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The Yellow House Preschool at Dunearn Road is a preschool that takes in children from 18 months to 6 year olds. Located conveniently by the main road, the school has a balanced mix of expatriates’ children as well as of locals’. I conducted an interview on the 21st of May with one of the educators who has been working in the preschool for six years. Throughout the ten questions asked, it is clear that the top three most distinct principles of Nurturing Young Learners that the centre upholds are Integrated Approach to Learning, Engaging Children in Learning through Purposeful Play and Authentic Learning through Quality Interactions.

The Yellow House practices the principle of Integrated Approach to Learning by keeping in-tuned with the children’s interests (and through incidental learning), placing them under a theme, and broadening their knowledge of the topic across the different subject domains. Research by Piaget (1969), Vygotsky (1962), and Bruner (1960) justifies integrated approach to teaching and learning. This research establishes that learning is an eminently integrated course which cannot be freely detached into domains such as numeracy, science, and literacy.

The centre does not only practice Integrated Approach through dispersing the theme across different subject domains but also by ensuring that there is a continuity in learning at home. Educators would update the parents weekly on what their children are learning and encourage them to informally teach their children at home with suggestions such as reading relevant books, watching more videos or conducting science experiments together. According to the Ecological Theory, development mirrors the influence of environment systems. The microsystem is the direct environment the child lives in which includes any immediate relationships, such as their family, friends and teachers. The interactions of the child with these people affect the child’s development; the more encouraging and nurturing these relationships are, the better the growth of the child will be. (Bronfenbrenner and Morris, 2006). Parents can construct a home environment that administers boost and encouragement apt for their children’s developmental level (National Education Association, 1996; Quigley, 2000; Simmons, Stevenson and Strnad, 1993). Researches imply that when schools collaborate with families to enhance learning, children tend to excel not just in academics, but holistically (Henderson and Berla, 1994; Christenson and Sheridan, 2001).

Another principle that the Yellow House Preschool advocates is Engaging Children in Learning through Purposeful Play. Educators administer the exposure of unstructured and spontaneous child-initiated play experiences to the children. Hence, classroom layouts must also be favourable for play. Educators set up spacious areas for playing with two or more peers in an area where they will not be interrupted. Careful attention is paid to the size and space for frequented interest areas such as dramatic play and block corners. The Yellow House is also equipped with stimulating materials to boost and attract children into play with materials that are open-ended which spurs creativity. The constant revision of developmentally appropriate materials is important so children can be objective in selection to avoid boredom and frustration from materials that are too challenging. Children also need flexibility to explore the materials and environment based on their enthusiasm.

Ample sections of time (45-60 minutes) in the daily schedule are also allotted for play so children may develop play scenarios, get organized, and then execute their plan (Rice, 2014). The everyday schedules in preschool classrooms whose focal point is on academics and formal education readiness usually do not expose children to the exploration of meaningful and relevant activities (Nell and Drew, 2013). When children are frequently made to choose another centre or to proceed to another play, they are not granted the chance to interact with the materials long enough for their problem solving skills – that requires persistence and engagement – to flourish.

Play innately drives children to discover themselves and their environment. Play is the preeminent medium for the advancement in terms of imagination and intelligence, language, social and motor skills necessary for holistic success (Kalliala, 2006.; Frost, 1992). Children build up knowledge through play by fusing their ideas and insights with experiences and perceptions (Reynolds, 1976). As Rogers and Sawyer (1988) mentioned, "until at least the age of nine, children's cognitive structures function best” (p. 58). Hence, this is the optimal period for children to learn and discover the