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Bianca Holliday, Graduate of SJS International Division of SJS 2001

I graduated from the SJS (International Division) in 2001. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at SJS and appreciated the opportunity it presented to be immersed in Japanese language and culture. Classes held in Japanese in addition to daily Japanese language classes included art, music and P.E provided a great basis for learning Japanese in a vibrant environment. Furthermore being able to experience and be involved with Japanese festivals, sports days and other events as well as learn rituals such as Japanese tea ceremony was very rewarding. I also made many long-term friendships while at SJS, many of who I am still in contact with today.

I have recently graduated from a combined Bachelor degree of International Studies, (majoring in Japanese language and International Politics and Policy) and Law from Macquarie University. While at University I undertook a voluntary internship with the Japan Foundation in Sydney as part of my involvement with the Global Leadership Program (GLP) at Macquarie University. I also went to the University of Vienna, Austria for a semester of law exchange where I studied International Law and Human Rights subjects.

I am currently undertaking my Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP) through the Australian National University College of Law to seek accreditation as a solicitor. I am also currently completing my Professional Legal Training placement days with Mr. Junichi Horie, principal lawyer at the law firm Advantage Partnership Lawyers in Sydney CBD.

I hope to continue to be able to utilise my Japanese language and cultural knowledge in my work as a lawyer in the future. My education at SJS provided a solid grounding and appreciation of the Japanese language and culture and I am very appreciative of the educational opportunity it provided.
Parent Testimonial: Sheather Family

Troy and Kuniko Sheather have three children at SJIS, they have been part of the SJIS community for 7 wonderful years.  

All three of our children have enjoyed SJIS since their first day. The teachers and staff and environment have been fantastic. Our children are excited to attend school and feel happy to have friends from many cultural backgrounds. The class sizes are ideal to develop both socially and academically. 

The cultural immersion at SJIS is a unique aspect for a primary school. Our children are enthusiastic about learning more about Japanese culture and the language. The many "cultural events" throughout the year such as language festival and sports day are always the one of the highlights of the school year. 

Our children started with varying levels of English and Japanese. By studying the NSW curriculum their English has progressed as expected. By studying Japanese every day, throughout their years they have developed their language abilities in spoken and written Japanese including hiragana, katakana and kanji. They enjoy the differences between the two languages and their confidence has developed steadily. They are able to communicate freely in both Japanese and English and we believe this is a great skill that they can carry with them throughout their lives.

The PTA community works hard to promote the smooth running of the school and is an important link between the school and parents. They support the school throughout the year and give a voice for parent concerns.

I am very happy with the quality and experience of the SJIS teachers. Although the facilities at the school are fantastic it really is the teachers who are the schools greatest asset. All our children's teachers have worked hard to create a fun, stimulating and positive learning environment. I know the teachers put in a lot of effort and have always worked with us to help with our children's development when needed.  Their empathy, patience and enthusiasm are much appreciated. 

In my experience, SJIS has always been open to parents concerns and is focused on developing an environment where every child can work to the best of their abilities. 

In our time at SJIS the school has always performed well academically. As our eldest child has progressed from Kindergarten through to Year 6 she has been exposed to a variety of extra-curricular activities such as debating, after school club activity, inter school sports events, and more which have certainly helped develop well-rounded and confident students. 

We are very happy with the progress of all three children at the school. Our main aim at this stage of their education is to develop a love of learning, an enquiring mind and a positive environment. So far so good.

Would you recommend SJIS to other parents and why?

Definitely. SJIS is an ideal school, not just for those with a background in Japanese. The facilities and staff combine to make SJIS an enjoyable and successful environment for all children to develop throughout their primary education.

Are you confident you made the right choice for their primary school?

We are 100% happy with our decision to send our children to SJIS. Our children are half Japanese and it is important for us that they firstly, gain a thorough rounded education based on the NSW curriculum as this is where they will be living during their school years. SJIS has high academic standards and performs very well. On top of that we are happy that our children can learn not only the language but subtle cultural aspects about Japan as well. With a mix of enthusiastic Japanese and Australian staff working hard to develop a bi-cultural environment our children are receiving the best of both worlds. 
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