The Early Years section of The British School in Tokyo (BST) offers an outstanding educational experience and the opportunity to be part of a school community that ends only when your child leaves for university. As a school, we value early childhood development and understand the importance that needs to be placed on the early years of schooling.
Since learning begins at birth, high-quality early education and care have the potential to make an important and positive impact on the learning, development and wellbeing of young children and their daily lives. High-quality early education and childcare also have a positive long-term impact on children’s later learning and achievements. The key to that positive impact is quality. Staff with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding are a crucial element of that quality.
In the Early Years section of BST, all the staff are early years trained, experienced and forward-thinking practitioners. They know the significance that needs to be placed in keeping up to date with recent and innovative pedagogies to provide the best personalised learning opportunities for our youngest students.
In addition, excellent pedagogical leadership is vital in providing the highest quality education. Our Primary Leadership Team comprises a Head of Years (Nursery and Reception), a Deputy Head of Primary (Nursery–Year 3) and the Head of Primary, all of whom have extensive experience in early childhood development. This ensures all members of staff are led by accomplished, committed leaders with a deep-rooted knowledge of a child’s early years.
Our children enjoy a safe, happy and secure environment. They are supported in taking risks, thinking critically, and exploring through play. We follow the National Curriculum for England, Early Years Foundation Stage, with the children working towards achieving the Early Learning Goals by the time they leave Reception.
The Early Years children at BST learn through a carefully planned blend of teacher-led and independent play-based activities, set up across our indoor and outdoor learning environments. We pride ourselves on our child-directed, Reggio Emilia-inspired environments that support opportunities for student-led enquiries.
Image of the child
At BST we value the knowledge and opinions of each child. A child is always viewed as a competent and capable learner with more than “100 communication languages” to choose from to display their learning.
The role of the teacher
All the adults in the Early Years section play a critical role in the learning process as facilitators, who aim to recognise and support the endless possibilities. To further the learning process, teachers at BST listen, observe, enquire, document and work together to plan future experiences.
Environment as a third teacher
The learning spaces of the school are planned to be inviting, thought provoking and meet the children’s developmental needs. The Reggio Emilia approach is based on the belief that the environment in which a child explores is the “third teacher”. The materials and resources we use in our indoor and outdoor environments inspire children to think critically and creatively.
Each moment of your child’s day is filled with meaningful learning experiences and carefully considered interactions. To understand how each child learns, all BST Early Years staff work diligently to document all aspects of the learning process. This can be done through a range of mediums: online learning journals, child-specific observations and children’s actual creations. They all help to share the learning process with parents and carers.
Our vision for early childhood education is one where every child is able to experience high-quality care and education in a setting with early years trained, experienced and talented professionals.
Once children leave our Early Years section of the school, they seamlessly enter the Primary school and then go on to our Secondary school.
BST provides families and their children with not just a schooling experience, but an exceptional educational journey that sets them up for success into early adulthood.