All children in our school from Kindergarten to Year 6 engage in a 40-minute Japanese lesson each week. Our dedicated Japanese room provides a full immersion experience for our children where they sit at low tables on a tatami mat—student helpers for the day dress in kimono or ‘happi coats’ during their lesson.
From Kindergarten through to Year 6, students learn to recognise and write in Japanese script, including kanji, hiragana and katakana. They learn to communicate knowledge of a range of topics through games, songs, stories, authentic role-play and explicit instruction.
Topics taught in our Japanese program include greetings and self-introduction, school life, families, time, housing, pets, going places and food, amongst others. Significant cultural days are celebrated throughout the year, and cultural activities enable children to create displays to celebrate these traditions.
Opportunity is provided for children weekly to participate in a lunchtime Japanese club that allows them to engage in additional cultural activities, play traditional Japanese games and watch culturally significant movies.
We host Japanese cultural evenings throughout the year to engage our parent community in our school’s Japanese program as well. We provide a cultural lesson through connections at Southern Cross University and Lismore City Council, followed by a shared Japanese dinner.
With a recent connection with our sister school in Hiroshima, Senda Elementary School, we are able to provide our children with opportunities to interact with Japanese students via Skype. We look forward to developing a strong friendship with our sister school in the future.