Begin Bright is a School Readiness and Primary School Tutoring provider. We have been supporting little learners to be happy, smart and confident for over ten years. We have a range of programmes, from early childhood education, through to school transition programmes, as well as tutoring for primary school students, and school holiday workshops.
A growing trend among parents, sees young children attending pre-prep classes, with some experts concerned. However, Begin Bright takes the pressure off wondering if your child is prepared for school through fun learning activities designed to build up their confidence.
Read below the full interview from “Begin Bright: Advocates for making learning fun and helping children to be happy, smart and confident” with Holly Wilkie from Begin Bright Sorrento.
There are often misconceptions with early learning education; that children are pressured into achievement-based learning. Begin Bright programmes for children of a young age are ‘play with purpose’ learning experiences. Young children are naturally curious and have a wonderful desire to learn, Begin Bright fosters and supports this within our programmes.
With short classes each week, there is still plenty of opportunities for kids to participate in their favourite activities such as outdoor exploration, day-care, swimming lessons, team sports, reading with mum and dad etc. Our programmes complement these activities, providing additional support, outside of parent-led learning, to develop happy and confident children.
Begin Bright strives to build confidence in children, not cause or add any pressure. We recognise pressure comes from many areas, and developing confidence is a great way for children to overcome this. Feedback from our parents continually reinforces that kids love attending our classes.
1. Why is it so important for children to be engaged in learning from a young age? What are the benefits?
What we offer for our youngest students is not a prescribed curriculum, but it is a programme that encourages confidence in learning. Begin Bright understands that early years are a significant time in the education and development of a child. We create a relaxed environment where children are engaged in activities which are designed to build their confidence and core skills (listening, turn-taking, sharing, resilience, vocabulary and language). Our programme also provides a gentle introduction to the concept of building independence. If we can start setting children up for ‘learning’ success through age-appropriate language building activities while having loads of fun at the same time, then we believe this is an ideal scenario for preparing young children for their learning journey.
2. What exactly is taught in your early childhood education programmes? How does a class look?
The children enrolled in our programme typically attend one lesson per week, which runs for 45 minutes (over a ten-week term). For our youngest students, we utilise puzzles, play dough, colouring activities, threading, sorting, themed sensory boxes, role-play activities, music, songs, stories and rhyme to get our little learners engaged.
Our classes are small and focused. In our centre, the teachers who run our introductory programme, are qualified teachers with lots of experience in early childhood learning. We give our parents feedback constantly in relation to their child’s progress, what they are doing really well at, and what goals they are heading towards. Often, we hear parents say that our Begin Bright Programmes give children a fantastic introduction to learning.
As children progress with our programmes, we can start to identify if any developmental milestones require further strategies to be put in place for that child’s best learning experience.
3. How many parents have you got enrolled in the early years’ programme? You also mentioned it is very popular because a lot of other centres don’t offer that age group?
We are receiving great feedback. Our families believe in what we do and see the results in their children! Most of our students begin with us at age 3-4-years-old; however, our programme for our youngest students is there to offer something more specialised in a small group environment than what is generally provided in early childhood programmes for this age.
4. Do you find there is an increasing need to introduce this age group to learning?
There is an increasing need as parents want to start their child’s education in a positive, warm environment where learning goals are carefully planned and implemented by highly qualified and experienced teachers. Starting at this age builds confidence so that their learning journey can be an amazing experience!
5. Are there any particular areas at that age you’ve noticed are in need of learning support? Or any areas that kids that age are doing really well at? E.g. are they good with colours but need some more help with language?
Children of all ages can benefit from gaining confidence in learning. Particularly transitioning to school can be a really challenging time for children with so much to be covered within their first year of schooling. After studying my masters in early childhood education and then teaching Prep at a leading Gold Coast private school, I started to feel that my passion was gravitating towards how to best meet the needs of children in the lead up to starting school. Seeking out a means of helping these children resulted in me opening my own Begin Bright Centre that specialises in early childhood education and school readiness providing best practice in bridging the gap between current childcare options and the set expectations of the national curriculum once children start Prep.
6. How much do your programmes cost?
Begin Bright classes, across Australia, start from $29 (Approx. 10 sessions per term). Some parents choose for their child to attend twice a week as they see such great educational value in what we offer.