At MIS, our Elementary is divided into Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3) and Upper Elementary (G4-6) with children of ages 6 to 12. The Elementary school day begins at 8.50am and finishes at 3.20 pm along with the remainder of the school. This is then followed by a rich assortment of after-school clubs and activities until approximately 4.10pm. The curriculum covers all Japanese learning objectives as well as being enhanced significantly to give our students a rich, international learning experience.
Japanese is offered in two distinct classes: Japanese for native Japanese speakers (Kokugo) or Japanese Studies for Non-Native children. (Japanese Studies includes simpler Japanese language development as well as learning about Japanese culture and traditions.) Japanese culture and traditions are further highlighted in school assemblies and events.
Children develop their skills in all of the key areas of language development. This includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Children read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction including texts and leveled readers from the Oxford English curriculum. Students are given opportunities to write for a variety of purposes. Purposeful English language development is a strong focus across all subject areas. Special events such as the MIS Book Week put a particular focus on literacy.
Mathematics develops the full range of numeracy skills through covering the Japanese objectives through the National Numeracy Framework from the U.K. These focus on the key areas of Number, Shape and Space, Algebra, Measures and Data Handling. Lessons develop strong mental arithmetic skills and compliment these through practical and written activities.
Information Communication Technology
Information Communication Technology help develop the children’s skills and understanding in this ever evolving area. Lessons teach not only basic keyboard skills, the use of key programmes such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint and how to effectively, appropriately and safely use the internet but also have a focus on basic coding. In full class lessons, we make use of our ICT Room. Technology is also integrated throughout the day via iPads and interactive wide boards.
Science includes the properties of materials, energy, nature, light, forces, electricity, life and earth, weather, plants, the body and the solar system. Lessons cover how to work safely and how to follow the scientific process and include a wide range of practical and written activities using specialist materials in the Science Room. Annually Elementary students participate in the MIS Science Fair.
Personal, Social and Nature Studies
Personal, Social and Nature Studies (for 1st and 2nd Grade students) includes learning about school, their local surroundings, people who help help them, and how to care for nature and living things. These are the foundations for Science and Social Studies for in subsequent grades.
Social Studies develop the children’s understanding of social life, how a peaceful and democratic society works and their responsibility within it. It helps the children foster a love and understanding of this country, the world, and the need to help preserve and protect the environment in which they live.
The children develop an understanding of the formative arts through using a wide range of materials. They build an understanding of line, colour, texture and design through studying natural objects and record these observations through first-hand observation and design ideas. They consider how one can communicate through art and experiment making creations through various processes including pencil drawing and their control of various tools and techniques. They consider the properties of and importance of using the correct materials in constructing meaningful objects and how to appropriately evaluate their own work and that of others.
In music our aim is to create and build upon a love and sensitivity for music from within Japan but also from around the world. We cultivate musical talents by giving students a wide variety of vocal and instrumental experiences. We foster an appreciation and understanding of musical elements such as tone, rhythm, pace, melody, strength and weakness of stress, rhythm, flow, phrases, etc. Additionally, we hope students are able to understand and explain what they have felt when listening to music.
Home Economics (for children in Grades 5 & 6) develops children’s knowledge and practical skills in dealing with real life situations. This includes the areas of their role in the family, the community, cooking basic daily meals, caring for clothing and possessions, and the importance of financial planning and the function of money.
Physical Education helps develop children’s confidence and abilities in using their bodies. They learn how to move safely in their own and general space and have an awareness for others. Through a wide range of gymnastic skills the children learn how to link actions, body shapes and balances with control and precision. They develop the skills of how to use and move a wide range of PE equipment and appropriately appreciate the benefits of teamwork. They improve their individual performance through observing, listening and investigating the work of others and understand the importance of maintaining a healthy body through exercise and diet. By involving them in various games they understand the importance and need for rules and tactics for games to be played properly, to a good standard, and with sportsmanship.
Ethics covers both discussion and work on moral issues and how children can contribute and understand more the society in which they live. Children learn the importance of rules and their social responsibility in both the school and wider community.
Creative Studies is dedicated to the preparation of upcoming school events with a special emphasis on creative thinking and practical development. The children can explore areas including shape, colour, texture and design. At times, this may also include Student Council activities or ‘house’ activities which can provide engaging collaborative and competitive opportunities for students.
This subject incorporates cross curricular and general learning. It gives children the opportunity to extend and develop further an area or subject in school linking it to work as a group or independent study with people of different ages. Learning takes place through teaching, volunteering, reflection, making presentations, debates, experiments, observations and through research and visits to various public facilities. Typical areas may include International culture, the environment, health, the community, Information Technology and Japanese Culture.