Secondary School

By combining a well-balanced curriculum with extra-curricular activities, HJIS inspires its students to strive for excellence in all aspects of their development—academic, artistic, social and physical. HJIS also challenges its students to think critically, explore knowledge, question the world, make responsible decisions and approach learning with enthusiasm.

The Secondary School is designed to meet the needs of early adolescents through their transition from Primary to Secondary education. Secondary School students extend their knowledge into application and become more independent learners.

Middle School Curriculum (MYP)

The programme goal is to constantly place learning within a context, and to make explicit the relationship between the various disciplines.

The IBMYP is founded on three strong principles: holistic learning, communication and intercultural awareness.

  • Holistic learning
  • Communication
  • Intercultural awareness

The MYP is underpinned by the IB Learner Profile, where students strive to be:

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

Students study subjects in eight distinct areas:

  • Language and Literature (English and Japanese)
  • Language Acquisition (Japanese or French)
  • Mathematics (offered at Standard and Extended levels in Grade 9 and 10)
  • Sciences (integrated sciences for Grade 6-8; Biology, Chemistry and Physics for Grade 9-10)
  • Individuals and Societies (integrated)
  • Arts (Drama, Music and Visual Art)
  • Design (Robotics, Coding, Digital Design)
  • Physical and Health Education

In addition

  • Students in each grade level participate in Wellbeing studies as part of an advisory programme. Students in Grades 9 and 10 also complete a course of Study Skills each year.
  • Service as Action is an integral part of the MYP, and students complete an Advisory Service Project each year while still participating in service activities on an individual basis.
  • Students in Grade 10 complete a Personal Project as the final part of the MYP. This in-depth and independent research project enables them to actively showcase the skills and knowledge they have developed throughout the programme.

The MYP is designed to build upon the knowledge, skills, understandings and attitudes developed in the Primary Years Programme (PYP), and prepares students to meet the academic challenges of the IB Diploma Programme and the IB Career-related Programme.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at HJIS

The IB Diploma Programme is a two-year educational programme for students age 16 to 19. It is a challenging and rigorous programme which prepares students for university life and beyond. The programme incorporates the best elements of national curriculums without bias toward any particular country. It aims to establish a common curriculum appropriate for students moving between countries. The programme encourages students to have an international understanding, appreciate differences and become motivated lifelong learners through their academic experiences. With over 1,800 universities around the world recognising the IBDP, students who complete the programme are provided with a wider range of opportunities.


The discipline and work ethic necessary to complete the Diploma Programme requires considerable commitment from students. Diploma Programme students who perform well in examinations and earn the IB diploma receive special recognition by colleges and universities. This recognition comes in many forms but the most common are:

  • Recruitment—actively recruiting Diploma Programme students
  • Admission—ensuring that the IB diploma is fully recognized during the admissions process; addressing Diploma Programme students specifically in documentation and publications
  • Placement—acknowledging the rigour of IB courses and establishing prerequisites for IB courses that are fair and equitable in comparison with those for state, provincial and/or other examination courses; understanding and acknowledging the English language proficiency of international Diploma Programme students
  • Credit—providing detailed information on the courses for which credit is possible based on Diploma Programme examination scores; specifically understanding and recognizing Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the extended essay

The IB Diploma Programme Requirements

Below are the six academic areas;

  • Group 1 Studies in Language and Literature (English, Japanese)
  • Group 2 Language Acquisition (Japanese, English, French, Mandarin and Spanish online)
  • Group 3 Individuals and Societies (Information Technologies in a Global Society, Business Management, Environmental Systems and Societies, History, Economics, Psychology, Philosophy)
  • Group 4 Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Design and Technology, Environmental Systems and Societies, Physics)
  • Group 5 Mathematics (Mathematical Studies: Standard and Higher Level)
  • Group 6 The Arts (Visual Arts. Film online)

IB Diploma Programme students are required to select one subject from each academic area, though schools can allow students to select an additional subject from Groups 2-5 rather than the Arts subject. Regardless of which subjects students choose, they are required to take 3 Standard Level (SL) courses and three Higher Level (HL) courses. In addition to the subjects from the six academic areas, there are three core elements in the middle of the IBDP model, which are: Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay. These three core elements are concurrently taken in the two-year period. They do not carry significant weight in students’ overall assessment; however, they are a crucial tenet of the programme and if not completed, students may not receive their diploma (regardless of how highly they score in their six subjects). This rigorous coursework allows students to develop into well-rounded learners.

IBDP encourages international-mindedness and active citizenship in each academic area, and it requires each teacher to push their students to improve both their native and second languages. While doing this, teachers are also expected to make links to TOK and CAS.

IBDP requires students to have personal motivation to succeed, willingness to improve their time management, organizational skills and solid literacy and language skills. For more information, you can visit:


We believe that assessment is a vital part of the teaching and learning process because it provides feedback on both teacher instruction and student learning. Teachers at Horizon Japan International School use a wide range of assessment tools—from recording anecdotal notes while observing students to administering standardized tests. This range of tools gives teachers the flexibility to address different learning styles and better understand students’ abilities and comprehension levels.
Primary school students are assessed primarily by internal assessments. By year three, external assessments are introduced.
Secondary school students are assessed by various internal and external assessments.

