Stepping Stone Learning Centre: a new approach to early childhood development
There is an important connection between preschools and future academic success. Studies also show that children who attend preschools prior to formal education are likely to be more socially adept. Stepping Stone Learning Centre takes early childhood development a step further by breaking the conventions of traditional teaching approaches. At Stepping Stone, all learning activities are done through play and interactive communication. It is a place where children are encouraged to explore what interests them, and basic numeracy and literacy is taught through what the children are excited by.
Stepping Stone Chairperson, Sharmin Farooq Rita, and Managing Director Shumida Rahman have extensive experience in education and early childhood development. The duo is extremely hands-on with their preschool in every aspect. They are the owners, teachers, coordinators, supervisors and administrators. To them, it is their contribution to our society, by investing time, effort and love for the children.
"It is our mission to help the children, catering to their individual and unique potential. We hope our students will be good and independent people," Sharmin Farooq says.
As educators, they merge fundamental teaching with a warm nurturing environment that encourages a holistic social, physical and cognitive growth for children.
Stepping Stone offers pre-school for children from 18 plus months to 3 plus years, and day-care for 18 plus months to 6 year olds. The pre-school is divided into two sections, Playgroup for children ages two and below, and Nursery for children ages three and above.
Sharmin Farooq and Shumida Rahman have devised a curriculum where directive teaching is left in the past, and associative teaching with materials and sensory stimulants is implemented to ignite creativity and curiosity in young minds.
The preschool premises are set up to look like an interactive wonderland for the children, and there are so many things children learn with every baby step they take. The place is filled with many thematic stations where everyday lessons are carried out. They have a literacy station, numeracy station, arts and crafts, reading station, a gym with a baby wall climber and a treehouse, a theme area that facilitates sand play and water play, and also a nap station and a multimedia room with toddler-sized desks and computers. Every corner of the premises is stimulating. Children not only get to learn shapes and colours, but also get to play inside life-size circles and triangles in the free exploration zones.
All lesson activities are associative for both playgroup and nursery children. They learn to match shapes to their outlines. Numeracy is taught through dice games and they learn how to match alphabets with colour palettes. All five senses are constantly stimulated in their learning activities. Children are encouraged to match numbers, letters, colours and shapes using their own hands and minds.
Shumida Rahman believes that singing is really important in the learning process for early childhood development. She explains, "When it rains, they sing 'rain rain go away' and when thunder strikes, they sing 'I hear thunder, I hear thunder'. And within weeks of them attending Stepping Stone, they are able to associate these songs with the weather."
Over all, the lesson curriculum of Stepping Stone is designed to enhance emotional development that emphasises social skills and importance of independence and responsibility. They encourage motor skills, fine motor skills through using hand eye coordination to match letters, numbers, shapes and sizes, and gross motor skills are flourished in the toddler gym and themed play areas. Language development is enhanced through speaking, reading, writing, listening and singing and also role-playing.
Admissions are always open. Registration fees for both preschool and daycare is Tk 55,000.
For admissions please contact Stepping Stone Learning Centre at 01781613093 or [email protected]
Address: house 9A (NW-1) Road 53, 1ST FLOOR, Gulshan 2, Dhaka
Timing: 8:30am to 11:30am
Monthly Fees: Tk 15,000
Timing: 8:30 to 5pm
Monthly Fees: Tk 18,000
Photo courtesy: Stepping Stone