The Crane 30 September 2016

Dear HIS Families

I hope you have all had a great week. I have three notes for you this week in my message.

In search of a Treasurer for the Board of Directors (BOD): We are also seeking a Treasurer for our BOD. This is an extremely important role in our school as the BOD manages school finances and plans strategically for the future of HIS. As a school community, we rely heavily on the goodwill of these volunteers from both the BOD and the BOT who devote their time for the benefit of us all.  The Treasurer has a key role and we would love to hear from anyone who would be interested in a nomination for this position.

PTA representative to the Board of Trustees (BOT): The process to find a BOT representative from the PTA has begun and an initial vote has been conducted although the BOT representative has yet to be selected. Further voting will take place on 26 October at the next PTA meeting and further details on the nomination process will be sent at a later date.

A note on the IB Learner Profile:  The Grade 4/5 students have been away this week on a camp and you can see some images on this week’s video. As I was planning on introducing the ten different attributes in the IB Learner Profile over the next couple of months, the risk-taker attribute fits well today. Here is the definition from the IB learner profile:

We approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.

私たちは、不確実な事態に対し、熟慮と決断力をもって向き合 います。ひとりで、または協力して新しい考えや方法を探究し ます。挑戦と変化に機知に富んだ方法で快活に取り組みます。

I mentioned in my initial post about the Learner Profile that sometimes labels can be misleading, as they can be in all different aspects of life. This attribute is a perfect example. What do we mean by taking risks, and in what context? Try to hold onto your initial thought when you read the word ‘risk-taker’ and now have a look at the definition again.
We often jump straight to physical dangers, which is a natural and necessary association, yet within a school context we find a wide variety of risks that we need to be courageous and prepared enough to face. These are the ‘unfamiliar situations’ referred to in the definition above. We can all recall the nerves associated with performing in front of an audience, or proposing an idea that may not be popular. These risks, both social and emotional play an important part in our development as IB learners.
IMG_0532 (1)  IMG_0576 (1)  IMG_0546 (1)
At camp, the Grade 4/5 students climbed a 4 meter wall in teams. There was little physical risk as we were harnessed in, but what of the thoughts that haunts us all, as children and adults: What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not good enough? These are scary questions.
The only way to allay this natural, protective fear is to prove yourself wrong, again and again. Be a risk taker; a cautious, courageous, well-prepared one. This is what the IB is about, and it’s an attitude that our children will need as they make their way through the remainder of the 21st Century. Enjoy your weekend.
Kind regards
Damian Rentoule

The IB in Japan
Here is  a link to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s (MEXT), 文部科学省, information about IB education. The sites are in Japanese. It may be interesting to see how MEXT here in Japan is heavily promoting the IB in order to help Japanese students become global citizens, just as we have been doing here at HIS for many years.
Many teachers in Japanese schools are now training in IB workshops and we are fortunate to have a number of the IB teacher trainers on staff here at HIS, so I will do an introduction of some of our IB teacher trainers in future editions of The Crane. We are in good hands.

Principal Interest blog

For a couple of years, I have been keeping a professional blog called Principal Interest and I thought that some of you may be interested in reading a few posts as a number of topics have been mentioned by parents in conversations. The posts are usually associated with some aspect of education and I tended to throw in some surfing photos from Hawaii. I will continue to post throughout the year. I hope you enjoy the posts.

Play time in English

If there are any groups of HIS children who get together on a regular basis for play time in English and you wanted to let other families know so that other children could join, please let me know details and I can add a contact email here.  I have spoken to some families who would be interested in such a play group to promote English usage outside of school hours.  Just let me know at

International Schools Assessment (ISA) 

HIS will be administering the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) for Grades 3-10 on Wednesday and Thursday 5 and 6 October, respectively.
Please see the following information outlining the purpose of the ISA and testing schedule. Also you may wish to read the privacy information for parents related to the results of the assessment.

 ISAletterschedule2016  & ISA Privacy Information for Parents 2016-17

Traffic Information

You may find this website useful if you are traveling to school and are concerned that the road conditions may not be very good.  Winter is not far away and in the event of a heavy snowfall, which occasionally occurs in January/February, there is the possibility that school could be cancelled if road conditions become hazardous. This is one website that we would be checking. There is also the possibility of a late typhoon which can cause havoc on the roads, so we just wanted to share this  website with you for your reference. Although it is in Japanese, the use of visuals make it quite easy to follow:  Drive safely everyone.

News from the PTA (30 September 2016) (日本語は以下にあります)

Japanese Lunch Box (Obento)

Overall, the students seemed to enjoy the obentos.  However, the younger children found it a bit challenging to carry the boxes to their rooms, so we need some parent volunteers to help distribute the lunches to grades EC to G5.   A sign-up sheet will be sent out soon.

The start date will be Friday October 7.  If you missed the deadline but would like to register for the service, please send an email to the PTA (

Halloween Parade and Costume Contest

If you missed the deadline for registration, please send an email to the PTA (

This year, the 9th grade will take the lead on the Halloween Dance (thank you 9th graders!).  It will be held from 6:30 to 9:00 pm on Saturday 29 October at the Peace Cafe.  Keep your eyes out for the spooky posters!

After School Cooking Club

We have almost filled in the slots for the After School Cooking Club.   Please contact the PTA ( or Mr. Bartelink ( if you can volunteer for this activity.

Next PTA Meeting

The next PTA Meeting will be held on Wednesday October 26 from 9:00 to 11:00 at HIS

PTAからのお知らせ (9月30日)


生徒からの評判は割とよかった。お弁当箱は少し持ち難いので、 EC からG5のお弁当配布のお手伝いにボランティアが必要です。ボランティアのサインナップフォームを後日お送ります。

スタートは10月7日(金曜)からです。申込をし忘れた人はできるだけ早くPTAにメールください (。



今年のハロウインダンスはG9がリードします(G9,ありがとう!)10月29日(土)の 6:30から9:00までピースカフェで行われます。ハロウインポスターをお楽しみ!






The Crane Video