Callidus Preschool: A mum’s review

(This article first appeared on theAsianparent)

Callidus Preschool is a warm, homey environment that inspires creative learning in children. Read a mum's review here.

Choosing the most suitable preschool for your child is an exciting decision in life. After mapping out the list of schools, perspiring under the scorching sun and concentrating on a few to choose from, somehow it’s always that good first impression that matters.

We are gob-smackingly lucky to live in a city where many amazing schools dot our neighbourhood with enriching curriculum. But to us, our gut feeling counts when you meet a passionate preschool founder in early childhood education.

From what we experienced yesterday at the newly set up Callidus Preschool, here’s what you need to know about this homey kindergarten in Bishan.

Warm and Cozy Environment

Our first encounter with the founder of Callidus Preschool, Mrs Claire Ng, who graduated with a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College, made us realize that she is indeed more than just a teacher. She has contributed years of teaching and leadership experience in early childhood education before she decided to set up Callidus Preschool, hoping to provide a responsive, engaging and caring learning environment for every child.

Even before we stepped into the preschool cozily tucked under Block 229 of Bishan Street 23, we noticed wall murals of adorable cartoons at the stairway to their entrance. It felt like hopping into the whimsical rabbit hole from the story of Alice in Wonderland – bountiful surprises await!

With the bi-lingual welcome sign at the front door, we entered into a cozy, vibrant, airy and spacious compound. The enclosed classrooms were brightly lit with charming handicraft hanging from the ceiling.

Flower pots line the shelves, windows and pathways which mapped out into an exceptionally well-organized environment. Large colourful floor mats are laid in every classroom for children to sit and play comfortably. We were very impressed that safety gates and railings are installed at stairwells and all exits to ensure safety of all the children.

Curriculum Approach

Mrs Claire Ng and her team of highly trained and experienced teachers aim to provide an integrated, holistic and well-rounded education program for children between 18 months and six years old.

The curriculum is structured based on the principles of the following approaches – Multiple Intelligence, Active and Holistic Learning, Inquiry-Based Learning, and Learning through Play. Character building is a major part of the curriculum and it focuses on developing positive traits so that children can grow into confident, passionate and independent learners.

They recognise that no two children are the same. Therefore a wide variety of meaningful learning experiences are provided to meet the different learning needs.

To connect learning to real-life situations, there are various learning centres such as one for pretend play where kids get to don costumes of a fireman, policeman or a doctor!

Besides the use of concrete materials in classroom activities, kids get authentic learning experiences through field trips or learning journeys. With the advantage of nearby outdoor play venues such as the playground and Bishan Active Park(merely a stroll away from the school!), the kids can enjoy fresh air from the surrounding lush greenery and the chance to develop their locomotor skills while having fun.

The Learning Environment

According to Mrs Claire Ng, the enclosed classrooms were built to promote a more conducive environment which allows children to learn in a tranquil and calm setting for better concentration during lessons.

It’s clear that she is passionate about what she does as she exercised her meticulous nature to make sure all areas are well-thought of for the kids – from the air purifiers and air conditioners that remove haze components (PM2.5 particles and airborne bacteria and viruses) in the classrooms to the child-safe finger guards on all door hinges.

To support kids in reaching their full learning capabilities, children at Callidus Preschool are given numerous opportunities to explore and discover different areas of learning.

The school also believes in keeping a low teacher-child ratio for better quality of care and education. Lessons for the little ones are kept fun and interactive by using a variety of concrete teaching materials, supplemented with digital devices, audio and visual media, as well as language boards to enhance learning and to get in tune with the digitally savvy generation.

Parents’ Corner

If you are a concerned parent actively involved in your child’s development, you will surely appreciate Callidus Preschool as it supports and encourages active parent involvement in the children’s learning. This is what really sets Callidus Preschool apart from the neighbouring schools, as you will be regularly updated on your child’s learning and development.

Personally I was once again impressed by the lovely Parents’ Corner brimming with readily available parenting books and magazines for parents to chill and relax, while waiting for their kids to end the day. This corner provides a haven for new parents to cast away any anxiety before letting their kids enjoy the independence without their company.

If you want to know more about life at Callidus Preschool, head down to their Open House this Saturday, 4th June from 9am to 2pm. It will be a fun-filled day with attractive door gifts, cotton candy and popcorn. You can also enjoy early bird promotion with savings of up to $155!

Registration is now open for playgroup, nursery and kindergarten.

Please visit the following links for more information:

  1. School Program – calliduspreschool.sg
  2. Video tour around the school – https://youtu.be/67t5kwHf1EI
  3. Early Bird Promotion and Open House –http://www.calliduspreschool.sg/open-house.php
  4. Registration and fees – http://www.calliduspreschool.sg/registration.php