Vol 14 Issue 3
From the principal
- Osaka ymca international school -
We had a great year!
We improved many things, and we completely intend to continue to improve things so that your children and you have the best school experience possible.
Our enrollment numbers continue to climb to the point where we now have waiting lists. As student numbers grow, we have more opportunities to re-invest in resources that improve everyone’s experience. Also, each classroom is more internationally diverse with children coming from many different countries.
Some of the things that you can look forward to next year are:
A new student information system for handling admissions, re-enrollment, attendance, report cards, etc. This will make it much easier for you to interact with us and to keep track of your child;
A new website that better represents our school;
Improved educational programs;
Improved student support programs;
Top level educators.
We are also putting a lot of time and energy into the planning of our new high school program, which will start in 2020 with grade 10.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make this year great, especially members of the PTA. We hope everyone has a happy and safe summer, and we look forward to seeing you in September 2018 for a fresh and exciting school year.
Dr. John Botting, Principal
Dear OYIS Community...
International Festival News
End of Year Info
New Office Staff
What's featured in this issue of The Bridge?
OYIS Summer Intensive Program 2018
Any level / Preschool to Grade 6
Week 1: Mon, July 23, 2018 - Fri., July 27, 2018.
Week 2: Mon, July 30, 2018 - Fri., Aug. 3, 2018.
Week 3: Mon, Aug. 6, 2018 - Fri., Aug. 10, 2018.
Application deadline: Sat., June 30, 2018. 5 pm.
Applications are available on our website
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.
OYIS Summer Wonderland 2018
OYIS Students / Advance / Returnee ONLY / Preschool to Grade 3
Week 1: Mon, July 2, 2018 - Fri., July. 6th, 2018.
Week 2: Mon, July 9, 2018 - Fri., July. 13th, 2018.
Application deadline: Sat, June 23, 2018. 5pm.
Information regarding Thurs., June. 28th, 2018.
The International Festival was a success, thanks to all! We made about 700,000 yen out of raffle sales and food tickets. Click the button to see more details!
Our sincere appreciation to all the parents, teachers and the students for all their contribution and cooperation. It has been decided that 50% will go to the library budget, 15% will go to the micro loan (each grade gets to donate about 10,000 yen to one of the projects.) PTA and the school are now working to finalize the items for the 35% profit.
A big thanks to all!
End of year info
International festival details
The year end ceremony
10:00 am to 11:00 am @ gym
The year end party
12:30 pm to 2:30 pm @ gym
*The year end party invitation slip has been distributed. The sign up is due on Wed., Jun. 20, 2018.
*All students’ dismissal time and bus departure time is 12:00 pm.
*For PTA party, children have to be accompanied by their parents/caregivers.
*Please remove all personal belongings from the personal locker and the shoe box.
The PTA finished their last meeting for 2017-2018. The PTA would like to send out their appreciation to all for the support throughout the year.
Hello everyone, my name is Yuumi Fujimura, and I have been working here at OYIS from April 2018. I am 28 years old. I went to Nara Women’s University and got a Master Degree in Education and Child Psychology. I have worked as a head of kindergarten, head of admissions, kindergarten Japanese teacher and admin. staff at an international school in Tokyo. I also have a teaching license for elementary children. I look forward to working with you all here at OYIS and doing my best in my role.
Hello everyone, my name is Riko Otsubo and I joined OYIS from this spring as a new office staff. I’m 24 now and graduated from Kobe City University of foreign studies this March. My major was English, and I learned about oral communication and education for my seminar. I used to be in Canada and I had a working holiday for 10 months. I’m so glad to be here and looking forward to working with you all at OYIS.
New office staff
Research Reference 1
Research Reference 2
How to Help Your Child Over the Summer
With the summer break just around the corner, one of the most frequent questions I get from parents and caregivers is what kind of homework should I give my child This question is very challenging as the debate on homework is very controversial. Research from various sources have found that homework for elementary school children has no academic benefit, while junior high school children showed minimal academic improvement from homework. My advice to you over the summer is to try and teach your child to the love of reading. Have your child read a little each day instead of trying to do a marathon catch up.
