresses how I see my
calling in music and music
education. I am a trained musician
in piano and a teacher with more
than 20 years experience who was
given the opportunity to teach
music and lead a department
of talented professionals at elc
International School in Malaysia.
The performing arts (music,
dance and drama) are not easy
subjects. They require hard work
and discipline as the subjects
can be dicult, challenging, and
stressful at times. But they are also
be uplifting for the spirit.
Passionate teachers are able to
help students make connections
between rigorous theory and
focused practice. They encourage
students to excel in things such as
producing a clear tone, delivering
a monologue or playing a melody.
These are the moments that
performing arts teachers live for
to see their students do more
than they believed was possible to
accomplish.
We want to see our students
gain better concentration, improve
their listening skills, control their
gross and ne motor skills and
have a discerning ear for lyrical
expression.
Childrens thinking, analysing
and problem-solving skills are
also enhanced by music. The
brain is positively affected in a
multitude of ways when a person
becomes actively involved in the
performing arts, including having
better ow of ideas, increased
spatial awareness and better
linguistic ability.
Performing arts education
occurs in almost every culture.
However, in parents minds
there is often a disparity between
the reasons and benets of a
child taking up a performing arts
activity.
Albert Einstein, a famous
physicist, learned to play the
violin from a young age and
continued doing so all his life. He
said, Life without playing music is
inconceivable to me, I get the most
joy in life out of music.
If a famous physicist can
testify to the wonders of music,
then parents should consider
the impact that music may
have on children rather than
just emphasising their exam
performances and career goals.
Students who choose to follow
the Cambridge IGCSE music
course at elc are offered many
opportunities to develop their
creativity and individuality.
For example, composing and
performing require students to
showcase their individual talents
in playing an instrument such
as the piano, violin or drums or
showcasing their vocal ability.
Students also have to work
in ensembles to prepare
performances and are expected
to take part as a lead, solo or
harmony, play an instrument or
do a variety of each.
Multi-talented students are
being created at elc and it is
always a joy to watch our students
develop and mature in a short
time to become condent, poised
and dedicated performers.
Graduates have found
important roles in the performing
arts, including becoming local TV
and radio personalities, acting
and singing at KLPAC, playing at
Carnegie Hall in New York and
at Albert Hall and in West End
productions in London.
Therefore, art and music should
be seen as an extension of who we
are and we should allow ourselves
and our children to explore the
empowerment and freedom found
in doing performing arts. - By Ray
Martin
n Ray Martin is the head of
the Performing Arts of elc
International School.
elc staged a musical production called Yesterdaze written and directed by Ray Martin and starring elc students.
Ray Martin, head of performing
arts at elc, playing the
harpsichord at a school musical
production.
8 BRIGHT KIDS StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014
I
T is important to balance the
amount of time that students
spend in the classroom and the
time they spend outside playing
sports.
Unfortunately, the advent of
technology, urbanisation and a
greater focus on good grades have
made most of our young people
sedentary or in some cases forced
to spend more time studying.
Getting involved in team
sports, especially from a young
age, allows students to interact
with each other in a competitive
environment where they will need
to trust and rely on each other to
win.
The sporting eld is the
best place for students to learn
principles and values such as
accountability, responsibility,
sacrice, self-condence and of
course discipline.
Besides learning good life
lessons and values, taking part in
sporting activities keeps students
active and healthy and away from
a sedentary lifestyle.
Not your
usual kind of sport
If you have tried playing sports
and found that you are no good
then maybe you should give these
different, odd and fun games a try.
These games are slowly gaining
popularity among Malaysians so
why not get involved with these
new breed of athletes. Read on to
nd out more.
Flag Football
Flag Football is a semi-contact
version of American Football.
The gameplay is exactly like
American Football but instead of
tackling the ball carrier, players
pull a ag attached to a ag belt
that is strapped to the ball carriers
waist.
However, hitting and tackling
players who are not carrying the
ball is still permitted, says Daryll
Nathaniel, co-founder of American
Football Central in Malaysia.
The difference between Flag
Football and most team sports is
that teams are given 40 seconds
after each play to plan their next
move. Some even refer to Flag
Football as human chess, says
Nathaniel.
