Tuesday 25 February 2014

Shoyokan Junior High School Visit

This annual visit by Shoyokan Junior High School is always a highlight of the calendar and was eagerly awaited by many. It is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the sister school relationship, increase global awareness and broaden intercultural understanding. The Shoyokan students help Ivanhoe students to improve their language and communication skills in Japanese and bond together at the same time.

At the Plenty Campus students across many year levels had a wonderful time mixing with the Japanese students and took part in cultural activities such as trying on summer kimonos, baking Anzac biscuits, playing sports, singing and dancing and taking part in kendo demonstrations.

Students were shown around The Ridgeway Campus by Year 8 and 10 students after a presentation by Year 12 student, Dimitiri Ioannu. Everyone mixed together in classes and played Australian Rules and Cricket. The highlight of the day was a performance of Tanko Bushi, where students from Years 6 and 9 joined Japanese students in dancing on the Chapel lawn.

Overall, the Shoyokan visit was a great success and it was wonderful to see the interaction between the students, the visit was special for everyone involved. A large amount of preparation went into the event and this couldn’t have been done with the support of staff.

Japanese and French are offered to students from the Early Learning Centre 4 right up to Year 12. In the primary area the program uses an integrated curriculum model where possible, and cultural topics form an important part of developing tolerance and understanding of others. A Native Speaker Assistant Teacher Program also operates, with a volunteer regularly hosted by the school to work within the Japanese language classes.

The school celebrates the learning of languages by holding a number of events throughout the year such as Language Day and students can enter national language competitions.