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The Educator     April 11th, 2008



Karin Caffin     

Head of School    

Goodbye to some teachers, welcome to others

The third trimester seems to come around all too quickly and this is the time of year that we announce the teachers who will be leaving our school at the end of June. I know that there will be farewell wishes later for the teachers who are leaving, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the teachers who have been a part of our school and wish them well in their new positions. It is also the time to announce the new teachers for the next year. I will not go into detail about the new teachers as they will have the opportunity to introduce themselves at the beginning of the new school year through the Educator.

Mr. John Secomb will be leaving OIS/SIS at the end of June to take up a teaching position at the International School of Bangkok. He has been teaching full time as the orchestra teacher for the last six years and has been involved with the school for more than eight years.

Mr. Vernon Villapando will be replacing Mr. Secomb. Mr. Villapando is currently teaching at Brent International School, Manila. He has many years experience teaching music in schools and is also an experienced musician.

Mr. Steven Hall, who has been with us for the past year, will leave to fill a new position at Ruamrudee International School in Bangkok.

Mr. Sam Adams will be replacing Mr. Hall. He is teaching at the Utahloy International School in China, and has taught previously in the United States.

When Mr. Andrew Powell left in January his class was taken over by Mrs. Amy Lindley, leaving a vacancy for the Elementary/Middle School ESL. Mrs. Joanne Adams will be the new ESL teacher and she is currently teaching at Utahloy International School.

Mrs. Geraldine O’Connell, who took over the short term ESL vacancy will be leaving OIS at the end of June, and she will be teaching at Seisen International School in Tokyo next year.

Mr. Terry Barrett, MS/HS Math teacher will be leaving OIS at the end of June after an 18 month stay. He will be replaced by Mr. Jeffrey Killmer, who is teaching at Carey Academy, North Carolina.

Mr. Marvin Zulauf, who has been at the school for the last 15 years will be leaving to take up a position as Physics and Chemistry teacher at Thuringia International School, in Weimar, Germany. We are currently working on his replacement, and will let you know as soon as we make an appointment.


Enrolments for next year

As is usual at this time of year we are receiving many inquiries and applications from families wishing to enroll their children at our school. Several of our classes are almost fully subscribed and in order to help us with our planning, we ask that you let us know if you are sure that you will be returning next year.

Attached to this Educator is a form that I would like all parents to complete and return to the school by Friday 18th April. If your circumstances change after you have filled in this form, I would appreciate it if you could let us know as soon as possible.


Parent Advisory Committee Survey

Please fill in the attached survey.


Tea Ceremony Organized by PTA

On Thursday April 24th Mr. Keisuke Suzuki, a Japanese Tea Master of the Urasenke School, will be giving a lecture and demonstrate the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Please see the attached note with this Educator and return if you are interested. The OIS PTA is hosting this event.



Gwyn Underwood

Middle and High School Principal

As with any specialist area, the education field is full of jargon which can be confusing to those who have not been exposed to the terms often enough to get an understanding of what they are. I thought it would be helpful to go over a few key terms here to ensure everyone knows exactly what they mean, so as to help you further understand the school and programmes with which your children are involved.

AOI = Areas of Interaction.

The 5 AOIs facilitate the development of links between all MYP subjects. They help focus on important concepts, encourage students to embrace and understand connections between the subject material and the real world; and facilitate students to become critical and reflective thinkers. See your January Educator for more details!

Beliefs that inform our vision = A list of beliefs to describe our two schools’ vision.

As we have a unique shared school setup, the vision of our schools is best revealed by a set of statements intended for the whole school community. More Info:

DP (or IBDP) = The Diploma Programme of the IBO.

A rigorous 2-year college preparation programme which has attained the status as one of the (of not the) best college prep programmes in the world. Students sit exams in May, and if successful in all 6 subjects and program requirements, receive a diploma from the IB which is recognised by the majority of universities worldwide. Students may also sit individual subjects and earn IB subject certificates if they pass course requirements. 

More Info:

IB (or IBO) = An abbreviation referring to the International Baccalaureate Organization, and used when referring to the IBO as an organisation.

More Info:

Note it is common (yet incorrect) to refer to the Diploma Programme as the “IB”. This stems from the DP being the only programme of the IB for many years. It is confusing now as the IB has three programmes, so it is better to be specific.

Note also “Programme” in PYP, MYP and IBDP is officially spelt with British spelling, while “Organization” is officially spelt with American Spelling! Tolerance and compromise in action!

Mission Statement = A statement that encapsulates our school’s mission.

