Learning and exploring continues in Malaysia

12 Nov 2017

Hello, my name is Hannah Rushton. I am the Assistant Manager at Burton on Trent Nursery. I have worked for Busy Bees for 3 years, during this time I have developed and grown as a practitioner, learning from others, and developing outstanding practice.

Two years ago whilst studying a Degree in Education, I carried out a research project into ‘Successful Education Systems around the World’; I spent my time researching the Singapore Curriculum due to the high success rates, however I never thought I would be able to say I have now seen this system in practice, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Busy Bees for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I spend each day in absolute awe as children who are aged just four read books, complete complex calculations, and are bilingual; speaking, reading and writing in English and Mandarin. This is a credit to the Busy Bees Asia team and Singaporean parents, their passion for progress is evident, and can be seen through the wide variety of subjects the children are immersed into.

Many practices within the settings are similar to those in which we carry out, however there are certain elements which have vast differences. Conversations about these bring new learning for both myself and the Pat's Schoolhouse The Grassroots' Club team who have been kind enough to accommodate me for the three week duration. I look forward to sharing my new knowledge upon return with colleagues in the UK and using this where appropriate to strengthen and develop our practice.

Along with the placements, we have also absorbed the culture, views and food. Singapore is a City that never sleeps, and after seeing the views from Marina Bay, I completely understand why! High-rises fill the sky with lights, with a backdrop of the Garden Bay trees, giving the city a bright and warm glow. Fragrant smells fill the street, and each corner offers a different speciality of which we aim to try.

This weekend we were fortunate enough to take on another new and diverse experience as we flew over to Malaysia for 3 days. After meeting the Founder and her supporting team it was clear to see that even after 30 years a passion and enthusiasm for early childhood care and education remained strong. We were delighted to visit some of ‘The children’s house’ centres where the ethos of this brand runs clear. Each Centres feels like home, and even though our visits were short you feel welcomed and part of the family. The Montessori approach was very interesting to observe taking place, particularly when you see the skills children develop when carrying out ‘practical life’ experiences.

Alongside this we were also able to carry out some sight-seeing and absorb the Malaysian Culture. We visited the Central Markets, and Petronas Towers where lots of shopping took place. However for myself, the highlight was indulging in a traditional Malay meal. After dinner we were entertained with dancers in which several of us joined in to learn the steps; however I don’t think they will be asking us to join the dance group anytime soon!

As they say, time flies when you are having fun, and I cannot believe we are heading into the final week of our journey! I look forward to sharing more of my personal and professional experiences when we return!