The Crane, 22 January 2021

ITEMS: Momiji Fundraising Project; Alumni Stories; International Schools Assessment; and PTA News.

Principal’s Message

Dear HIS Community

Congratulations to our early childhood class who had their first experience in the spotlight at their assembly on Thursday. They were nervous, of course, beforehand but they were courageous and faced the audience. We really enjoyed hearing about all of the celebrations that they have been learning about during their recent unit of inquiry. It was a good reminder to us all of how important it is, despite our fears and worries, to take the stage. It is a risk as anything can happen when you are in front of an audience, but it usually doesn’t and even when it does, it’s not the end of the world. We only learn this though by putting ourselves up there again, and again. This is an important part of our learning here at HIS.

The Early Childhood (EC) Class ready for their first major audience.

Speaking of audiences, this week many of us saw the poet, Amanda Gorman, also demonstrate the courage needed to take on a new audience with her remarkably beautiful and powerful poem. The audience, I imagine, would have been quite intimidating in terms of both the sheer scale of viewers and the formality of the event. It is also a great example of the power of poetry and the importance of courage. Have a great weekend.

Kind regards

Damian Rentoule

Poet Amanda Gorman reads ‘The Hill We Climb’. An inspiration to us all.

Crane Video

The Momiji Fundraising Project / もみじファンドレイジング(寄付)プロジェクト

We are currently finalising the details of our fundraising project which will begin shortly. An art installation by local artist, Mendel Jonkers, will be placed in the genkan area on the large wall opposite the stairs. It will be decorated, over time, with Momiji (red maple) leaves.

近日中に開始予定の、ファンドレイジングプロジェクトについての詳細を決める最終段階に入っています。地元で活躍中のアーティストMendel Jonkersさんによる作品を、玄関エリア階段横の大きな壁に設置予定です。時間をかけてこの作品はもみじで飾りつけられていくことでしょう。

Artwork concept. Constructed from wood & metal. It’s in production.

Five different styles of Momiji leaves will be available and will represent different categories of donations to HIS. Each leaf will have the donor’s name and an individualized message and will become part of the history of HIS as it is placed on the wall to decorate our genkan Momiji tree for all future generations to see.


The five levels of donations are as follows:

  • ¥10,000 – sakura 桜 (cherry blossom)
  • ¥50,000 – fuji 藤 (wisteria)
  • ¥100,000 – momiji 紅葉/もみじ(red maple)
  • ¥500,000 – kiku 菊 (chrysanthemum)
  • ¥1,000,000 – tsuru 鶴 (crane) 

We are looking forward to seeing the Artwork in the near future and watching our Momiji tree grow as our community supports us over the years to come.



Alumni Stories

If you once ran in the corridors of HIS (& all students do that) we are collecting HIS Alumni Stories to celebrate both the history of HIS and also the wonderful people who have been a part of our community over these past 60 years. We have some questions for you whether you were at HIS in the 1960s, the 2010s, or anytime in between. We would love to hear from you.

International Schools Assessment (ISA)Grade 3-5

Dear Parents,     

In our effort to continuously improve instruction and learning at HIS, we will be administering the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) for students Grade 3-5 February 15-16, 2021 and grades 6-10 on February 17-19, 2021. While our teachers assess what students know and can do on a daily basis, ISA provides HIS with diagnostic information about our students’ academic abilities in comparison to external proficiency scales. This is the only external standardized assessment, apart from the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Exams for Grade 12, that is implemented at HIS.   

What is the ISA? International Schools’ Assessment is an annual assessment developed by The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and that has been specially developed to measure skills in mathematical literacy, reading and writing of students in international schools. An online assessment in science, for grades 6-10, is also part of the battery of assessments. 

ISA is based on the internationally endorsed reading and mathematical literacy frameworks of the Programme for International Student Assessment, developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The ISA reports provide descriptive information about what students know and can do. The results are equated from year to year so they can be used to track changes over time at the individual and school level. ISA is not a test that students “pass” or “fail” and it will not be used for purposes other than providing data to the school, parents, and students about learning. 

Who uses the ISA? Worldwide, over 70,000 students from 333 international schools participate in the assessment. A growing number of international schools in Japan now use the ISA.

How do the assessments work? Students complete an online reading literacy test, a mathematical literacy test and two writing tests. The questions include; selected-response, written short-responses, and written extended-response tasks. Secondary students will also take a scientific literacy test. The tests will be taken in conditions that are familiar to our students, in grade-level or homeroom groups as appropriate. 

How will HIS use the results? As a school, we will analyse all data about the general patterns of performance and use these as another tool for which we monitor and modify our educational programs at individual, cohort and school levels. The data will be an indicator of progress that will be used to evaluate our instructional programs on a yearly basis.

How can I help my child prepare for the ISAs? Students at HIS do not ‘prepare’ for the tests, since they are consistent with what students learn on a regular basis. Cramming is not appropriate for the ISAs as it measures skill, not content. A good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast are the best ways to prepare. 

