Following the establishment of a primary school in Tung Chung, in April 2019 The Salvation Army set up The Salvation Army Rosita Yuen Kindergarten (Rosita Yuen Kindergarten) at Ying Tung Estate in Tung Chung as an addition to The Army’s educational services in the community that provides wholesome education to students, supporting their all-round development in mind, body and spirit.

Comprehensive education system for all families

In order to allow students to have quality holistic development, Rosita Yuen Kindergarten always put children first and puts a lot of heart in deciding the school curriculum and teaching approach. According to Principal Ng, “Our school applies project-based learning, allowing students to learn around the subjects and experiences that they are interested in the daily life. We practice the idea of “learning in school, in community and in daily life”, encouraging children to absorb knowledge through daily observation, exploration, discussion and experience, and to apply what they learnt such as languages, mathematical concepts, natural science, music, physical capability and art skills to their daily life.” The school has also applied multiple teaching ancillary systems including Montessori, Moral Education Project “Team BRAVO” and substantive evaluation, and set up training schedules based on young children’s age and their development needs; for example, K1 class focuses on sensory stimulations, pre-writing training and building of self-management ability, and K2-K3 classes focus on mathematical ideas, thinking ability and problem-solving ability.

The area where the school located is near the airport, and in the community there are many foreign families with parents relocating to Hong Kong for work or engaging in the aviation industry. Together with the local and new arrival families, the population combination of the community is rather international, so the needs of students in this community are also different. Both Principal Ng and the Coordinator of The Salvation Army Pre-School Education Services Ms May Cheung admitted that they have been giving a lot of thoughts to fulfil the needs of students with different backgrounds, “To provide free quality ‘internationalised’ education, we use bilingual teaching, allowing children from different family background to obtain our educational services. We also provide opportunities for both foreign and local families to connect with the community, achieve cultural inclusiveness. At the same time, we work on strengthening our students’ foundation of languages, mathematics and science so that they can have a smooth transition to local schools later. As a non-profit-making internationalised education organisation, we are one of the best.”

Besides taking care of students’ needs, the school places great importance on the coordination between the school and parents, and actively organises projects such as PTA, parent volunteer team and parent peer group to invite parents taking part in school matters and activities. Through various parent workshops and parent-child activities, the communication and mutual support between parents and the school increase, and parents can better know their children’s growth progress and school performance; parents can also have more interaction with each other and more opportunities to share parenting ideas and techniques. The coordination between the school and parents has never been interrupted even during the pandemic. For example, for students who did not have suitable electronic devices at home, venue and devices were arranged in school for them to have zoom lessons with teachers’ assistance. School-based social worker also works closely with the school to provide professional consulting services to parents and students, giving them support in terms of mind, body and spirit. As per the requirements of the Education Bureau, the school keeps open as usual for the families in need, and classes and activities are provided for students who go back to school.

Sponsoring The Army’s educational services

During these two years of operation, the kindergarten earned many good reviews. This is an outcome that the sponsor Yuen Family is delighted to see. Thanks to their generosity and benevolence, the kindergarten was established in the memory of the late Ms Rosita Yuen. Morna, the daughter of Ms Rosita Yuen, said that the reason for sponsoring the kindergarten, besides honouring her mother, is that she is impressed by the quality of The Army’s educational services. “I am impressed by the schools operated by The Army, which has a long history of educational services with good reputation, but the most important is that I can see in each school they teach with love. Take Rosita Yuen Kindergarten as an example, the principal and teachers give a lot of thoughts on teaching their students, from curriculum arrangement to facilities improvement to school-parent relationship. You can see children coming to classes with happy faces, and they have great interactions with teachers and parents. Everyone smiles from the heart and together they feel like a big family. I am particularly impressed by the thoughtful arrangement of the school to provide after-school care services that supports parents and allows them to have more time flexibility. If I were one of the parents I would choose this school as well for I can rest assured that my children are in good hands.”

Regarding the future development of Rosita Yuen Kindergarten, Morna hopes that it can keep nurturing more young children with the idea of ‘education with love’, bringing a happy healthy school life to children and inspiring their potential. Principal Ng hopes that, besides providing quality education, the school can also contribute in connecting and building the community network with families from different background and nationalities, and become great support for parents and students.

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