A number of parents have approached me about preparing their children for different sacraments in the Catholic Church. The classes will beging shortly. If you would like to discuss anything related to this with me please come and find me around the chapel area each morning over the coming week. The suggested date for the Mass of First Communion and Confirmation is Friday 10th May at 3.45 pm.
On Saturday 8th December 2018, Saint Maur Elementary and Middle School students attended the KIST Lego Jousting Robotics Competition.
This event requires students to build and program their own autonomous jousting robots, complete with a lance for attack and a Lego Knight which must be knocked off the opponent's platform.
This great event offers the opportunity for our students to collaborate and learn with students from K. International School, Yokoda Middle School and Yokosuka Middle School.
As always our students demonstrated the spirit of fun and learning, with statements such as ‘I am glad that my robot got damaged in my duel, because now I know what I need to improve’. This type of growth mindset and resilience is exactly what our future engineers and computer scientists need to develop, and so the day was a great success.
As usual, Saint Maur took a number of awards at the competition including;
- 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for the Elementary battles
- The Middle School Design Award
- The Middle and Elementary School Sportsmanship and Teamwork Awards
A big thank you to all the students, staff and parents involved.
This year's Montessori and Elementary School Christmas Concert showcased the creativity and class spirit of each homeroom class. The auditorium was packed with proud parents, children, and members of the school community who were thoroughly entertained by the diverse entries.
Thank you to all our talented students, staff and parents who made this concert possible!
This Sunday, December 9th, twenty seven Saint Maur students will perform at the 'Motomachi Christmas Twinkle'. Our students will perform Christmas Carols to collect funds for the next Music trip to Europe. The performance will take place near the Union supermarket in Motomachi and these are the performance times of our students:
- Performance 1 - 14:00-14:30
- Performance 2 - 15:15-15:45
- Performance 3 - 16:30-17:00
Come along this Sunday to get into the Christmas mood and to support our students in their fundraising campaign and showcasing their musical skills!
This year the Saint Maur Speech Contest team had a remarkably successful day at the annual competition, hosted by Seisen International School on Saturday 17 November 2018. A wonderful atmosphere was created by talented and enthusiastic students competing in a spirit of intensity and friendship. Our overall total was 67 points, placing us second amongst the six competing schools. This was 15 points higher than our third-place finish in 2017, and it also exceeded the 65 points that we scored in 2016 and the 66 points accumulated in 2014 when we tied for second place.
This year’s point results are our best in over 15 years! This is especially outstanding, considering that Saint Maur is the smallest of the participating schools. It can also be said (and was, by several observers) that our team spirit and attitude, and the organization of our practices and coaching, are quite different from those of some of the larger schools.
The overall winner was St Mary’s International School, with 77 points. Saint Maur was followed in third place by the International School of the Sacred Heart (ISSH), with 49 points. Christian Academy of Japan (CAJ) improved from 2017’s last-place finish to come fourth, scoring 39 points. The host, Seisen International School, earned 36 points and a fifth-place spot. A surprisingly depleted team from the American School in Japan (ASIJ), the defending champions from 2017, scored 31 points to bring up the rear.
The twenty-three Saint Maur contestants won medals in all nine of the speech categories, including two Bronze Medals, five Silver Medals, and ten Gold Medals (six more than last year). The Multiple Reading Team was further honored by selection for an encore performance at the end of the competition, in front of hundreds of students and teachers. One of our Gold Medal contestants, Sherika Boliko, was singled out with an All-Star Award for the most impressive performance in her category.
The Saint Maur Speech Team continued its inclusive tradition, with members of many nationalities and cultures, and as always our team was the most balanced between boys and girls of all the co-educational schools. The contestants spanned the age range from Grades 6 through 12, including three Middle School students, with a balance of youth and experience that leads to continued success. However, they included only two 12th graders, meaning that next year’s team can welcome back many seasoned veterans to build on this year’s success.
The achievements of our students are due to their talent and hard work, practising despite their many other academic and club commitments, and to the dedication of the many teachers who volunteered to coach them. The higher standard of quality demonstrated by the participants from all schools is shown by the increase in Gold Medals, which are awarded for meeting a fixed standard, rather than limited by a numerical quota.
