Elizabeth Randall gives her expert opinion
Elizabeth Randall is the Superintendent for Early Childhood Education (ECE) at Yew Chung International Schools. She oversees a total of eight schools for the group across China, as well as in Hong Kong and the US. During a recent visit to Shanghai, the Australian shared about her vision for top education for the youngest children.
How does the co-teaching structure at YCIS benefit children in their early years?
The YCIS co-teaching model is brilliant for children during their early years. Because the teachers plan lessons and deliver them together, the children become very familiar with both Chinese and English language and culture. They also become confident speakers of both languages, which is a huge benefit in their intellectual development.
Why is it important to involve families in ECE?
Because families teach children, too! Whether it is parents, older siblings, ayis, or other family members, many individuals influence a child’s learning. We like our teachers to get to know each child’s family and caregivers, so their learning can be made even more personal. If we understand families, we can understand children, and do our best to help them reach their potential.
Recently, YCIS held its annual ECE conference. Why are annual conferences like these important?
This year we held our fourth annual ECE conference. These conferences are a fantastic opportunity for teachers from a number of our schools in China to come together and exchange ideas and best practices. This year, we looked in particular at the role of the teacher when working with young children, and how we can guide them as they explore their own learning. It also forms part of our staff training and development, and gives our teachers a wider network of contacts they can reach out to throughout the academic year.