Building the Love of Reading
Set a time each day to read.
Make a reading corner at home.
Make books easily accessible.
Schedule a couple of times a week to read your own books and show your child you love reading too!
Read with your kids daily in any language.
Don't leave home without a book. Those long drives or train rides are an ideal times to read a book.
Let children listen to audio books.
Be patient reading takes time.
Don't push too hard. If your child is tired just read the pictures.
Start reading a little each day to help your child build their reading stamina. Please remember, the turtle won the race! Children need to build up their reading skills just like exercising.
Try "I Read. You Read."
Remember, just looking at the pictures is still reading.
Talk about the text: Tell me more… What happened…
Did you learn anything new?
Did you have any questions?
Did you have any connections?
From March 5-9 this year, the EAL department hosted our annual Literacy Olympics. New this year, was a tie-in with the house points system. Students were able to gain points for their respective houses by participating in the daily challenges, lunchtime literacy events, bulletin board challenge, the closing ceremony relay race and scavenger hunt. They were also able to watch an exciting wrestling match between Mr. D and Mr. Russell. At the end of the week, the points were tallied up and house team Fire was able to hang on to the trophy. Great job to everyone who participated and good luck next year!
Summer is almost here, and that means it is time for swimming. The OYIS preschool class had their first swimming session of the year, and they really made a splash! Everyone was enthusiastic to get in the pool and cool off. They practiced paddling, kicking underwater, balancing on the pool boards. Most importantly, they practiced pool safety in and outside of the pool. The whole event was made possible by Mr. Washer and his wonderful assistants, and we are grateful for all of their hard work and preparation. We look forward to learning new swimming skills and getting plenty of exercise in the pool up until the end of the school year!
Exploring through Play
"Asia, Africa, North and South America. Antarctica, Europe, and finally Australia" is how it all began for KA. This Spring Concert song was so super popular in class that we adapted it for our final UOI studies about traditions. We painted original T-shirts, had an Easter egg hunt, played 2-up from Australia, made Italian pizzas from scratch and tried traditional Rangoli sand art from India. We dressed up in Korean hanbok and Indian sari, built pyramids with Lego, created Girl’s Day origami and designed safari animals from cardboard boxes. We were delighted to have so many family members join us in KA for our continent inquiries. Thank you so much!
We organized our final field trip to Banpaku Park to visit the magical and highly recommended National Museum of Ethnology. It was a spectacular way to connect and consolidate our inquiries so naturally, and enjoy a glorious day in nature nearby Osaka’s famous Tower of the Sun. We are exploring Antarctica at the moment with outdoor water play, wonderful sensory texture fun and designing igloos from our handmade ice! Learning comes alive in KA!
Expo Park Field Trip
On April 19th, KB made a field trip to Expo Park as part of our sharing the planet unit. In particular, we were looking at plants and creatures that live on them. We went for a walk in the wooded area there, and the students made comments like “This is like trekking,” or “It seems like we are in the mountains,” and “This isn’t like the city.” We saw many flowers, plants and insects on the walk. KB students were very interested in them all. We then went to the museum there and found a lot of crafts that can be made from trees, and we saw more examples of insects we hadn’t seen. Some of the children were most fascinated by the cicada art. Some students didn’t like it at all. After that, we walked until we came to the top of a hill and had our lunch there looking at all the cultivated flowers around us. To finish our day, we went to a nearby play area and had a lot of fun using our gross motor skills on various climbing frames.
In grade 1, we just finished a unit called adaptations. We looked at how animals are classified, how they have adapted to their environments and how those adaptations might benefit the animal. All students like animals, so this was a very exciting unit.
Everyone chose an animal of their choice and spent the majority of their time diving into an inquiry of how to research and publish a non-fiction book about that animal. We also learned how to use a dictionary to look up definitions of new words.
We finished the unit by going to Tennoji Zoo to see animals in their habitats for ourselves. We were able to discuss the animals we saw and their adaptations. The students observed what made the animals we saw special and what their adaptations were. They then theorized what benefit that adaptation would give the animals. Best of all, the weather held out, and while it was hot, it did not rain. We were blessed with a great day!
