International School of the Sacred Heart: Developing the whole

By on February 1, 2009

What does ISSH learning represent?

The International School of the Sacred Heart is committed to the development of the whole person: spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically.  The program of studies presupposes a deep respect for intellectual values, expressed in serious courses of study that foster reflection and thought, while at the same time providing for the development of the creative and aesthetic powers.  ISSH is an all girl school from Grades 1 through to 12 (At the Kindergarten levels 3 – 5 year old Kinder we offer co-education) and is one of an international group of schools and colleges under the direction of the religious Society of the Sacred Heart.


What structure is in place in addressing TCK (third culture kids) concerns?

ISSH is a multicultural school with many students from bicultural families.  Awareness of Japanese culture and other cultures are an integral part of general learning both academically and socially.  TCK is specifically addressed in Personal Education class, which commences in Grades 4 onwards and as a Senior Topic in Grade 12. Our unique blend of cultures are celebrated every year in January on One World Day.  On this day, students wear their national costumes to school and perform in the One World Day assembly, which culminates in the colourful “Parade of Nations.”


What are the unique advantages of ISSH that parents should know?  

We offer a core curriculum drawn from International curricula that is continually being broadened to include current best practices from around the world. Special programs such as the Advanced Placement and English as a Second Language are crucial components of the school’s academic life. The English as a Second Language (ESL) program provides an extensive course for students whose first language is other than English, and who need support in achieving English Language competency. The school provides an experience in diversity, which is designed to develop an understanding and appreciation of various races, religions and cultures, and especially the heritage of Japan itself.


How much emphasis is placed on extra-curricular activities and what are they like?

ISSH is a member school of KPASSP. This involves the school’s active participation in the various inter-school meetings and competitions, e.g., sports matches, debates, speech contests, drama festivals, gym clinics, etc.  Further to this we have internal sports programs and art competitions offered to students, as well as the Choral Program focuses on developing children‘s love and enjoyment of singing. The premier ensemble of ISSH, the High School Choir is regularly made up of one-third to one-half of the High School.


What facilities does ISSH provide to students?

ISSH is one of the very few central Tokyo schools to have a large open grassed area used for physical education lessons, sports training sessions and other extra-curricular activities. ISSH, has extensive facilities; two libraries, over 200 computers, well-equipped science laboratories, music and art rooms and a pottery studio. Our School Chapel comfortably accommodates approximately 80 people, offers Liturgies every Thursday and is open to everyone. 


What is the placement rate like for students transferring to schools abroad post ISSH?

100% of students who do not graduate with ISSH are accepted into schools abroad.  ISSH is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which is recognised by all schools globally.


Would ISSH accept students whose 1st language is not English?  If yes, what are the conditions?   

The school enrolls approximately 600 students from the international community in the Tokyo area.  Students knowing no English will be accepted on a case-by-case decision. In the case of Kindergarten and Junior School, at least one of the parents must be able to speak and read. English ESL students can be accepted with no knowledge of English up to Grade 10, provided they have a strong academic background.


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