Why Maple Bear?
At Maple Bear students become:
CURIOUS: Passionate about knowledge and learning.
CONFIDENT: Deeply aware of their talents and potential.
INDEPENDENT: Prepared to lead their own lives, and decide their own paths and destiny.
ANALYTICAL: Able to think freely & shape their own beliefs.
FLEXIBLE: Adaptable in a world where change is the only constant.
CREATIVE: Always motivated and enthusiastic about asking “what if?”
PREPARED: In possession of the knowledge and tools necessary for an outstanding performance at college, at work and in life, in their home country or abroad.
GLOBAL: Bilingual and culturally literate for a global future.
Maple Bear Singapore has been developed from the ground up by Canadian and Singaporean early childhood education experts, incorporating the very best of both countries’ practice.
Similar to that of the United States, the Canadian approach is based on a child-centered and activity-driven methodology. However, the Maple Bear curriculum is designed to achieve specific and measurable outcomes in respect to literacy and other subject areas, such as maths and science, through a purposeful and intentional approach. In particular, the Canadian curriculum and methodology supports the learning goals and educational standards set in the Common Core. And finally, Maple Bear places a heavy emphasis on social and emotional development because learning cannot take place without it.
According to the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Canada is ranked among the best performing education systems in the world and the PISA 2015 results show Canada as #1 in the English-speaking world in science, math and reading. Canada consistently out ranks the United States and the United Kingdom, often by significant margins. Canada also has smaller than average gaps between high and low performing students.
Maple Bear is unique because it is based on immersion learning which is different from more traditional language instruction. Maple Bear stands out among other immersion and language programs because its system is proven in 16 different countries.
When is the best time to start a bilingual education?
The research is clear, the younger the better. There is a definite window of opportunity when learning languages is the easiest. Up to the age of 7, children can learn a new language more effortlessly. As development progresses, this window of opportunity begins to close and further learning has to be gained through hard and more traditional learning. Other studies have also shown that children who learn a language before the onset of adolescence are much more likely to have native-like pronunciation.
Immersion students will speak language naturally and will be able to manipulate and utilize words in any context. By contrast, rote learning may cram a large vocabulary into a child, but he/she may only use them in a specific sentence or context.
So what are the benefits of bilingual education for young learners?
For a start, it’s very good for development of a second language, a goal of many of our parents who chose Maple Bear for their children. Young bilingual learners have also been shown to have:
- better concentration, analytical skills and multi-tasking capabilities;
- they learn to read sooner than monolingual students;
- they have an increased sense of self-worth and identity;
- they have the ability to live abroad and learn other foreign languages later in life;
- enjoy exposure to more than one culture which leads to a global perspective.
The Maple Bear learning environment is structured so that the children learn language in a natural way, the same way in which they learned a first language.
Play is the serious work of children. Children are naturally curious about their world and are eager to learn about it. They need to manipulate, explore, and experiment with real objects.
Through play, children clarify information, integrate ideas from their previous experiences, and explore and experiment with their environment. Play also gives them the opportunity to add knowledge, learn new skills and practice familiar ones. They learn to deal with their feelings, interact with children and adults and resolve conflicts. Here’s where their imagination and creativity flourish, which is a crucial step to helping them develop problem solving skills.
All Maple Bear Early Childhood programmes emphasize play and play-based learning as a critical component. Whether the children are learning language, developing literacy, exploring numeracy or discovering the natural world, they do so through activities and experiences that are play-based.
Maple Bear teachers understand that young children are naturally effective learners if they are allowed to explore, discover, experiment, pretend and create in play-based environments. Teachers therefore plan and provide activities and experiences that nurture and develop these natural learning responses.
Selected Maple Bear Singapore centres offer Bear Care, a programme that accepts infants from 6 weeks of age.
Bear Care recognizes that the infant is a capable and active learner. The infant does not need to be “taught” lessons or content. The infant is respected as an already very competent learner, and is allowed, and encouraged, to explore, play, discover and practice in ways, and on a schedule, that best fits his or her emerging abilities, interests and skills.
Schedules are arranged to best meet the needs of the infant. The infant’s day will have consistent and predictable routines, few transitions, and lots of time for repetition and practice. Infant programs cultivate an “unhurried” atmosphere.
Maple Bear provides learning environments that keep the infant safe while allowing for exploration and discovery. Spaces and places have developmentally appropriate toys and furnishings that will accommodate the needs of crawlers, walkers and almost-walkers.
Maple Bear recognizes the importance of the family. Daily communication between parents and program staff ensures that the well-being of the child remains a priority.
Maple Bear schools benefit from our distinguished academic faculty of Canadian trainers, curriculum writers and quality assurance personnel.
The Maple Bear program is a living, breathing curriculum that is constantly being updated. We have a large faculty of experienced teachers and education administrators that we draw upon to develop new curriculum, new training materials and methodologies and school policies. We undertake periodic student assessment at schools to benchmark student performance.
Maple Bear provides continual professional training and support for our teachers. Trainers from the Maple Bear Faculty mentor teachers and introduce them to the latest pedagogies and instructional strategies.
