Name of Recipient:
Ms. Leong Sook Wai
The “iReadnWrite” Programme – a successful reading and writing programme based on the Whole–Language Approach
“Oh no, our 6-year old can’t read and primary school is starting very soon!”
Will this scenario throw your household into a panic? Well, it should as the meritocracy system officially starts on Day One of primary one. In fact, nowadays, parents may push the panic button earlier if they notice that little Samantha, who lives next door, has already started reading at 3, while little Tommy still can’t do it at 5!
During the good old days of 60s and 70s,children were only expected to acquire alphabetical and numerical literacy in primary schools. However, much more is expected of the child born in the 21st century.
Thus, parents eager to give a head start to their children have turn to enrichment or tuition centres in droves. These additional lessons are beyond the regular nursery and kindergarten classes attended by their children. However, as there are myriads of programmes available, it becomes a daunting and time-consuming affair to select a programme that will be effective for their child. Most parents rely on recommendations from their friends and relatives and in this regard, Children’s Cottage through its unique iReadnWrite programme enjoys tremendous success.
Children’s Cottage is an enrichment centre for children aged 3-8 years, and their aim is to help all non-readers – read with joy; and all emerging writers – write with pleasure. The referral rate is 90% as many satisfied parents have been proactive in sharing their experiences with others.
Ms. Leong Sook Wai, Founder and Head Teacher, designed and trademarked the unique iReadnWrite programme to revolutionise the way children learn these crucial skills. While the typical Phonics system is used in most preschools, most children will find the iReadnWrite programme, which is based on the Whole-Language approach, to be particularly effective in helping them to assimilate words and learn to read rapidly.
The secret of the Whole-Language approach lies in teaching children to appreciate and comprehend the text, and not merely in decoding the sound. It trains a child’s brain to assimilate both words and their meanings. This is achieved through a Learning Cycle – an easy and highly- effective reading process.
Elaborating further, Sook Wai said: “The difficulty in decoding of sounds lie in the different root words from different sound systems as in Hebrew, Latin, French, German, just to name a few. The phonics rules are not simple and straight-forward, and the classic example of a tongue twister is mouthing the following sentence – ‘The photographer takes a photograph of a shepherd in his photography class.’.”
Teachers at the centre use a totally child-centric approach to help each child read. The low teacher-child ratio of 1:4 is an optimum arrangement as it allows the teachers to facilitate learning according to the child’s own learning pace, as he reads individually to the teacher in the class.
The whole session is devoted to introduction work, recall work and mastery work for each child. The beauty of this methodology ensures that each child not just reads the type-written font but also the handwritten font. Furthermore, there is no homework to be done. The lesson is conducted in a child-friendly environment in which the children learn and play throughout the session. The relaxed and warm atmosphere highly promotes active learning – Both at the table as well as on the floor!
iReadnWrite is a revolutionary reading and writing programme, designed for children from ages 3 to 8. The materials are staged for vocabulary, print size, language functions, tasks and content for the children to make sense of the print. It is always Children’s Cottage’s joy to mention that this methodology is suitable for children with Global Delay, Down Syndrome, Hearing-impaired & Mild Autism. They have immensely benefitted from this programme.
Sook Wai believes that the ability to read and write is very different. Hence, a good reader may not write or spell well. To write well, young writers need a firm grasp of Grammar & Vocabulary, Writing Structures, Summarisation & Organisational Skills – on top of learning the breadth of the English Language. The iReadnWrite programme has a specially-tailored programme for children (K2-P2) to learn and master these skills in a highly motivating and interactive environment. For young emergent writers, writing must be deemed as easy to learn, enjoyable and encouraging. We are proud to report that many children who have undergone this programme are so inspired to write that they have asked for Writing homework!
iReadnWrite has a solid 7-year track record of producing young voracious readers and competent writers. The centre is currently open 25 hours a week and the children engage in 90-minute sessions weekly. As the reading classes are taught individually, siblings of differing ages could attend the same session, thus making logistics a breeze for the family.
Since this is the only centre using a Whole-Language, book-based approach in Singapore, increasing number of students travel long distances to the centre at Pandan Valley frequently. This is a sure testimony of the effectiveness and success that she offers to parents who seek a stress-free and homework-free programme for their little ones.
For more information and videos on the iReadnWrite Programme, kindly visit www.ireadnwrite.com
2 Pandan Valley #01-204 (upper floor)
T| 6463 7811