Throughout the course of this week, the College is hosting 22 students and two staff from our sister school in Japan, Toryo High School. Our warmest greetings are extended to them, including Vice Principal, Mr Takeshi Sanada.

I had the privilege of travelling with our contingent to Japan last year to Toryo High School and witnessed then firsthand, the deep respect for which they hold our community. It is a wonderful blessing to each member of our College that we have an opportunity to extend this same welcome in return and develop a deeper understanding of each other’s culture, language and heritage.

Our partnership with Toryo High School is critical and allows students in both schools to immerse themselves for an intensive period in the community of the language they are studying. Students are strongly encouraged to communicate in the home school language and embrace the opportunities afforded to them.

Beyond the realms of deepening our language and understanding of culture however, we also form a deeper friendship that extends beyond the months where we are miles apart. This friendship is enhanced with every visit. During this visit, plans have been confirmed for our return trip in April 2018, with what is looking like our largest contingent of students yet to take up this significant cultural learning opportunity.

I extend my thanks to all families in our community who have opened their own homes to the students and staff of Toryo High School this week and embraced the visit of our Japanese sisters and brothers. Also we thank Mr Peter Ward, Ms Edwinna Lee and Mr Jeff Wong, our Japanese staff for their organisation and coordination of the visit this week.

Listening to our guests speak Japanese, seeing their humble and patient interactions and witnessing their energetic passion for life is inspiring and reminds each of us of the value of learning other languages. For students coming through our own College, may you be encouraged in your study of Japanese and place on your radar the possibility of one day immersing yourself in Japan!

The visit by students from Toryo High School this week has reminded us of our 2017 theme – Live. Love. Learn. By taking a risk in their learning, the students from Toryo have bought to life their learning experiences on the other side of the world. The love of our families in extending their care and support for students is evident from day one and importantly both the students from Toryo, and our students, conclude the week with new and meaningful learning experiences that stretch far beyond the four walls of a classroom.

Arigatou gozaimashita!

Mr Cain McDonald

PICTURED: Mr Cain McDonald and Toryo High School Vice Principal, Mr Takeshi Sanada.


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