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Garden International School Early Years Centre (EYC)

by on 04/08/2017 609

Garden International School (abbreviated GIS) is a private, co-educational international school in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1951, by Mrs. Sally Watkins, Garden International School is one of the oldest and most prestigious international schools in Malaysia. GIS is part of the Taylor’s Education Group and a member of FOBISIA.

GIS provides British-based education for students aged 3 to 18 years old from Early Years Centre (Pre-School) to Primary School (Year 1 to Year 6) and Secondary School (Year 7 – Year 13). GIS is the biggest private co-educational school in Malaysia with a roll of around 2,000 students.

Accredited by the Council of International Schools, GIS offers the British National Curriculum, including providing IGCSE and A-Levels examinations.

GIS Early Years Centre (EYC) is located about 5 minutes away from the main campus. It is a three storey purpose-built building with well-resourced learning environments both inside and outside, offering a range of multi-sensory learning opportunities. The classrooms are well planned free flowing open concept areas with ample space for learning, discovery and interaction. Facilities include a multipurpose hall, music room, library, soft play room, indoor and outdoor playgrounds and a multipurpose room.

GIS EYC’s curriculum is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) from the UK, which is built on four guiding principles - A unique child, Positive relationships, Enabling environments and Learning and development.

At EYC, the children are the centre of everything that we do. We take learning to the children by creating a rich, nurturing and enabling environment where children can develop at their own pace in the knowledge that everything they do is valued and anything is possibleJoanne Rice, Head of EYC

Having experienced, qualified and dedicated teachers and assistants allow GIS EYC to initiate lessons and engage the children in structured play, open-ended learning and child-initiated activities. “Our priority is to understand and acknowledge each child as a unique individual with the capacity and confidence to become lifelong learners,” says Joanne Rice.

A unique part of GIS EYC’s curriculum is its amazing ‘Jungle School’ program. This is a hands-on program based on the ‘Forest Schools’ approach in Europe that enables children to take managed risks and become actively involved in their immediate natural environment. Activities include boat making, leaf threading, mud mixing, stick collecting and many more. The ‘Jungle School’ program encourages communication, questioning, social interaction, calculated risk taking, problem solving and resilience – making learning real, purposeful and fun. This program would certainly bring a smile to John Muir’s face, as it was he who so many decades ago wrote, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks” and “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

ICT is an essential part of learning today and GIS EYC not only embraces it, they encourage it throughout the school and classrooms. Interactive projectors are installed in all EYC classrooms. MacBooks and iPads are also deployed throughout the EYC. In the broader perspective, there are also:

  • Schoolwide Student Info Management System (SIMS)
  • Oliver Online Library System
  • E-research Facilities/Resources in the Libraries
  • BYOD iPads for Years 3 to 9 students and BYOD Macbooks for Year 10 and above
  • Google School
  • Apple Distinguished Programme
  • ICT Suites for Art and Design & Technology
  • Wireless access points and Apple TV implemented in all classrooms

GIS EYC is an institution that truly practice what they preach. Borrowing a line from their ‘The GIS Story’, “From a tiny acorn springs the almighty oak, which upon maturity, provides shade, strength and prodigious acorn”, GIS EYC has in place an innovative one-of-a-kind program called GIS Mother and Toddler Playgroup. The GIS Mother and Toddler Playgroup is a fun, free community playgroup for children from birth to 3 years old. The group emphasizes socialization and learning through play, while making connections between families and the larger community. Facilitated by GIS, but led by parents for parents, the experience is shared together as parents and caregivers attend with their children – a shining example that embodies the very essence of a holistic education.

During a tour of GIS EYC I observed both teachers and children at play and at work. In all the classrooms we observed different groups of children involved in different activities, in the same environment. A group would be listening attentively to the teacher, while others would be busy reading, writing or even having a discussion among themselves. Given the fact that these were three to five years old children, it is amazing that amidst all the perceived chaos there was order and discipline. Even during playtime in their outdoor play area, when the children we all laughing, jumping, climbing and running around, I felt that the children somehow knew that this was a safe and nurturing environment where they could express themselves, give free reign to their natural curiosity and be safe, secure and happy.

The visit to GIS EYC has been firstly informative and an eye-opener, but mainly it has been fascinating and engaging.

I departed with a widespread feeling of well-being. I felt hopeful and at that moment all was right with the world. I would like to leave you with an extract of a poem I once read titled:

“A little acorn – A mighty Oak” by Jackle

From a little acorn grows a Mighty Oak Tree,
From one kind word to a hurting soul
May come that one to help many.
Each time you bend your knees to touch
A child, imagine what that child may grow to be
Speak Softly, Be Gentle, Be Humble, Help Others,
Wear a smile, Let your light shine so others
Can see what joy fills your heart,
Let love be your guide for friend or foe.

Bringing Out The Best In You


Garden International School Early Years Centre (EYC)

1, Jalan 41/70A
Desa Sri Hartamas,
Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur 50480
03- 6209 6XXX
Show Number
03- 6209 6888Please mention you get this contact number from
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