I hope everyone is enjoying some holiday and family time together. It’s always a long trek for the students from August to December, so they really need this break!
This message is about a change to our school curriculum that we have been considering for some time. From August 2023, we will be continuing the IB PYP into Grade 6 and in future our MYP programme will begin in Grade 7. Many schools do this and there are a number of benefits to students from this approach.
One of the main reasons for this change is that Grade 6 students are still quite young and can sometimes struggle with the transition to the MYP. Schools that continue the PYP approach in Grade 6 often find that the students benefit from working with fewer teachers. By contrast, the challenge for many students when Grade 6 is taught with an MYP approach is that they will usually have four or five additional teachers to work with and each subject has a separate schedule of assignments and assessments.
In practice, what this change will mean for our Grade 6 students is that they would be taught with a similar approach to Grade 5. The students would have one main homeroom teacher and the main subjects would be integrated through Units of Inquiry. To ensure the academic level is correct for Grade 6, our MYP team will be working closely with the PYP teachers to ensure an appropriate progression of learning in each subject area. We will also continue to use MAP Growth testing twice a year to externally monitor and check progress. At the end of Grade 6, the students will then transition to the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) when they start Grade 7. The MYP will run from Grade 7 to Grade 10, as a four year programme, finishing with the MYP E-Assessments and receiving an MYP Certificate at the end of Grade 10.
The consultation process leading to the decision to extend the PYP to Grade 6 has included all staff, the KIS board, our current Grade 5 parents, and also information gathered from other schools and the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organisation). After a process of looking at the pros and cons of this change, we are agreed that a PYP Grade 6 would be the best way forwards for KIS and the board has now approved this change. Our admissions information, handbooks and so on will be updated in due course.
The outcome of our recent MYP verification visit is that KIS has now been approved for authorisation as an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) school. We can now say, ‘KIS is an MYP school’. This framework is designed for students aged 11 to 16 to make practical connections between what they learn at school and the world they live. The goal is preparing them for success in further study and in life. This official addition enhances our schoool mission of ‘inspriing active learners, developing global citizens‘ from Pre-Kindergarten right up to Grade 10.
We can all be very proud of this achievement and the school Principal, Myles Jackson, would like to thank everyone who took part in the process. There has been so much effort put into this over an extended period of time by our MYP teaching team. As the trailblazers who have been implementing this programme for many months, our teachers have had to adapt and modify and make so many changes to planning, teaching, learning and assessment, in order to achieve this ensure this success. They have delivered an outstanding result for improving learning in the school. Thank you all so much.
We are particularly grateful to our MYP Coordinator, Ms Smita, who arrived in August and has been non-stop on this since then, bringing deep levels of expertise and commitment to guide us all through the challenging final preparations and this has been key to the school’s success.
In addition, our MYP students and parents have also been deeply engaged in ‘learning to learn’ in an MYP school and their participation in the authorisation process has been outstanding. We should also recognise the shining example of the PYP team and their implementation of the programme, along with the steadfast support of our office team, and the firm support and guidance of the school Board. All have played an important part in achieving this milestone for the school now and for many generations of students to come.
On Friday 26 May the principals of OYIS and KIS met to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two schools. Here are the key elements that support KIS students education through to Grade 12:
KIS students, upon leaving KIS at the end of middle school will have priority placement in OYIS
Should KIS begin to offer further grades above grade 10, the agreement will change to reflect the last year of possible enrolment
OYIS will help facilitate the application process in the following ways:
The entrance fee will be waived from OYIS currently ¥250,000
Facilitation of the application process
Parts of diagnostic testing will be waived
Document exchange will be facilitated between the two schools administration teams
Admission will be processed early in the academic year to ensure KIS students have a place
OYIS will come to the KIS campus two times yearly to support the application process
Acceptance to OYIS is dependent on whether or not the needs of the student can be met and is at the discretion of OYIS. OYIS will also seek to find students / families that are knowledgeable and supportive of their school mission.
The two schools will provide a range of experiences and events to help with the transition and build connections between two schools.
Dedicated time and resources will be deployed to ensure that our curriculum has some continuity and that each institute has an understanding of student levels and past knowledge.
Regular meetings and coordination will be required to ensure that students have a smooth transition between campuses.
It is with very humble gratitude that KIS would like to thank Muromachi Lions Club for their ongoing support of the school.
Over many years the Muromachi Lions Club has been supporting the school with various activities and always had a presence at the KIS Festival. As recently as this May the Muromachi Lions Club invited KIS to the annual dinner, to be part of the celebrations of all the work the club has undertaken. Two board members attended and reported back on a what a lovely evening was had by all.
In spite of the challenges that the global pandemic has presented, in 2022 the Muromachi Lions Club is donating ¥100,000 to the school. For this magnanimous gesture the entire KIS community thanks the club for their generosity.
The school hopes the next year will again be a time of fruitful cooperation between Muromachi Lions and Kyoto International School.
As explained on their website, JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the world. The organization was established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad. Their focus has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.
An affiliate of JETRO is Kyoto Overseas Business Center, which is an all-Kyoto support center located downtown in KYOTO KEIZAI CENTER building. Their focus is for small and medium-sized businesses that are considering overseas business.