During our "how the world works" unit, students were studying about animals and their different kinds of adaptations. Since students went to Tennoji Zoo last year while studying about animals, we decided to go to Kaiyukan Aquarium this year. While going through the aquarium, the students sketched pictures of animals that had different kinds of adaptations for different situations. Students enjoyed looking at all the different animals at the aquarium and especially the touch tank near the exit.
Creative Art Gallery
On Thursday, May 31st, students displayed their art for classes that came in during the afternoon. There were many different kinds of art forms that students explored including car design, game design, painting, singing, puppetry, digital art, mosaics and architecture!
Students also had a chance to present about their art, including their vision as an artist--what they were thinking and feeling when they created the art--and what elements of art they used.
It was a really great way to practice communication and presentation skills as well as share what we had done with other grades. Students also had a chance to view each other’s art and respond to it earlier in the week. Overall, it was a great wrap up for our unit of inquiry on how we express ourselves.
Art and Creativity
After Easter break, grade 4 began their inquiry into the different ways artists express their ideas. We were very lucky to have many different artists come in and share their experience and skills with our class. Our field trips helped us to see the work of two famous artists up close. It was great seeing students make connections between the art they saw and the things they had learned. We connected our UOI to the work we did in math, and we created a huge mosaic art piece that expresses how we can be caring by working together. We also connected our creative skills with our enthusiasm for sustainability by designing recyclable shopping bags for the international festival. The best thing about this inquiry was seeing the creativity and artistic confidence grow in all the students. They did a fantastic job!
Recently, our grade 5 students finished their exhibition presentations. The theme of our exhibition research was sharing the planet. Students divided themselves in to research interest groups. Our class settled on five groups that fell under the core focus of this units descriptive parameters. The five inquiry groups focused on one of the following topics: human rights/slavery, animal rights and conservation, pollution, sustainability and war. Students spent four months conducting independent and in-depth research on their chosen topics of interest. On exhibition day, students were allowed a large presenting space in which they had to create an interactive booth that would facilitate them in communicating their findings. The presentation needed to include a summary of their research process, a self-made central idea and lines of inquiry, multiple modes of multimedia and art, an individual passion to be used in conveying the effects of their findings and an action plan. This was followed up by a grade 5 banquet dinner for families and mentoring staff of the class. This banquet was catered with delicious food from all around the world. During this time, students performed an original musical composition reflecting their core research issues. They also gave summary speeches on their work. This was topped off with a certification of completion ceremony.
Students in the junior high school have been very busy within the humanities classroom. Each class has been highly engaged in inquiry around two major topics: Japan from isolation to integration and an examination of business development and the qualities of entrepreneurs.
The study of Japan was fascinating. Students explored the nearly 400 years of Japanese history this semester. Starting from Japan’s period of isolation and the shogun rule, students engaged with the concepts of Bushido and the samurai code. Moving forward, students explored the sudden changes Japan faced through the Meiji restoration. Utilizing the concepts of change and evolution, students observed the sudden changes throughout Japan during this period of time. The final section of the unit focused on the buildup to World War Two and the outcome for Japan. Our final debate revolved around the morality of war and the decision to use atomic weapons.
Students started their business development unit by exploring the qualities of a range of world famous entrepreneurs. Through this exploration, they gained an understanding of what it takes to build a business and how individuals with specific qualities were able to build massive companies. Over the course of the unit, students gained knowledge of marketing and human resource management. They examined the concepts of motivation and leadership to understand how businesses can develop these in their workforce. At the end of this unit, students will begin the process of developing their own small business. Support that OYIS provided these entrepreneurs was greatly appreciated.
Grade 6 - 9
Junior High, Grade 6 - 9
Junior high students successfully completed the required mathematics curriculum in all grades. They have gained confidence in their mathematical abilities and are eager to challenge themselves with supplemental studies, preparing them for next year and years to come.
For many, the study of mathematics in a second language continues to be a challenge, but progress is being made: New vocabulary, new meanings and procedures are becoming easier. Students are to be praised for their patience and commitment towards this goal.
