1st Grader School Life #1

For those who are interested in actual school life in Japan, here is some unfiltered report of a 1st grader in a Japanese public elementary.

My daughter usually gets up before 7am, eats breakfast, changes, gets ready and quickly goes out the door by 7:40 and walk to school for almost 30 minutes. Students should be at their desk at 8:25 am when her teacher takes attendances – the school gate is only open for 10 minutes from 8:05 to 8:15 for security purposes.

At first it seemed to be a journey for a 6 year old, but children adjust quite fast. She now feels much confident and definitely knows her way.

Schedules are different depending on the day, but most days they have 5 classes (subjects). 1 class last for 45 minutes and there will be morning recess after 2 classes. School lunch is provided at all public schools, and students will participate in both preparation and clean ups. Dismissal is around 3pm and students will walk home again with friends living in the same neighborhood.

Basic rules at Japanese public schools:

– Do not bring anything unrelated to school or studying; such as cell phones, games and money.

– Go straight home after school (exceptions made for those who attend afternoon care facilities).

Usually students need to bring a lot of things home on Fridays for cleaning, such as indoor shoes, lunch smocks and gym wears, which they bring to school again on Mondays.

Teacher – Parent communications take place in 1 on 1 meetings that are held twice a year at the school, and also there is a teacher’s visit scheduled right after the school year starts. It is always a hassle in the beginning of the school year!


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