With more dual-income families sending their primary school children to student care centres after school, it is important to choose a centre that fits your child’s needs.
Here’s a list of things to look out for when choosing your child’s student care centre.
1. Curriculum and Enrichment
As your child will be spending a few hours each school day, and a full day on school holiday weekdays at the student care centre, this adds up to more than 200 hours a year.
Having a robust curriculum that can meaningfully engage your child is important. These 200 hours can be well spent on helping your child grow both academically, and also in other skills that build his/her learning ability. Besides daily homework supervision, revision and in-house assessments, a good student care centre should provide opportunities to students to learn life skills and problem-solving.
For example, the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Cultural Academy’s After School Care, 午后学堂 SchoolAfterSchool, has a framework covering five focus areas – Character Development, Intellectual, Physical and Social Skills Development, and Aesthetic and Creative Cultivation.
Each day, students have an enrichment session where they learn a combination of Chinese recitation (弟子规), Chinese Speech and Drama, Creative Arts, Zumba, Wushu and more.
Where possible, lessons that relate to their daily lives are incorporated, such as teaching filial piety and good hygiene in Chinese recitations. In addition, vocabulary and phrases learnt can also be applied to their school composition and sentence completion.
2. Holistic development of your child
Besides academics, a good student care centre should provide a safe environment where your child can develop holistically in his/her physical growth, motor skills, emotional support, and moral values, among others.
In SchoolAfterSchool, students have balanced meals that include brown rice, meat and a variety of fruits and vegetables to introduce new foods into their diet. Showering and nap time for a clean and restful environment is provided too.
Team sports help to develop your child’s motor skills, teamwork, and social skills too. SchoolAfterSchool at Sennett Road organises fun sporting activities in its spacious field for outdoor games and telematches, and sports such as football and badminton.
In all of its programmes, this bilingual after school centre aims to help every child have 10 core values, which can be easily remembered using the acronym THE CREATOR.
3. Unique activities and programmes
With so many hours spent in a student care centre, what else can the centre offer to expose your child to a variety of learning opportunities that is different from the norm?
In SchoolAfterSchool, students of all ages can explore its garden and tend to the plants to grow their own food. By digging in the soil, getting dirty, creating a conducive environment for seedlings and watching plants grow, students learn new skills, have fun, play and develop self-confidence in this unique activity.
Lower primary students learn how to water and plant seeds. When they move into upper primary, students will experience a greater variety of activities such as digging and harvesting.
Gardening is educational and enables students to:
- cultivate a love for nature by learning about the outdoor environment in a safe and pleasant place,
- practise reasoning and discovery when they learn about the science of plants, animals, weather, the environment, nutrition and simple construction of scaffolds of other structures to help plans grow, and
- build self-confidence from achieving their goals and enjoying the food they have grown.
During the school holidays where your child attends student care for a full day, SchoolAfterSchool – the only bilingual speaking student care in Singapore with a focus on developing interest in the Chinese language and culture such as Chinese calligraphy, Hokkien Conversational workshops and more.
It also makes the effort to organise virtual sessions for its students where possible to engage with seniors. For example, in its last Mid-Autumn Festival virtual event, its students danced along to a fitness exercise and encouraged seniors to participate too. The students also sang some songs related to the Mid-Autumn Festival, which helped to bridge the isolation that the seniors faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
To learn more about SchoolAfterSchool’s bilingual speaking after school care programme, call 6589-9500 or visit:
This post is brought to you by SchoolAfterSchool.
By Julia Chan.
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