Shining Stars Kamala is a small progressive preschool and kindergarten located in Phuket, Thailand. We offer an English-intensive curriculum for local and international students in an intimate and fun environment.
Opening in 2008, Shining Stars responded to a need in Kamala for a fun, safe and creative space for children to learn and grow. Students began to arrive from all over the island and beyond who had heard about Shining Stars’ reputation as a progressive alternative for early years education.
Families have long been attracted to Shining Stars for providing a space for children to sing, dance, role-play, learn foundational letters and math, eat healthy and delicious home-cooked meals, and explore their creativity. The other large part of why families are attracted to Shining Stars is its small class sizes which focus on intimate learning experiences and giving individualized focus on students’ needs.
The foundation for our learning philosophy is based on the “Me” to “We” concept. This dynamic curriculum starts pre-school children on an educational journey starting from the center of their universe (their ‘Me’) by learning about their own bodies – their physical abilities, the 5 senses, self-care, personal likes/dislikes and importance of healthy food. A special Yoga-For-Kids program has been implemented at Shining Stars to help foster body awareness, balance, and to build strength. Children also grow their meditation practice as a way to learn inner stillness, focus and as a tool to help calm emotions and connect with their inner world.
The children next learn how to engage with classmates, family members and friends which is the next step outwards in their world. This is the natural expansion from the ‘Me’ to the ‘We’.
Early on, children explore their emotional world and learn skills to articulate their needs as well as learning to respond appropriately to others around them. At Shining Stars children are strongly encouraged to recognize this bond between themselves and others through the simple act of listening and responding appropriately. This is done through sharing and engaging with students and teachers in a variety of activities. Students are encouraged to find resolution to conflict by understanding other perspectives while effectively communicating their own feelings and needs. This social-emotional aspect of learning is vital to a child’s development as they become more aware of the larger world around them.
Once students gain a better sense of their nearby surroundings, they begin to look at their neighbors and local community. Importance is placed on the natural world as children learn to take care of animal friends, local vegetation and the natural landscape that surrounds them. Food is very important at Shining Stars and we emphasize this by having children explore nutrition, making and sharing a variety of international and Thai food dishes, bread baking and more.
After the students at Shining Stars have considered the local community of Phuket, they can begin to understand the places beyond their daily experiences. They learn about Phuket within a larger country of Thailand and then the world. With many Shining Stars families coming from such vast array of international locations and cultures, students have the opportunity to learn about other countries. They explore languages, customs and experiences from places they have never personally visited but are encouraged to explore and grow a healthy curiosity about.
As children are exposed to different geographic locations from all over the world, they start to become aware of the variety of different habitats that each of these countries provide. They learn about mountains, deserts, plains, and forest and learn how they are similar and also different from the ocean and jungle habitat they experience living in Phuket. Children love to hear stories about these amazing habitats and are fascinated by the diversity and expanse of animals that inhabit these spaces. We also take the opportunity to highlight the importance of conserving and protecting these habitats. The natural world, just as they learn that their bodies, their friends and family, their neighborhood and community also needs to be respected.
Teaching children their place in the world starts with nurturing the self, the ‘Me’, expanding outward to the ‘We’ and then the last brave step of the journey outward into the ‘Us’. The ‘Us’ takes them outwards into the universe as they are introduced to planets in our solar system and well as learning about moons, stars, and the expansiveness of the galaxy.
This very exciting journey is much like a rocket-ride, as the young children begin to grasp the size of the universe, to consider Earth as a ball going around our sun, and then to think about the unexplored realms of space.
With each step beyond themselves, the students are always reminded to stay grounded in their bodies, to help their friends, to respect their neighbours, and to be present here in the school. As the journey outward continues, the children are always expanding their inner worlds and strengthening connections to others and the world.
The journey of “Me to We” is different for each child at Shining Stars, as each student discovers strengths and challenges. Shining Stars strives to provide individualized student attention, hands-on lessons, ample creative opportunities, and collaborative projects taught by caring teachers all in the idyllic natural setting of Kamala, Phuket.
The children learn within the framework of a curriculum that allows for innate curiosity to inspire them, to understand who they are and what they enjoy, and to engage with others in a larger collective effort.
As they make connections between school, home, and the larger world, children grow physically, emotionally and intellectually in a safe, natural environment at Shining Stars.
Should you need further information about our progressive preschool and kindergarten, have any questions about our school or our curriculum, please send us a email email@example.com. Alternatively, use our contact form to request a call back or our inquiry package. Check out our Facebook page to find out more about our activities and social awareness!