SES Preschool Programme

“Catch them before they fall” Early identification and support prevents reading failure in young children. - Dr. Joseph K. Torgesen

“Moving into Primary One is a big educational milestone for children in Kindergarten One and Two. It is imperative to support preschoolers struggling with basic literacy early since research has shown that neglecting to do so may have a lifelong impact. Since 2006, DAS has helped many preschoolers with early literacy difficulties overcome barriers through our SES Preschool Programme. The SES Preschool Programme is a published evidence-based programme, which has been consistently found to have a positive effect on learning outcomes. 

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Preschool, in essence, builds the foundation needed for children to access formal learning in primary school. It is crucial to make the most out of the first six years of life, the golden window of opportunity as some may call it. As most children, manage without much struggle, there are children who seem to be struggling with the very basics which facilitate most formal learning to occur, the alphabet knowledge. Children who are observed to be struggling in Kindergarten need help immediately, and the earlier the better.

Most importantly, how do we know if a child can manage? When a child can visually recognise the alphabets, knows most of the letter sounds, recognises common words such as ‘I’, ‘the’ ‘is’, and is able to hear letter sounds in 3 letter words such as c a t, and enjoys reading developmentally appropriate books, one can safely say with a sigh of relief everything is going to be just fine. For those who sighed with worry, we are here to help.  

The aim of the SES Preschool Programme is to help preschoolers who are potentially at risk of having dyslexia or developmental delay in early literacy, develop skills and strategies to become confident achievers when they enter primary school.

Does your child experience any of the following?

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

Recommended for

Preschoolers in Kindergarten one or two who are experiencing persistent learning difficulties with early reading, spelling and/or writing.

Application Process

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For more detailed information, email info@das.org.sg or call 6444 5700 (Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm)


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Specialised Educational Services (SES) is a division of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. SES programmes are tailored to fit the learning needs of students with a learning difference.

SES Programmes are NOT funded by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the MOE only supply a grant for the DAS Main Literacy Programme (MLP).  

WHO WE ARE

All Educational Therapist (EdTs) are continuously trained in their work with pre-schoolers with specific learning difficulties (SpLDs). At entry, all Preschool EdTs are expected to have relevant degree or diploma in the field of early childhood education, early intervention and/or related fields. Further in-service training includes continuous formal and informal training, which prepares EdTs to be able to manage demands on the ground.

View more about our EdTs here

Our Teaching Approach

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The programme integrates Orton-Gillingham (OG) Instructional Approach, along with early childhood pedagogy and is guided by the MOE's Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) Language and Literacy Framework. SES Preschool Programme intentionally multi-sensorial, learning is layered with repetition, and personalised to a child's profile thereby supporting mastery, retention and understanding. An Individualised Educational Plan (IEP) is implemented for every student and student progress is closely monitored through formal and informal literacy assessments throughout the year. The programme helps in narrowing pre-literacy gaps.

 

Components covered in a typical lesson:

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  • 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

  • Educational Technology

 

 

 

 

Preschoolers will be advised to go for a School Age Psychological Assessment if they have not responded to appropriate instruction in the language when they turn 6. Children diagnosed with dyslexia have the option to continue with the  DAS Main Literacy Programme.

 

Our Preschool Team

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Bridging the gap to get to school

All Educational Therapist (EdTs) are continuously trained in their work with pre-schoolers with specific learning difficulties (SpLDs). At entry, all Preschool EdTs are expected to have a relevant degree or diploma in the field of early childhood education, early intervention and/or related fields. Further in-service training includes continuous formal and informal training.

All our preschool educational therapist also possess the following qualifications:
1. Certificate in Dyslexia and Literacy Teaching 
2. Professional Certificate in Preschool Literacy Intervention and 
3. Certificate in Dyslexia Studies

 

SES Preschool Programme Manager

Kelly Bijay

Kelly Bijay started with the DAS as an educational therapist with the main literacy programme (MLP), she has been with the DAS since 2012. Currently, she is the Pre-School Programme Manager of the Specialised Educational Services (SES). Her main roles include managing the operations of the pre-school programme across 12 DAS learning centres and in-school support for 3 kindergartens. She also supports the development of the specialised curriculum and resources, and carries out training and mentoring of trainee teachers for the pre-school programme.

More about Kelly here

View more about our SES Preschool EdTs here

Parent, Preschool Programme (2019):

“Dear Teacher Rose,

Thank you for all the love and effort that you pour into all the children at DAS! You are an amazing educator and we love that my daughter enjoys her time with you!.”

