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29 Jan 2015

ESF opens new early-years learning centre to nurture children’s curiosity and inquiring minds

ESF Educational Services Ltd (ESL), an affiliate company of the English Schools Foundation, is launching the new ESF Language & Learning Centre in Wanchai, after 20 years of providing Hong Kong students with top-notch English language programmes. Opening in the Spring 2015, this purpose-built centre will host new ESF Early Learners playgroup programmes.  From Monday to Saturday, the centre will welcome parents along with their young learners age six months to two years and eight months to play, interact and learn in English.

“We are very excited to launch playgroup classes in our new language and learning centre,” says Ann Pearce, Chief Operating Officer of ESL. “Our purpose-built facility will provide a stimulating environment for young children to nurture their curiosity and enjoyment as they embark on the initial stages of their learning journey.”

Class sizes will be small, with no more than eight in a group, to give each child the full attention they deserve. Starting from “Hello” greeting songs and activities, through to a “Farewell” closing, ESF Early Learners will provide a variety of rich and sensory learning experiences and focus on whole child development.

As part of ESL, ESF Early Learners playgroups have an extraordinary amount of resources and expertise at its fingertips. With many years of experience in teaching young learners in Hong Kong, ESF Early Learners playgroups will deliver an engaging and safe play-based learning experience for Hong Kong children.

Purpose built

The new centre is purpose-built to accommodate and promote learning. Chosen for its bright open spaces, the ESF Language & Learning Centre saw an opportunity to tailor-make classrooms and shared spaces ready for curious and developing minds. Drawing on expertise at ESF, the centre is developed to meet the various needs of young learners.

A run around new indoor play equipment, down the slide and through the tunnel will help children to develop coordination and movement. The play area will encourage young ones to use their imagination when role-playing everyday experiences. By filling their shopping cart, taking a trip to the salon or discovering a new costume in a creative costume box, early learners can explore the world around them in the safe environment of the centre.

Classroom spaces are being specifically developed to be child focused, while remaining flexible for other uses.  Walls can open and furniture is movable to provide teachers with full flexibility when teaching.  Multimedia technology has also been considered with interactive white boards and iPads available for use in the classrooms.

Gentle introduction to school

ESF Early Learners playgroups, will expose children to a range of enriching activities to develop their curiosity and understanding of the world around them. Through sensory play, music and movement, arts and crafts, simple baking, stories and songs, students will be engaged in a general introduction to learning while accompanied by a familiar adult.

“Our playgroups run on a flexible schedule,” says Emma Dorrell, ESL acting head of Language & Learning.  “Children can attend once, twice or three times a week.  Depending on age, classes are either 1.5 or 2 hours long and are led by qualified teachers who bring a wealth of early childhood experience.”

ESF Early Learners will provide an excellent opportunity for students to gain awareness and confidence in an international school setting, which will ease the transition to kindergarten.  Through our playgroups, students will establish routines, develop concentration skills and learn how to interact with others as they explore and make new friends.

Each term ESF Early Learners will focus on a specific theme, which is then explored in various ways at age appropriate levels as they progress toward key developmental milestones. With this in mind, sessions usually involve the following:

  • Welcome, free play
  • Circle time, for acquiring social and interaction skills
  • Stations for structured learning, including creative play and thinking skills and sensory play to provide the child with individual attention in a group setting
  • Story and snack time
  • Games for developing fine motor skills and five senses recognition
  • Closing and farewell

The ESF Language & Learning Centre is targeted to open on 8 April for seasonal and promotional classes with a full schedule of ESF Early Learners playgroups starting soon after.

For more information about the ESF Language & Learning Centre and/or ESF Early Learners, please contact the centre directly at 2711 1280 or by email at  More information can be found on our website  An interest list is being formed now and enrolment will open soon.