For SOIS, our mission statement is [to facilitate OIS students to become] informed, caring, creative individuals contributing to a global community.

MYP = The Middle Years Programme of the IBO.

A five-year program for grades 6-10 of international education designed to help students develop the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and skills necessary to participate actively and responsibly in a changing world. The MYP provides a curriculum framework, not a full curriculum, and there are no external exams. More Info:

PYP = The Primary Years Programme of the IBO.

A programme of international education designed to foster the development of the whole child as an inquirer in the elementary school years. The PYP facilitates students to focus on transdisciplinary Units of Inquiry rather than separate subjects. More Info:

SLR = Student Learning Results (sometimes referred to as student learning outcomes).

These are a list of attributes we have identified as those we wish to instil in our students.

At OIS, we have chosen to use the same attributes as the IB identify in their Learner Profile, plus Creativity.

More Info: (General Info-Overview tab)

The 5 Respects = A list of 5 respects used as the basis for behaviour and interaction with others.

The 5 Respects are crucial to a shared understanding of behavioural expectations for our schools, and encourages students to make appropriate decisions based on respect and responsibility. The 5 Respects are Respect for: Self, Others, Leadership/Authority, Learning, and Environment.

For up to date news and access to links, remember out OIS community web site: 

Please contact the Principal for the user’s name and the password.



Rod Adam

Elementary School Principal

IB Learner Profile “Reflective” – Students give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

The focus for the month of April is the IB Learner Profile “Reflective.” During this month students, teachers and parents will have a number of opportunities to put this attribute into practice.

Next Thursday and Friday, Grades 1 – 5 will be holding formal Student-Led Conferences where children will share their work and their progress with their parents. Because the format of these conferences depends on the age of the child, we have regular Parent-Teacher conferences at the Kindergarten level.

As the year has progressed, the children in Grades 1 – 5 have, with the support and guidance of their teachers, selected work (based on predetermined criteria) to be discussed. The conferences have been carefully prepared so that the students reflect (analyze and assess) on their own learning. These conferences give the students more ownership for their learning and provide a venue to celebrate what they have learned and to share their goals for improvement.

At the conference, you will have a chance to view your child’s portfolio. This collection of work is designed to demonstrate success, growth, higher order thinking, creativity and reflection. For parents, it gives a more complete picture of your child as a learner. Students have prepared portfolios or demonstrations in single subject classes, so we encourage you to visit all of your child’s classes. The students will be disappointed if they don’t get the opportunity to show you what they have learned in all of their subjects.

The key in this type of conference is for the parent to ask questions and make supportive statements that will help your child feel comfortable in sharing his or her successes and challenges. The overall goal is to celebrate your child’s achievements and support future goals.

You may be asked to write a response during or after the conference. Please take your time and respond in a way that will help your child to achieve his or her goal. If you have questions for any of the teachers, please contact them to schedule an individual conference at another time.

PYP/MYP Evaluation Self Study

In the October 6th Educator, I outlined the process for the joint PYP/MYP evaluation that will be taking place next autumn. Since that time, the faculty has been reviewing the standards and practices in four major areas of our programmes: philosophy, organization, curriculum and the student. We have also reviewed the progress made on the recommendations from our previous authorization visits. To gather faculty input on these areas, each faculty member has completed an extensive 32-page self-study questionnaire. These results are being compiled and reviewed and will be used to determine our strengths and areas for improvement and will form the basis for our action plan for the years ahead. This information along other documentation will be sent to the IB regional office before the end of the school year. 

Feedback from students and parents is vital to preparing a report that reflects the views of all stakeholders. Information on how parents can participate in this process was sent home with Elementary and Middle School report cards. An online survey can be completed by following the directions outlined on the information sheet. The links to these surveys are in our password protected community website .

The username is and the password is balancedglobals.

If you do not have access to a computer, please drop by the library and use one of the library computers to complete the survey. We will also have computers available in the third floor conference room for parents to use during the Student-Led conferences next Thursday and Friday. Alternatively, if you would like a printed copy, please contact me and I will send one home for you to fill in.  Your views and opinions are important to us and to the evaluating team.



Simon Parker

Athletic Director

Welcome back to everyone - I hope you had a good break. We are back into action both in the HS and the MS in all the spring season sports.

For a full check on everything going on please visit the website at

Just a reminder too - APAC Soccer next week from April 16th-19th, the Boys in Kobe and the Girls in Seoul. Good luck to you all!!



John Secomb

Music Teacher

The next Spring Recital will be on held Thursday May 1st 2008 at 4:00 pm in the SISF theatre.

