The campus of Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong is now ready to receive its first pupils, having been successfully and completely renovated.
The campus has been planned along the lines of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) programme, where children learn from a structured free-play programme. With this in mind, the campus has been designed to reflect the Reggio Emilia education philosophy which views “environment as the third teacher”.
From left to right, Mrs. Jacqueline McNalty, Founding Principal, Ms. Jacqueline So, Co-Founder and Chief Executive, and Mr. Billy Tam, Leading Architect from TCA.
Jacqueline So, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Malvern College International (Asia Pacific), explained: “Malvern College has built a strong reputation in the past 150 years as the forerunner of innovative education. We are very glad that the renovation of Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong is now completed and is now ready for the new academic year. This marks a critical milestone for the development of Malvern College in Hong Kong”.
The Pre-School will inherit the Malvern College ethos and core values, and focus on developing life-long learning and encouraging each child’s curiosity, kindness, resilience, self-awareness, open-mindedness, collaboration, risk-taking, independence, integrity, and humility. As part of the educationally-harnessed play programme, students will flourish within the school’s built environment – the campus is specifically designed in the way that will enhance the EYFS curriculum.
Ms. Jacqueline So and Ms. Jacqueline McNalty introducing the campus to the journalists.
Jacqueline McNalty, the Founding Principal of Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong, commented “Maximum exposure of different senses and stimulations are crucial for the development of a young child. We have incorporated many elements of nature into the campus, bringing the outdoors inside. For example, the sand pit allows students to explore and understand the world through sensory stimulation. It enables experimental wet and dry play, designed to develop children’s social, physical and creative/aesthetics skills as well as early experiences in Maths and Science.
“An exciting environment encourages children to be more expressive, imaginative and creative, which augments several areas of the EYFS”, she concluded.
When designing the school, Thomas Chow Architects (TCA) had several considerations to keep in mind, including expressing MCPSHK’s cutting edge educational practices, while maintaining safety, and creating an open, bright environment. “There is no definition of a “classroom”: at one time this space can be a playground, while at other times it may be a reading corner,” said Billy Tam, lead architect from TCA. “We do not restrict children’s understanding of the “school” just as a “school”. We provide freedom for the children to interpret spaces in their own ways. It is true that we have amazing and innovative designs in our mind but at the same time, we have to bear in mind that children’s safety is of utmost importance,” he continued. “Nothing comes before that. Therefore, our design is a balance between safety and aesthetic expression.”
Mr. Billy Tam explaining his concepts and ideas of the campus.
More than 100 families, who will join the school for the next academic year, have visited the campus. The staff have been delighted to meet so many families from such diverse backgrounds, that shares the same ethos and values as Malvern College. An exclusive media tour has also been conducted, attended by senior management of the Pre-School and the lead architect from TCA.
Meanwhile, next to Hong Kong Science Park, the construction of the state-of-the-art campus of Malvern College Hong Kong is well underway. Six floors have been built and the main roof structure of the school is anticipated to be completed in July, 2017.