Tsukuba International School Report – November 2011

This month, we focused on being reflective. Here is the definition of “reflective” according to the International Baccalaureate.

We give thoughtful consideration to our own learning and experience. We are able to assess and understand our strengths and limitations in order to support our learning and personal development.


Student Enrollment
As of November 31, 2011, we had 13 students in Tsukuba International Preschool, 53 students in our Primary Years Programme, and 16 students in our Middle Years Programme for a total of 84 students. The following nationalities are currently represented in our student body: Bangladesh, China, Greece, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.

Field Trips

Grade 4 visited the Meteorological Research Institute as part of their unit on “Weather”. They sent their meteorology-related questions to the institute ahead of time and Mr. Takahashi was able to answer them in detail. The students were able to simulate a tornado in a PET bottle, look at the shape of water droplets, and get a tour of the institute’s superconductor. They were also invited back to watch a weather balloon launch in the future.

Grade 8/9 visited the Edo Tokyo Museum in Tokyo as part of their humanities studies.

Grade 8/9 visited the National Institute for Environmental Studies to hear the Blue Planet Prize Lectures by Dr. Jane Lubchenco and Mr. Bunker Roy. The students learned about the oceans from Dr. Lubchenco and they learned about a unique educational organization in India from Mr. Bunker Roy. Students were very inspired by Mr. Roy’s talk. It helped them realize the importance of following your passion, regardless of what other people think about it.

Tsukuba World Futsal 2011
A number of students from Grades 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 participated in the Tsukuba World Futsal 2011 event in Tsukuba on November 19. Despite the rainy weather, they demonstrated excellent commitment and teamwork. We are hoping to participate in this event again next year as a whole school, with as many students, parents, and teachers in attendance as possible.

Health Checks
Dr. Ono from Ono Clinic in Shimana came to conduct health checks on all our students from preschool to Grade 9. Ms. Crawford and Mrs. Handa also carried out eye-sight checks for all students in Grades 3 to 9.

Spelling Bee
The class spelling bee was held on November 28. A winner and runner-up was selected from each class, and they will go on to compete in the school spelling bee in January.

Student Assessment
The first report cards for the year were sent home on November 30.


School Tours, Open School Day, Parent Circle
We held our School Tours (for prospective parents) on November 9 and the Open School Day and the Parent Circle (for parents of current TIS students) on November 2.


Professional Development of Teaching Staff

On November 11, Ms. Skye Wheat (P2, P3) and Ms. Hiromi Yagishita (P1) attended the PYP Early Years Job-Alike at Tokyo International School.

On November 16, Mrs. Dianne Suzuki (Grade 1) and Mr. Jared Dano (Grade 6/7) attended the Tokyo English Lifeline (TELL) Suicide Prevention Workshop for teachers, in Tokyo.

On November 21 and 22, all our full-time and single subject teachers participated in our in-school PYP workshop with the theme, “Making the PYP Happen”. The course was taught by Mr. Kevin Yoshihara from K International School, in Tokyo.

Professional Networking
On November 7 and 8, Ms. Peggy Marsh (Grade 2, PYP Coordinator) attended the PYP East Asia Network (PYPEAN) Leadership Meeting in Busan, Korea.

Teaching Assistant
We hired Ms. Meirav Kallush as a part-time teaching assistant. Ms. Kallush, from Israel, was one of our Summer Camp leaders and has been in to help at TIP and TIS several times since then. From November she will be coming in 3 days per week to assist with English as a Second Language and classroom activities in all grades.

Networking with Ibaraki Schools
On November 16, twenty-two high school English teachers from Ibaraki Prefecture visited TIS to participate in a training workshop. They also had a tour of the school and met with our teachers for informal discussion on international education.


Second Board Meeting
A meeting of the board of directors was held on Saturday, November 26. Fourteen members were in attendance. Topics discussed included the school’s authorization as an IB World School, the tuition fee structure, and ways that the board can support the school.


PYP Authorization
TIS became an IB World School, authorized to offer the Primary Years Programme. Please see this article for more information.

One of Mr. Kano’s former rugby students donated four computers to the school. We put them in the computer lab and they have been used heavily ever since!


Here is what we have in store for the future.


Learner Profile Focus: Knowledgeable

December 1 – Professional Development Day (Ms. Nagakura, Mr. Okyne, Mr. Breithaupt, and Mr. Dano visit K International School; Ms. Skye, Ms. Hiromi, Ms. Kono, Mrs. Suzuki, and Mrs. Sadler visit Seisen International School)
December 6 – Grade 2 Field Trip to Asakusa
December 6 – TIS Engineering Challenge with Kamiomi Elementary School
December 7 – School Tours for Prospective Parents
December 8 – Open School Day for Current Parents, Parent Circle
December 14 – Winter Festival and Winter Bazaar
December 16 – Last day of school before winter break

If you have any questions about this report, please feel free to contact us.