The Singapore ELFA Preschool adopts an integrated thematic approach with strong emphasis on Chinese language acquisition, in line with guidelines provided by the Ministry of Education, Singapore. The uniquely designed story-based curriculum is jointly and localised by a panel of advisors from China and Singapore, headed by Prof Zhu Shi Yuan, former Head of Early Childhood Department in Beijing Normal University. It encompasses six learning areas for the early learners – Language and Literacy, Numeracy, Aesthetic and Creativity, Physical, Social Emotional and Environmental Awareness.

Professor Zhu has lived in Singapore for more than a year and has been training Chinese early childhood teachers in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia for more than 10 years after her retirement from the University.

ELFA Learning Framework: Our learning framework comprises four broad themes, with six distinct components to help children connect to the real world. Large group discussions allow for the teaching of thematic concepts and skills. Theme-related children’s literature are carefully chosen to promote children’s language and literacy skills. Inclusion of Chinese moral stories also help to shape positive values and build young children’s character. In addition, Chinese Speech and Drama taught by our specialists immerse children in a culturally-rich Chinese learning environment, which further strengthens the children’s confidence in the mastery of the Chinese language.

Higher Mathematical Concepts: The integrated learning helps bring alive mathematical concepts as children are given opportunities to apply newly acquired understanding and skills in their daily routines. This makes learning more interesting and meaningful. Higher order of mathematical concepts are introduced to older children to help challenge their minds.

Balanced Learning: The ELFA curriculum also balances children’s academic learning and creativity by integrating creative arts as part of their daily programme, providing opportunities to express themselves through music, movement and art activities. As their bodies move during these activities, both fine and gross motor-skills are being developed. Children also participate in theme-based role-play that helps them to develop self-awareness, self-confidence and competence.


Every year, children from ELFA K2 level take part in the annual HSK International Chinese Proficiency Assessment covering listening, reading and writing to benchmark their skills and foster the quest for improvement.

ELFA Children also have the opportunity to take part in the HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi 汉语水平考试) Speech & Talent Competition. In 2013, children from ELFA Serangoon clinched the 2nd prize for their outstanding performance in the event.

The curriculum for the ELFA network in China is based on the successful and proven programme developed by Crestar Education Group’s team of highly experienced and renowned educators in Early Childhood education. The curriculum has been customised by the ELFA team in China to comply with requirements by the country’s Ministry of Education in preparing children for formal schooling.

To ensure that its preschool facilities are of the highest standard to meet the stringent requirements of the local authorities, ELFA China works closely with well-established international consultants from the USA, Australia and New Zealand. The architectural design of the iconic preschool in Dalian’s Yida International New City development, commissioned by Yida Real Estate Development, is a good example of our dynamic collaboration that combines the best practices of the West and the East. This design has won wide acclaim from the international architectural circles.