The whole Speech Team offers its gratitude to the Head Coach, Mr Nicolas Gregoriades. Together he organized the entire team, the auditions, and the rehearsals as always, while also coaching four categories. It should be noted that he was simultaneously in the final stages of production of two different versions of 1984, which faced the footlights the following weekend! Not only is he directing both versions, but he also adapted them from George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel.
The twenty-three contestants representing Saint Maur had the benefit of individualized coaching and judging by a total of fifteen teachers, including three who joined the school this year. As usual, this was far more than any other KPASS school.
DRAMATIC DUO (Coached by Mr Peter Chalmers and Mr Nicolas Gregoriades)
- GOLD MEDAL: Miriam and Ava
- BRONZE MEDAL: Yūki and Ruri
- Yūki and Ruri made their debuts this year, while Ava won her second Gold and Miriam improved from last year’s Silver Medal.
ORIGINAL INFORMATIVE (Coached by Mr Brendan Agnew and Ms Tamara Bosnič)
- GOLD MEDAL: Karen
- SILVER MEDAL: Kyusok
- Kyusok won a Bronze Medal in this category last year, while Karen made a successful first appearance.
STORYTELLING (Coached by Ms Alka Almoula)
- GOLD MEDAL and KPASS ALL-STAR: Sherika
- GOLD MEDAL: Shraddha
- This was Sherika’s second Gold Medal in Storytelling and her third overall in three years of competition. Shraddha’s first performance was a great success.
MULTIPLE READING (Coached by Mr Nicolas Gregoriades)
- TEAM GOLD MEDAL: Sophia, Luis, Yōko, Miyu, Rui
- In 2016 Mr G recruited a team of 9th graders to begin building a new Multiple dynasties, striking Gold in their first attempt. Three of them are still on the squad this year—Yōko, Miyu, and Rui—joined in 2017 by Sophia and this year by Luis, both of whom had won Humorous Gold Medals in 2016. With a performance that required split-second timing and technical skill, they were a hit with the crowd and won a well-deserved Gold Medal. Since they were chosen for an encore performance at the end of the day, they were seen by over 400 students and adults.
ORIGINAL PERSUASIVE (Coached by Mr Campbell Boyd and Ms Catrina Martin)
- SILVER MEDAL: Luna
- BRONZE MEDAL: Pavlo
- Luna won her second consecutive Silver Medal, and Pavlo persuaded the judges and the audience of his merit.
POETRY INTERPRETATION (Coached by Mr Ross Jonas and Mr David So)
- GOLD MEDAL: Sarah
- SILVER MEDAL: Yoonji
- Sarah struck Gold in her first year, while Yoonji is one of the most experienced performers, winning four Medals in four years, including three in Poetry.
HUMOROUS (Coached by Mr Nicolas Gregoriades)
- GOLD MEDAL: Jan
- GOLD MEDAL: Yūka
- Both medalists delighted their audiences. Jan won his second Humorous Gold Medal in a row, while Yūka won her second in two categories. This was one of the three categories in which both contestants won Gold Medals.
DRAMATIC INTERPRETATION (Coached by Ms Nickie Wong and Mr Nicolas Gregoriades)
- SILVER MEDAL: Kirari
- SILVER MEDAL: Charles
- Charles made his Speech debut, while Kirari has won four Medals of every color in four years, including three in the Persuasive category.
EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING (Coached by Ms Suzanne Seddon)
- GOLD MEDAL: Pyokyeong
- GOLD MEDAL: Maverick
- In three years, Pyokyeong has won Bronze, Silver, and now Gold Medals. Maverick improved in his second year to win the top honors as well. Not only were these our first Gold Medals in this gruelling category since 2012, but this was also the first time that both contestants had won Gold since 1998!
