This week in our regular HEAD Space feature we talk to Jackie Barkham of the wonderful Kindergarten & Early Learning Centre, Swallows & Amazons.
How long have you lived in Singapore?
Just over 20 years.
Who or what inspired you to get into education?
Having 3 children of my own made me better realise what I was looking for in an early childhood setting for them. It made me convinced that education was not about front loading knowledge. Instead, it should be exposing all children to as many learning experiences as possible in a enquiry led play based early learning environment that celebrates differences and caters for everyone. One that encourages independent learners, perseverence and risk taking.
When you were at school, what was your favourite subject?
What has been your favourite school moment this year?
The preschoolers visited the Lion’s Home for the Elders in Bishan for Chinese New Year. They performed some songs and dances in Mandarin infront of the residents. Then they had tea with them and sat and chatted to the residents about all sorts of things. In particular, it was great to see an elderly women sitting with two of the children giggling together and be deep in conversation.
If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?
That would be fun. I would probably like to sit in to the British Government and the EU during their Brexit negotiations.
What is your favourite all-time movie?
A difficult question. I have a lot of movies that I really enjoy but if I had to pick one I would say it would be Forest Gump. Maybe it is because I rewatched it again recently but I thoroughly enjoyed it on so many levels.
Tell us about something you always have on your work desk?
A Union Jack porcelain Gromit statue (from Wallace and Gromit).
What in your opinion is the best thing about your school?
The staff. From the School office, admin and accounts to all the teachers and teaching assistants. They are lovely people, committed in providing the best ealry learning environment possible for those in their care, professional, caring and incredibly taled and good at what they do.
And lastly, what or where is your favourite place/hidden treasure to go on the “Little Red Dot”?
Tanjong Beach with my dog.
We believe children should have fun. Play is essential for children to develop high-level social strategies as well as physical and mental skills. Then learning isn’t a chore. It becomes self motivating, fun and interesting. At Swallows and Amazons, we put the EQ into IQ. The teachers know why, when and how they can help ‘play’ become an enriching, meaningful learning experience. Children can fulfill their potential by becoming confident, independent individuals with high self-esteem and with the skills and tools at their disposal for all their future needs.
To find out more about Swallows & Amazons, please reach out to us here