AXIS International School

By on August 30, 2012
AXIS is one of the few international schools that admits to a limit, children whose mother tongue is not English.  We asked its headmaster Daniel Mahr as to what learning options are available for children there.

TFM: Tell us about Axis International School.
Daniel Mahr:  We have two locations: the preschool is in Nakacho, Musashino-shi and Grade 1 to Grade 12) are in Kichijoji Hon-cho,Musashino-shi.  In our preschool, children are accepted from the age of 1 to 5. The older they are the more English they should know. We welcome children with no English skills, but we do limit their number.

To be accepted into Grade 1, children need to be at least 5 years and 11 months. This gives them an edge when they do start Grade 1 without having to wait a year before joining. Our teachers with relevant degree and experience currently come from the following countries: USA, Canada, South Africa, Philippines.  Axis uses the
program by Griggs International Academy, an accredited home school program in Maryland, USA that have been providing children with distance education for over 100 years.  Upon completion of their program,  children will receive the same high school diploma as any child in Maryland, USA would.  It allows the child to continue
with this program no matter where they may be; their program does not have to change every time their parents have to change countries, and it gives them skills that are rarely acquired in a regular school setting.

TFM: What’s unique about your school?
Daniel Mahr: Our children experience the bene ts of a home school program and a regular school program. Our children learn to study independently. They will not miss a class when they are sick; they will not be held back by other students for whom the class teacher may have to slow the class down; if they have a keen interest and want to explore some eld in depth, they can do that. We have had students complete a grade in 6 months with A grades in all subjects. Small class sizes and individualized check sheets allow the teacher to control and monitor each student’s pace and to assist them individually when needed. Students who are particularly talented may also be eligible for extra classes for which they can receive extra credit. Exceptional high school students in their nal year of course work may also take college level course for which they can also receive of cial credit.  We have a small student to teacher ratio of one teacher to a maximum of seven students per class.
The school values the close connection between the student, parent and teachers as it helps to nip problems in the bud; both parent and teacher support each other in the education of the child.

TFM: It appears that Axis has a Bible study class. How does the school deal with students of other faiths?
Daniel Mahr:  We did a survey among our preschool parents as a request was made to have a daily Bible ‘study’ with them. We received unanimous feedback; it was said that by studying the Bible, the students will receive a good moral education and have a better understanding of western culture. Some 90% of the respondents do not profess any religion. We welcome students of other faiths and would like to respect them. Those that have attended enjoyed the program. The purpose is not to recruit children into a particular faith. In the Bible class we want to introduce the children to Jesus Christ and they, as individuals, need to decide what they are going to believe and do.

TFM: What is your admission policy on children whose rst language is not English?
Daniel Mahr: One of the goals of starting Axis was to give Japanese children who do not have English as their rst language the opportunity to acquire it as closely as possible. Most of our children do not come from homes where English is a rst language. Some schools only want rst language students.  Axis was started as a fusion of an English school and international school. We have considerable experience in Teaching English as a second language. For those children with the necessary skill and motivation we will help them to the point of studying in it like a native speaker. The ability to study in English is something we do have to look at. Most new students are able to study in English. For those that are not at the required level, we offer a private, tailor-made program to assist them to reach their goal.

TFM: Does the school offer scholarships or sibling discounts in the case of families who can not afford the tuition?
Daniel Mahr: Sibling discounts are 10% off the second child. We do offer a limited number of scholarships that depend on the situation at the time. Parents who are thinking about enrolling with a scholarship should talk with us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Daniel Mahr may be reached at (admission enquiries in  English and Japanese.)

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