Considering the significance of ability at different developmental stages and learning patterns of young children, TotalChild curriculum, with its learning objectives, inquiry based methodology and holistic programs, aims to enrich childhood life with arts, music, exploration and creativity.
Our programs are designed to meet the needs of multiracial and multilingual Malaysian society by incorporating three main languages, that is, English, Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin. English is the medium that covers major areas of learning such as mathematics, science, arts, health and social studies.
Friday is Play Day!
“Birds fly, fish swim, and children play.” Garry Landreth (2012)
“Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.” Albert Einstein
The initial establishment of Play Day is based on the humanistic viewpoint that “Every child has the right to play”. There are already an abundance of research that proves that children live and learn through play. Play has the following benefits:
Freedom of choice
Brain development (develop healthy neuropathways)
Develops secure attachment and building relationships (with teachers, peers and parents)
Promotes major development and life skills (social skills, communication skills, motor skills, problem solving skills, risk taking)
Encourages creativity and self expression
At TotalChild, children just play on Friday. Imagine how powerful to own that freedom (and decision making) to roam outdoors, make believe, indulge in sensory experiences, chit chat with friends and just be yourself. This almost uninterrupted play provides children a safe space for exploration, making mistakes and regulating emotions. Teachers play the role of an observer and facilitator. Most importantly it is a relationship building for everyone in school and this matters.
Thematic Circle Time
Everyone brought their favourite breakfast to school for a presentation. There were sandwiches, apples, bananas, fried noodles, roti canai, hard boiled egg, “mua-chi” (dumpling), yogurt, “kuih” (steamed cake), popcorn and many more. The children couldn’t wait to share what they have got. They were also busy checking out what others have.
This is a typical scenario of a thematic circle time whereby children learn about food, health and culture. With the active role that children take in this learning experience, they already embark on the journey of sensory stimulation, curiosity and exploration. Thematic Approach is an integration of different learning areas in a meaningful way. It is like having different ingredients like health, language, mathematics and art in one big cooking pot. With young children, being able to relate their personal lives and being on hands-on is an ever meaningful learning journey to them.
Arts and Art Appreciation
For many, art in a classroom is seen as a finished product made of paint, clay, or collage materials. At TotalChild, art making is seen as a channel to express self, feelings and conceptualise ideas. We emphasise on the process of engagement in art that is reflective, creative and deliberate and that deepens and extends the children’s learning.
We believe in connecting the left and right hemispheres through creative expressions and specific body movements. Children get to be involved in various forms of arts including “Paint Play” (process painting), “Body Play” (rhythmic and creative dancing), “Yoga Play” (aligning with self), and creative art making using a range of media.
The “Young Researcher Project” (Project Approach)
Our Kindy 1 and Kindy 2 children are involved in the “Young Researcher Project” (YRP). YRP is not merely a project that children get excited about, it is a platform and a space to let children think, express, create and make mistakes. Children are actively involved in investigation, discussion, review, and finally consolidation and realisation with the guidance of the teacher. Throughout the process, children’s ideas and efforts are taken seriously, which in turn helps building confidence and positive self-esteem in children.
There are opportunities to collaborate among children in the project. Children learn to work together by communicating effectively and relating to each other. They learn how to synergise and how to achieve goals together. The topics cover individual interests, family relations, the community awareness and also the global issues. Although young children are little, yet they have the rights to determine what is important in their lives including the environmental issues that will affect their future.
Documentation of Learning
We use documentation to make learning visible to children, parents, teachers and the community. It is a story told and the celebration of learning, achievement, reflections, cultures and values. Children’s learning processes including their questions, ideas, understanding, perspectives, decision making, discussion are recorded and shared with them in the classroom. They are also documented in the digital format like photos and videos to be shared with parents and in the social media like Facebook postings to shared with the community. Parents are invited to be an important participation in their children’s learning including being a guest teacher, attending a showcase of drama production, exhibition or games, and volunteering in school events.