Michelle has a BA (Hons) in History and South Asian Studies from North London University and PGCE from Middlesex University. She began teaching across all three primary key stages. Michelle began her school leadership career in 2002, when she became the Deputy Head Teacher of a large primary school in North London and spent four wonderful years there before relocating to India in 2005.
Her first international position was the Head of Primary of a local/international school in Bangalore in Southern India, where she introduced the Cambridge International Primary Programme and Checkpoint. Michelle then spent 6 years in China and 3 years in Ethiopia developing curriculum and assessment practices.
Michelle believes that children learn best when they are having fun and are engaged in practical, real life activities. While she recognises that outstanding academic achievement is the ultimate goal, she feels it is just as important to build self-esteem, instill character and encourage a global outlook in every child. Michelle believes that learning transcends the classroom environment and is passionate about educational visits and extra-curricular experiences.
Michelle is married with four children - Ana, Hindya, Bille and Markos. The Dickinson family have a sense of adventure and love of life. They particularly enjoy the outdoors, family holidays, making friends, good weather, camping and exploring and are delighted to be at OWIS.
As a parent, one of the most important decisions you will make for your child is the decision to enrol your child in a pre-education programme. With multiple early childhood education philosophies such as Reggio Emilia and Montessori, there is much to consider when selecting a preschool or daycare in Singapore. Parents need to be confident that they have found the best match for their child, not only with regards to the academic aspects of their education but also relating to the environment and activities that the school offers.
Another important consideration is whether your child will be enrolled in a formal early years programme or a more informal daycare programme. Choosing a formal pre-education programme tied to the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) offers several important benefits for children. It helps to give them a step in the right direction and get them ready for the next phase of their education. As you evaluate your child's options, these are some benefits the early childhood programme at OWIS offers:
OWIS follows the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), a curriculum framework that includes an “Early Years” component designed for preschool-age children prior to the start of primary schooling. This programme teaches children to be inquisitive learners, to ask questions and to dig deeper into topics. It helps make learning fun through play. It focuses on the personal growth of each child and is catered to their needs; encompassing emotional, physical and cultural values as well as academic requirements. The programme as a whole gives our young learners the basic skills to become lifelong learners who are equipped to thrive in this rapidly changing world.
Our EC3 children transitioning to Grade 1 often have a higher achievement level since they are already familiar with the curriculum expectations, unlike new Grade 1 entrants. Our early childhood teachers also work closely with Grade 1 and Grade 2 teachers, helping to ensure a seamless transition between the “Early Years” programme and into Grade 1 IB PYP.
The PYP Early Years component emphasises the importance of self-led, inquiry-based learning. At OWIS, we provide our youngest learners with a stimulating learning environment that integrates the natural world into the classroom, both indoors and outside. This rich environment allows young children to learn through play and more formal activities, offering an important balance between self-inquiry and structured learning. They are able to get hands-on experience within their learning and have the opportunity to experiment to find answers to their questions. They can let off steam and maintain their physical wellbeing while simultaneously learning. A structured curriculum brings purpose to everyday play and children "learn" without feeling constrained or restricted. Our teachers strive to cultivate intellectual curiosity and creativity from the earliest age.
Our early childhood block is designed to be like a school within a school. We offer a supportive, nurturing environment and small class sizes that are comparable to an outstanding preschool. We have a range of resources and areas available that promote a vibrant and exciting learning space. We cap class sizes at 18 students, helping young learners form close bonds of friendship. This is important as it ensures that children feel confident with their peers. They are also able to learn the importance of friendships and positive working relationships from a young age. Since our early childhood block is also part of our larger campus, young learners will gain familiarity with the school environment, helping to facilitate a smooth transition to primary schooling.
At One World International School, we understand the critical importance of early childhood education. The right programme will lay a strong foundation for your children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. To learn more about the IB PYP curriculum and the difference our approach to early childhood education can make for your child, please contact us.