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The Educator     May 9th, 2008



Karin Caffin     

Head of School    

IB Exams

While many of us were enjoying the Golden Week holiday, our IB Grade 11 and 12 students were studying hard in preparation for their IB exams or sat some exams. The IB Art exam was held last month, and the rest of the exams will continue through this month. Our students and teachers have worked hard over the years in preparation for these exams. We wish them ‘Good Luck’ and we know they need some luck, but in fact their success will depend on what they have done in preparation for these exams.

I remember when I was a student at the end of high school I did quite a lot of ‘cramming’ just before my exams, and I know that I don’t remember a lot of what I crammed. In those days the emphasis was not on learning how to learn or how to transfer learning across disciplines, to synthesize knowledge, or to apply knowledge to new situations. Once we entered university we had to learn those skills the hard way.

I think that our students will do some last minute revision, but I feel that through the challenging IB programmes they have become ‘active, compassionate and lifelong learners’ and that they will do well in their exams. Our students will be well prepared for their future academic lives. 

Parent Advisory Committee Survey

Thank you to the 118 families who returned the PAC survey. The PAC committee will collate the responses and will report back to parents in due course. They will work with the school administrators to determine which issues listed are to be addressed by the administration, either individually with parents or through a whole school approach, and which issues can be included in Open PAC meetings.


OIS Administration        

A 2007/8 directory is being distributed with this Educator, containing e-mail and home phone numbers of parents and faculty involved with teaching OIS students. In accordance with the protection of personal data laws, you are not permitted to give personal data from this directory to anyone outside the OIS community, or use it for purposes outside school-related business.

Now the system is set up, from next year we will issue a new directory at the beginning of each school year. Parents who do not wish their e-mail and/or phone numbers to appear in the directory should contact their principal to record their request for next publication. Please also let us know of any corrections, and apologies in advance if there are any. We have tried to minimise errors but e-mail addresses in particular have been hard to keep up to date. Thank you for your understanding.



Gwyn Underwood

Middle and High School Principal

Conflict! Can you remember just one day you did not have to face this feared and time/energy consuming aspect of our lives? Can you imagine a world without conflict? A quick look at our schools student learning results (SLRs) show we attempt to instil in students attributes that can help resolving conflict, but what are some concrete ideas on this subject? I found it interesting how one author categorised different responses to conflict using animals as analogies...

·  Turtle (withdrawing) – feels the conflict is hopeless, believe it is easier to withdraw than face it. Saves energy and avoids conflict – but can leave resentment and the situation could get worse if not confronted in any way)

·  Shark (Forcing) – overpower the other to force acceptance to accept your solution at any cost. Achieves personal goals – but can escalate the problem or generate other problems, and destroy relationships.

·  Teddy Bear (Smoothing) - smoothes over conflicts and tries to ensure there is no disagreement at any cost. Peace and harmony is preserved – but personal needs not met leading to possible depression or frustration, and relationships may not deepen.

·  Fox (Compromising) – seeks compromise at a good time and place for negotiating. Some personal goals are met and relationships are maintained – but some personal goals and some degree of friendship may be lost.

·  Owl (Confronting) – continues to address issues until both parties are satisfied and all tension is gone. Both parties have goals met and relationships are strengthened – but is time consuming!

(Source: R. Tredgold: Adapted from Reaching Out by David Johnson)

These analogies help demonstrate how different responses are used in different circumstances, with various advantages and disadvantages of each style. Which style(s) do you tend to use? Do you tend to use a different method with your child to an adult? Could you consider the advantages of another method?

To attain a desirable “win-win” situation, becoming an owl seems most advantageous, but are you prepared to put the time into this? I have found the key for reaching ‘owl’ level agreement on issues is to try to understand the points of view and needs of the other party, then work on addressing these views to reach a resolution. This takes caring and respect for others – thus their importance in our desired attributes for our students, parents and teachers. I challenge you to an owl week! With practice, it can get easier, and the more owls there are, the less conflicts we should have as conflicts can be addressed, and resolved to the benefit of all! 

Middle/High School Notices:

§ Grade 11 and 12 students will be in the middle of their IB DP exams by now. Please continue to support them as they do final preparation study for these important exams. A big thanks to Mr. Heimer for all his hard work in organising and preparing students for, and administering the exams, especially as this involves invigilating exams over the Golden Week holiday period.

§ Mid trimester progress report time is fast approaching – in another few weeks the teachers will be producing these, after which they will be sent home with the students. Ms. Rennie will send out details as she organises the report collection and distribution in her role as Director of Academic Affairs.

