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Bresee's blog

NHK and Mazda

DATE:2017.09.07 Thursday  Category:Field Trip

The Grade 5 students went on their annual

field trip to the city's biggest employer,

Mazda as well as the nation's broadcaster, NHK.


At Mazda, the students learned about

Mazda's history, and how it is such

an important part of Hiroshima.


They also learned about Mazda's

achievements, which include the 

development of the Wankle  Rotary Engine.


The students saw both vehicles developed

by Mazda over the years... well as some of their modern lineup.


Learning about cars also involves

learning about safety.

Here's a demonstration

of some of the technonogy.


Some of Hiroshima's future drivers

started choosing which cars they want.


The students also went for a factory

tour, which is very exciting to see!

However, cameras are not allowed

in the factory, so you'll have to

visit and see the factory floor for




The other destination of the day was

NHK, the national broadcaster.


Once inside, the students were soon

impressed with the size of NHK Hall.


Then it was time to learn about

broadcasting and how television is made.


Finally, was time to make the news.


Smile, you're on camera!


They also saw how green screens can

be used to create special effects.


Talking about special effects, how

about 3D?


The day was full of fun and new

experiences. Thank you NHK and

Mazda for hosting our students

and teaching them about your industries.


DATE:2017.08.31 Thursday  Category:Around the School

Nagisa has "Mypro" which is like club

activities in high school. The students in

Grades 4, 5 and 6 choose which club to

join at the beginning of the year.


This year's clubs are: 

  • Recreation, playing both inside and out.
  • Basketball
  • Softball
  • Soccer
  • Computer
  • Illustration and Crafts
  • Shogi and Othello
  • Photography
  • Sewing
  • Nature and Science
  • Reading
  • History
  • Bouldering

I am in the bouldering club. 

Bouldering is a type of rock climbing that does

not require ropes because the climber never

goes very high.

Here are some photos from yesterday's Mypro.


Recitation Contest - First Round

DATE:2017.08.30 Wednesday  Category:Special Events

Every year at Nagisa the Grade 5 and 6

students have a recitation contest. Over

the summer holidays, everyone practices

reading the story they chose. Those that

want to compete in the contest work hard

to memorize their stories.


One by one, all of the students come

to the front of the room to tell their story.

Some students read, others only look at

their papers for cues, and some have

everything in their heads. This year,

without exaggeration, I was impressed

by everyone. Those who read, read smoothly

and with confidence. Those who memorized

it had everything internalized.


To our delight, some students had even added

gestures to go with their stories. Alough we've

coached students in adding gestures for the

contest, this was the first time I've seen

students proactively choosing and developing

their gestures this early.


As the presenters spoke, the other students wrote 

notes to give to the speaker. When the class finished, 

the students delivered their papers.

Everyone got great feedback and encouragement

from their peers.


On a final note, I want to add that it wasn't just 

the skill level of the students that impressed me, 

it was also the encouragement and support they gave

each other. 


Soon the students will find out who the presenters

will be in the contest. Whether you'll be on stage

or not, I'm proud of the work you've done and 

the attitude you've done it with.


Opening Ceremony

DATE:2017.08.28 Monday  Category:Assemblies

Summer has wrapped up and all of the special

events are done. There were camps for

Grades 1 to 4, and summer school over the

last week for Grades 5 and 6.


From today, all Grades are back at school full time.

To mark the start of classes, we had our opening

ceremony. The ceremony started following standard


The principal spoke, welcoming everyone back

and encouraging them to do their best.


Here, two students are being welcomed to the 

school body before being taken to their classes 

by their new classmates.


We also welcomed a teacher in training, who

will be with us for two weeks.


In the awards ceremony that followed, students 

were recognized for their achievements

in drawing, swimming, gymnastics and singing.


Up to this point, the morning followed the usual

pattern for opening ceremonies. Then, after the

students received their awards, the chorus teacher

received an award for excellence in coaching.


Finally, the school was awarded for excellence in math.

I was not surprised to see students being awarded.

What did surprise me was that someone from

outside the school was doing the presenting.

A representative from the The Mathematics

Certification Institute of Japan presented the 

the students with an award.


Then, he awarded the principal and the mathematics

department as well.


Of all the 700 plus schools that participated, Nagisa was 

one of only 9 that was awarded for excellence by 

the Institute.


Congratulations Nagisa!

Yachio Camp with Grade 2 - Day 2

DATE:2017.08.24 Thursday  Category:Special Events

There are a lot of camps going on at

the school now. The Grade 1 students

have gone to the Numata campus and

the Grade 3 students are tenting on

the school field. Since I went to the

Grade 2 camp, I'll finish writing about

what we did there!


The Grade 2 students woke up, and 

started their day with radio taiso and 

breakfast. Then it was time to clean up

in preparation for going home.


Once the rooms were clean and the 

bags were packed, it was time for

some fun! The students listened to 

the instructions for the walk rally.


In several positions around the 

campus, the teachers and volunteers

were waiting with challenges.

For example, after receiving instructions

and climbing up to the viewing

platform the students unscrambled 

an English word and called out the 

answer across the forest.


Then it was lunch time!

It was definitely nice to refuel!


Another check to ensure we had

everything, and then it was time 

for the closing ceremony.

First, the volunteers were



Then the vice principal thanked

everyone for the hard work

that they had put in.


The homeroom teachers gave 

certificates for various areas of

excellence, such as good punctuality,

best pizza construction and teamwork.


Then, student representatives

thanked the staff, volunteers and

teachers for making the trip possible.


In appreciation to the staff,

the students sang to show 

their appreciation.


As an aside, do you remember the

'renkon' umbrella from the first day's

photos? Here you can see how much

it has dried out!


