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Japanese Tasters for Schools (JTS) Sessions in 2017
31/01/2017


Paralympian gold medalist Noel Thatcher MBE teaching a volunteer Japanese taster at Randal Cremer Primary School in Hackney


These are some of the Japanese taster sessions that our volunteers in the Japanese Tasters for Schools (JTS) Programme have held in schools around the UK this year so far. We would like to thank all the volunteers for their extremely hard work on the programme!


If you would like to arrange a Japanese Taster Session at your school, or if you speak good Japanese and you would like to become a JTS volunteer yourself, click here to find out more about the JTS Programme.


Darrick Wood School, 6 July
Secondary Academy in Bromley
Aims of taster: Part of an International Day
Activities in taster: Japanese greetings, Japanese numbers, self introductions in Japanese, quiz about Japan, origami, introduction to Japanese writing
Feedback: "The pupils really enjoyed the lessons and teachers present were very impressed. We are very grateful to the teachers who came in to deliver them." (Mrs Hobson, Head of Languages)
Notes: This school has taught Japanese in the past and are considering options for offering Japanese again


St Philip and James' Church of England Aided Primary School Oxford, 3 July
Voluntary Aided Primary School in Oxfordshire
Aims of taster: There are a small number of pupils at the school whose parents are Japanese
Activities in taster: Japanese greetings, Japanese numbers, body parts in Japanese,  singing “atama, kata, hiza, ashi” (Head, shoulders, knees and toes in Japanese), Japanese calligraphy
Feedback: " "Children responded well to the activities. They enjoyed speaking and singing in Japanese and writing their own names. Several said they would like to continue learning Japanese at school. The "Atama, kata, hiza, ashi" song really stuck in their heads.” (Mrs Poole, Teacher and MFL Coordinator)
Notes: This school has since expressed an interest in launching a Japanese club.


Swaythling Primary School, 28 June
Community Primary School in Southampton
Aims of taster: The schools has a 2 year rolling curriculum with pupils studying the book Kensuke's Kingdom, which features Japanese language. Additionally, the school holds a Festival of Culture each year when each class has a country to study. A Japanese language taster would help to support both themes.
Activities in taster: Introduction to Japan, trying on kimono, learning about Japanese schools, greetings in Japanese, numbers in Japanese, learning about kanji characters, writing names in Japanese, origami, chopsticks
Feedback: "It was a fantastic taster day which gave the children a mixture of activities. They were able to learn lots and ask questions."


Stivichall Primary School, 25 May
Community Primary School in Coventry
Aims of taster: The Headteacher visited Japan last October with Japan Foundation. They also have link with the local Howes Primary School , which teaches Japanese. The school are therefore interested in exploring the potential for launching Japanese classes themselves.
Activities in taster: Introduction to Japan, Japanese numbers, “karuta” and bingo games, Japanese greetings, body parts in Japanese, origami
Feedback: "The teachers arrived promptly and were extremely friendly and engaging. They were very courteous to all our other guests, staff and children. The taster sessions were lively and our teachers and children said that they found the lessons interesting and learnt some Japanese. The children really enjoyed learning about Japanese culture and history. We all very much enjoyed seeing the teachers in traditional costume and the artefacts they brought into share. Lessons were taught in a fun and interactive way, with singing and actions.”
Notes: The school are investigating the possibility of launching a Japanese club.


Eastling Primary School, 2 May
Community Primary School in Kent
Aims of taster: To form part of the pupils’ learning about the wider world and developing rural children's knowledge and experience of different international cultures
Activities in taster: Japanese greetings, Japanese numbers, Japanese song, introduction to Japanese life and culture
Feedback: "Very satisfied.” (Mr Walsh, Headteacher)


Fairlawn Primary School, 3 March
Community Primary School in Lewisham
Aims of taster: The children are currently studying the book “Kensuke’s Kingdom” which features Japanese language. The Japanese taster linked into this topic.
Activities in taster: Japanese greetings, introduction to Japanese writing with song, writing some basic Japanese, learning about the Japanese festivals of Hinamatsuri and Kodomo no Hi.
Feedback: "Great engagement from the children. Really well led session that engaged all learners. Children found the session really exciting and were happy to learn greetings and about the alphabet. Really engaged them in our topic and about languages in general." (Mr Evans, Class Teacher)


