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The Japanese School in London started as the Japanese Language Society in September 1965 under the sponsorship of Nippon Club. It started with twenty students and four teachers using the premises of the Convent of Our Lady of Sion in Notting Hill Gate, London. With the increase in the number of students, the Language Society was developed into a supplementary Saturday School in 1974, with a teacher sent by the Ministry of Education. As enthusiasm grew within the Japanese community in London, the Nippon Club decided to found a full-time Japanese school in May 1975. In April 1976 the Ministry of Education sent Mr Katsuya Tanaka, the first headteacher, to London in preparation for the opening of the school. The Japanese School in London was registered as a full-fledged Japanese school on 18 June 1976 and it was given official status as a private school by the British government. Consequently, we recognise 18 June 1976 as our School Foundation Day. In October of the same year, the School started its day to day operation on the premises of the Nippon Club for the primary section, with 54 pupils, and at the Embassy of Japan Information Centre’s building for the secondary section, with 25 students. The School moved to Camden in April 1977 to cater for an increasing number of students. In order to accommodate even more students, it moved to its current premises in Acton, West London in April 1987. It is situated within easy access to central London, in a tranquil residential and educational district.

The main school building is a three-storied Victorian brick building. It was built in 1900 as The Haberdasher Aske’s Girls’ School and then used by The Cardinal Newman Roman Catholic School in later years. The building has been modified and extended in line with Japanese educational needs, but also in harmony with its suburban surroundings.The School is well-equipped,with facilities such as an all weather running track,an indoor gymnasium, a school library with numerous Japanese books and so on.

As the first priority for school management in 2023, we set up development of “reliable academic ability”, aiming for “independence”. The use of books as a means of expression activities, and the use of ICT equipment (my tablet) are mentioned. For this reason, the theme of training for faculty and staff was set as “nurturing students who continue to learn through mutual training”, and through exchange activities related to international understanding and ICT, (Educational iPad). We are also promoting research focusing on educational practices unique to the London Japanese School, such as local school exchanges and field trips. Furthermore, taking advantage of its geographical location in the UK (London), we are working to enhance foreign language activities, particularly English classes, and English conversation classes, with a focus on improving communication skills in English.

The second priority is to revitalize school events and student council activities to implement the slogans “contribution” and “elegance” and aim to develop the ability to survive in the international community. In light of the relaxation of restrictions in post-pandemic society, we are actively promoting safety to foster rich sensibilities.

The third priority, “building a trustworthy school”, we are working to create an environment that promotes safe and secure education, to ensure thorough safeguarding, and active dissemination of information.

In Japan, from 8 May 2023, the status of the novel coronavirus infection was changed to Category 5. Currently, according to our school’s guidance on infection prevention, face coverings (masks, etc.) are not being worn in the school, but may be worn at the discretion of students and families. However, if students are feeling very unwell, they should avoid going to school. If they have symptoms, such as; fever or changes in their sense of taste or smell, we will continue to encourage each family to conduct a lateral flow test. The subsequent suspension of attendance is also continuing.

Since the area of residence of students extends around the school and northern London, two school bus routes are also operated under the management of the school bus committee organized by parents. The Japanese School in London is one of several overseas education facilities in North America and Europe and as of 20 April 2023, there are 204 primary, 92 secondary students (a total of 296), and a total of 36 teachers and staff members.

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