"I told him he need not go to class anymore"
As with all parents, I rejoiced together with my little boy at every significant milestone from birth till date. And the one most significant milestone which required my critical decision making would have to be when he was ready to embark on his first day of school.
With much anticipation and excitement, I was introduced to Children Vineyard by a friend, her daughter had attended Children Vineyard for a year and is absolutely in love with the school. Fascinated, I then arranged a visit to Children Vineyard to understand more of the ideology behind their work at the school. During my visit, I was impressed at how disciplined and well behaved the students were in class, they also displayed an independent desire for learning through self-exploration of the Montessori apparatus found in the center. I saw how freely the students approached their teachers for assistance when they hit a hurdle in their learning or even just to share their feelings of joy, frustration and sadness that arise during the day at home or at school. The teachers patiently listened and connected with each student, addressing each student by name giving them the confidence and assurance that they are loved and important.
There were a few points observed during the visit that resonated with what I wanted for my boy.
- Small teacher student ratio
- Dedicated anchor teachers
- Focus on character building
The small teacher student ratio meant teachers had greater liberty and opportunity to provide undivided time to each student, helping them discover their talents and work on the areas that need improvement. Apart from the emotional development, a small class size meant the teachers can stay vigilant in upholding a high standard of health advisory, notifying parents once they identify any student that is unwell so it does not spread to other students.
The value of a team of dedicated anchor teachers in Children Vineyard is also noteworthy. For my little boy taking his first giant step into this other world filled with strangers and unexplainable experiences, the anchor teachers provide the stability and assurance that my boy will always have them to trust and rely on. This was a confidence booster for my boy as he now could focus on learning and tackling new experiences that come his way in school. I remember just 3 days into school, I was amazed to see my boy trying to overcome his separation anxiety, bid me goodbye and walk into school confidently. This could only happen because he has developed a level of trust for his teachers. I am most delighted to share that after 1.5 years in Children Vineyard, my boy is loving the school even more each day. How do I know that? A snapshot of a conversation I had with my boy.
Son: “Mummy I don’t want to be sick, I will take care of myself and drink more water.”
Mummy: “Why do you say that?”
Son: “Because I want to go to school and learn new things and be with my friends and teachers”
This brought on a smile to my face knowing his love for learning, friends and teachers have been harnessed deeply in Children Vineyard all thanks to the dedicated teachers.
Character building is also high on my priority list, as I believe with a wholesome attitude, character and value system ingrained in a child, it will enable them to go further than any academic achievement they will attain. Attitude such as the love for learning, exploration and creativity as well as perseverance; Character such as honesty, compassion and a desire to contribute to the betterment of society; Values such as being respectful and choosing the right thing to do amidst peer pressure. Character built from young would provide them with a strong foundation to face challenges and difficult times as they grow. The tenacity and resilience that has been developed into their core would help them forge on in a competitive society not just academically but socially as well.
In my opinion, Children Vineyard has a great balance in both character building and training of a child academically. They begin with character building in the early developmental years through play and interaction, solidifying the heart-ware in the child. As the child progresses the hard-ware (academic component) is weaved into their learning in preparation for Primary school. Though my boy has not yet reached primary school, I have heard many parents telling me that their child had no problems at all settling into primary school both emotionally and academically, which gives me great comfort and confidence.
I just want to express my thanks to the many dedicated teachers, especially Ms Judy and Zhang Lao Shi for journeying with me thus far. I could always count on them to give me honest feedback and tips to help in parenting my boy, through their observation and hands on involvement in class with him. They are also extremely understanding and helpful, being able to accommodate my last-minute request to put my boy into Chinese enrichment class within a month notice when I realized I was pregnant with no.2 and needed the rest.
For those who can’t wait to place your precious little one into such a wonderful school, fret not as they have a childcare that is conveniently located at Marymount station. I am most excited to share that the high standard and quality of teaching that I have mentioned earlier are all upheld in the Children Vineyard Childcare as well through personal experience. I had placed my boy at the childcare for a 2-week holiday program in the June holidays, he was a little wary on the first day when I brought him there which got me a little worried that he would not be able to settle in. However, my worries were unfounded for the next day as soon as he saw Ms Judy and Zhang Lao Shi he was like a fish in water again. At the end of the 2 weeks, I told him he need not go to class anymore as I would like him to enjoy his last week of holiday before returning to kindergarten. But he told me he wants to continue going for class. Wow!!! The teachers had already built a strong rapport with my boy in a short span of 2 weeks.
I celebrate and am thankful to have found Children Vineyard for my boy, a rare gem that nurtures each child into wholesome and responsible young men and women that would shine and be the light of the world. A school that not only comes up with a philosophy, vision and motto in words or on paper but has applied and been lived out in every staff serving at Children Vineyard. Thank you for the passion and unwavering belief in every child and the diligence to strive and align each child to the light-speed changes in Singapore education system.