Shizuoka Salesio College relationship

At the 7-10 Assembly this week, Harry Breslin (Year 9), Mrs Susie Allan and I had the pleasure of sharing some of our experiences from our recent Japan Study Tour. You can read a more detailed summary of the trip later in this newsletter.

Whilst on the study tour, we had the opportunity to visit Shizuoka Salesio College, our new sister school. Last year, Ms Gilligan went to visit a number of schools across Japan and has successfully established a relationship with Salesio College.

During our study tour, seven of our travellers had the opportunity to take part in a homestay program with students and families from Salesio College. We were warmly welcomed by the community and at their assembly, were presented with a lovely plate depicting Mount Fuji. I had the pleasure of presenting this gift to Ms Gilligan at our assembly on Wednesday as a representation of our partnership becoming official.

On top of the homestay program, our Year 8 Humanities classes will be taking part in the Tank-u Project later this year, where students and teachers from Dominic and Salesio will be working collaboratively via Skype on a common project and course work.

Further to this, we currently have Mr Mike O’Brien, Director of Creative Arts K-10 working at Salesio in our inaugural teacher exchange program. In Term 3 we will be welcoming a teacher from Salesio to work as a teacher assistant at Dominic.

Opportunities such as these, help us to raise our cultural awareness of other countries, and work in partnership to become active global learners.

I would like to express my gratitude to Mr Koji Sueyoshi (Principal), Mr Akira Taniguchi (Vice Principal) and all the staff, students and parents for welcoming us so warmly into their school community.

We look forward to sharing more about our work with Salesio College in the near future.

Mr Steve Casni - Deputy Principal

Shizuoka Salesio Exchange - Week 1

First day at school is something we can all relate to. Feelings of apprehension. Anticipating what it will be like. Where will everything be? How will I get around? How will I ever be able to remember everyone’s names? I have to admit to some of these feelings.

My first day at Shizuoka Salesio however, I’m pleased to say, was a great experience. After being met getting off the Shinkansen, the bullet train from Tokyo, by the principal Mr Sueyoshi, in no time I had toured he school, had a place in the staff room, been given my inside slippers, sat in on classes and met some of the students.

The school is K to 12, with a total enrolment of around 1000. I will be assisting in the middle school with Years 5-8. The school day runs from 8.30am until 6pm. Classes run Monday to Saturday, with a 12pm early finish on Saturday.

Day 2 began with an early morning wake up walk around the local area. It’s very different to Toyko.

The scale is smaller, even though the population of Shizuoka is 3½ million people. Most buildings are not much more than two stories, with winding streets and a mixture houses and light to heavy industry. A highlight was walking down the main street seeing Mt Fuji appear between the buildings framed by advertising billboards.

After being an honoured guest and speaking at an assembly, I taught three drama lessons to Year 7 and Year 8 classes. The students are remarkably responsive and enjoyed the novelty of moving desks aside and working in a circle.

Plans are afoot as to what we might be able to do drama-wise with some upcoming school festivals.

It’s been a hectic but exciting. The staff at Shizouka Salesio are a wonderful example of the Salesian ethos. The student and teacher interaction in the classroom, corridors and outdoor areas is wonderful to witness. The Principal, Mr Sueyoshi and Vice-Principals, Mrs Masako Aono and Mr Akira Taniguchi have been extraordinary, going out of their way to make me feel welcomed and at home. It has been a great start.

Mr Mike O’Brien - Director of Creative Arts K-10