It was popular pedagogue Loris Malaguzzi who said, “The wider the range of opportunities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences.” He is the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach, which has championed experiential, student-centred learning in the early years of education since the 80s. It involves appealing to a child’s curiosity to guide his learning.
Teachers facilitate exploration in this method, allowing students to take charge of their interactions. Their environment is key to the experience, of course. A multisensory environment with various learning tools is the perfect setting for accelerated learning, which breaks the boundaries of traditional learning by emphasising individual purpose and passions. It draws out each child’s natural talents early on, allowing teachers to identify and hone them into lifelong skills. These principles are very much alive at these international schools:
Just a 10-minute drive from Orchard Road, the Early Learning Village (ELV) at the Australian International School, Singapore (AIS) was designed specifically for children aged two months to five years old. Learning here is guided by inquiry. This is based on the philosophies of Reggio Emilia and the IB Primary Years Programme, which align with the principles of AIS.
Occupying a space within the ELV is the Infant Care Pod — a stimulating, safe space for babies and infants to take their first steps. Teachers adapt to each child’s needs by getting to know their preferences and routines. This involves establishing a trusting partnership with their family, so as to match the care little ones receive at home.
We know that children discover by playing; therefore, they are encouraged to pursue every curiosity under the watchful eyes of trained staff. When they move on to preparatory school, teachers scaffold learning with resources and activities that capture that inquisitive spirit.
Early years learning at AIS provides a safe, supportive space for children to investigate the world around them. This shapes authentic children who are fiercely independent yet deeply connected to their community. When it’s time to progress to primary school, students transition seamlessly from the ELV thanks to a sharing of values across the two campuses. Join the AIS team at the Online Open House or book an online consultation session to see how your child would fit here.
It may be Asia’s only girls’ IB Continuum School, but Branksome Hall Asia nurtures both little boys and girls in its co-ed Junior School. The first stage is the Early Years Programme, which kickstarts the educational journey with a structured, play-based approach. It sets the foundation for problem-based, technologically-driven learning in later years.
The focus areas for Junior Kindergarten Prep and Junior Kindergarten classes include communication and culture. For example, the English and Information Technology departments work hand-in-hand to develop and accelerate language acquisition, allowing children to pick up the basics of English, Korean, and Chinese.
Collaborative teaching and learning is also a major theme at Branksome Hall Asia. This can be seen in the meaningful school projects put together by faculty and students from junior, middle, and senior schools. One project, called “Empty Bowls,” raises awareness on hunger and poverty. Not only did it initiate thought and engagement, but it also taught students that they could improve the lives of others. Powerful lessons such as these may reach students at every level thanks to direction from experienced educators.
Students here love the magnificent facilities, which include an Olympic-size swimming pool and official football-size AstroTurf Field. There are dance studios, tennis courts, even a driving range, completing the charm of this boarding school in South Korea’s Jeju Island.
Shaping reflective, engaging citizens begins in the early years at Brunei’s leading British international school. A green, clean and safe haven for children, Jerudong International Schol welcomes children from all over the world to find their interests and talents through day-to-day learning.
Junior Years at Jerudong International School begins with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) from the UK, which covers nursery, kindergarten, and reception. Here, students are nurtured to begin speaking, writing, and reading through engaging language programmes. They also move, play, act, and investigate throughout fun-filled days.
Beyond that, the sense of community is evidenced by strong peer and class support systems. Older students team up with younger students to become models of good behaviour. Students are encouraged to use their voice in classes and assemblies. These opportunities prepare children for constructive interactions in the future while empowering them to embrace their own identity.
As stated by a British Schools Overseas Inspection representative: “The quality of teaching and learning in EYFS is outstanding because of the detailed understanding that all teachers and support staff have about each student. This understanding is underpinned by a culture of high-quality care and respect that enables every student to flourish and grow.”
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International