Welcome To YIS
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the YIS website and introduce you briefly to the school. In 1924, a group of parents joined together to start a not-for-profit ‘international school’ here on the Bluff in Yokohama. Their goal was to create a new type of school, not connected with any government or religious order,
but based upon the ideals of internationalism. This group proved to be real pioneers, as YIS became the second school in the world to incorporate the word 'international' in its title (Geneva International School independently opened just weeks prior to us on the other side of the world). The ideals of internationalism continue to flourish here and YIS has matured into what many consider to be one of the top international schools of its size in Asia. Today, as much as ever, we remain committed to the mission of enabling our students to ‘fulfill their human potential as responsible global citizens’.
While celebrating our heritage, we also know that we must evolve if we are to fulfill our mission and ensure our students are prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. Today, if you tour the school, you will see our students working collaboratively in groups, creatively thinking through problems, using the latest technology and media, and communicating confidently and effectively. As a school we are committed to moving forward. For example, in 2011-12 we have launched the Connected Learning Community, which, among other things, sees all middle and high school students issued laptops. This year we are also initiating the Global Citizen Diploma, a unique new credential that aims to complement the IB Diploma and foster the skills and experiences that create globally aware and accomplished graduates. Our newly launched International Center for Japanese Culture offers students and the wider YIS community a broad range of courses and activities to connect with our host Japanese culture. We also have a new cafeteria service that promises to be second to none, with two qualified chefs who are passionate about providing fresh, creative, nutritious and environmentally responsible food service.
As you can see in the Academics section of our website, we offer a top-notch academic program, centering on the International Baccalaureate curriculum and including all three of the IB programs (PYP, MYP and DP). In the middle and high school, we offer over 80 different courses, allowing our students to pursue a range of academic pathways. In the elementary school we have specialist teachers for the dramatic arts, visual arts, music, physical education and languages. Our graduates matriculate to leading universities around the world and our IB diploma score average was 32 in 2012, well above the global average of 29 and a very favorable score relative to other international schools. (Click here for further information on YIS students' academic achievement.) However, while academic rigor is an essential part of schooling, this alone does not make a great school. At the heart of our YIS education is balance and we offer an incredibly wide range of activities for students of all ages in fitting with our belief that learning in the 21st century is not restricted to a classroom.
Something that is more difficult to convey in writing, but
as important as anything previously mentioned, is the family-like atmosphere at YIS. Yokohama is a great city for families (and only a short commute to Tokyo) and this undoubtedly helps foster our sense of community at YIS. Our teachers, who come from 14 different countries, care deeply about the students and have a sincere passion for their life’s work. There is a fantastic international mix of students (from over 40 different countries at last count), which creates a dynamic learning environment and a great social setting. If you ask our students, I think almost all would tell you they genuinely like going to school at YIS. These are not things that can be described on a website easily, but they are the intangibles that go so far in defining who we are and how we touch our students’ lives.
We are committed to providing the best possible education for our students, now and in the future, while remaining faithful to the ideals upon which we were founded. I think our founders would approve.
Head of School