Preschooling in an international school is no foreign concept; the question is whether most parental figures are aware of it. In Malaysia specifically, it is merely a custom for them to enrol their child to a kindergarten or Montessori. Amusingly, after the child outgrows preparatory stage, they send their child to an international elementary school where the next step of the child’s development proceeds. What some parents may not realise is that some international school provide preschool and early education programme; therefore, parents do not have to transfer their child to a different environment again.
Child development can be group into early education and natural improvisation. Early education is when the children are encouraged and stimulated using an adopted curriculum which is supported by a teacher or instructor. Natural improvisation relies on the child's’ own capability to comprehend and improve based on their surrounding.
Early education is not globally mandatory but is widely implemented and is believed to contribute most to a child’s development. Early education is further dissected into two parts, preschool (age 3-4) and reception/kindergarten (age 4-5).
Early education is provided by public institutions, non-profit and private organisations, kindergartens, early year child centres and international schools. It promotes a foundation for learning, a structurally safe setting, elementary school preparation and analytical learning. This programme introduces the children to essential reading and numerical values within a safe yet non-constrictive environment. This environment must be able to stimulate children’s imaginary perception, inquisitive nature, and support their physical endeavours. The product of this education is a knowledgeable, socially competent, physically healthy and well-balanced children before they reach the next step in elementary-level.
1. Global thoughts & diverse cultural exposure
In an international school, students are exposed to new cultures and expected to assimilate which motivates acculturation; they grow in personality and encouraged for extracurricular participation. They also developed for problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Preschool further reinforce the base for child development by enhancing self-awareness and self-worth. Preschool teachers are to improve the child’s meta-perception into global acceptance and tolerance. Additionally, international preschool/early education programme allows for parental involvement in its learning conduct, supported by a teacher on individual cares and comprehensive learning.
2. Progressing through the same curriculum but on different levels
Preschool programme for international school offers transferable curriculum without the need to change your school of choice. This move helps in incorporating the logical structure of the curriculum towards a child in the preparatory stage before they reach elementary. For instance, an international school with International Baccalaureate apply its’ structure towards preschool curriculum in the simplest form thus helping them adapt to the curriculum long before elementary-level admission.
3. Availability of high calibre teachers
International School that adopt early education bind the most benefit in terms of qualitative teaching since they grant innovative and freedom of thoughts facilitated by the best-certified early-years-teachers there are. These teachers, once being shortlisted, are handpicked based on strict core criteria; the teachers' hands-on approach to children and curriculum understanding. Some international school assess more than these two core criteria.
Often than not, parents tend to take on a rough process for the transition between preschool/kindergarten to international elementary school because either: A, they are clueless on preschool programme admissions in an international school or B, there is no preschool/early years programme offered in the nearest international school to home but there are kindergartens nearby.
International school with combined levels of curriculum from early years to elementary or secondary is doubtlessly the best choice for your child if you already aim to admit them to an international school.