Vol 14 Issue 2
From the principal
- Osaka ymca international school -
Dear parents and caregivers,
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018!
We have a part-time school counselor! How cool is that? Lil Wills (Ms. Lil) is a qualified psychotherapist who specializes in play therapy. Currently, she comes in on Thursdays, but from April 2018, she will come in on Fridays. Some students are referred to her by me. Some students volunteer on their own to visit her. It is nice to see kids who feel that they would like to talk to someone, a professional counselor, visit Ms. Lil. She is an important part of our student support team.
At OYIS, it is extremely important that each class is:
In keeping with this, we have recently completed and implemented a child protection policy. We are a WASC accredited school, and this is a required part of our accreditation. Child protection concerns physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Our teachers will be trained in child protection, and we will begin education programs for students and parents in the 2018-2019 academic year. We have also begun building a relationship with Osaka city child services.
We are in the process of improving our student behaviour policy and procedures. When students are having difficulties and behaving in inappropriate ways, there are several things that we do: teachers look into the problems and try to work with the affected students; depending on the severity, teachers may contact parents; students might be referred to the school counselor; in some cases, we may decide to take disciplinary action if we believe that safety, healthy development or teaching and learning are being significantly impacted. Always, it is important that parents cooperate with us to solve problems. This is the fastest and healthiest way to return things to normal for students, especially those directly involved.
From August 2018, a student support coordinator will join our team. This person will be a specialist in student support and special education needs. The person will take the lead on coordinating student behaviour matters, student counselling, child protection and staff, student and parent education, and I will oversee this work.
By providing these kinds of student support, everyone benefits. Children feel better, families are more confident in our services and staff can do their jobs better.
Best wishes for 2018!
Dear OYIS Community...
ELA & Humanities 6-9
Pink shirt day
Christmas Street Collection
Japanese New Year's party
What's featured in this issue of The Bridge?
This year we will be hosting our Spring intensive program, here are the scheduled dates.
Week 1: March 26th - March 29th.
Week 2: March 31st - April 3rd
Applications are available on our website from February 2nd
For more information regarding our intensive and summer programs, please visit our school website. The intensive programs page is listed under "Programs" then "Intensive Programs" alternatively you can click the button below to be taken to the page.
A Snowy Day
Preschool has been having a wonderful January. We have welcomed many new students and have had many opportunities to learn and play. One special memory that we made together, took place on January 26th. The students were listening to stories on the class carpet, when suddenly, it began to snow! We put on our jackets and went outside to catch snowflakes on our tongues. For many of the Preschool students this was their first time playing in the snow! Their faces were growing with excitement. Students from elementary also joined us on the field. The Preschoolers were happy to be able to share this moment with the older children. It was a magical event for everyone.
Moods of Year End
KA had a super sensational and dazzling learning environment for the end of 2017. We created original Japanese New Year cards with the Pre-School Postbox, and even had a surprise visit from Santa and his Elf helper! We made sparkly photo decorations for the school Xmas tree, and learned many wonderful Christmas songs for our Early Years party. It was a time filled with many special art projects, generous family involvement, and the warmest KA class energy.
In November, KB made a field trip to Hattori Ryokuchi Park. We learned many things there. We saw how the old Japanese houses differed from our modern ones( Where We Are In A Place and Time). We also saw how fires are made. We learned about fire safety and we even put some logs on the fire.(Who We Are). It was a beautiful day and we found many pine cones and acorns and brought some back to school to use in our class. (How the World Works)
Hattori Ryokuchi Park
Signs and Symbols
Grade One is currently inquiring into Signs and Symbols. After a lesson sorting pictures of signs and symbols, we took a walk in the neighborhood looking for signs and symbols and recorded what we saw. We noticed that signs and symbols tell us different things.
After discussing more about signs and symbols, the next step we took was trying to design our own sign. In these examples, we made a sign showing to line up.
During our second unit about stories and storytelling, many parents came in to read a story from their culture. The students heard stories from different countries around the world. All of the students were able to understand that even though we come from different cultures, we share many of the same values.
Parents Reading to Students
For three weeks from mid-November until the beginning of December, grade 3 students at OYIS held a food drive. The Food Drive tied directly into our Unit of Inquiry about beliefs and belief systems, as we all believe that people should have something to eat.
Grade 3 students created posters and made announcements in order to promote this event. People from across the school gave food and we were very happy with the response, especially during the first week. We certainly learned that other people also care that those in the local community get enough food to eat. It also enabled us to think more about everything we have to be thankful for!
