Mom with a passion for quality education

By on July 12, 2014
Mami Hioki lived for six years in England and the Netherlands where she had raised her three children. “I realized having children in an international environment is a valuable experience,” says Mami of her past expat life.
Fueled by passion for offering quality education to today’s children, Mami, who majored in English at Sophia University, started Bilinga Science International School on her return to Japan. Bilinga is highly focused on what she regards as ‘the most indispensable tool in bringing out the best in children – Science’. TFM finds out more.

When did Bilinga Science International School start?  
We started Bilinga about 12 years ago as a preschool and English language school.  Four years ago when we started our international kindergarten in Takanawa, we changed the name to Bilinga Science International School.

How many schools do you have? What classes are offered at your school ?
We have 6 schools located in Tokyo and one in Kawasaki. At our  Aoyama, Takanawa, Denenchofu and Musashikosugi branches, we offer preschool, kindergarten and after-school classes.   At our other 3 schools, we offer preschool, after-school classes and English Language courses.   

Your school appears to have a strong focus on Science.

IMG_7993[1]Tell us about your basic curriculum.
The most important thing for children is to have ‘fun’. We try to nurture children’s natural interest in the world around them and help them to learn scientific thinking process through various activities.

We have solid curricula made by our science teacher, consisting of life science, physical science and environmental science. It is full of engaging hands-on activities where children can explore, experience, experiment, and discover the world around them every day. For example, this month’s theme is water. So many experiments are going on at all of our schools. Mixing blue water, red water and yellow water to create other colors, putting objects in the tank to find out if they float or sink, making red cabbage water to discover if the things are acid or alkaline, making a cloud in a plastic bottle, experiments with surface tension. We also go to the Water Museum for a science trip.
Priority (article)Your website has both Japanese and English information.  Does that mean classes are separate for Japanese and English speakers or are they combined?  How does that work?

Our preschools and kindergartens are open to all nationalities.  Our English language courses are for Japanese students and other non-native speakers.

Tell us about your  summer program this year and who can join.
Our summer school program is Science wonderland for preschool, kindergarten and elementary students. It is an all-day program and each week, we have a different theme mainly focused on science such as: the earth, the human body, dinosaurs, animals, ocean life, and space. Each day the students get to participate in hands-on science experiments, cooking, arts and crafts and other fun-filled activities. Every week, we go on a science trip to museums, parks, aquariums, Earthquake center, etc in Tokyo. Through these programs, students can easily make it as junior scientists.
What is the teacher-student ratio in each class?   Tell us about your teachers. The number of students are 3 to 5 per teacher for  preschool classes and 4 to 8 students per teacher for kindergarten classes.

It’s great to know that your school offers lunch and bus service to families.  What areas in Tokyo do you cover?
Our bus service covers Shinjuku-ku, Shibuya-ku, Minato-ku, Shinagawa-ku, Meguro-ku, Setagaya-ku and Ota-ku.

When is your Open House?
We offer class observation and trial lessons throughout the year with a prior reservation.

If you would like your child to benefit from a Bilinga education,  http://bilinga.net/eng/

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