Message from Craig Coutts: A Week to Remember
Posted 12/03/2013 01:17PM

Dear Parents:


I love my job and last week is a great example why I love it so. Working in such a dynamic school is a real privilege so if you can indulge me for a minute or two, I would like to tell you about some highlights of the week past.


On Monday leaders from two prestigious international schools, one in Europe and one in South East Asia, visited us to talk about the Global Citizen Diploma and work through the program together to formulate it in a shared context. We had great conversations and concluded an agreement for these two schools to take on the GCD for the next academic year. Stay tuned for further updates on this alliance.  Speaking of cooperative relationships, on Monday I also had the opportunity to pay a quick visit to Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi, who reinforced the reputation and value that YIS brings to the city.


Tuesday was punctuated with a meeting looking at the strategic direction of the school with the Board of Directors. The rich and varied conversations we had that evening were fueled by an obvious passion from everyone in the room to continue and further develop school’s position as a leader in international education.


At the end of a full Wednesday of meetings and working with some of the elementary students on their photography, I had the pleasure of spending an hour at ICJC with my wife and daughter learning about the art of tea. It may not have been the most comfortable hour I have spent (sitting on tatami mats is an acquired skill, I think), but it was certainly hugely interesting and gave me yet one more reason to appreciate what an amazing country we are living in.


Thursday was my day for getting into classrooms as much as I could and having a chance to talk to our students. The range, level and creative ways of learning taking place at YIS are truly impressive. Some of this time was also spent reading the impressive GCD blogs of our grade 12 students and finding out more about the varied achievements they have accomplished in their time as high school students at YIS.


 started off hearing grade 5 students talking to the elementary school about the service projects they have completed through KIVA, a crowdsourced microfinance organization that helps people in need around the world. From there I went straight into making trays and trays of onigiri with our middle school students for them to take to their local service activity at the Chiku Centre. Not only did I learn a new skill (not that I could claim I am very good at it still) but it was such a pleasure working with the students and having them doing the teaching and guiding. Of course we finished the week with Play, Perform and Create, our middle and high school concert. It was a fantastic display of talent and a wonderful way to finish a full and fascinating week here at YIS.



 Please note two more concerts that will be taking place before the Winter Break:

  • Thursday Dec 5: Winter Koto Concert at Kenmin Kyosai Mirai Hall
  • Tuesday Dec. 10: YIS Alumnus Christopher Gibson's Cello Recital in the Auditorium

Enjoy the remaining time before the Winter Break.




Craig Coutts

Head of School