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A Welcome Message from the Principal

Having landed in Brunei back in 2000, I have built my career around teaching children of primary and secondary ages in a number of schools locally.

It has always been a dream of mine and my husband’s to establish a formal school, one that celebrates and respects children the way they should be.

Central to my journey as an educator is the belief that children should be allowed to remain as children for as long as they need to be. This has also been my experience as a child. This means to encourage children to be curious, to discover the world around them through their own eyes, to play, and be adventurous.

Again and again I would come back to the belief that children should be encouraged to play, and that play itself is the work of the child and the only way to learn and gain confidence. This belief is nothing novel.

Philosophers and theorists in the field of psychology and education like Loris Malaguzzi of Reggio Emilia, Rudolf Steiner, Maria Montessori, Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and so many others have long established the importance of play and

how play impacts greatly on the development of children as well as appropriate early childhood practices.

EMLI encapsulates this belief – the belief that children should remain children whilst they learn and study and discover, all whilst playing and interacting with the world around them. EMLI places great importance in connecting our children with the natural world and the larger community, which is why when we found this location, we immediately knew this was made for EMLI.

Our children, the ones that have had a head start in EMLI, spend most of their time outdoors, playing amongst the trees, and in the sandpit, or in the mud kitchen and all the while learning to take risks, to communicate, to create, to put in stories and in written words what they do, to embed mathematical concepts in their experiences. They’re swimming or gardening, riding bikes and having a go at woodwork all of these activities being initiated and led by themselves. And as all this play happens, learning happens too.

Our children learn mathematical concepts as they construct and deconstruct structures. They learn science as they plant different vegetables or interact with water. They learn to read and write as they use their natural environment to create stories. They develop confidence and self-assurance as they dictate their own adventures for the day.

Our children practice kindness and friendship as they interact with other children of different ages and abilities.
And then differently abled children in this proudly inclusive school get the time to understand themselves and find their potential with the support we put in place for them.

Our educators and therapists are trained to provide the support and guidance to all the children enrolled. But most importantly they are partners in play. They know when to stand back and allow the children to take the lead. This is the magic of EMLI. This is a formal Kindergarten school in its definition and certification. But EMLI is also a safe environment for all children to truly enjoy their childhood.

It is our hope that EML International can be a school for many other children in Brunei. We trust that with the continuous support from the Ministry of Health, Allied Health Professionals Council and Ministry of Education, we will continue to provide educators and therapist that can support more children and therefore create opportunities for all children to enjoy a wonderful schooling adventure.

Cristina Gemanar


See EMLi in action!

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