As a parent of two young ones, Jayne Nadarajoo realised that the childhood education curriculum in Singapore was heavily focused on academic excellence, and not on long-term intellectual and emotional growth.
“I wasn’t really satisfied with how my children were being nurtured in school,” says Jayne, a mother of now 24-year-old Saktish and 20-year-old Kenisha. With a background in early childhood and special needs education, she decided to found her own kindergarten in 1999 – and the first White Lodge location opened in Bukit Timah.
These days, the White Lodge Education Group includes eight White Lodges around SG, as well as a special needs school called Melbourne Specialist International School and recent acquisition, Invictus International School – which now gives White Lodge students a through-train option from preschool to secondary school.
What’s different about Jayne’s schools? They provide a hands-on, inclusive approach to learning, and boast an extra-low teacher-to-child ratio (from 1:6 and 1:4 at Melbourne Specialist International School and White Lodge, respectively). “We welcome children from all ages to experience learning as an adventure,” she shares.
Now that her kids have grown up, Jayne enjoys entertaining at home more, dining out at Atout at Dempsey or having date nights at Muddy Murphy’s with Ganesh, her husband of 24 years. But, her passion for improving the standard of childhood education in Singapore has never wavered – not even when she’s exercising. “I’m most inspired to make changes and create new programmes during and after a workout!”
By Sara Lyle Bow, Muneerah Bee, Melodi Ghui + Christopher Ong Ujine, The Finder Issue 300, September 2019