Our mission at Tokyo West International School (TWIS) is to equip children with the skills they need to become successful leaders in our constantly evolving, globalized society. We strongly believe in the importance for young people to be able to think independently, solve problems, be proactive, and be mentally flexible. We promote the values of sensiti3ity, international mindedness, being appreciative of cultural differences, as well as the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. We are convinced that the balanced development of a child’s academic, social and physical skills is the key for them to be able to actively shape their future.
Our school provides a wide variety of academic lessons, activities and events stimulating our students’ intellect and nurturing their communication and social skills. In our encouraging and supportive environment, children are given room to grow and cultivate their talents, respecting each student’s strengths and personality. Experiencing challenges and the joy of succeeding will stimulate the children’s young minds and prepare them to become confident, contributing members of society.
We welcome you to browse through our website, and we look forward to meeting you and your child soon at TWIS.
Tokyo West International School Board of Directors
Mission, vision and core values
TWIS – Mission Statement
To provide a challenging holistic international education, that is innovative and evolving, to children of all nationalities living in West Tokyo.
TWIS – Vision
To develop and support the unique potential of every student as they discover their passions and direction in an ever-changing world.
TWIS Values – The 4Cs – Curious, Collaborative, Courageous, Compassionate
With these foundational school statements, we want to express that our school is committed to developing the unique potential of every student.
TWIS students will:
- attain, to the best of each individual’s ability, high levels of understanding and competencies across a broad range of subjects
- attain the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes to be life-long learners through collaborative interaction with each other
- be curious and courageous independent learners, active in their approach to their own learning
- be compassionate international citizens of a changing and challenging world
The TWIS advantage
At TWIS we demand the highest standards from all our constituents.
Our students will be:
- included in a stimulating and caring learning environment
- respected for the diverse cultures they represent
- stimulated by a quality education and rigorous assessment
- nurtured by caring, qualified teachers
Our teaching and support staff will:
- promote and support intellectual growth and excellence in all aspects of learning
- foster a passion for learning
- make learning relevant, rigorous and real
- utilize the most appropriate technology and resources available
- be actively involved in professional development
- provide a learning environment which enhances learning potential and encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning
- foster respect and promote awareness and acceptance of personal and cultural diversity
5 YEAR PLAN DESIRED STRATEGIC OUTCOMES
- To be the preferred challenging and balanced international academic program in West-Tokyo for our target groups.
- To be competitive in a dynamic labor and school market by having highly motivated and qualified employees that collaborate and communicate in a constructive and professional manner.
- To be recognized as the preferred community for all international families, and Japanese families that seek an international education, in the West-Tokyo region.
- To protect the sound financial situation and thereby securing sustainability and continued competitive quality learning.
The TWIS Curriculum specifies eight learning areas: English/Kokugo, the Arts (Dance/Drama/Music/Visual Arts), Health and Physical Education, Learning Languages, Mathematics and Statistics, Science, Social Sciences, and TAD (Technology/Art/Design).
The learning associated with each area is part of a broad, general education and lays a foundation for later specialization. Like our core values (the 4Cs), this learning is both end and means: valuable in itself and valuable for the pathways it opens to other learning.
While the learning areas are presented as distinct, this should not limit the ways in which schools structure the learning experiences offered to students. All learning should make use of the natural connections that exist between learning areas and that link learning areas to the school values and key competencies.
Learning Areas and Language
Each learning area has its own language or languages. As students discover how to use them, they find they are able to think in different ways, access new areas of knowledge, and see their world from new perspectives.
For each area, students need specific help from their teachers as they learn: the specialist vocabulary associated with that area; how to read and understand its texts; how to communicate knowledge and ideas in appropriate ways; how to listen and read critically, assessing the value of what they hear and read.
In addition to such help, students who are new learners of English or coming into an English- medium environment for the first time need explicit and extensive teaching of English vocabulary, word forms, sentence and text structures, and language uses.
As language is central to learning and English is the medium for most learning in the TWIS Curriculum, the importance of literacy in English cannot be overstated.
- English / Kokugo: Students study, use, and enjoy language and literature communicated orally, visually, or in writing.
- The Arts: Students explore, refine, and communicate ideas as they connect thinking, imagination, senses, and feelings to create works and respond to the works of others.
- Health and Physical Education: Students learn about their own well-being, and that of others and society, in health-related and movement contexts.
- Learning Languages: Students learn to communicate in an additional language, develop their capacity to learn further languages, and explore different world views in relation to their own.
- Mathematics and Statistics: Students explore relationships in quantities, space, and data and learn to express these relationships in ways that help them to make sense of the world around them.
- Science: Students explore how both the natural physical world and science itself work so that they can participate as critical, informed, and responsible citizens in a society in which science plays a significant role.
- Social Sciences: Students explore how societies work and how they themselves can participate and take action as critical, informed, and responsible citizens.
- TAD: Students learn to express themselves and using various modes, be innovative developers of products and systems and discerning consumers who will make a difference in the world.
