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Join us in the school year 2020/2021

Kindergartens and schools

Every kindergarten and school that wishes to participate in our project can fill out the application.

Parents

Would you like your child to participate in an international ‘Say Hello to the World’ project? You can speak to your kindergarten teacher and inform her about us, or contact us. We will try to do our best to make it happen.

News

EDUCATION FOR QUALITY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE FACILITIES

02/06/2020 07:16:38

In Lithuania, as in many countries around the world, education is amongst the top priorities in national development. Lithuania, as a small country in a complex and globalised world can guarantee their people's welfare by first investing in their education, capacity and building the skills necessary to preserve the integrity of the nation through modernisation and viability.


One of the main objectives of the educational programme in Lithuania is the progress strategy called “Lithuania 2030”. The strategy seeks to promote fundamental changes in society and to facilitate the formation of a creative, responsible and open personality and calls for all educational institutions to introduce creativity, exploration and development with open training programmes, skills assessments and a self-assessment system. Schools create a favourable environment for research, practical skills development for appropriate learning and to improve the learning process of children and the quality of the end result, to make education an attractive proposition and to provide easy access for children, creating a friendly environment for an expanding family-oriented multi-service system and infrastructure.


This is the state directive for educational institutions. Based on these considerations and provisions, we create and implement the strategy and any action plans for our organization and, by doing so, contribute to the Lithuanian education policy. Priorities in the education policy are favorably disposed for pre-school institutions, but of equal importance is the focus of local policies on education, as well as the founder's approach and support.


In nursery-kindergarten, children are educated from the age of one to seven years. Groups are formed according to the children's age. Each year, the institution educates about 200-210 children. Before parents allow their child to attend kindergarten, parents sign an agreement where the curriculum, professional assistance and other educational conditions are arranged and where the rights and obligations are defined. In the nursery-kindergarten, pre-school children are educated according to the pre-school educational program. The pre-school education program is prepared by the kindergarten teachers, and they decide what and how to teach the children. This is undertaken because it responds to the more specific organizational requirements of attending children, parents, the local community's needs and expectations;  further special features are required for the founder and the needs of the region; for teachers, who are creating the program, an increasing demand is required for access to strategic educational documents, to analyse the educational priorities, learn other countries’ educational programs, look for new ideas; each educator has the right for freedom, to model and to try and improve the curriculum creating a program where the educators assume full responsibility for the children's educational needs and education (learning) success; a variety of programs are available giving the opportunity to try out educational ideas and methods,  improving cooperation and best practices. It becomes a richer educational experience.


Preparing the program, we follow the recommendations provided by the National Methodological Pre-school Programmes. We try to adapt the curriculum to the children's needs and learning styles, creating the opportunity for each child to create, rearrange or change his/her own environment; creating situations for adventure, discovery and to gain experience; situations that encourage children to explore, solve problems and think critically where we create conditions to play with modern toys and to use ICT based activities. The education is integral. In the program we primarily focus on the most important stage of a child’s needs and abilities at a certain age.


Six-year-old children from the pre-primary groups "Sun’s Bunny" and "Owls" have been participating in the international project "Say Hello to the World" since 2017. During this project we have been communicating with a Slovenian kindergarten from Tolmin. The project has been coordinated by the English teacher Violeta Deksniene and the project has been implemented by Rimute Mateikiene, the pre-school education teacher, and the social pedagogue Danguole Lauzadiene.


The aim of the project is to encourage children to be friendly, to help each other to overcome prejudices, to promote respect for other people, cultures and their traditions, and to tolerate differences. As part of the Five Finger Programme, the theme "Me and my family" was the most engaging where we also had the opportunity to develop it further.


The child's perception of the surrounding world starts from the immediate environment - the family. When we invited our parents to come together with their children to "do homework", they were happy to accept our offer and create a family tree as a family presentation. The work was executed with a great deal of creativity and distinction by all the children. One group, together with their parents, made family trees by combining branches according to genealogical ties. Afterwards, they wrote their family members on the branches. Another group created collages of a family choosing applications and drawing technology, using old magazines, pictures from promotional leaflets and old photos. Pre-schoolchildren determined the writing skills: they wrote their name, the words MAMA, TĖTĖ, SESĖ and BROLIS (MUM, DAD, SISTER and BROTHER). Children, working with their parents, had the opportunity to develop these abilities and positive values:

•  Excellence in collaborative work and the sense that success depends on effort;

•  Identity with the family and its overall perception (families can vary in size and in national and cultural differences);

•  Love and respect for family members, helping each other;

•  Interest in parental professions;

•  Self-esteem

 

Picture 1: Family collage (Photo: Violeta Deksniene)

 

Presenting family trees and collages to the group it helped the children develop skills in public speaking and storytelling as well as gaining self-confidence. They needed to overcome the excitement of speaking in front of others.


Another activity topic implemented was “Me and my family” using the ‘fingers game’. Through the ‘fingers game’, each child had a different coloured glove whose fingers were animated as members of their family. The children identified the names of the fingers and developed courtesy skills - the thumbs greeted each other by using other fingers. They listened to what the fingers had to say which taught the children how to help each other in the family and to live in friendship.

During video calls with the Slovenian kindergarten children acquired the idea that foreign language skills greatly expand communication opportunities. They were able to observe similarities and differences and gave them the opportunity to see children using toys and games from other countries' and make comparisons. When hearing the names of these children, our pre-school students are looking for similarities to their Lithuanian names, learn words in a foreign language, pronounce them, see children mimic and gesture – to try and predict their emotions and learn the idea of tolerance.



Participation in the "Say Hello to the World" international project is another great way for the world to learn. The main idea and expectations of the school’s activities are for the pupils to gain personal maturity, learn outcomes that correspond to their individual needs and progress in their continued learning. Pupils perceive themselves as personalities, rejoice in their achievements, and patiently overcome failures without losing their belief that they can succeed. They embrace new challenges as a path to excellence, rely on their own strengths, but they evaluate reality with a balanced and critical view. Children’s achievements are valued not only by the defined, programmatic educational goals, but also by the individual characteristics and capabilities of each pupil in order to achieve continuous personal progress at an appropriate pace for the student and not to undermine the pupil's achievement level in the classroom or within the group of pupils.



Rokiškis nursery-kindergarten "Varpelis" 

Sigita Baranovskienė, Rimute Mateikienė, Danguole Laužadiene, Violėta Deksnienė