Forestopia Learning Forest -- Miyazaki Prefectural Gokase Secondary School

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The Distinctive Characteristics of the School

The four distinctive characteristics of the school 

The Four Distinctive Characteristics of the School

1. The Global Forestopia Study

Students develop sensibility through an experimental study which is designed to help them learn from the rich natural setting of Gokase Town. They cultivate the ability to find and solve potential problems while working on their research, writing reports, and giving presentations on their topic. The Forestopia Study is aimed at acquiring knowledge about the local area, and finding issues common to both the local area and the world at large. Ultimately, the students aim to send messages to the world about the issues they study, in order to help confront those issues.
Aim of the Study Program:
In order to develop students who can find potential global issues on their own initiative and take action to confront those issues, we work to cultivate students' capacity to act as leaders. This is achieved by having them do self-directed research work, and undertake global leader training.
Abilities to be Acquired:
-Students should be able to find and begin to resolve global issues.
-Students should be able to perceive potential problems in the world, respond with sensitivity, think critically, examine problems from multiple points of view, explore, express ideas, respect diversity, and communicate both in Japanese and English.

2. Unified Secondary School Education

Our educational activities take advantage of the vertical relationships formed between students from 1st grade to 6th grade. Additionally, since there is no entrance exam for high school, it is possible for lower secondary students to focus their studies exclusively on the lower secondary curricula.
Lower secondary school (correspondent to junior high school) students sometimes have the opportunity to take classes taught by upper secondary school (correspondent to high school) teachers. Sometimes each class is divided into two groups depending on students' abilities: in this case, the lower secondary school teachers teach one of the groups, and the upper secondary school teachers teach the other group. Sometimes the lower and upper secondary school teachers form a team and give classes together.
Six students from between 1st grade and 6th grade, along with one teacher, form a group called a "family," and have study sessions and dinner gatherings; they also work together at a vegetable garden.

3. Small Group Instruction

Although there is only one class in each grade, 49 members of school staff (including teachers), along with 21 dormitory personnel - 70 people in total - instruct students. During classes, small-group instruction and personal instruction are provided. Relationships among students, and between students and teachers/school staff, are family-like. Each math class at the upper secondary level is divided into two groups according to students' academic abilities, and each group takes classes customized for them. English classes at the upper secondary level are also divided into two groups. The early-morning hours, lunch break and after-school hours are utilized to provide instruction called "Level-Up Instruction," which is designed to help students master what they have learned.

4. Boarding School Education.

While students are trying to follow the rules at the dormitory and take care of themselves, they strengthen their self-management skills. They also cultivate social skills and cooperativeness through communal living among friends. Because they live away from their families, they strongly feel the importance of family and therefore their family ties are deepened.
Through communal living in the dormitory, students learn
-to stand on their own legs.
-from interaction with other people.
-from inconvenience.
What students can acquire in this boarding school:
-autonomy, independence and leadership skills.
-fundamental study and lifestyle habits.
-the ability to build good relationships with others.
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