Note taking skills, work habits, study habits, guides and procedures developed in classes this year should benefit them throughout their school years. Mr. Speer is proud of the effort that students put into lessons this year, and he wishes them continued success.
The junior high students conquered Mt. Rokko! Our students hiked a total of 18km to reach the peak of Mt. Rokko. They were also able to plan their meals, set up tents and experience the outdoors in style. Thanks to everyone who helped support the process, our first hiking expedition was a tremendous success.
The grade 6 and 7 class have recently completed a unit in which they learned about trees, forests and ecosystems. In the course of that unit, they made several trips to the Yodogawa riverside, making close observations of the area as they considered the many elements of an ecosystem. Then, while on an outdoor education hike in Minoh Park, they had the opportunity to compare many kinds of trees and plants and the animals that use them as their habitat.
The grade 8 and 9 class studied the saltwater and freshwater systems of our planet and how they affect human lives. After learning that almost all of the water on our planet is undrinkable, they investigated how filtering and distillation might purify water. They left the lab to collect samples of water from different places and then returned to perform several tests to check the quality of their samples.
Fun all around!
During April and May, our early childhood students were continuing to develop their physical literacy skills through a range of different activities. They have been practicing skills such as striking, dodging, throwing, catching, climbing and kicking through many different types of games. Our students' favourite games were tag games, hide ‘n seek and octopus. Plus they loved tree climbing!
Elementary students have been doing a health-related fitness unit, inquiring into ways we stay physically fit and healthy then applying their knowledge to different activities.
grade 1: body's' responses to fitness activities
grade 2: jump rope
grade 3: team running challenge
grade 4: designing a fitness programme
grade 5: health-related components of fitness stations
Everyone was very excited about ending the year of physical education in the swimming pool and especially having our instructors from Australia to help us become better swimmers!
2017 - 2018
OYIS hosted its annual international festival on May 19th. This event is an opportunity for the school community to gather together and celebrate its diversity. Students, families, staff and community members were able to enjoy a range of music, food and culture. Through the event, we were also able to raise a significant amount of funds to support both the school and micro loans for entrepreneurs in developing countries. OYIS would like to thank everyone who made the event a great success.
We had a great spring concert this year! It was an impressive showcase of musical skill and talent across all grades. From the early childhood music and movement performance all the way to the junior high school take on some popular music numbers, everyone worked hard to put on a great show. In our music program, we believe that giving students opportunities to perform will build their confidence and encourage them to pursue the joy of music in the future.
It’s never too early to instill a love of music in children! OYIS early childhood students continued to prove that even the youngest of learners could achieve some level of mastery over basic musical concepts. Our students developed a strong musical foundation through meaningful play with pitch. By infusing color, literacy, numbers and games into hands-on musical experiences, the students were exposed to the wide world of music and were able to express themselves through this exciting art form. We celebrated musical diversity from a variety of cultures, we composed our own rhythms, we danced and played, we explored musical instrument families and even built some instruments ourselves! May the summer holiday bring lots of time for music to be made and played!
This year, we had a fantastic time in both primary and junior high music classes. Students performed at the various school events, including spring concert, grade 5 exhibition and the international festival. They learned about and explored music from different times and cultures. There were also many opportunities to try and play a variety of instruments, to experience different music roles and to be involved in arranging the pieces we performed. Some of the classes learned about composition and even worked on their own pieces of music. Next school year, our ambition is to perform before a wider OYIS community as well as to present our work outside the school.
Primary and Junior High
The 2018 PYP exhibition was very successful! In the grade 5 Japanese A class, the students used calligraphy to write Kanji to represent their PYP projects, which was displayed in front of the grade 5 classroom on exhibition day. Each calligraphy work showed passion. After the PYP exhibition, the students wrote reflections on their presentations in Japanese, which showed how satisfied they were with their projects.
In their final unit, the grade 2 students examined the similarities and differences between pictures and writing symbols. They learned various pictograms (象形文字) and also created their own. They had many great ideas, and their work was very creative.
Signs and Symbols
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