23 Mar, 2022
10 : 00
Last week, we took you on an academic learning journey with our K4 students who eagerly set up and ran their own play restaurant. Please read on here to explore how our young learners extended their connections with the world around them and how their soft skills grew with their project.
Our ECE operates under the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) framework and understanding the World (UW) is one of its learning areas. UW guides the children to make sense of their community and the physical world around them. To connect their learning to the real world, the children took a field trip to the school’s cafeteria, with lots of questions prepared to ask our cafeteria manager, Alan Chang. Meeting Chef Jack Wong and buying food at the cafeteria also broadened the children’s experiences and enriched their understanding of how an eatery functions.
The K4 restaurant learning story is a treasure trove of educational benefits. Our children not only enhanced their academic skills but also displayed our school’s five ‘Dimensions of Learning’. One of these dimensions, ‘critical thinking’, was immanent to the project from the very beginning. The children realized that they had to follow standard pricing as four-digit numbers would simply not work with their play money. When a customer was short of cash, the children designed their own QR codes. For kindergarteners, every small problem can create a big challenge. They showed ‘perseverance’ by staying with their problems until they found a solution, keeping their restaurant up and running for months. The role of the restaurant manager was very popular, and the children had to be smart in their ‘collaboration’ of creating shifts and learning to rotate in assigning the roles of manager, servers, customers, and chefs. In aspects of ‘self-regulation’, the children had to learn to be considerate as waiters in addressing customers, and as customers, they had to be patient especially if they had to wait in line. It was a project of ‘innovation’ for the young learners throughout, and they were particularly proud of inventing the name ‘Sweet Restaurant’.
When our Head of ECE, Margaret Zhang, is asked to summarise the K4 restaurant project, she speaks of her children with utmost pride and respect, “Children are born with incredible creativity and with the belief that anything is possible. It is the role of the school and of the teacher to recognize the diverse possibilities in each child. The kindergarten is a special place in which a child may deeply investigate the world and their own nature. Children’s own curiosity will drive learning. When supported by and partnered with the teachers, their own ideas about learning will emerge. When supported in an environment in which they are respected, children will construct new ideas deeper than those that the teacher has considered. In this way, children have acquired many new skills and gained more confidence. This is how they grow up – in learning and in character.”