Sharing the Planet
Grade Four students completed an inquiry into sustainable practices for our second UOI. To help them connect better with the concepts and issues involved with sustainability, we took part in a series of challenges that got students to think about the ways their actions and choices affected the environment and other living things. They really enjoyed the hands on approach to learning. We were also lucky to have Nova, a student visitor from New Zealand, in our class for two weeks of our unit. She got to see how our class works together, and we got to learn about different aspects of Nova’s life and classroom. It was great!
Students were very curious about the issues related to pollution, especially when they saw the effect it had on other animals. Students inquired into plastics and trash and the ways people managed it. We also looked at different resources we used in our day to day lives.
This led the students into taking a lot of action in school and at home. We collected and re-used plastic bottle caps to make learning resources and games. Our ‘TapitArt’ project was a lot of fun and students were really motivated. We even went out in to the community around our school and could see different areas that had a lot of trash. This trip inspired students to re-write a song they had been singing in music class and we were able to perform it at the winter music assembly in December.
Civilization and Exhibition Research
In December, our class was focusing on closing up their inquiry on ancient cultures and civilizations. During this unit, students learned about the pillars of civilizations and the many ways that ancient civilizations have impacted life today.At the end, they specifically focused on ancient Japanese culture. One way that our class did this was by visiting various ancient sites in Nara. Our students learned about the transfer of power and religion as well as culture throughout Japanese history.
Since January, our students have been defining their areas of study for their IB exhibitions. Our class will be inquiring into various global issues regarding “Sharing The Planet”. We are looking forward to seeing our students grow through this inquiry process.
Junior High, Grade 6 & 7
Our G6 and G7 students were getting into the spirit of a debate. Their recent debate topic was on the oral tradition versus the written tradition. Each team had to follow three guidelines: respectful language use, active listening, eye contact and confident language use.
All team members took turns to speak for their side and each team nominated their own final representative to make a concluding statement in the last round. A final winning team was announced at the end. As everyone was still in a debating mode before the lunch break, all the students brought up a lively discussion on digital age, the new ways of storing knowledge and the implications of it.
English Language Arts & Humanities
Junior High, Grade 8 & 9
These images are the creative chapter summaries that the Grade 8 and Grade 9 students did for our novel study unit on The Golden Compass. Each student explained their own illustrative work to the class and related its significance to the novel.
The junior high students have been busy learning about a variety of topics so far this year in Science, including heat and temperature, aerodynamics, and chemistry. While studying structures and forces, the Grade 7s had to investigate the strength of various materials. They tested the materials by recording how much weight could be supported. The Grade 6s learned all about flight and aircraft, and used their knowledge to design and test rockets which fly under the power of high air pressure forcing a small amount of water out the back. Feel free to ask the students to tell you more about their experiments if you see them!
Junior High, Grade 6 - 9
Mr. Speer is proud of the progress being made in Junior high mathematics. All grades (six to nine), have been working hard since the winter break on topics like: Linear Relations, Graphing and Equation Solving.
Students were excited to see their recently arrived textbooks, books that focus on the needs of the MYP program and are eagerly awaiting their eBooks (grades seven to nine) written for the Alberta curriculum. The two resources are complimentary and their usage will allow students to work towards both programs simultaneously.
As we advance in our effort to become an Alberta Accredited School we will add resources, manipulatives, and learning materials to meet the students, and the programs, needs. In preparation for our accreditation we have added an additional period per week to Mathematics this semester to meet the required time allotted by Alberta Education. Parents and caregivers may feel free to contact Mr. Speer with any questions and concerns.
Remember, as Mr. Speer always says, "There are only two types of people in the world, those that love math and those that don't know they love math yet"
Junior High Master Chef
Throughout November and December the JHS explored healthy eating habits during the Health and Nutrition unit in Physical and Health Education.In order to bring this experience to life the students have explored cooking a wide range of foods. The first week of this event saw students divided up into small groups. Each group worked with a parent / teacher mentor to learn how to cook one dish from a range of cultures. With the help of our volunteers students explored foods from: Mexico, India, China, Canada, and Korea.
The second week of this event required students to take their experience from the week before and recreate the dish without assistance. Students needed to keep detailed notes throughout the experience as they were not only responsible for cooking the dish but were also required to purchase all of the ingredients at the supermarket.
We would like to thank the parents / teachers who volunteered to help make this event a success.
Japanese A, Grade 6 & 7
Each student chose one Kanji character for his/her goal for the year 2018. After practicing the character with an ink and brush, they wrote it on the shikishi (special paperboard). Great work!!
Japaense B, Grade 6 & 7
-The students from Singapore joined the Japanese B Class. Gr.6 and 7 students gave the Japanese calligraphy lesson for them. It was a great day!
