ISAK’s aims to develop creative, open-minded young people who are curious, engaged and passionate about creating positive change. To help students develop their potential as thinkers, leaders and change-makers, the curriculum at ISAK combines rigorous academics with leadership and design thinking programs, community service and project-based learning.
ISAK is a three-year high school program (Grades 10 – 12), following the high school system in Japan. As an official International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, ISAK offers a curriculum in line with the IB philosophy of critical thinking that encompasses a broad range of fields, helping students learn how to connect academic knowledge to real world situations. Students in Grade 10 study a pre-IB curriculum which prepares them for the IB Diploma Programme. All Grade 11 and 12 students enroll in the IB Diploma Programme.
ISAK students are also eligible to receive a diploma from the Japanese Ministry of Education. Successful completion of coursework in Grades 10-12 will enable students to receive a Japanese high school diploma.
The following guidelines show the types of classes that ISAK students are expected to take. (Curriculum subject to change.)
|Grade 10||Grades 11 – 12|
|English||IB English A HL & SL|
IB Chinese A HL & SL
IB Japanese A HL & SL
|Japanese Language||IB English B HL & SL|
IB Chinese B HL & SL
IB Japanese B HL & SL
IB Chinese ab initio SL
IB Japanese ab initio SL
|World History||IB History HL & SL|
|Comparative Thoughts and Religion/|
Economy and Politics
|IB Economics HL & SL|
|Mathematics|| IB Math Studies SL|
IB Mathematics HL & SL
|Introduction to Science||IB Biology HL & SL|
IB Physics HL & SL
IB Chemistry HL & SL
|Art||IB Visual Arts HL & SL|
IB Music HL & SL
|Life Skills/Applied Design|
|Human Development/Physical Education||Physical Education|
|IB Extended Essay|
Theory of Knowledge
|Creativity, Action, Service|
One of the core components of the ISAK curriculum is a focus on leadership. At ISAK, we aim to develop students who have the passion and dedication to identify issues and to work for positive change in the world around them. At ISAK, leadership is viewed as a practice, not a position, and regardless of personality and cultural background, every student can grow and learn how to express him or herself comfortably and in a way that inspires others. Learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom guide students toward the development of a personal leadership style. Students are also expected to play an integral role in school life, enabling them to “learn to lead by experience.”
Community service is another integral part of the ISAK culture. ISAK students understand that creating positive change is as much about helping others as it is about growing ourselves and our ISAK community. All students participate in regularly scheduled service activities so they can experience creating positive change beyond ISAK, in our local Karuizawa community.
Each of the community service activities is student-led and motivated. Students take on the task of not only committing themselves to a weekly service activity, but constantly innovating and finding ways to add greater value through these activities. Through their activities, students hope to share cultural knowledge with Japanese high school peers, teach English to younger students, design entertaining and creative activities for people of all ages, and help develop fundraising initiatives for local service organizations.
Each academic year includes two Project Weeks, one in the fall and one in the spring. During Project Week, classes are suspended and all students engage in other pursuits related to the mission and goals of the school. Grade 11 and 12 students are expected to take the lead in planning Project Week activities, enabling them to strengthen their leadership skills.
ISAK utilizes an academic calendar similar to that of other international schools in Japan, with the academic year commencing in mid-August. The academic year consists of two terms, separated by class retreats and Project Weeks. The school year ends in early June.