Comprehensive Guide to Preschool Curriculums in Singapore

Children enjoying art painting activities at Starshine Montessori

Preschool Education in Singapore

Preschool education is more than just a preliminary stage in a child’s academic journey; it’s a critical period that shapes their future learning and development. In Singapore’s dynamic and diverse educational landscape, selecting the right preschool curriculum is a significant decision for parents. This guide offers an in-depth exploration of the various preschool curriculums available in Singapore, aiding parents in making a well-informed choice that aligns with their child’s unique needs and potential.

Brief Overview of Singapore’s Preschool Landscape

Singapore is celebrated for its robust and multifaceted approach to early childhood education. The city-state offers a spectrum of curriculums, each with its philosophies and methodologies, ranging from the Montessori method, known for fostering independence and self-directed learning, to the Reggio Emilia approach, which prioritizes creativity and collaborative learning. This diversity ensures that every child’s learning style and developmental needs can be accommodated, providing a solid foundation for lifelong learning.

Starshine Montessori’s Commitment

At Starshine Montessori, we pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional early childhood education that combines the best of Montessori methods with a comprehensive academic curriculum. Our approach is designed to prime children for educational excellence, nurturing independence, confidence, and a sense of responsibility. We are committed to fostering each child’s individuality in an enriched learning environment, ensuring their all-rounded development. Our vision is to be a beacon of holistic education, nurturing future leaders who are not only academically proficient but also compassionate, curious, and globally conscious.

The Essence of Early Childhood Education

Importance of Preschool Education

The significance of preschool education extends far beyond the basic learning of numbers and letters. It is a crucial period that shapes a child’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. During these early years, children absorb information rapidly, forming the building blocks for all future learning. Quality early childhood education fosters critical skills such as problem-solving, communication, and collaboration, setting a strong foundation for lifelong learning. It also instills curiosity and a love for knowledge, which is essential for academic and personal growth.

Key Components of a Quality Preschool Curriculum

An effective preschool curriculum is comprehensive and multifaceted. It should cater to various aspects of a child’s development, providing a well-rounded early learning experience. The key components include:

  • Developmentally Appropriate Practices: The curriculum should be tailored to the children’s age and developmental stage, offering activities that are within their cognitive and physical capabilities, yet challenging enough to promote growth.
  • Child-Centered Learning: A focus on individual learning styles and paces, allowing children to explore their interests and learn at their own rhythm.
  • Play-Based Learning: Recognising play as an essential element of learning, which facilitates natural exploration and discovery in a stress-free environment.
  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Embracing diverse cultures and languages, preparing children for a globalized world and promoting inclusivity and respect for differences.
  • Focus on Social-Emotional Development: Developing skills such as empathy, resilience, and self-regulation, which are crucial for personal and academic success.
  • Active Learning Environment: A stimulating setting filled with diverse and engaging materials that promote curiosity and exploration.
  • Parental Involvement: Encouraging active participation of parents in their child’s learning journey, fostering a stronger connection between home and school.

Role of Teachers and Environment

Educators in preschool settings are much more than just teachers; they are mentors, caregivers, and role models. Their role involves creating a nurturing and inclusive environment that supports every child’s individual needs and potential. This includes:

  • Observing and Understanding Each Child: Teachers must be adept at identifying each child’s interests, strengths, and areas for growth, tailoring their approach accordingly.
  • Facilitating Learning: Rather than direct instruction, preschool teachers should guide children’s learning experiences, fostering curiosity and independent thought.
  • Creating a Safe and Stimulating Environment: The learning environment must be safe, engaging, and rich with materials that encourage exploration and learning.
  • Building Relationships: Developing strong, trusting relationships with children, helping them feel secure and valued.

Learn more about how positive teacher-child relationships can significantly boost a child’s success.

