Kindergarten AimsThe kindergarten program follows the guidelines set forth by the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT). However, the English Immersion Program at Katoh Gakuen goes beyond these to create a rich and stimulating learning environment. There is a strong emphasis on learning through play and exploration. At Katoh Gakuen play is viewed as essential to a child’s social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development. As a partial English immersion program, our aim in the kindergarten is for children to also acquire basic English listening comprehension and vocabulary while maintaining their own Japanese language development.
K1 (3-year olds class)The K1 class begins the year by helping the children adjust to their new school life and begin the process of developing the skills necessary to be successful in school and in life. Learning to share and cooperate with others, expressing one’s emotions and thoughts, and the ability to empathize with and respect others are the foundation of these early skills. An emphasis on physical development and movement begins in K1 and continues throughout the preschool years. In language we focus on understanding everyday language and acquiring simple formulaic responses in English.
K2 (4-year olds class)The K2 class builds on the foundation established in K1. Children are challenged to begin to become more independent and self-managing. Children improve their ability to take personal responsibility, work cooperatively in groups, control emotions and resolve conflicts appropriately. In K2 students continue to also expand their English vocabulary and begin to move beyond one-word responses to communicating in phrases and longer chunks of language.
K3 (5-year olds class)K3 children take on the role of leaders assisting the younger children in the school. As the year progresses we begin to prepare students for their transition to elementary school life further developing their interpersonal skills and ability to work independently. Pre-literacy skills are also taught including letter-sound recognition and simple sight words. Students are expected to begin to use phrases and complete short sentences, answer basic questions, and to use English with each other as much as possible in a secure, supportive environment.
For an official English translation of the Japanese national kindergarten curriculum from the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT) go to: click here.