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Concept

Our Story

2004: Establishment of Saulės Gojus, the first bilingual kindergarten in Lithuania.

2008: Saulės Gojus is awarded the European Programme Certificate for Innovative Early Foreign Language Teaching.

2010: Acknowledgment of Saulės Gojus as one of the most attractive school territories, fully adapted to the children’s needs (national competition “The Best-Tended Premises of Educational Establishments”, organised by the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Environment).

2011: Creation of the primary school Saulės Gojus. 

2011: Recognition of Saulės Gojus as the National Winner of the International ENERGY GLOBE Award for its building renovation efficiency.

2012: Acknowledgement of Saulės Gojus as a health-promoting institution (reaffirmed in 2018).

2015: Recognition of Saulės Gojus as the second educational establishment in Lithuania (next to AISV) that meets the requirements of the schools recommended to the representatives of the US diplomatic corps. 

2019: Saulės Gojus becomes a secondary school. 

What We Care About

 

Our curriculum is based on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences and the combination of elements of the forest kindergarten concept, the pedagogical principles of Reggio Emilia, and the ideas of our own team. We have created a kindergarten promoting the children‘s independency and offering an inspiring environment. They grow up here without stress, living at their own pace, and in accordance with their individual abilities.   

 

We emphasize the importance of a holistic approach in education, which means creating the optimal conditions for the child to help him to develop his senses and abilities, and to perceive himself as an integral part of the world. Kindergarten is a place to learn “with head, heart, and hand“ (Pestalozzi), in constant interaction with the environment.

 

In our kindergarten:

  • children start learning English in a natural way, i. e., through immersion, as early as age 3
  • children’s education is organised in a way that their different abilities are developed in accordance with Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences 
  • the integration through a combination of several subjects or activities into one topic helps the child to see the world as a whole, in which everything is interconnected
  • children are involved in a wide range of educational activities that are incorporated into long-term projects, helping to reveal and develop their abilities
  • extra activities and clubs give added impetus to the strengthening of children's talents 

Bilingualism

 

According to Kenji Hakuta, Professor of Education at Stanford University, comparing monolingual and bilingual groups of the same age in terms of intelligence level, social status, cognitive flexibility, or any other parameter, those of the bilingual ones are always better. 

 

We can only agree with that: since 2004, Saulės Gojus has been successfully offering bilingual Lithuanian-English (up to 2020, also Lithuanian-German) language groups, in which Lithuanian and non-Lithuanian children learn the foreign language in a natural way, therefore without stress. We can see that the relatively costly immersion method pays off! Early immersion in a second language replicates the path of acquisition of the mother tongue, so when leaving kindergarten, the child has built up the first skillset of his second language. At Saulės Gojus, each group has two teachers who work strictly according to the principle “one person - one language”, i. e., one of them speaks only Lithuanian, the other one only English. The possibility for the children to grow up in a favourable environment, where they hear both Lithuanian and English on a constant basis, providces added value in the overall development of their linguistic intelligence! 

Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner

 

Following the findings of the neurobiology and neuropsychology, U.S. developmental psychologist Howard Gardner developed the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which serves as a guidance for the work of many professionals (particularly teachers).

 

Based on specific criteria, Mr. Gardner defined the following types of intelligence that emerge already in the preschool age:

 

  • Linguistic intelligence: the ability to use (native or foreign) language accurately to express one's thoughts or to understand others. Children with this intelligence love reading and writing, making crosswords, they enjoy telling stories, and are good at memorizing new information. Poets, writers, orators, lawyers, advertisers and journalists have a particularly strong linguistic intelligence. We pay special attention to the development of this type of intelligence by implementing the methodology of bilingual education at Saulės Gojus.
  • Musical intelligence: high sensitivity to music, a need to hear it constantly, the ability to recognize, memorize, and interpret musical rhythms and melodies, to grasp the system of musical symbols and patterns. Children with this intelligence love to sing and play with rhythms. They are attentive listeners, sensitive to sounds that others are indifferent to. Instrument adjusters, speech therapists and speech pathologists, music performers and sound directors, DJs have a well-developed musical intelligence. Scientific research suggests that early music education has a profound impact on many other areas of intelligence. At Saulės Gojus, singing, hearing, and playing music makes natural part of everyday life. The music teachers of Saulės Gojus have profound experience in the field of early music education.
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence: the capability of abstract thinking, the ability to evaluate chains of evidence and to see the connection between things, the capacity to operate with numbers, sets and mathematical actions. Children with this intelligence love strategy games, puzzles, and experiments. They enjoy mathematical exercises and tasks, are curious about categories and relationships of objects and phenomena. Scientists, IT specialists, architects, accounting specialists, and doctors have a high logical-mathematical intelligence. At Saulės Gojus, this type of intelligence is strengthened by organising specific activities and offering relevant didactic games, as well as by implementing mathematical projects that are of interest to children of preschool age.  
  • Spatial intelligence: the capacity to visualize objects in the mind, to imagine the surrounding environment in spatial forms. Children with this intelligence think in images, like to draw, construct, and build models, love puzzles and mazes. This intelligence is typical for engineers, athletes, scientists, architects, and artists, among others. It needs to be developed at an early age. Puzzles, origami, art activities, and various movement games, abundant at Saulės Gojus, are helpful tools meant for the development of spatial intelligence.
  • Kinaesthetic (bodily) intelligence: the ability to feel and control one's body. This type of intelligence is especially evident when observing athletes, actors, surgeons, and dancers. Children with this intelligence enjoy various physical activities, craftsmanship, and tasks that require dexterity. Daily physical activities and active games are what helps develop kinaesthetic intelligence and strengthen children's health at Saulės Gojus.  
  • Intrapersonal intelligence is one of the components of emotional intelligence: objective knowledge of one's strengths and weaknesses, the ability to control one's feelings, to know the limits of one's possibilities. Actors, writers and artists have made these qualities their craft. Children who are aware of their sensitive nature and able to express it, and who can figure out their strengths and weaknesses, are characterized by strong intrapersonal intelligence. Creating favourable conditions for a positive development of each child's personality is one of the most important tasks that Saulės Gojus is committed to.
  • Interpersonal (social) intelligence is the second component of emotional intelligence: the ability to understand and get along with other people. People with social intelligence are leaders in their group, they are outgoing and empathetic. This type of intelligence is a characteristic of teachers, salesmen, diplomats, politicians, therapists. Children attending Saulės Gojus learn to get along with others and to work in a group: those are skills important for the strengthening of interpersonal intelligence. 
  • Naturalistic intelligence involves love of nature, the ability to identify, classify and manipulate elements of the environment, objects, animals or plants. Foresters, botanists, biologists, veterinarians, environmental experts have a high naturalistic intelligence. A forest, meadows, and the rural surroundings of our kindergarten in Grigaičiai offer a favourable environment for the children to develop their naturalistic intelligence.

The educational process at Saulės Gojus is organised in such a way that the children have optimal conditions to explore and develop all intelligences named by Howard Gardner.