Celebrating the individuality and uniqueness of every child, Odyssey, The Global Preschool is a place where learning knows no boundaries. Located in Setia Eco Park, Selangor, Odyssey offers an innovative pedagogy that prepares your child for a world beyond the classroom and school. It connects the teachers, children and the community to the world of knowledge around them. Odyssey values your child as a competent and curious learner, providing educational sources that nurture the potential talents, natural gifts and abilities of the child. “We don’t do things here because I think we should or because teachers think it’s a good idea, but we choose the right thing to do based on the values that we cherish together as a school. Most importantly, we make all the decisions based on the children’s interests first. Our professionalism and innovative style of teaching differentiate us from other schools,” says principal Petulia Lun. At Odyssey, children acquire knowledge and skills that help them develop as creative thinkers, communicators and rational individuals who contribute to the society as a whole. An inquiry-led curriculum with a hands-on, minds-on and hearts-on approach The curriculum at Odyssey is inspired by some of the most renowned teaching pedagogies from the United States, the United Kingdom and the Reggio Emilia approach from Northern Italy. The award-winning curriculum has been specially designed keeping in mind the developmental milestones and interests of your child in the early years. In the Reggio Emilia-inspired campus, children embark on an exploratory journey where they are encouraged to be deeply involved in the learning process. The projects and activities are derived from their own interests, queries and responses.The immersive curriculum encourages the child to engage, experience, analyse and solve problems using their hands and mind. “At Odyssey, we do not believe in exams or assessments,” says Petulia. “Instead, we ask the children to apply what they have learnt in real-life situations. That is where the project comes in. It might be a cooking project, outdoor learning project or art project depending on the theme.” Therefore, learning at Odyssey is not confined to an obligatory curriculum but is self-directed. It unites conceptual understanding, competence, interactive approach and citizenship. Celebrating the expressions of a child’s learning journey Speech is not the only language through which children express themselves. It is just one of the many languages that they use to convey their thoughts, understanding and creativity. And, this very idea inspired Odyssey to honour the different ways in which children represent their ideas and perspectives. During the team’s first visit to the small town of Reggio Emilia, they were greatly motivated by the innovative environment, creative techniques and the emphasis that educators give to the voice of the child that is so valuable. Colours of Odyssey is a platform for showcasing the creative expressions and art forms created by the children that symbolise their interpretation and expression of different ideas, perspectives and feelings. Since its inception in 2009, the annual flagship event has grown into an iconic project that celebrates the dynamism of children and role of parents, teachers and community in shaping lives. Three important elements in Odyssey’s learning journey There are three kinds of teachers in a Reggio Emilia-inspired environment. The first is the teacher or educator, the second is the environment and the third is the child themselves. Teacher Odyssey has some of the best in-house educators who are qualified in Early Childhood Education. More than 70% of them are graduates with work experience. At Odyssey, the teacher is not an instructor but a guide and an equal partner in your child’s journey of learning. They observe the children, their questions, stories, interests and give them opportunities to learn and explore. The low teacher/child ratio ensures optimal learning for every child that is facilitated through activities, experiences and materials that are open-ended and developmentally appropriate. Children The Reggio Emilia approach believes that children are competent and curious, capable of learning through their own interests, explorations and interaction with educators, peers, parents and environment. Hence, children at Odyssey are encouraged to collaborate and work in groups, where every child’s participation, questions and thoughts are valued equally. They are involved in various hands-on experiences that challenge and stimulate their mind to think, understand, interact and negotiate. The projects and other creative activities like art and music provide an environment that is conducive for holistic development. Environment The Reggio Emilia approach recognises the significance of the environment in the all-round development of the child. Odyssey has a spacious and purpose-built environment caters to optimum learning and stimulation. The learning labs of Odyssey such as the atelier, outdoor playground, music garden, water play area and the little chef lab have been thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of tactile, auditory and visual learners. The diverse experiences and multi sensory lessons help in inculcating a love of learning in the children. The bilingual immersion programme Odyssey offers a bilingual immersion programme that is available to all the children in the school. Every class in Odyssey has an English speaking teacher and a Mandarin-speaking teacher. This means there are two languages spoken to the children all the time. They might not be acquainted with the meaning of the words yet but as they hear what the teachers are saying the brain absorbs the different sounds. Over the years when they start to read and write, they realise they have already heard these sounds before. This removes the resistance of learning a language since the sounds have already been introduced. Now, it is just a matter of recognising and putting the sound to paper. Why should you choose Odyssey and the Reggio Emilia approach? Specially designed for an innovative and exploratory learning, Odyssey offers an award-winning curriculum within a well-equipped Reggio Emilia inspired campus. Caregiving at its best Teachers share a very close bond with the children as there are no helpers and all caring is done by them. At Odyssey, a very important part of the environment is having meaningful conversations and using teachable moments. The teacher knows when to pick it up, carry on the conversation, ask open-ended questions and get the child to think for themselves. This is what provides long-term learning. Innovative teaching for 21st century Odyssey believes in innovative teaching where children are prepared for the 21st century. This pedagogy attracts the best teachers with different skill sets as it gives them an opportunity to use their creativity and live up to their full potential. The decisions that you make for your child today will determine their success in the future. We cannot change the past but we can definitely provide them with the best learning experiences and environment today that promotes them as competent, self-motivated, socially adaptable and responsible citizens of the world.