 

Parent, Preschool Programme (2019):

"Greetings! I would like to thank DAS Preschool Program and my son's Preschool Therapist, Ms R for helping my son. to have the interest and the courage to read books by himself. My son loves books. But, before DAS days, he would wait for me to read to him and would rarely attempt to read by himself. Recently, I am pleasantly surprised to see him getting books and trying to read them! Though he still makes wild guesses when reading, but I can see that this is getting less. Instead, I can see that he tries to use his phonics knowledge in reading a lot more these days.Lastly, DAS and Ms R have helped my son loves learning. He prefers staying home than going to school. But, for DAS, it is a different story. He looks forward to attend DAS class.Due to not feeling well today, he has to miss school but when afternoon comes, he clamours to attend his DAS class. Thank you so much for helping my son and our family."
- Ms Irene Tan

 

 

Dear Teacher Sandra, We appreciate your dedication and help given to our son. This early stage of intervention may have changed the course of his life for the better. We are so grateful for your involvement.

From Mrs. Lieu

Preschool Online Learning

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Early Intervention is Vital

The tables have turned now that the students we used to see in the physical classroom are coming to us in the virtual classroom. Three weeks ago, this virtual classroom did not exist in my universe, a Mission impossible for all of us at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. What I am going to say next is the biggest shocker, the children being supported online by my team are Preschoolers! Yes, they are all in kindergarten, now let that sink in!

When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher!

The DAS Preschool team is full of very passionate Educational Therapists who knew very well what was at stake if remediation services for their students were suspended. Early literacy intervention is crucial for those children that struggle with early literacy and they need continuous support for retention and mastery. Our Preschool Team went beyond their call of duty, to create resources from scratch. We collaborated and put on a brave face to confront the challenges ahead of us. This was a steep learning curve for us as some were not so tech-savvy, so they must be applauded for their courage. The mental shift to deliver lessons online to pre-schoolers is a phenomenal concept to address on its own!

Mission Impossible

We have delivered lessons as best as we can over the past three weeks of teaching online. We are learning every day and working on improving as each week passes. The support can never be perfect, Nor the same as in-class multisensory lessons! During the online classes with the children, I wish that I can just stick my sanitized hands into the screen and do some hand-holding and at other times I want to stick my head through the screen with my mask on and play our usual classroom games. These things were no longer possible of course, so instead of sulking behind our masks, we started thinking creatively.

 

Read More about Preschool Online Learning in these articles:

THE TABLES HAVE TURNED IN PRESCHOOL!

UNDERNEATH THE SILENCE

ONLINE LEARNING WORKING FOR PRESCHOOLERS

These BLOGS are featured in our #CIRCUITBREAKER NEWS Series in the DAS NEWS & HAPPENINGS BLOG find more interesting articles in the blog section! 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (Preschool)

 

What is the duration of the lessons?

2 hours per lesson

How often are the classes conducted?

We follow the MOE 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.

How are the lessons at DAS different from what is offered at tuition/enrichment centres?

We have worked with numerous students who have not benefited from enrichment centres. We believe that children who need our help and come to us need specialised support. SES Preschool Programme curriculum is an evidence-based programme, which has been able to support pupils who are struggling with early literacy since 2006.

How many students are there in a class? 

Not more than 5 students

Does the Preschool Programme offer one-to-one remediation?

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.

Does my child need to have a diagnosis with Dyslexia to come onboard the programme?

Preschoolers are too young for a formal diagnosis for Dyslexia. Therefore, it is not required. However, you may choose to send your child for a Preschool screening with DAS for free. Find out more here

How does the programme help your child in preparing for Primary 1?

Children who enter the primary school with age-appropriate developed early literacy skills are better able to thrive in beginning reading instruction and show better future reading outcomes than children with limited literacy skills at school entry. The programme 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.

When can my child go for School Age Psychological Assessment to find out if he/she has dyslexia?

Preschoolers will be advised to go for a School Age Psychological Assessment once they have had at least six months of specialised early literacy support when they turn 6. It is highly advisable for children age six to attend a structured literacy programme for a minimum 6 months before applying for formal assessment. Children diagnosed with dyslexia have the option to continue with the DAS Main Literacy Programme (MLP).

What is covered in SES Preschool Programme?

Components covered in a typical lesson are Alphabet Knowledge, Phonograms, Sight Word Knowledge (e.g. said), Reading & Spelling. These components are adapted according to each's student's learning needs.

How long will it take to see improvement in my child?

Response to intervention and progress varies from child to child according to their development. Some children take longer whereas some may show progress in a shorter time. Nevertheless, the key is progress, no matter how little matters most. Hence, any progress in intervention is it big or small is an achievement. Preschool Educational Therapists keeps close contact with parents/guardian to update about student's progress from time to time. Nevertheless, progress is key, all progress in intervention however small is an achievement. Preschool Educational Therapists communicate with parents/guardians on a child's individual literacy goals, update on what is being taught in class and give recommendations on how to follow-up with learning at home. Parents and guardians are advised to follow-up at home as much as possible.

Have more questions? You can email us at info@das.org.sg or call 6444 5700 (Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm)