L’Ecole Koenig Kindergarten is a bilingual preschool with an innovative program using music as the vehicle for creative development, language acquisition and even mathematics. The program, unique in France, prepares children from 2-6 years for entry into primary school with confidence & a desire to learn.
The constant presence of both English and French in our bilingual kindergarten allows Anglophones to learn French and Francophones to learn English. Many of our staff are Montessori trained, and we follow many Montessori precepts. But our specialty lies in our third language, music, which flows in the classroom throughout the day, touching every aspect of the children’s daily life. Our students have music classes every day in groups of 4 to 5 allowing them to develop musical skills at a remarkable pace. We also have students who speak neither French nor English when they arrive. Especially for these children, our original, bilingual songs are a major source of pleasure and learning, creating a spontaneous link between the 17 different nationalities present in our bilingual preschool. Music develops confidence and a desire to learn, two foundations for life-long learning.
Music lessons within our bilingual preschool introduce notions of rhythm and note reading from the very beginning. Even the youngest children “play” violin, cello, percussion and piano. The playing becomes more precise over the years and by their last year in Kindergarten children can play their first pieces. Their ear is subtly trained and most children quickly develop “perfect pitch”.
Reading & Numbers
Reading is taught to prepare children for French elementary school. To avoid confusion, bilingual schools in France begin reading in French before moving on to English. Numbers and basic mathematics are also part of the curriculum in our kindergarten, at each child’s developmental rhythm. Music is a valuable tool in helping children understand mathematical concepts in a logical and enjoyable manner.
Arts, crafts & cooking
We introduce and study famous artists and develop arts & crafts and cooking projects inspired by the artist’s work. The children have created a Paul Klee mural, Mondrian slippers and even Kandinsky maki! The children’s natural power of imagination is a constant source of pleasure and surprise. Our hallways double as a gallery for our young artist’s masterpieces. We also visit Parisian museums and invite museum staff into our schools.
We are very proud that our students are accepted to Paris’s bilingual and English-speaking schools after completing our Kindergarten.
A typical day in the Kindergarten
Each morning, after a moment of singing and conversation, the class moves into separate rooms to study music, reading, writing or math. The classroom is divided into several rotating groups for age appropriate activities. Every child participates in a music class daily. These smaller groups allow us a very personalized relationship with every child, as well as a close eye on his or her progress in all domains.
After lunch, some children take a nap, others go to the park. Once back to school they participate in theater or oral expression workshops. To end the day, the class comes together for circle time, where we sing together and listen to a story.
Our students often don’t want to leave our bilingual preschool and we have to reassure them that we’ll all be back tomorrow morning!
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