As a 21st Century School
Aichi International School (AIS) has a mission to provide children with a 21st century style of education. The three main pillars of this new “Global Society,” will be strong communication skills, healthy self-confidence, and a respect for others. AIS is determined to foster these attributes within its students.
10-Year Education System
AIS has a ten-year educational framework: four years of Kindergarten and six years of elementary school. This provides children the grounding for the possibility and planning of entering higher education. Also the number of students in the classroom ranges between 10 to 20, which allows students to learn more effectively and in more detail than in a larger class.
English Kindergarten and Bilingual Elementary School
At AIS, Kindergarten classes are taught exclusively in English, while the elementary school provides bilingual education in English and Japanese in order to help students develop their Japanese identity as well as a global mind. AIS has adopted the Province of British Columbia for its English language instruction for both Kindergarten and Elementary School, and adds on the Japanese curriculum following the Ministry of Education (MEXT) curriculum guidelines for elementary starting in Grade One. With the younger classes in the kindergarten the school has reverse mapped, developing its own curriculum to ensure that by the time students reach the Orca class (the first grade that the British Columbia curriculum is used) students have the skills and knowledge to be able to access the content of that curriculum.
English Language Based Curriculum
AIS follows this overseas provincial curriculum to set the education standards for its teaching and learning program. The curriculum outlines the expectations for what students should know and be able to do at each grade and within each subject area. These expectations then form the basis of the tri-semester report cards and teacher-parent conference feedback for AIS families, with regard to children’s development and progression at Aichi International School.
The core texts which the students use are from the Houghton & Mifflin series, and these feature in both the kindergarten and elementary school programs to ensure that there is continuity between the two faculties of the school. These texts are throughout North America, and allow AIS students not only to develop their reading and writing skills, but also to access stories and content from outside of Japan, such as stories and tales from overseas.From 2014 Aichi International School introduced the United Nations English Proficiency Test into the Orca class of the kindergarten program. As well as receiving a certificate of completion when graduating from AIS, students also have the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and skills in a standardized test.
In previous years, elementary school students at AIS had taken the Stanford Achievement tests, but from February 2015 school year Grades 3 to 6 began to take the International School’s Assessment (ISA) examination in English and Math. The ISA assessment program is designed especially for students in international schools in Grades 3 to 10. It is based on the internationally endorsed reading, mathematical literacy and scientific literacy frameworks of the OCED’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The ISA allows for the comparison of international school students against students in OECD nations. For more information about the ISA, plus an overview of AIS’s performance in the February 2015 ISA please refer to the following link; ISA explanation and graphs.
In order to monitor students’ performance throughout the year at Aichi International school, two forms of assessment are used;
Formative assessment takes part on a daily basis, and is an integral part of both teaching and learning. In the classroom and around the school AIS teachers continually assess and monitor the students’ performance, understanding and knowledge that has been acquired at that moment in time. This assessment then forms what will happen in the next stage of the learning process, and will enable the teacher to make or adjust their Curriculum Map.
This happens at the end of a teaching and learning block and provides students with opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned. Internally at AIS, there are opportunities at the end of each unit of study in the core subjects of English Language Arts, Math and Life Science, for students to demonstrate their understanding of the topics they’ve been studying. As noted above there is also the annual external examination of the International School’s Assessment.
Assessment is an on-going and important part of school life and is carried out by both teachers and students throughout the year. Progress is monitored and reported in different ways; through written progress reports, portfolios and formal and informal meetings. AIS also encourages peer assessment, especially with practices such as the annual Speech Contest, where students consider not just the content, but also the presentation skills of classmates using assessment rubrics.
Experienced and Certified Faculty
At AIS, all teachers possess an overseas or Japanese teaching certificate with several years of experience. Each teacher guides students professionally, vigorously and purposefully utilizing his/her specialist field of studies. We require all of our teachers to be certified from their respective countries. Kindergarten teachers should be certified in early childhood education, and elementary school teachers should ideally have primary school or elementary school teaching experience, as well as a teaching licence/qualification. The Japanese teachers in the elementary school have Japanese teaching qualifications and experience of teaching in public and/or private schools in Japan.
Accredited by WASC
AIS is a school accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The WASC accreditation process fosters excellence in elementary, secondary and adult education by encouraging school improvement. WASC accreditation recognizes schools that meet an acceptable level of quality, in accordance with established, research-based WASC criteria.