Name of Recipient:
Ms. Selene Goh
Little Castle has a fascinating story. The concept of giving top-notch education (in a neighborhood area) that emphasizes on the importance of camaraderie is the brainchild of Selene Goh. Passionate about inculcating a holistic education for children, Mrs Goh quite naturally gravitated towards a career in early childhood education.
One of the most important concerns for Mrs Goh is a sense of disconnection she sees among people these days. She mentioned that people she sees are constantly glued to their technological devices and seldom interact with one another. It is with that in mind that Mrs Goh attempted to create an education system where young children will be able to learn the beauty of human companionship. Children as young as fifteen months are taught the importance of human-to-human interaction. Mrs Goh said that by promoting interaction, children would be able to improve on their speech and language as they become naturally conversant in their daily lives.
Students are taught foundational mathematics, phonics, art and music, and classes are conducted with a small teacher to student ratio. This is to ensure that students will be able to get equal amounts of attention from their teachers. A typical class at Little Castle consists of a mixture of experiential learning and language acquisition. For example, children are taught song and dance using visual aids and props; this will facilitate the children’s motor skills and language. Classes for younger students consist of the learning of new words and enriching activities to allow them to be active and joyful. This coincides with Mrs Goh’s vision to provide children with an education that will enhance a child’s imagination, while remaining enriching and fun at the same time.
Little Castle also believes in a naturalistic pedagogy, they believe that children should always have a wide array of hands-on experience from a young age. For example, children are given the opportunity to make their own sandwiches in cooking lessons. Students are taught in a more organic way, as teachers will read to their students. This not only teaches children the importance of paying attention, but also helps to foster stronger interpersonal relationships between students and teachers.
This shows that the center has a pursuit of excellence not only in academic areas, but also in their student’s character development. Mrs Goh said, “We want the child to be happy and learn from playing, so we are not so regimental”. Little Castle also ensures that they work with total commitment and integrity when it comes to handling both students and parents. This is because integrity will create a sense of trust among all parties involved.
Mrs Goh is extremely prudent and cautious about making plans for expansion. She mentioned that she has not given out any franchise rights because she is afraid that Little Castle’s unique style of education will be compromised and diluted. Instead, Mrs Goh said that she would much rather look for a bigger space so that she is able to cater to more students, but still oversee the daily operations of the center.
An eternal student of life, Mrs Goh stated that she learns from every aspect of life, both the good and the bad. In addition, she also mentioned that she is extremely happy to be able go to work everyday. This is because she enjoys the daily challenges she finds at work, in fact, Mrs Goh takes her work as a constant source of learning as she seeks to improve herself both professionally and personally.
She said, “I love what I’m doing, and I believe in being happy”, she mentioned that she enjoys seeing children mature under her watch. She said that there is nothing more satisfying than being able to play a part in a child’s wellbeing and development.
When asked about her source of motivation and inspiration, Mrs Goh mentioned that she is inspired to help children because they make her happy. She highlighted that the innocence of children is something that constantly amazes her.
Offering advice to potential entrepreneurs, Mrs Goh said that passion is always the hidden ingredient to success. She stated, “If you have passion for your job, you will be patient and compassionate”. In addition, she also elaborated on the importance of job experience over paper qualification. She said that skills cannot be learnt in the classroom, as it can only be learnt through hands-on experience. This is because early childhood educators must be energetic and nurturing; as they have to be able to handle the boundless energy of children, and also sit them down to teach them at the same time.
With Little Castle’s motto of providing “schedules that cater to your lil ones”, it is evident that the center’s primary emphasis is to do right by their students. It is also this very motto that has allowed many of their students’ to gain exceptional experiences in their young lives.
846 Yishun Ring Road
T| 9111 8169