- QWe have several children. Is there a discount system?
- AThere is a ‘sibling discount system’, only applicable for siblings who are in the same campus during the same period of time. For further details, please contact each campus.
- QDo parents need to have some English ability too?
- AThere is no requirement for parents/guardians to have English abilities. Most of the notices/letters from school will be provided in Japanese or both Japanese and English.
- QDo children need some ability in English in order to enroll?
- AFor very young children (under K3), English ability is not essential. For older children (K4 and K5), we make final decisions in consultation with parents/guardians to see if they can have some help at home with reviewing. 1 or 2-year-olds will be less likely to have any stress coping with bilingual environments. However, 3-year-olds and above may not at first be able to cope well. Wherever possible, A-JB seeks positive approaches supported by well-experienced teachers in order to allow a student to enroll.
- QWhen can a child enroll? When does the school year begin?
- AEnrollment is possible throughout the year. The school year (the program) begins in April and finishes in March.
About the Program
- QIs it possible to attend ONLY After School Program (ASP) or ALA Saturday Program?
- AYes, it is possible to attend only ASP and/or ALA Saturday Program without enrolling in our preschool. However, please note that priority for ASP is given to internal students.
- QDoes a child receive any kind of qualification after graduating from an International Baccalaureate school?
- AWhen graduating A-JB, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme does not offer any certification for children. (The IBO gives out Diplomas only through the Diploma Programme after finishing a two year course in high school.) However, learning in an environment focused on Inquiry-Based Learning and Holistic Education based on the IB allows students to gain strengths like no other early childhood programs. Having the experience of learning through the IB Programme is advantageous, especially for entering international schools or private elementary schools. The education received at our school will be recognized around the world.
- QWill the time dedicated to English acquisition delay acquisition of Japanese?
- AThere are cases where, such as when a child spends his or her childhood abroad focusing on a foreign language without having acquired their mother tongue, neither the first nor second language develops into typical native levels. This is known as “double-limited” or “semi-lingual” language ability. Additionally, if a child studies for a long time at an international school, it is possible for their second language to replace their mother tongue as their dominant language. Abstract thinking and learning is something which deepens through learning a language in elementary school and beyond. Therefore, by the time they enter elementary school, it is necessary to have at least one of the languages reach an appropriate level for elementary school. At A-JB, many of our families use Japanese solely at home since it is their mother tongue. At this age of childhood development, it is unnecessary to worry about a delay in Japanese learning. If English is only learned within a school environment, a child’s English will not displace their mother tongue, but the ability to write, read, pronounce, and express themselves as capable second language speakers in English will develop. We strongly encourage families to support this development outside of school as well. For instance, allowing your child to watch English TV programs, read English books to your child, and whenever possible, experience English environments. If the parents are of different nationalities, the family possesses a strong and endless resource that can be used to help their child become fully bilingual, or become multilingual, understanding both Japanese and English as well as the language of the parents' nationality. However, as mentioned above, the cooperation between the family and the school may be necessary for the child to avoid a “double-limited” situation.
- QTo what extent will a child gain English ability after joining the school?
- AIndividual differences play a major role in education. However, if children begin school at around K1, K2 (1/2 years old) and continue until graduation, they will have significant English communication abilities and be able to write short sentences in English by that time. If children enroll from K3 (3/4 years old) and above, with follow-ups at home, they will be able to express themselves in English. Different from an international school, a bilingual school prioritizes the mother tongue. A child will therefore not have the same level of language acquisition. However, it is also true that more than a few of A-JB graduates go on to international schools every year.
- QDo you provide lunch?
- ALunch and snacks will be provided at school. These meals are prepared by a licensed and qualified external food catering service, basically salt and sugar reduced, and in consideration of the 7 major allergies except wheat. Please contact each campus for details on allergy accommodations.
- QDo you have events in which parents/guardians can be involved?
- AA few times a year, parents/guardians have opportunities to get involved in school activities such as sports days, winter concerts, and more. We send out information about these occasions in advance, and we really encourage you to be involved.
- QCan the children have playtime outside?
- AChildren go to the park in the neighborhood every day to play and explore its rich nature as long as the weather permits. We may go outside if the rain is light, so please prepare raincoats. Please also be aware of the risk that their clothes are likely to get muddy after playing, or they may get scratches from falling down while playing outside. *Environment and policies vary by campus.
- QDo you do toilet training?
- AYes, we do toilet training at a reasonable pace, and within each child’s level of comfort and development. The teachers continuously consult with parents/guardians regarding the children’s progress. Our aim is for them to finish toilet training by the time they move on to K3 (3/4 years old).
- QWhat is the ratio of teachers to students?
- AThe teacher-student ratios are 1:4 for K1, 1:6 for K2, 1:12 for K3, 1:18 for K4 and K5. *The above ratios may vary by campus.
- QPlease tell me about your safety and security measures.
- AEntrances to the school are secured by auto-lock doors and are only accessible to A-JB staff. Parents/guardians are provided with a security card and non-cardholders are unable to enter the campus. We have also signed a contract with a security company, and the entire campus is protected by surveillance cameras. In case of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and fires, we conduct an evacuation drill once a month. If such an event takes place, we have prepared a stockpile of supplies (food, diapers, etc.) to last three days. There is an onsite AED (Automated External Defibrillator), and A-JB staff are trained to use it.
- QWhat is the relationship with Aoba-Japan International School (A-JIS)? Will my child be given priority for enrollment at that school?
- AA-JIS is under the same management group and is our sister school. A-JB is able to operate under and take advantage of A-JIS’s experience as an International Baccalaureate school. Our students do receive priority screening for elementary school enrollment at A-JIS. In addition, information sessions will be held by A-JIS's principal and admissions staff. *This is not a commitment to enroll in A-JIS.
- QWhat kind of expectations can we have after graduating from this program?
- AIn Japan, there is a division between private elementary schools, public elementary schools, and international schools. Schools in Japan have recently introduced a form of learning similar to Inquiry-Based learning. There has been a full scale introduction of “active learning” in the revised educational guidelines in 2020, and English has also begun to be introduced from 3rd grade. Whichever elementary school your child plans to attend, we believe that the education and English ability gained at A-JB will give them confidence to participate in those classes.
- QDo you have bus service?
- AYes, we have bus service. Please contact each campus for details. In case the seats reach full capacity, you will be put on the waitlist.
- QIf the school is certified as an "unlicensed childcare facility", are there any eligible subsidies?
- AEach campus is certified as a facility subject to grant-in aid by the local municipality in which the campus is located. (Yoga Campus will apply for grant-in aid in Setagaya-ku, after being certified as an “unlicensed childcare facility”.) The amount of subsidy, eligible households, conditions for eligibility, etc. vary depending on the municipality in which you live, so please contact your ward office for details.