What information will I receive as a parent? You will receive guidance on understanding and interpreting scores and all information about your child in an individual and comprehensive ISA report. This will give you a detailed record of your child’s performance in mathematical literacy, reading literacy and writing, and science (grades 6-10). 

If you have any questions concerning the ISA at HIS, please feel free to contact Marisa Villarreal, Primary Vice Principal; John Savage, Secondary Vice-Principal; or Damian Rentoule, Principal. You may also wish to visit the websites of ISA ( and/or ACER (, for further information.

John Savage  (Secondary Vice-Principal) &  Marisa Villarreal (Primary Vice Principal/PYP Coordinator)

PTA News


  • Meeting Agenda: Friday January 29th , 9am~ 次回ミーティングの議題: 1月29日(金) 午前9時〜
  • Last Meeting Discussion Summary 前回のミーティングの内容
  • Val O grams – Deadline January 29th Val O Grams の注文締め切り: 1月29日(金)
  • Korean/Mongolian Culture Day – Wednesday Feb 17th コリアン/モンゴリアン カルチャー デイ: 2月17日(水)
  • PTA SHOP PTAショップ

PTA MEETING Friday January 29th, 9am 次回PTAミーティング 1月29日金曜日 午前9時〜

The next PTA meeting will be held next Friday, from 9am at HIS. Please come along or join us via Zoom if you are available. We will share a zoom link before the meeting. The current planned agenda is as follows:

  1. Upcoming events update
  2. Discussion of options for PTA Shop
  3. Continued exchange of ideas of how we as parents can support the school and our children’s learning


  1. 近々予定されているいくつかのイベントに関する詳細
  2. PTAショップ・・・PTAと生徒会が協力して開くショップについて、販売する物品の提案の募集
  3. 前回ミーティングの意見交換の続き: 学校と子供たちの学びをサポートするために、保護者として何ができるか

LAST MEETING: How Can We Support HIS Part 1

前回のミーティング: HISをどのようにしてサポートできるか? パート1

If you would like to read a summary of what was discussed at our mini workshop during the last PTA meeting, please click here:



As suggested at the last meeting, we shall be placing a “postbox” in the genkan, so that everyone can drop in any suggestions, requests or proposals, or of course just messages of  love or appreciation for anyone in the community. Anyone may use it: students, staff or parents. Keep your eyes open for the PTA POSTBOX if you have something you would like to tell us. 

If you have a concrete proposal for an activity, or something you would like to formally ask the PTA to fund, you can get a form in the office to fill out and pop in the box. For general ideas or messages, any paper is OK. 

Please note, this is not a place to post feedback for the school’s policies or what goes on in the classroom. Please use the usual channels for these purposes. Messages and suggestions posted should concern issues within the remit of the PTA to support the school.

While we cannot guarantee to make everyone’s wishes come true, we look forward to hearing from you and hope we can find some things we can achieve if we work together.




🥀💗VAL O GRAMS DEADLINE💗🥀: Friday January 29th

VAL O GRAMSの注文締切 1月29日金曜日

You should all have received an e-mail the other day with details of our latest love-spreading fundraiser. The deadline for ordering is next Friday, however we would really appreciate it if you could order sooner rather than later, so we have as much time as possible to prepare. Thanks in advance!


ORDER HERE ご注文はこちらから:

Korean/Mongolian Culture Day – Wednesday, February 17th

コリアン/モンゴリアン カルチャー デイ: 2月17日水曜日

Thank you to our Korean and Mongolian families, who are planning another fun event for PYP kids on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 17th, to introduce and celebrate their culture, after the success of last year’s fun and games. Watch this space for more information as details are agreed.

If you would like to organise something to help us learn about your country’s culture, please contact the PTA any time!




At the last PTA meeting, it was suggested that the PTA could run a shop throughout the year to raise some funds and provide useful items for the students and the community. After discussions with the Principal, we have decided to run a trial from February. We will share details of what will be on sale, and when the shop will be open soon. We hope that the shop will be a collaboration between the PTA and the student council, with opportunities for students to participate for CAS or other school projects. We will be making a rota of parent volunteer staff. If you would be willing to help out at the shop, even occasionally when you have time, please let us know at  and we will contact you about your availability later. 
前回のPTAミーティングで、資金集め、生徒やHISメンバーに役立つ物を売る目的で1年を通してPTAショップを開いたらどうかとの提案がありました。校長先生との協議の結果、2月から試験的にお店を開くことが決まりました。何を販売するか、いつ開店するかという情報は決まりましたらお知らせ致します。このお店はPTAと生徒会のコラボレーションしたものになります。CASの活動や学校のプロジェクトのために活用していただくこともできます。保護者の皆さんと協力してシフトを組んでお店を回したいと思います。このPTAショップにご協力いただける方、たまーにならOKという方も、あらためてご連絡させていただきますので、ぜひ までお知らせくださいね。