It is a common perception that > TURN TO PAGE 14
because Flag Football is similar to
American Football, players need to
be big and bulky.
While having a big frame may
help, it is not necessary. Nathaniel
explains, Unlike other sports,
there are different roles for people
of different shapes and sizes. For a
successful Flag Football team, big,
small, tall and short players are
needed.
People should try Flag
Football because it is a sport
like no other in Malaysia. And
in the words of Vince Lombardi,
an American Football player in
the 60s, Football is like life, it
requires perseverance, self-denial,
Healthy
competition
hard work, sacrice, dedication
and respect for authority, says
Nathaniel.
The sport also has a strong
following among women and
is internationally governed by
the International Womans Flag
Football Association (IWFFA).
The IWFFA hosts 8 on 8 Flag
Football tournaments with
participants from all over the
world.
Players who are interested may
contact Nathaniel to try their hand
at Flag Football at facebook.com/
afootballcentral.
Getting involved
in team sports,
especially from a
young age, allows
students to interact
with each other
in a competitive
environment where
they will need to
trust and rely on each
other to win.
StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014 BRIGHT KIDS 9
SIS educators employ personalised and attentive teaching approaches to
provide flexible and comprehensive learning experiences for students.
Students are encouraged to grow
at their own pace and take their
interests and capabilities seriously.
Gain a quality Canadian education
A
S the only international
school in Malaysia to
offer the Ontario (Canada)
Ministry of Education secondary
school curriculum, Sunway
International School (SIS) students
benet from receiving one of the
most highly recognised secondary
school qualications in the world.
SIS commenced its rst intake
in 2008. Its curriculum received
positive feedback due to the
reputation that the Ontario
education system enjoys as one of
the worlds best.
SIS also prides itself on a school
environment that is purpose-
designed and conducive to stellar
learning outcomes as well as the
quality of its staff that comprises
Canadian-certied teachers.
Being a secondary school that
employs its learning resources
within a high-tech learning
environment, SIS spares no
effort to ensure the educational
experience in Malaysia is identical
to the programme offered in
Ontario.
SIS educators are fully certied
by the Ontario College of Teachers
(OCT).
This teaching certication
distinguishes SIS teachers as
professionals whose practice is
guided and informed by Canadian
education standards, ethics and
traditions.
SIS teachers make the schools
teaching-learning environment
highly interactive by promoting
critical thinking, social
responsibility and experiential
reections as part of students
everyday life.
John Mackle, principal of SIS,
says, SIS teachers design their
lessons and classroom strategies
with students learning needs
in mind to equip then with both
academic skills and real-world
knowledge and applications.
Teachers at SIS employ
personalised and attentive
teaching approaches to provide
exible and comprehensive
learning experiences to encourage
students to grow at their own
pace, taking into consideration
their interests and capabilities.
In addition to having a high-
quality of teaching, many SIS
teachers have experience from
working in various international
schools around the world.
Lessons are never dull at SIS,
especially with the extensive use
of technology tools and high level
of student-centric teaching and
pastoral care.
In addition, SIS students are
given opportunities to participate
in a diverse range of co-curricular
activities, including debates, role-
plays and independent research.
As an example, a group of SIS
students participated in a Model
United Nations event in Singapore
and demonstrated their analytical
and oratorical prowess as betted
young minds and leaders of the
21st century.
At SIS, teachers maintain
regular contact with parents
throughout the academic year.
Regular communications
and parent-focused events are
organised to engage parents
and review students academic
progress and overall school life.
SIS is hosting its Open Day
on Oct 11 where parents can
meet with the SIS teachers and
learn more about their holistic
approaches to education and the
strategies used by them.
n For more information,
visit sis.sunway.edu.my
SIS teachers
design their
lessons and
classroom
strategies
with students
learning needs
in mind to equip
then with both
academic skills
and real-world
knowledge and
applications.
John Mackle
10 BRIGHT KIDS StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014
Wong Synn Jenn (left) and Cindy Leow were awarded with Top in the World for
IGCSE Literature (English), Top in the Country for History and Top in the Country for
Co-ordinated Sciences (Double Award) at the recent IGCSE Outstanding Cambridge
Learners Awards.
