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What You Need To Know About Kindergarten Curriculum in the Philippines

From K-12 Basic Education Curriculum, Kindergarten will switch to K-10 under the MATATAG Curriculum expected to pilot next school year.
PHOTO BYpexels

Robert Fulghum, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, says, “All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School.” 

He continues, “These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.” And the list goes on. 

Sounds about right!

So how are these values learned in Kindergarten? Are these included in the curriculum guide for young learners? 

The basics of kindergarten curriculum

Typical Kindergarten Curriculum according to Very Well Family involves Math, Language, Arts, Science, Social Science, Music, Health and Safety, and Physical Education.

It also includes honing of socialization skills, such as taking turns, waiting to be called on by the teacher, and being kind to others. Certain schools of thought have their own curriculum guide like the Montessori Method for example, that has five areas of study, namely: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language and Cultural studies.

Progressive schools follow a child-centered, experiential, and project-based, active learning approach. Christian, Catholic, Islamic, and other religious institutions often include Christian doctrine or biblical and values-based subjects in their curriculum. 

Related: What Is The Montessori Method For Preschoolers And What Does 'Follow The Child' Mean?

Kindergarten education under the K-12 curriculum

Kindergarten Education is the first stage of mandatory preparatory education of children at least five (5) years old as a prerequisite for Grade 1. Kindergarten is made mandatory under the Kindergarten Education Act. Section 5 of the said Act states the adoption of the Mother Tounge-based Multilingual Education. Meaning, the primary medium of instruction for Kindergarten should be the learner's Mother Tongue. 

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The Kindergarten Curriculum framework adopts the principles of the National Early Learning Framework (NELF). NELF is designed to consolidate and unify both government and non-government learning programs to appropriate early learning experiences. 

NELF is based on the following philosophies:

Child is the most important asset of the nation,

Filipino child is a distinct person with infinite potentials,

Filipino child enjoys the benefits of belonging to a unique social, linguistic and cultural heritage,

The importance of a secure and supportive environment in the development of a child,

And celebrates diversity for the child to reach one’s fullest potential. 

 

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PHOTO BY deped.gov.ph

Related: Gusto Na Bang Mag-Aral Ni Bulilit? Here's Your Comprehensive Guide To Preschool Curriculum 

Developmental domains 

There are seven developmental domains, shown in interlocked ellipses of the Kindergarten curriculum framework, which are intended to help young learners to transition to first grade. These domains are interrelated and aligned to specific learning areas as Kindergarten students move up to a more formal education. These learning areas are Social Studies, Values Education, Physical Education and Health, Music and Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Language. 

The said domains and related expectations are as follows:

1. Socio-emotional development 

Children are expected to develop emotional skills, concept of self, concept of diversity and how to relate well with other people in his/her immediate environment

2. Values development

Children are expected to show positive attitudes and behavior, respect, concern, and manifest love of God, country, and fellowmen. 

3. Physical health & motor development 

Children are expected to develop both their fine and gross motor skills to be efficient and effective movers when engaging in physical and health activities. They are also expected to acquire an understanding of good health habits, safety, and danger recognition.

4. Aesthetic/Creative development

Children are expected to develop their aesthetic sense and creative expression that involves the love and pursuit of beauty in art, music, and movement. 

5. Mathematics

Children are expected to understand and demonstrate knowledge, thinking skills, and insights into patterns of mathematics and its concepts through the use of concrete objects or materials, and to apply these meaningfully in their daily experiences. 

6. Understanding of the physical and natural environment 

Children are expected to demonstrate a basic understanding of concepts of living and nonliving things, weather, and senses. They are also expected to acquire the essential skills and sustain their natural curiosity through exploration, discovery, and observation.

7. Language, literacy, and communication

This domain provides opportunities on early literacy learning for self-expression through language using the mother tongue or the child’s first language. Children are expected to develop communicative skills, reading, writing, and to view themselves as effective users and learners of language.

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PHOTO BY pxels

Kindergarten under MATATAG Curriculum (K-10)

MATATAG Curriculum based on DepEd memorandum 054 will be implemented in phases and Kindergarten will be included in the pilot phase for academic year 2024-2025. The redesigned Kindergarten curriculum will exhibit curricular themes such as:

Knowing Who We Are and Our Families

The theme focuses on developing self-concept. As the learners discover more about themselves, they also understand their responsibility as proud members of their family. 

Exploring our Community

The theme is about becoming functional and responsible members of the community.

Appreciating Our Country

The theme pertains to the awareness of one's rights and responsibilities as a Filipino. The Filipino Kindergarten learners demonstrate abilities to respond to situations and events to showcase appreciation to Philippine culture and traditions.

Caring for Our World

The theme focuses on one's responsibility to provide care and respect to one's surroundings. All Filipino Kindergarten learners will learn to accept diversity, build friendship, and show appreciation to the beauty of people and nature.

In addition, the domains of development in the redesigned Kindergarten curriculum are down to six: socio-emotional, values, physical health and motor, aesthetic/creative, cognitive, and language, literacy, and communication. Science (Understanding of Physical and Natural Environment) and Mathematics are combined under cognitive development. Under Values Development, children are expected to be taught with the integration of Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) as stipulated in Republic Act 11476.

Kindergarten learners will be assessed through observation and evaluated at the start of the school year using the Philippine Early Childhood Development (ECD) Checklist, “a developmental screening tool that provides information about the learners’ stage of development and aids the teacher in identifying any delays.” 

The Progress Report is esteemed to contain components that are aligned with the learning competencies from the Kindergarten Curriculum Guide. “This will serve as a checklist to evaluate the overall performance of the learner in every quarter.”

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PHOTO BY deped.gov.ph

21st Century Skills

Kindergarten Curriculum under MATATAG highlights the 4 C's of learning and  innovation skills that will help them thrive in their 21st century environment:

Creativity

Critical Thinking

Communication

Collaboration

 Source: DepEd

RELATED: DepEd Launched The K To 10 Curriculum, Reduces Focus From 7 To 5 Learning Areas

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