Pre schooling in Japan is not a requirement according to the Ministry of Education in Japan. This allows private schools to step forward and set up kindergarten and early childhood education. Expats in Japan prefer early education for their children and international schools bring this to them. Shibuya in Tokyo houses a large number of expats from China, India, South Korea among other places where kindergarten is an important stepping stone in a child’s journey.
International Pre Schools Use Blended Learning Model
International preschools in Japan often follow the age-old Montessori curriculum for kindergarten students. Motessori is often blended with modern Montessori interpretation of curriculum inviting toddlers to learn in an open and safe environment of growth and productivity.
What is the Ideal Age to Apply for Pre Primary grades at International Schools in Japan?
While the Japanese do not consider pre primary education important, private schools understand the need for early childhood schooling. Ideally, you can apply for kindergarten admission above the child’s age of three years. At this age, the child learns to interact as well as adapt to new environments and new people and this can be beneficial for working or single parents who have the need to send their young toddlers to preschool.. International schools provide toddlers a positive environment to enhance their cognitive, motor and expressive skills. It is also noted that a safe, secure and a healthy environment until seven years of age makes sure that they are less exposed to adverse childhood experiences which helps children create safe relationships later on.
Why is Kindergarten Education Important for Your Child in Japan?
Kindergarten is a period of time when a child develops skills through play way methods, where they observe their role models and start to form new relationships outside of their family. It is important that at this stage children learn basic English, Maths, Science, and Art in order to create curiosity and a will to explore their environment.
Students not only develop academic knowledge but also physical and social skills. It is very important that from a young age children engage in play and physical activities and games to build their physical strength and their team building skills. Apart from these, some schools go on to teach children the importance of meditation, calmness, and leadership too.
Technology Expanding to Kindergarten Learning in International preschools of Japan
Children interact with their environment, hence, it must not only be child safe, but also technologically savvy. Technology has given international schools the opportunity to incorporate learning through virtual reality. Imagine your child being able to see nature, and exotic animals of different lands, explore flora and fauna without actually having to be present during COVID times.
Technology also helps teachers keep a track of students, create flexible and personalised schedules and curriculums, gauge their creativity and interest and steer them towards a path of learning. Artificial Intelligence and block chain help create touchpoints of learning at an early age through which the child’s entire school life can be mapped and stored.
What are the Important Aspects of Kindergarten Learning in a school in Japan
Since Japan does not have kindergarten learning mandatory, it is important to understand what early education can bring to the plate. Kindergarten learning helps students imbibe values and virtues like kindness, empathy, group work, solitude, community, accountability and self worth. In a fast culture like ours, Montessori learning helps the child find the confidence and self worth within themselves and become empathetic and effective members of the society. It is important that you look for the following aspects while finding an International Kindergarten for your child-
- Health Support
- Academic Curriculum
- Physical Activities
- Use of Technology
- Creating a sense of self and community
- Security and safety
- A diverse group of other students to learn from
- Trained , qualified and empathetic teachers
- Hygiene and cleanliness
- Creche Services
- Student Parent Access
- Open communication and feedback
- Fees and financial support
Student Centric Modern Montessori Curriculum in Japanese International Preschools
It is very important to understand and recognize that each student comes from a unique background and has unique needs. This enables the international schools to create personalised curriculum by enhancing their skills and supporting them in areas which might need improvement. A student centric approach will also make sure that all the students respect and learn from each other’s diverse background which becomes important if you are an expat.
This helps students to adapt to Japanese culture while sharing learnings and knowledge from their own roots and backgrounds. This also helps students to work independently and become accountable citizens and work collaboratively considering everyone’s needs and desires thus creating effective leaders.
Long Time Primary and Secondary Education in International Schools
If you are looking at a kindergarten, it is also wise to see if they provide further education opportunities from primary to secondary and higher studies. This ensures that the child is in an ecosystem that lasts long without the unnecessary burden of transfer of schools. It is also wise to see if the schools provide opportunities like student exchange programs in later stages and if they have branches in other cities and countries. This would make it easy for the child to adapt to a new school if you change your location of residence or the country.
Partnerships and Associations, Awards for Kindergarten International Schools in Japan
Schools are often ranked and assessed according to their quality of education, infrastructure and other services. Look at the awards and grants the school has received to ensure that your child receives the best pre primary and kindergarten education. A lot of international schools also have partnerships with Ivy League Institutions like Cambridge, Oxford, Yale, Harvard, IIT, MIT, Design Institutes. This will be helpful for the child in the long run since they will have access to the best institutions the world has to offer. You, as a parent, can also be educated about various opportunities that are potentially viable for your child.
Even though Japan does not have a mandatory kindergarten education policy/ system, it is extremely important for your child to learn skills, socially, physically and academically and interact with the world and technology from a younger age. This boosts their confidence and opens up a world of opportunities to their young and shaping minds. It is at such crucial ages that International schools in Japan provide kindergarten education to develop these toddlers to achieve excellence.