Kate Moskwa, head of humanities at Taylors International School, says that lessons
are made interesting, enjoyable and fun through using various learning and
teaching styles.
Outstanding and passionate learners
S
TUDENTS from Taylors
International School who
achieved Top in the World
and Top in Malaysia in the recent
IGCSE Outstanding Cambridge
Learners Awards have made the
school proud.
These achievements carry on
the heritage of excellence that
Taylors institutions are famous
for.
The school recently
interviewed two of these top
students and found that there
were many factors that helped
them achieve their outstanding
results.
Cindy Leow and Wong Synn
Jenn, who achieved Top in the
World for IGCSE Literature
(English), Top in the Country for
History and Top in the Country
for Co-ordinated Sciences
(Double Award), said that the
environment of the school, having
a balanced lifestyle, family,
good time management, focus,
determination and guidance from
teachers were some of the factors
that helped them achieve their
results.
They also mentioned that
group discussions helped develop
their critical thinking process and
helped them learn better.
Leow also emphasised that
being involved in co-curricular
activities was important in
helping her gain scholarships
and placement in the university of
her choice.
Both students also praised their
teachers, highlighting their role
as academic mentors and guides
who provide emotional support,
motivation and encouragement.
Kate Moskwa, head of
humanities, says, It is important
that I help students understand
how they learn best and identify
the style that suits them to vary
the lessons accordingly.
A big part of my job is to
ensure that students are able
to link together what they
are learning and demonstrate
understanding instead of learning
through memorising. I equip
them with skills that they can use
beyond school.
At Taylors International School,
holistic learning is practised and
students are able to experience
the comprehensive and balanced
learning that contributes to the
success of an individual.
Thytus Tan, a teacher at
Taylors, says Through holistic
learning, students are transformed
and transcended into active
and lifelong learners and will
eventually realise that acquisition
of knowledge is paramount in
their everyday life and should be
an integral part of living.
Taylors International School
believes in shaping and nurturing
their students to be passionate
learners, global citizens, respectful
and caring individuals, responsible
leaders and resilient individuals.
These attributes develop
academic excellence in students
and have contributed to the
heritage of excellence that has
positioned Taylors at the forefront
of Malaysian education.
With the establishing of Taylors
International School in Kuala
Lumpur and Puchong, Taylors is
proud to continue this heritage of
educational excellence and share
it with a larger audience.
Taylors International School,
Kuala Lumpur will be hosting an
Open Week at its Taman Maluri
campus from Sept 23 to 27 from
10am to 3pm.
n For more information, call
03-9200 9898 (Kuala Lumpur)
or 03-5879 5000 (Puchong) or
e-mail admissions@kl.tis.edu.my
or admissions@pc.tis.edu.my
StarSpecial 11
Tuesday 2 September 2014
12 BRIGHT KIDS StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014
Flexible, unique curriculum
S
AFARI Kid Asia, a new international
preschool in Malaysia, offers a unique
programme to its students.
Though there are already several
international players in the market,
there is no preschool or kindergarten
in Malaysia that brings together the
best international practices from the
Montessori, Reggio and Waldorf Steiner
methods and combines them with a focus
on literacy and maths development, public
speaking and creativity, which is our
proprietary system, the way we do, says
Aniruddh Gupta, chief executive ocer of
Safari Kid Asia.
This enables students to excel beyond
the usual expectations. For example, the
preschools ve-year-old students are
capable of writing one-page essays, doing
Year 1 equivalent maths, are condent
public speakers and know how to use
their imagination for problem-solving.
Safari Kids classes are developmental
age appropriate instead of age-based as
the school recognises that not all children
develop at the same pace.
The curriculum has in-built exibility
and can be customised for each child,
which means that fast learners can
develop quickly and the children who
need special attention will receive it.
The Safari Kid curriculum originated
from the recognition that most existing
programmes do one or two things
well but dont necessarily focus on the
development of the whole brain.
This ensures that children can enter
primary school well ahead in their class
with a developed love for reading and
mathematics that will carry them far in
Aniruddh Gupta, chief executive officer of
Safari Kid Asia.
