I have been meaning to update my preschools & nurseries posts for a while, and a friend’s extensive search for a school for their daughter impressed me! Luckily, Ying Ying has offered to share her result with you below. They are based in Batu Maung, so there’s some good stuff for south of the island folks.
Ying Ying was born in Penang but spent the last 15 years in the US. She and her daughter, Ania, and her husband, Chris, split their year in Penang and California. She is a mother expecting another child in 2015, and a corporate advisor. Her husband is a musician, educator and entrepreneur (www.chrisgolinski.com).
Taska Nania is a Waldorf/Steiner pre-school opened 18 years ago. They opened a second school at Halaman York in Pulau Tikus in August 2014. Taska Nania is one of the few play-based schools in Penang. The teachers and staff members are very loving and caring. I requested the Chinese teacher to speak only Mandarin to Ania. Their menu seems healthier and they serve organic meals whenever they can. Like the Waldorf school my daughter went to in San Diego, the environment of the school is very calm and orderly, with its layout planned for children. Furniture and toys are all made out of wood. The toys are mainly blocks, puppets, dolls and kitchenware to promote imagination and creativity. They have real kids size toilets and sinks. They have a few rabbits and a nature based playground for outdoor play everyday.
Morning starts with half hour of play, followed by an hour of activity:
Monday – water color painting
Tuesday – beeswax crayon drawing
Wednesday – bread making
Thursday – homemade play dough modeling
Friday – class cleaning day
This preschool is on Halaman York across the street from Taska Nania. Most learning is done through play, songs and nature observation. This may be a good option for parents who want their child to have a little more academic based education. We attended the parent toddler program last year when Ania was 1 to 2 and we loved it.
Both Taska Nania and Learning Garden offer parent-toddler program. Parent-toddler class is a good way to familiarize your child to the school’s environment, and for parents to take a closer look at the school, philosophy and most importantly, the teachers and staff members.
Odyssey is a Reggio Emilia philosophy, Singapore-based school, opened in August 2014. The facilities and classrooms is the best we have seen. This is also the most expensive pre-school in town. Learning is mainly through songs and play and they have music and art classes.
Straits International School
A British international school located in Bayan Baru, accepting students starting at 3 through high school. They are in a temporary campus for a couple years while the new permanent campus is being built.
Glorious Kids Tadika Gemilang Bistari
123 Tingkat Batu Maung, Taman Seri Mewah Indah, Batu Maung
This is a local traditional preschool with two branches in Bayan Lepas area. The principal and teachers here are more professional and caring compared to the other local schools we have seen. Children have workbooks and they have a class in Di Zi Gui (A Confucius teaching on what children are expected of) once a week.
A local franchise near Quensbay in the Bay Avenue shop lot with two floors of classrooms and playrooms. Toddlers have 2-3 days a week of play time and the remaining 2-3 days of classroom time with workbooks.
D’Monte Child Care & Development Centre
A local franchise located in Batu Maung, children learn all three main languages (English, Mandarin and Malay) using workbooks and they have a class on Di Zi Gui Confucius teachings and a class on Tang Dynasty poems once a week.