Oxford Japanese School started in 1999 as a small group of children of Japanese heritage gathering in the sitting room of Ms Keiko Harada to learn Japanese language and culture. Lessons were for an hour on Saturdays during the school term time and centred around the reading and writing Japanese.
As years went by, the number of pupils grew steadily and new teachers joined in until it because necessary to move the classes to the premises of St Clare’s in 2008. The school now has nearly 70 pupils from 5 years to 18 years of age taught by 6 teachers. The school now teach children of variety of background regardless of their cultural heritage and nationality and is a thriving community of families with shared interest in learning the language and culture of Japan.
The school was registered by the Charity Commission as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in July 2019 and hence has formally become a charity organisation, having operated all those years as non-profit-making organisation. As of the start of 2019/20 academic year, school will be run by the Management Committee and governed by the Board of Trustees, which will enable its perpetual succession. Ms Harada has retired from the position of the headteacher, replaced by Ms Yoshiko Abe, but will continue to support the school in her capacity as the chairperson of the Board of Trustees.
Oxford Japanese School is one of the oldest Japanese language schools in the UK. It has a challenging but worthwhile task of balancing the effective teaching of pupils with varying age, proficiency and cultural background while keeping the tuition fees as low as possible to make it accessible to as wide a community as possible.
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