Beginning Stage to Practice the Educational Philosophy of AMICUS
Kindergarten is one of the first steps for younger children to explore new expressions of becoming “less dependent”.
They show a greater appetite for moving away from depending on their parents’ care, and they become interested in connecting with peers in a group environment. It’s a privilege for children during early childhood to capture bugs, understand, imagine, and to solve problems in a flexible array of ideas. This is why we encourage them to be curious, sensibility, during their early development.
Children have great potential to improve themselves, especially when it is something that they want to do. This is why in AMICUS Kindergarten, the teachers and the children hold a meeting once a month, to discuss the themes of what they want to do. Then they extend their web of themes and learn through activities such as Math, Language, Science, Social Studies, Art, and Music.
Activities on any decided “theme” may last up to three weeks. However, children work hard on their tasks, especially because it is something that they decided themselves.
Through these activities, children nourish sensibility, and they gain confidence for what they have accomplished, before moving on to their next stage, in elementary school.
Developing English and Japanese in good balance
In AMICUS Kindergarten, teachers are speakers of both Japanese and English. We do this to make sure that both languages are represented at all times, so the children are familiar in hearing and speaking two languages. In the classroom, teachers give instructions in both languages.
In this bilingual environment, they are not forced to read and write. These two abilities come naturally, as the children learn while they play.
Through the activities in kindergarten, children will be given opportunities to present their work in front of their classmates. They gradually gain confidence as they share their ideas with the class.
Establish good “RELATIONSHIP”
Build relationship with others through group work environment.
In K1, the first theme is “All About Me and My Family”. They get to know themselves and each other through different activities, such as drawing a self-portrait, getting-to-know-each-other games, and sharing about their family. Through this work, they can continue building a friendly relationship with peers.
In September, K2 students accepted a challenge to stay overnight at AMICUS. They were grouped into teams, and cooked vegetable curry for dinner. For most of them, it was their first time to spend a night away from parents, so some cried. However, they felt accomplished and more confident after getting through this special experience.
One child said he went to an Aquarium. The comment sparked an idea, and children started making fishing rods and various sea creatures. This fishing game set the trend for over a week. Each new day comes with a new set of fresh ideas that enhance and innovate their modes of play.
Honoring “Irei-no-Hi” (or “Okinawan Memorial Day”), both K1 and K2 worked together to make an original “PEACE Puzzle”. This event afforded them an opportunity to broaden their understanding about peace, and attitudes toward their friends.
Becoming familiar with the “ENVIRONMENT”
Hands-on experience in nature and the localcommunity
We implement many field trips as part of our curriculum throughout the year. We go to places like beach, zoo, botanical gardens, and strawberry farms (subject to change). We extend our learning area to the fields to utilize childrens all five senses.
Through out the year, we have activities outside such as catching bugs, observing the nature and making colored water using flowers. Children experience changes in nature, through different seasons of Okinawa.
Enjoying the “EXPRESSION”
Learning self-expression by singing, dancing, making craft and drawing.
During Music, Children express them by singing and dancing to the rhythm and music. They learn how to play a variety of musical instruments, and present their work in the Performance Day.
We use ICT in our classes. In this session, children use iPads to take pictures of many different shapes like circles, hearts, and diamonds…and they realise that there are many shapes around them in nature. They share these unique pictures with their teachers and friends. Every day we are always surprised by the amazing senses the children have.
Daily Schedule (K1)
|8:15～9:00||Arrival / Discovery Time|
|13:00～14:00||Story Time / Sleeping Time|
Daily Schedule (K2)
|8:15～9:00||Arrival / Discovery Time|
|9:45～10:30||Academic Activities 1|
|10:45～11:35||Academic Activities 2|