Arriving at 3Q MRC Puncak Jalil Kindergarten, we got ready to be impressed as we had heard about the success story of the SMM Education Group, which has over 500 3Q MRC centres throughout Malaysia and Singapore under its wings.
And impressed we were! Principal Dorin Cheng took us for a tour that revealed a kindergarten which has taken every step possible to provide the best environment for a child’s learning, safety and well-being. Every classroom has a centralised speaker and a CCTV. Soft "Mozart effect" music continuously fills the classrooms to calm the children and to help them learn better. Besides the CCTVs, tight security measures have also been taken. Outside access to the kindergarten is enabled through only one main gate and one access controlled main door, while new visitors come in through another entrance and are seen in a room that has controlled access to the main area. Each child’s family is given only one authorisation card, and if someone else besides the parent is picking up the child, the parent has to call beforehand to inform.
But the best is yet to come! What really made our eyes open wide were their whole brain teaching approach, which is combined with a unique “Super Memory Map” system; their thematically synchronised textbooks, readers, cartoon animation and trademarked 3Q Flazzle Cards that comes in exact triplet copies of English, BM and Mandarin (the Flazzle Cards are a marvellous combination of flashcards and picture puzzles); and the various talent development activities for their students such as nationwide talent shows and competitions and the MRC International Carnival. Never have we seen so many programmes under one roof!
Said Ms Dorin, “When I wanted to start my first kindergarten back in 2006, I checked out many teaching programmes as I know that a good learning environment is critical for a child’s growth. The first 6 years of a child’s life is the best period for brain development. It is the golden period where children absorb information like a sponge. You can say their brain capacity is like that of a hard disk!
“I found the 3Q MRC Junior to be the most complete and comprehensive system to provide what I wanted for my students. We are a whole brain child development centre based on Harvard professor and developmental psychologist Howard Gardner’s research on multiple intelligences. By focusing our teaching approach on the nine multiple intelligences: Linguistic, Logic-Mathematical, Musical, Spatial, Bodily/Kinaesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalistic, and Existential, we actually optimise and enhance the children’s learning capacity.”
Ms Dorin then brought out a cute drawing of a man wearing a hat and holding a corncob. She then showed us how she uses it to teach children to memorise the spelling of certain words. The drawing is actually a memory map!
She smiled at our surprise, “I was also delighted to discover the 3Q MRC ‘Super Memory Map’ system. It is a specially designed system to encourage optimal concrete and abstract learning and enables students to easily convert the content of school lessons into long-term memory images. With this skill, the students can master spelling, grammar, and write and communicate correctly and effectively. It is amazing how fast they learn using this system.”
Ms Dorin’s briefing and demonstration of their books and teaching materials were so comprehensive that we were left with no further questions to ask. The visit was indeed an eye opening experience for us!
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