Overview of Preschool Curriculums in Singapore

1. Montessori Method


  • Child-Centered Learning: Emphasizes self-directed activity, allowing children to make choices in their learning, fostering independence and self-discipline.
  • Mixed Age Classrooms: Encourages learning from peers, promoting social development and collaboration.
  • Specially Designed Learning Materials: Hands-on materials facilitate concrete understanding of abstract concepts.
  • Teacher’s Role: Act more as guides or facilitators, observing and intervening only when necessary.


  • Develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Encourages a sense of responsibility and respect for others.
  • Fosters independence and a lifelong love for learning.

Discover how the Montessori method equips children for real-world success in our detailed exploration.

2. Reggio Emilia Approach


  • Project-Based Learning: Children engage in long-term projects based on their interests, promoting in-depth understanding and creativity.
  • Collaborative Learning Environment: Emphasizes working in groups, enhancing communication and social skills.
  • Role of the Environment: Classrooms are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, stimulating, and adaptable to children’s needs.
  • Documentation of Learning: Teachers document children’s progress to track and encourage their growth and learning journey.


  • Fosters a strong sense of community and cooperation.
  • Encourages children to express themselves creatively.
  • Promotes exploration and discovery, enhancing cognitive development.

3. Waldorf Steiner Education


  • Integrated Learning: Focuses on integrating arts, crafts, music, and movement into daily learning.
  • Emphasis on Rhythms and Routines: Establishes a structured yet imaginative routine that provides stability and comfort.
  • Holistic Development Focus: Aims to develop intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in a balanced manner.
  • Nature and Imaginative Play: Encourages outdoor activities and imaginative play, fostering a connection with nature and creative thinking.


  • Enhances artistic and creative skills alongside academic learning.
  • Promotes emotional intelligence and empathy.
  • Encourages respect for the environment and a sense of global citizenship.

4. Whole Brain Learning


  • Balanced Learning Approach: Engages both the left (logical) and right (creative) sides of the brain, promoting a more holistic learning experience.
  • Varied Teaching Methods: Incorporates storytelling, puzzles, arts, music, and physical activities to cater to different learning styles.
  • Emphasis on Emotional Intelligence: Activities designed to develop self-awareness, empathy, and interpersonal skills.


  • Fosters a balanced development of analytical and creative skills.
  • Enhances memory and retention through diverse learning activities.
  • Prepares children for a range of life situations by developing emotional intelligence.

5. High Scope Curriculum


  • Active Participatory Learning: Children are encouraged to plan, execute, and review their learning activities, fostering independence and decision-making skills.
  • Consistent Daily Routine: Includes a plan-do-review sequence, giving children a sense of structure and predictability.
  • Adult-Child Interaction: Teachers collaborate with children, guiding their learning without directing it.


  • Promotes cognitive and social development through active learning experiences.
  • Encourages self-reliance and confidence.
  • Develops problem-solving skills and a deeper understanding of concepts through hands-on experiences.

6. Play-Based Curriculum


  • Learning Through Play: Recognizes play as the primary means of learning, allowing children to explore, discover, and create in a relaxed environment.
  • Combination of Guided and Free Play: Balances structured learning activities with opportunities for children to pursue their interests.
  • Social Interaction and Emotional Development: Play-based settings foster communication, collaboration, and emotional growth.


  • Enhances creativity and imagination.
  • Supports physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development.
  • Builds a positive attitude towards learning, as children associate it with fun and enjoyment.

To understand the pivotal role of play in enhancing cognitive development, explore our insights on how play shapes early childhood learning.

7. Art-Based Learning and Multiple Intelligences


  • Diverse Learning Styles: Tailors activities to address various intelligences, such as linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
  • Emphasis on Creativity: Encourages artistic expression and creativity through various mediums like painting, sculpture, and drama.
  • Integrated Curriculum: Art and creativity are interwoven into traditional academic subjects, enhancing engagement and understanding.


  • Nurtures a range of talents and skills, recognizing that intelligence is multifaceted.
  • Encourages children to express themselves and think creatively.
  • Enhances academic learning through creative processes.

