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Toolkit Case Study: Spectrum International Schools

A kindergarten program in Malaysia successfully transformed their program using the play-based pedagogy and boosted enrollments by 15% with the help of the HEI Schools Toolkit.

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General Overview

  • School name: Spectrum International Schools

  • Location: Putrajaya, Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  • Open date: 2006

  • Joined the Toolkit: August 2020

  • Number of children in preschool program: 40

  • Number of ECE teachers: 10

Meet the HEI Schools Partner

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Osama Yunes

Project manager of ECE Development Program at Spectrum

The HEI Schools Toolkit is localizable, research-based and customer-friendly. Parents see the changes in their children and enrollment has increased by 15% in the early childhood program since we started using the program.

 

Challenges faced

  • Children sat at their desks all day completing academic tasks
  • Teachers spent lots of time looking for activities and lessons
  • Both children and teachers did not experience the joy of learning

 

Solution

When his team started searching for solutions to the kindergarten program’s challenges, Osama already knew that Finland was a shining example of successful early education. He also knew that HEI Schools, a company that adapted Finland’s approach for schools around the world, might be a good option, so he suggested it to his team. After spending a year studying how to implement the Finnish approach in Malaysia, they chose the HEI Schools Toolkit. Why? Osama states three clear reasons: “It is localizable, it is affiliated with the University of Helsinki and it is customer-friendly.”

Once they were subscribed to the Toolkit program in August 2020, the team put their plan into action. For the first month, teachers got familiar with the materials. During the second month, they started teaching the Finnish way without telling the families: “That way, the parents could see the changes in their children for themselves,” Osama explained. In the third month, the team formally introduced the Toolkit to families and began conducting monthly workshops with them so that everyone was familiar with the new approach. Several months later, they ended the school year “with bright smiles all around,” according to their head teacher Nuramirah.

Results

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The school experienced a 15% increase in enrollments

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Children play and learn in ways that are natural to them

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Teachers save a lot of time and enjoy their work much more

Conclusion

The HEI Schools Toolkit was a game-changer for Spectrum’s kindergarten program in more ways than one. From a business perspective, the Toolkit’s marketing materials and international appeal boosted the school’s reputation. From an education perspective, the Toolkit’ pedagogical materials and activities transformed the way its teachers taught. From a holistic perspective, Osama says, “everyone gets their rights.” Children get the right to play and learn, teachers get the right to teach in a suitable way for their age groups, and parents get the right to be involved in their children’s education. It is truly international Finnish education at its best.

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