The expat experience is increasingly seen as a good way to prepare a child for the 21st century workforce. Being exposed to multiple languages and cultures can enable our kids to have flexible, global careers. If you’re looking for an early childhood programme that will help to enhance this progressive experience, Victoria Educational Organisation (VEO) preschools could fit the bill. The group’s motto is “Multilingual Students Today, Global Citizens Tomorrow”, and it aims to instil a love of learning, a strong sense of social responsibility, and global vision from an early age.
VEO campuses aim to provide a multicultural learning environment that blends Eastern and Western cultures. So, children can be in the Trilingual stream learning in English, Putonghua and Cantonese, or the Bilingual stream, with its focus on English and Putonghua. The group takes a “one teacher, one language” co-teaching approach, with teachers who are native speakers of the languages working together for the best outcomes.
We asked the VEO team to lead us through the three key pillars of their approach to learning.
1. Authorised IB World School
All the nurseries and kindergartens within VEO are authorised IB World Schools offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP). The PYP is beneficial for the cognitive, social, and emotional development of early years learners. Its commitment to a transdisciplinary curriculum allows learners to develop skills and knowledge across all subject areas. This inquiry-based approach to learning promotes our students’ natural curiosity, allowing them to investigate and learn about a wide range of concepts. Supported by an engaging learning environment and dedicated teachers, our students are encouraged to learn through hands-on experiences, guided by questions and wonderings posed by the learners themselves.
2. Columbia University’s teachers college reading and writing project
Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) is an established, research-based dynamic reading and writing project from Columbia University, USA. Its staff developers carry out constant research and travel worldwide delivering up-to-the-minute training to teachers. Victoria’s kindergartens are proud to be in partnership with TCRWP, receiving yearly onsite training from their staff developers for their English and Chinese teachers. Since the introduction of this project Victoria’s kindergarten students’ stamina for reading and writing within a meaningful context has prepared them to succeed as avid readers and writers as they progress into primary schools.
3. Agency by design: Early childhood in the making
VEO is proud to have pioneered a research initiative with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) to understand how maker-centred learning can provide a framework in early childhood education to develop skills and knowledge within and beyond the STEAM disciplines. Maker-centred learning aims to encourage, nurture, and inspire young children’s creativity and empathy, and in the process, help them build skills such as observation, problem solving, and collaboration. This framework allows our students to further develop their critical and creative thinking skills as part of their inquiry-based learning, encouraging them to notice the world around them, and take steps to make it a better world for everyone.
VEO has infant and toddler, nursery and kindergarten campuses at locations across Hong Kong. Students are given priority in admission to Victoria Shanghai Academy, a through train IB World School.
See more in our Kids section
This article first appeared in the City Guide 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.