What sets us apart from other local preschools?
It is an age-old claim to have cherry picked all the best aspects of education from around the world. Most schools will have a set curriculum, repeating the same subjects over and over each year to a different class. While certainly efficient in terms of organization, this does not account for the fact that a child may well have no initial interest in the subjects they are made to follow.
At BKI, we do not assume what your child may like to learn. We simply uncover your child’s interests and then follow them to wherever they may lead us! BKI truly believes that “The mind forgets, but the heart always remembers!” Every day our efforts focus on understanding your child’s heart, their ongoing needs and desires, and how these can be expressed in a multitude of different ways. At BKI we learn through Play, not “Work”. Its not hard to imagine your child consistently benefiting from such experiences, and we would encourage you to consider, given such an environment, just what sort of person you think they may they grow up to be?
Currently some local schools are still focused on the development of “left brain” dominance. (Second Grade Mathematics in kindergarten? Really?) At BKI we believe that the need for this way of schooling is increasingly loosing its importance for large parts of society. Many people in present day fields of employment, the architects, accountants, lawyers, analysts, geologists, engineers and computer programmers- the knowledge workers- who were brought up by this era of education are now increasingly facing the problem of outsourcing, their work being done by computers and cheap educated labour. Outsourcing of this kind of work has huge implications for our children. Its already happening and the rate of change is building at a staggering pace. This rapid change in all areas of life and society have led us, and many others, to believe that the future will now belong to the more creative “Right brain” thinkers, those who bring play into their work and by doing so excel at creative and critical thinking, the inventors, teachers, designers and entrepreneurs.
With a focus firmly on the “Here and Now” we draw our inspiration and methods from the Reggio Emilia Approach, which has recently become fully recognised and is now recommended by many of the world’s leading experts in childcare. Bilingual Kids International Preschool was initially one of the first Reggio inspired schools in Tokyo, (we think most probably the first). We now have two schools operating in the Musashino area, with our Head Office/School located inside Chuo Park.
Our exclusive system, used to facilitate and bring together all the aspects of the Reggio Emilia Approach, was developed by associates with over 40 years of experience in the Reggio method.
Want to learn more deeply about our line of thinking? Please view our TED video on the our school page . (Bottom of linked page.)
So what else sets us apart?
Some local schools will keep children indoors all day. This is not because they want to, but because of their undesirable location. Students of early learning and child psychologists (and in fact most people) will tell you that this can be very damaging to a child’s development both mentally and physically. Developing children need balance in all areas of their young lives. BKI offers a variety of refreshing outdoor environments coupled with the warmth and security of a cozy home environment.
Probably the most important question you can ask at your new school interview is, “Are the staff and owners Qualified Professionals?” All of our staff have had prior training in the field of Early Childhood, whether it be in music, child psychology, or related fields. At least half our staff are fully qualified kindergarten teachers. It is crucial that qualified staff are there for your child so that they are able to detect any abnormalities that may occur in the course of your child’s development. It is vitally important that such problems can be appropriately dealt with at an early stage. 90% of our staff are native English speakers from countries such as Australia and the United States. Bilingual Japanese staff are also on hand. For less than 750 yen per hour, let our 35+ years of combined professional childcare experience be your peace of mind.
Of course English is also of vital importance, whether your child is native or Japanese and this aspect of learning is always our primary focus. Children need to learn this vital universal language, which will propel them towards becoming prosperous adults, and thus the major attraction towards international schools. BKI offers the best opportunity for learning English with native English speaking staff and has the highest ratio of international students in the Musashino area. This means that your child will absorb more English through play and conversation with friends than at Japanese-only schools. At your interview, please ask to see our EIKEN Test results for yourself. The Japanese EIKEN Test has been used for the past fifty years and is Japan’s most popular and widely administered English qualification test. This is used by employers and agencies, nationwide and internationally, as evidence of English proficiency. It is also used for admissions and course credit at over 2,500 high schools, colleges, and universities throughout Japan.
BKI MORNING PROGRAM (Kindergarten-aged Children) EIKEN TEST RESULTS: Many of the Japanese children in our Reggio Morning Program who take the Junior EIKEN (JIDO EIKEN) GOLD LEVEL Test (the highest level) score over 80%, with some students scoring 100% .
BKI AFTERNOON PROGRAM (Elementary School-aged Children) EIKEN TEST RESULTS: This program focuses on spelling, vocabulary, grammar and reading. Students in this program are able to do the regular EIKEN Test this is the ADULT EIKEN Test. Some second and third grade Japanese students in this program are passing EIKEN Level 3 and some third and fourth grade Japanese children are passing EIKEN Level Pre-2. Also, we have had fifth and sixth grade students pass EIKEN Level 2. At BKI, we are proud of our results!
A common mistake, made by many parents of children venturing into the world of bilingualism, is to assume that the end game will turn out successfully because their child (now an adult) can speak two languages.
You need to know that there is substantially more to it than this.
Take this, actual but common, case in point: *Hiro, a boy with a Japanese mother and a Western father, spends his early years going to a fully western bilingual school in Tokyo. As he matures he readily learns English and Japanese -- all seems well.
After he leaves college and gets his first job Hiro is asked to work in a design team with Japanese team members. After a while, his Japanese team mates begin to complain that Hiro doesnt seem to understand the needs of the team. Eventually the team leader takes Hiro off the team, and he is no longer required.
So whats the problem? Hiro has become too Westernised! He can't read the needs of his Japanese team mates (or vise versa in the case of Western employment if the cultural bias is Japanese). The bilingual school he went to as a kid did not take the time to carefully introduce BOTH Western AND Japanese culture into its curriculum. Through no fault of his own, Hiro shot off in one direction which unfortunately now limits his options as an adult.
At BKI we are sensitive to your child's needs from the start and are therefore careful to balance both language and culture for your child's optimum bilingual mix.
Part of our mission statement and business model is to be high quality at low rates. At BKI, we are working hard every day to keep this commitment to you. After reading through this site, please see our “Tuition” section in the "About" section of the menu bar.