“Children learn as they play. Most importantly in play children learn how to learn."
- O Fred Donaldson
Overview - Creating all-round individuals
We teach children about themselves and the world around them, drawing upon the best pedagogical philosophies of early childhood education that focus on natural learning through play and exploration.
How Mulberry House came into being
The golden age for a child to develop languages is 0-5 years old (see Dr. Charles Nelson’s brain development chart).
Starting early and learning through human interaction are both key for learning and embracing the language as a native. Jessica Ye Trainor founded Mulberry House in 2015, after searching unsuccessfully for a progressive Mandarin immersion Pre-school for her own children. Living in a English and Cantonese dominant environment, she wanted her children to be fluent in Mandarin Chinese and have the opportunities to learn and actively speak in Mandarin and understand the culture.
Mulberry House has since then formalized its own curriculum CELF and MandarinSMART, guided by the UK EYFS learning framework and the literacy programme from Beijing Normal University. This comprehensive curriculum is aimed at developing children’s speaking fluency as well as building a strong foundation in Chinese literacy (500+ high frequency words during the preschool stages). The teaching style is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, the leading pre-school learning methodology as described by the World Bank.
1. Reggio Emilia - the leading pre-school learning methodology
The Reggio Emilio approach was created in Italy over 70 years ago; today it is recognized by the World Bank (view video intro) as the leading pre-school learning methodology.
- Children are driven by their interests to understand and be curious.
- Children understand themselves and the world around them based on their interactions with others.
- Children experience the power to express themselves fully through drawing, dancing, singing, speaking and creative role play and these form part of the "100 languages of children". When they can indulge all of these senses in such a learning process this is when they learn best.
The Mandarin language and culture immersion approach is our unique way of giving children a natural and native learning environment.
- Children learn Mandarin with us through fun, interactive and engrossing activities. Most often they learn without realizing they are using Mandarin as the only medium of communication!
- Immersion learning infusing key Chinese art and culture elements, is the most essential way to build children's contextual understanding.
- We capture children's attention by creating vivid visual impressions of life objects, props and drawings, bringing stories and themes to life, and fostering the inquiry based active learning journey.
3. Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Early Years Foundations Stage (EYFS) is a framework from the United Kingdom that sets standards for learning outlines and developmental stages for children from 0 to 5. Mulberry House teaches children new study units every two weeks, and follows the seven key learning areas.