8. Mandarin Focused and Bilingual Immersion


  • Dual Language Proficiency: Emphasizes fluency in both English and Mandarin, providing a strong foundation for bilingual communication.
  • Cultural Immersion: Integrates cultural elements to deepen understanding and appreciation of different traditions and customs.
  • Interactive Language Learning: Uses songs, stories, and games to make language learning engaging and effective.


  • Prepares children for a globalized world where bilingualism is an asset.
  • Enhances cognitive flexibility and cultural awareness.
  • Improves communication skills in a multi-lingual context.

For insights into making Mandarin learning enjoyable, check out our article on 5 creative ways to make learning Mandarin fun.

9. Collaborative and National Curriculum


  • Alignment with MOE Standards: Ensures readiness for primary education by aligning with the Ministry of Education’s guidelines and standards in Singapore.
  • Collaborative Learning Approach: Encourages teamwork and cooperation, teaching children to work and learn together.
  • Community and Civic Engagement: Involves children in community-related activities, fostering a sense of belonging and responsibility.


  • Provides a smooth transition to primary school education.
  • Develops social skills and a sense of community involvement.
  • Aligns with national education goals, ensuring a comprehensive and relevant learning experience.

10. Theme-Based Learning


  • Integrated Curriculum: Themes are used to integrate various subjects, making learning more cohesive and meaningful.
  • Real-World Relevance: Themes often relate to real-world scenarios, making learning more relatable and engaging for children.
  • Flexibility in Learning: Allows for adaptation based on children’s interests and current events, keeping the curriculum dynamic and relevant.


  • Enhances understanding by connecting different subject areas under a common theme.
  • Encourages deeper engagement and curiosity about the world.
  • Supports the development of a broad range of skills through varied activities and subjects.

11. Experiential Learning


  • Hands-On Learning: Focuses on learning through doing and experiencing, rather than passive listening.
  • Connection with Real-World Experiences: Links classroom learning with external experiences, such as field trips and real-world projects.
  • Reflective Learning Process: Encourages children to think about what they did and learned, enhancing understanding and retention.


  • Fosters active engagement and a deeper understanding of concepts.
  • Builds critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Encourages a lifelong love for learning through engaging and meaningful experiences.

By exploring these diverse curriculums, parents can gain insights into the various educational approaches available in Singapore’s preschools. Each approach offers unique benefits and focuses on different aspects of child development, ensuring that every child’s learning needs and styles are catered to. Understanding these options is key to making an informed decision about your child’s early education, laying a strong foundation for their future academic and personal success.

Starshine Montessori’s Unique Approach

Integration of Best Practices

At Starshine Montessori, our educational philosophy is a tapestry woven from the finest elements of various proven preschool curriculums. Our goal is to offer a comprehensive and dynamic learning environment that caters to every facet of a child’s development. We combine the self-directed learning of the Montessori method, the creativity and collaboration emphasized in the Reggio Emilia approach, and the holistic, arts-rich experience of Waldorf education. This blended approach ensures a balanced and enriching educational experience for every child.

Our Bilingual Immersion Programme

In today’s interconnected world, bilingualism is an invaluable asset. At Starshine Montessori, we prioritize a bilingual immersion program in English and Mandarin that goes beyond language proficiency to embrace cultural understanding. This program:

  • Enhances Cognitive Development: Bilingual education has been shown to improve mental flexibility, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
  • Promotes Cultural Literacy: Through language, we introduce children to the rich cultural heritage associated with Mandarin and English-speaking worlds.
  • Builds Communication Skills: Proficiency in two languages equips children with superior communication skills, an asset in their future academic and professional lives.

Outdoor Learning Experiences

Recognising the importance of nature in child development, our curriculum includes a strong emphasis on outdoor learning. This aspect of our program aims to:

  • Stimulate Sensory Development: Outdoor activities offer unique sensory experiences vital for young children’s development.
  • Encourage Physical Health: Regular outdoor play improves physical fitness, coordination, and motor skills.
  • Instill Environmental Stewardship: Early exposure to nature fosters a lifelong respect for and desire to protect the environment.

Explore the benefits of outdoor learning in early childhood and how we integrate it at Starshine Montessori.

