There is something miraculous about watching a child develop. Before you know it, the toddler tottering around your living room will be strapping a backpack over his or her shoulder and waving you goodbye on his or her first day of school. However, so much is actually going on in their bodies and minds. Did you know? A child’s brain experiences its most dramatic growth spurt from birth until the age of 5.
Parents should not underestimate the importance of a solid foundation in early childhood. The notion that a child’s brain is like a sponge is cliche, yet true. This is the reason why early childhood educators are very dedicated about promoting a child’s growth and development because it really sets the stage for a child’s success in the future.
At Global Indian International School (GIIS), the Global Montessori Plus programme (GMP) aims to do just that. This award-winning programme offers a blend of the world-renowned Maria Montessori schools’ approach to preschool methodology with the best practices of modern education.
What makes this programme stand out is that it is the only international preschool curriculum of its kind and is based on five solid pillars that will give GIIS’s preschoolers a strong foundation in their student life. The GMP was pioneered by GIIS and easily elevates the school’s status as one of the best preschools in Malaysia.Through its targeted programming, the GMP not only fosters development of cognitive, expressive and motor skills, but also induces a sense of social responsibility, cultural awareness and environmental consciousness. These are all key components of GIIS's holistic pedagogy, which include an accelerated curriculum, multi-faceted learning, structuring blocks of time for play and helping to prepare children for the future.
Most preschools understand the importance of basic literacy skills for their young, developing minds. At GIIS, they place great importance on the acceleration of these basic skills with special emphasis on excellence through their ‘Excelerate Programme’. Not only do students become fluent in language through listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, they are also taught numeracy skills in a fun and interesting way. GIIS’ focus on building up a child’s sense of independence has produced fast and eager learners from a young age.
Despite the focus on accelerated learning, the GMP programme by GIIS also recognises that every child is different. Their tried and tested Thematic Learning methodology was created with the aim of keeping each child’s individuality in mind, which results in tailor-made interactive activities for them. The GMP programme seeks to nurture the students’ inherent personalities and help the steady growth of their intellectual capacities. This holistic approach aids in the all-round development of GIIS students, even at the preschool level.
What is early childhood education without play? It is essential for kindergarteners especially, to play for their physical, social-emotional and cognitive development. The GMP programme strives to create the right environment for students to interact and learn. They are given the choice of what, how and whom to play with under thorough expert supervision. The play approach is structured at encouraging students to accumulate information and assimilate it into their daily lives which in turn inculcates a sense of independence, cooperation skills and self-management.
It’s so important for children to think of the larger picture that is beyond themselves. Making GIIS students aware about their community and the environment is a major part of the GMP programme. Through activities like planting trees or flowers, and charity drives, students are taught universal values of compassion, kindness and giving. Interacting with community members enables the children to bond with others which also helps them understand the importance of honesty, punctuality and integrity. These qualities are strong character-building foundations for a bright future ahead.
It’s never too early to expose children through NextGen Learning that involves technology. The Future-Ready Programme under GMP exposes children to online preschool and helps them understand and adopt key disciplines of the 21st century. The programme also includes a dynamic, hands-on approach to learning Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), which aids them in developing a passion for these subjects through active participation, encourages their creativity and polishes their critical thinking.
The success of the programme lies in the feedback given by parents, especially during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures.
Rajesh praised the teachers for keeping the online class momentum going and appreciates the school’s efforts. Sapna Sridhar commended the school’s great initiative in easing her own challenges in guiding her daughter and son at home.
“I would like to thank the school for taking such a good initiative to educate parents first and then starting the classes for students. Thanks especially to teachers who are guiding us 24/7,” said Sapna.
Latha Mathan Babu showed appreciation for the professionalism, compassion and focus of the entire GIIS team. She acknowledged the benevolence of the kindergarten team for keeping up the motivation of not just the children, but the parents too throughout the closures.
Balamouraly Nagarajan singled out Teacher Punitha for her flawless conduct of her online classes for his son, Naren.
“The classes are conducted systematically, at the right tone (not too strict or too lenient), very punctual and well-organised. Hence, we find it very useful, comfortable and productive even though it is conducted online and can see good results in our son’s learning ability,” he shared.
The Maria Montessori method is not a new concept to parents. What is compelling about GIIS’s GMP is its customisation of Montessori's world-renowned teaching methodology. By integrating the original theories with contemporary research and insights, the GMP programme infuses fundamentals of formal learning with the latest innovative learning tools. Their methodology offers unique and unprecedented growth and development opportunities for students, not to mention developing them in every way, be it academic or otherwise.
When it comes to encouraging children to be all-rounders, GIIS utilises the 9 GEMS Holistic Education Framework, an innovative, balanced, adaptive and age-appropriate award-winning practice for all-round student development which aims to transform students into well-evolved personalities.
Holistic education has numerous benefits for children and teenagers alike. It helps them discover their identities, learn from the community and world connections around them and sharpens their critical thinking skills through projects that engage real-world issues. Children and teenagers also are able to face challenges with high resilience and possess better communication skills and increased levels of confidence.
As students’ progress, they continuously discover themselves and expand their learning horizons through academic excellence, sports mastery, visual and performing arts, personality development, innovation and creativity, entrepreneurship and leadership, universal value and ethics, community and care and skills development.
GIIS highlights academic excellence first and foremost, but also focuses on other aspects of student life and overall growth, such as the ones mentioned above. These competencies help in vocational and career progression beyond school years. Even while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, the 9 GEMS approach is still practiced in and out of the classroom.