In Japanese B Class, the students did Kakizome (the Japanese traditional first writing of the year).
We will be holding our annual Literacy Olympics week from March 5 to March 9 this year. This is an opportunity for parents to come and observe classroom lessons involving other types of literacy: music, library, Japanese, and PE. Students will also have many opportunities during the week to display literacy of all types. New for this year, we will be incorporating some house-related activities, so that students will have a chance to work together to gain points for their house. It promises to be an exciting, and fun-filled week. See you there!
Photos are from last year’s Literacy Olympics.
As a school, we provide opportunities for our teachers to keep learning. On Friday, January 26th OYIS hosted an IB PYP Exhibition job-alike. During this event, Grade five teachers and administrators from six different schools in Japan joined together to collaboratively learn from each other about their experiences in teaching the Exhibition.
Osaka YMCA C
Osaka YMCA B
Osaka YMCA A
Coach - Jay Greer
Coach - Mr. Washer
Coach - Matt Whelchel
Played - 4
Won - 0
Lost - 4
Final place - 7th
Played - 4
Won - 2
Drew - 1
Lost - 1
Final place 3rd
Played - 4
Won - 2
Drew - 1
Lost - 1
Final place 2nd
The Futsal Club had a great experience at the Marist Brothers Futsal Tournament in Kobe this year. Several international schools from as far as Hiroshima came and entered teams in four different divisions for a day of competition. Our youngest team in the third-grade division steadily improved throughout the tournament and displayed great sportsmanship. The OYIS team entered in the 4th-5th-grade group pulled off some amazing victories against opponents who out-sized them significantly. OYIS also entered a team in the 5th and 6th-grade division which was the highest division in the tournament. Though the OYIS team had zero 6th graders and a mix of 4th and 5th-grade students, they were wildly successful against the older teams--capturing second place overall! The teams represented the school proudly.
Twenty-five students joined the Futsal Club this past fall. They achieved our three goals 1) improvement in soccer skill 2) improvement in sportsmanship and 3) fun. We look forward to having even more students join the club next year. Be sure to congratulate the athletes on a great tournament!
Coach Greer, Coach Matt
After being rained out three days in a row in October, sports day, 2017 finally got underway on a chilly and breezy November 23rd. Slightly colder but no less exciting, students, staff and family members braved the near wintry conditions to participate in a fun-filled, action-packed day of competitive physical activities.
This year, with the wet condition of the yard we moved the sprints to the morning and activity stations to the afternoon. Students were amazing in their colourful clothing and painted faces, all working together to gather as many points as possible for their Houses - running, dancing, cycling, hopping, crawling, sliding, throwing and climbing their way through the events. Well done all of you!
A huge thank you to the whole school community for making this event happen - students, staff and families of OYIS.
And finally, congratulations to Fire House, Sports Day winners for 2017/18!
Final overall points
1st - Fire - 1484 points
2nd - Earth - 1385 points
3rd - Water - 1268 points
It’s been an exciting few weeks in Early Childhood Music! The kids have been working on Solfege (Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do). We have been practicing Solfege (C major scale) by using hand signs and singing. We’ve also been working on the importance of understanding steady beats. They have been able to identify the beat in several songs and clap/stomp/march along in rhythm. I asked them to identify steady beats that they hear in their homes or in class (clocks ticking, machines beeping, etc).
The students applied the concepts of steady beat and Solfege into the old English song “Hot Cross Buns.” They’ve all been working hard playing our “Hot Cross Buns Challenge” game which involves tambourines, bells, and xylophones. It’s a joy to teach these budding musicians!
Grade 8/9 have done a fantastic job performing at our winter concert.
Grade 8 & 9
It is a worldwide bullying opposition movement which was created thanks to the efforts of two Canadian students in 2007.
A boy who came to school wearing a pink shirt was bullied that he was gay.
Two students who saw it handed out 50 pink shirts to their friends.
On the next day,many of the students who supported the appeal wore pink shirts to school.
The whole school was dyed pink,and spontaneously bullying disappeared.
This episode spread out all over the world by SNS and more than 70 countries took part in this action.
PINK SHIRT DAY is held on the last Wednesday of February every year.
“Let's Create a World Without Bullying”
We have decided to grapple with PINK SHIRT DAY:
a crusade against bullying as a collective campaign at Osaka YMCA.
We take first step to aim the realization of fair and peaceful world.
We hope we can think together about “bullying” in this opportunity.
Pink Shirt Day
Christmas Street Collection
Once again this year, OYIS students and parents enjoyed a celebration of Japanese culture.
Japanese New Year's Party
Here the Junior High students are trying to make realistic drawings based on what they see.
Junior High Artwork
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