Boughton Monchelsea Primary School, 21 February
Community Primary School in Kent
Aims of taster: The school has a child who has family from Japan and they thought that it would be nice for the other children to learn all about their culture
Activities in taster: Introduction to Japan, greetings in Japanese, numbers 1-10 in Japanese, explanation about the Japanese festival “Kodomo no Hi” (Children’s Day) and making a Kodomo No Hi carp streamer.
Feedback: "The children thoroughly enjoyed the taster session. The volunteer ensured that her lesson had the right amount of pace, particularly for each of the different age groups. The volunteer made her sessions interactive for the children which they really loved. They have been trying out the different greetings at different opportunities during the school day.” (Mrs Rose, KS1 leader and Year 2 teacher)
Notes: The children are now looking forward to celebrating 'Children's Day' in May.


Dartford Science & Technology College, 21 February
Foundation Secondary School in Kent
Aims of taster: Hoping to lead towards staple Japanese enrichment activity.
Activities in taster: Introduction to Japan, greetings in Japanese, numbers 1-10 in Japanese, making origami hearts
Feedback: “"Students were very engaged” (Mrs Cordery,  Director of Learning for MFL)
Notes: Following the taster, the school has expressed a keen interest in launching a Japanese club


Temple Ewell Church of England Primary School, 8 February
Primary Academy in Kent
Activities in taster: Greetings, self-introductions in Japanese, colours in Japanese, making origami planes
Feedback: "The children thoroughly enjoyed working with Aiko. We had an Ofsted inspection at the time - they were very impressed and it is mentioned in the report."” (Mrs Matthews, Head of School) – You can view the school’s Ofsted report here (the taster is mentioned on Page 4)
Notes: The school has since expressed an interest in launching a Japanese club


Holtspur School, 7 February
Community Primary School in Buckinghamshire
Aims of taster: Part of term topic on Japan
Activities in taster: Looking at volcanoes in Japan, introduction to Japanese writing, introduction to Japanese seasons and culture, greetings in Japanese, trying Japanese writing
Feedback: “The volunteer was very approachable and delivered a great session."
Notes: Following the taster, the school has expressed an interest in doing more work with Japanese language and culture.


Randal Cremer Primary School, 6 February
Community Primary School in Hackney
Aims of taster: Linking to the topic of robots, with a focus of robots in Japan
Activities in taster: Introduction to Japan, greetings in Japanese and bowing, Japanese numbers
Feedback: "Noel and Kanako were fantastic volunteers. They were so enthusiastic and really engaged the children in the learning. Noel was so kind to bring resources with him and the powerpoints were really interesting and informative. Many thanks!" (Miss Ekers, Class Teacher)
Notes: The lead volunteer for this taster, Noel Thatcher MBE, is a Paralympic gold medallist and fluent Japanese speaker who has previously supported the Japan Foundation at other events such as the Language Show Live. During his taster, the pupils also got to hear about his experiences in Japan and see his gold medals! 


Japanese taster at Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, January 2017. From This Is Wiltshire.


Japanese taster at Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, January 2017. 
From 
This Is Wiltshire.


Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, 27 January
Primary Academy in Swindon
Aims of taster: Part of an International Day
Activities in taster: Introduction to Japan, greetings in Japanese and bowing, origami, names and sounds of animals in Japanese, counting in Japanese, writing in Japanese
Feedback: " The PowerPoint produced by our volunteer was excellent and child friendly. The children were inspired to repeat Japanese spoken words by listening and repeating the language... Japanese day was enjoyed by all pupils."
Notes: The visit was reported in the local press, This Is Wiltshire


Eldersfield Lawn CofE Primary School, 13 January
Voluntary Controlled Primary School in Worcestershire
Aims of taster: Part of a Japanese Day. The Headteacher had recently returned from a trip to Japan through the Japan Foundation’s Group Tour Programme for Headteachers. He had given the pupils a taste of  his visit and they are were keen to learn more about Japanese culture and its language
Activities in taster: Japanese greetings, bowing,  quiz about Japanese culture, numbers in Japanese, origami
Notes: The school has said that it is keen to start Japanese lessons