On 16 February 2017, we welcomed 41 students and 5 educators from Koishikawa Secondary Education School (Tokyo, Japan). The visit was an educational and cultural exchange, providing our students with the opportunity to learn about the Japanese education system, understand Japanese culture, and build positive relationships with the Japanese students.  

The programme commenced with an exchange of greetings from both schools, with Mdm Sung, Principal of Hong Kah Secondary School, giving the welcome address. Our students, Shafiq and Aqifah from 3E2A, gave a brief introduction of our school and the Co-Curricular Activities we offer. Likewise, the Japanese students also shared with us about Japanese culture, and what a typical school day in Japan is like. Shannon, Siti, Nora and Dexter from 4E1 also shared about Singapore’s multicultural and diverse society.

Our guests prepared a series of poster presentations on topics such as Japanese fossils and the spectrum of the stars. It was an informative and enjoyable session for our students as they got to ask questions and learn from them. Students from both schools were also given the opportunity to collaborate on a cyber-wellness project where they discussed how cyberbullying can be prevented at the individual, school and national level. Using Singapore and Japan as the context for the discussion, students had an authentic and rich discussion sharing examples of the impacts of cyberbullying in their respective countries.

To showcase our school’s Applied Learning Programme in Electronics, Hans and Joseph from 4E1, who were also the emcees for the day’s programme, led the students in hands-on activities such as drone-flying and robo-soccer (robotics). Our guests had a lot of fun learning how to fly the drones through a mini obstacle course, and how to operate the robots so that they could score a goal. 

At the end of the first half of the programme, our students specially prepared notes of appreciation for our guests. Mr Yong Mun Chong, Vice-Principal of Hong Kah Secondary School, gave the closing address and presented a token of appreciation to Mr Kensaku Hijikata, Deputy Principal of Koishikawa Secondary Education School. 

In the afternoon, we visited to the Singapore Science Centre so that the students can be immersed in a science learning environment whilst still being able to interact with one another.  Form teachers of 4E1 and 3E2A, Mr Wong Eik Kiat, Mr Sha Bin and Miss Radiah also joined us on the learning journey. Though shy and awkward at the beginning, the students were able to overcome that and forge friendships with one another. Many exchanged details so that the friendships made extend beyond the day’s interactions. 

Through this programme, students’ understanding of Japanese culture and education system is enhanced, broadening their worldview. Koishikawa Secondary Education School expressed their thanks and appreciation to the school for hosting them, and looks forward to a sustained partnership between both schools.