Joondalup Montessori hosts Japanese exchange students


Aboriginal artist Shiela Humphries with Sienna, Hikari, Senya, Kyotaro and Mariri. Bruce Hunt d483020
Aboriginal artist Shiela Humphries with Sienna, Hikari, Senya, Kyotaro and Mariri. Bruce Hunt d483020

KIDS are experiencing different cultures early at Joondalup Montessori.

This week, the early learning centre for kids aged three to four is hosting Japanese exchange students as part of a cultural exchange usually seen in high schools.

Owner and director Anita Endersby said the schools were both fairly new, with Joondalup Montessori opening about 18 months ago and Casa Dei Bambini, Kitakyushu-shi in Fukuoka opening about 12 months ago.

“I was approached by a friend of Casa Dei Bambini who lives here in Australia and asked if we would be able to host some students to visit for a week,” Ms Endersby said.

“It is so unusual for young children to do cultural exchange programs that at first I wondered how we might be able to do this.

“But the Owner of Casa Dei Bambini, Ikumi Otani and I did a video conference and discussed how we might be able to make this happen and started arrangements.”

Ms Endersby said the children would attend Joondalup Montessori for the week and take part in the normal program “which covers cultural subjects”.

“We will also introduce them to more specific Australian culture as well,” she said.

“They are taught in English at school in Japan so this visit is to practice their English as well as cultural learning.

“And while the children are at school, the parents will be doing tourist activities.”

She said the visit would finish with a Saturday picnic with the families of the Japanese and Australian students.

“We have a very culturally diverse range of families in our school so this will be very exciting,” Ms Endersy said.

MORE: Wild weather set to continue as Bureau reissues severe weather warning

MORE: West Australians honoured at Volunteer of the Year Awards

MORE: Kwinana dubbed heart of ‘Lithium Valley’, set to play significant role in WA economy

MORE: Brace yourself, winter is coming… and so is the seasonal sprinkler ban