Curriculum overview

This is a summary of the Kerria kindergarten learning goals for reading, language arts, math and Japanese. They include the core subjects as well as outcomes for the education of a child as a whole.
Kindergarten is a year of noticeable and visible progress in reading and language arts. The benchmarks for kindergarten reading and language arts are:

  • Developing an awareness of letters
  • Recognizing that letters have specific sounds
  • Awareness of the relationship of “letters to words” and “words to sentences”
  • Developing a basic vocabulary set by listening to and identifying unknown words in stories
  • Recognizing basic sight words in text

Kindergarten is also a year of exploration and discovery of numbers. The benchmarks are listed below

  • Developing a strong number sense
  • Ability to express and represent numbers in a variety of ways
  • Ability to sort and categorize objects on differing attributes such as shape, color, and size.
  • Recognition of basic shapes, forms, units of measurement, time, and weight.
  • The ability to recognize and form simple math equations

Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten classes are the first opportunities for the children to begin to learn within classroom community. We believe that in addition to the core academic outcomes we can help teach the whole child. This involves:

  • Ensuring that a student’s physical, social, and emotional health are taken into consideration.
  • Ensuring the students are engaged and making connections within their learning day.
  • The child’s environment is safe and positive.
  • Providing individualized attention to enable them to succeed.

The Thematic Approach

Why We Use a Thematic Approach in Our Classrooms

As educational professionals our goal is to create the most effective learning environment to keep the children invested and engaged in their education. A thematic approach to classroom learning allows us to teach an integrated curriculum that doesn`t break up the learning into unconnected lesson blocks. Instead the skills the children learn are reinforced as the theme branches out to encompass all of the subjects taught. This builds a vast amount of prior knowledge, reading and writing grow naturally, student motivation remains high and it gives the teachers more flexibility in planning fun lessons.

STEM Education (Science – Technology – Engineering – Mathematics)

At Kerria International we believe that it is never too early to introduce and encourage the exploration of the sciences. Young children have a natural, innate curiosity. We want to tap into their motivation to explore, to investigate and help them discover the world around them. Within our thematic units, the children will participate in hands on experiments, make predictions, watch changes and a gain a heightened awareness of the world they live in. At Kerria we strive to move away from passive learning and dive right into helping children develop actively engaged minds.


Our Classrooms

We believe that a child`s learning environment can influence their desire to learn and increase the amount of engagement they will show in their studies. At Kerria International we`ve built spacious classrooms designed specifically for the age group that will study there. All classrooms are literacy rich environments in both Japanese and English. Our classroom libraries have appropriate, varied, and leveled reading resources that cover many genres in fiction and non-fiction. At Kerria we also believe that creating a cooperative learning environment is most beneficial for children. When the children study cooperatively they are able to learn from one another, become members of a community, develop relationship management skills and have easy access to teacher support.


Bilingual Education

Kerria International is pleased to break the mold of traditional language acquisition. Our Kerria classrooms use a dual language method in order to create a learning environment that truly runs in both English and Japanese. Our teachers provide focused language lessons for increased language proficiency and high academic achievement. Studies in the field of language immersion have shown that children who participate in an immersion class are provided with higher-self-esteem, greater cognitive flexibility, and more accepting attitudes of different cultures.


What is Jolly Phonics?
Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve. The letter sounds are split into seven groups as shown below.

Letter Sound Order
The sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible.

How does Jolly Phonics work?
Using a synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing. The program continues through school enabling the teaching of essential grammar, spelling and punctuation skills.

The five skills taught in Jolly Phonics
1.Learning the letter sounds
Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.

2.Learning letter formation
Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters.

Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.

4.Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting)
Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.

5.Tricky words
Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.

Our School Day

The moment our school`s doors open your children are greeted by our cheerful staff. They go to their classrooms, place their belongings in their personal cubbies, and get ready to start the day. All of the children are encouraged to be helpful, responsible, and learn how to play cooperatively with their friends.