Life after House on the Hill is an ongoing series where we look back at how the various graduates have been doing! In this article, we look at graduate Maya and her life in primary school.
Graduate of Year 2020 – Maya
Parents’ Names – Liang and Ruchir
1. What did you like about House on the Hill?
We stumbled upon HotH as we were moving to the area. We saw this beautiful house (where school used to be) and met Ms. Marilyn who was very kind to show us the new site which was just a couple of minutes’ walk away. We found the place beautiful and cozy. As we read more about the philosophy and teaching method of the school, we decided to put Maya there. It has been a great couple of years there. We were not really familiar with the Montessori method initially but later on found it truly nurturing. The school also organised seminars multiple times for parents to gain deeper understanding of the philosophy. Kids learn to be curious, caring and independent.
2. At any point in Maya’s pre-school years did you have any reservation on how she will cope in Primary/Grade school?
We had some concerns in the last year of her pre-school especially as she might be the only few children in her class going to local school. The local school system is known to be more academic focused and competitive which we worried would be stressful for Maya. Teachers Lina, Shao laoshi, Gim Peng were really helpful in making extra efforts to make sure the transition to P1 would be smooth for Maya.
3. Do you think Maya was well prepared for Primary/Grade school in terms of Self Care, Confidence, Curriculum?
With the help from the teachers, we weren’t too worried about curriculum. Confidence and social interaction was a bigger concern overall given she is a December baby and will be the youngest in P1 class. It didn’t help that the last year of Maya’s pre-school we had to go through a few months of home based learning (HBL) and as a result lack of social interactions due to the pandemic. But the teachers really made efforts to make the classes and activities engaging and interactive.
Upon returning to the school, it didn’t take long for Maya to re-adjust to the school environment and social interactions. The mixed age class setting also helped Maya to have more chances to interact with kids of different age – it wasn’t all smooth sailing but helped build confidence, self-care and caring for others. Especially during her last year in pre-school she was seen as the big sister in the class and it really injected a sense of responsibility in her. The graduation ceremony was impressive given how well prepared and nicely done it was even during a pandemic!
4. How is Maya coping with Primary 1/Grade 1?
Maya loves her new school. There was a bit of adjustment at the beginning but soon she grew really fond of school and excited to go to school (most of the days anyway 🙂 ). She interacts well with her teachers and classmates, loves the pizza from the school (the best pizza in the whole wide world according to her) and so proud of being the leader of her group. I would say other than school starts too early rest are all good!
5. Your overall experience at House on the Hill.
I found pre-schools in Singapore are either too ‘local’ or too ‘international’. HotH to us is a good balance of both sides – discipline and free spirit, academic and learn through play, which is exactly what we needed.
6. What advice do you have for new parents of House on the Hill?
Buy uniform size at least 1 size bigger – kids grow really fast! And budget at least 20min extra waiting time at lunch time pick up as kids go nuts playing together at the gate area once released from school!