Malvern will be the first school in Hong Kong to run the Forest School programme with FSA-certified Forest School leaders. Access to an outdoor environment is as important to children’s wellbeing and education in a conventional kindergarten space. Scandinavian countries have long practiced outdoor learning, and the UK’s Forest School Association formalised such a programme, with growing world-wide attention and expansion. Our sister school Downs Malvern in the United Kingdom also runs a Forest School for their Early Years students, achieving exceptional progress.
Providing a Forest School learning opportunity was clearly not easy in the densely-populated neighbourhoods of Hong Kong, thus we took the unprecedented step of commissioning land in the great outdoors that is designated to become an integral part of Malvern’s educational philosophy. Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong children will therefore have regular access to this cutting-edge, bold opportunity to extend their education beyond the confines of the classroom walls, and truly have exposure to a myriad of exciting, challenging and essential opportunities to enhance and complement their everyday suburban life, and “round-off” their education in an enjoyable and fun way.
The Forest School programme has a philosophy of child-led learning, with a focus on all the senses. Close supervision by trained Forest School Educators and school staff is balanced with the need for children to make their own decisions and explore. Children learn to think, question and problem-solve in mini projects, and communication, collaborate and lead in small teams. Students grow in confidence and self esteem, and increase their physical and social skills. These benefits have positive effects on all areas of their life and learning. The programme is run in all weather conditions as long as it is safe. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”. Our Forest School guiding principles cover: Warmth – Correct clothing, gumboots, waterproof etc; Food– Healthy snacks and meals; Drinks – Staying hydrated with water /hot drinks in colder weather; Safety – individuals feel safe both physically and emotionally.
Our Forest School Educational Sessions are designed around a theme; themes are sometimes subtle (e.g. evolving or exploring the site) or more obvious (e.g. science focused, butterflies, water, insects, ecosystems, fairies or nature investigators). Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened throughout activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires by the Forest School Educators or environmental art, and so on. Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills.
More information about the Forest School Learning Initiative can be found here.
Malvern College’s world leading reputation has always attracted the most qualified people to work for us. We recognize the importance of strong leadership and our schools have experienced and passionate leaders equipped with the personal and professional tools to lead and inspire excellence in all areas. A world-leading Pre-School Programme must be led and facilitated by highly trained and experienced professional teachers to tease out significant learning.
Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong hires only the best educators. Our Early Years staff are highly qualified, experienced, caring and passionate Early Years practitioners who provide a supportive and stimulating learning environment where children feel safe and happy; providing optimal opportunity to thrive and learn. Each classroom has native English speaking Early Years teachers who are degree holders, mostly a Bachelor of Education. All these Early Years educators are supported by another full-time, caring and dedicated teacher(s) with a recognized certificate in Early Childhood.
At Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong, we are inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy and we view children as capable, curious and part of a community and we value sharing each child’s learning journey with parents through regular communication, collaboration and documentation. Parents can be reassured of their child’s progress through carefully kept records of each child’s individual academic progress, where teachers observe each child and gather tangible evidence of children’s educational journey towards the EYFS learning goals.
A Portfolio of Learning for each child is a reflection and celebration of each child’s progress and learning journey. Parents are normally hugely impressed by the tangible and steady progress when their child’s portfolio of such evidence is shared with them. Evidence of learning will focus on progress in the EYFS areas of Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; Expressive Arts and Design; Personal, Social and Emotional; Physical; and Communication and Language.
All Pre-School children will be issued with a School Report towards the end of term and Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTC) will closely follow the issuing of the school report, guiding the teacher-parent PTC discussions, along with review of the Portfolio of Learning during the PTC. Parents are welcome to make appointments with their child’s teacher at any time should they wish to discuss their child’s progress or they have any questions. We do all these in the belief that your child will be more than ready for a smooth transition into full-time primary education. We believe that every child is precious and unique, ready to shine and achieve his or her dreams. Here at Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong, we believe that each child is greatness waiting to happen!