Groundbreaking Ceremony for English Preschool and Kindergarten in Nagoya
Discovery International School officially broke ground on its new campus in Nagakute on April 23. Built as an addition to the existing campus, the school will soon be able to accept more than 70 additional students.
"We take pride in our small student to teacher ratio," said School Director Finbar Burke, M.Ed., at the ceremony. "With additional classrooms we will now be able to serve many more families who have a need or desire for an English early learning environment without sacrificing our commitment to individualized developmental support for each child."
Discovery opened its first campus in 2010 and has since provided English immersion early childhood programs guided by the latest international developmental research. The school is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, and each yearly curriculum is negotiated between children and teachers.
The school also serves as a center for early childhood developmental research. Mr. Burke presented a school-wide research project about children taking leadership in classroom executive decisions at the 2012 OMEP World Congress in Shanghai in cooperation with Aichi Prefectural University. University students studying early childhood care regularly visit and volunteer at the school. "We look forward to expanding opportunities for professional research and growth as educators in our new, up-to-date facilities," said Mr. Burke.
The new school building will host preschool and kindergarten classes for children from 1.5 through 6 years of age, along with afternoon classes for graduates to continue English language development through the elementary school years. The building sports a modern design that allows an abundance of natural light, and the outdoor play space is being designed collaboratively by children, teachers, and parents. "When constructing spaces for children, it is essential to include their ideas and involvement," explained Mr. Burke.
The building was designed by Tokai Build, who are also managing the construction. The new campus is scheduled to open in September 2014. Autumn enrollment is permitted depending on availability of spaces.