by Craig Coutts, Head of School
I write this message at the end of the first week of the term, with real mixed emotions. Over the past four weeks we have completed the packing up of our original campus in Yamate and successfully moved across to our new Campus in Honmoku. Over the winter break faculty and staff unpacked boxes and set up the learning spaces getting everything ready to welcome students and families for our first day on Wednesday January 12. It was a great start with everything falling into place as planned, yet I now find myself writing this at home instead of in my new office due to the continuing effects of the pandemic. We couldn't have asked for a better few days in our new home and like all of you, I hope we will be able to return to face-to-face learning as soon as possible.
Last Wednesday was however an exciting day for our school and our community as the many years of planning came to fruition when our students, and many parents, walked through the gates of our new home. This is a momentous time in the history of YIS as we secure the future for the school with a facility that is designed and built around our philosophy of learning and our desire to work as a community. We were able to operate all aspects of our programme fully from the first day of school and the teachers and students are enjoying exploring their new environment and the addition of greater space, but in particular the new facilities such as the learning hubs, outdoor seating areas, the field, swimming pool, central library space and auditorium. The most welcome feature however is the fact that the whole school is now on the one site and this along with the ability to see the learning through the large glass doors and having the open learning areas, has meant that there is greater crossover and a real sense of community. Have a look at pictures from the first two days of classes in YIS Photos.
Once we return, it will be great to see how our students start to use the new spaces they have and it will be a time of continuous tweaking of layout and planning as we learn how our school works and how we can best take advantage of the space we have. I know teachers and students are all excited to experiment with our new facilities and I look forward to seeing our learning programme develop accordingly as we make the most of all we have available to us now.
It was also lovely to see so many of our parents here on campus on Wednesday as many came to see their children enter our new home for the first time. As I mentioned in previous communications, we have missed this aspect of our community interaction greatly and although we once again have to put things on hold temporarily, we look forward to increased community interaction being the normal way of doing things for us once again in the near future. Many who visited the new campus took advantage of our Dragon Cafe in The Street and sampled the wonderful coffee and pastries and I hope this is something more people can take advantage of soon. Please keep an eye out for the many additional offerings Dragon Dining are planning as they take advantage of their new kitchen. We also have our Community Room adjacent to the Cafeteria, which is your space. Please feel free to use this space for your parent meetings or even if you arrive early and just need a space to wait for a while. We have ordered additional outside seating which will be placed outside the community room and in The Street in the next few months and will provide additional spaces for parents to use.
Thanks to all of you for your support and understanding as we have made adjustments to prepare for our move and also of course as we continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. We will remain in constant communication as we monitor the situation and keep the learning happening.
All the best,