As a leader in early childhood care and education, NTUC First Campus (NFC) is always in search of new ways to strengthen our curriculum and teaching practices to bring the learning experience of our children to the next level. Leveraging on digital technology, we innovated our teaching tools to benefit our existing children and their families, and launched new educational services for a new market.

My First Skool’s Home Learning Programme

My First Skool parents and children are participating in a Home Learning Programme session in the comfort of home.

pre-school children

In 2020, My First Skool (MFS) started its initial Home Learning Programme when pre-schools were closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed to complement MFS’ existing pre-school curriculum, the learnwithmfs Home Learning programme has since been expanded to become part of our regular pre-school experience, benefitting 22,000 pre-school children – from infants to six-year-olds – and their parents across our 145 centres since January 2021.

Available and accessible through a microsite platform on parents’ computers, tablets and mobile devices, the programme aims to offer children and their parents the support of having a ‘Teacher at Home’ with them.

Available and accessible through a microsite platform on parents’ computers, tablets and mobile devices, the programme aims to offer children and their parents the support of having a ‘Teacher at Home’ with them.

The unique learnwithmfs Home Learning programme offers three learning modalities for children with content produced by the team of My First Skool’s teachers. These include live sessions with industry expert speakers from SportSG and National Museum of Singapore on Saturday mornings; bi-weekly guided reading sessions and a virtual “Explore & Learn” repository of thematic content available on demand.

Ms Thian Ai Ling

General Manager,
My First Skool

We realised that many parents want to engage with their children, but they may not have the skills, knowledge or time to do it. Addressing the needs of parents who want to be a proactive part of their child’s learning journey, MFS’ learnwithmfs Home Learning Programme takes learning beyond the classroom setting into the comfort of the child’s home, with highly interactive and responsive content to guide and support parents in facilitating fun and meaningful home learning experiences with their child.

Planning for virtual lessons is definitely different from planning for lessons in class. For virtual lessons, we have to plan for things like body language, the type of materials that will be readily available at home and the way we speak to both parents and children. Thankfully, NFC provided a lot of opportunities for teachers to brainstorm and learn from one another.

Ang Peck Qi

English Lead Teacher,
My First Skool
(51 Fernvale Link)

Elaine Tan

Parent of
Marilyn Tan & Meredith Tan
from My First Skool
(51 Fernvale Link)

One of the Home Learning Programme sessions we attended taught our children the concept of money, and travelling to places with public transportation. They also learnt about the concepts of addition and subtraction through real-life situations, such as paying for their bus or train fares. The programme has been very beneficial for my children.

Little Skool-House’s Golden Window of Learning

Parents from Little Skool-House are enjoying a session of Golden Window of Learning.

children since its launch

More parents are choosing to stay at home as a result of the pandemic. However, they do not want to compromise on their children’s learning, and are searching for new ways of engaging and educating their children in the comfort and safety of their own homes.

In August 2021, Little Skool-House (LSH) launched the Golden Window of Learning (GWL) programme, a home-based learning programme for parents who would like to introduce their toddlers between 1 and 2 years old to learning in both English and Mandarin. Run by specialists trained in drama and performance arts, with experience engaging young children in learning, GWL is a 12-week programme with two components – virtual live classes and kits for parents to engage with their children in learning at home.

Based on research-backed pedagogy by Dr Marjory Ebbeck, NFC’s Senior Academic Advisor, and Emeritus Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of South Australia, the programme is designed for parents to engage their infants in the familiarity of their own homes. Unlike passive screen time, GWL aims to seize the best period of brain development, by curating interactive activities based on popular and relatable themes for parents to engage their toddlers in a 20-minute session. These themes include Animals, Transportation and Body Parts. This creates a strong bond between parent and child, which lays the foundation for learning confidence. This confidence to learn facilitates the understanding of a child’s sense of self, development of sensory and motor skills, and the strong foundation in both English and Mandarin. The Mandarin programme is also supported by Dr Connie Lum, Director of the Mother Tongue Language Curriculum and Professional Development at NFC’s Child Development Department.

The GWL programme has benefitted more than 80 children since its launch, with equal sign ups for both English and Mandarin classes.

We decided to enrol Emilia for Little Skool-House’s GWL as we wanted her to be exposed to ‘school’ before we officially enrol her next year. Turns out, Emilia really enjoyed her classes over the past three months. She looked forward to her weekly classes with Teacher Regina and Kong Laoshi. The classes were interactive and the online class duration was just about right to get these toddlers’ attention! Another thing I really liked about GWL was the Engage-At-Home materials that came along with it. There are so many activities to engage them and for them to explore.

Hoh Siok Ming

Mum to Emilia

Implementation of Centre Coaching by Pedagogists

Recognising the effectiveness of having a dedicated team of Pedagogists to improve teaching practices and impact children’s learning, NFC expanded its team of Pedagogists from six to 15 in 2021. These Pedagogists are highly skilled and experienced professionals who hold Master’s or Bachelor degrees in Early Childhood Education.

Each Pedagogist supports a cluster of MFS centres, and provides targeted training and coaching to teachers in these centres. They dedicate time to understand the centre dynamics and needs of the educators and children through working in close partnership with the Cluster Quality Manager and the centre core leadership team. This facilitates a more authentic, intentional, and meaningful support system, which results in better learning outcomes for the children.

Ada Teo (on right), Lead Pedagogist at NTUC First Campus’ Child Development Department, provides feedback to a teacher at My First Skool.

Ada Teo

Lead Pedagogist,
Child Development Department,
NTUC First Campus

When we understand the teachers and their needs, we can better support them. Some teachers require more assistance in setting up the learning environment, while some require more help with teaching strategies. With customised support, their teaching practices will improve and thus make a positive impact on children’s learning.

Strengthening Teachers’ Professional Practices

Children at My First Skool at 51 Fernvale Link are learning about camping in the great outdoors.

Children at My First Skool at 51 Fernvale Link are learning about camping in the great outdoors.

A new Numeracy Resource Guide for Nursery, K1 and K2 children was created by NFC’s Child Development Department, and rolled out at MFS pre-school centres in 2021 to enhance the teaching of Numeracy. The Guide equips teachers with ideas and opportunities to introduce numeracy concepts and skills to young children in different learning contexts.

Progressive Curriculum Plans for all MFS centres were also produced to guide centre principals and teachers in curriculum planning, implementation and evaluation. The Progressive Curriculum Plan for children aged 0 to 3 years old seeks to help children develop based on their respective developmental milestones. The Progressive Curriculum Plan for children aged 4 to 6 years old seeks to equip children with knowledge, skills and dispositions to thrive in their pre-school years, and prepares them for the next phase of education in primary school.

Supporting Children And Families