Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee, together with Dr. Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport and Grassroot Advisor to Sengkang West joined several other VIPs from Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and NParks to sponge paint the image of a butterfly to officially mark the opening of the Skool4Kidz Campus at Sengkang Riverside Park on 25 July, Wednesday, 2018.
In his speech during the official opening ceremony, Mr Lee said that the government would bring such outdoor learning experiences to other childcare centres, including smaller ones located in HDB premises with designs that “enable children to access the outdoors easily and safely”.
He also made a news splash by announcing that five new large childcare centres would open in Sengkang and Punggol before by the end of 2020, to provide an additional 2,600 childcare and infant care places in the two estates.
After the official opening ceremony, the Minister toured the campus that is spread over 4,000 square metres to accommodate 460 children. Skool4Kidz provides holistic learning to help develop children into wholesome individuals who are healthy and strong, socially-emotionally confident and environmentally responsible.
He had the opportunity to join and mingle with the children in their class sessions, including coding activity, learning at the community garden, KidzPatch.
At the ceremony, Dr. Jane Ching-Kwan, curriculum founder and director of Skool4Kidz shared that learning in the park has to be different on many levels. On top of that list is to help the children and teachers cultivate wonder about our green environment but with a respect for what we find. Skool4Kidz have developed an intentional nature curriculum that focuses in 2 areas: Learning in the Park and Learning about the Park.
Everyday, children get to engage with nature either outdoor or in the campus’ garden atrium and butterfly lodge. There are also play corridors with safe and sheltered cycling tracks that allow for discovery of a plethora of educational materials on Singapore’s biodiversity for the children to be in touch with nature.