Students enrolled in the Japanese Division (Japanese Curriculum) at SJIS are predominantly those who are in Australia for a limited time (temporary residents) and who will continue their education when they return to Japan. However, there are also students in the Japanese Division who are permanent residents of Australia, and who will continue their education (once they have completed SJIS schooling) at a local high school in Australia.
The English instruction at SJIS must therefore cater to the needs of both of these groups of students.
Class Structure and Curriculum
For each year group, there are three classes in which students may be placed to study English, depending on their background, experience and learning needs. These are referred to as English 1, English 2 and English 3.
English 1 and English 2 classes mainly cater for native Japanese-speaking students learning English as an additional language. Upon arrival in Australia, students are usually placed in the English 1 class (Beginning level) and will progress to English 2 (Intermediate level) after a period of approximately one year. The programs for these students are fun and stimulating, with a focus on communication and learning to enjoy English, while developing the knowledge, understanding and skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) necessary for interaction in English.
English 3 classes predominantly cater for students who are permanent residents and who plan to continue their education in Australia. These students follow the NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum at the appropriate stage (each stage takes 2 years to complete). With the majority of these students moving to an Australian high school, the focus is on completing the local curriculum and developing the academic skills required for their future studies.
High School classes (depending on total numbers) are sometimes divided into two classes. In such cases, the English 2 class mainly studies NSW curriculum content.
Culture days are planned for each term to develop students’ knowledge of the cultures within Australia,and for students to reflect on their own cultural heritage. These events often incorporate songs, dance, games, art and drama.
The English Language Festival (Primary) and the English Speaking Competition (High School) are annual events, where students are able to showcase their skills in English language and drama. Parents are invited to attend.
Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning, and increases student engagement in their learning. Teachers provide feedback to students about their learning and how they can improve. Students also monitor their own progress, ask questions and practise skills. They use self-assessment and teacher feedback to reflect on their learning and work towards goals.
Reporting provides feedback to students, parents and other teachers about student progress.
There are two formal written reports prepared and sent to parents each year: at the end of Semester 1 (September) and the end of Semester 2 (March). Parent-Teacher Interviews are held mid-Semester 1 (June) and mid-Semester 2 (December).