The recital will feature Middle and High School students performing in solos and or small ensembles. 

Parents, teachers and friends are invited to attend. Please come and support our outstanding young musicians.



Lyn Melville-Rea

Community Service Coordinator

One Saturday evening each month, a few OIS students join with children from Sannoh Children's Center to make onigiri and offer support to Osaka's homeless. Our students learn valuable interpersonal skills and compassion. They also get to make friends in the wider community.

If you would like to join us tomorrow, Saturday, April 12, please phone Lyn Melville-Rea, OIS community service coordinator, on (090)9612-8364.

We will meet at Kita Senri Station at 5:30 pm.



Fumie Onodera

Counseling Center Secretary

There are still some summer programs that you can apply!

College credit, academic, SAT Prep, ESL, leadership, outdoor, etc… But you had better hurry! Summer comes sooner than you think.

Contact Fumie Onodera, Counseling Center Secretary for information.


IZU-OSHIMA SUMMER CAMP - Invitation from St. Mary’s IS

This summer will mark the 17th season that St. Mary’s International School has been operating their Izu-Oshima Summer Camp for International youngsters 6yrs. – 18 yrs. This camp is designed to provide an opportunity for youngsters to enjoy many outdoor activities in a residential camp setting.

Camp Dates:

Camp 1: July 30 – Aug. 4

Camp 2: Aug. 6 – Aug. 11

Camp 3: Aug. 12 – Aug. 17

Check out their website for the details or contact Mr. David Moodie, Camp Director, Aquatics Director and Head Coach of the International Buccaneers Swimming Team at St. Mary’s IS.

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Phone: 03-3709-5741




Attached to this Educator is a leaflet with discount coupons and a list of sponsoring shops, facilities, etc. in Osaka Prefecture.

Families who have children in the Middle School or younger can use them every 3rd Saturday up till September 20, 2008.

It was given by Osaka Prefecture to our ES and MS students, however, it is available only in Japanese.


Honk! DVD

Time to relive the memories. DVDs of all four shows from this year’s All School Production will be available from the School Service Center on the 25th of April for 500 yen.

Payment can be made on collection of your DVDs from the SSC.

If you would like to order copies, please send an email to with the following information by Thursday the 17th of April:

Student Name -

Grade -

Homeroom teacher -

Number of copies you require of each show:

Show 1 – Thursday

Show 2 – Friday

Show 3 – Saturday, matinee

Show 4 – Saturday, evening



To raise money for our PTA, a bake sale will take place after Talent Show, Friday April 25th, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. in front of the Theater. Conjointly, Grade 12 will sell cotton candy floss to raise money for their upcoming trip to Thailand in support of Habitat for Humanity. 

We are asking parents from Kindergarten and Elementary School classes for donations of baked goods. We need around 12-15 pieces from each person. Any contributions will be highly appreciated (waffles, scones, pizzas, muffins, sandwiches, pies, cookies or anything else you fancy). Please make sure you bring your donations, individually wrapped, to school by 3:00 on that day.

Drinks (green tea, water and sports drink) will also be sold. 

If you can give some of your time and help either bake or sell (2 people are needed for the sale),

please contact Isabelle Delumeau (072-728-5730, or by April 22nd.

Thank you very much for your support and cooperation. 

PTA Organizing Committee

Isabelle Delumeau,

Kiriko Humphrey

Mihye Kim



APRIL 14 - 25

Lost & Found Display @ 2F Showcase Area


OIS/SIS HS Student Council SIS Club Fair

APRIL 17 - 18

ES Spring Student-Led Conferences

- ES No Classes


Tea Ceremony organized by PTA , 11:00 am @ Tatami Room


ES Talent Show, 2:00 pm @ Theatre



MONDAY, April 14

Chicken & Egg Bowl

TUESDAY, April 15

Chinese Noodle Soup


Baked Salmon with Tartar Sauce

MONDAY, April 21

Beef & Egg Bowl

TUESDAY, April 22

Meat au Gratin


Omelet Containing Fried Rice

THURSDAY, April 24

Udon (Japanese Wheat Noodle)

FRIDAY, April 25

Fried Chicken


Karin Caffin, Head

Gwyn Underwood, MS/HS Principal

Rod Adam, ES Principal

Patrick Stenger, Counselor

Peter Heimer, IB Coordinator

Mike McGill, Admissions Director

Jim Schell, Business Manager

Student Attendance




Contact us via e-mail

*For direct e-mail, all faculty have e-mail addresses with their first name initial and family name @

For example: If a faculty member had the name John Smith, his school e-mail address would be: