New international bilingual kindergarten ‘MAGART’ opens its doors this summer!
Two new bilingual kindergartens are opening their doors this summer with campuses in Whampoa and Tai Koo. Their curriculum is based on the framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) from United Kingdom and is focused on play and inquiry, theme-based learning.
The soon to be launched MAGART International Kindergarten cum Nursery (MAGART) is part of the larger Little Golden Star International Education Group, a chain of over 100 nurseries and kindergartens over 15 provinces in China. Established in 1997, the company’s long experience positively informs the development of MAGART as an international pre-school education brand, which will also open schools in Shanghai and Fujian province this summer.
This new ‘MAGART’ brand of the Group was named after Countess Margaret Beaufort, a British royal, who dedicated her life to education and founded two colleges at the University of Cambridge. The name has beautiful connotations in different languages, including peace, love, courage, beauty and positive attitude, also reflecting the artistic talent, creativity, intelligence and exceptional ability of a child.
When fully functional, the two kindergartens will be able to accommodate in the region of 500 students at each campus, offering classes from playgroup (from 1 year old), pre-nursery (2-3 years old), nursery (3-4 years old) to lower kindergarten (4-5 years old) and upper kindergarten (5-6 years old). It will offer options for morning, afternoon and all-day classes as well as a diverse range of ECA’s.
The school’s mission is to promote personalised and whole-child development, life skills and open-mindedness through a theme-based curriculum. Its focus goes beyond academic education to achieving personal growth and development, including a focus on manners and etiquette.
“There are four underlying areas to the EYFS curriculum; a unique child, positive relationships, enabling environments and learning and development. These mirror our early childhood education philosophies regarding what is important for whole-child development, to develop happy, healthy and well-adjusted children with optimised learning ability,” says Patricia Or, Chancellor of MAGART.
The curriculum is organised into seven key areas of learning to support a well-balanced education. They include personal, social and emotional development, that develops self-awareness and relationships with others, language and literacy development, in addition to physical development, arts and expression, cultural awareness, mathematics and problem solving and understanding of the world.
Khardine Rendall, the Director of School Development, says the school will adapt the curriculum to meet the specific needs of Hong Kong children and parents. While based on the EYFS, they will also take inspiration from Reggio Emilia, Montessori and Waldorf for well-rounded education and best early years practice.
“With the fast development of technology and rapid changes in our lives and the world in general, we don’t even know what kind of future we are preparing the children for. The most important is for them to acquire the skills, foundation, attitudes and adaptability so that they can apply them to whatever situation they find themselves in,” she says.
Learning will incorporate a range and blend of approaches; the play-based approach supports learning through exploring a hands-on and physical learning environment, the inquiry-based approach helps in developing students’ problem-solving skills and interests, the self-directed experiential learning approach develops independent and critical thinking, while the authentic approach presents an authentic context for meaningful learning.
In addition, focus on “an extraordinary learning experience” will increase students EQ, or emotional quotient, as they develop enthusiasm, confidence, bravery, modesty, ability to cooperate and share, kindness, gratitude, gentleness and other traits that will help them to get along with others and persist on their own unique path.
Mary Tong, senior consultant to the project, reiterates, “The foundations of good manners and attitude will be far more important in future.”
The bilingual school will have one English and one native Putonghua teacher per class – with another Cantonese speaking teacher shared between two classes – this enables a 50/50 immersion programme mixed with a little Cantonese, and maintains low teacher-student ratios.
“Children learn language so easily at this age and in this way; it’s amazing to see them flip between languages so confidently. We support and respect all languages, including mother-tongue and we nurture students and their language development in a very natural way,” says Rendall, who has more than eight years of early childhood teaching and management experience and a postgraduate diploma in early childhood education. Originating from the UK, she has lived in Hong Kong for more than 20 years.
As students learn and play, they will gain exposure to basic numbers, Chinese characters and the English alphabet through authentic and meaningful learning contexts.
The newly renovated schools provide natural and spacious classrooms set up for child-initiated discovery. There are specific places for arts and craft, science, reading, maths, sensory and an area for pretend play. Children will be encouraged to choose and explore where they want to play and other times can participate in more structured activities, devoted to different subjects.
“The classrooms make use of natural colours. We very much appreciate the importance of nature and our aim is to bring the outdoors into our school through plants and natural materials,” Or explains.
She adds that the parent-school relationships is of utmost importance for MAGART, and can have a big influence on students’ learning, development and happiness. “We feel it is important to share the children’s learning with parents, and include them as part of our journey. We hope to do this through regular PTC meetings, updates, blogs and parental involvement in school life,” she says.
The school is also planning to run some workshops, and generally keep an open door policy welcoming parents and family into the school community.
To find out more about MAGART or to arrange a visit, please contact:
T: 2788 0788
WhatsApp: 9879 1509
office hour: M-F 8am -5.30pm
Website : magartedu.com
Facebook page: magartkg