Inquiry-Based Learning Method

Central to our educational approach is the inquiry-based learning method, which nurtures a child’s natural curiosity and desire to understand the world. This method:

  • Fosters Critical Thinking: By encouraging children to ask questions and explore solutions, we develop their ability to think critically and analytically.
  • Promotes Independent Learning: Children learn to seek out information and draw conclusions independently, a skill that benefits all areas of life.
  • Engages Children Actively: Active engagement in learning leads to a deeper understanding and retention of knowledge.

By integrating these varied and effective educational practices, Starshine Montessori provides a unique, holistic, and engaging learning experience for every child. We are committed to nurturing not just academic skills but also the emotional, social, and physical development of our students, preparing them for the diverse challenges of the modern world. To further understand this approach, discover how Montessori utilises inquiry-based learning.

Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Child

Factors to Consider

Selecting the right preschool is a decision that can have a lasting impact on a child’s development and learning journey. When evaluating options, consider the following factors:

  • Educational Philosophy and Curriculum: Does the school’s educational approach align with your values and expectations for your child’s learning and development?
  • Learning Environment: Look for a nurturing, safe, and stimulating environment that encourages exploration and growth.
  • Teacher Qualifications and Approach: The educators’ qualifications, their approach to teaching, and their interaction with children are critical.
  • Child-to-Teacher Ratio: Smaller ratios allow for more personalized attention and support.
  • Parental Involvement: Consider the level of communication and involvement the school encourages from parents.
  • Facilities and Resources: Adequate, safe, and age-appropriate facilities and learning materials are essential.
  • Feedback from Other Parents: Reviews and experiences from other parents can provide valuable insights.

Assessing if a preschool offers real value is crucial in your decision-making process.

Starshine Montessori’s Commitment to Holistic Development

At Starshine Montessori, we understand that choosing the right preschool is about finding a place where your child will be nurtured, respected, and valued. Our commitment is to the all-rounded development of every child under our care. We provide:

  • A Balanced and Enriched Learning Experience: Our curriculum is carefully crafted to balance academic learning with social, emotional, and physical development.
  • Proficient Bilingual Immersion: We offer a strong bilingual program in English and Mandarin, preparing children for a global future.
  • Outdoor Learning Experiences: We believe in the importance of connecting with nature and provide regular outdoor learning opportunities.
  • A Loving and Supportive Environment: Our teachers are not just educators; they are caretakers who understand the importance of building strong, trusting relationships with each child.

Choosing the right preschool is a journey, and at Starshine Montessori, we are here to provide the guidance and support you need to make the best decision for your child.


Recap of Key Points

Choosing the right preschool is a crucial decision for your child’s early years, one that sets the foundation for their lifelong learning journey. In Singapore, a hub of diverse and quality educational approaches, understanding the various preschool curriculums — from Montessori to Reggio Emilia, from play-based to bilingual immersion — is essential. Each approach offers unique benefits, catering to different aspects of a child’s development and preparing them for the challenges of the future.

Invitation for a Visit or Consultation

At Starshine Montessori, we are dedicated to providing an innovative, holistic early childhood education. We blend the best elements of various educational philosophies to create a nurturing, engaging, and stimulating environment for every child. Our commitment goes beyond academic excellence; we focus on nurturing each child’s unique potential, fostering qualities of respect, resilience, and responsibility.

We invite you to visit Starshine Montessori, to see firsthand the enriched environments we have created for our learners. Our team is eager to meet with you, discuss your child’s needs, and show how our approach to education can make a positive impact on their development.

Final Thoughts

Remember, the right preschool can make a significant difference in your child’s life. It’s not just about the learning they receive today, but about instilling a lifelong love for learning and a solid foundation for their future. At Starshine Montessori, we aim to be more than just a preschool; we strive to be a community where every child thrives.

We look forward to welcoming you and your child to the Starshine Montessori family.

Follow us on social media to stay updated on our latest updates and happenings:

Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | YouTube

Comments are closed

Table of Contents
× Chat with us