What is it that makes Imagine so special? Why should I choose Imagine for my child? These are some of the questions you may be asking yourself as you decide which school is the best fit for your child.
Here are some of the key features that make Imagine a great choice for your child:
- Individual child development
- Focus on positive development
- Relaxed English-speaking environment
- Friendly atmosphere
- Multi-aged classrooms
- Project Approach to learning
- Strong relationship with families
- Excellent student-teacher ratio
- Experienced staff
- Convenient location
We hope that you have the time to come and visit us to see for yourself what makes Imagine so special!
Imagine adopts the Project Approach, the educational philosophy which refers to a flexible framework that revolves around children's unfathomable curiosity. There is no fixed time table at Imagine, instead children will explore their own curiosity and propose a conclusion, taking a time-span from at least several weeks to a year. They will gain real world experience, knowledge, and research skills along their academic adventure.
Project themes are often created around new questions that arose during previous projects. As the children are learning new information, new doors are opened that expand their knowledge and create more and more questions leading to a wider world view.
Question > Hypothesis > Experiment > Presentation
This cycle gives intellectual satisfaction and induces skills necessary in the learning process.
Below are examples of projects accomplished in the past by children at Imagine:
For more detailed project information, please click here.
Example 1: Money Project
This project was triggered by the children's heated conversation on Otoshidama (money which Japanese children receive from parents and relatives on New Year’s Day), after winter vacation. The project began by children asking questions such as "What is money?" and "What kind of money is there?", which led us into researching more about the different designs and types of Japanese money. Our curiosity went beyond Japanese money, so we looked at the world map and compared money from different countries as well as notes and coins used in the past. As our project continued, learning about diverse money designs motivated the children to explore more symbols in general, taking us out in town to investigate convenience store and post office logos.
One recurring interest they had was: What kind of money do we want to use? From this, various activities spun off yet again, such as designing money, making bag-shaped wallets, and creating Imagine currency. It was clear to see how this project had stimulated the children. Prior to the project, children simply exchanged toys when role playing. However, after being exposed to the money project the children began to role-play in a shopping context.
Example 2: Shopping Project
After the money project many shopping questions arose. As you can see, these two are closely linked. First, we practiced shopping through role-playing and we created price tags for classroom toys and objects.
Soon, on their own, children had quickly grasped the concept of addition, even the ones who hadn't yet begun studying mathematics: "In order to buy a 100 yen toy, I need two coins of 50 yen!"
Gradually, price began to look more complicated with neither 100 yen nor 50 yen labeled on the toys. For example, children encountered 90 yen toys, but they were quick enough to realize that they can purchase it with a 100 yen coin, and they further realized that they will get 10 yen change if they buy it with a 100 yen coin, and so forth.
This activity made the children feel confident enough to going shopping out in town and we enjoyed a field trip where each child carried 105 yen with them to buy something they wanted from the shop.
Example 3: Lunch at Restaurant
After the Shopping Project, the children were more interested in other ways that people spend money. This included, going to a restaurant for lunch. At the restaurant, the older classmates read the menu out loud to everyone, which suddenly made younger students very interested in words written on the menu. After the lunch, the older friends decided to write a “Thank You” letter to the restaurant. The younger students were so motivated to learn more about these skills. They were also curious about the context of what older friends were doing, so they could not resist but to start practicing writing their names. This is how younger friends started to practice writing.
As you can see, by studying something in which children already have interests, they are learning different areas of study such as geography, history, mathematics, reading, and writing. Widening the perspective of each child is a fundamental part of the Project Approach. There is so much to learn and discover from one’s own curiosities!