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Physical and Mental Development for Early Years Students at International School Saigon Pearl

Mentally and physically healthy will help stimulate important skills of preschool children, which is a stepping stone for future success. The first years of life are a time of rapid intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development for children. Children need to be stimulated with important skills to prepare for this process, in which physical and mental health is a key factor. In order to learn more about Physical and Mental Development for Early Year Students at International School Saigon Pearl – qualified and prestigious international school of Ho Chi Minh City, please read the following article from TheTips.

The importance of mental health

The importance of mental health (Source: Internet)

The Raising Children Network defines mental health as how children think and feel about themselves and the world around them. This factor affects how children cope with life’s challenges and stressors. Children with good mental health will grow up healthy, feel happy and positive about themselves; and enjoy life. Children will have a good learning spirit; get along with family and friends; manage emotions well and have the ability to quickly recover from injury.

In the context of Covid-19, children are also the group that suffers from mental health impacts. The report “Rapid assessment of the impact of Covid-19 on Vietnamese children and families” (originally in Vietnamese as “Đánh giá nhanh tác động của Covid-19 đối với trẻ em và gia đình Việt Nam”) conducted by Unicef ​​in August 2020, noted that the pandemic increased stress, anxiety and depression in children.  Accordingly, social distancing activities and school closures disrupt children’s lives. Boredom, lack of motivation, stress, and depression appear when children have to stay in a confined space for a long time, leading to a psychological crisis.

Last September, the Department of Education and Training (DOET) also held an online conference “Caring for children’s physical and mental health due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic” (originally in Vietnamese as “Chăm sóc sức khỏe thể chất, tinh thần cho trẻ em do tác động của dịch bệnh Covid-19”). The conference pointed out that, in social distancing, young children tend to regress and cling to their mothers more; older children are often irritable, insecure, and anxious about separation. Children’s physicality is also affected by inactivity, while this is an activity that helps to release energy and negative mental state. Having a lot of Internet access also puts children at greater risk of being bullied online.

According to educational experts, teachers and psychologists have the role of guiding parents to interact with children; to guide children in hygiene and self-protection habits; and to build an online learning plan at home. The school also needs to have a mental health propaganda campaign for parents and students.

Sharing the same opinion, Ms. Tiffany Proctor – Vice Principal of International School Saigon Pearl (ISSP) said that focusing on developing children’s mental health and relationships in the school environment contributes to re-interaction and children’s learning. “Teachers need to communicate more openly with children, and discuss with parents and students, to figure out how to support when children return to school,” Ms. Tiffany said.

In order to build healthy mental health for preschool children, International School Saigon Pearl (ISSP) applies the Reggio Emilia method in learning and teaching, towards comprehensive development of soft skills, orientation and creativity for early years children. The educational program here aims to create curiosity, discovery and creativity for children. The school takes the student as the center of the teaching and learning process, and the teachers play a supporting role, accompanying children to explore the world around them.

Specifically, activities and games at school are unified under the view that “children’s voices need to be heard and respected”. The curriculum is also designed to create authentic experiences for children. Specifically, with a large concept, teachers will divide it into many smaller topics to equip children with knowledge and skills in many different aspects. After that, children are encouraged to participate in outdoor activities such as planting seeds, playing with mud and water, painting nature, etc. Thereby, children will actively use their senses and emotions at the same time and develop imagination, math, science and other important skills.

aIn addition, the school also organizes the event “Bingo Night Charity” to raise funds for street children, parade activities, food festival, Mid-Autumn Festival. These extracurricular programs are implemented both during social distancing and online learning, to ensure the necessary progress in mental health development for children.

Physical development for children

Physical development for children
Physical development for children (Source: Internet)

Along with mental health, preschool children also need physical development. According to the Research Center for Early Childhood (CREC), physical training for children will include developing the ability to use muscles, body parts for gross motor skills (large movements) and fine motor skills (small movements).

It is also one of the 3 main learning areas in the Early Education Framework (EYFS). Accordingly, early education programs must create opportunities for children to act and interact, develop coordination, control and motor skills. Children also need help to understand the importance of this activity, thereby making healthy choices in eating and exercising.

CREC also recommends a number of activities suitable for preschool children. Parents can identify physical milestones for children according to each age stage, make a list of suitable activities for their children according to each milestone, and at the same time encourage children to exercise independently such as walking on their own, self-feeding, etc. Parents can let their children participate in music activities, outdoor activities and enhance fine motor skills through artistic and tactile experiences.

At International Kindergarten Saigon Pearl (ISSP), daily physical education classes are considered an important form of physical education to help develop motor skills for preschool children. Exercises are designed to support movement from free, sporadic to active movement, so that students know how to coordinate rhythmic movements. According to Ms. Holly Younglove – physical education teacher at the school, physical activity also has a positive impact on body physiology. Working young muscles will help increase metabolism, support the circulatory system, and the respiratory system to work better.

International School Saigon Pearl (ISSP) also designs many sports activities according to each age of children, organizes group games to create bonds, helping to develop comprehensively physical and skills. Along with that, there are after-school extracurricular classes for children from 3 years and older, with more than 70 classes and many subjects specializing in physical training.

Excursions, long field trips, networking events are also part of ISSP’s physical training program. Prominent among them is the exchange of football, choir and lion dance teams between ISSP and the schools of the Cognita Group (UK).

“These physical activities are designed with children’s abilities in mind, providing enjoyment and an opportunity for children to develop new interests and skills, and connect more with friends and teachers.” Ms. Holly said.

Source: https://www.issp.edu.vn/international-schools-ho-chi-minh-city


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