Lahti English Kindergarten follows the same educational principles as other Finnish daycares, based on the National Curriculum Guidelines for Early Childhood (VASU). However, we provide the experience in English.
Our play school has fixed daily rhythms and weekly activities. We provide your child with a safe environment where he or she has the freedom and opportunity to develop socially, physically and mentally in an atmosphere where we support your child’s self-confidence and help them develop positive learning experiences and attitudes.
The method of language development we use is total immersion. The children experience the English language from the teachers and staff as they would in a native English speaking country. The teachers and staff speak only English to the children in all situations.
Our activities are child-centered, which means your child learns English through daily interaction with teachers who encourage them to develop their knowledge of English. We creativity and patiently guide your child through language immersion by using picture cards, body language and other aids to ensure they understand the meaning of English words without the use of Finnish. Children often will help each other with understanding by translating what the teacher said or by setting an example.
In exceptional circumstances (eg, injury), we may speak Finnish to your child in order to calm them and learn what’s wrong.
Additionally, your child will learn Finnish as children prefer to speak Finnish during play. Parents and / or caregivers bear the responsibility of teaching Finnish at home. To further develop your child’s native language of Finnish, we encourage caregivers to follow advice given by the Neuvola Clinic; read a lot to your child, and just talk with your child in Finnish. Together, we guarantee your child will develop a good knowledge of Finnish alongside their learning of English.
The educational methods of our play school are based on child-centred activities and the inclusion of the child as an active and equal partner in learning. Everyday skills and English are taught in all situations. In our activities, we utilize your child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn, as we model the English language and new skills. We support your child’s learning by drawing out and exploring their interests, abilities, and experiences during planned activities, social interactions, and play. With the establishment of a safe environment, children are then able to confidently develop as they feel secure.
Free play is a crucial part of our method of learning. Children have hours of time to play inside and outside. Play time gives the children a chance to make friends, interact in self made groups, and develop their social behaviour as they learn to take others into consideration as they make decisions.
Excursions to the tunnel gym, theatres, museums, indoor swimming pools, and other locations are also part of our method to encourage mental, physical and behavioural growth. Additionally, every year there are times in which parents are asked to participate by attending parties or outings.
We use different themes to support children’s learning. The themes are decided by our teachers and are divided into annual, monthly, weekly and daily themes. Junior, Senior and After-School groups have their own themes, and each group customizes the themes to best suit the group.
For example, a group theme for the year could be bears. The group may then divide into small groups based on various bears: Polar, Panda and Brown. Each month would have its own theme, like bears in nature. Each week an aspect of nature can be explored according to the daily plan. If the weekly theme is about water, then on Monday, being Toy Day, we ask the child to bring a toy that play in the water. Tuesday, Preschool education happens, so we can learn through feeling the difference between cold and warm water. Wednesday, Craft Day, we would do some water colour painting, to see how water can be used to make images. Music day on Thursday, the children could listen water sounds and play instruments to match the sound. Finally, on Friday, the children could go swimming for Sports Day, to see how water can be physically enjoyed.
Holidays and Parties
Lahti English Kindergarten observes the same public holiday schedule as Lahti area schools. Additionally, we will highlight famous English based country’s holidays, like Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s Day. The dates and time of when the holidays and celebrations are celebrated are reported by each of our kindergarten groups.
Autumn Holiday Week (Week 43) the kindergarten is open to Junior and Senior groups, but the After-School group is closed for the week. The week before Father’s Day and Mother’s Day parties we invite fathers and grandfathers / mothers and grandmothers are invited to attend the party and watch Juniors and Seniors do performances. We are closed during Christmas week as well as Winter holiday in February (Week 9). Before Christmas and Summer Vacation we invite family to enjoy performances by the children at Vaahterasali. Additionally, Junior and Senior groups attend Lahti Ristinkirko Christmas and Easter services
Outdoor activities are an essential part of our services. Junior and Senior groups spend an hour in the morning outside. The After-School group may spend some time after school ends. All groups are in the hospital park (sairaalanpuiston), from 15:30 to 16:30.
The playground of the hospital park is completely fenced, and our play school has its own locked toy box where we keep different toys according to the seasons. The playground includes a swinging area, a slide, a large sandpit, an excavator, a large climbing net and a sandy field restricted to its own area, eg for ball games. Teachers observe all the groups to emphasis safety during play.
The Playground of the Hospital Park, Harjukatu 52, 15140 Lahti
More about the Hospital Park Playground:
Other outside activities include trips to Tiirisma forest, Radio Tower forest, and visits to other near by parks.
Mustankallio Tunnel Gymnastics Gym
Each group has set times to exercise at the Mustankallio Gym that is 600 m2. During the fall semester, the Senior group visits the gym on the first three Fridays in the month, and the Junior group visits on the last Friday. After Christmas holiday Seniors and Juniors attend the gym every-other week. After-School group goes to the gym every week.
Mustankallio Civil Defense Gymnastics Gym is located at Tunnelikatu 2, 15140 Lahti
You may park at the bottom of the tunnel.
A yellow sign that says “VOIMISTELU” (Gymnastics) is above the door.