Recently, The Finder asked five sets of parents and children: “What’s your favourite thing about going to EtonHouse International Pre-School Mountbatten 718?”
The answers ranged from “Happy, patient teachers who love what they do” (one dad of a 3-year-old boy) to “I love the swings, so I can feel the wind” (a 5-year-old girl). But, as you can see in “The Finder Asks the Families” video here, the families’ enthusiasm was genuine.
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“There is a wonderful sense of community at Mountbatten 718. It is a privilege to be the principal of such a warm and welcoming school,” says Principal Elizabeth Townsend, who had 10 years of educational experience in senior leadership in the U.K. before moving to Singapore and joining EtonHouse in August 2018.
Just take a look around the school’s 6,050-square-metre campus, which includes a playground, swings, sand play area, children-tended garden plus a naturally shaded tricycle track and much more. Or, peek inside its inspiring Art Atelier, Light Space, Library and light-filled classrooms, where a love of learning is fostered – intended to prepare little ones for the 22nd century.
Find out more about the preschool’s unique community in our gallery, below, including how it offers a great through-train option (i.e., children can go from Pre-Nursery at Mountbatten 718 through High School at other EtonHouse schools around SG). Keen to learn more? Email or call to book a school tour today!
Along Mountbatten Road in Katong, one of Singapore’s heritage neighbourhoods, the school’s leafy grounds and historic buildings are a welcoming sight. These days, the campus has been turned into a Reggio Emelia-inspired learning environment for children aged 18 months to 6 years.
Amongst the parents and children interviewed by The Finder, all loved the campus – in particular, the “spacious outdoor areas”, “unique facilities”, “open spaces so the kids can run around and explore” and simply the “playground”, according to 2-year-old Aarya Biyani.
Principal Elizabeth shares, “There are so many exciting and engaging experiences for the children around every corner. The environment helps us make deep connections to the learning that takes place, and both families and staff have a beautiful community space to come to every day.”
“We are very proud that Mountbatten 718 has achieved both the SPARK and IB accreditations. This means that we are quality assured by both local and international standards,” explains the principal of its Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (SPARK) and International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) offerings.
Plus, she notes, EtonHouse’s preschools have developed a strong approach to transdisciplinary, inquiry-based learning. “Children learn through meaningful contexts, with high standards and outcomes being achieved without a worksheet in sight.”
For parents like Katherine Allaway Thayre – mother of Ava, 5 – that translates to learning that is “always fun” for the children. “They are given some independence in each task, so it teaches about choices and responsibility.”
Most of the children and parents we talked to mentioned the diverse student and staff population as a big draw. As 6-year-old Oskar Fancy’s dad, Ali, explains, “The mix of nationalities is teaching our kids to see past skin colour, nationality and religion, and just enjoy playing and learning with each other.”
Singapore’s various EtonHouse schools pride themselves on diversity, and the Mountbatten 718 campus is no exception: It has students from more than 23 nationalities. And, that’s quite feat, given that the class-sizes are kept especially small – its student-teacher ratios are lower than Singapore’s Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) requirements!
“We believe it is important to be proud of who you are and where you come from, but also to demonstrate empathy and respect, and to value other people’s perspectives,” says Principal Elizabeth. “These are all essential attributes of being a citizen of the world.”
“I like Chinese – learning the letters,” says 6-year-old Nina Yamada. “I can say ‘good morning’.” Her father, Yuzo, adds: “There are many creative places at EtonHouse to learn art, science, culture.”
Its high-tech-meets-low-tech Light Space (shown here), for instance, offers sensory experiences and experiment opportunities a plenty. In addition, its IB PYP programme prepares children to be confident, open-minded lifelong learners.
From its Pre-Nursery little ones to its Kindergarten 2 students, Mountbatten 718 aims to provide them a “broad, balanced and holistic education,” says Principal Elizabeth. The ultimate goal? “To be successful and make a difference, in order to ensure stability and sustainability in our ever-evolving world.”
The most common question Principal Elizabeth says she gets from prospective parents is about the pathways between EtonHouse schools from preschool to high school.
“Here at Mountbatten 718, we offer seamless transitions from our Pre-School to the Primary phase at the Broadrick campus, following the children’s graduation in Kindergarten 2,” she says. “EtonHouse @ Orchard offers the complete pathway from Primary to High School.” (Watch The Finder‘s video about this new and exciting, centrally located school.)
For the principal, this is the most rewarding part. “It is wonderful to see the social, emotional and academic progress that the children make throughout their time at the school,” she says. “I truly hope that every child who graduates continues to grow up to be happy and successful in all that they do.”
By Sara Lyle Bow, January 2019