Sunnyside International Kindergarten サニーサイドインターナショナルキンダーガーテン

Frequently Asked Questions

Children from 2 to 6 years old are eligible for admission. However, children with no previous English experience will not be admitted to K2 or K3 classes, as it will be difficult for them to communicate in these classes. Children with English backgrounds who wish to enroll in these two classes will be required to take an English level check prior to enrollment.

Use of languages other than English is discouraged during class and play time in order to help students develop their English communication skills to the fullest. Nonetheless, at Sunnyside we embrace cultural diversity and encourage students to be open-minded and accepting of all children regardless of their ethnicity or native language.

Sunnyside’s friendly and fully bilingual staff are available to offer parental support in both English and Japanese. Our program is designed to maximize each child’s time spent learning in English at Sunnyside, with minimal homework to be completed at home after class. As part of our literacy program, however, students will be required to practice reading at home, and will be given an audio recording to assist them.

Research has repeatedly shown that children are most receptive to absorbing language, both oral and written, before the age of six. At Sunnyside we begin instruction in phonics and literacy as early as possible in order to maximize the timeframe in which children learn to read easily and effortlessly. Furthermore, strong literacy skills assist in language retention well beyond completion of kindergarten. Students who are able to read and write in English are more likely to retain their English when they enter Japanese primary school, although this is an environment when English is no longer regularly spoken.

Inquiry-based learning is a unique approach to education in which the teacher acts as a facilitator rather than an instructor, posing questions, problems or scenarios to the student rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge. This approach to early childhood education encourages children to think creatively and critically as opposed to simply memorizing and repeating information.

Because we aim to provide the best English-immersion programs, only English is allowed during school hours at Sunnyside; however, first and foremost we acknowledge that we serve children who are living in Japan. Therefore, we celebrate Japanese traditions and make efforts to teach all children the values that the Japanese culture cherishes. We also believe that good behavior has no cultural boundaries. In each classroom, rules on expected behavior are clearly explained and posted as a reminder.