Wellington College China’s Founder and Chairman, Joy Qiao, said, "Education is more like agriculture, not industry. Every child is like a seed. You offer them sunshine and rain, provide a suitable temperature. Whatever kind of flower they become, that is who they truly are.” At Huili School Nantong, we believe that every child is a natural learner; even in early childhood, they are naturally curious, imaginative and keen to explore.
A great education is not simply the act of imparting knowledge. It is the creation of conditions that can support a child’s autonomous learning. During childhood development, three factors are essential in supporting a child’s learning journey: teachers, environment and parents.
Family education plays a vital role in a child’s development. We encourage parents to cultivate their children's independence early on. Trust them to make their own decisions, learn from their mistakes and actualise their full potential.
For example, parents can start from the ‘zone of proximal development’. First, try to understand what your child can accomplish on their own. Then, create as many opportunities as possible for them to develop further. If they are already able to get dressed, encourage them to zip or button up their clothes as well. If they can fetch a toy from the shelf, ask then return it when they are done playing with it. Other ways of encouraging autonomy include having them help set the table or clear the dishes at mealtimes. Or you can include them in family discussions. There are countless opportunities in everyday life to cultivate your child’s confidence and independence. By making your home an environment of trust, your child will find their own direction and become an active learner. The results will amaze you.
In our Nursery, teachers observe the pupils’ behavior and assign projects according to their interests and hobbies. Our Nursery curriculum covers nine major areas of early childhood learning and development. The developmental zones include personal, social and emotional development, communication and language (Chinese and English), and physical development. The specialty development zones comprise reading and writing (Chinese and English), mathematics, world knowledge, and arts and design. Three special courses (PE, art and music) are also included. To develop the child's personal, social and emotional skills, a challenge is made every week by the teacher and the pupil together. In the list, goals in mathematics, art, handicraft, reading and writing, sports, or any chosen subject can be made. The teacher will spot the children who have difficulty completing the challenges and guide them to complete a specific task together.
Our teachers will help our youngest pupils develop the confidence to be autonomous and make independent decisions. They explore their surroundings and learn through trial and error. For example, before daily outdoor activities, the teachers will ask the children to open the windows, feel the temperature outside and then choose suitable clothes themselves. Such activities effectively build a child’s self-awareness and decision-making skills. The teacher facilitates, guides and encourages the children throughout this journey.
The environment is the third “teacher” in the children’s development. As such, our staff will introduce our pupils to different materials and environments to stimulate curiosity. For example, children learn mathematics through activities such as playing with building blocks. By sorting them or stacking them, they engage with shape, color and size.
There will be special learning areas where our pupils can develop a love for music with access to a wide variety of musical instruments — tuned, percussion, Chinese, Western. Our library will feature a wide variety of multimedia resources that will broaden their horizons. In daily lessons, teachers will use these resources for activities such as story time.
Outdoor activities are also important for children's learning and growth. So, we have carefully designed our outdoor play area and sports facilities. They will get to run, climb and jump, explore and experience the change of the seasons through the grass and the trees. The integration of indoor and outdoor activities creates a diverse and comprehensive learning experience.