Following the latest developments in early childhood education in the world as well as the momentum of the Hong Kong education system and curriculum reforms at the beginning of this century, the Curriculum Development Council Committee on Early Childhood Education has revised the “Guide to the Pre-primary Curriculum” published in 1996. The new “Guide to the Pre-primary Curriculum (2006)”, has been fully implemented in all pre-primary institutions since 2007.
The “Guide to the Pre-primary Curriculum (2006)” emphasises that early childhood education lays the foundation for life-long learning and whole person development. The core value of early childhood education lies in “child-centredness”. Pre-primary institutions should formulate their curriculum according to the basic principles of “children’s development” and “children’s learning”. Children’s learning interest, needs and abilities should also be taken into consideration. A diversified learning environment that provides sufficient learning opportunities will facilitate children to develop their multiple intelligences. Through play, meaningful life experiences as well as sensory, exploratory and interesting activities, children’s holistic development can be fostered.
There are four developmental objectives in the curriculum framework for early childhood development, namely “Physical Development”, “Cognitive and Language Development”, “Affective and Social Development” and “Aesthetic Development”. These objectives can be achieved through six learning areas, which are “Physical Fitness and Health”, “Language”, “Early Mathematics”, “Science and Technology”, “Self and Society” and “Arts”. Special emphases should be placed in developing children’s basic skills, building up basic concepts and helping the development of positive values and attitudes. Indeed, all kinds of learning include the three key elements, namely “knowledge”, “skills” and “attitudes”, so as to nurture a balanced development of children in ethical, intellectual, physical, social and aesthetic aspects. By these means, children will be well prepared for life and life-long learning.