Internal Assessments: 
Internal assessments are designed, selected and used by teachers. These assessments are based on the school’s curricula and the needs of the students. Internal assessments are used to alter and improve instructional methods and to obtain student feedback throughout the learning process. Internal assessments allow teachers to give assessments based on curriculum material learned in class. Teachers also use assessment results to report students’ progress to parents. Some examples of the internal assessments teachers use for our students are: periodic quizzes, reports, projects, class discussions, debates, presentations, unit tests and final exams. Teachers may also use various forms of writing assessments, such as in-class essays, formal essays, journals and creative writing entries. All secondary students take cumulative examinations in each subject at the end of each term.  They monitor students’ progress and expose students to the Cambridge International examination conditions.

Rather than pressuring students with a final examination, the IBDP internal assessment reflects the teacher’s work during the year and gives students a chance to demonstrate what they have done over time. The internal assessment:

  • Usually counts for about 20% of the final grade in a subject.
  • Is moderated externally by IB examiners to ensure international parity.
  • Typically includes teacher evaluation of work done in class, homework assignments, special projects, notebooks, labs, etc.

External Assessments: 
HJIS implements standardized external exams to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of instructional programs. Doing this also monitors the progress of students from the Primary to the Secondary phases. Some examples of external assessments are:

  • Cambridge Checkpoint: By the end of KS3, students sit the Cambridge Checkpoint tests in English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science. The tests cover all major areas of learning required for Middle School. The Cambridge Checkpoint tests are marked by the CIE centre. The scores from these tests provide us with an external international benchmark based on students’ performance. It also provides us with feedback on the strengths and weaknesses in key curriculum areas of students.
  • Cambridge IGCSEs: HJIS students sit Cambridge IGCSE exams at the end of Grade 10. Assessment for the Cambridge IGCSE includes written and oral tests, coursework and practical assessment. Each learner’s performance is benchmarked using eight internationally recognised grades. It prepares students for further academics, including progression to A Level, AS Level study, Cambridge Pre-U and the IB Diploma Programme. The Cambridge IGCSE examinations occur twice a year, in May/June and in October/November. Results are issued in August and January.
  • Cambridge International A and AS Level Exams:: Students sit AS Level exams at the end of Grade11 and A Level exams at the end of Grade 12. Cambridge International AS and A Level examination sessions occur twice a year, in June and in November, with results issued in August and January. Cambridge International AS and A Levels use a wide range of assessment processes and techniques to supplement formal written examinations – oral tests, practicals, projects and coursework of differing types are all used in various subjects.
  • PSAT / SAT The Scholastic Assessment Tests (SAT) is a standardised test for college admissions in the United States. The test is intended to assess a student’s readiness for college. Students who would like to continue their university education in the U.S. will need to take the SAT. HJIS guides and encourages students to take SATs in Grade 11. The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT. Students sit PSAT in Grade 10.
  • IBDP There is a series of written examinations at the end of each course, which may consist of two or three separate written examination “papers.” Conventional external examination techniques are chosen from a variety of options including: oral and written responses, long and short responses, data-based questions, essays, multiple choice questions.


At HJIS, a school counsellor guides students in preparation for post-secondary education. Whether seeking places at top universities in Japan or abroad, HJIS students are well-equipped to take the next step in their education and careers. Their guidance starts when the students enter Secondary School. Counselling entails informing parents and students about possible career opportunities and establishing cooperation among teachers, parents and students. The school counsellor considers the country a student plans to attend university or pursue a career and then build the student’s career plan. This helps students to select the appropriate courses and exams that best support their plans. Guidance is extended to those who have a specific university in mind; in-depth research is carried out by the counsellor and the entrance requirements are checked and shared with these students.
Students will also have the opportunity to attend career days outside of school, where they can talk with representatives from different universities. HJIS will also plan career days for students at school, inviting representatives from various universities or people with different professions.

Student Council

The Horizon Japan International School Student Council is an invaluable learning endeavour for the students. Students use this opportunity to participate in making decisions about the school. Through interaction with other students and adults on the council, students gain leadership and communication skills, a sense of responsibility and learn to work together as a team. The student council also provides a model of the democratic decision-making process; students learn how their vote counts towards the decisions made by the council.
The HJIS Student Council is comprised of 4 students from the high school and representatives from each class. They meet once or twice a month to discuss and organize various events and projects. Students must be well-organized and enthusiastic about the work the council does within the school.
Leadership is a keyword for success in today’s world. Through their actions and decisions made in the HJIS Student Council, students develop the skills that will make them the thoughtful, empathetic and responsible leaders of tomorrow.

