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Embracing an Eclectic Curriculum at ISMILE Schools

At ISMILE Schools, we believe in providing a rich, diverse, and holistic education for your children.

At ISMILE Schools, we believe in providing a rich, diverse, and holistic education for your children. To achieve this, we have adopted an eclectic curriculum, a blend of several renowned educational philosophies and methods. This approach ensures that we cater to the varied learning styles, strengths, and interests of each child. Let us take you through what an eclectic curriculum means and how we integrate multiple educational theories and practices to foster comprehensive development.

What is an Eclectic Curriculum?

An eclectic curriculum combines elements from various educational approaches to create a well-rounded and adaptable learning environment. Unlike a one-size-fits-all model, this method draws on the strengths of different theories and practices to provide a more personalized and flexible educational experience. The aim is to take the best aspects of each approach to meet the diverse needs of students and prepare them for the complexities of the modern world.

Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory, developed by Howard Gardner, proposes that intelligence is not a single, fixed trait but a set of multiple intelligences, each representing different ways individuals perceive and understand the world.

At ISMILE Schools, we embrace Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences, which recognizes that children possess various types of intelligences or ways of learning, including linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. We design activities and lessons that cater to these varied intelligences, ensuring each child can engage and excel in their unique way. This approach provides a personalized and effective learning experience, fostering a love for learning that lasts a lifetime. By tailoring learning experiences to accommodate diverse student strengths and preferences, we assess students’ intelligences through methods such as observations, informal assessments, or surveys, aiming to understand their strengths across various intelligences. This allows us to design a wide array of activities that cater to different learning styles, fostering a supportive and inclusive educational environment where each student can thrive and develop holistically.

Montessori Method

The Montessori Method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator, in the early 20th century. At its core, the Montessori Method is based on the belief that children are naturally curious and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared environment. This philosophy emphasizes respect for the child, self-directed learning, and hands-on, experiential learning. Montessori education seeks to develop the whole child, addressing physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth.

One of the key components of ISMILE Schools’ eclectic curriculum is the Montessori Method, a renowned educational approach that emphasizes self-directed learning, hands-on activities, and a prepared environment. By integrating Montessori principles into our broader curriculum, we provide a nurturing and stimulating environment that fosters independence, creativity, and a lifelong love of learning.

Montessori education emphasizes the importance of learning through hands-on experiences. At ISMILE, we incorporate a wide range of tactile and interactive materials that help children understand complex concepts by engaging their senses. From practical life activities that develop fine motor skills to sensory materials that introduce mathematical concepts, our hands-on approach ensures that learning is both meaningful and enjoyable.

Our eclectic curriculum is enriched by the integration of Montessori principles, providing a comprehensive and nurturing educational experience. By adopting Montessori’s hands-on, child-centered approach, we support each child’s individual growth and development. The benefits of Montessori math, with its emphasis on concrete learning, independence, and problem-solving, ensure that our students build a strong foundation for future success. We are committed to creating an environment where every child can thrive, discover their potential, and develop a lifelong passion for learning.

Reggio Emilia Approach

The Reggio Emilia Approach to education originated in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in the aftermath of World War II. It is grounded in the philosophy that children are capable, curious, and intelligent individuals, emphasizing the pivotal roles of community and environment in their learning journey. Key features include project-based learning initiated by children’s interests, fostering collaboration among children, teachers, and parents, meticulous documentation of children’s thoughts and progress, and the creation of aesthetically pleasing and inspiring classroom environments. ISMILE schools implement the Reggio Emilia Approach into their curriculum by integrating its core principles into daily practices. We incorporate term project work that encourages active exploration and discovery, fostering collaboration among students, educators, and parents through regular communication and involvement in children’s learning processes. ISMILE schools also emphasize the documentation of children’s learning journeys, using observations and reflections to inform individualized educational plans. We create inviting and stimulating classroom environments that serve as additional teachers, inspiring creativity and engagement among students.

