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End of Term Letter – Term 1, 2018

Dear Parents,

It has been a busy first term at White Lodge and we are most happy with the successful launch of the new initiatives. We are very proud of the monthly White Lodge Times created by the children from our Kindergarten class.

Our children continue to amaze us with their keen interest to learn while having fun at White Lodge. The children’s wonderful learning experiences are a testament to our wonderful curriculum and shared vision. As leaders of the school, we work hard to inspire and educate our team on the need to embrace best teaching practises to ensure excellent duty of care, teaching and learning daily. It is important to highlight a few activities that have brought us fun, laughter and pride to our school community. Please check our website and Facebook pages regularly for more updates and photographs on events that have taken place over the last few weeks.

We have noted the need to improve our communication and will be making greater efforts to ensure prompt updates. We will be doing a trial programme at a few centres with a new communication tool. This is to help our teachers manage their time better and to send prompt updates and messages to all families.

The change in teachers are beyond our control as there are many contributing factors. White Lodge provides a good work environment with excellent benefits but has a demanding curriculum that may be challenging for teachers. We are in a constant state of growth and expect our team to teach creatively and to ensure a strong foundation for successful continuation at primary level. Our teachers are provided a minimum of four professional development sessions to help them teach better. However, sometimes teachers are used to a routine and are not supportive of new changes that benefit children and their learning. We will continue to do our best as we value our members of staff greatly. We are appreciative of their hard work and contributions. I will take over all communication with regards to changes in teacher placements and you can contact me directly at hanah@whitelodge.edu.sg if you have any further queries.

Below is a summary of the learning opportunities and experiences provided at our schools in Term One 2018: 

Summary

The term started with the unit on Dinosaurs, the evolution and extinction of Dinosaurs, their habitat and characteristics of the big creatures that lived millions of years ago. The younger children in our Playgroup and Pre-Nursery classes learned about Reptiles and Amphibians and enjoyed many wonderful tactile and sensory activities.

Then, we moved on to Colours and Shapes in the Environment and ‘Celebrating Math’ through Nursery Rhymes and Stories by Eric Carle. This was further extended into Buildings and Architecture for the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten age groups. The kindergarteners concluded the term learning about famous mathematicians, using different drawing techniques in their art projects. They learned about the development of numbers over history through great stories.

We end Term One with ‘Values Week’ to celebrate cultural diversity in line with our school values. Children were actively engaged in a variety of activities and experiences to bring more meaning to our values – Keeping It Real, Celebrating Differences, Respecting our World, Love for Learning and Encouraging Imagination. Values are difficult to discuss, especially with young children, but teaching values consciously starts with considering what our values are and finding ways in our daily life to introduce them appropriately. Through stories like ‘Çhocolate Me’ by Taye Diggs, the teachers introduced the need to share similarities and embrace differences from a young age.

The Mandarin listening stations are a hit with the children from the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes. We are witnessing children taking great pleasure in listening to stories with interesting sound effects, music, and narrators who embellish their storytelling with silly voices and dramatic enhancements. This is especially motivating and fun for young children. Listening to a book being read helps children to see how the words on the page can come alive in a fluid, expressive way. It helps them focus on the sounds of words read without interruption and provides a model of fluent reading in another language. 

Units for Term 2 at a Glance

The upcoming term will be an opportune time to weave and integrate awareness of self and the environment we live in into the curriculum.  Term Two will see us through the units of Rainforest, Community Helpers, Farm and new activities on Values.

As the children’s learning progresses, we move on to explore the biological, geographical and sociological aspects of their lives. This new aspect is tied in with familiar and immediate experiences and interests. The children will learn about the basic components of their environment which is in line with their growing awareness of self in relation to others. The first of such component is the unit of Rainforest, which will allow children to learn more about their environment. The children will discover various living things found in the rainforest and will also learn to care for the environment and for other living things.

Then we will continue to focus our attention on learning about the human environment. The children will uncover the units of ‘People in My Neighbourhood’ in their immediate environment and the roles they play (Playgroup and Pre-Nursery), learn about the different community helpers based on their ‘Occupation’ (Nursery), explore the dynamic relationships between the various occupations within a common place of work, and understand how their roles affect each other through ‘People and Places of Work’ (Pre-Kindergarten) and about the cultures, philosophies and important values pertinent people in history have shared with the world through our focus on  ‘Global Leaders’ (Kindergarten).   

We shall conclude the term with a focus on the unit on Farms.  Farming is important for our life. Farm animals produce many things for us. Our children will learn about the different farm animals, their names, sounds, and their homes (Playgroup and Pre-Nursery) through songs and rhymes. They will learn about the farm animals and their young ones (Nursery), the different types of farms and the farm produce from animals and crops (Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten) and how it translates into reality from a farm to the table (Kindergarten).

Events next term:

School Photography 16th to 27th April 2018:

School photographs serve as a window to your child’s early childhood journeys. It provides an opportunity for them to remember their lovely friends and teachers from White Lodge. To cherish these growing up years, we will be organising a school photography session in April between 16th to 27th April 2018. We have appointed a new external photographer to coordinate the event. The photographs will be a lovely memento to document your child’s time with his/her classmates.

Sports Day/ Family Games Day, Saturday, 28th April 2018:

Sports shape our lives in powerful ways. Participating and training for sports provide children valuable focus of their time and energy and can be one of the most amazing tools available to teach the “real world” skills of teamwork, commitment, working hard to win and learning from losses. A Sports Day/Family Games Day is an ideal opportunity to help children learn and apply the significance of physical movement in their lives. We will take this opportunity to promote the feeling of wellbeing as we continue to promote physical literacy. Do join us for some movement breaks and exercises and a friendly competition on Saturday, 28th April 2018.

Art Exhibition and The Big Sing-
White Lodge’s Arts and Music Festival, 15th to 17th May 2018:

“Art is a way to encourage the process and the experience of thinking and making things better!”

When children are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives. Learning to create and appreciate visual aesthetics may be more important than ever to the development of the next generation of children as they grow up. Keeping this in mind, every year we celebrate the children’s talent in visual arts with a focus on an art technique. This culminates in a creative display as we organise an Art exhibition. We will be working with the team at Da Vinci Singapore known for its arts curricula which combines the arts and neuroscience, that engage children’s senses and stimulate their creativity, abstract thinking and problem solving using real clay. 

The Big Sing 

With the recent launch of the Jolly Music program in our school, the children have been enjoying a repertoire based on playground rhymes and songs. They are gaining awareness of musical elements including pulse, rhythm, pitch, loudness and speed. Through a wide range of activities and musical games that support multi-sensory learning, the singing lessons are carefully structured to build the key musical skills of listening, singing in tune, inner hearing, and ultimately reading and writing music. Along with Uncle Mo, the children will be sharing songs from Mama Goose this May. More details will be sent out shortly.

Next term will be another fun filled term with numerous events taking place. Our children’s school lives are packed with activities, all of which support their development. We will continue to work together to offer exciting experiences which are truly memorable. As parents, you play an exciting role in extending the learning at home. Your partnership and feedback is greatly appreciated and warmly welcomed.

For those of you who are travelling, we wish you a safe journey. For those leaving us, we hope your experience at White Lodge has been positive and will give you many happy memories for years to come. It only remains for me to wish you a wonderful term break. From all of us at White Lodge, happy holidays.

Best Regards,

Raihanah Raimi
Curriculum Manager
White Lodge Education Group Services Pte Ltd.

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