The core belief of our curriculum: children should be actively engaged in their own learning. The adults who work with children should see themselves as facilitators more than supervisors. Students are taught how to learn and trust their own decision making to foster independence. The activity/experience-based environment provides a rich and stimulating environment. We believe that a well-designed early childhood program capitalizes on the interest of the child. We foster a love of learning, and a curiosity about the world.
Our curriculum is partially inspired by Montessori and Integrated Day philosophy, which emerged from post-war Britain when without supplies or schools students literally took to the streets to learn and question. The curriculum focuses on allowing children to develop passions with an emphasis on multicultural studies. In addition our curriculum is tailored to help girls deal with the specific pressures and problems they encounter in Kibera. There is an emphasis on health education, women’s empowerment and AIDS education. In addition, teachers are equipped to counsel the children and provide unconditional encouragement and support.
At KSG, students are taught all core academic subjects: language arts, math, science and social studies, as well as performing arts, visual arts, health, and physical education. All classes are conducted in English. Written Kiswahili will be introduced in later grades. The school day runs from 7:30am-3:30pm. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students participate in an after-school program until 5pm that facilitates academic enrichment and structured play time.
Our curriculum is working. Students are speaking fluent English after months at our school, and are literally glowing with academic success and personal growth. At the end of 2010, U.S.-based comprehensive math and language arts assessments show that 82% of students are reading at or above their grade level! Several 2nd and 3rd graders are reading at 7th and 8th grade levels.
Our goal is to prepare students so that they exceed national standards of primary education. The Kibera School for Girls will lay the foundation on which these young women are able to build a better future for themselves, their families, and their entire community.