21 April 2023
Little Skool-House sows seeds of sustainability in its children
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At NTUC First Campus (NFC), our preschools inspire our children to understand their world and the role they can play to make a difference in it. As part of efforts to instil a love of nature in young children, Little Skool-House (LSH) encourages children to participate in national gardening initiatives such as Community in Bloom by the National Parks Board. It also partners NFC’s Outdoor School Singapore (OSS) to take children on adventure trips to various parks and nature reserves in Singapore to form a positive connection with nature and the world.
A Curriculum that Sparks Curious Inquiry
Complementing these outdoor lessons are the lessons in sustainability education that take place in our classrooms. LSH’s curriculum has long inculcated a sustainability mindset in its preschoolers by covering topics that revolve around caring for things around us – including the environment. On Earth Day this year, our global citizens sat down with their teacher to talk about our environment and the part they can play in protecting it.
To bolster sustainability efforts, lessons in the classroom also utilise natural materials like twigs or sticks picked up from the park. Teachers reuse cardboard boxes, toilet rolls and cereal boxes as learning materials and teaching resources while intentionally providing recyclable materials for the termly take home kits.
Spearheading Initiatives beyond the Curriculum
Each centre’s deep commitment to sparking curious inquiry in children about the world around them is evident in the lengths they go to in championing initiatives beyond LSH’s curriculum.
LSH At-Outram collaborated with the National Library Board to get the latter to curate a list of books on water conservation for our children. Our teachers read these books to our children and encouraged them to write book reviews and design posters on water conservation. The children’s artwork was then placed as an exhibit on the community wall in NLB@Harbourfront to spread awareness about water conservation and empower more children, and hopefully their families in turn, to take action.
At LSH At-Republic-Polytechnic, our children learnt how plants grow without soil by growing onions in different types of water. The children also had a go at planting with a hydroponics kit to monitor the growth of plants closely.
Equally spirited, LSH At-Downtown-East integrated green education initiatives within its curriculum, involving children as young as infants, all the way to Kindergarten 2.
“Education empowers people. More specifically, when we educate children, it instils in them a sense of personal responsibility. Discussions with children about how the actions that they take can have a huge impact on the environment empowers them to consider their choices,” said Claris.
The green education initiatives LSH At-Downtown-East introduced to their preschoolers include monthly beach clean-ups at Pasir Ris Park, residential community gardening, growing of spring onions and bok choy in the classrooms, and participation in the Green Guardians Programme by Gardens By The Bay.
These initiatives have also been weaved into the centre’s celebrations. During Chinese New Year, children at LSH At-Downtown-East learned about red packet recycling and how to repurpose orange peels. For World Water Day, students learned to save water by reusing unused water in dehumidifiers to wash the floors and using unused water from water jugs to wash their hands. Students also participated in upcycling activities for Earth Day by making sock puppets, tie-dying shirts and tote bags. For Kindness Day this year, the children recycled plastic, through a partnership the preschool centre had with SembEnviro Plastic Recycling League 2023. Children also keep track of their water usage on a monthly basis.
Reinforcing Lessons at Home
Critical to the success of these green education initiatives has been the continuity with supportive parents at home where parents and children follow through with sustainability activities and lifestyles.
“By reflecting on their lifestyles and how they can make intentional choices to change them, we want to involve preschoolers in creating a sustainable and equitable world for future generations,” Claris added.
At Little Skool-House, we take pride in nurturing children who are curious about the world around them and inspiring them to make it better. Subscribe to Little Skool-House’s YouTube channel to watch our children discover more about the big world around them and the part they can play.
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