The Osaka International School of Kwansei Gakuin was the first school in the east Asia region (Japan, Korea and Taiwan) to offer the three curricular programmes of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) . The hope of the IB to build a better world through intercultural understanding and respect matches exactly with the ethos and purpose of the OIS and the Two Schools Together concept. The International Baccalaureate aims to do more than other curricula by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. The 3 programme curriculum (K-12) model gives OIS a consistency in our approach to education. The IB Learner Profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success.
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Teaching and learning in the IB
An IB education develops the ability of students to learn and work independently and in collaboration with others, both of which are key skills needed in today’s workplace. It also provides a framework which students can apply to any task: inquiry, action, and reflection. The process and interplay of asking, doing, and thinking about the results of their actions ensures that students have an approach and a skill-set that will set them up for lifelong learning.
Global context, multilingualism and intercultural understanding
The IB curriculum and teaching approach requires students to recognize that their beliefs, values and understanding represent but one perspective. They learn to critically assess their own perceptions, and to appreciate and value the perspectives of others, recognizing both the commonalities and diversity that exists within the global community. An integral part of developing intercultural understanding is the ability to communicate and learn about other cultures through another language. The IB programmes require all students to learn another language, and some students even choose to learn a third language as part of their diploma.
The IB curriculum
The learning content, teaching standards and assessment of the IB curriculum is consistent throughout the IB school community, and is designed to meet the high standards set by thousands of universities and colleges around the world. The IB primary years, middle years and diploma programmes “offer curriculum frameworks and courses that are broad and balanced, conceptual and connected” (ibo.org).
The Primary Years Programme (PYP)
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) prepares students from kindergarten to grade 5 (ages 4 to 12) to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom. The units of inquiry feature the homeroom teacher collaborating with specialist teachers in physical education, visual arts, music and Japanese to support the development of the whole child. To bring the PYP programme to a conclusion, students in grade five complete and present an extended, in-depth, collaborative project known as the PYP exhibition. OIS has been authorized to deliver the PYP curriculum since 2004.
The Middle Years Programme (MYP)
The Middle Years Programme (MYP) studied in grades six through ten (ages 12 to 16), “aims to develop active learners and internationally minded young people who can empathize with others and pursue lives of purpose and meaning. The programme empowers students to inquire into a wide range of issues and ideas of significance locally, nationally and globally. The result is young people who are creative, critical and reflective thinkers” (ibo.org).
The Middle Years Programme (MYP) studied in grades six through ten (ages 12 to 16) is a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. Students who complete the MYP are well-prepared to undertake the IB Diploma Programme.
The MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups, providing a broad and balanced education for early adolescents. OIS has been authorized to deliver the MYP curriculum since 2004. We only require the students to complete a long-term project in grade ten, in which they demonstrate their ability to apply the inquiry, action and reflection learning process to a topic of personal interest placed within a global context. OIS does not participate in the optional eAssessment program offered in the MYP.
The Diploma Programme (DP)
The Diploma Programme (DP) studied in grades 11 and 12 (ages 16 to 18), “aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically” (ibo.org). OIS has been authorized to deliver the DP since 1991 and in our 24 years of cohorts completing the exams, we have an average score of 33.14, which is well above the worldwide average and a pass rate of 94%. It is in our opinion, the best preparation for success in university studies. The students will develop independence and critically think for themselves which will aid them in their post university careers and prepare them for the global economy. OIS also has support for students coming into the DP from other types of curriculum.
The curriculum is made up of the DP core and six subject groups. The DP core elements which compulsory are as follows:
- A Theory of Knowledge class that provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge similar to a epistemology course.
- The Extended Essay which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating in a 4,000-word paper that is assessed both in-school and by independent external examiners. This gives the students an experience of university-level research project.
- Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) provides students structured opportunities to develop as a whole person. They will develop creativity through the arts, a healthy lifestyle through physical exertion and volunteer in the community to support the disadvantaged in our society.
OIS offers the following main courses in the six subject groups:
- Language and literature
- English A: Language and Literature
- Japanese A: Language and Literature
- Language acquisition
- English B
- Japanese B
- Japanese ab initio
- Spanish ab initio
- Individuals and societies
- Mathematical Studies
- Mathematics Standard Level
- Mathematics Higher Level
- Visual Arts
We also can tailor a schedule to meet the individual needs of a student, depending on interest, ability, and resources available. In certain cases, OIS will offer Pamoja Education courses, the only IB-approved online course provider. We also have access to German, Mandarin, Korean and French teachers at the Senri International School, depending on their availability and course schedules.
Students must take courses in 5 of the 6 areas and take 3-4 of the courses at a higher level (HL) comprising of 240 teaching hours. The other courses are taken at the standard level (SL) comprising of 150 teaching hours. OIS offers guidance for students and parents in selecting the best course of study to meet the individual needs of the student.
The IB programme worldwide
As of May 2015, there were 5,308 programmes being offered worldwide, across 4,162 schools.
Universities accepting the IB Diploma
As of May 2015, there were over 2,000 different universities in over 90 countries accepting the IB Diploma credential for admission to undergraduate courses, including 1,045 in the US, 93 in Canada, 94 in the UK, 305 in Japan, and 57 in Australia.
The IB Coordinators
Each programme has a coordinator who supervises the curriculum, assessment, and liaises with the IB organisation.
Ms Carolyne Marshall
ES Principal and PYP Coordinator
Mr Kurt Mecklem
MS/HS Principal and MYP Coordinator
Mr Stephen Frater