Kindergarten | Berkeley International School
Welcome to Berkeley International School’s Kindergarten Department! Our staff of dedicated teachers, teaching assistants and nannies work together in order to nurture academic and social-emotional development for children 2-6 years old. The skills learned in Kindergarten provide the foundation for success when students transition to Elementary (Grades 1-5) and beyond!
Our integrated studies program allows teachers to plan for Phonics, Language Arts, Mathematics and Social Science lessons in whole class, small group and individual settings. Learning is hands-on and takes into account visual, auditory and kinesthetic approaches.
Teachers from Pre-K to K3 base their topics of study on themes but leave plans flexible to follow topics of study students may help direct throughout the year.
With small class sizes, we aim to provide a safe and welcoming environment for young learners. Exploration, investigation and inquiry are encouraged within each level. Being part of a larger campus provides us the space to do so inside and outdoors. It is the goal for each Kindergarten student to mature into a confident, caring and courageous young learner.
Kindergarten students are able to experience a variety of classes lead by our specialist teachers in Art, Music, Information Technology (I.T.)., Thai Language & Culture, Physical Education and Swimming. Each semester an array of after-school enrichment programs are also offered.
Our diverse student population makes our partnership with parents and families crucial. When students make personal connections with their learning environment, they become active participants and life-long learners. The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is an amazing catalyst for developing special events and community involvement.
Berkeley’s Pre-K class is for young learners aged 2-3 years old.
A child’s development at this early age is very important for preparing them for their future development and learning. In our Pre-K class we have lots of fun with hands-on and interactive activities to aid in personal, social and academic development. Pre-K is focused on developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination through various activities.
The children are introduced to the various phonetic sounds of the alphabet and new vocabulary. In Math, children will become familiar with numbers 1-5, counting, shape and colour recognition and problem solving. Theme based activities make learning more fun and open a child’s mind to the world around them.
A day in the K1 class is filled with songs, dancing laughter and fun. Academic and social development is integrated by learning through play. With this in mind children grow socially and emotionally through independent and group play. K1 children will develop and strengthen their fine/gross motor skills by using different materials and equipment both inside and outside the classroom.
In K1 students learn Phonics through songs, actions and sounds. In Math, children learn numbers 1-10 through games and Smart Board activities. Children are encouraged to explore, investigate and make inquiries about the world around them.
In K2, students are encouraged to become more independent, academically and socially. Accountability is an important stepping stone for the success of our students, as an individual and active member of the classroom community. Parent participation is encouraged through a variety of classroom activities as well as during holidays and school sponsored events.
K2 students continue to review and reinforce their knowledge of letters and sounds (Phonics) in order to build early reading and writing skills. Math is focused on reinforcing numeracy (numbers 1-20), patterns and basic addition and subtraction. Students, teachers and teaching assistants work as a team to model, support, and direct learning. Inquiry and investigation are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills.
The K3 program at Berkeley follows the Common Core Standards and facilitates daily progress in literacy skills, number concepts and personal and social development. All activities are planned with the ESLR’s (Expected School-Wide Learning Results) in mind; enabling the children to become effective communicators, independent learners and global citizens.
Reading is the most important skill that children develop during their early academic years. At Berkeley the K3 children develop a love for reading and writing through the use of rich texts, which are brought to life in a multi-sensory manner. Activities such as role-play, hot-seating and drama are used to bring the stories we read to life. Cooking and visual art activities are also utilized to make each story memorable.
Differentiation is the foundation of our Language Arts program. Each child’s strengths and needs are taken into consideration when planning our weekly literacy centers. Our centers incorporate guided reading, guided writing, and activities that help our emergent and beginner readers learn how to; analyze and apply rhythm and rhyme, the sequencing of sounds, the separation of sounds and manipulating sounds in order to develop a phonological foundation for reading and writing.
At Berkeley the K3 children are introduced to the relationship between numbers and quantities in order to build a foundation for place value as they count, represent and compare whole numbers. Children learn to describe objects in their environment using simple geometric shapes and vocabulary. A multi-sensory approach is utilized in our daily math centers.
Our children are encouraged to learn both independently and as part of a group both inside and outside of the classroom. Our hands-on and problem solving approach takes into consideration multiple learning styles, while also making the math activities memorable and relevant to their daily lives.
In K3 the children begin the study of history and social science. All concepts being taught are anchored to the experiences that the children bring to school from their diverse backgrounds. Children learn what it means to be a good citizen, both Thai and American national symbols, are introduced to maps as well as comparing current life, to life in the past.
We believe that children are natural scientists who enjoy exploring, asking questions and experimenting with their five senses. In K3 at Berkeley children are encouraged to build upon their innate curiosity through investigation, problem solving and asking questions.
Our children spend the majority of their time with their classroom teacher and assistant, however, they also have the advantage of attending our rich specialist classes. These include: daily Thai language classes, music, art, physical education, swimming, information technology and library.
The Information Technology (IT) program provides opportunities for students to further develop digital literacy skills through the use of technology. IT plays an important role for every 21st century learner, encouraging students to develop the technology and innovation skills necessary to prepare them for today’s media-driven world.
The Kindergarten students have their own lab in the kindergarten building. The lab includes an Interactive Whiteboard, along with 17 desktop computers that the students work on. The PreK through K2 students attend two 30 minutes classes each week. The older K3 students, have class once a week for a 45 minute period. In IT class students have the opportunity to use a variety of software and applications to support and extend their content area learning. They gain technology skills to be able to create their own work and share it with others, while strengthening their fine motor skills.
Kindergarten music is about developing a basic musical awareness and fostering a love of music making together. Accordingly the lessons are based on the things students enjoy doing already – singing, clapping, playing games and dancing.
When appropriate students also start to use classroom instruments to accompany songs and games. By the end of Kindergarten it is expected that students will show an awareness of pulse, dynamics and tempo and respond appropriately.
The Kindergarten begin to learn the proper technique for locomotor and non-locomotor movements and how to manipulate (e.g., strike, toss, kick, bounce) objects, such as lightweight balls and beanbags. They learn the names of body parts and can describe locomotor and non-locomotor skills.
By the end of kindergarten, students can demonstrate the proper form for jumping, hopping, galloping, sliding, walking, running, leaping, and skipping. They also learn that muscles move bones; the heart is a muscle; and the lungs and the heart work together to send oxygen to the other muscles. Kindergarten swimming will introduce pool rules and emphasize getting comfortable in the water. Students will learn to put their faces in the water, jump in and recover to back and front float practice.
Thai Language and Culture is a Government requirement subject which is offered to all students at Berkeley International School to help them learn and appreciate the culture and language of the host country. The Thai Language and Culture program develops the subject through the areas of speaking and listening, reading, writing, language usage and the knowledge of Thai culture and society.
In Kindergarten, students develop their abilities to listen and tell stories and express themselves. They will have opportunities to learn Thai Language and Culture with the emphasis on listening, speaking and vocabulary development. The curriculum focuses on Thai oral language development with the integration of social and cultural aspects of Thailand. Some relevant Thai letters, vocabulary and basic sentence structures are included.