In Taman Selayang Jaya, there is a double storey corner house with a huge side compound. Painted a bright yellow, green and purple, you can hardly miss it. This is the home of Krista Selayang Jaya. Krista is a well-known kindergarten franchise with more than twenty years of experience in early childhood education and development.
The blazing midday sun was almost directly overhead when we arrived. Desperate for some form of shelter, we scurried into the welcoming bosom and the cool comfort of Krista. Yes, it did exude a coziness that reminded me somewhat of home.
Ms. Cheng, Krista’s principal of thirteen years welcomed us with a broad smile, bordering on outright laughter in witnessing our antics. “Hello. I am Ms. Cheng. Welcome to Krista Selayang Jaya,” she says, still smiling.
“Krista’s many years of unwavering commitment towards pre-school education has inspired us to create our very own CAPABLE programme being used in our preschools and care centres today,” says Ms. Cheng. The CAPABLE approach is a proven path for preschool children to be educated in the New Education environment. The programme is designed to promote an all-round, healthy development of the child during his or her early childhood years at Krista. All Krista’s teachers are fully trained to deliver their programmes in a fun, exciting and creative environment that gently nurtures the child’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional, language, fine and gross motor skills.
As the letters of the word suggest, there are seven pillars that make up the core of a CAPABLE Krista child.
There is Child Centered Learning where the programme caters to the child’s developmental ability. Academic Foundation covers a wide range of subjects and Practical Experiences includes practical life applications of academic knowledge and employs the use of our five senses through the Montessori Method. Assessment Provision is where the child regularly assesses himself and the work produced. Then there is Benevolence and Inculcation which instills values such as respect and honesty through academic and practical lessons and interaction with people. Learn to Play initiates appropriate lessons through fun activities such as excursions and sports. And Exploratory Endeavours is where a child puts on different thinking caps to explore the world around him or her.
Krista implements its programmes via a play-oriented approach that is child-initiated, child-directed and teacher supported. The classrooms are all brightly painted and decorated with various handicraft by the children and huge attractive hand painted murals. The timetable at Krista include among others, Circle Time in the mornings before classes, classes on individual reading and living values, theme talks, role playing, singing and creative thinking. There is even a period know as ‘reflection time’ before they end their lessons for the day! All students are assessed quarterly and their progress and development made known to the parents.
A feature that is uniquely Krista Selayang is that it offers an afternoon session, from 12 noon till 4 p.m., of the exact same classes it offers students who attend the morning classes. These afternoon sessions cater mainly to parents whose children prefer to come in the afternoon for reasons such as wanting to accompany their elder siblings who attend school in the afternoon and parents who want smaller children to teacher ratios in the classrooms. Another reason given is that the children “……are not able to wake up in time to attend the morning sessions,” chuckles Ms. Cheng.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” so goes the popular saying. With this in mind, Krista has incorporated enrichment classes such as taekwondo, music and movement plus learning to play the keyboard into their regular curriculum.
Security at Krista Selayang Jaya is good, with CCTV cameras in every area of the kindergarten, its main gates are always locked and visitors are required to sign-in via a log book which records the times they enter and leave plus each visitor’s personal particulars. It becomes a little bit hectic during drop-off and pick-up times as Krista Selayang Jaya is located beside a busy main road. However, the dismissal times are staggered so that it does not exacerbate the traffic situation. All children are escorted to their respective transport by one of two teachers assigned gate duty for the day.
Before we take our leave, Ms. Cheng reveals, “Discipline and the family unit are integral components to the holistic development of a child. There is a time to play and there is a time to learn. When you decide to love and nurture a child, you love him not for a second, not for a minute, not for an hour but with every beat of your heart…...this is my passion……this is my life…….” – this is Ms. Cheng, principal of Krista Selayang Jaya.
Find Out More About Krista Selayang Jaya (Tadika Manjaku Bistari)