Kobe Bilingual School
KOBILS Preschool and Kindergarten are fun! But we don’t believe learning and fun are different – they are interlinked.
In Kindy we have lots of “play-fun” with crafts, hands-on activities, outdoor play, sports, inside free play, cooking and trips. And we also have lots of “learning-fun” with reading, writing, science and even geography as we learn about our world. Both play and learning overlap in every activity. The Kindergarten is mainly English immersion with Japanese learning time on Mondays. Children learn to have SKILL: to be strong, kind, inquisitive, lifelong learners.
We have a separate classroom and location for Preschool where they can relax and use English and Japanese to communicate as they build their vocabularies and listening skills. At 3 or 4, they move to Kindy where we love our multi-level, multi-age classroom. Children grow up together, and learn to get along and love each other, all in English. We are a great team! Boys and girls play together, older children help younger children and we all take responsibility for each other. Everyone loves to use English naturally without reminders from teachers. Caring and sharing and growing up happily together, that’s what we have here at KOBILS.
Take the school bus, walk, or come by car…
Our children love learning-time. Absolutely true. Kindergarteners have small study groups based on their learning readiness. So whether they are just starting to grip their pencil and show interest in letters and reading, or they are raring to go and ready to read books, they enjoy study time success at their own level whatever their age. Preschool play learning games and learn ABC sounds. Our aim: confidence in learning through readiness and following the child; a “can-do, it’s fun” attitude to study for all children, that will carry them through their school careers and turn them into lifelong learning lovers!
Our program changes most days. We follow the kids rather than have the kids follow a program so we are constantly shaking things up and surprising the children and keeping things new and fresh both for children and teachers.
Typical Day in Kindergarten
- 09:15–09:30 Life Skills, Free Play, Learning Stations
- 09:30-10:00 Music & Rhythm
- 10:00-10:30 Circle Time
- 10:30-10:40 Story Time
- 10:40-11:00 Independent Reading, Phonics, Theme Vocabulary Games
- 11:00-11:30 Craft
- 11:30-12:15 School Lunch, Quiet Time
- 12:15-12:45 Outdoor Play/PE
- 12:45-13:30 Learning Time
- 13:30-14:15 Talking, Reviews, Goodbye
Circle Time / Learning Stations
In Circle Time children learn about weather and seasons, times and dates. They talk about their weekend in “weekend book” time, which encourages sharing, turn-taking, question asking, listening and reflecting, and natural use of past tense. They discuss stories and weekly concepts such as kindness, helping friends, and being brave. They take it in turns to bring something from home to talk about in “My Share”. In Learning stations they work on mathematical and pre-reading concepts such as patterning with Legos, addition with beads, finding words and ordering cards.
Music and Rhythm, Singing and Dancing
We love these too. We sing and dance every day: Traditional kids’ songs and modern and funky sounds too. Just like youchien we hold concerts at Christmas and impromptu pop-concerts. Our specialist music teacher visits us on Friday for music classes for everyone, and pianica for nen-chu and nen-cho children (PS1-PS2, ages 4-6).
Outside Play and Sports
Our Kindy is set on the hillside east of Shioya where we have fine views of the ocean and the bridge. Children have ample time to play outside on our playground and in our garden. We grow plants, do gardening, climb trees and even go to the local park too. At Preschool we are right next to a park where we can play daily. Children are strong, healthy and active at KOBILS. Outside and inside, bars and beams, soccer, badminton, gymnastics, we do them all. And because there’s so much individual attention, even children who are not naturally confident with sports, challenge themselves and master many.
Professional Instruction: Kindergarten kids visit Gamba Gym at James Yama once weekly for professional gym instruction in Japanese.
We love events and have lots every month including:
- April: Entrance visit (new students), Sunday Easter party (in class party for Preschool)
- May: Kindy/Preschool Bazaar, Family Fun Day, health check
- June: Hiking Trip /Local Visit
- July – August: Swimming at Shioya Club, Summer School visits, events and show
- September: Grandparent’s Day (kindy only), Health Check
- October: Year 3 (nencho) sleepover, Sports Day, Saturday Halloween Party (in class for Preschool)
- November: Park Day Hiking Trip, Open School
- December: Christmas Parties and Music festival
- January: Pajama Party: Mid-Winter Hibernation
- February: Literacy and storybook week
- March: Graduation, End of Year Trip, Upper School Orientation
Also Pizza days, Sandwich days, Pot luck too! We have lots of fun at lunchtime with different lunch events each term. Swimming in summer at Shioya pool. Bird park; zoo; aquarium; visits to the police and fire station; Rokko Mountain; Awaji; Central Park, Himeji: these are some of the trips we have enjoyed!
Reading and Writing
Most of our kids learn to read and write basic or even fluent English while they are with us in their kindergarten years. They do this because they want to, because they are ready and because they love to learn!
Craft and Cooking and Gardening and…
We get down and dirty with painting, with cooking, with gardening, with clay, with bubbles, with water, with gluing and sticking and coloring and cutting. With hands, with feet, with paper, with leaves, with fruit and veg and any thing else we can lay our hands on. We all make our own crafts in our own unique way. We plant, grow and harvest sweet potatoes and onions in the Kindergarten garden. We collect chestnuts from the Kindy chestnut trees in the Fall.
Every Monday our Japanese teacher visits us for Circle Time, music and stories with all Kindy children. Preschool children join our Japanese program on Mondays with other small children. Children from nen-chu (year 2) and up can take pianika and music, and add Hiragana and Katakana at nen-cho (year 3). We’re sure we’ll be ready for Japanese school or just to study more Japanese; more Japanese classes are available on request. We also visit Gamba Gym on Mondays for professional gym instruction in Japanese. International children with no or little Japanese benefit from Japanese immersion and can also choose intensive Japanese classes aimed at their level.
Safety, health and Security
We take your child’s safety and security very seriously. We are fully registered with Kobe City, and have enjoyed a perfect inspection record since we opened our Kindy and Preschool programs in 2008. We have a very high staff/student ratio with qualified hoikushi and nursery staff ensuring your child’s care needs are well met alongside their English needs.
We have SECOM security installed so we’ll always get a rapid response from police, fire station and security officers should any unforeseen issues arise.
Afterschool Classes / Daycare are available 5 days a week for Kindergarten, with each day of the week organized by a theme or learning objective:
Tuesday: Science and Nature
Wednesday: Phonics and Reading
Thursday: Project Theme Day and Vocabulary Enrichment
Friday: Language and Speaking
All children must be picked up between 17:00 and 18:00 at an agreed time.