This year marks the 12th year of Nagoya International School's (NIS) Summer Program, our popular summer school focusing on the “Five C's”: Creativity, Cognition, Collaboration, the Cultural, and the Cardiovascular. During the Summer Program, students from age 4 to Grade 6 participate in a variety of activities led by NIS teachers such as sports, arts and crafts, simple programming, drama performances, literary, science and math explorations, and video production. The Program has grown in popularity each year because it gives a chance for non-NIS students to experience learning on an international school campus right here in Nagoya. All classes are conducted in English, just like our regular NIS classes. The program borrows elements from our International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) in that students work individually or in groups on student-centered projects that are fun.
Indeed, one of the primary reasons for the popularity of our summer program is because it is all about having fun! No homework, no tests, and time spent with new friends in an environment that is quite different from what many local students may be accustomed to allows for a fun experience that makes the most of the freedom of the summer holidays.
The NIS Summer Program is fun because we value students’ interests and curiosity. NIS teachers are adept at drawing out students' interests, putting their thoughts into words and helping them to explore and discover new understandings. Even though there is no homework, some students are so engrossed that they work on their projects at home.
Each class of about 15-20 students is made up of members from a variety of backgrounds. The program is popular with Japanese “returnee” families whose children have previously attended schools abroad, as the Summer Program is an opportunity to learn and interact in English while still in Japan. In addition, there are also students who are attending other international schools, children from short-term expat families, and our own NIS students who join. Within this context, students of different ages, backgrounds, and interests develop their intercultural understandings, expand their world, and have fun while learning.
Another important and fun aspect of our program is the presence of NIS high school Student Leaders tasked with supporting the younger students. Just like our teachers, their role is to encourage students to explore their passions, develop relationships, and to communicate in English. Our NIS Student Leaders are highly empathetic role models. They help the younger students to find their voice and realize their ideas. Along with a diverse set of new friends, Summer Program participants also benefit from supportive relationships with their English speaking ‘oneesan(big sister)’ and ‘oniisan(big brother)’ while at NIS.
In the summer of 2020, in the midst of COVID-19, NIS was able to offer the program successfully. Additional infection prevention protocols, such as checking student’s temperature each morning, wearing masks at all times on campus, keeping social distance, and eating lunch and snacks quietly instead of face-to-face, allowed for the program to be run mostly as in previous years. Unfortunately, parents who normally would be able to enter the campus when dropping-off and picking-up their children needed to wait in the parking lot. Also, the end-of-week presentation normally held each Friday was also cancelled. Instead, videos and photos were shared as much as possible with parents so that they could see as much of the activities as possible. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of the participants and their families for their understanding and cooperation, which enabled us to complete the two-week program safely last summer.
While there is still a degree of uncertainty, we are pushing ahead with plans for a safe and enjoyable 2021 NIS Summer Program. We hope to start accepting applications in March 2021. Please click HERE to see the eligibility requirements. We look forward to seeing you in the summer!