News at GESS

The International School that Celebrates Play-Based Learning
Posted 12/03/2018 03:25PM


"The International School that
Celebrates Play-Based Learning" & pdf - 12 March 2018


There’s more to play-based learning than letting kiddos go town on some toys. Here’s how GESS encourages little minds to explore and engage…

How does purposeful play fit into your little one’s preschool curriculum, mama? At GESS, play-based learning is not a way to disguise structured academics; rather, GESS Pre-School believes it’s crucial to create a space for children to explore and engage with their surroundings, howevertheir curious young minds see fit

While many assume play-based learning is a kind of “structured fun” with a clear teaching objective in mind, GESS believes in truly authentic play without unnecessary adult interference. Instead, the role of teachers is to observe how children play, listen to their many languages and varied communication styles, and provide prompts and questions in a timely manner to help them find meaning in their own play.

Because of course, when children choose their own play, learning becomes much more valuable and meaningful. It doesn’t hurt that teachers take an approach that is at once enriching and respectful.

Subscribing to the belief that the physical and social environment also play an important role in play-based learning, GESS teachers create surroundings, and provide materials, that directly respond to the themes and ideas students express an interest in. Nothing is ever set in stone; the set-up and course of learning can change with students’ evolving interests, as well as the new ideas they bring into the classroom from their outside experiences. How cool is that?!

GESS prides itself on its strong IB qualifications, and interestingly, has found that its play-based learning in the early years reinforces the IB learner profile in many ways. For instance, play encourages children to take physical and emotional risks – whether trying something out for the first time, or reaching out to ask a peer to participate in an activity. Students also learn to ask questions about both possibilities and limitations, all the while building themselves up as learners.

Starting August 2018, GESS will also be offering an extended afternoon programme that runs from Monday to Friday, 3 pm to 6 pm. All students (3 to 6 years old) who enroll in the preschool are eligible to register for this programme.

Want to learn more, mama? You and your child are invited to experience play-based learning firsthand within GESS’s Pre-School community at their upcoming Open House on 20 March. See below for all the details and to RSVP. It’s also the perfect opportunity to find out more about their amazing new campus on Dairy Farm Road opening in August 2018!

All the Details!
What: GESS Pre-School Open House
When: Tuesday, 20 March, 9am to 11am
Where: Habitat, Junior School Campus, 300 Jalan Jurong Kechil, Singapore 598668
RSVP: Click here to register! Got questions? Email the admissions team or call (+65) 6461 0881, mama!


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Registration period: 22 June, 2017 – 21 June, 2023

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IB Curriculum

The English speaking European Section of GESS is a fully fledged International Baccalaureate World School, and one of the few in the world who are authorised to deliver the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (IBDP).

Since opening in 2005, the European Section has grown rapidly to become a school with a reputation for quality education with a strong community feel. We now have over 600 students. The vast majority of our students are European passport holders, for whom GESS represents a vital connection with home. Students are thus provided with a safe, friendly and familiar environment in which they are challenged to thrive as they grow into independent and responsible global citizens.

Our academic and pastoral programmes are designed to support this demographic and ultimately to prepare our students for returning to Europe or for entry into European universities. To this end we endeavor to support mother tongue language acquisition so that our students do not lose this vital connection with their home culture. Fortunately, given the high entry requirements into European schools and colleges, this also means that our students are especially well prepared for study all over the world, particularly North America, the UK and Australia.

The Pre-School department provides education from 18 month to 6 years in either English or German. Children are placed in groups according to their age.


German Curriculum

Since the school was founded in 1971, the school has evolved into a school with two sections. As an accredited “Excellent German School Abroad”, the German Section of the German European School Singapore (GESS) offers all major German school leaving certificates. The European Section is an authorized IB World School offering education in English across all three IB programmes.

The German Section supports the students to develop their German roots. We give them wings for the linguistic demands of a globalized world through our differentiated English programme from grade 1 onwards. In secondary school some subjects are taught in English. Our students are benefitting from numerous bonding activities and have additional space to enjoy the internationality of the school.

Our Pre-School department provides education from 18 month to 6 years in either English or German. Children are placed in groups according to their age. 

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