Did you know that 90% of brain development occurs in the first 5 years of life? At Hatching Dragons, we want to make the most of those years! We encourage each child to learn at their own pace, whilst developing social skills and an appreciation for multiculturalism and diversity.
As the world grows closer, we want to harness every opportunity to help children prepare for the future and we think that language education is the way to go. Bilingual and bicultural immersion present the opportunity for children to develop strong foundations in the social and cognitive skills that they will need to face up to any challenge.
With a bilingual education, children become more creative, empathetic, confident and adaptable. For us, English and Chinese are the starting point and we understand that parents might have some questions about this.
Our Approach to Early Years
We follow the principles outlined in Development Matters in the Early Years Framework – and the 2020 update – on the guidance on how to track, model and assess children in our setting. We deliver this through a mixture of child-led learning and adult initiated, or focused activities, as the children mature to preschool.
Children need to play to make sense of the world around them. Whether they are learning about culture, socialising or technology, children use play to repeat actions, test ideas, and confirm what they already know. That is why we use a learning through play approach.
As children get older and move into preschool, there is a greater need for the educators to be “active”. They need to find a balance between what the child is capable of achieving and learning on their own and what needs to be introduced by teachers.
The characteristics of effective learning
There are a set of behaviours we have noticed in children who develop well in their learning environment. We call them the characteristics of effective learning and we encourage them through many different types of activities, both child and adult let.
How we approach bilingualism day by day
A key element to our approach is consistency: the longer children are exposed to a second language, the better the linguistic outcome. Families who start earlier and commit more time, will have greater chances of acquiring fluency in a second language. Therefore children benefit from our bilingual practices every day:
- Consistency of Exposure: we employ a 50:50 immersion model to assist in primary and second language acquisition.
- Key Worker Deployment: each age group benefits from a lead practitioner in each language, who will only speak their native tongue with their key children through day to day activities.
- Talk & Sing: vocal interaction with children happens at all ages and we use talking and singing so that our children learn to mimic the sounds we make when we speak!
- Rotating Weekly Routine: the weekly timetable of focussed activities rotates responsibility from the English speaking Key Worker to the Chinese speaking Key worker throughout the week. This allows equal ownership of the activities in the curriculum.
- Thematically Aligned Learning: children follow our annual plan of activities in both languages, where they will learn about values, experiences and themes.
At Hatching Dragons, we employ music to nurture language and communicative abilities. We know how important nursery rhymes are to our children and we have our own book of songs in English and Mandarin!
How do we track our children’s development?
These are made to provide a starting point of the child’s level of development when he / she joins our nursery.
Key Workers make a comprehensive, high-quality observation every week that is linked to the child’s next steps.
Every term, our nursery managers send these to parents, to track the child’s developmental progress across the 7 areas of learning.
Forget about the endless search for a good nanny. This is how we guarantee that you will get the best childcare at home.