Now that we are back in Hiroshima,

I'd like to thank the staff at Yachio for

all of their hard work. They made our

stay smooth and let us focus on having



The four volunteers who came to help 

were all students from the Hiroshima

Institute of Technology. From their

professionalism, attention to detail 

and interaction with the children, you

would easily think that they were

experienced teachers. Thank you!





Yachio Camp with Grade 2

DATE:2017.08.22 Tuesday  Category:Special Events

This morning started with the Grade 2 students arriving at the school to start their adventure. Once they dropped their bags, they headed to the classroom to finish getting ready. 

Once the students delivered their bags, it was time to go! All aboard!

One quick stop at the rest area, and then we were ready to go again.

After about an hour on the bus, we arrived at Yachio! The first thing to do was have an opening ceremony.

It didn't take long until we were touring the Yachio campus. There are so many fun things to do here!

After getting to know the campus, and some of the rules for plating, it was time for lunch! Everyone brought their own lunch today, so there was a lot of variety.

After lunch was some free time to play on the equipment.  There were plenty of things to play on, like this giant seesaw.

Finally, it was time for a snack! Roasted marshmallows sounded like a great idea.

Finally, the part I was waiting for... pizza!

One last break into groups to plan for tomorrow. Does everyone know what they are supposed to do?

The last activity for the evening was to hear a story on the roof. When the story was finished, there were some stars to be seen between the clouds. Being far from the city, there was very little light around us. The stars we could see were bright and clear.

The Grade 2 students are all having fun. The first day of the trip was a success and I hope tomorrow will be just as good! The students did a great job, and followed all the safety rules. Most importantly, they played and had fun!

Closing Ceremony

DATE:2017.07.15 Saturday  Category:-

It's summer break! The students are now

free to play, study, and enjoy their summer!


The closing ceremony started with the

principal addressing the student body. 

She talked about bullying and the importance

of talking with someone if they experience

or witness something improper happening.


Then a student was given an award of excellence

for his drawing of "doctor heli", a rescue helicopter

in Hiroshima. His drawing was selected by the head

of Hiroshima's Board of Education. 


Finally, the students were reminded to be safe

during their summer vacations.


With that, I wish you all a good summer. 

I will be away from this keyboard for a while, 

but please check back at the end of August!


Have fun and be safe!

Music Festival

DATE:2017.07.15 Saturday  Category:Special Events

This year's music festival was held on

July 14. That means the students

learned and mastered all of the

songs presented in just three

months. I was amazed and their

singing skills.


I must confess, I'm being a bit

sneaking by using the rehearsal

photographs here. I don't have

access to the photographer's

photos of the real event yet!


This year's music festival was

mostly vocal. However, there

were some instruments. The opening

set was played by the Drum Corp,

Nagisa Koen's taiko drumming group.

Then, we were treated to a song on

the handbells.


Each of the year groups proceeded

to sing in turn.


Grade 1


Grade 2


Grade 3


The hand bell players did another song.


The Grade 4 students continued with

the year group songs.


Grade 5


For the older grades, the piano

accompaniment was played by students.


For the finale, the whole school

stood and sang together!

Stylish Nagisa Style!

DATE:2017.07.12 Wednesday  Category:Around the School

There was a knock on the staff room door,

and in walked some Grade 6 students.

Normally, students are not allowed in the

staff room, so I wandered over to see what

the commotion was about.


There they were. The boys lined up in

yukata, with their obi (belts) tied neatly

and the knots tucked around to the back.

It was the first time that they had put the

yukata on, including the belt without



Then, they marched proudly off down the

hallway to show other teachers.


Just as we were settling back into our

tasks, there was another knock on the

door. This time, the dark, cool

colored yukata were replaced with bright

cheerful colors. The Grade 6 girls came

by to show off their yukata

obi tying skills as well.


I appreciate the fact that the school takes

the time to teach the students culture, and

to have a lot of fun doing it! You could

tell that the students enjoyed wearing the

yukata, and enjoyed showing them off too!

Peace Walk

DATE:2017.06.21 Wednesday  Category:Special Events

I was lucky enough to go with the Grade 4 students to the Peace Park this year on their Peace Walk. In the weeks before the event, the students prepared. They learned interview questions, made thank you cards, folded origami cranes and learned the history of the atomic bomb.


On June 13th, we boarded the streetcar and headed to the Peace Memorial Park. The classes took turns visiting the museum and interviewing visitors to the park.


The first question asked was, "Where are you from?" The guests answered by placing a sticker on the map.



Then, the students asked what impressions the visitors had of the Peace Park and Japan.


It was fantastic to see the students using the English they knew. 


The last thing the students asked was for the visitors to rank what they thought was important for peace.


Of course, everyone wanted their pictures taken together, so we got some good photos!


One thing I really liked is that the students could meet with and interact with many groups and types of people.


There were students from other countries.



There were couples.


There were retirees.


Perhaps most importantly for our students, there were families and children.


When the students had finished talking with a group of visitors, they gave the visitors one of the thank you cards they had written. Each student had hand-written at least one card. Inside each card was an origami crane, instructions on how to fold a crane and a piece of origami paper.


Before lunch, all the students gathered together to listen to one of the atomic bomb survivors. She told of Hiroshima on the day of the bomb and the time following from her point of view as a school girl.


I think the Grade 4 students did a fantastic job of communicating with all the people they spoke with. They had the courage to approach people who couldn't speak Japanese and communicate with those people in English.


Finally, to all the people out there who took the time to speak with our students, thank you! Your time was valuable in our endeavor to help our students learn about the world, its people, and how to make it a more peaceful place.


学校法人鶴学園 なぎさ公園小学校

〒731-5138 広島市佐伯区海老山南2丁目2-30 TEL:082-943-0001 FAX:082-943-0004