NUTRITION professional Indra Balaratnam
(pic) will be at Safari Kids Bangsar outlet
for a relaxed, informative foodie workshop
with young parents on Sept 20.
The free workshop is for young parents
who have trouble getting their little ones to
eat nutritious meals or getting them to eat
in the rst place. Indra will share practical
and sensible tips on how to get children to
eat well.
Safari Kid is proud to be working with
Indra, who is a well-established consultant
professional nutrition in the Klang Valley.
She has participated in professional
seminars and health workshops hosted by
pharmaceutical and food corporations and
she is also an expert nutrition speaker for
healthy-living workshops
conducted by corporations.
n For more information
or to sign up for the
workshop, call 03-2201
5561 or e-mail jeremy@
safarikidasia.com or
jigna@safarikidasia.com
Things to do with your kids
THE weekend is here and your list of
exciting activities is as thrilling as the day
is long. You cannot wait to get started.
Window shop, watch a movie, water-
rafting, hiking or feeding the homeless, just
to name a few
Hold your horses all activities would
come to a screeching halt when you have
young children. There will be a million
things to think about and or might go
terribly wrong if any of the above activities
are even to be considered. Hence, your
activities have to revolve around the
interest and safety of your young children
rst.
Water day
As the scorching weather and air
dehydrates, having a fun water day outside
is a great idea. This works better with a
porch or a spacious garden. Some props
may be needed such as a portable pool,
hose, water guns, plastic sheets to double up
as slides, water-lled balloons, beach balls
and other impromptu items. Get yourselves
(yes, yourselves too, as you are going to
be drenched) and kids into swimming
costumes, invite other kids as well for a
play date and come up with exciting water
games for them to enjoy. If a porch is not
available, an apartment pool area works
well, too.
Creativity galore
If the weather is simply too hot to handle
and you just want to stay indoors, you can
have an educational indoor day. Prepare
paints, brushes, colour pencils and crayons,
and drawing sheets. Cut potatoes or some
handy vegetables into fun shapes for kids
to dip into paint and stamp onto drawing
sheets.
They can mix colours together or drip
them onto oil and this could turn into a fun
learning session as they explore science
and its wonders. This activity is best carried
out either outdoors or in the kitchen as you
would want to contain the amount of paint
smears around the house.
Little chefs
Young children surprisingly have great
curiosity towards cooking. The idea of
kneading, mixing, ladling or stirring peaks
their amazement to a whole new level. So,
a day of easy baking or getting them to help
with kneading dough will prove to be very
exciting for them indeed. Even if the actual
end result is ignored, just playing with our,
eggs, sifters, shape makers and other tools is
educational and contributes towards hand-
eye coordination and the development of
ne motor skills.
Heading out
If weather permits, going to activity
areas such as parks, sports centres or
recreational areas is also another idea. Bring
out the sports equipment, balls, safety
gear, bicycles and frisbees and head out to
the nearest play area. A day of playing ball,
picnicking, running and sweating it out
is always one the best choices for a good
workout and family fun. The end result
might very well be getting the family to put
aside their gadgets and smartphones and
spend quality time with each other.
Responsibility first
This may not be such a bad idea.
However, young children may turn up their
noses at it.
Since holidays and weekends are the
times when working parents catch up on
chores, getting your children involved in
them might help you in the long run.
If there are closets, drawers or cupboards
that need rearranging, get your children to
help put items into designated boxes. These
boxes can be labelled throw, give away
or keep.
If there are rooms or areas of the house
that need cleaning, getting the young ones
to help you can be fun.
For instance, bathrooms and porches can
be cleaned and at the same time be turned
into fun watery, soapy playgrounds.
Turn household chores into teach time.
That way, they learn to be responsible and
learn new things at the same time.
As parents, mustering up the energy to
entertain and keep up with young children
is always challenging, let alone thinking of
activities that they would actually enjoy.
During the holidays or weekends, when
school or homework is not there to keep
them occupied, the job of keeping them
busy is up to you.
At least in the end, they will appreciate
parents making the effort and spending
quality time with them.
life, explains Gupta.
Safari Kid Asia is part of the American-
based Safari Kid childcare centre. The
schools expansion plan encompasses all
of Asia and Malaysia is an important part
of its overall goals.