JUDGES from Saint Maur: Ms Alka Almoula (Dramatic Interpretation), Ms Meena Beardsley (Humorous), Mr Nicolas Gregoriades (Poetry Interpretation), Ms Jennifer Schumacher (Multiple Reading), Mr Glenn Scoggins (Extemporaneous Speaking), and Ms Susan Yamada (Original Informative)
The Lantau Island Irish Dance Feis (Competition) in Hong Kong took place on October 27th, 2018 with the performance of four Saint Maur students: Gr. 4 Aya, Gr. 7 Rio and Rin, and Gr. 9 Anna.
In this competition, approximately 100 dancers from Japan, China-Shanghai, Taiwan and Hong Kong performed. Our students challenged their technique, knowledge and experience in different categories bringing home a number of medals and trophies.
The youngest of the four students, Gr. 4 Aya, has been dancing since Gr. 2 when she first saw her friends Irish dancing at the Elementary School Club. She joined the club and in no time, she learned the steps and was competing for the first time at the Irish Dance Feis in Taiwan. “I was very nervous and did not win. But what I learned in the Taiwan competition helped me perform better this year with more confidence and I won ten medals and a trophy, one of which was 1st place,” said Aya proudly after competing in eleven categories of her age group. She would like to continue dancing and learn more steps to perform in the advanced levels. She enjoys Irish Dance with heavy shoes and making new friends when she attends a competition.
Gr. 7 Rin started dancing when she was in Gr. 1. She is also a member of the Irish Dance Club and takes additional classes during the week. Her experience in competition is amazing; she competed in the 2017 Mainland European and Asian Irish Dancing Championships in Gdynia, Poland where she earned the right to compete in the 48th World Irish Dancing Championships 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. In Hong Kong, Rin competed in two Open and one Premier Championship categories winning 1st, 3rd and 5th place. Because she was able to perform during the summer with the Trinity Irish Dance Company in Japan, it gave her the opportunity to learn and polish even more her technique in dancing. “This experience gave me more confidence when competing and I am very happy with the results. I look forward to the 2018 Mainland European Irish Dancing Championship in Amsterdam this November and hope to win 1st or 2nd place to compete in the 2019 World Irish Dancing Championships,” expressed Rin.
Gr. 1 was the key for Rio, now in Gr. 7 to start Irish dance, enjoying the jig and excitement the competitions brought to her. “”Learning from others at the Lantau Island Irish Dance Feis was one of my goals. It inspired me to continue practicing more so I can become a better dancer and perform in the European competition. It is really wonderful to know people that are all around the world,” said Rio. She performed in the Open and Premier Championship categories, also returning home with several medals and a trophy.
Last but not least, Gr. 9 Anna has been dancing since the end of Gr. 1 when she first came to Saint Maur and joined the Irish Dance Club after seeing her friends perform the steps of the Irish jig. Two years into the Club, she decided to take Irish dancing seriously, begun practicing up to three times a week taking her to her first competition in Gr. 4. After a couple of Irish Dance Feis, this year, she performed at her third competition winning 5th place in the Premier Championship category dancing the Slip Jig and Heavy Jig. “I enjoy dancing and meeting many other dancers from different countries which has taught me that we experience and struggle with much alike aspects of Irish Dance. I like to interact with others who have similar interests as I do and learn from them to be a better dancer for the next feis,” said Anna. Because Anna was able to experience in yet another competition she will be performing in the 2018 Mainland European Irish Dancing Championship in Amsterdam this November as well.
Ms. Tomoko Shirasawa is the instructor of the Saint Maur Irish Dance Club and Head of the Ardagh School of Irish Dance, based in Tokyo for almost 10 years. Registered in the Irish Dance Commission in Ireland, our club members have been fortunate to receive instruction from Ms. Shirasawa. Through her involvement with the Saint Maur Irish Dance Club, Ms. Shirasawa has enabled Saint Maur to expand from a rogue Irish Dance Club to a proper performing and competitive Irish Dance Community with levels from beginner to this championship.
This year, 12 dancers from the Ardagh School of Irish Dance performed in this competition. “Aya, Rin, Rio and Anna did a great job and made friends there. I am very proud of them and excited that Aya and Rio escalated to the next level which is very important for an Irish dancer. Furthermore, Rin and Anna are performing in the 2018 European and Asian Championships which will be held in Amsterdam from November 30th to December 2nd. The winners of this competition will be able to perform at the 2019 World Irish Dancing Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.,” said Ms. Shirasawa.
