About Us


International Sunshine Home is Xiamen’s premier bilingual school for younger children. Opened in 2010, Sunshine Home has grown from three classes to more than 40 classrooms covering students between 2 and 6 years of age.
 
One of Sunshine Home’s strengths is that it combines the insights and approaches of educators from China and the West. The organization’s teaching approach relies on a Western approach -- positive reinforcement, emphasis on creativity and small class sizes. At the same time, the local and foreign teachers are careful to respect both Chinese and Western cultures and celebrate the cultural and individual differences.
 
The Montessori method is an important inspiration for Sunshine Home. We emphasize a prepared environment, mixed-age classroom, hands-on learning and uninterrupted blocks of free study. Teachers track interests and progress over time, modeling proper behavior and grace, and teaching self-control rather than a dependence on external discipline.
 
Sunshine Home also focuses extensively on language development. Students and staff use English and Chinese both in class and in their daily work, creating an immersive language environment. Native-language instructors teach Chinese and English classes.
 
With more than 40 foreign teachers and at least three staff members for each class of 18 students, the school uses a low teacher-student ratio to tailor each class to the needs of the students and to increase classroom safety.
 
Our custom-made SLAM curriculum features four pillars of excellence: Sciences, Languages, Arts and Math. We have more than six academic coordinators constantly improving our curriculum and training our staff. The subject matter is age-appropriate -- while our Sophomores (students under the age of three) are learning basic words like “the sun,” six-year-old students in the Seniors classroom are exploring the life cycle of a star.
 
The main teaching methods include structured game play, music and dance, independent study, group story time and play-based activities. Unlike traditional local schools, the staff avoids group recitation, call-and-response and formal lecturing methods. Students are not assigned homework. 
 
Students are divided into groups by English level rather than age. Sunshine Home uses English levels to organize its students because mixed-age classrooms mirror the natural learning method of children, which includes learning both from parents and from their brothers and sisters. Younger students look up to, learn from and aspire to be like their older classmates. Older students practice leadership and earn the confidence that comes from demonstrating subject mastery, teaching what they know and being the object of affection and admiration.