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About Harbourfront

Educational Philosophy, Features, and Harbourfront's Education

Educational Philosophy

Providing education that adapts to the changing world and fostering global human resources with an international perspective who can thrive in a global society.

Such a true global human resource is not just someone who can speak English. Harborfront offers a curriculum that aims to foster not only reliable communication skills in English, but also self-confidence, compassion, independence, self-expression, an open mind, and an inquiring spirit.

Six global skills nurtured at Harbourfront

Global Education at Harbourfront

Active Learning — The Process of Learning (PYP)

Unlike the traditional one-way teacher lecture format, Horbourfront's program method actively introduces active learning or inquiry-based learning in which children and teachers are involved in each other's learning process.
What is important is the process of learning, not the result.
The teacher creates an opportunity for the children to think, and the children set up an "inquiry theme" that they are interested in. The process is questioning, hypothesizing, gathering information, organizing and analyzing, and then presenting.
By repeatedly learning, understanding, and thinking about the existence and meaning of things around them, children are able to expand their own perspectives and thinking while relating it to what they already know. This fosters a spirit of inquiry, the ability to think, the power of expression, and enables them to realize independent and deep learning.
Teamwork among students is also essential.
This program is designed to foster communication skills, such as expressing one's own ideas and accepting opinions that differ from one's own, while at the same time, allowing children to cooperate with those around them.

Global Adventure — a new educational concept!

Horbourfront is for children who are passionate about learning, proactive about new experiences, curious, value creativity, and are interested in different cultures. While active learning is a global education that fosters thinking, inquiry, creativity, understanding of diversity, and collaboration, Global Adventure is a program that allows students to actually live in different cities around the world, meet people from all over the world, and become part of an international network.
In order to fulfill Horbourfront's philosophy of "broadening children's perspectives on the world and nurturing leaders who can play an active role in a global society," we want to provide an education that not only makes children aware of the world, but also allows them to experience the world firsthand from an early age. Adventure Program allows our older students to spend one week to a maximum of three months away from their families in Japan and abroad. Our students are able to experience bonding activities that no other school offers, such as exploring a new city, or getting an education in the country or region where they are going. We create a learning foundation that will serve you for a lifetime and allow you to try new things without fear.

Bilingual Education

Horbourfront offers a full-time English immersion program at an early age, ideal for bilingual education, in all classes from 1 year olds through elementary school (with baby classes for 0 year olds).

Timing of Start

It is said that a child's brain adapts in childhood experiences and environments, and bilingual ability develops so that the child can process language in those experiences and environments.
Early bilingual education activates the brain regions most involved in language, and brain adaptability appears to be greatly influenced by the age of language acquisition.
Children with an older age of exposure to a second language need to make a conscious effort to understand the regularities of the grammar of the language (English) and acquire it as a skill.
Early bilingual children, on the other hand, are not taught grammar in either language and can learn as naturally as native speakers.
The speech-listening ability of the languages also differs greatly.
After a child is 11 months old, the brain begins to specialize in the native language and has difficulty processing non-native sounds.
In other words, the infant's brain becomes adapted to familiar sounds and gradually becomes less able to absorb unfamiliar sounds.

Time in contact with English

We have adopted an English immersion program in which all staff members interact with children in English during all hours of the day except for Japanese language time and extracurricular classes. By "immersing" children in an English environment, they develop their English ears and brains, and acquire the communication tools of English language skills through their incredible absorption ability.
It is said that it takes 3,000 hours of exposure to English to acquire English language skills, but if a child starts at the age of 3, he or she will have about 5,000 hours of exposure to English by the time he or she graduates from our school.

Japanese Culture and Cross-Culture

In order for diverse people to create a better world together, it is necessary to understand the diversity of individuals and cultures. At Harbourfront, you will have opportunities to learn about, and experience not only Japanese culture and manners, but also diverse cultures and customs from around the world and their differences.
It is necessary to recognize each person's diverse values and ways of thinking, and to appreciate each other's differences.

Horbourfront Features

  • Full-time, five-days-a-week, high-quality childcare and education program.

    Harbourfront offers high quality in both childcare and education. In our Kinder class (3-5 years old), children are cared for full time from 9:00am to 6:00pm, 5 days a week. Including extended care, children are welcome from 8:00am to 6:30pm.
    By taking care of your child on a full-time basis, you can expect a high level of English language proficiency.

    • High level of English language proficiency is expected.
    • Long-term learning and experiences allow for in-depth exploration. A well-developed curriculum is implemented by having each lesson work together to create an educational program that is never a one-shot deal.

