August 15, 2016
Just before the start of the school year, Early Childhood teachers from Yew Chung International (YCIS) Schools across China gathered together at YCIS’s Regency Park Campus for training and to share best practices and ideas related to Early Childhood Education (ECE) learning. The two-day conference included presentations from different schools, group workshops and talks by renowned early childhood educators.
The theme of this year’s annual ECE conference was, “How We Are Responding to Young Learners’, an important aspect of YCIS’s ECE philosophy to use children’s interests to steer the educational programme.
“At YCIS, we trust that our children are competent young learners who are able to explore, ask questions, and test hypotheses about the world around them. The teacher’s role is to guide, challenge, inspire and support children as they learn and develop”, says Bernadette Silcock, ECE Coordinator at YCIS Shanghai’s Hongqiao Campus.
Teachers from a number of YCIS schools were invited to present techniques that have found to be successful in their classrooms, and ideas were shared and discussed during breakout sessions as inspiration for teaching methods the attendees could incorporate into their own classrooms.
“Co-Teachers from YCIS Qingdao, for example, shared that they had been inspired by a presentation during last year’s conference about using small group sessions to offer engaging language experiences,” says Silcock. “They showed how they had taken this concept and adapted it for their own setting, and went on to present new ideas that other teachers could learn from.”
One of the major benefits of a symposium such as the YCIS ECE Conference is the ability to create a wider support network for Early Childhood teachers. Silcock notes that, “When the schools from different regions come together we are able share the good practices and development our teams have made from year to year. Teachers and leaders form connections from different schools and are able to reach out for continued support throughout the year”.
Silcock explains the importance of ensuring teachers have access to ECE best practices and continual professional development, saying “More and more educational research is becoming available from around the world about the importance of education in the Early Years and what we can do to support the long-term academic and social success for our children. As professionals, the teachers at YCIS are eager to remain abreast of these developments so we can continue to offer a top quality Early Years environment for our children.”
YCIS provides all of its staff with ongoing professional development opportunities to ensure students benefit from the most up-to-date educational practices and pedagogy, and the Early Years Conference is an excellent example of this commitment in action. For more information about our ECE programme of learning at YCIS, please click here.