§ OIS seniors will be heading for Udon Thani, Thailand after the school festival for their senior trip/Habitat for Humanities community service. We wish them all the best as they enjoy each others company as they help build houses for needy families before heading off to colleges all over the world. Thanks to all of you who donated to this worthy cause over the past year, and thanks also to Mr. Parker and Mr. McGill for being senior advisors this year!



Rod Adam

Elementary School Principal

April has been one of busiest and most productive months of the school year! Parents are aware of the activities that have happened in their child’s classroom, but it is especially impressive to realize the wide range, amount and quality of educational activities that are generated school-wide - especially since our school is relatively small. 

The well attended student-led and parent-teacher conferences gave parents first hand knowledge about the progress students have made in their classes. Very positive survey responses indicated that the scheduling of single subject classes broadened parents’ understanding of the whole programme.   

The elementary talent show gave students opportunities to share abilities that classmates, teachers and parents may not otherwise have had a chance to appreciate. It reinforced the PYP profile attributes of risk-taker, knowledgeable and balanced. It was a bonus for the audience when we saw the interaction of our elementary performers with HS students, relatives and friends who assisted in planning and accompanying the acts. Many thanks, too, to those parents who baked and sold refreshments, as well as those who were valued members of the audience!  

Last Friday’s Osaka Olympics gave students an opportunity to demonstrate the skills and attitudes that they have been learning in P.E. during this last term. With the help of parent volunteers, as well as OIS/SIS teachers, the elementary school had a wonderful afternoon trying their best and cheering on classmates and siblings. What a great way to demonstrate the PYP attitudes of cooperation, commitment and enthusiasm and while preparing to enjoy the 2008 Olympics this summer. 

In classrooms throughout the ES school, students, teachers and parents were engaged in many recent activities that enhanced their understanding of PYP units of inquiry, such as: 

- KA (Caring for Living Things) and KB (Going, Going, Gone) visited the Tennoji Zoo.

- KA (Caring for Living Things) and Gr. 1 (From Land to Hand – Food Production) visited a demonstration farm in Nose.

- Gr. 2 visited the Osaka Museum of Science to learn more about science and research from a visiting Canadian scientist.

- Gr. 3 students have begun a project where student volunteers eat lunch with kindergarten students. They assist them in getting their lunches and practice conversation skills. This helps everyone with social skills and develops friendships across the grade levels.

- Gr. 4 students have begun an inquiry into advertising. Parent experts from our school community have voluntarily shared their knowledge in the classroom. The class then went on a walking field trip to Kita Senri Shopping Center to observe aspects of advertising.

- The Grade 5 students culminated their inquiry into the market economy by running five competing cookie companies each led by a CEO. To start their businesses, each company had to determine the costs of their raw materials, store rent, employee salaries, and market and advertising budgets, as well as to calculate the price of their cookies to pay back their 'bank' loan from the school's business office and to generate profit. Don’t be surprised if you hear about some of these budding entrepreneurs on “Business Asia” in the years to come.



Simon Parker

Athletic Director

A vacancy exists for a part time library assistant from June 1st, 2008. We need a qualified librarian, who has excellent English and Japanese language skills. The person should also have a good knowledge of IT. They will be working with the Japanese and English collection and teachers and students from both OIS and SIS. Working hours (40 total) are Monday through Friday, negotiated between 8am and 6pm.

Applications should be sent to Mr. Horiuchi at the School Foundation Office, and should include:

a personal resume with photo, history of employment and copies of certificates or degrees. All applications will be treated confidentially.

Applications must arrive no later than May 15th 2008.



Simon Parker

Athletic Director

We have several big tournaments over the next couple of weeks. The HS Girls Softball is at Marist and the MS Girls Softball is here at school. The MS Boys Volleyball will also be heading to CA for their season ending event.

For all the detailed information on these and all other upcoming events, please visit the sports website at

Remember: HS SPORTS BANQUET - Friday, June 6th, 2008



Peter Heimer

IB Coordinator

DB exams underway; TOK and EE begin

The IB diploma programme written examination session is underway. Many DP candidates gave up their Golden Week holiday to take exams in English and history. Chemistry and standard level mathematics exams are now finished, too. Some students spend up to five hours a day in the 3rd floor conference room, writing and writing and writing; hand cramp is a common affliction. The work is arduous, but the students are performing admirably and should be proud of their efforts. The exams finish on 22 May.

All juniors have now completed anticipated DP courses in the subject areas of mathematics and history, and soon will complete the anticipated ITGS course. Completing these anticipated courses is challenging as the content is accelerated and compressed into one year rather than two. But completing one or two DP courses in grade 11 is beneficial as it relieves some of the academic pressure during grade 12. However, things are far from easy as two more DP components, TOK and EE, are starting now.

