Parent Seminar for New Joiners

March 2021

Thank you for attending our parent seminar for new joiners presented by the Chief Principal of Think International Kindergarten/Nursery and Think International School. The following is a summary of the presentation for your reference. Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Aims of the Seminar

  • To learn more about Think International

  • To find out how children learn in the early years

  • To understand how to facilitate children’s learning and development

  • To know how to communicate with the school


 

About Think International

 

We have three bilingual and one trilingual international kindergartens/nurseries suitable for children aged 2-6 years, and one IB world school for children aged 3-12 years. We offer half-day and full-day classes conducted in English/Cantonese, English/Putonghua, as we as all English.

 

Our school-based curriculum is developed with the aim to provide children with a pleasant bilingual pre-school education in a multicultural setting for the local children, and extend their experience gained with us to primary school education; and to provide an English speaking pre-school education for international children to prepare them for international education.

 

We strive to ensure that our child-centred curriculum caters to the learning needs and interest of children, and provides flexibility for families. Our English language learning and teaching focus on the use of English for communication purposes and achieving tasks; we hope what we do here will prepare children be global citizens, equipped with a balanced education that fosters creativity and responsibility.

 

We believe that a harmonious environment and relationship building are the basis of all learning, in ways in which children are enabled to learn through play and exploration, in the contexts of everyday life experiences. Respect for diversity and multiculturalism are embedded in the curriculum so that children are enabled to develop a global horizon starting from an early age.

 

 

About our Pedagogy and Curriculum

 

Children learn and develop at a rapid pace during the early years and gaining hands-on experiences and various learning episodes constitute the developmental process as the foundation of lifelong learning.  By providing children with a favorable learning environment, they are motivated to engage through play and meaningful activities, which provide lots of opportunities for exploration, questions and discovery. Children can make connections between self, others and the environment, and form concepts about the relationships between the self and the world. These learning cycles are repeated throughout each curricular unit, thereby creating opportunities for asking questions, making observations and finding out things about the world under the guidance of the teachers.

 

The knowledge creation and building process we endorse at Think acknowledges children's needs for learning in the 21st century.  Children's engagement in the classroom is activity-based, small group learning, where teachers take on the role as facilitators who provide lots of room to execute the exploratory learning cycle.  Lower and Upper Kindergarten children make use of iPads and interactive whiteboards regularly that help them establish connectivity with the world wide web in the learning process. Children are enabled to grow with the changes in the world, where learning not only emphasizes on what knowledge they learn, but also how they use their knowledge to change the world.

 

Children’s trajectory of learning and development starts with learning about the self, and expands to the people around them, to the community, nation, world, nature and the universe. There is a strong need to help children build up their role as a responsible global citizen and how they can contribute to building a better world, starting with what they can do as an individual. In designing our curriculum, we take into account the whole-child development of knowledge, skills and attitude.

 

In the development of children's knowledge, we focus on five developmental domains, six learning areas at our four learning progressive levels. Even though all developmental domains (language & cognitive, physical, affective & social, aesthetic, moral) have equal importance in the development of the whole-child in a balanced education, there is a lot of emphasis in our curriculum on children's language development as we believe that language abilities form the basis of all subsequent learning in life and function as a tool for cognitive activities; therefore, at Lower Nursery we focus on providing a bilingual program in Cantonese and English that enables children to build a good learning habit that facilitate the development of other domains. In our Lower Nursery, developing an interest and confidence in using language, learning to understand instructions, saying simple phrases to express self, developing interest in reading, strengthening small muscles. form the goals of the 2-3 year-old class. while fostering listening comprehension, understanding cause and effect, expressing self in sentences, starting to make use of connectives, recognizing some words in prints, exercising pre-writing skills form the goals for the 3-year-old Upper Nursery Class.

 

Another important aspect of children's learning is the development of skills. At Think, we put emphasis on the development of the ten generic skills throughout our 2-6 year-old program. Children are guided to exercise their creativity and thinking skills, by asking questions in relation to who, when, where, what, why, and how in contexts on curricular themes and everyday life experiences. They exercise how to be open-minded, add layers or complexity to their thinking and communicate and collaborate with people in the classroom and beyond.

 

We believe that a set of healthy learning attitudes are essential to becoming a global citizen. Our kindergarten program refers to the learning goals of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program that fosters children’s positive attitudes toward learning and life in general. There are ten goals that not only children aim to progress at, adults also aspire to become role models by constantly bettering themselves.

 

We work together with parents in fostering the whole child's knowledge, skills and attitudes through our curriculum in a pleasurable, balanced and meaningful manner.

 

 

About Home-school Communication

 

Children participate in class activities organized by each thematic unit.  Families are well informed about children's ongoing progress through formative assessment upon completion of each unit.  We also communicate with our families through regular publications of handbooks, topic outlines, monthly newsletters, Think Gazette, in addition to assessments at end of each curricular unit and school term.  

We foster home-school communication via different channels, such as school office’s WhatsApp, school and teachers’ email, school blog and website.  Families are encouraged to connect with the teachers and office staff often to facilitate communication.  

There are two parent-teacher meetings per year.  Activity photos of each child are collected and given to parents as examples of learning.  Parent seminars and workshops on different topics, such as primary school admission, preparation for primary one admission interviews, curriculum briefing are offered to inform parents on various topics in education.  Further, curriculum briefing for each class is held near the beginning of each school year to lay the path of learning for the school year.  And for children who may require additional support in learning, we arrange professional onsite learning support on a needs basis.  

Tentative curriculum briefing schedule 

  • New joiners briefing (June)

  • LN-UK curriculum briefing (August - for all)

  • Introduction to UN curriculum (August - for LN class)

  • Introduction to LK curriculum (March - for UN class)

  • Introduction to UK curriculum (May - for LK class)

 

Examples of workshops held for each class

  • LN Messy Play

  • UN Story Mom and Dad

  • LK Phonics and the 5Ws

  • UK Using ICT to facilitate learning

Seminars and workshops are organized to address different topics related to learning and development of children, e.g. dealing with emotions, enhancing executive functions and learning motivation.  Professional onsite support for diverse learners is arranged on families' needs-basis.  

 

 

Articulation to Primary Education
 

Many families at Think choose to articulate to local primary schools in Hong Kong, including private schools / Direct Subsidy Scheme schools, government and aided schools; however, some families will choose to continue primary education in international schools.  

With reference to our data in July 2020, the breakdown of our children entering each stream is as follows: 

  • 50% government or aided primary schools

  • 39% DSS or private schools

  • 11% international schools 11% international schools (of which 25% continue their learning journey at Think International School)

We appreciate your taking time to read this summary.  Please feel free to contact your campus if you need further information.   

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