Osaka YMCA
International School

Emily Donkin

Emily Donkin

Emily is the External Programs Director at Osaka YMCA International School. Originally a qualified teacher from Australia, she has lived in Japan for 15 years, working in education. She always wear black.

An Awesome Summer at OYIS: External Programs Continue to Innovate

OYIS External Programs continue to go from strength to strength. 2020-2021 was a particularly big year of change for the program and we are so happy with its direction and expansion. With a renewed focus on the engagement of the students through increased fun, hands-on learning experiences, the curriculum has been streamlined. Through the streamlining process, we have been able to implement a range of activities that develop the students’ speaking and literacy skills. Generally in all levels, by focusing on discussion-based learning before the completion of projects, students’ language and communication skills are also continually focused upon.

Over July and August 2021 the OYIS Summer Intensives ran six different programs for students aged between 3 and 12 years old. Programs for Elementary students, such as ‘Drawing’ and ‘Music’ were taught internally and catered specifically to OYIS students at the beginning of their holiday period. This year External Programs also launched a ‘Kinder Creative Program’ that used the senses as the topics for the two weeks period for the early childhood students. With the addition of Water Play to both weeks in Kinder Creative, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for both the students and the teachers.

Our General Intensive classes over the summer catered to both Internal OYIS students (those that are members of our Monday to Friday and Saturday communities) and External students (those with no prior relationship to OYIS). Our Intensive Summer Program ran for 3 weeks, with the themes of Dinosaurs, Pirates, and Space. Although the implementation of the State of Emergency in Osaka meant we had to cancel our Excursions, we were able to use the OYIS pool and provide the students with two Swimming Lessons each week. These were a huge success with even our youngest students able to shed their fears and participate.

From going on archaeologist digs to find bones in the sandpit, to creating galaxies in a jar. From the creation of constellations to designing their own dinosaurs. From creating treasure maps to making playdough treasure. Fun and enjoyable learning environments were the aim of the Teaching Teams across the grades. Winter Intensives will take place over the December vacation and the topics will be STEAM and Science. More information about the OYIS External Programs can be found on our website. We can’t wait!

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OYIS is an IB continuum school, which means it offers an IB curriculum throughout the whole school, from the Primary Years Programme (PYP) through to the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the IB Diploma in Grades 11 and 12.nWASC recognised that growth in PYP was above average while the MYP Maths’ scores were particularly impressive.

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MYP/DP Principal Mark Beales added: “It was pleasing to hear that WASC recognized the significant amount of work teachers have put in over the past few years. As well as meeting the challenges of covid, the school has expanded to include the MYP and IB Diploma. We are delighted that WASC praised our caring and empathetic approach to helping students; we will continue to promote these qualities.”

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