18 Aug, 2014
10 : 00
Before the start of each school year, Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers from all of the Yew Chung International Schools (YCIS) in China gather for a two-day conference on Early Childhood Education. This month, the annual conference was held at YCIS’s Regency Park Campus, and was attended by more than 80 Kindergarten teachers and co-ordinators from all YCIS locations in China.
The conference this year focused upon “The Unique Child,” and how each child develops in their own way. Throughout the two days, ECE staff explored how an environment setting should change as children grow and develop new interests. The conference also looked at support for individual children with different personalities and levels of social skills. Throughout the two days, teachers were also able to discuss their own experiences and ideas about working with each child in their classroom.
Ms Elizabeth Randall, Superintendent of Early Childhood Education for YCIS, opened the conference with awards that were presented to several teachers, celebrating that they had been carefully selected as Master and High Potential (HiPo) status, and she recognised the hard work of all ECE staff at YCIS. After that, various YCIS ECE year leaders shared their reflections from the past school year, and all ECE teachers met in breakout sessions for group discussions.
The conference also included a keynote speech from Dr Shari Rosen, Speech and Language Pathologist and Founder of Essential Learning Group, who discussed the link between play and language development, something of critical importance to the YCIS ECE programme. Ms Randall later shared, “At YCIS, children are at the heart of the early years programme, where play helps them experience the joy of learning. Our co-teaching effectively facilitates the bilingual learning environment where both Chinese and English languages are equally valued. Each class has an experienced early years team, comprising one English speaking and one Chinese teacher who plan together for the learning needs of individual children. They provide an enabling environment where children interact naturally, feel comfortable about their own identity, language, and culture, and begin to move easily between cultures.”
Professional development, like the ECE Conference, is a critical aspect of attracting and retaining high quality educators at YCIS, as well as ensuring the same high quality messages and approaches are used consistently in each classroom. Additionally, many YCIS teachers participate in trainings worldwide during their summer holiday. The ECE Conference and other external trainings help keep YCIS a global leader in international education, and ensure that all children are given a unique education experience to develop their own individual skill sets.