TOK stands for Theory of Knowledge. The interdisciplinary TOK course explores the nature of knowledge across all disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other perspectives. The course examines different “ways of knowing” in different “areas of knowledge.” It is a seminar course taught mainly by two of our most knowledgeable teachers, Ms. Cheney and Mr. McGill, and by other DP subject teachers when possible. Ms. Cheney is the TOK coordinator and teaches most of the course in grade 12. Mr. McGill introduces the course to students now and continues through to the end of the school year.

EE stands for Extended Essay. The extended essay, with an upper limit of 4000 words, challenges students to investigate a topic of individual interest and acquaints them with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. The extended essay can be written in one of over 20 subjects. Students choose teachers as their supervisors and spend at least 40 hours—mostly during June and the upcoming summer holiday—to complete the essay. It is very important that 11th graders complete a full first draft over the summer, which means they need to make a good start now. The final deadline for the EE is in November, near the end of the fall trimester. Mr. Heimer is the EE coordinator.

TOK and EE are required for both the IB diploma and the OIS diploma. TOK and EE, along with the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) component, form the core requirements of the DP curriculum. All three are essential elements of OIS student learning. To learn more about TOK, EE, CAS or the IB diploma programme in general, please contact Peter Heimer, IB coordinator, or visit the IBO public website at or

Thank you.



The grade five class has explored the topic of smoking for their culminating PYP Exhibition unit.

The students will present their research on the history of smoking, the physical and social effects of smoking and what can be done to prevent smoking addiction and smoking related illnesses.

The Exhibition will take place in the third floor conference room on May 16th, 22nd, 23rd and 26th.

The entire school and parent communities are invited to join us on any or all of these days.

A more complete schedule of presentations will be available as the event nears.



Lyn Melville-Rea

Community Service Coordinator

One Saturday evening each month, a few OIS & SIS 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 next Saturday (10 May), please phone Lyn Melville-Rea, OIS Community Service Coordinator, on (090)9612-8364.

We will meet at Kita Senri Station at 5:30 pm or Dobutsuen Mae Station, exit 8, around 6:50 pm.



A big THANK YOU goes to all the Mums who kindly volunteered their time and baking skills to support our bake sale after the Talent Show. Thanks to your support, we were able to raise 25,360 yen !!! Let's do it again some time.......

PTA Organizing Committee

Isabelle Delumeau, Kiriko Humphrey, Mihye Kim



Halloween Trick or Treating has grown over the last few years and is now a combined OIS/Onohara residents community event. Each year it has required increasing amounts of organisation and unfortunately this responsibility has fallen to very few people.

Carol Shigeyama as the OIS contact and Mary Sameshima as the community contact have done an amazing job as a two person committee and we wish to congratulate them in the development of this fabulous event.

The OIS PTA would like to ensure Halloween Trick or Treating continues for all our students, and we acknowledge the recommendations of Carol and Mary that there needs to be an organising committee within OIS to plan and share the jobs involved with this event. Mary has agreed to continue as the community representative and will attend the meetings and relay information to the OIS committee.

So…..we are asking for people who would like to see this event continue for their children to volunteer to be on the committee. We are looking for 1-2 (or more) parents from each class (K – 8) to attend a meeting convened by Carol on Thursday 15th May at 3: 45 pm in the small cafeteria room. Childcare will be available in the playground. Remember the more people involved the less work for everyone.

We hope all our students can continue to be part of this event but if there is not enough interest to form a Halloween committee then our students (those who live outside the local community area) will not be able to participate in this event.

Thank you in advance for your continued support. 



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

MS/HS Orientation Day 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MS/HS classes begin. / ES Orientation Day

 Thursday, August 28, 2008

Elementary classes begin.

 Parents are asked to plan holidays around these dates, and not miss days as this has a negative impact on their child socially and academically, as well on other students and the teachers.



MAY 2 - 23

IB Exams 

MAY 16, 22, 23, 26

Grade 5 PYP Exhibition @ 3F Conference Room



MONDAY, May 12

Chinese Noodle Soup 


Rice Bowl with Chicken and Egg Topping


Spaghetti with Meat Sauce 


Hash & Rice 

FRIDAY, May 16

Pork Cutlet 

MONDAY, May 19

Stir-fried Rice with Chinese-style Barbecued Pork 


Chicken Piccata 


Spaghetti with Basil and Tomato 


Kitsune Udon (Japanese Noodle in Soup with Fried Bean Curd) 

FRIDAY, May 23

Meat au Gratin


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




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