We see a big opportunity to get a
comprehensive early childhood education
programme into Malaysia, says Gupta.
With branches in several countries,
Safari Kid ensures that quality is
maintained through extensive teacher
training (through the training hubs
located in California and Hong Kong),
standardised lesson plans and teaching
materials and by ensuring that its teachers
are qualied, experienced and able to
adapt to the Safari Kid curriculum.
In our Malaysia branch, two of our
teachers are from the United Kingdom,
one is from the United States and two are
from Malaysia.
They have professional qualications
and a combined 30 years of experience in
early childhood education. We work with
ve international recruitment rms to
source our teachers globally, says Gupta.
n For more information, visit
www.safarikidasia.com
StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014 BRIGHT KIDS 13
Speak effectively
BEING able to communicate
effectively in English in todays
cosmopolitan society has
become a necessity, especially
with the growing standards for
better command of the English
language.
Cambridge English For
Life (CEFL) understands
this necessity and strives to
improve its students quality of
speaking through its teaching
methods.
To maximise their
learning potential, students
are rst required to take a
placement test to ascertain the
appropriate level in which they
should be placed.
Students start their
formative learning at age four
to ve in Junior English, where
the need to speak effectively
is instilled in them via a
student-centred approach that
encourages active participation
in lessons to develop speaking
skills.
It raises their awareness
of the spoken language
and eliminates their lack of
condence to speak. At this
stage, the focus is on getting
learners to express themselves.
Once learners of Junior
English graduate and move up
to Young Learners English, they
are able to communicate using
simple phrases and words at
the Starter and Super Starter
levels.
They then proceed to
Movers and Mighty Movers
levels followed by Flyers
and Fantastic Flyer levels,
where they will be capable of
communicating using extended
and more complicated
language skills.
At this stage, CEFL focuses
on speaking techniques such
as pronunciation, intonation
and using correct grammar in a
spoken language context.
After completing Young
Learners English, students
move on to the Cambridge
Main Suite English that consists
of the Key English Test (KET),
Preliminary English Test (PET),
Pre FCE and First Certicate
in English (FCE) and Pre CAE
and Certicate in Advanced
English (CAE) where learners
condence to communicate
are built through extensive
practice throughout the
courses until they can nally
discuss abstract or cultural
topics with a good degree of
uency, maturity and depth at
the FCE and CAE level.
The lessons at CEFL give
students the opportunity to
communicate using lesson
materials set in context within
an interesting and stimulating
environment for learning.
CEFL aims to produce
students with high-standard
speaking skills who are
condent of using their ability
anytime anywhere.
n For more information,
visit www.cambridgeforlife.org
CEFL gives children the opportunity to learn speaking skills in a stimulating
learning environment.
Jane Kilpatrick, educational
psychologist at Garden International
School Kuala Lumpur, says that
parents should take proactive steps to
identify whether their child is gifted to
maximise his growth potential.
Spotting gifted children
G
IFTEDNESS refers to a
childs possession and use of
outstanding natural abilities.
Intellectual giftedness is the
result of both environmental and
genetic factors that can affect
brain development.
A question that parents often
ask is Is my child considered
bright or gifted? Identifying the
learning characteristics of a child
who is bright compared to a child
who is gifted enables parents to
gain further insight into their
childs intellectual development.
A bright child can easily
identify and accomplish classroom
tasks whereas a gifted child will
have original and abstract ideas.
If you are wondering if your
child is gifted, the rst step is to
assess him in the context of how
other children of the same age are
performing.
For parents and people who
notice advanced capabilities in a
child, it may be worthwhile for
them to investigate the matter
further.
In Malaysia, information about
this can be found on the Malaysian
National Association of Gifted
Children website.
Parents who suspect their
child to be intellectually gifted
should also consider having their
childs IQ assessed to conrm their
suspicion.
IQ testing is the best measure
of giftedness. However, there are
limitations and it should not serve
as the sole source of identication.
Intellectual giftedness is
relatively uncommon and is
recognised only in children whose
IQ is at or above 130.
All children, whether
intellectually gifted or not, will
perform well in an environment
with the right support and
stimulation that correlates with
their abilities and interests.
Skillful parents and teachers
will use strategies that challenge,
extend and interest children of
differing capabilities.
Therefore, providing gifted
children with enough support
and stimulation from an early age
is important and gifted children
who are identied early should be
given a chance to reach their full
potential. By Jane Kilpatrick
n Jane Kilpatrick is the
educational psychologist at
Garden International School Kuala
Lumpur. For more information,
visit www.gardenschool.edu.my
A gifted child typically
is one who has original
and abstract ideas.
14 BRIGHT KIDS StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014
Cosmotots-iqd encourages children to speak up
during classroom activities so that they engage
in their lessons and gain confidence to use their
speaking skills.
Speaking up
C
OSMOTOTS-IQD has been providing
high-quality supplementary education
to children in Malaysia for more than
30 years to help develop their literacy and
uency in English.
Cosmotots-iqd stimulates students
intellectual curiosity to develop critical-
thinking skills, cultivate public-speaking
abilities and build up independence and
discipline.
It believes that learning should be a
boisterous, exciting pursuit and strives to
create a classroom environment where
students can become active participants.
Students make signicant progress
when they are encouraged to speak up in
class whereas silent students nd it hard to
evolve into independent thinkers.
If students cultivate the habit of being
passive, they might learn to rely on other
people to tell them how to think.
Responsive students nd essay-writing
less challenging compared to students who
remain relatively uninvolved in classes and
are excited to write to communicate the
many ideas that they have.
Cosmotots-iqd makes use of two formats
to get students interacting. The rst is
debates, which are exciting because of the
competitiveness it encourages.
The urgent back-and-forth of a debate
builds team-spirit and motivates even the
most shy of children to contribute.
Cosmotots-iqd also conducts discussions,
which are less combative than debates.
Discussions embed education in the form of
collaboration.
Learning becomes a group effort rather
than a solitary pursuit.
Students gain certain skills from
participating in discussions. They learn how
to digest, rephrase and expand on their
friends ideas, how to ask questions and
how to draw connections between what
they have heard, read and intend to write.
From an educators perspective, debates
and discussions are effective tools because
they offer opportunities to give immediate
feedback. Written work has to be marked
and hence advice does not reach students
when they are most receptive.
However, an educator must respond
quickly during conversations to guide
students in exploring new ideas or
practising new linguistic structures.
Speaking up and participating in class
is an essential part of a holistic education.
Accordingly, Cosmotots-iqd believes that
students must speak up in order to become
condent speakers, interesting writers and
independent thinkers.
n For more information, visit
www.cosmotots.com
Unique sports to check out
BASED on the ctional sport, Quidditch,
that is played by characters equipped
with ying brooms in the Harry Potter
series, Muggle Quidditch is played on
ground, also with brooms.
Since its inception in 2005 in
Middlebury College, Vermont,
Muggle Quidditch is currently played
internationally with teams based across
Europe, the Americas, Oceania and a
handful in Asia, including Malaysia.
Muggle Quidditch or Quidditch as it
is commonly known among players, is a
co-ed and full contact sport that requires
seven players on each team.
Positions include three chasers, two
beaters, a seeker and a keeper.
Game balls include a slightly deated
volleyball known as the quae and two
dodgeballs called bludgers.
The chasers and keepers handle
the quae by passing it around and
obtaining points through scoring
through one of three hoops located at
each side of the eld. Each goal is worth
10 points.
Beaters handle the bludgers that are
used to knock players out of the game
temporarily.
Players that have been hit by a bludger
need to touch their own hoops in order
to get back in play.
The snitch or snitch runner are
neutral players with a ball attached to
their waistband who do anything in
their power to avoid being caught by the
seekers. When one of the seekers catches
the snitch, which is worth 30 points, the
game is over.
To date, there have been seven
Quidditch World Cups and one Quidditch
Global Games with the latest organised
this year in Canada.
Interested in experiencing a game
of Quidditch? Make your way to the
Damansara Dementors Facebook page
at facebook.com/DamansaraDementors to
nd out when pick-ups are scheduled.
Ultimate Frisbee
Ultimate Frisbee has spread rapidly
across Malaysia since its rst known
game of pick-up in the early 2000s
among of group of teachers at the
International School of Kuala Lumpur.
