Ms.Alison Euler Interview - Founder of Baby Buddies and Alison's Letterland (Part 2 of 4)
The Unique program that are available here at Alison’s Letterland and Baby Buddies
A = founder, Alison Euler
J = host, Justine
J: Do you want to talk about any unique program that are available here at Alison’s Letterland and Baby Buddies?
A: Yes, for sure. We focus on our language and literacy programmes, which is the Letterland Phonic Programme and also the Get Reading Right Programme, which is used in the majority of international primary schools out here in Hong Kong as well and it really gives the children a kick start to their early reading and writing skills. For our Mandarin programmes, we have something called the Go Chinese, which is fantastic. It’s actually tailor made for us at Baby Buddies and Letterland. It’s set on the computer, it has Mandarin teacher’s songs, stories, action games, and it translates automatically from English and Mandarin. The best thing about this programme is, as well, that the families can follow it throughout at home and then they can just enjoy the Mandarin learning journey together as a family. We also have some traditional anthem songs that we sing at Baby Buddies and Letterland, such as our tidy up songs, our snack times songs, our please and thank you songs, which are a huge hit with all our families; and our Sticky Kids exercise routines that we use every day that get people geared up to start with us at Baby Buddies and Letterland.
J: How about we have you speak a little bit about what a day at Baby Buddies and Letterland is like? What do the students and the children here get to experience while they’re here?
A: Well every class that we conduct, it must include all the 7 areas of learning related to the Early Years Foundation Stage. Also, they’ve also got different levels of education, because obviously we’ve got younger children and older children. But our timetables in all our settings are very, very similar. So the children will come in and the first part of the day is always playtime, to give the children a chance to warm up. They can choose from any activity they want to play with. Then we tidy up and then we have group time, which is a lot of language experiences. So we have singing, story time, and obviously for the older children, we have a group discussion and we talk about what we are going to be doing for that day. Then we start out first activity time. Now for us, with international schooling, the arts and crafts is such a key part of learning for children. Even when the children are 1 at Baby Buddies, we really get them to engage in this experience. They get to put their hands in the paint or whatever. So that’s a bit about our arts and crafts activities and we also do a lot of texture play as well, which can be jelly, shaving foam, custard powder, chocolate sauce, and the children just love these activities. We know as educators, that it just helps the children with their basic mathematical skills and most importantly, about logical thinking as well. So when we’ve tidied up all our messy activities then we’ll have a snack, which is some fruit and water. Then after that, the children have the opportunity to have quiet time to look at books with the teachers and with their peers. Then after that, we go onto the next academic activity. Now this is, the academic side for us, the most important part, is the practical side of learning for preschool children. We do encourage them to color in an activity sheet, for our older children to start doing creative writing. But whatever our children put on paper, it doesn’t matter what it is, they get so much praise from us because obviously it encourages them to come back and do it again. Now the end of the day, we have some songs, some action games, and then each child gets a sticker, which has a star on it. It’s all very positive reinforcements to say what a great day they’ve had. You know, we can’t wait to see them again the next day to have another great day with us. So it’s all very, very positive. Each day they may have a language literacy, and then they have like, one day it’ll be mathematics, one day will be about knowledge and understanding of the world. So they have different kinds of activities going on throughout the days.
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