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June 27, 2005

Montessori Infant-12 School Planned for Yokohama

A private operator in Yokohama is to open the nation's first school that takes children all the way from nursery up through elementary school, according to the Daily Yomiuri. Takane Gakuen currently operates a kindergarten in the city's Aoba Ward and runs after-school and Saturday classes for primary school students. The school plans to switch to the 12-year curriculum in 2007, using the Montessori system. One aspect of Montessori that interests observers is interaction between students of different ages, helping to nurture children's social skills. The education ministry will be watching the school's progress carefully, as well as the results of the Montessori system with students older than nursery school age. The system is used at a few private facilities across the country, but currently all are nurseries. Also, as the law stipulates that a school must own the land on which it operates, the school has applied to the Yokohama city government for designation as a structural reform district toallow it to rent land adjacent to the existing kindergarten and expand the school.

Takane Gakuen's President Sumiko Takane said: "Public administration for education is divided into that for nursery school, kindergarten and primary school. But children by nature need a unified education, which should be characterized by discretion and discipline. We've decided to launch a 12-year education system at combined schools partly because there are strong calls for such schools from parents."
12-year nursery-primary school system planned by Yokohama school (link will expire)
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