A New Milestone for Pre-schools in the Heartlands

June 29, 2012

My First Skool offers children of Taman Jurong a quality literature arts programme delivered in an inspiring environment

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance and Minister for Manpower, opened a new My First Skool (MFS) centre at 505 Yung An Road today. Children at the centre treated DPM Tharman to a poetry recital session and further presented him with a book co-authored by themselves.

Mr Chan Tee Seng, Chief Executive Officer of NTUC First Campus (NFC) Co-operative Limited said: “The unique setting of this centre, in a standalone building in a spacious physical environment, coupled with an innovative program that emphasises the development of language and arts, sets a new milestone for MFS. This is possible because of the vision of the Taman Jurong Community leaders, in bringing a high quality program to a local community. MFS is grateful to have the opportunity to be their partners”.

From a “Central Library”, a “Eureka Studio” to a “Gallery” space, opportunities are abundant at MFS at 505 Yung An Road (also MFS’ third “Project Eureka” centre – see Annex A) to cultivate the spirit of discovery and to encourage children to develop a love for language and literature. Children of the centre will get to learn through relating to real-world topics and be exposed to literary activities such as drama, music, poetry.

Added Ms Lynn Heng, NFC’s Group Professional Leadership Officer, “Language development is central to children’s intellectual, social, and emotional growth, and is a key element of our MFS centre in Yung An. We hope our children will come to appreciate language both as an important medium for communicating ideas and information and as a source of enjoyment.”

Tapping on the natural curiosity of children, the learning environment extends well beyond the centre’s walls. Through learning journeys taken around the Taman Jurong neighbourhood, children will get familiarised with some of the community activities taking place. Regular walks will be taken to enable the children to explore, discover and broaden their awareness of the vicinity and translate their experiences into various pieces of literary art forms. In fact, one of the very first outcomes of this centre is a collaborative effort by the children and teachers to build a 3D model of Taman Jurong neighbourhood for the official opening. The model carried hopes of the children expressed in writing.

MFS at 505 Yung An Road currently has a total enrolment of 123 children and 11 infants. To date, MFS which is one of the pre-school brands managed by NFC, has a total of 93 centres, out of which three are Project Eureka centres. It aims to open another five centres by the end of this year.


Annex A: Project Eureka

About Project Eureka
Project Eureka is conceived by NTUC First Campus (NFC) Co-operative Limited’s in-house education specialists to inspire a culture of innovation within the network. Selected My First Skool centres will have a Practice Leader, a pre-school teacher who will lead, mentor and guide his/her peers in extending the core curriculum with creative teaching and learning practices, based on different themes. In addition, these centres will have a dedicated space, a “Eureka Studio”, that is equipped with customised furniture and equipment to serve as a focal point for children’s projects. Upon evaluation of the effectiveness of the teaching strategies discovered, promising practices will be shared with teachers and principals in NFC’s network of over 100 childcare centres across the island.

Why Project Eureka?

  • The programme is part of NFC’s on-going efforts to refresh and evolve our curriculum. As a progressive industry leader, we want to ensure that we are constantly embarking on new ways to raise the standards of early childhood education.
  • With the mission to provide quality early childhood care and education, we are continuously exploring ways to create an environment that promotes inquiry and innovation in children’s learning as well as in our teaching practices. This environment will foster continuous improvement in our programme for children.

What does NFC hope to achieve from this programme?

  • We want to equip our teachers with the tools and promising practices that will enable them to better prepare our pre-schoolers with 21st century competency skills. (note: 21st century skills are in line with MOE’s framework, with outcomes being a confident person, a self-directed learner, an active contributor and a concerned citizen).
  • Project Eureka will also instil a culture of innovation in NFC’s network, with Eureka Studio-equipped My First Skool centres being the seeding centre to explore and discover promising early childhood practices that can be multiplied to the rest of our network of centres.
  • First Eureka Studios will also act as a structural support that enables NFC to be a pacesetter in encouraging and promoting a culture of innovation within the network, and eventually to the industry.

Project Eureka Studios

  Theme Location What’s Special Commencement Date
1. Green Education My First Skool at Blk 18 Marine Terrace

Project Eureka: Green Education
Aim: Greening the curriculum and classroom. Nurture and increase children’s awareness and sensitivity about environmental challenges.

Results: Children gain knowledge and understanding about the environment through hands-on, practical applications. They develop more concern for the environment and help to protect it.

Features include:
– Green indoor learning environment
– A learning studio place for conducting projects
that inculcates the 3Rs: recycling, reusing and
reducing resources
– Green and healthy gardens

January 2011
2. Technology for Early Education My First Skool at Blk 18A Holland Drive

Project Eureka: Technology for Early Education

Aim: Harnessing of technology in classroom learning. Through projects, children gain an understanding on the functional role of technology in their lives as well as other people’s lives. Technology also allows them to be self-directed learners, playing a proactive role in their learning journeys.

Results: Younger age group children will gain an understanding about the functional role of technology while the older children will learn to use technology as tools to create and construct knowledge, and convey information, ideas and feelings.

Features include:
– E-learning through First Touch (a touch screen
– Classroom management system to observe
children’s on-screen progress
– E-teaching with interactive whiteboard

April 2011
3. Literature Arts My First Skool at 505 Yung An Road

Project Eureka: Literature Arts

Aim: Children learn to value the power of language and to use it responsibly. They learn to express feelings and opinion, as they mature later in life, to support their opinions with sound arguments and research.

– Understand that language learning is a necessary,
life-enhancing, reflective process
– Able to communicate – that is, read, listen, view, speak, write, and represent – effectively and with confidence
– Make meaningful connections between themselves, what they encounter in texts, and the world around them
– Think critically; understand that all texts advance a particular point of view that must be recognised, questioned, assessed, and evaluated
– To use language to interact and connect with individuals and communities, for personal growth, and to nurture them to be active participant as concerned citizens of the world

November 2011