    Class placement is based on grade level, but at the same time, we value the involvement of different age classes.

  • Japanese Bilingual Nursery School Teachers x Native Foreign English Teachers

    All of our Japanese childcare teachers are bilingual English speakers, so children speak English with Japanese teachers as well, except in Japanese classes. In addition, they all have a high level of knowledge about childcare as they are all qualified nursery school teachers. By being able to speak English, they are able to closely structure the curriculum and share information about the children with the foreign teachers.

    In addition, we have many native English-speaking foreign instructors with a wealth of experience in childcare and education. Together with Japanese nursery school teachers, they look after children as professionals in childcare.

  • Swimming instruction in a heated indoor swimming pool

    The benefits of swimming include "efficient full-body exercise," "less prone to injury," "stronger cardiopulmonary functions," and "preparedness for accidents in the river or ocean," making it a popular sport to learn.

    At Harbourfront, children attend a swimming club once a week.
    Swimming lessons are instructed by a dedicated coach for infant swimming, and Harbourfront teachers will be with your child in the pool to support them. Therefore, they can enjoy swimming for the first time with peace of mind.

  • Commitment to School Lunches

    School lunches are prepared by Gen-mi-an. This restaurant uses brown rice and vegetables grown organically or with reduced pesticides, which are delivered from contract farmers throughout Japan. A nutritionist supervises the menu, so children can eat with peace of mind because it is prepared with a balance of calories and the three major nutrients.

    School lunch includes a main dish (main meat), seasonal vegetables, three kinds of deli (side dishes), and miso soup, with a choice of brown rice or white rice for the staple.
    The ingredients used are chicken and pork raised with care and attention, and rice grown with reduced agricultural chemicals at a contract farm in Shimane Prefecture, and cooked to a chewy fluffy consistency.

    The size and quantity are adjusted for easy consumption, and one-year-olds and two-year-olds, the food is further cut into smaller pieces. We can also accommodate allergies, so please contact us for more information.

  • Various Event Experiences

    At Harbourfront, we emphasize events that allow students to have hands-on experiences. Through hands-on learning that cannot be obtained through desk knowledge alone, we pique intellectual curiosity. We value the emotions that come from these experiences and cultivate the abilities necessary for the process of becoming an adult.

  • Rieikai(理英会) for Elementary School Entrance Exam Preparation

    Rieikai(理英会) is an elementary school preparatory school that supports families aiming to enter private or national elementary schools.

    Rieikai provides a well-balanced study of the necessary skills for entrance examinations for elementary schools, including paper handwriting, exercise, behavior, painting, and production. This develops the necessary skills to take entrance exams for any school. We motivate and nurture children who love to study and can face entrance exams in a natural way.

    We also support parents by providing a wealth of information on entrance examinations, correcting application forms, and providing interview guidance.

  • Support for Study Abroad

    Students can participate in study abroad programs in New Zealand and England offered by our partner school, CGK International School.

    This is an opportunity for students to develop at a young age the diverse perspectives and values that will be required in the future, and to become aware of the purpose of learning English and learning about other cultures.

  • Health and Safety Management

    To ensure children's health, we conduct annual physical and dental examinations. In addition to monthly physical examinations, we also conduct evacuation drills once a month to ensure children's safety in case of earthquakes or suspicious persons.

    In addition, vomit disposal kits are provided in each classroom as a measure to prevent gastroenteritis, influenza, and other infectious diseases. The aim is to minimize the spread of infection by responding quickly.

  • Support for working parents. Extended Day Care and Short Extended Breaks

    Harbourfront offers morning and evening extended daycare services. Children can be safely left in our care from 8:00 to 9:00 in the morning and from 18:00 to 18:30 in the evening.

    In addition, our long vacations such as summer vacation, winter vacation, and spring vacation are shortened to only about one week each, and there are few days when the school is closed, making it possible for working parents to use our service with peace of mind.

    *Extended daycare in the evenings only incurs an extra fee.

  • Reduce the amount of baggage by "Going to school without baggage"

    In order to reduce the daily burden on parents and to allow them to spend more leisurely time with their children in the morning, the school offers a "going to school without baggage" service.

    Moony diapers (Unicharm Corporation) and wipes are provided by the school free of charge.

    We also use breathable cots for naps, so there is no need to bring a futon. This will reduce the amount of baggage you need to carry and allow for a stress-free trip to school even on rainy days.

