Canadian International School goes big on outdoor learning

The outdoor discovery centre at Canadian International School's Lakeside Campus includes sand and water areas, a sound garden as well as a herb and vegetable garden.
The outdoor discovery centre at Canadian International School's Lakeside Campus includes sand and water areas, a sound garden as well as a herb and vegetable garden.PHOTO: CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Amid stiff competition for pre-school pupils among international schools, the Canadian International School opened an outdoor play area this month at its Lakeside Campus to enhance its kindergarten programme.

The 2,011 sq m discovery centre in Jurong West is intended as an outdoor classroom for play-based learning for children aged between three and six.

It includes sand and water areas for children to learn mathematical concepts such as measurement. It also has tunnels made of dirt and a sound garden, which encourages children to interact with chimes and buckets mounted on a wall.

The school hopes that such "purposeful play" and outdoor activity will spur the children's brain development and motor skills.

 

Communications and marketing head Michelle Sharp said: "Early childhood is an incredibly important time for children. A lot of them are growing up in condominiums and don't get a lot of opportunities to play or learn outside."

The school also hopes that the play area will teach the pupils environmental consciousness. It has a herb and vegetable garden growing edible produce for the children.

"Only by interacting with the natural world can children appreciate and learn to care for our environment," said vice-principal Andrea Strachan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2015, with the headline 'Canadian International School goes big on outdoor learning'. Print Edition | Subscribe