Hokkaido International School in Niseko is a private, coeducational day school that offers a western-style education from pre-school through 6th grade for students of all nationalities. English is the language of instruction. Hokkaido International School in Niseko was established in 2011 and is a branch of Hokkaido International School in Sapporo. HIS Niseko and HIS Sapporo are the only international schools on the island of Hokkaido.
HIS has 3 full-time teachers: Early Years, Primary Years and Intermediate Years. Teachers are US, Singaporean, and Australian nationals.
The School Year
The HIS school year is 180 days long and is divided into semesters. Report cards are distributed twice yearly at the end of each semester. Conferences are held mid-semester or at the end of the first and third quarter.
HIS Niseko offers an elementary international curriculum to its students that prepares them for middle school at the Sapporo School. The Language Arts and Maths Curriculum are developed by the Curriculum Team with input and assistance from the classroom teachers. Science, History, Geography, Society, Technology and the Arts are delivered through The International Primary Curriculum (see the section on Academics). All curriculum is resourced with a variety of materials from England, Australia, the United States and Canada. The thematic standard-based units of the IPC allow for easy integration across the subject areas and differentiated learning opportunities.
Our Learning Activities
Students at HIS Niseko have a number of unique opportunities thanks to the wonderful town and natural environment where we are. All of these activities are implemented into our daily, weekly, and monthly routines.
Cooking and Spirit Days
HIS honors the school spirit focus on community and learning by sponsoring spirit days once a month and spirit week twice a year. On spirit days, students are encouraged to wear the school colors of green, white, and black. During spirit week, students and teachers choose fun ways to come together as a community by choosing a theme for each day of the week. Students, faculty, and staff dress accordingly.
Once a month students spend one hour before lunch time preparing a meal together. We are learning the importance of cleanliness, the safety in the kitchen, and how to collaborate together.
As one of the five schools in Niseko town, we have a responsibility to promote international relations. This can be seen when we greet our neighbours when we are outside, and when we share in learning experiences with the local schools. Both of the elementary schools and our school visit each other twice a year and share in the different themes that we are working on. The local junior high school sends students on their internship to spend three whole days on our campus, learning and teaching with us. The local high school comes and plants flowers with us in our garden. We learn about how they grew the flowers during a visit to the high school and then get to see them bloom and grow until September. The highlight of this visit is the soccer game at the end of the day.
In the spring of 2014, we opened up our back yard and planted a great big garden! Fitting in perfectly with our IPC units, we planted more than 30 types of vegetables. In the fall, we harvested and had great lunches of potatoes, corn, squash, carrots, tomatoes and lots of leafy vegetables.
So many of our activities are whole school activities. We have assemblies and recess together, lunches as a group, and many of our classes include everyone from Preschool to grade 6. All of the teachers here know us, and all of them, even the students older than us AND younger than us are our teachers.
Based in Niseko, how could we not have skiing in our program!
Thanks to the generosity of the town and the mountains here, we get out to the slopes as a school three to five times a year, usually for the whole day. Divided up by ability we challenge ourselves to become even better skiers, culminating in the local school ski race. This year we had great results and great progress! (not to mention the great fun!)
Nature is abundant here in Niseko and we have seen much evidence of that during our walks out through the snow in the middle of winter, thanks to our snowshoes. Our latest adventure included a snow picnic on a warm spring day!