Bilingualism – How do we do it?
People often ask how we would teach their child Mandarin and make sure that their English doesn’t suffer. After all, you might not speak Mandarin at home…won’t they get confused?
Quite simply, no. Your baby will benefit from direct interaction from both English speaking and native Mandarin speaking early years specialists in equal measure, following the 50:50 immersion model employed by most bilingual nursery settings around the world.Essentially, dual language acquisition works best by maximising exposure to both languages in the authentic context of everyday life for the children. Our bilingual nursery staff deliver this by simply employing both languages throughout each step of the child’s daily activities – songs might be sung in Mandarin and others in English, calligraphy might be delivered in Mandarin but other expressive arts in English…in all things, we hope to achieve a pure 50:50 split of Mandarin to English so that the child gets an equitable exposure to both.
The sooner you start the better. But don’t take our word for it. There are an ever increasing number of bilingual nurseries and nursery schools throughout the UK that prove the bilingual approach. And whilst we might be the first bilingual Mandarin daycare provision in the UK, the model is prevalent elsewhere in the world. The US has over 180 bilingual Mandarin immersive schools (nursery and otherwise) and in Singapore (the country with the highest PISA student score in the world) it is the norm. For more information on the benefits of bilingualism, click here for our briefing note
Monitoring & Reporting
Staff take an active approach to monitoring your child, both in terms of the language they are acquiring and in terms of their broader development as set out in the EYFS. Staff undertake on-going formative assessments to inform what activities and planning they need to undertake to encourage children to learn. This is codified in an cyclical approach to monitoring and assessment that links:
We know how important parents are in the equation and don’t presume to know your child better than you do. In order for children to develop to the best of their abilities, we need to have an active and regular dialogue with parents as to what the children are learning at school, so that you can take an active role in continuing that learning at home. And vice versa. We do this by sending regular, daily digital updates, along with photos and commentary of what your child has done and achieved every day with us through a platform called dayshare.
For more detail on who we are, what we do and how we plan to do it, please see our extended brochure by clicking on the image below