NIS Stories

Experience a Day at Nagoya International School: Your Child's Home Away from Home

Experience a Day at Nagoya International School

A typical day at Nagoya International School is a vibrant medley of experiences, and today, we're taking you on a whirlwind tour through the lives of a few of our young learners to see how they inspire, inquire, and impact through their day. Join us on a  journey of discovery, creativity, collaboration, and friendship and experience a day at NIS!


A Snapshot of How Students Learn in Elementary

As the early morning sun warms the autumn air, the buses start pulling in, brimming with curious, eager, and yes, a few still sleepy students! Emerging from one is Zack, a Grade 3 student, followed by his Grade 5 sister, who is trying her best to finish her conversation with one of her friends. But Zack is persistent in pulling her up the stairs, backpack bouncing with every step. Sometimes Zack enjoys counting the steps all the way to the top. Just as he reaches the top, he's greeted by the warm smile of the Head of School, setting the tone for a day filled with encouragement and support.

With a cheerful wave to his sister, he races around the outside of the Raymond Building to drop off his backpack outside his classroom door and runs straight to the playground to find one of his besties. Today is Monday so there will be an all-elementary assembly here on the playground, and they will sing “Happy Birthday” to everyone with a birthday this week - which includes him!  After the assembly, they all head in. Zack and his friends go through the classroom and hang their backpacks in their cubbies in the hallway. This morning there was still some buzzing in class discussions about the Rakugo performance they saw the Friday before. It really highlighted the new Unit of Inquiry (UoI) that they’ve just embarked on: "How We Express Ourselves." Today, the students will take their exploration of expression and team up for an entertaining, yet revealing session of charades as they learn that drama is more than just entertainment, it is a way to express actions and to evoke feelings. After that, they pair up to practice reading to each other. The teacher has prepared an exercise that helps them recognize groups of words or ‘scoops’ and they practice how to not be a robot, but find a rhythm and pattern to words. 

At NIS, our teachers, administrators, and additional staff play an important role in creating the ultimate environment for learning. Learn more about the experiences of some of our expat teachers here

Writing exercise this morning

It’s a busy day! The Grade 3s still have to get to a writing exercise this morning. They will eventually publish their story but today is the very beginning of this written journey of expression starting with the brainstorming phase. The teacher circulates, prompting the students with questions and encouraging them to write whatever comes to mind. Today there is a support teacher in the classroom helping with some of the groups. Not only are they practicing the mechanics of writing, but they are also practicing what it is like to take some risks, share their ideas, and truly express themselves. 

Just then, the school bell echoes through the hallway, and the Grade 3’s scramble to grab their snacks from their bags in the hallway to head out again for recess… 


Discovery with Friends in Middle School

Exactly at this time, on the other side of the library in the secondary hallway, Jian is at her locker, gathering her things in her backpack to take to the Design Lab. With just a few minutes to get there, she and her other Grade 6 friends rush to gather their computers, sketchbooks, and pen cases so they can continue to work on their design projects. They are playing with light (and the absence of it!) to create lamps based on the Japanese principle of “Notan” - creating a balance between light (positive) and dark (negative) space. This project will eventually jump from sketches to tools to cut, sand, and punch out patterns in wood slats, as well as create circuitry to connect the light source, but today, they are using their design thinking skills to come up with their concepts.

After Design, it is off to lunch! Jian and her friends quickly scramble to the cafeteria. Today Jian thought she would buy lunch since it is one of her favorite menu items…an Indian curry dish with basmati rice. After a quick bite and some social time with friends, she decided to check out the Model United Nations (MUN) club meeting happening in Mr. G’s classroom. Several of the Secondary MUN members are helping to organize a Middle School MUN club for the first time and Jian is kind of interested. The High School MUN club is a tight-knit group that gathers weekly and prepares for meetings that sometimes take them to places like Singapore. She wonders if the Middle School students will be able to travel like that! But beyond that, Jian likes learning more about how people can shape the world around them through diplomacy. Plus her friend Katie is also thinking of joining! It is nice to be able to join meetings with some of the high school students.

Preparing for an upcoming Arts Night

Lunch is nearly over, and now, it is time to get back across campus for  Music. Together with her classmates, they are preparing for an upcoming Arts Night in a couple of weeks. Jian is learning how to play the Ukulele for the first time and she is nervous about performing! Playing in unison is a challenge for the brain and fingers and before she knows it the bell rings again…


Challenges for the Future in High School

Up on the 3rd floor of the East Building, Sachi is finishing a conversation with Taylor about the challenging experiment they've just completed as they leave Grade 11 IBDP Chemistry. Together in groups, they had to unravel the mystery of an unknown chemical compound, combining scientific theory with practical application. Sachi thought his critical analysis was rather fun and straightforward compared to the philosophical discussion they had earlier in their Theory of Knowledge class. Sachi admits that she prefers the more scientific thinking approach to problem-solving while Taylor disagrees as he hasn’t experienced that way of thinking in any of his previous schools.

More importantly, now they are on their way to the iSpace to meet up with friends and attend an info session with the college counselors. Today there is a European university representative visiting campus to talk about some of the new programs opening in their English-based curriculum. It is that season, and even as they are still learning how to meet the challenges of being an International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) student, Sachi knows that she also needs to start considering what life beyond NIS will look like. Or at least beyond next year anyway! Will she stay in Japan to study or somewhere in North America, Europe, or Australia? She knows that if she does well in the IBDP program, there can be many open doors. The European option was interesting, but something she had not even considered before, and this is making things even more complicated! She is glad to have a counselor to connect with to talk about things like this, or just anything in general about her next pathway. 

Challenges for the Future in High School

The bell rings, and this time it is the signal for the end of the day. The hallways are flooded with backpacks and conversations. Students are busy saying goodbye, getting on buses, or heading to clubs and activities. After bidding farewell, Sachi and Taylor go off to their respective activities…she heads to the gym, while he walks briskly to his TEDEd Club meeting. They are preparing their speeches for an upcoming assembly so he needs to get writing! As for Sachi, there will be a basketball tournament in Osaka over the weekend and they have their sights set on victory!

Finally, the day does come to a close. The autumn sky over campus turns into a canvas of muted pink, orange, and gold. The air is a little crisper as the two Grade 11s meet at the top of the stairs and embark on a playful race to catch the late bus. The bus driver just may not wait this time!

As the late bus departs and the sun sets, we look forward to what the day will bring tomorrow on this little hill in the corner of Nagoya! 


Many Paths, One Destination

At Nagoya International School, each day is a full day of celebration of knowledge, creativity, and friendship. Whether you're exploring the challenges of how to authentically express yourself, delving into the world of design thinking, or uncovering the secrets of chemistry, every student's journey is designed to help them inspire, inquire, and impact the world around them. Every day. And, whether students are at NIS for their entire school career or only for a year or two, what culminates is lasting memories. 

Choosing the right school is a pivotal decision for families, one that lays the foundation for a child's academic and personal growth. NIS, standing as one of the premier international schools in Nagoya, offers more than an education; it provides an environment where every moment is an opportunity for discovery and empowerment.


Embrace the Adventure at NIS.

Join a community where our students inquire, inspire, and impact the world around them.

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