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ISKL’s Early Childhood Program Sparks Creativity and Ignites Wonder

Published by SchoolAdvisor on May 05, 2020, 09:39 AM

“A provocation is an invitation for children to learn, to create, and to build – using different materials that are open-ended and hands-on. We want our students to think and wonder about all types of possibilities,” says Rhonda Griffin, an Elementary School Prep Reception teacher at ISKL who is spearheading the Learning Celebration program along with fellow teacher Jasmine Teh and the rest of the team here at The International School of Kuala Lumpur.


 “A learning celebration starts from the moment the students walk into the classroom. As we interact more and more with the children, we will get to know who they are, their interests and their skills,” she adds.

After completing the first term, the Prep Reception/Prep Junior (PRPJ) faculty team identifies the common interests of students and begin the process of making their learnings more visible.

For ISKL’s youngest learners, learning is about inspiring curiosity and learning through play and the Early Childhood Program (Prep Reception, Prep Junior and Prep Senior) is based on development of the whole child with social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and creative skills cultivated through learning experiences and activities within structured and creative learning environments.

When you mention the words "Provocation and 3 years old", one would imagine a crossed-arm child saying "No, I don't want to!" , but in ISKL’s educational jargon, especially for Early Childhood, a Provocation is something deeper and much more positive. An integral part of ISKL’s early childhood education, Provocation is the intention to provoke thoughts, ideas and action in our youngest learners.

Students are guided by the principles of ‘The Melawati Way,’ which incorporates ISKL’s code of behavior that encourages students to focus on ‘Taking care of yourself, Taking care of others, and Taking care of this place.’

“These beginning provocations observe how wonder is sparked and created in even the youngest learners – through intentional, open-ended learning experiences and engagements. Our students have gone through a two-month process of investigation, inquiry, and a discovery of living ethically,” says Rhonda.

“We provide whole group provocations through in-class engagements, field trips, mixed-age interest groups, individual and collaborative work. Their learning will culminate with a Learning Celebration in April where all of their handmade artworks and assignments are all on display for everyone to come and see”.



Students attend three different provocation events early on in the second term, where they learn to apply the principles of the Melawati Way.

The first Provocation event is based on the first Melawati Way principle, where they learned to take care of others, and the topic they chose was endangered animals and conservation.  

The second Provocation was ‘to take care of this place’, through which they chose to be community helpers by helping ISKL’s cleaning crew, where they had a fun day out, and the last Provocation was where they learned about ‘taking care of yourself’ - and dinosaurs and their extinction was the main topic.

In February, all the PRPJ students were brought on a field trip where they were split into mixed-age groups of students aged three, four, and five years old and visited places around the capital city based on their interests.

After a vote, the top three places chosen were the National Zoo, the National Science Museum, and the Hang Tuah Fire Station.  

The group who went to the National Zoo focused on ways that they can help save endangered animals - to bring awareness to their plight.

Students who visited the National Science museum were treated to an animated dinosaur display where they got to explore, touch, see and hear the sounds of dinosaurs. The students also took part in activities such as making dinosaur origami, exploring dinosaur bones, and watching a movie on volcanoes and interacting with Dino Rangers.

For the Hang Tuah fire station visit, fire marshall Encik Mohad talked about fire prevention and safety. Students got to wholly engage and experience activities such as going on a fire truck and using a water hose and how to “stop, drop and roll” in case of a fire.

Rhonda concludes that the whole purpose of Provocations is to nurture children to be critical thinkers, to problem solve, and to be creative, as is outlined in the School-Wide Learning Results (SLRs).

“The reality is that our children are powerful and competent, and they have so much information to share. Let’s instill these ideals while they are young”.

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