Updated: Oct 26
On 29 September 2023, over 1,200 teachers from various preschools, as well as our own PPS HQ staff and Centre staff came together for the annual Good Start Conference held at Suntec Convention Centre.
As a co-organiser of the event, PPS mobilised our staff to take on roles that looked a little different from their usual everyday scopes. From being show runners to ensure that the programme ran smoothly, to preparing the logistics and admin required for the event, to being hosts and ushers to the guests and presenters, everyone took pride in playing their part that day.
It was heartening to see more than double the number of attendees this year than the inaugural Good Start Conference in 2022. Themed "Effecting Change in Our Classrooms, the 2023 conference was focused on providing practical handles for early childhood practitioners and parents. All our 15 centres were closed last Friday as part of our 3rd Learning Day of the year, for teachers to benefit from the workshops covering one or more of these three interconnected strands: early intervention and inclusive practices, mental well-being of children & teachers early childhood theories and practices & strategies. Learning Days are specially designated days within a year that are reserved for our teachers to upskill themselves, and participate in trainings and workshops. It is also a precious time where our staff get to connect and share their experiences with each other!
The conference kicked off with the Award ceremony for Little Heroes of Inclusion 2023. Our beloved Mirabelle Tan Jia Xin from Ang Mo Kio centre was one of the awardees who were commended for supporting and inspiring her friends with added needs to learn and play meaningfully alongside their typically developing peers.Read more about her friendship with her 2 special classmates here.
We were honoured that Mayor Denise Phua, who supervises two charities – Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) and Autism Association (Singapore), as well as two special schools – the Pathlight School and Eden School, had joined us at the Conference to present the awards to the 9 Little Heroes this year and also give the Keynote Speech. We were also thankful to Dr Cheryl Seah and Ms Esther Goh, representing the Centre for Evidence and Implementation and Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning and Development for being our plenary speakers.
After the morning session, some of the PPS teachers also stayed back during the lunch break to engage attendees at our PPS and Education Support Programme booths. They took the time to share about PPS’ programmes and to network with educators and professionals in the industry. Then came the most exciting part of the day - the workshops! This year, we had 3 different rounds of breakout sessions, with four of the sessions being led by our staff who were more than happy to be presenters this year.
Thanks to our wonderful registration team made up of HQ and Centre staff, our teachers and even volunteers, all attendees managed to get to their different rooms throughout the afternoon swiftly. Other staff bustled about to make sure that all the presenters had the materials and technical support they needed. Some of our Centre Leaders also stepped up to be hosts to the presenters during the workshops they attended!
Amidst the chaos, the enthusiasm and teamwork of everyone in PPS really shined through and made the Conference work. We thank God for the success of the Good Start Conference 2023 and we look forward to the next one in 2024!