We are very proud and congratulate Aya, Rin, Rio and Anna for representing our school and achieving important results in the Irish Dance competitions.
Good luck to Rin and Anna at the European and Asian Championships!
Read more about Irish Dance:
- The "Olympics" of Irish Dancing - Posted by Gabriela Osada on Monday, April 16, 2018
- A Successful O'Keeffe Irish Dance Celebration - Posted by Gabriela Osada on Monday, April 2, 2018
- Seventh Annual O'Keeffe Irish Dance Celebration - Posted on Friday, March 2, 2018
- Rin and Lea, Japan's best positions in the 2017 Irish Dancing Championship - Posted by Gabriela Osada on Friday, November 17, 2017
Saint Maur hosted its annual Yokohama College Fair on Wednesday 14 November 2018. This Fair brings together universities in Japan which offer four-year degree programs taught in English with September admission, open to graduates of international schools, and this is the 13th year in a row that it has been held at Saint Maur. The attendees included 44 admission personnel and professors from 22 universities from every region of Japan, as well as a total of 238 students, 20 parents, and 18 counselors from 13 schools.
This is the only event of its kind held in all of Japan. The atmosphere was lively and stimulating, as students and parents thronged around the tables of each of the universities, learning about the unique programs offered by each one. Grade 12 students focused on the universities where they had already decided to apply, asking the admissions staff specific and concrete questions about the application process. The event was, by all accounts, a great success. It will be held again next November.Glenn Scoggins
We are proud to announce the printing of Anna and Haruka's (Grade 9) essays on Children's Literary Journal "Peace" (Vol.23).
The two students wrote essays in their Japanese class with Mrs. Uehara, on their hopes for creating a world without wars, and living in peace.
The journal was finally published this summer by Zaidanhoujin Heiwakyoukai (Peace Association), a foundation aiming to nurture key traits of peace protectors in children. A copy of the book is displayed on the Japanese Bookshelf outside of N-5 for anyone to read.
The documentary "Ray Richardson : Our side of the water" will be screened this Thursday 15th November at the Auditorium of Saint Maur International School in two occasions at 08:20 and 13:35. The film Director Mrs. Degraeve (Belgium) will be present to talk about the documentary and answer questions from the audience.
Join us at the Auditorium for either of the above two projections. Free entrance!
She is supported in Japan by Paxo studio Art Production and the Belgium Embassy.
The documentary has been selected over 1066 films at the BRUSSELS SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (http://bsff.be/en/) last April, it has been selected for the "Liverpool Film Festival" last October as well as selected at Minsk International Film Festival this November !!
On Sunday 11th November 2018, the French school students participated in the 100th Anniversary ceremony at the Yokohama Foreign Cemetery to commemorate the end of World War One (1914-1918), also called "The war to end all wars".
The ceremony, under clear skies and a warm weather was well attended by members of the French community and was honored by the presence of both the French and German Ambassadors who laid wreaths on behalf of each country by the French cenotaph, following a wreath laying ceremony at the German quarter of the same cemetery.
Both ambassadors highlighted in their addresses the need to fight for peace and reconciliation and to refrain from antagonistic behavior. Father Charignon, also addressed the attendees reminding all of the importance of forgiveness and love for your neighbor.
Two musician from the visiting Bagad de Lan-Bihoue played music before the students of the French school of Saint Maur International School sang the "Marseillaise" (National French Anthem) to the audience.
A moving letter for a soldier witnessing the end of the war was read to the audience by one of the Cadet from the Saint-Cyr Military school, stationed in Japan.
In closing, everybody moved to the inter-allied monument at the entrance to the cemetery, where the last wreath was laid by both ambassadors.
A picture album of the ceremony can be viewed here, thanks to Mr. Potier and Mr. Gabet's contributions.
Thank you to all who participated and to Mr. Kebe for taking the time to organize the choral on a Sunday morning.