OYIS Mission Statement
Osaka YMCA International School provides for the educational needs of students, supported by their families, who have a demonstrated need for an English-based, international education.
OYIS offers a well-rounded curriculum emphasizing global awareness in its students. Students are active participants in their education, developing personal responsibility for their learning and actions.
OYIS Vision Statement
OYIS strives to provide a friendly and supportive environment which values diversity and engages its constituents in quality lifelong learning in tune with the signs of the times and the spirit of the YMCA.
By 2020 OYIS will be:
- a K-12 IB World School
- housed in a facility designed to meet students' needs
- with a learning community committed to the OYIS vision, mission and Learner Profile.
OYIS Educational Philosophy
At Osaka YMCA International School, we believe in setting the foundation for life-long learning. This is accomplished through a well-rounded curriculum that celebrates human richness, diversity and curiosity. Students learn across the disciplinary spectrum, cultivating a broad and deep knowledge of the world and its complex relationships. At OYIS, we believe it is important for students to be aware of their own cultural background, while understanding and appreciating other cultures. The school recognizes and values the life experiences and learning style of each student, allowing each to reach her or his highest potential.
Students will be required to be active participants in the learning process. Personal responsibility for learning is fostered through the understanding of the cause and effect of actions. Through educational opportunities, students are prepared to live as responsible individuals in their local and the international community. Supported by the Osaka YMCA, the school adheres to YMCA's mission, in particular, cultivating mutual cooperation, raising self-awareness and developing the spirit, mind and body to respect the importance of life.
OYIS understands that parents are a vital key for success in their child's education. Parents will be expected to support the education of their children by working with the school in a collaborative manner in keeping with the goals of OYIS.
The IB Learner Profile
The attributes of the Learner Profile are: Thinkers, Communicators, Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Open-minded, Principled, Reflective, Risk-takers, Balanced and Caring.
OYIS is a candidate school for the Primary Years Program. The school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy - a commitment to high quality, challenging and international education that OYIS believes is important for our students.
Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) or the Diploma Programme (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org
We have also made a document available that provides the definition for each of the attributes of the Learner Profile. You may download the document by clicking the appropriate link below:
Osaka YMCA International School Learning Principles
Adopted by Faculty on Wednesday, 27 August 2008
Principle 1: "Engaged and sustained learning, a prerequisite for understanding, requires that learners see the value of their work and feel a growing sense of efficacy when facing worthy challenges."
"What would we find if this principle were honored? We would see the following: Grading and assessment systems that make clear the progress we are making toward exit goals and the value outside school of such assessments. Assignments, lessons, and assessment tasks that show clearly the answer to the questions, "Why do we need to learn this? What does this help us do?" Assessments that reflect real-world tasks. Ongoing assessments that provide helpful, user-friendly feedback and opportunities to use it. Teachers function as coaches, helping learners use feedback to deepen understanding and successfully transfer their learning. A supervision and professional development system that provides staff with training and ongoing, useful feedback and advice for improving practice. Regular surveys of students and parents about how interested, engaged, and competent students feel in school (Wiggins and McTighe 2007, 117)."
Principle 2: "An understanding is a learner realization about the power of an idea. Understandings cannot be given; they have to be engineered so that learners see for themselves the power of an idea for making sense of things."
"What would we find if this principle were honored? We would see the following: Regular use of "hooks," essential questions, and probes (for example, What is the evidence? Do you agree?) Constructivist learning experiences (for example, inquiry lessons, problem-based learning, interactive notebooks, authentic tasks) to help students make meaning of content. Unit designs that reflect more "uncoverage" than "coverage," with teachers acting more like facilitators of an "Aha!" experience than "tellers" of what the idea is, as if it were just another fact to learn. Assessments designed to reveal the extent to which students can use ideas on their own, with minimal cueing and prompting to connect seemingly unrelated information. Greater engagement by learners as their schoolwork is seen as interesting and purposeful (Wiggins and McTighe 2007, 118)."
Principle 3: "Learners need clear, completely transparent priorities and a practical understanding of how learning goals are to be met in terms of work products and standards of excellence."
"What would we find if this principle were honored? We would see the following: Every syllabus and unit framed in terms of the key transfer goals that the content and lessons address. Students who can explain where the work or course is headed because the ultimate performance goals, tasks, rubrics, and models would be clear from the start. Agreed-upon rubrics, consistently used by teachers across classrooms and grade levels. Teachers helping students understand the standards of excellence by looking at anchors and examples of work of varying quality, and discussion of the differences between those examples that meet the standards and those that don't meet the standards. Leaders ensuring that all teachers have access to and study print and video examples of best practice. Teachers regularly meeting in teams to review results (achievement data and student work) and to plan for needed improvements. Teachers and teams having clear personal improvement plans, based on standards and models for such plans, related to transfer goals and areas of current weakness against the goals. Hiring and supervision ensuring that staff have a clear sense of what the job requires in terms of accomplishments, not just credentials, role, and the content of the work (Wiggins and McTighe 2007, 118 - 119)."
Principle 4: "Learners require regular, timely, and user-friendly feedback in order to understand goals, to produce quality work, and to meet high standards."
"What would we find if this principle were honored? We would see the following:Every syllabus providing for built-in time for giving students opportunities to learn from feedback.Teachers and teams routinely making major adjustments to the syllabus for the rest of the year, based on formative results related to year-end goals. Students at all levels of performance making gains over time in response to effective feedback and opportunities to use it. Pre-assessments, ongoing monitoring, and post-tests to ensure that feedback is given against the ultimate and recurring big ideas and transfer goals, not just feedback related to specific tests of content. Supervisors ensuring that every teacher gets feedback on a timely basis and opportunities to use the feedback to improve a key practice. Teacher teams routinely looking at both student work and feedback from students and parents in order to make effective and timely adjustments (Wiggins and McTighe 2007, 119)."
Principle 5: "Because achieving understanding and capacity for transfer require a willingness to think, rethink, and push beyond one's comfort level, learners need a safe and supportive environment for intellectual risk taking and questioning assumptions and habits."
"What would we find if this principle were honored? We would see the following: Teachers would model and encourage intellectual risk taking, rethinking, and respect for diverse opinions. Leaders would model and encourage the openness to rethinking our habits and assumptions in their conduct as well as in their goals and practices (such as running meetings and reaching decisions). Supervision and professional development making people feel eager to learn, not inadequate or ignorant. Learning from mistakes would be valued as a necessary element of continuous improvement (Wiggins and McTighe 2007, 120)."
Principle 6: "Learning is enhanced when it is personalized – when the learners' interests, preferences, strengths, contributions, and prior knowledge are sufficiently honored."
"What would we find if this principle were honored? We would see the following: Syllabi designed to provide a differentiated experience based on who the students are in this class, this year. Teachers routinely doing an initial survey of learner styles, interests, talents, and readiness levels prior to launching into teaching and adjusting the syllabus in light of the results from the pre-assessment. Differentiation through flexible groupings, appropriate choices of learning process and products, multimodal instruction, and other options. Professional development differentiated in response to teacher subject, style, and interest. Clear guidelines for staff to know when they must differentiate, when they might differentiate, and when they must not differentiate, given standards that must be met. Supervision based on a clinical model in which teachers ask supervisors to look at an area of their practice related to personal goals (Wiggins and McTighe 2007, 121)."
Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTighe (2007) Schooling by Design
Mission, Action, and Achievement - Alexandria, Virginia
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.