Kindergarten is an important opportunity for children to make a positive start to education, says ACG School Jakarta Vice-Principal Primary, Jennifer Kesler.
“It helps them build social skills, confidence and independence and shapes a foundation of literacy and numeracy skills that provide the ideal set-up for the next stages of education,” she explains.
With a curriculum tailored to the school’s littlest learners, ACG School Jakarta kindergarten aims to spark students’ curiosity and natural sense of wonder with a play-based, inquiry-centred learning philosophy. Students’ interests are central to learning, with circle time and small learning stations the main modes of teaching.
From age three, children are exposed to the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, a gentle and age-appropriate introduction to inquiry-based learning.
Specialised and holistic teaching - a strong feature of the primary and secondary schools - also starts at age three, with students gaining exposure to Bahasa Indonesia, swimming, physical education, visual art and music, alongside core subjects.
With almost half of kindergarten students going on to the primary school, this makes the all-important transition to ‘big school’ much easier, Ms Kesler says.
“Towards the time they will graduate from kindergarten, we show them where their classes will be for the following year, as well as the canteen and play yard. In the first few weeks of school, Year 1 homeroom teachers spend time getting to know the students, and we take a whole-school approach by having all teachers on duty pay them extra attention to make the transition as seamless as possible.”
Back at the kindy, parents comment on the individual attention that each child receives from teachers who strive to extend students based on their specific needs.
They’re also happy to drop their child off to the warm and inviting kindergarten environment – which has been newly upgraded.
“Playground, climbing frame, sand pit, reading corner, dramatic play area, tables for group work, construction area with blocks, train sets, recycling materials, tricycles, play houses, plants, iPads, projector, art area – we place a lot of emphasis on creating a caring, creative space for our kindergarten children,” Ms Kesler said.
With daily routines in place to make children feel comfortable, songs in the morning and before going home and children’s bright and colourful arts and craft adorning the walls, students are instilled with a positive work ethic and thirst for knowledge, she says.
“It really is the perfect environment to start that love of learning.”