Education Feature: Nagoya International School

Expanding to Improve Teacher & Student Engagement & a Larger Student Body

At NIS, we conceive of classrooms in which students are taught to habitually question and puzzle over the world around them; classrooms which encourage students not merely to ‘answer the questions’ but rather to ‘question the answers’. We do this because we know that it is only by truly questioning their world that young people can come to fully understand their world.  We know that it is only through developing this understanding that students can meaningfully connect to – and contribute to – the communities around them.

We understand that it is these real-world interactions that create a sense of engagement’ necessary for students to develop an awareness of ‘self’ and ‘other’ so critical to the formation of a child’s personal identity as a citizen of the world. In this way, NIS students come to understand themselves and their world, develop confidence as learners and thinkers, and embrace a personal dream for their future beyond our community.

What are the ages of children in your classes and how many classes are there?

Ages 3-18 – preschool (age 3) through high school (grade 12). There are two classes per grade.

When does your school year start?

The school year starts towards the end of August and finishes in June.

What would you say your school does best?

Catering to the educational needs of the increasingly diverse international community of Nagoya. NIS was founded as a community school and holds this legacy core to our values, striving to be responsive to the needs of our diverse community through the education we offer. As a not-for-profit institution, NIS was formed in 1964 with only one purpose – to meet the needs of the community we serve. This enduring truth remains with us as today, nearly 55 years later.

What is your goal for students who come to your school?

We believe that each student is an individual with individual needs, and our goal is for each student to have the opportunity to succeed as they inquire, inspire and impact the world around them.

What kinds of families send their children to your school and what is the main reason they give?

NIS serves the international and internationally-minded families of the Chubu region with children who will both benefit from the programs we offer and have the opportunity to achieve the objectives of our mission. The NIS community is broad – and includes expatriate families who have been relocated to Nagoya for work, long-term multi-cultural and internationally-minded local families who call Nagoya their home, and Japanese families returning to Japan from oversees.

Why do you think students benefit from an international education?

An wider, global perspective encourages valuing International Mindedness – which is a concept underpinned by a set of skills, behaviors and values which enable us to embrace diverse opinions and cultures, care about local and global communities and the environment, and take action to make positive changes in the world we share. The ability to appreciate alternative interpretations and consider different perspectives with a critical eye is a skill that requires commitment from the entire school community, but one that will remain with the students long after graduating.

What certifications does your school have?

NIS is an IB school, offering the IB PYP, MYP and DP programs, fully accredited by CIS (Council of International Schools), WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) and is a member of JCIS (Japan Council of International Schools).

Where do your students tend to matriculate to once they complete your school?

NIS students enter and leave at a variety of times during the academic school year, at a variety of ages and after varying lengths of stay. Whether the student is a child of an expatriate employee, a local foreign resident or a Japanese “returnee,” the goal is the same: a smooth transition to another school, a school “back home”, entrance to a college or university, or sturdy footing along a pathway towards a passion or dream of their choosing. Most graduates enroll in universities in the U.S., Canada or the U.K., or an increasing number of universities in Japan that offer English-based programs.

Do you notice a rise in the number of students from other countries?

Students at NIS represent 37 nationalities. It is clear that the Chubu region is growing in diversity, and strong educational options will continue to be key to helping the region grow and become even more “global”.


About the NIS 2020 Vision Campaign

Improving Facilities and Teacher Student Engagement

NIS is planning the addition of a new East Building which will provide NIS with the functionality and space necessary to re-zone the entire campus in support of optimum learning and wellbeing for all students.

Putting subjects closer together will help teachers collaborate more effectively. Students will gain a greater appreciation of the depth of subject disciplines while engaging with interdisciplinary learning in age appropriate environments.
The Project enlarges the space to accommodate an ever-increasing student body creating flexible spaces for collaboration and interaction.

The Multi-Purpose Hall (MPH) will provide space for:
• Lower Elementary PE and improved access to sports facilities
• Assemblies, meetings, presentations, and performances
• Standardized testing

The Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) Will provide space for:
• Larger gatherings and over-flow crowds
• Group study and collaboration space
• Additional cafeteria space

STEAM: Facilitating Innovation and Creativity

At NIS, we know that students require a strong foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

We also know how important the arts are in bridging these STEM skills to the fostering of creativity, innovation and critical thinking essential to the workplace of the future. The 2020 Vision Project will provide the following state-of-the-art STEAM facilities:
• Three full-size science labs
• Three new mathematicsclassrooms
• A purpose-built music room and four practice rooms
• Two rooms for Visual Art with storage and work-space
• A Multi-Purpose Hall (MPH) for a new performance space


Athletic Field Resurfacing

The project includes resurfacing the athletic field, which, for 12 years has enabled an expansion of both the PE program and the range and quality of extra-curricular sports activities offered.

Your Support is Needed!

The 2020 Vision Project is requesting support from everyone in our community: corporations, local and international government organizations, parents, alumni, staff, students and friends. YOUR support is needed to help ensure Nagoya can continue to have the best possible international education options available for our globally-important region.

To make a pledge or to find more information, please go to the 2020 Vision Project website at:  


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