Message from the Head of School
子どもを「life-long learner」（生涯学び続ける者)として発展させるという学校の役目はとても重要です。「Growth mindset」の考え方に基づいて指導をしつつ、生徒たちが自身の能力と可能性を変えていきたいと思うように導くことは、彼らのパフォーマンスに大きな変化をもたらします。生徒たちの才能や知識量を賞賛するのではなく、努力や学習方法、集中力、根気、そしてどれだけ上達したのかという、学習の過程を賞賛するべきです。私たちTWISはこれらの役割を非常に真剣に受けとめています。国際的なカリキュラムの枠組みが新たに導入されると共に、私たちはこれらの教育と学習の過程に焦点を当てて学びを促進していきます。
TWISでは、生徒たちが科目分野を学ぶだけでなく、彼らが生涯学び続ける者として成功できるようサポートしたいと考えております。私は、成果を出すためにもっとも重要なことは努力だと考え、生徒たちの努力を引き出すことはあらゆる状況において彼らのモチベーションを高める事に繋がります。Marzano, Hattie, Robinsonなどの研究によると、ほどんどの子供達は努力と成果の関連性に気づいていないけれど、これに気づき考えを変えることは可能だと明らかにしています。そのため、私たちはGSAグループの基本的価値観（４つのC）である「好奇心(curious)溢れる探究スキル」、「協調的(collaborative)なコミュニケーションスキル」、「果敢に取り組む(courageous)自己管理スキル」、そして「思いやり(compassionate)のある広い心をもつこと」を生徒評価だけでなく教室外経験にも組み込みました。これらのスキルを刺激し促進するために、探求型のカリキュラムを元に学習しながら様々な概念理解とチームワークに焦点を当て、生徒一人一人の発達経過を見ながら目標を設定しています。我々のレッスンは差別化されていますが、生徒一人一人にとって理解しやすく、高い効果が得られる学習になるよう、特に英語を第二言語とする生徒のための特別プログラムなどの介入方法を取り入れながら、これからも更に指導方法を改善させていきたいと考えております。
I was honored to be asked to take the position of Head of School from the school year 2017~2018.The school has been growing, and changing, every year since its start 8 years ago. With this year’s organizational restructure and merger with the GSA group, it is my belief that TWIS has taken a giant leap towards becoming a solid institution that truly promotes international-minded education and global values.
A school’s role in developing a child to be a life-long learner cannot be underestimated. Following ‘Growth Mindset’ thinking, guiding students to want to change the way they perceive their own abilities and potential can drastically alter their performance. Rather than praising students based on their talent or intelligence, they should be praised on their process of learning – the effort they put in and the strategies they use, as well as their focus, perseverance, and improvement. This is a role we take very seriously at TWIS. With the introduction of a new international curriculum framework, we will set our focus on these processes of teaching and learning.
At TWIS we definitely want to help the student not only learn a subject area, but help them become successful as life-long learners, as well. I believe that effort is one of the most important factors in achievement, and reinforcing effort can be applied to any situation where students are engaged in raising their motivation. Research has shown (e.g. Marzano, Hattie, Robinson) that many students don’t realize the connection between effort and achievement, but that they can learn to change this belief. That is why we have incorporated our core values (the 4Cs) ‘curious research skills, ‘collaborative communication skills’, ‘courageous self-management skills’ and ‘compassionate open-mindedness’, not only into our student assessments, but in out-of-classroom experiences as well. To stimulate and promote these skills, the students work with inquiry-based units focusing on conceptual understanding and teamwork, aligned with monitored individual progress and personal goal setting. Our lessons are differentiated, but we hope to improve even more over the next few years within this area with even better intervention methods, particularly a special program for second language learners, in order to make learning accessible and highly effective for each student.
In addition, we have included an extensive after-school program this year, which we will continue to develop next year with an even stronger focus on Japanese classes for native students to enable them to keep up with the Japanese National Curriculum. Also, we are in the trial phase of a new lunch-time activity schedule, a summer school program, and out-of-classroom learning experiences at the ‘English Adventure’ facilities in Niigata, all of which make a unique contribution to a child’s education, and offer many varied benefits, not least to develop the ‘whole child’ with a sense of place and wonder for the world around him or her.
Finally, we want all stakeholders involved in our school community to be a part of developing our school. ‘Transparency’ and ‘Clear & Effective Communication’ are keywords in this process, and we will work hard to increase and improve in this area during the coming year.
I look forward to meeting with you and taking on together the challenges which lie ahead of us.
Head of School
Educational Approach & Accreditation
Providing a comprehensive international education from kindergarten to high school
We believe that drawing from each student’s interests and nourishing his or her desire to explore, is what makes learning most effective. Our approach focuses on stimulating our students’ natural curiosity and making learning relevant for them, with a strong commitment towards further improvement.
Since 2013 TWIS has been accredited by AdvancED, the largest of the five American college and university accreditation organizations.
We are committed to delivering our students a variety of educational programs to meet a wide range of aspirations and broaden their perspectives while supporting their applications to universities abroad.
AdvancED is the largest accreditation agency and international school community of educators in the world: https://www.advanc-ed.org/about-us
Learning in our elementary school division is based on American Common Core Curriculum and the United Nations International School (UNIS) Curriculum with Japanese national standards. At this stage, particular attention is paid to the children’s language development both in English and Japanese. Japanese lessons will provide the students with solid foundations on which to build their language proficiency, adopting materials required by the Japanese Ministry of Education.
Our middle school program adopts the American Common Core Curriculum and the United Nations International School (UNIS) Curriculum. Our curriculom focuses on developing both academic skills as well as life skills, such as effective communication and public speaking.