Kindergarten is a German word!

“All children have the miraculous power to transform into whatever they want to be.”

KINDERGARTEN AND PRE-K

Kindergarten is a German word! It reflects the German understanding of early childhood education: “Kindergarten” is different from “School”.

Our Kindergarten is open for all children between the ages of three to five. It is not necessary to speak English or German.

OUR KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM:

The Kindergarten places the child into complete focus. Each child’s development is promoted by an educational program which is both child-centered and play-based.

Children learn all the time! It is important that an educational program ensures that learning is a positive encounter. Kindergarten is not about worksheets and school desks. It is about experiencing, exploring and discovering, it is about smelling and feeling, it is about being active, and it is about getting your hands dirty. In our Kindergarten we archive this through a play-based curriculum.

OUR APPROACH

What does play-based mean, and why is it so important for children to participate in free play?

Children are naturally motivated to play. A play-based approach builds on this motivation, using play as a context for learning. In this context, children can explore, experiment, discover and solve problems in imaginative and playful ways.

A play-based approach involves both child-initiated and teacher-supported learning. Our teachers encourage children’s learning and inquiry through interactions that aim to stretch their thinking to higher levels. Ideally the children get so excited to explore and solve problems, that they don’t even recognize that they are learning.

Some of the benefits of a play-based approach include:

  • Enhances self-confidence
  • Develops creativity
  • Fosters independence
  • Helps children overcome fears
  • Teaches children to share and settle disagreements with others
  • Encourages children to exercise decision-making skills
  • Helps children discover areas of interest on their own
  • Keeps children active
  • Develops social skills
  • Encourages children to interact with their peers
  • Encourages discovery and learning without self-consciousness that is sometimes present with structured learning
  • Alleviates the effects of pressure and stress
  • And of course, it’s fun!

Children are passionate about what they are doing, our program helps them to discover and foster their strengths. Our CHARAKTER Program and the close connection to our Elementary School ensure that every child can make full use of their potential!

As we have different age groups in the Kindergarten we always make sure that all of our activities are broken down for each age group. They may talk about the same general topic, but during the activities there will be different levels for each age group.

Learn German, English and French

Our bilingual Kindergarten is a place where we live, play, learn and grow together. Three educators care for one Kindergarten class. Our teachers are native English and native German speakers who interact solely in their native language while with the group. We also regularly have interns from Germany joining and supporting the group. The intention for the teachers is to support each child as individually as possible in their language learning process. We offer phonetic programs in both languages for the senior kindergarten children. As a result, our children are confident and proficient language users who are ready for school at the end of the kindergarten program. The GIST also offers extra German support for all children that speak little to no German. In these extra classes they build their German vocabulary and learn how to use the correct grammar. The Kindergarten children also participate in a French lessons once a week. During this lesson they learn simple phrases and words, sing songs and play games. 

STEAM_MINT

STEAM_MINT has become an integral part of early childhood development. The earlier children successfully deal with scientific topics, the more positive their experiences will be. Children's curiosity is great and the question of why is constantly present. Children are therefore born to explore and investigate. While the whole world is full of wonder for children, we often forget to marvel and ask questions as we get older.

This is why we start with STEAM_MINT as early as Kindergarten. The children explore and research throughout the day and are always encouraged to ask questions. We try to involve the children as much as possible in finding out how things work or finding answers to questions. Our play-based approach gives us the opportunity to let the children explore the classroom and the outdoors without sometimes even knowing that they are learning.

Connected to school

The Senior Kindergarten joins our combined Grade 1 and 2 of our Elementary School once a week. The main goal is to prepare the children for school. Senior kindergarten children have phonetics lessons four times a week, twice in German and English respectively.  In these lessons the children learn about the alphabet, pronunciation of the different letters as well as finding different letters in words. The children also learn how to hold a pen correctly and begin to learn how to read and write. Best of all, during the combined classes in grades 1 and 2 they meet some of their future classmates!

Educational Value

  • Personal & Social Development
    • Recognize personal strengths and accomplishment
    • Demonstrate self-reliance
    • Identify and group their own interests and preferences
    • Learn and interact in a positive and respectful way with all cultures
    • Demonstrate consideration by helping others
    • Identify feelings and emotions and express them in acceptable ways
    • Portfolio work promotes sense of responsibility and quality
  • Physical Development
    • Gross-motor development through indoor and outdoor experiences
    • Fine- motor development through everyday experiences like dressing, eating, drawing, crafting and more
    • Demonstrate balance, ease and flexibility in movement
  • Mathematics & Science
    • Carry out simple measurements and use correct terms
    • Use language correctly to describe basic spatial relationships
    • Create and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials or actions
    • Describe some natural occurrences, using their own observations
  • The Arts
    • Use a variety of tools and materials in creating art works or make presentations
    • Use creativity in movement, mime and dance activities
    • Select pieces of their own art for portfolio collections
    • Show appreciation of folk songs and dances in various countries
    • Recall and repeat familiar songs, dance steps and rhyme
  • Cognitive Development
    • Using a variety of strategies to solve problems
    • Demonstrate self-control by following classroom rules and routines
    • Through our play-based learning students learn to express their feeling, ideas and experiences
    • Expressing wonder and curiosity about the world
  • Language
    • Fully bilingual program
    • One teacher, one language
    • Stories, songs and plays in both German and English
    • Follow directions and respond appropriately to familiar questions in both languages
    • Describe personal experiences and retell familiar stories using appropriate vocabulary and basic story
    • Make connections between own experiences and those of Storybook Characters
    • Identify some features of books and other written materials
    • Write using a variety of tools and media
    • Write simple messages using a combination of pictures, symbols, letters, phonetic spellings, and familiar words
  • Health & Well-being
    • Name body parts and talk about their function
    • Identify nutritious foods
    • Rituals and eating routines
    • Practice appropriate personal hygiene
    • Demonstrate spatial awareness
    • Identify safe and unsafe situations, materials, and equipment
  • Connecting & Communicating
    • Weekly Newsletter
    • Parent teacher interviews
    • Portfolio work
    • Photo Gallery
    • Social events