Graduation Requirements

Conditions for the Award of the IB Diploma

In order to earn the lB Diploma, students have to score at least a 4 in each subject (or 24 points or more in total). The full criteria for passing the IBDP are set out below. Please note that a score of 24 points will not always guarantee a pass. Students must attend the class regularly and complete assignments on time. Internal assessments constitute approximately 25% of the final grade. The IB Diploma will be awarded to candidates whose total score is 24 points or above, provided all the following requirements have been met. Students must be

  • 1. CAS requirements have not been met.
  • 2. Candidate’s total points are fewer than 24.
  • 3. An N has been given for theory of knowledge, extended essay or for a contributing subject.
  • 4. A grade E has been awarded for one or both of theory of knowledge and the extended essay.
  • 5. There is a grade 1 awarded in a subject/level.
  • 6. Grade 2 has been awarded three or more times (HL or SL).
  • 7. Grade 3 or below has been awarded four or more times (HL or SL).
  • 8. Candidate has gained fewer than 12 points on HL subjects (for candidates who register for four HL subjects, the three highest grades count).
  • 9. Candidate has gained fewer than 9 points on SL subjects (candidates who register for two SL subjects must gain at least 5 points at SL).

Conditions for HJIS Diploma

If a student fulfills the graduation requirements set out by the School, they will be awarded an HJIS High School Diploma. An HJIS/WASC Diploma is recognised by universities worldwide. The conditions for the award of the HJIS High School Diploma are determined by the school and are not contingent on any external examinations. Requirements for HJIS High School Diploma:

  • Participation in and successful completion of six courses during Grades 11 and 12
  • An average subject grade of 3.8 out of 7 across all six courses over the two years
  • Satisfactory participation in CAS (fewer hours than those required for IB Diploma candidates).
  • Regular class attendance


Extra Curricular Activities

In Secondary School, extracurricular activities are ongoing activities that provide opportunities to improve on the areas of the students’ interests. While these opportunities address a range of interests, the number of activities is kept to a minimum so the school can provide more specialized education. Here are some examples of what the secondary students have been offered:

After School Programmes (ASP) 
The Secondary School After School Program is designed to provide quality training in a variety of well-structured activities. The goal is to balance a challenging academic program with opportunities for self-exploration. Some of the ASPs at the Secondary Level are:

Study SkillsRoboticsSoccerGraphics Design
3D Design & PrintingBasketballVolleyballChess Club
Model United NationsProgrammingSchool BandRunning Club

Exchange Activities 
As a school that believes in the holistic development of its students, HJIS has implemented a number of extra-curricular programmes around our community. We have established exchange activities with neighbouring schools to enhance students’ social and cultural development. We are able to offer these types of programmes to Horizon students because we have built solid relations with the surrounding community.

Private Schools
Horizon runs exchange activities with a neighbouring private school where members of both communities have a chance to learn about each other. The two schools have participated in:

Japanese Tea Ceremony
School Camps
Japanese Calligraphy
International Festivals
Japanese Language Classes
Japanese Flower Arrangement
English Language Classes
English Summer School

Public Schools
Horizon also runs exchange activities, with public high schools in the area. Our students have enjoyed the multilingual setting of the following club activities:


Saturday School 
A unique aspect of HJIS is our Saturday Activity Sessions. The Saturday sessions were started a few years ago by one of our passionate teachers who volunteered to teach remedial classes. The students responded so positively to the Saturday sessions that our teachers have continued to volunteer teaching both curricular and non-curricular subjects. The Saturday sessions offer additional help in building language, math and science skills. It is a great opportunity for students to socialize with friends in other grades!
We currently have three sessions for Secondary School students; Mathematics, Science and Turkish lessons.

HJIS Saturday School Chart

A Typical Day

Period 1

A day in the life of a secondary student at Horizon is exciting and rewarding.

We arrive at school around 8 in the morning and make sure we are sitting in our classrooms with all of our materials ready by 8:15.

We follow a special weekly schedule that remains consistent from week to week; however, the particular subjects we learn change depending on the day of the week. We follow this special schedule to integrate all of the specialist teachers we are fortunate to have! We have a certain number of core curriculum and specialist subject classes allocated each week meaning that we get to learn from different teachers who are truly experts in what they teach!

Between 8:15 and our first recess at 10:30, we are learning in our classrooms for three 45 minute periods. After our 10-minute recess, we are back in class for an additional three 45-minute periods before lunch at 12:50. We return to our classes after lunch/lunch recess at 13:30 for our last three periods of the day until 3:05.

Between 3:05 p.m. and 3:25 we remain in our homeroom classrooms for our Afternoon Meeting. During this time, we learn about our weekly theme for Character Education—a special curriculum developed for all the students at HJIS. This curriculum helps us learn more about how we can be more kind to ourselves and to others, as well as how we can be more “Caring and Courageous” in our classrooms, our communities, and the world around us.

Between 3:25 and 3:30, we have our first dismissal. If we are not going home, we go to our After School Programmes (ASPs). Our ASPs, which run between 3:30 to 4:10, are a wonderful way to get to know other students outside of an academic setting! We learn from teachers who organize different extracurricular activities like sports, arts, music, and languages (to name a few)! Our ASPs makes us feel like a true part of the HJIS community.

At 4:15 it is time to go home. We look forward to a nice dinner with our family after such an active day.

We are always excited to see what tomorrow will bring!

Period 2
Period 3
Snack & Recess
Period 4
Period 5
Period 6
Lunch & Recess
Period 7
Period 8
Character Education
After School Programmes

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