Every Maple Bear school undergoes an annual inspection that covers everything from safety equipment to classroom performance. On a regular basis and drawing on the experience of training staff in schools, we review and update our curriculum to reflect the latest developments in the field of education and changes in local regulations and requirements. All Maple Bear schools have clean, secure facilities and low student to teacher ratios.
Our goal is to establish quality schools that will provide an excellent education experience to students for generations to come.
The Maple Bear Programme
All instruction in the Maple Bear Preschool follows educational principles which have made Canadian practice so successful:
Outcomes are defined: Learning is targeted to achieve very specific learning outcomes. It is clear what the children need to learn.
Canadian performance standards are applied: Canadian performance standards determine the learning outcomes. Maple Bear students are expected to achieve performance levels similar to Canadians.
Curriculum development for English-language subjects is done in Canada by Canadian experts.
Canadian style teaching strategies are implemented: Canadian teaching strategies encourage student independence, strong literacy skills, higher level thinking and problem solving.
A sophisticated set of learning resources are used: Learning resources include books, manipulative materials, visual materials, electronic media, and computer technology.
Assessment of student learning is based on Canadian standards. In all cases, Canadian programming exceeds the requirements of local elementary education authorities in each country.
Bilingual immersion methodology is used in Maple Bear schools to develop competence in languages. This means that children learn to listen, speak, read, and write in both English and Mandarin by surrounding them with conversation and instruction in both languages. In Singapore, our students are immersed in English, plus a specially developed Mandarin curriculum that strongly emphasizes on bilingual language and literacy. Children learn in both English and Mandarin right from the first day.
By the end of Senior Kindergarten, Maple Bear students will be able to
- communicate effectively in both English and Mandarin by listening and speaking
- have a good understanding of alphabetical symbols
- read basic text in both languages
- use phonic strategies to approach new words
- use writing strategies appropriate for beginners
- use and respond to media
Preschool Core Curriculum
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfill their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future opportunities. Maple Bear sets high standards to ensure children’s readiness for elementary school. Maple Bear gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provides the right foundation for good progress through school and life.
English Language Arts
By the end of Senior Kindergarten children will communicate effectively in English by listening and speaking, will have a good understanding of alphabetical symbols, will be able to read basic text in English, will be able to use phonic strategies to approach new words, will be capable of using writing strategies appropriate for beginners, and finally, will be able to use and respond to media.
Personal and Social Development
Children will learn to share, to respect others, to listen, and to understand that people have different talents and functions in our society.
Children will demonstrate curiosity about the natural world, demonstrate knowledge of characteristics of common materials and identify cycles in nature using techniques of observation.
Children will understand colour, shape and use of media to express ideas. They will be able to describe responses to music, art, drama and dance.
Physical skills and well-being
Children will develop physical skills (such as balance and flexibility), an awareness of health and safety rules, an understanding of sharing, taking turns, cooperation and socially acceptable behaviour.
Children will become problem solvers. They will learn about patterns in the environment, number concepts, comparisons, sets, basic formal operations (e.g. adding and subtracting), 2-D and 3-D objects, simple graphs, basic measurements, estimation and basic probability.
Language development and acquisition
Children enter Maple Bear School with some basis in their home language. In learning their first language children pass through several stages in predictable order: listening, developing understanding, speaking, reading and writing. Successive stages begin while preceding stages are still in development. When Maple Bear children learn English as a new language their development in English proceeds through the same stages in the same sequence as in learning their first language. Research shows that learning two languages at an early age offers both linguistic and cognitive advantages.
Immersion methodology is used in Maple Bear schools to develop competence in English. This means that children learn to listen, speak, read, and write in English by surrounding them with conversation and instruction in English. Children learn in English right from the first day.
Literacy, which includes listening, speaking, reading and writing, is one of the most important goals of the Maple Bear program.
Bear Care Infant Programme
Bear Care, the Maple Bear infant programme, recognizes that the infant is a capable and active learner. The infant does not need to be “taught” lessons or content. The infant is respected as an already very competent learner, and is allowed, and encouraged, to explore, play, discover and practice in ways, and on a schedule, that best fits his or her emerging abilities, interests and skills.
The Bear Care programme understands that strong attachment between the infant and care-giving adults is critical to healthy growth, development and learning. Infant programs are organized to ensure that environments, experiences, activities and routines have relationship building as the starting point. The care-giving teacher is the most important part of the learning environment for the infant.
Bear Care places the infant at the center of the curriculum. The design and development of curriculums is based upon knowledge of the sequence and milestones of infant development combined with an understanding of the present needs and interests of the individual infants.
Infant programmes cultivate an “unhurried” atmosphere and the schedule is arranged to best meet the needs of the infant. The infant’s day will have consistent and predictable routines, few transitions, and lots of time for repetition and practice.
We design learning environments that keep the infant safe while allowing for exploration and discovery. Spaces and places have developmentally appropriate toys and furnishings that will accommodate the needs of crawlers, walkers and almost-walkers.
Maple Bear recognizes the importance of the family. Daily communication between parents and program staff ensures that the well-being of the child remains a priority. Please go to “Find A School” for more information on the Maple Bear centres which provide the Bear Care Infant Programme.