Key To Learning Vygotsky Theory

Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of cognitive development emphasizes the crucial role of social interaction, cultural tools, and the zone of proximal development (ZPD) in children’s learning. According to Vygotsky, learning occurs primarily through social interactions with more knowledgeable others, such as parents, peers, or teachers. These interactions provide children with cultural tools—such as language, symbols, and shared practices—that help them understand and navigate their environment. The zone of proximal development refers to the gap between what a child can achieve independently and what they can accomplish with guidance and support from a more skilled individual. Vygotsky believed that learning within this zone, where tasks are challenging yet achievable with assistance, promotes cognitive growth and development in children.

The Key To Learning curriculum is a comprehensive program comprising over 600 sessions across 12 modules. It focuses on developing learning abilities while encompassing a wide range of foundational and age-appropriate knowledge and skills. This diversity allows children to engage with both conventional and contemporary learning areas, accommodating various learning styles and interests. Each session acts as an invitation or provocation, designed to stimulate specific areas of the brain and inspire children to pursue rich and varied self-directed activities afterward. By implementing the Key To Learning curriculum, ISMILE schools aim to create a nurturing and enriching educational environment that supports holistic development, fosters a love for learning, and prepares children for future academic success.

Character Building Program

Character building is essential for children as it serves as the foundation for their holistic development and future success, particularly within the framework of Christian values. Through character-building programs at ISMILE schools, children are taught fundamental Christian virtues such as compassion, honesty, integrity, kindness, and respect for others. These values not only guide children in making ethical decisions and developing a strong moral compass but also shape their interactions with others based on Christian teachings. Character education emphasizes social skills like empathy and cooperation, enabling children to foster meaningful relationships and contribute positively to their community.

ISMILE schools implement character building daily through structured activities that reinforce these virtues in everyday interactions and learning experiences. Additionally, our chapel program provides a dedicated time for reflection, prayer, and teaching of Christian values, further embedding these principles into students’ hearts and minds. By integrating Christian principles into character building, ISMILE schools aim to nurture students who embody these virtues, preparing them to lead purposeful lives and make a positive impact in their world.

written by,
Halim Suheppy
Centre Coordinator Permata Hijau Branch
Nafas To Install Clean Air Zones in 7 iSmile Pre-School Campuses in Indonesia

As pollution in Jakarta and many other Indonesian cities continues to get worse, Nafas has been appointed as the air quality partner for iSmile Family of Schools in Indonesia and is tasked with bringing healthy air quality to 7 campuses in Permata Hijau, Menteng, Kelapa Gading, Pantai Indah Kapuk, P. Antasari (for Alam Atelier & BazGym) and Bandung. As part of the partnership, Nafas will be providing healthy air quality management, analytics & reporting as well as leading educational programs for parents across iSmile, iShine, Alam Atelier and BazGym  to continue to raise awareness about air pollution and public health.

Over 800 students attend iSmile Family of Schools, one of the top pre-schools in Jakarta, Bandung and Bali. The dedication of iSmile administration to providing the optimal learning environment for its students extends to ensuring that healthy indoor air quality levels are always maintained. 

For their schools that already have a Clean Air Zone, Nafas successfully reduced indoor air pollution by over 80% in classrooms at the Kelapa Gading campus in April 2024.  Unhealthy indoor air quality in schools provides a sub-optimal learning environment for children and long term exposure to PM2.5 reduces concentration, focus and can impair cognitive development. Nafas even published an article about this – The Smog Effect: How Air Quality Could Be Affecting Test Scores.

Clean Air Zones by Nafas are a subscription based B2B service which provides companies with air quality diagnostics, healthy air management, data analytics and real-time reporting of indoor pollution levels. The end to end service is the first of its kind in Indonesia, and already serves over 100 clients in offices, schools, small businesses and residential locations.

Interested to learn more about turning your business into a Clean Air Zone – click here.