We have developed and refined our pedagogy and curriculum over the past 25 years. Our in-house team customises an unique Apple Tree’s approach based on the best works of leading early childhood education scholars like Jean Piaget and Maria Montessori.
Our learn through play approach engages the five senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch – to help our students make connections between their various experiences during a session. It reinforces their learning and accelerates their cognitive, motor skills and social development.
The learning is organised around weekly themes and executed through detailed lesson plans. All activities conducted will relate to that week’s theme. A theme could be a letter of the alphabet, colour or basic shape.
All teaching staff undergoes trainings, rehearsals and briefings for the upcoming lesson plans every two weeks at the head office. In between the fortnightly meetings, our supervisors will ensure that the lessons are delivered in a consistent manner and at the required standard
Here is how the timetable for a typical session might look like.
10 mins Welcome and Health Checks
25 mins Circle Time / Free Play
30 mins Music and Movement
30 mins Art and Craft / Worksheet / Experience Learning
20 mins Learning Corners
05 mins Goodbye
Games, songs, picture talk and story-telling are conducted and acted out by the teachers and teaching assistants for the students to experience and learn in a group. Students will get to pretend and take part in role-plays. At other times, games that test their sound identification, memory, thinking and understanding are introduced.
Toys, games and puzzles are laid out for students to play and explore. They are generally left to their own devices, although the teaching staff will offer guidance when necessary. At the end of each free play the students learn to return materials for proper storage.
Students are given ample opportunities to prepare and sample the theme’s appropriate food, such as eating fruit sample or making sandwiches.
Students will get to observe the growth of fish, tadpoles, seeds and others.
The teacher and teaching assistant will teach and lead the students in action songs, rhymes and finger play. Students will get to pretend and take part in role-plays. Each week the students learn four to six great songs from the Apple Tree’s collections. Song time helps in language development.
Students will do fun, simple hands-on projects and produce creative crafts related to the theme, such as apple-printing during ‘A’ theme week.
Posters, information, books, and other learning materials related to the theme are displayed at the Learning Corners to allow students to explore and learn more under the guidance of the teacher and teaching assistant.
Questions, ideas, stories and objects about the theme will be discussed by and with the students.
Throughout our activities, we will:
Apple Tree’s in-house team has developed and refined our pedagogy and curriculum over the past 25 years. To support the unique Apple Tree’s approach, we select appropriate and high quality educational aids, toys, games and books that are suitable for our students.
Back in 1989, it was difficult to find suitable suppliers of the educational aids, toys, games and books in Singapore. We had to source from around the world to meet the needs of our pedagogy and curriculum. Many of our imports come from Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, and United States.
We use educational aids, toys, games and books which are selected and recommended by the Pre-School Learning Alliance of United Kingdom (PLAUK).
Besides workbooks and handbooks we developed and published, we contracted a UK music production company to produce two licensed collections of music and songs which were then replicated on compact discs (CD) Two lyric books were also written and published with the CDs.
Regardless of the source, we chose to use only high quality learning materials. They last longer, look more attractive, have better tactile feel and are safe to be handled by our playgroup students.
More than 35,000 students have graduated over the last 25 years in Apple Tree.
“When I was three,
I went to Apple Tree.
I cried, I laughed, I made friends.
See that’s me!”