We believe that, in the early years, growth takes place at each child’s own pace, so our large suite of flexible indoor and outdoor space is shared by all our students. Children learn from other age groups, as occurs naturally in a family, while also spending time in smaller sets appropriate to each child’s personal abilities. We adopt a flexible system to maximize each child’s potential.
Each child is supported to develop healthy, positive interactions with his or her peers.
At Tokyo Children’s Garden, we keep abreast of the latest research in bilingualism so that our students can acquire language skills in the most effective way. Our bilingual environment is a place where children gain language skills in a stress-free, natural way. Alongside verbal directions, we use body language, gestures, facial expressions, signs, and pictures to help understanding.
Research shows proven benefits of being bilingual:
We have created a child-centered curriculum, inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. Our teachers follow flexible learning methods that are responsive to each child’s needs while encouraging them to develop social skills and respect for their surroundings.
We strive to create a learning community in which children feel motivated and inspired to find knowledge. We encourage the development of critical-thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills: attributes that will be in demand and inspire lifelong learning no matter what our students’ futures may hold. We celebrate individuality and support children to express their ideas with confidence as they explore the world. We equip them with the ability to succeed through practice, by showing them how to learn from their mistakes and improve. This is a method that they will be able to apply to any frustrating situation for the rest of their lives.
Teachers facilitate learning by providing materials and activities where children can explore and discover through hands-on experiences. Teachers also initiate dialogs with children individually and in groups to stimulate thinking and inspire them to ask questions and share their thoughts. Our students are supported to spend time at learning centers (literacy, science and sensory, math, and art), each with a range of activities to pique different interests—and be enjoyable.
- Alphabet puzzles and shape stencils promote the development of fine motor skills
- Foam painting and kinetic sand encourage learning through touch
- Number activities introduce sorting and patterning
- Collage-making and Japanese crafts stimulate creativity.
Our teachers observe students at the learning centers and create projects based on their interests. Through then carrying out these projects at the learning centers, teachers are able to deepen children’s existing interests while supporting them to develop skills in areas such as math, literacy, and creativity.
Other features of our activity room include a dramatic play area, construction area, and book corner, which is home to a wide selection of English and Japanese children’s books.
Our teachers work as a team of five, not in isolation. Teacher interaction is a very important part of our curriculum. We provide ample time each day for teachers to engage in conversation with fellow teachers to discuss what they saw and experienced during the day. The reason is that interactions between child and teacher are individual, in the same way that interactions between adults are. For example, a child may be shy with one teacher but it does not necessarily mean the child is shy. By hearing different perspectives and ideas, our teachers can understand each child better and decide how best to support and further his or her interests and learning.
Teacher training is also paramount; teachers receive ongoing professional development in the form of group consultations, workshops, and one-on-one support.
Our teachers are supported to use positive discipline, which involves encouraging children to try and praising them for their efforts. This supports good behavior through positive reinforcement. By working as a team, our teachers constantly reframe their thoughts about challenging behavior by understanding things from a child’s perspective and seeing the best in each student.
We focus on creativity to nurture not only children’s social and artistic skills but also their problem-solving capabilities. As technology and artificial intelligence have started to reduce the demand for formulaic or technical jobs, these skills will become increasingly important for today’s children. We work to inspire students to tap into their imagination and have confidence to express their originality. Through planned play in art, music, movement, outdoor exploration, and reading, we spark and develop children’s creativity, critical thinking, and strong sense of self.