Thanks to our sponsor, The Japan Foundation, and past help from the Sasakawa Foundation we are able to run a lunchtime speaking club run by a Japanese mother tongue speaker. Students have also benefited from new textbooks, kanji books and exercise books.
The teaching of Japanese has been growing steadily at TGS and there are now 19 students in Year 10 who have selected Japanese as their non-assessed CAS activity, while there are 24 students across Y12 and Y13 studying it at Ab Initio level for the IBDP.
For the past 8 years the Tonbridge Grammar School’s lunchtime ‘Japan Club’ has consistently had a healthy membership of students interested in Japanese language, culture, history and music. This has been run by Mr Tothill who lived in Japan for two years and Mrs Tsukada-Bright who has additionally run a separate programme of weekly session as part of the TGS Action! elective programme for Years 7 & 8.
This year, for the first time, TGS is running a school visit to Japan. 26 students (from Y10-12) and 3 members of staff, will travel the country to experience the language, history, cuisine and culture over 12 days during the 2019 summer holiday.
Mr Tothill, who has masterminded the trip, says: “This visit has been years in the planning and a vast range of contrasting stops has been squeezed into the schedule. This will enable the students to learn about many of the fascinating elements of a beautiful culture which is futuristic yet at the same time, strongly connected to its past and traditions. For the Y12s who are studying the language it will be a chance to put into practice what they have learned over the course of the year and for those in the lower years we hope it will inspire them to select Ab Initio Japanese as part of their IBDP.”
“As we aim to prepare our students to become global citizens, the study of an oriental language such as Japanese is crucial to develop a genuine appreciation of a different way of thinking and interpreting the world. By offering our students this opportunity we are giving them life chances that will take further on their language journey”. Mrs N Lawrence – Subject Leader for MFL