A smaller school and small class sizes can be an advantage for learning, especially when combined with an approach that fosters play, discovery and exploration. We find out how one popular preschool group uses these factors to get the most out of its students.
Learning at Woodland
At Woodland Pre-Schools, the aim is to nurture a sense of wonder in all children, so they can construct their own learning, communicate in a hundred different ways and build on their natural curiosities.
Woodland does this by providing an environment that can enhance the social, emotional, linguistic and physical development of kids. “Our classroom setups invite children to explore their own theories while provoking and challenging their thinking,” says the Woodland team. ‘We adopt a play-based inquiry approach, where we also understand the importance of play in early childhood; physical experiences and play activities help lay down the cognitive wiring that will one day help the child to solve problems and accomplish things throughout their life.”
Small school environments can also be ideal for this approach.
Smaller School and Class Sizes
“A smaller school allows for a more comfortable transition from home to school years for many children, and better support in nurturing children’s early education potential.”
Indeed, with a smaller student class size, teachers may be better able to identify strengths and areas where improvement is needed, so they can help address these areas on an individual basis in class.
It also facilitates social interactions between all students – this gives children a strong sense of connection. So, at a Woodland Pre-School, the Head knows the families who attend, the teachers aim to reach out as much as possible, and a great community feeling is fostered.
A smaller school helps facilitate greater family interaction and stronger connections in the Woodland community. Woodland offer an environment that fosters empathy and positive wellbeing.
A word from three campuses
Hear from the teams at three Woodland Pre-Schools in Hong Kong, each with a small yet dynamic setting for learning.
“The Woodland Pokfulam community is diverse, supportive and close-knit, with many different nationalities and languages. The campus layout is similarly vibrant, featuring fun communal spaces where children can change their shoes, greet one another, and enjoy conversation before and after class. Families are invited to share their cultural values and participate in festivities; in addition, the campus location is convenient for walking or pick-up/drop-off.”
Woodland Beachside Repulse Bay
“Woodland Beachside is the school you wish you had gone to! Walking into the light-filled space, you can see and feel the love that has gone into making this small school. Each classroom creates a sense of belonging for each child; also, the outdoor playground offers authentic outdoor learning, with a mud kitchen, giant tyres and plenty of space to run. Every family feels part of the school community and truly believes that the school is the perfect start for their little one’s early years journey.”
Woodland Sai Kung (Marina Cove)
“Located in the Marina Cove development, Woodland Sai Kung is a bright, spacious, purpose-built environment near the water that’s designed for young children to thrive. It has indoor and outdoor play areas, a library and well-equipped and spacious classrooms; these excellent learning spaces complement our passionate and dedicated early childhood educators. Many of our families live locally and walk to and from school. This helps give Woodland Sai Kung a community feel where everyone knows each other.”
This article first appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.