Ultimatemalaysia.com, the ocial
ultimate frisbee website, estimates
that Malaysia is home to 30 to 40 active
teams.
At a competitive level, Ultimate
Frisbee is played between two teams
with seven players on each side.
Just like in American Football, there
are two endzones for goals to be
scored.
A goal is given when a player catches
the disc in the endzone that they are
attacking.
Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact
sport and players cannot run with the
disc. Similar to netball, when a player
catches a disc, the player must stop and
pass it to a teammate in any direction.
However if the disc is intercepted or
hit down by a player on the opposing
team, possession changes hands.
The most unique aspect of Ultimate
Frisbee is that the game is refereed by
the players themselves.
A player can call out another player
for a foul but if it was not actually a
foul, the called out player may overturn
it. At higher levels of play, there are
observers present in place of referees.
They only make the call when there is an
appeal.
There is probably a team in your area.
Log on to ultimatemalaysia.com for more
information on where and when pick-
ups are held.
Dodgeball
The number of players on each
team may vary but according to the
International Dodgeball Association, the
maximum is six players. The same goes
for the number of dodgeballs used in a
game.
A typical game of dodgeball begins
with the balls lined up at the centre of
the court. Players then run towards the
balls to either pick up or roll a ball back
to their teammates. This is known as the
Opening Rush.
The objective of dodgeball is to take
out all the opponents by throwing a ball
at them.
Players are not eliminated if they
catch a ball that has been thrown at
them. A point is not earned by the
number of take-outs but only when all
the opponents have been hit.
The development of dodgeball in
Malaysia has experienced leaps and
bounds with numerous colleges and
universities forming teams and a
national team being sent to Hong Kong
for the World Dodgeball Championship
2014.
For more information or to locate a
team near you, head to www.dodgeball.
com.my
StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014 BRIGHT KIDS 15
Smart Reader Kids is about creative and innovative teaching and learning. Smart Reader Kids centres will have exciting activities happening on Open Day.
Fun and games at Open Day
M
ORE than 300 Smart
Reader Kids centres across
the country will open their
doors to the public on Sept 6 and
Oct 11 as part of its Nationwide
Open Day.
The event will be held from
2pm to 6pm and will enable
parents with preschool age
children to visit the nearest
centres to them to learn about
the various Smart Reader Kids
programmes.
Participating centres will
also host a variety of interesting
interactive activities and hands-
on workshops for children to take
part.
For those visiting the Smart
Reader Kids centre in Telok
Gadong, Klang, there will be a
great opportunity for parents
and children to experience the
Smart Reader Creative Teaching
Methodology through a number of
fun and interesting activities.
According to its franchisee
Puganesvasy Jagadiah Rao, there
are plans to conduct relay games,
colouring activities and a session
to teach children popular nursery
rhymes.
Children may also choose to
gather together and listen to short
stories and fairy tales.
While the activities are in
progress, parents are encouraged
to explore the centres facilities,
look through the teaching and
learning materials and engage
with the teaching staff.
At Smart Reader Kids, Bandar
Country Homes, Rawang,
franchisee Kavita Kaur has
decided to organise a Merdeka
celebration during the Open Day.
Children will be taught how
to make creative national ags
and can participate in a colouring
contest. Other activities include
making and painting colourful
face masks.
As there is going to be another
Open Day in October, we plan to
conduct similar activities at Smart
Reader Kids, Taman Jati, Rawang
and Smart Reader Kids, Rawang
Town.
We invite parents to bring
their children to participate in the
activities and to meet our staff
to nd out more about the Smart
Reader Kids programme, says
Kavita.
She plans to offer the Smart
Tadris programme at Smart
Reader Kids, Bandar Country
Homes, Rawang, next year.
Special promotions will be
offered during the Open Days.
Parents who enrol their
children are entitled to receive
attractive Smart Reader Kids
merchandise while stocks last and
for every full-year payment made,
parents are entitled to receive
a pair of exclusive and limited
edition Smart Reader Kids track
tops and bottoms.
In addition, parents with
children currently studying
in Smart Reader Kids centres
can participate in the Parent-
Recommend-Parent campaign,
where parents are entitled to a
free umbrella for every successful
recommendation.
