A second sister school partnership in Japan

Mrs Godfrey, Mr Konko and collegues at Radford last week

Mrs Godfrey, Mr Konko and collegues at Radford last week

By Michele Sharp, Japanese teacher

In 2013 the Language Department approached a school in Okayama prefecture, Japan, with the view to form a second sister school partnership in Japan.

Subsequently, last year Mrs Claire Melloy, a group of 10 Radford students and I made an inaugural visit to Konko Gakuen school in Okayama prefecture.

After this very successful visit, the LOTE Department worked to formalise the relationship with an agreement. On Tuesday 14 June, the principal of Konko Gakuen, Mr Konko, made his first visit to Radford College, where a Memorandum of Understanding was signed.

Mr Konko was able to travel to our school as 68 students from his school were on exchange in Cairns. On the day he attended Radford, all 68 Konko students were playing golf - which would be impossible in Japan because of the expense!

This Memorandum of Understanding will promote:

  • exchange of students;
  • exchange of staff members; and
  • other academic exchanges deemed appropriate by both parties.

Konko is a school similar to Radford in that it is a co-educational private school which is attached to the Konkokyo faith in Japan. This belief system centres on the betterment of human life in this world by gratitude, forgiveness and mutual help and prayer. They have a broad co-curricular program and excel in academic results.

We are hoping to host the first group of students from Konko in March next year with a reciprocal visit by our Year 10 Japanese students in September.

Year 9 classes have already been enjoying Skype exchanges with Konko students and the Languages Department is looking forward to enhancing language and cultural skills learnt in the classroom with authentic exchanges a global partnership such as this can facilitate.

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