Meanings of Our Name

The Chinese Meaning of


“懋柏禮” is not only the transliteration of our English name “Mulberry”, but we also chose these three characters to convey our hope for our students to embody the great qualities these words have: 

The word “懋” refers to prosperity and hardworking, therefore during the Qing Dynasty in China, the place where the emperor studied was named “懋勤殿”. We wish our students can grow up to be curious, enthusiastic, and resilient learners in the future, and we also hope that Mulberry House will become their favorite place to study.

The word “柏” means cypress in Chinese, people in China speak highly of the cypress for its ability in surviving the coldness of winter. In The Analects, Confucius invokes this phrase: “Only in the cold winter does one know that the pine and the cypress are the last to shed their leaves”, it means that harsh environments can test whether one has a strong mind, perseverance, and noble character. We appreciate this excellent quality and hope it can inspire our students as well as ourselves.

The word “禮” stands for courteous. At Mulberry House, we emphasize courtesy in interactions between people and respect the development of different individuals. Seeking common ground while reserving differences has always been one of our most important educational goals in these years.

This is the origin of the Chinese name of Mulberry House, which contains all our expectations and blessings for this school. We sincerely hope that with our joint efforts, Mulberry House will become an embracing, trustworthy, and quality school for the public.

The English meaning of

Mulberry House”

Mulberry is a tree that has been the sign of nature, faith, and growth. Like most plants, mulberries need full sun and also adequate space to grow and blossom – it is a strong analogy for young learners who need full care and love in early childhood to grow and thrive. 

The word ‘House’ sends a welcoming vibe as a children’s place. It’s a learning environment that has been carefully designed and prepared for children to create, think, explore, and play with peers. We hope to promote relationships, communication, collaboration, and community when a family joins us.  

All of this represents a love for what we do, the importance of high-quality education, and the growth of a child.

The Power of Play

There are many misconceptions about the idea of play as a learning tool. After all, what are children really learning?

It is well researched and documented that play is the most powerful learning tool for young children and yet in many cultures it is undervalued and misunderstood. Experts would agree that ‘play is children’s work’, it’s how children make sense of their world and make learning meaningful to them. Play is absolutely critical for every child’s overall emotional, cognitive, intellectual, physical and language development as well as their overall well-being. Young children are not yet wired for formal, whole class, rigid and didactic teaching and it can have negative implications on a child’s confidence, development and learning if they are rushed into primary school expectations prematurely.

The inclusion of play has been well researched and documented as early as the 17th Century and implemented into early year’s education policy making in many countries around the world including the USA, Finland, UK and Australia. Hong Kong policy makers begun to implement play and child-centred learning into their curriculum guidance in 1981 and have continued to advocate this approach with the launch of their new curriculum guidance ‘Kindergarten Education Curriculum Guide – Joyful Learning through Play, Balanced Development All the Way’ (Curriculum Development Council, 2017).

The benefits of play are endless. Play motivates children and when children are motivated and interested they learn naturally. Play provides the platform for children to take control, take risks, develop language, empathy, friendships, solve problems, form conclusions, test out ideas and concepts. For instance a child who may seem to be aimlessly playing with blocks may be practicing a new found skill such as stacking blocks on top of each other, or learning the name and characteristics of a new shape. Children are also learning about quantity, weight, volume and other mathematical and scientific concepts, not to mention developing their hand-eye coordination and small muscle development. All of these skills help to form the all-important foundations for future academic success.

By giving children space to play they are able to explore ideas, relationships, and feelings and make connections between one experience and another. They need opportunities within play to use one thing to represent another, for example using a block as a mobile phone. This lays critical foundations for the later use of abstract symbols such as letters and numbers to represent ideas.

Because the learning benefits of play are not always directly visible to parents and inexperienced teachers there is sometimes pressure to get children to produce physical evidence, such as producing work on paper because they think this is evidence of learning, which of course is not the case. In play children can put ideas and concepts into context. For example a child role playing how many cups and saucers they need for their four friends or cutting a pizza into four pieces, one for each of them is much more meaningful than being given a worksheet to teach the concept of four and one to one correspondence.

Parents sometimes worry that play is a ‘waste of time’ and that their children are not learning. However, children making a later start to formal schooling generally achieve greater success academically because their play based early years’ experience was meaningful and gave them a solid foundation for later learning.

To maximise children’s learning through play a high quality early years programme is essential. Young children should be taught by knowledgeable and skillful teachers. They need to understand the various types and levels of play as well as know when to intervene and scaffold the children’s learning, taking them to the next level. Our teachers at Mulberry House create stimulating learning environments which provide a balance of child initiated, imaginative, messy, sensory, creative, physical and teacher directed play opportunities. Time should be given for the all-important deep level learning which is a critical component of quality play. An environment should be created where children can feel safe, valued, confident and supported. A platform for children to be able to follow their interests and passions, to make choices, test their ideas and to learn from their mistakes and successes are the best learning opportunities we can provide during those important foundation years.

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