Preschool Programme

Introduction To Preschool Programme

For children in Kindergarten One and Two, they need to develop early literacy skills to access formal learning in primary school. Some children can pick up reading and spelling quickly, but others may struggle with alphabet knowledge. 

For children in Kindergarten One and Two, they need to develop early literacy skills to access formal learning in primary school. Some children can pick up reading and spelling quickly, but others may struggle with alphabet knowledge. 

The preschool years are the golden window for them to learn new skills. Preschoolers who are struggling may continue to struggle, while their peers continue to learn new skills. How do we know if the child is struggling? Parents may have observed their child struggling or preschool teachers give feedback that he/she is trying to catch up or taking a longer time to complete literacy tasks in class.

The SES Preschool Programme aims to help preschoolers who are potentially at risk of having dyslexia or developmental delay in early literacy, develop skills and strategies to become confident learners.

Recommended for Preschoolers in Kindergarten One or Two who are experiencing persistent learning difficulties with early reading, spelling and/or writing.

Teaching Approach

The SES Preschool Programme integrates Orton-Gillingham (OG) Instructional Approach, along with early childhood pedagogy. Student progress is monitored through formal and informal literacy assessments throughout the year. The programme is multi-sensory, sequential, and personalised to your child’s profile. The teaching approach in class is tweaked to the learning needs and style of the children.

Components covered in a typical lesson:

  • Alphabet knowledge
  • Phonological Awareness
  • High-Frequency Words i,e the, on, a, is
  • Oracy, Shared Reading and Listening Comprehension
  • Fine Motor Skills, and Emergent Writing
  • Social & Emotional Literacy

Meet The Preschool Team

WENG YIYAO
Lead Educational Therapist
Programme Manager
RETA Associate Fellow
Jurong Point Learning Centre

Programme Manager

Yiyao is a Lead Educational Therapist and Preschool Programme Manager with the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS). Since 2014, she has worked with preschoolers and school–aged students with dyslexia and other specific learning differences. She believes in empowering and equipping learners with the skills to overcome their challenges.

Rahayu Binte Rahiman

Jurong Point and
Chua Chu Kang
Learning Centre

Susan Yap Seok Lee

Woodlands and Yishun
Learning Centre

Anusha Subramanian

Woodlands and Yishun
Learning Centre

Shakthi Bavani

Sengkang
Learning Centre

Ann Toh Wei Lin

Bishan Learning Centre

Sandra Ngian

Bishan Learning Centre

Jeannie Ko Chin Chin

Rex House and Henderson
Learning Centre

Tan Shu Hong

Serangoon and Sengkang
Learning Centre

Joanne Tan Seok Kiang

Sengkang
Learning Centre

Roseline Marion

Sengkang
Learning Centre

Annabelle Chew

Sengkang
Learning Centre

Raihana Hashim

Parkway Parade and
Bedok Learning Centre

Babe Chen

Tampines
Learning Centre

Rosy Koh

Tampines and Serangoon
Learning Centre

Testimonials

“I would like to thank your teacher Roseline for her effort and patience in guiding my child for the last 3 years. English was a foreign language to my child since she spend most of the early years in another country. I can see that she had shown tremendous progress in her literacy and also her understanding of phonics."'
-Mr Soh

“I would like to thank teacher Babe for nurturing emotional awareness in my son Raphael. He really enjoyed her classes. He now knows some important words had to be remembered and can’t be sounded out. He looks forward to attending her classes.”
Mrs Tan

Media and Publications

Media Coverage

Bite-Sized Parenting: Tips On How To Raise A Confident Reader, From An Educational Therapist

https://www.littledayout.com/parenting-how-to-raise-a-confident-reader-educational-therapist/

Early Identification Of Children (targeting ages 5-6) At Risk Of Literacy Difficulties

https://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/article/early-identification-of-children-targeting-ages-5-6-at-risk-of-literacy-difficulties/

DAS Educational Therapist on reading techniques

https://www.supreme-parents.com/blog/blogart50

Research

Effectiveness of incorporating e-books in a literacy intervention programme to improve outcomes for early struggling readers

July 2023 – APJDD

Impact of preschool early literacy programme for struggling learners

July 2022 - APJDD

Investigating the impact of an early literacy intervention programme

October 2022 - IDA Conference

The Effectiveness of Family Literacy Programme with Preschoolers At Risk of Literacy Difficulties

October 2018 - IDA Conference

Evaluating an early literacy intervention in Singapore
 
 

Exploring the effectiveness of the Family Literacy Programme with Singaporean preschool children at risk of literacy difficulties

July 2018 - APJDD

Effectiveness of an early intervention programme for preschool children at risk of dyslexia in Singapore

January 2015 - AJPDD

 

Resources

Preschool Literacy Challenges Checklist

Alphabet Knowledge

Difficulty learning the letters or remembering the letters taught.

Recognises some letters but not most.

Writing the letters is laborious and may not remember how to write the strokes of most letters. Numerous consistent, Letter and number reversals

Phonological Awareness

Has not been able to acquire skills in identifying rhyming words, count syllables in words, match letter sound to letters, join or separate  letter sounds in 3-letter words  i.e.  c-a-t

Word Recognition

Does not recognise high-frequency words despite being taught such as I, a, my, the

 

Difficulty with Learning Tasks

 

Remembering concepts taught

Take a long time to recall concepts taught

Frequent task avoidance

Emotional meltdowns during learning tasks

Preschool Literacy Challenges Checklist

If more than 4 of the boxes are ticked, your preschooler is recommended to come for the free online basic literacy screening. Find out more here.

Does your preschooler experience any of these challenges?

  • Was a late talker
  • Recognising the letters (ABCs)
  • Not able to write their own name yet
  • Sequencing difficulties for letters (ABC not ACB)
  • Not able to read some sight words yet (I, the, my)
  • Challenges with writing letters and numbers
  • Takes a long time or unable to recall concepts taught
  • Does not know most of the letter sounds
  • Not able to join sounds in words to read yet
  • Difficulty identifying sounds in words to spell
  • Needs extensive guidance to complete learning tasks
  • Requires multiple reminders for attention and staying on task

Frequently Asked Questions

The Programme’s main focus is the structured, sequential, cumulative and explicit teaching of early reading. The components covered in a typical lesson are oracy, alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness skills, sight words knowledge (e.g. said), blending to read and segmenting to spell 3-letter words. In addition, early writing, reading and listening comprehension, will be taught in the classroom. The learning and teaching are customised to a child’s  learning needs. Parents will be informed of the learning goals and what would be covered in the classroom through an Individualised Intervention Plan (IIP).

The lessons are once a week,  2 hours per lesson. We follow the MOE school calendar. In a year there will be 4 terms, and in each term, there are 10 weeks. There will be no classes during the March, June, September and December School Holidays. There will also be no classes if your child’s lesson day falls during a public holiday. We are unable to replace lessons if your child is absent or when classes fall on public holidays.

Depending on the class profile, the students in each class ranges between 4 to 5 students.

The programme currently does not offer one-to-one remediation. However, you may refer to our Specialist Tutoring branch to enquire more about one-to-one remediation.

Response to intervention and progress varies from child to child and is according to a child’s learning needs and pace. Some children take longer whereas some may show progress in a shorter time. The key is the little successes since any progress in intervention however small is a great achievement. Preschool Educational Therapists do update parents/guardians about a student’s progress and classroom learning. They also give recommendations on how to follow up with learning at home. Parents and guardians are advised to follow up at home where possible.

The DAS Preschool Educational Therapist will communicate with parents/guardians on a child’s individual literacy goals, on progress, and are always ready to give recommendations on how to follow up with learning at home. Parents and guardians are advised to be open to communicating with our therapists. In addition, parents also have a wealth of knowledge to share about their child, this can be very helpful in the classroom.

 

Our main objective is to work with children who really need help with early literacy and are struggling. We will work according to the child’s level, and pace to narrow the learning gaps. The programme will work towards helping preschoolers acquire a foundation in alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness and high-frequency words, leading up to skills in early reading, early comprehension and early writing. These abilities gear children towards the skills required to better access and manage formal learning in Primary School.

 

We have worked with numerous students who have not benefited from enrichment centres. We’ve seen that children who need our help and come to us need specialised support because they learn differently. SES Preschool Programme applies the Orton Gillingham (OG) which is a teaching approach designed specifically to help children to remember and apply concepts taught in early literacy.

 

 

There is much added advantage in acquiring knowledge in the early years, from birth to 6 years of age. PELP helps preschoolers acquire a good foundation in alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness, leading up to learning high-frequency words. These abilities gear children towards the skills required to better access formal learning in Primary School.

 

You are right, not everybody needs explicit structured phonics instructions in order to become a fluent reader. But, there are children who learn differently and require explicit, structured phonics instructions in order to read and spell. Children from previous generations mostly had similar exposure back then and there were fewer external phonics enrichment centres. Times have changed and a majority of children nowadays start from infant care or playgroup. We must also be mindful that there are students who catch-up very fast and their pace of learning is just so amazing that in primary school they are able to pick up learning of early literacy instantaneously. However, not all children are the same, and if you would like to level the playing field for your child in Primary school it is best for them to enter primary school with age-appropriate developed early literacy skills. This is so that they are better able to thrive in beginning reading instruction, and are in par with other children in the same class. When children are successful in school it will build a strong positive self esteem within themselves and towards learning in general.

 

Preschoolers are too young for a formal diagnosis of Dyslexia. Therefore, it is not required. At the pre-school level hand holding a child and building a strong foundation is key. If you would like to know if your child needs early literacy intervention you may choose to send your child for a preschool early literacy screening with DAS for free. Find out more here.

The programme is especially for children who have learning gaps in early literacy learning and really need the additional support. The progamme is able to customise learning and teaching to meet the learning needs of all children with or without dyslexia.

 

Children below 6 six years of age are too young for a school-age psychological assessment. For children 6 years of age to be assessed for dyslexia they must have received 6 months of structured phonics support and are 6 years of age (passed their official birthday). This criterion for 6 years old is known internally as the 6-6 rule. For those who are not ready for an assessment with us, it is recommended to attend the DAS Preschool Programme before applying for a formal assessment. Preschoolers attending the DAS Preschool programme will be provided with the option to go for a School Age Psychological Assessment with the DAS once they have met the 6-6 rule and can continue on the programme while they wait in the queue to be assessed. Children diagnosed with dyslexia have the option to continue literacy intervention with the DAS Main Literacy Programme (MLP) in Primary One.

 

Have more questions? You can email us at [email protected] or call 6444 5700 (Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm)