Q&A with Tanglin's Head of Nursery

Q&A with Tanglin's Head of Nursery
Q&A with Tanglin's Head of Nursery

Our Nursery's child-led approach to learning enables us to respond to and encourage our children's interests and curiosity.

Here, Victoria Thomas, Head of Nursery, tells us more.

What is the educational philosophy of the Nursery? How does this support children's learning and development?

We offer a well-rounded education which plans for children's individual development rather than just rote-learning. Children develop the skills they will need for the rest of their learning journey at Tanglin and beyond. These include creativity, imagination, problem-solving, curiosity, collaboration and communication.

Children can choose activities carefully planned by the teachers that are developed to complement the needs of each child. This enables us to respond to and enhance the range of activities based on what children do with the activity and their next personal steps.

How do you help children to settle in? How big is the Nursery?

The Nursery has a 'small-school feel' within a big school. It's on its own floor and has individual classes of 20 children. Each class has one teacher and two teacher learning assistants, plus shared areas within the Nursery unit so there is plenty of interaction across classes too.

It is a warm, welcoming and stimulating environment. We support children in developing their routines in a safe and secure way. Children form established relationships with staff, other children and their environment, quickly becoming confident, happy and settled.

My child isn't British but I understand your curriculum is. How much of what they learn is relevant for children who won't go back to the UK education system?

In Nursery, we follow the UK's Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum.
Prime areas of learning and development are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

Specific areas of learning and development are:

  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive art and design

Although our curriculum encompasses elements of the English National Curriculum, it is developed to reflect the needs and circumstances of our children and our international location, including cultural events, holidays, and our children's experiences and home life.

What activities are there for children?

As a not-for-profit school, income from fees goes back into our children's education. They can use quality indoor and outdoor facilities and resources, for example searching for bugs in the Nursery garden while researching bug facts online or in books from our classrooms and Infant Library.

In September 2017, we also opened our new Infant climbing wall, bringing along numerous benefits to a child's health, social skills and academic performance.

There are also outdoor excursions that let the children experience "real-life" scenarios like travelling on public transport and observing different environments.

Where do children eat their snacks? How do you encourage healthy eating habits?

We have a rolling snack in the classroom between 9.30-10.30am where children eat a supervised snack. This encourages them to learn when they're hungry.

We also have snack catch called 'Fruity Friday' where children can try different fruits. Each week children advertise the snack catch to encourage everyone to have a try!

What is the drop-off and pick-up window? How does the bus drop-off and pick-up work?

Children are dropped-off between 8.45 – 9.00am. They can go home at 12.00pm, or stay for an extended day until 1.40pm for car pick-up and 1.50pm for bus pick-up.

Tell us about the Nursery team at Tanglin. What experience do staff have working with very little children?

The staff at Tanglin's Nursery are qualified professionals who are passionate, patient and have a genuine care for children. They have experience of teaching in Early Years settings in British and international schools and continually keep on top of the latest education research and methods.

Many are also parents themselves so can support families with issues that come up such as bedtime routine, behaviour in and out of school, and healthy eating, just to name a few.

How does the Nursery encourage a close home-school link?

Tanglin has an open-door policy and encourages a close home-school link. Parents are invited to a series of open classroom sessions throughout the year where children can share their learning with their parents. We also hold two more formal Parent Teacher Consultations. Parents can access an online interactive diary that journals the progress of their child, with regular updates.

There are also volunteering opportunities for special events and school trips, as well as reading and cooking with the children.

What Awards has the Infant School achieved?

We are the first school in Asia to be awarded the Early Years Quality Mark from the UK. This is a rigorous process performed by Ofsted inspectors which recognises the quality of our Early Years unit.

Our most recent British Schools Overseas (BSO) inspection confirmed the overall quality of education in the Infant School to be outstanding.

As a member of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), our school has also been awarded the prestigious kite mark of quality.

If you would like to find out more, you can register for our Introduction to Nursery event on 9 November at 9.00am.

"You have made us so happy with our decision to go to Tanglin. Thank you for the best ever Nursery experience we could have wished for." Infant Parent.