New siblings who enrol during
this promotion period will receive
custom-made savings boxes.
Smart Reader Worldwide
offers quality and effective early
childhood education programmes
based on the renowned Smart
Reader Creative Teaching
Methodology.
The creative and innovative
teaching and learning approach
promotes fun learning through
play and encourages children
to develop their enthusiasm for
learning.
Programmes that are currently
being offered under the banner
of Smart Reader Worldwide are
Smart Reader Kids, Smart Reader
Kids Islamic, Smart Reader Kids
Mandarin Medium and Smart
Reader Kids++ programmes.
Two new programmes will be
launched this month. They are
the Smart Reader Kids Intensive
English programme, which
run in the afternoons and is
specially designed for children
undergoing the Smart Reader Kids
programmes.
With emphasis on vocabulary
development, communication and
public speaking, the programme
enables children to build their
condence and enhance their
verbal expression, uency
and articulation in the English
language.
On the other hand, the Smart
Funplay programme caters for
three-year-olds and above.
The programme has been
uniquely designed to develop
the imagination, creativity and
expression of each child through
play activities with Bobo the fun
Bear.
n For more information call
03-3372 3757 (Klang) or
012-9331841 (Rawang) or
03-62795555 (Worldwide) or visit
www.smartreaderkids.edu.my
16 BRIGHT KIDS StarSpecial, Tuesday 2 September 2014
Nexus International School gives children the opportunity to engage in free play and
have fun with their learning.
Child-play activities should leverage
on their interests as children learn
naturally when they enjoy taking part in
educational activities.
Play at the heart of learning
T
HE early years of a childs
life have a profound effect
on their learning and
development later in life.
The rst ve years of a childs
life are the most important period
of brain growth. New learning
happens at a rapid rate as a child
seeks to make sense of the world.
This remarkable growth occurs in
response to stimuli.
Nexus International School
provides the required stimulation
through different types of
activities, including group
activities, singing, cooking,
listening to and re-telling stories,
going for walks and interacting
with both adult and child visitors.
Activities may be adult-
initiated activities that have
stemmed from their observations
of childrens ideas and interests
during playtime or child-initiated
activities.
Child-initiated play is thought
to be more productive as it
motivates the child to take part
and children learn best in an
environment that allows them to
explore, discover and play.
Nexus recognises that children
need to play to maximise their
learning opportunities and it has
excellent facilities and expert
teachers who specialise in early
childhood education for this
purpose.
During play sessions, the
teacher takes on various roles and
performs detailed observations
(look, listen and take note) to
obtain evidence of what the child
can do, ascertain what the next
goals should be and the activity
or play required by the child to
achieve those goals.
Facilitators of child-initiated
play are also capable of being
part of the activity and making
suggestions on how to develop
or modify the play activity to
facilitate new learning.
One of the teachers said, I
noticed that the children had an
interest in pirates so one morning,
I provided a pirate ag and some
large boxes.
I also managed to nd some
pirate clothes in our dress-up box.
The children started role-playing
pirates. I joined in and asked how I
could nd out if I was on the right
ship and this led to the children
making signs for the ship and
island and drawing a map.
When children were spotted
counting numbers to ve, the
teacher provided 10 stepping-
stones to reach the island and
challenged the children to order
these correctly to reach the island
and not fall into the sea.
The children learned quickly
and helped each other to arrange
the numbers in order.
The Nexus curriculum has four
learning strands Independence
and Interdependence;
Communicating; Exploring; and
Healthy Living.
Each strand comes with a set
of statements detailing what
children should gain from the
given activities.
It is not enough to allow young
children to free play all day
without objectives or outcomes in
mind.
Children should be given
access to a wide range of learning
opportunities as they learn from
watching and imitating others
as well as by exploring and
experimenting.
It takes a skilled Early
Years practitioner in a good
environment with the correct
resources and materials to plan
and deliver a curriculum in a
meaningful and effective way.
n For more information, visit
www.nexus.edu.my
Nexus recognises
that children
need to play
to maximise
their learning
opportunities
and it has
excellent
facilities and
expert teachers
who specialise in
early childhood
education for this
purpose.

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