  • Communication App

    We have introduced a childcare ICT system that allows you to easily communicate with the school by using only one application. Notices from the school, contact sheets, emergency notifications, and billing information can all be handled through this application.

    Time can be entered by tapping the dedicated tablet installed at the entrance, or by using your own smartphone. There is no need to worry about forgetting your time card.

    The app provides information on the day's activities for the entire class and individual children in text, photos, and videos.

    You can also use the photo sales service to view photos of your child's daily activities and events at the school.

Message from the Director

About my motivation for opening an international preschool.

I opened my preschool because I wanted to provide a higher quality early childhood education and care for my children.

As a mother, I sent my oldest son to an international preschool in Osaka, and through my experience there, I began to think deeply about education based on comments from other parents and my own observations. Some other parents said, "Compared to Japanese preschools, international preschools focus on learning language over life skills." I myself had been overseas all my life and had received foreign childcare and education, so I was not particularly concerned about this. Of course there are different approaches in International preschools and Japanese nursery schools. In Japanese nursery schools, you get comments on each child, such as what activities they did at the school, what their aims were, and how they were doing at the school and what they were eating. With so many children, the nursery staff are great at observing each child and providing appropriate care and education for each child as he or she grows. Also, in terms of manners and discipline, Japanese childcare is thorough and of high quality.

Based on these experiences, I opened a preschool in order to provide better early childhood education, while incorporating the wonderful aspects of Japanese preschools and International schools.

What is the goal of quality education?

It is to nurture the ability to think for oneself (thinking habits), the ability to express oneself (speaking skills) to be able to put thoughts into words and present them to those around them, the ability to demonstrate teamwork to cooperate with others as the case may be, and the ability to apply these skills in the real world. It is also essential to provide guidance that motivates children to study on their own. Studying simply by memorizing the contents of textbooks is extremely boring and does not foster the ability to apply knowledge to real life, which may lead to adults with poor application skills. The root of the problem may be that the thinking habits such as critical and creative thinking are not nurtured.

In graduate school, I conducted research by following the so-called PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle: formulate a hypothesis, think of a way to realize it, conduct experiments, and apply the results to the next step. Imagination and the ability to think are especially important in making such hypotheses. In reality, however, not all people can carry out this process naturally, and many adults turn their eyes away from the issues and events in front of them and rely on temporary solutions.
Therefore, I strongly hope that the next generation of children will acquire these skills, which are essential for survival. I believe that education that fosters thinking and imagination is more valuable than simply acquiring knowledge.

In today's society, speaking English is a basic skill. However, at Harbourfront, we go beyond the dimension of simply learning English to create a foundation for children to build a happy and prosperous future. Language is just one tool for communication. Our goal is to help children develop the ability to interact in English, presentation skills, self-expression, and listening skills to understand and empathize with others. These skills are the foundation for universal communicative competence that transcends language and will play a decisive role in our children's future.

Finally, I place particular emphasis in school management on creating an environment in which teachers can work with vitality and enthusiasm. I believe that in order to achieve excellence in childcare and education, it is ideal to create an environment in which teachers can thrive and demonstrate their abilities, and in which individuals, teams, and the school as a whole can grow and develop on their own initiative.


Through the opening of our international preschool, we will contribute to the growth and happiness of all those involved in the school and play a responsible role in its future.

School Information

Name Harbourfront International School
Facility Type Unlicensed Nursery School(認可外保育所)
(Since opening, we have received a Certificate of Compliance according to the "Guidelines for Non-licensed Daycare Facilities" (認可外保育施設指導監督基準 under Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) in a row without any written or verbal censure on any point. In the annual on-site inspection, a wide range of checks are carried out, from facility safety standards, disaster prevention, fire prevention, and evacuation drills, health and hygiene management, to the assignment of qualified personnel, guidance plans, childcare records, etc.)
Location 3F, 1-18-6 Utsubohonmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka
Capacity 1 year olds: Approx. 16, 2 year olds: Approx. 18, 3 year olds: Approx. 20, 4 year olds: Approx. 20, 5 year olds: Approx. 20
*Ages as of April 1st
*Please note that the number of the capacity is subject to change.
School Days Monday to Friday
School Hours 8:00-18:30 (Regular school hours 9:00-18:00)
School Holidays Saturdays, Sundays, National holidays, Golden Week, Summer holidays, Winter holidays, Spring holidays
Access 2 minutes walk from Exit 28 (elevator exit) of Hommachi Station on Midosuji Line, Chuo Line and Yotsubashi Line
Other Uniforms, school lunches, snacks

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