Oakleigh Primary School offers an exciting and progressive Japanese program, which introduces students to the language and culture of Japan.

Students from Foundation to Year Six learn Japanese once a week, with an emphasis on listening and speaking. Language classes provide a lively and stimulating environment, where students enjoy communicating in Japanese through role plays, interviews, songs and language games. Students are introduced to hiragana characters (which form the Japanese alphabet) in Year One and continue to read and write the script throughout the school.

Other curriculum areas, such as ICT, Music, Drama and Visual Arts, are incorporated into the Japanese program, which enables students to experience the vibrant culture of Japan. Students can sing and dance to festival music, act out plays from traditional folk tales and visit the National Gallery of Victoria to learn about Japanese art.

Students are involved in biannual Japanese cultural days, where they experience unique Japanese taiko drumming and traditional sports. Hands on activities, including Japanese cooking, origami, calligraphy and manga drawing, enrich a student’s study of the language.

Oakleigh Primary School has developed a relationship with two sister schools in Japan, Noukendai Elementary School in the city of Yokohama and Showa Elementary School in the countryside of Okayama Prefecture. Students exchange letters, cards, pictures and videos with students from our sister schools. Year Five and Year Six students participate in regular online Skype conversations with Noukendai Elementary School students, which develop a greater intercultural understanding between our schools.

I no naka no kaeru taikai-o shirazu.
— A frog in a well does not know the great ocean.