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Early in 2014, SPRING Singapore began organizing an education mission trip to Norway and the United Kingdom. The aim of the trip was to look at best practices within the preschool industry in these two countries, both of whom are recognized for their high standards in the provision of preschool education and care.

SPRING consulted extensively with ASSETS on the objectives and itinerary of the trip. In May 2014, SPRING lead a delegation of 15 pre-school professionals and ECDA officers. The delegates had the opportunity to look at best practices in both countries, and to explore possible business tie-ups with preschool operators and universities offering pre-school training programmes in those countries.

SRING Singapore partially subsidized the travel and accommodation expenses and a number of ASSETS members took the opportunity to participate in the trip and gain a more international perspective e=on early childhood education practices. The trip proved to be truly inspirational and many new friendships were forged. Many new ideas were brought back that could be adapted and implemented in our preschools in Singapore.

“My most enduring memory of the trip was seeing the children play with abandon in the forest school in Norway. They climbed trees, swung on swings and perched on branches where even the adults were hesitant to venture. The idea of "risky play", where children are allowed to push boundaries and enjoy new outdoor experiences that support their development is something that I would like to explore more in our centres.”
- Dawn Lim, Curriculum Director, Star Learners Group.

“The private university offering ECE programs had the freedom to design and train teachers based on the beliefs and methodology that best benefitted the learning environment.”
- Dr. Lily Wong, Executive Director, Advent Links – SAUC Education Centre.

“The amount of natural materials the children were able to use both inside and outside was impressive. There was a great deal of respect for the environment and this was evident in the design of the children’s play spaces.”
- Fiona Walker, Principal of Schools, Julia Gabriel Education.

“We were invited to meet UK’s largest pre-school franchise operator and learn how they had grown from one centre to over 88 nationwide in a short space of time, whilst still maintaining high quality standards and practices.”
- Helen Marjan, Joint CEO and Director of Studies, Lorna Whiston Schools, Singapore.

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