SUGAMO GAKUEN, TOKYO
OUR EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY
The entire ethos of Sugamo Gakuen revolves around bringing out the best in our boys by encouraging them to strive for excellence. On the principle that our students possess infinite potential, we offer them opportunities both inside and outside the classroom that enable them to blossom as capable, resourceful individuals. This leads to a significant increase in their abilities, which helps them to become the very best they can be and to be a good influence both within and beyond Sugamo.
The various school events at Sugamo spark our boys’ interest in nature as a force greater than themselves. The Daibosatsu Pass midnight mountaineering in May, the four-day sea camp in July, and the winter morning training in January are some of the most widely known school events. These activities are designed to evoke a sense of shared accomplishment as the boys strive together to achieve their goals. A number of our graduates come back ‘home’ to lend their support to these events.
In May, the entire school (approximately 1,400 boys) begins walking at midnight and crosses the Daibosatsu Pass in Yamanashi Prefecture, which is covered with beautiful fresh green foliage. As they progress through the grades, the boys are given an increasingly longer route (up to 34.5km) to traverse.
Soen-ryu Swimming School
The four-day-long sea camp in July at Tateyama Hojo Beach in Chiba Prefecture is another school event Sugamo Gakuen is proud to offer. Approximately 240 boys in the first year of junior high along with avid swimmers from other grades enjoy swimming training at the beautiful beach.
Winter Morning Training
Whilst the boys’ participation in winter morning training is not obligatory, 90% of the approximately 1,400 boys participate in the one-week long winter morning training in January. At 6:20am before school begins, the boys undertake training in either kendo or judo.
At Sugamo, we believe that in addition to rigorous academic pursuits, a willingness to engage in physical activities and to develop artistic creativity and community spirit enables our boys to be well-rounded. Our wide range of extra-curricular activities and the boys’ keen interest in them attest to our continued commitment to holistic education. Both in sport and in the arts, some of the nation’s leading coaches help our boys to capitalise on their talents, leading to great achievement in their chosen fields.
- Rubber-ball tennis
- Table tennis
- Rubber-ball baseball
- Track and field
- Fine art
- Brass band
- Earth science
- Karuta card
- Go and shogi
- Junior Red Cross
- Tea ceremony
- Social science
CAMPUSAN ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
The educational environment plays a key role in effective learning. In recent years, Sugamo Gakuen has rebuilt almost all of its school buildings. In a nod to the school’s history, the new structures incorporate lumber from the enormous ginkgo trees which surrounded the earlier school buildings. As a result, the boys are able to appreciate both the warmth of this beautiful wood and the integration of past and present.
In addition to high-quality artificial grass grounds and an air-conditioned gymnasium, Sugamo Gakuen boasts a tea ceremony room and kendo and judo training halls. These permit students to develop an intimate understanding and appreciation of these elements of Japan’s traditional culture. The boys participate enthusiastically in martial arts as part of their school curriculum. Kendo is a compulsory subject for our junior high school boys, while our senior high school boys have the opportunity to choose either kendo or judo. Many of them graduate as rank holders in either kendo or judo.
As the world becomes increasingly globalised and interconnected, Sugamo Gakuen offers a range of programmes (Sugamo Summer School, Double Helix, RGS Winter School, and separatethree-month programmes in Australia, Canada, and the UK). These facilitate development of intercultural understanding and enhance the future academic prospects of our boys, thereby preparing them for active participation in an interdependent, globalised world.
Sugamo Summer School
The mission of Sugamo Summer School (SSS) is to spark a real passion for communicating in English, via exposure to inspiring English speakers from across the world. With this mission in mind, Sugamo Gakuen brings together a teaching team for its summer school whose members include full-time teaching staff at top UK educational institutions, diplomats in the British government, professionally trained musical theatre performers, and young professionals in top UK businesses. Through this truly unique and exceptional experience at SSS, we believe that our pupils will be motivated to continue developing an international outlook beyond completion of the programme. This, we believe, will in turn afford them greater perspective and creativity, as well as a deeper appreciation of difference and diversity. While many Japanese high schools (Sugamo Gakuen included) send pupils overseas for English language and culture summer schools, no other school in Japan currently invites top teaching staff to Japan to participate in a domestic course.
School Tour: Sugamo Gakuen, Tokyo
Double Helix considers two strands: factual knowledge and higher-order thinking skills.
Modern research into artificial intelligence has taught us that the factual knowledge accumulated in long-term memory is of critical importance to one’s cognitive processing ability. Indeed, facts are a prerequisite for developing higher-order thinking skills such as creativity, evaluation and critical analysis. The accumulation of knowledge and the acquisition of skills are therefore tightly intertwined in a double helix.
Instead of seeking to convey isolated pieces of knowledge, the Double Helix program seeks to make students aware that the acquisition of factual knowledge is tightly connected with the development of higher-order thinking skills. As such, the success of Double Helix is measured not by how much knowledge the students have absorbed but by how much awareness of this connection it has managed to cultivate within each student.
To this end, all lessons are designed to challenge students’ higher-order thinking skills through carefully developed propositions, questions, and assignments prepared by an elite team of subject specialists, which will also enable students to have greater awareness of the interconnectedness of knowledge. Upon completion of the programme, Double Helix hopes that students will seek to deepen their learning even further and to learn how to exercise their higher-order thinking skills even more effectively across all their subjects.
World Leading Schools Association
WLSA is a global secondary school network that offers unique opportunities to connect students and educators around the world through inspiring programmes and dynamic networking. WLSA currently has 55 associate schools in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, South Africa, the UK and the US. Sugamo Gakuen is the first and only associate school of WLSA in Japan.
The history of Sugamo Gakuen dates back to 1910 with Soen Gakusha, a private school founded by Dr Endo Ryukichi (1874 - 1946). Dr Endo was renowned both as the founder of Japanese sociology and as a leading philosopher in Japan. In 1922, Soen Gakusha became Sugamo Junior High School, and subsequently added a senior high school as well. Since its inception, an ethos of integrity and perseverance has been part of the fabric of the school. Over the course of several generations, Sugamo Gakuen has educated over 30,000 students, many of whom have gone on to play a significant role in their respective fields of endeavour, including in industry, politics, and academia.