CGK Student's Family
Introduction to interactions among students and their parents at CGK International School
It is at school and at home that children spend the majority of their day. It is very important that the school cooperates with parents and how flexible it is in deciding on a policy for working with each individual student, and we understand that a major life event such as entering CGK can be a source of great anxiety for parents as well as students.
We offer support to parents as well as students, so that the school and parents can work together to monitor the students' progress, while parents themselves can become settled in the CGK community as quickly as possible, and enjoy their time there as much as possible.
A school event for all to participate in, with the aim of socialising.
This event is held in the preschool and the elementary school in May, shortly after the start of the new school year. It's held in a park so that students, parents and school teachers can get to know each other better.
There will be activities and other activities for each class to play and talk with their classmates and teachers, and after the event, everyone can bring their own lunch to socialise. The students enjoy moving and playing in the large park and have a wonderful day out together!
Interaction with other parents and teachers
After asking for requests in a questionnaire in advance, we set aside time to talk about specific topics and time for free exchange on free themes, and very meaningful exchanges have taken place. Many parents want to talk openly about future paths after graduation from CGK Preschool, the CGK Elementary School, the IB and the CGK Afterschool, etc. The event is a joint preschool, elementary and afterschool event, so parents are able to hear real stories from a variety of parents.
Tours of actual classrooms are also offered, along with exhibitions of students' work, providing an opportunity for the parents to find out more about the students' everyday activities.
Casual socialising with drinks among parents and teachers
Held for preschool parents and CGK teachers. There are no restrictions on the topics to be discussed, and to make the meeting more relaxed, alcohol is allowed and the meeting is completely relaxed.
Drinks and snacks/food are provided by the school and parents are also invited to bring their own drinks and snacks/food on a voluntary basis, making this a very lively, fun and informal event for socialising!
CGK Outdoors Club
Regular outdoor events such as hiking
Our outdoors club offer hiking and a variety of other activities in parks and nature.
We not only promote children's physical and mental growth through adventure and inquiry in nature, but also value family interaction.
In the future, we plan to make this an even more open event, inviting people outside of the CGK student family to participate and actively engage in a variety of interactions.
Special lessons by parents and field trips to companies and shops where they work
CGK parents have a variety of jobs and special skills. They include company executives, doctors, artists, professional athletes, singers, designers, dieticians, teachers, chefs, etc. They kindly give special lessons to our students. In the future, we will also organise social studies visits to companies and shops where they work.
Artist - Grade 1 Elementary
In their ‘How we express ourselves’ UOI, the grade one students have been exploring the central idea of ‘Imagination is a powerful tool for expanding our ability to think, create and express ourselves.’ Through this unit, the students have been developing their artistic skills.
The grade ones are very lucky to have a parent who is an expert artist. The students did two lessons with this parent; one was a watercolor painting lesson and the second was a sketching lesson. The students not only had a wonderful time learning new skills but also demonstrated a growing understanding of how they can use their imaginations to express thoughts, feelings and ideas through the power of art.
Breast Doctor - Age 4 Preschool
In their ‘Where we are in place and time’ UOI, the 4-year-old class has been exploring the central idea of ‘Our families and the people in communities are all connected.’ Through this unit, the students have been learning about community helpers such as firefighters, police officers, pilots, etc.
The students are very lucky to have a parent who is a breast doctor. The students listened attentively to the story about how doctors work, what they wear and how they work together with nurses, technicians and many other people to cure patients' illnesses and injuries, and they actively answered the quiz given by the parent (breast doctor), recalling what they had learned in previous lessons with the teachers.
Fashion Expert - Grade 1 Elementary
In their ‘Sharing the Planet’ UOI, the grade ones have been exploring the central idea of ‘We have responsibilities to protect our limited resources as we share the planet with other living things.’ One of the lines of inquiry in this unit is on recycling and reusing resources.
The grade ones are very lucky to have a parent who works for a fashion company whose goal is to recycle material to make new clothes. The students had an enjoyable lesson learning about the manufacturing and design process of clothes before using some donated material to decorate a kaleidoscope. The student both had a great time but also learned the power of reusing and recycling materials to help the Earth.
Watching professional basketball games
Yokohama Excellence, of which CGK is a partner company
A professional basketball team based at the Yokohama Budokan.
In 2001, Yokohama Excellence was founded as an amateur men's basketball team. After winning the Tokyo Championship and finishing third in the All-Japan Club Basketball Championships the team turned professional and became Tokyo Excellence in 2012 to continue their success and growth.
On July 1, 2021, the club relocated to Yokohama and became Yokohama Excellence to reflect its new home. In the 2022/23 season, the club finished third in the B3 League. With the 2023/24 B3 League season starting in October, Yokohama Excellence will continue its goal to win the B3 championship and be promoted to B2, and CGK staff, students and parents, support as a partner.
IB Information Sessions
A conversation with CGK family members
Several times a year we have IB information sessions. These sessions cover a range of topics and are designed to help inform parents about the IB at CGK. Prior to a session we ask the parents for input about what they would like to discuss and check their understanding about aspects of the program. As much as possible we try to address the areas that the greatest number of parents are curious or unsure about.
Previous sessions have covered topics such as conceptual learning, what transdisciplinary learning is, how we teach subject specific content, what our subject standards are, and how we assess learning. Frequently these subjects are addressed over multiple sessions as there is a lot of information to go through. While we do not expect parents to have the same level of understanding about our educational approach and the professional knowledge we have trained for, we want to be as transparent as possible so we often share aspects of our curriculum that can be hard to understand and that other schools do not share. While this means the sessions often run long and parents are sometimes given more information than absolutely necessary, we believe this is important and that parents deserve to understand what is happening at their child’s school.
Prior to a session we prepare a presentation to try to make our educational approach clear. We do include a lot of the language and information that we share within our teaching community, but we try to make it accessible to parents who are not trained educators and therefore not as familiar with some of our professional language. We also translate all slides into Japanese and one of our Japanese staff assists with translation on the day. As we grow as a school we have been including more examples from our classes and program of inquiry. We also address areas of the MYP and DP/CP as appropriate.
One thing that is different at these sessions than other informative sessions that adults are used to is the amount of parent involvement and participation we hope for and encourage. As an IB educator and former IB student (Elementary Principal & IB PYP Coordinator, Ms. Darby), I love questions. And when it comes to informing our school community, questions direct from our community are incredibly important for addressing the appropriate content. This will allow us to answer questions about areas of the program and our school that we might not even realize parents have questions about.
Trusting an educational approach that can be so different from what we experienced as students ourselves requires a certain level of trust and open-mindedness. We appreciate all our families who are on this journey with us to find the best educational approaches and practices so that we fulfill our mission of “maximizing happiness” for our students and families. As teachers we are dedicated to lifelong learning and are constantly striving to improve the teaching and learning in our classes. But we understand that the changes we have made can seem sudden or strange to families who can only remember and imagine a traditional teaching approach. As a school we want to honor the culture and expectations of our parents while still offering the best education possible to our students. This is why these conversations with our parents are so important. The IB information sessions are not only about sharing our educational practices and explain the IB; they are also about hearing our parents regarding their concerns, their goals, and their needs.
We hope you can also join us for our IB information sessions! We look forward to hearing from and working with you!
- Conceptual learning
- What transdisciplinary learning is
- How we teach subject specific content
- What our subject standards are
- How we assess learning
- General question and answer
- The Learner Profile
- Approaches to Learning
- Revisiting previous content for new families