About Yamasaki Senior High School
Yamasaki Senior High School is located in Shiso City, on the western border of Hyogo Prefecture. Surrounded by 50 majestic mountains, Shiso City’s lush forests cultivate students’ love and protection of nature while being a place conducive to studying. Our school offers three streams of study including Forestry and Environmental Science Department, Home Economics and Lifestyle Department, and the General Department. Fostering students to specialize their talents from a young age, we allow them to contribute more actively to their community under the school’s three main values: Hope, Wisdom, and Respect. While focusing on the importance of academics, each stream also has an experiential component for students to get involved in the community. For example, Machinoeki is a regularly held event where Forestry and Home Economic students sell handmade products in various parts of town. All in all, our school aims to educate students to contribute as the leading generation of tomorrow.
School Motto : HOPE, WISDOM, RESPECT.
Since its inception, the number of graduates from Yamasaki High School has exceeded 30,000. The students of Yamasaki High School represent a broad range of talents and interests. A large portion of them goes onto universities and junior colleges. Many of them go to professional schools. Others go straight into jobs after graduation. A small but significant number of graduates go onto becoming public servants.
The History of Our School
Yamasaki High School was founded as an all-girls school in April of 1907 that focused exclusively on home economics. In 1948 the school changed its name to Hyogo Prefectural Yamasaki High School and began accepting male applicants as a result of the educational reform that occurred after WWII. Likewise, the school also incorporated changes in its curriculum and now offers three different tracks of study: Forestry and Environmental Science Department, Home Economics and Lifestyle Department, and the General Department. The entire school community celebrated the school’s centennial anniversary in 2007. This landmark anniversary confirmed the importance of Yamasaki High School as a more crucial locus for learning in Hyogo Prefecture than ever before and marked the start of a new chapter in its long history.
Introduction of The Three Departments
Forestry and Environmental Science Department
This department is open to male students who wish to concentrate their attention on ways to develop the land around them while also taking active steps to preserve the environment. Students learn about Japan’s forests, which are predominately comprised of Japanese cedar trees, and how to convert them into forests that host other kinds of trees as well. They also participate in projects designed to clear the underbrush left by other developers who have desolated an area of forest in the process of development. In this course of study, there is room for the students to propose creative projects that make good use of trees and wooded areas. If students are successful in their studies, they can earn various certificates after passing rigorous tests in the field.
This course is mainly open to female students who wish to focus their attention on the study of Japanese life and culture. There are three concentrations available within the Home Economics discipline: 1) clothing and fashion, 2) Japanese and world cuisine, and 3) nursing and welfare. Students learn from school teachers as well as guest lecturers who are experts in the field outside of school. By visiting employers in the field and by volunteering to help the elderly and care for infants, students have a chance to engage in hands-on learning and gain some basic work experience. If they are successful in their studies, students can earn various certificates after passing rigorous tests in the field. In addition to their home economics coursework, students who wish to go on to higher institutions maintain their study of subjects like science, Japanese, English, etc.
This track is most similar to a typical Western high school education in that it focuses on a wider spectrum of traditional disciplines. Within the general department track, there are three different concentrations available to students depending on their level of academic achievement and life goals. Those who achieve a high level of academic success after their first year may choose to participate in the Comprehensive Concentration in their second and third years. Students take on a challenging course load in the five areas of math and the sciences, Japanese language, social studies, and English language in preparation for the rigorous university entrance exams. The rest of the students, after their first year, may choose to participate in the next most competitive concentration, theScience Concentration, or they can choose to participate in the most relaxed concentration, the Liberal Arts Concentration. As the names imply, students in the Science Concentration focus primarily on math and the sciences, while students in the Liberal Arts Concentration focus primarily on the social sciences and humanities. Yamasaki High School puts an emphasis on the arts by offering electives in music, art, and calligraphy to students in all of the concentrations.
Extra Curricular Activities
Yamasaki High School is unique in that it offers its students a wide variety of club activities and varsity sports after classes are finished. In the sports category, students can choose from volleyball, basketball, table tennis, softball, baseball, skiing, kendo, judo, swimming, soft-tennis, soccer, badminton, and track and field. In the culture category, students may pick among groups that focus on flower arrangement, drama, English, volunteering, surveying and architecture, photography, home economics, literature, Koto music, tea ceremony, go and shogi, science, brass-band, chorus, guitar, art, and calligraphy. Notably, participation in clubs and sports by our students is very high, even though many of them live far away and have a long commute to and from school every day.
Each year students from Yamasaki Senior High School join a group of 70 students and 10 teachers, from more than ten Hyogo Prefectural schools, and participate in an international exchange program coordinated by the Japan Travel Bureau.
Students travel to Perth, Western Australia to attend the University of Western Australia’s Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT). Western Australia and Hyogo Prefecture have enjoyed a sister state relationship together since 1981.
During the 9 day trip, students enjoy the wonderful opportunity to be immersed in Australian culture and to fully utilize and enrich their English abilities of listening, speaking, reading and writing. They learn fascinating aspects of Australian aboriginal culture and take excursions to Kings Park and Fremantle.
In addition to the Japan Travel Bureau’sinternational exchange program, Yamasaki Senior High School has begun a cultural exchange program with Wanneroo Secondary College in Perth, Western Australia.
Students from both schools have sent letters of correspondence to each other, discussing their hobbies, and what they do at school.
The cultural exchange programs allow students from Yamasaki Senior High school to learn more about Australia and its culture while providing a deeper understanding of Japan and its culture to their Australian counterparts.
The aim is to further deepen ties between both schools promoting an outward-looking, modern, global perspective.
Yamasaki High School DAY BY DAY
On the 17th and 18th of August, Yamasaki High School held their annual open high school days, for junior high school students interested in the “Academic Course”, to come and visit the school.
The open days allow junior high school students to discover what student life is like at Yamasaki High school and they can participate in many lessons.
The open days begin with a very warm welcome by the Brass Band, and an introduction to the school. Student council members provide information about the history of Yamasaki High School, the different courses available, and all the wonderful special events and club activities they can participate in. Career development is also discussed, providing students insight into future professional paths.
Then the junior high students can participate in demonstration lessons, in Japanese, English, Mathematics, Science, Education and Social Science.
In addition to lessons from teachers, students of Yamasaki High school’s “Education Course” also took demonstration lessons, teaching English and Mathematics displaying the teaching expertise they have learned.
Further to the “Academic Course” open days, on the 27th of August, “The Forestry and Home Economics Course” held an open day for students interested in those specialized courses at Yamasaki High School.
After a very warm welcome and school introduction, the junior high students were able to experience first-hand specialized units of study, provided at Yamasaki High School.
First the students were able to participate in harvesting egg plants, peppers, and other vegetables, and learned about the process of growing vegetables.
Second the students got to participate in wood-working, and were able to make wooden mask boxes, with help from the wood-working high school students at Yamasaki High School.
Thirdly the junior high students were able to experience cooking, learning to make delicious cup-cakes by watching instruction videos on personal tablets, and with help from the Yamasaki cooking high school students!
The open days at Yamasaki High school, were very interesting and enjoyable, and allowed junior high students a wonderful insight into all the amenities Yamasaki High school provides. We hope to see all the junior high school students again, come next spring.