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Localised Chinese curriculum for preschools and kindergartens

Published on: 03-Jan-2018


The Confucius Institute of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a comprehensive set of Chinese curriculum for preschools and kindergartens here. 

Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Mr Ong Ye Kung launched the curriculum at the PCF Sparkletots Preschool at Gambas Block 408 in Yishun this afternoon.

The curriculum is aligned to the Ministry of Education’s Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) framework and features locally relevant content, with scenes of Singaporean daily life that children can identify with, such as experiences in an HDB setting. 

The books have illustrations by local comic artist Mr Wee Tian Beng and are complemented by desktop games designed by a group of students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

Titled Chinese for Early Learners, the curriculum comprises 68 books, 544 lesson plans, 2,800 flashcards and 16 student activity books. The curriculum caters to four preschool levels: Nursery 1 and 2, as well as Kindergarten 1 and 2. 

Dr Neo Peng Fu, Director, Confucius Institute at NTU (CI-NTU), said, “We set out to develop a localised Chinese curriculum for preschoolers as materials used by some preschools are sourced from other countries, or may not be of high quality. Our newly developed curriculum would also be helpful to preschool operators that may not have the resources to design their own curriculum.”

Since 2015, CI-NTU’s Teaching Resource Team worked closely with academics and preschool educators to design and develop lesson plans, book content and nursery rhymes from scratch. CI-NTU also conducted pilot tests of the new content in a few preschools as well as in its own preschool enrichment programmes. 

With 17 different themes such as colours and numbers, the books also show examples of everyday life in Singapore that children can easily identify with, such as HDB flats and the MRT. 

These books are compatible with reading pens that can read the text aloud when pressed against the words on a page. Five Singaporean children are behind the voices of the reading pens. The recording was done in a studio in NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in June 2017.  

A group of 12 students from ITE College Central also designed five desktop computer games which are tied to the books’ content. They designed the games during their internship with CI-NTU and they have since graduated. Children can access these language games when they are at home, which are available online at from 4 Jan. 

The materials were illustrated by Mr Wee Tian Beng, President of the Comics Society (Singapore), and his team. 

Mr Wee is the artist behind two famous Chinese novels —The Adventures of Wisely by Ni Kuang and The Return of Condor Heroes by Louis Cha. He is also the author and illustrator of the long-lasting local comic series The Celestial Zone and his comics have been translated into many languages. 

CI-NTU is planning to meet anchor operators and private childcare centres to share the newly developed curriculum. 


Media contact:

Ang Hui Min
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI). 

Ranked 11th in the world, NTU has also been placed the world’s top young university for the last four years running. The University’s main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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