Remember when I mentioned on Dayre that my brother was opening a pre-school in Penang. When I was back in Penang over Chinese New Year I paid a visit to the pre-school just before its opening.
First let me give you a bit of a background of my brother. I’ve never talked much about Patrick because he’s social media shy but I’m gonna do it now. Patrick is my older brother who spent the past 10 years as a Goldman Sachs banker in Singapore. He has a family of four kids. Yep four. In Singapore. He jokes with me how every dollar he earned in his Goldman years was spent on his kids.
Last year though he left Goldman Sachs and decided to try something new on his own. He was interested in education because he has always been a very involved parent. In Singapore his kids went to EtonHouse and he marvelled and how well served the pre-school market in Singapore was. There were all sorts of options that satisfy difference prices and learning approaches.
He then came back to our hometown of Penang and found that this wasn’t the case in Penang:
- In Penang most of the great schools were congregated around the north of the island; Leaving a vacuum of major pre-school brands in the south.
- Even in the schools in the North there wasn’t enough supply to cater to the demand. The pre-school my parents sent me to when I was a kid (St Christophers) is known to have a long long waiting list.
So with this in mind and with family in Singapore, my brother decided to take a leap of coming back to Penang to start a preschool.
He didn’t want to simply start any school though. He wanted to make sure he brought a great brand in so he talked to EtonHouse about opening a branch in Penang. The thing about EtonHouse though is that it’s pretty high end. My brother wanted to be able to offer something affordable to working parents in the free trade zone area of Bayan Lepas and the likes.
So he convinced EtonHouse to bring their more affordable brand to Penang. It’s called E-bridge and it’s opening this April 2017.
Here are some pictures I took of the school when I visited.
This is an indoor playground area for the kids. I like how they built like a track around the playground.
They also have these kind of baby gyms. The kind of thing Penny and maybe even Fighter still enjoy playing.
The school is pretty big with 8 classrooms. Here’s how the classrooms look like.
Another classroom for all the kids. Love the cute little stools.
Which is kinda different from the stools that some of the other classrooms have. It’s like every classroom is a little different. I particularly like how the classroom has a sink with different types of taps.
I didn’t notice it at first but Shorty was telling me how it’s intentionally done this way so that kids learn how to turn on the different type of taps.
From turning to pushing upwards to winding.
I also noticed all these figurines on display representing the different type of jobs that people have. I imagine teachers using them to educate kids on all the different jobs.
There’s also a nursery here for all the babies to nap.
And this classroom that looked to me like a science room cuz it had microscopes and stuff.
Lots of toys around the school too.
And neatly packed building blocks. Something I think Fighter would appreciate.
EtonHouse and E-Bridge both adopt inquiry based learning, and is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. This is very different from our Malaysian education system, which is based on the British system that is more structured and didactic.
In Malaysia, we are very used to listening to the teacher- teacher is right, kids wrong. However – with Reggio Emilia, the school recognises the child as a sophisticated independent individual. My brother’s own kids are brought up with this approach and he says it surprises hinm what they know and the opinions that they have. The Reggio approach looks to harness those views and structure projects around them. The lessons are led by the children where the teachers are there to facilitate and learn together with the children.
If you’re keen to check it out, visit their website here. You can also give them a call at +604-3701788.
They’re having an Open Day on the 12th of February so feel free to pay them a visit. Here’s the address:
Address: E Bridge Childcare PLT, Arena Curve, Jalan Mahsuri Unit 72-1-73A,