top of page

Bringing different perspectives to collaborate on our first joint Learning Day for PPS and NLPS

Smiles and laughter filled the air as colleagues from different preschools and HQ greeted each other at Covenant Evangelical Free Church (Woodlands) for our 3rd Staff Learning Day of the year. But there was something a little more significant and special than our past Learning Days as two organisations, Presbyterian Preschool Services and New Life Preschool Services collaborated to host a professional development day.

Like all collaborations, it was not a walk in the park, but learning to work as a team and ironing out the details has been an excellent learning experience for the planning team. It was clear that everyone was willing to set aside their individual agendas to achieve a common purpose, leveraging each other's strengths and shared resources effectively.

The day began with a time of praise, remembering God’s great power and His mission for us to love others with the same love that He has shown to us. New Life Community Services Executive Director, Mr Steve Kon, then framed our learning journey with the 4Ps: Partnerships, Presenter, Purpose, and Posture.

With a theme of ‘Motivation & Activation’ for this Learning Day, he shared his hope that that gaining knowledge will motivate our educators to activate themselves to action.

His words set a powerful tone for the day, encouraging us to embrace growth that happens gradually, endeavouring to be “better today than yesterday, and better tomorrow than today” in order to build a quality faith-based preschool.

Our speaker for the morning was Beth Fredericks, who is a Master Facilitator of the programme ‘Mind in the Making’ which has a focus on brain-building via positive adult-child interactions, back and forth interaction and life skills that promote Executive Function, which are always goal-directed. She took us through the seven essential Executive Function life skills are: Focus and Self-Control, Perspective Taking, Communicating, Making Connections, Critical Thinking, Taking on Challenges and Self-Directed, Engaged Learning. Thereafter, everyone had a chance to practice identifying the skills from some adorable and hilarious videos of her very own grandchildren!

Parents would definitely benefit from having knowledge about these skills as it helps them understand how to manage their children’s thoughts, behaviours and emotions at home too.  You can watch the introductory video here and find out more about Mind in the Making here.

We also had the privilege of having a live Q&A session with Beth Fredericks where teachers posed questions based on real-life scenarios and challenges they face in the classroom, and how the 7 Executive Function skills could help them in everyday situations. For example, a common challenge faced by many educators was managing a rowdy classroom, especially during Circle Time. Beth suggested that teachers could lead games and exercises to train focus and self-control in a fun way, such as through the game Simon Says. It trains children to listen, think and act accordingly.


Finally, it was time for a well-deserved lunch! Everyone had a great time unwinding and catching up with colleagues.

In the afternoon, there was no time to be sluggish. The hands-on activities lined-up kept the teachers alert and on their feet – starting with games such as charades. There was also time to share in groups about the importance of certain executive functions like perspective-taking and communicating in understanding others’ viewpoints and feelings.

Then, it was time for the teachers’ creativity and acting skills to be tested as they were tasked to hunt for items in the compound that started with the initials of their group leaders’ names in order to film a short skit using those objects! The results were entertaining to say the least, and the teachers enjoyed expressing themselves through drama.

As we gathered back for a sharing by our PPS Executive Director Mr Lim Ee Tuo, he urged us to consider and challenge our own perspectives and the way we regard the world around us. It is important to take a step back and realise that the various senses we use to ‘see’ and understand the world as well as our experiences and backgrounds all contribute to the unique character of each individual. He chose this simple story ‘They all saw a cat’ which illustrates this well.

We ended off the day with a series of activities to practice the ‘Many Ways of Seeing’, turning to nature to explore the variety of shapes, sizes and colours of leaves. Each teacher picked up three leaves at the park opposite the church that caught their eye, thereafter combining efforts to arrange their leaves into a beautiful artpiece (‘Wonder Plate’) with their colleagues. They then discussed about why they displayed the leaves in a certain way. Lastly, everyone chose one leaf and drew it out with oil pastels, making sure to represent it as realistically as possible before adding their leaf onto a cardboard tree covered with a translucent veil.

Taking a step back, everyone considered how the collective display cultivates a concept of showing ‘our work’ rather than ‘my work’. A teacher reflected that, as individuals, we have different perspectives and approaches. When we encounter challenges, working together as a team allows us to overcome them. Indeed, that is the essence of teamwork! We hope to continue embracing and appreciating the various perspectives of children and teachers as we work towards an even more inclusive and loving learning environment in every preschool.



bottom of page