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White Branch

American and Internationally Recognized Texts 
Used in All Grades

Language and Literacy

Kindergarten children learn to read and write the alphabet, write simple sentences, and read grade-level books through engaging in active learning.   


Grades 1 and 2 students read and write simple summaries and stories. Second graders learn to write cursive writing. Phonics is a daily focus in both grades.

Grades 3-6 read a wide variety of books, poems, and short stories of all genres. Students learn how to comprehend, analyze,  and synthesize the stories read. The students respond to the literature and write essays to inform, entertain, describe, and persuade.  


Junior high students develop writing and thinking skills by focusing on vocabulary and building strong grammar knowledge. Students study editing, revision techniques, and literary terms through writing. Students are stretched in their comprehension and analysis of the literature by reading literature from short stories, novels, and poetry, all in various genres. Students will read extensively. Books included are Much to do about Nothing by Shakespeare, The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Hiding Place (a biography), and many more. 

High school students continue to increase inference, comprehension, and vocabulary skills by reading and writing a variety of research and literature. Students read British, American, and ancient and modern literature from around the world. Students read extensively. Books included are A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Emma, Frankenstein, The Odyssey, and many more. The goal is to prepare the students for college, careers, and life.


Kindergarten through grades 6 study Bible stories and verses and learn how to apply the lessons of forgiveness, love, honoring our parents, and good character traits. 

Junior high students survey the 66 books in the Bible.


High School students focus on the life of Christ and Proverbs.

The chapel meets every Friday for all grades. The students memorize Bible verses, sing songs, and play games.

Grades 3 through 8 may choose to go to Joy Bible Camp every June in Okutama. Other students from international schools all over Japan join for one week of English camp. The students study the Bible, play games, swim, go hiking, and do arts and crafts. The students come back very tired and very happy. 


Science activities through hands-on STEM projects, research, and experiments are done in all classes.

Kindergarten through grade 3 studies science using hands-on experiments, discovery, exploration, and research.  

BJU Science textbooks are used from grades 3 through 6 and in high school biology.

Grades 3-8 present an experiment or a project for the annual science fair every February.

Kesler Science is used in our junior high science program. This program uses complete 5E lessons, inquiry labs, escape rooms (highly engaging modular puzzles for review), and STEM challenges. Steve Spangler, which TIME magazine stated as "one of the most influential people of the year,"  joined Kesler in creating this outstanding curriculum.  Spangler inspires the next generation of scientists and engineers.

High school subject choices include Biology, Physical Science, Chemistry, and Physics.  High school students are required to take at least two science classes.

Physical Education & Recess

Kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 play in the park or in the gym every morning for 30 minutes. Kindergarten grades have at least three recesses daily. 


Grades three to six play at least 30 minutes daily at the local park, in the front parking lot, or in the gym.

Grades one through six play 30 minutes of physical education two times a week. Students play basketball, do exercises and gymnastics, play four square, jump rope competitions, and play many group games.

Grades 7-12 have Physical Education as an elective. Students have 50 minutes of physical education two to three times a week, where they do fitness tests and play various sports, including basketball and volleyball.  

Grades 7 through 12 enjoy an hour of lunch and recreation outside daily.  Grades 9 through 12 may leave the campus during lunch with parental permission.  

Students from grades 3 and up are eating lunch outside and enjoying a short recess after lunch.  

Art, Music, and Drama

Kindergarten students draw, cut, glue, paint, and actively explore learning through art.


In grades one through six, art is done at least once a week. Students use a variety of mediums to express emotion, imitate great artists, and release creativity.  Students are taught about famous artists around the world and to recognize famous art.

Electives from grades 7 through 12 include Introduction to Art, Photography, and Home Economics with knitting, cross-stitching, and crafting.


Kindergarten children sing and dance most days.  

Music is taught two times a week in elementary school. Students study music history from around the world and learn to sing spirituals,  folksongs, and classic and popular songs. Grades 3 & 4 perform handbells.  Grades 5 & 6 perform the ukulele.


Concerts are held several times a year. Students are taught to read music and how to play with rhythm.  

Electives in Secondary School

NLIS Electives for the year 2023-2024 are as follows:  

Physical Education

Introduction to Art

Introduction to Photography

Introduction to Psychology

Computer Skills

Home Economics


One computer is available for all students from grade three through grade 8.  Students from grade 9 must bring their own computers to school daily.  NLIS actively uses technology to help our students meet this digital age with confidence and skills.

K-2 grades take standardized tests online, listen to reading, and learn technology rules and parts of the computer. 

3-6 grades review technology rules and parts of the computer, learn keyboard skills with at least 85% accuracy and at least 30 wpm. Students improve their keyboard skills by taking typing tests. Projects include various research activities and some introduction to coding.

Computer Class is an elective offered to grades 7 through 12. Students have 50 minutes two to three times a week to work on improving keyboarding skills, learning how to do Google drive lessons, creating accounts, managing documents, coding, creating surveys, creating Powerpoint presentations, and making spreadsheets. Computer classes may be taken for one semester or all year. 

Computer Standardized Testing

All grades 1-8 take standardized tests online.  


9th graders take a variety of practice SAT standardized online tests throughout the year.  

10th-grade students take the preSAT test.

11th-grade students take the SAT if desired. 

High school students have the option to take online courses through SevenStar Academy, an online accredited school based in America.  Advanced Placement classes, honor classes, and classes that our small school can't offer, such as world languages.


Kindergarten through grade 8 uses Singapore Math. It is one of the top-tested math texts available, which emphasizes problem-solving and mental math.  It focuses on mastery. Students learn to conceptualize math skills.  According to the International Student Assessment, Singapore scored 549 points in the most recent results.  The global average is 489.  

Junior high students study pre-algebra and geometry with Singapore Math.

9th-12th grade students may take their choice of math as available. Courses available are usually Algebra 1 & 11,  Geometry 1 & 2, and Business Math. Online courses available are precalculus, accounting, and trigonometry. Honor classes and/or AP classes are offered in most math classes.

Japanese Literacy 

Native Japanese experienced teachers teach four times a week, 45 minutes a day, to grades 1 and 2 and one hour to grades three and up.


Track One is for students who use Japanese in their homes. These students from grade one through high school use the Japanese national textbook (Kokugo textbook) and kanji workbooks, and the students have weekly kanji tests.


Track Two is for students who do not use Japanese in their homes. These students from grades 3 through high school meet with a bilingual teacher and follow a different curriculum. The goal is for all the students in Track Two to take and pass the National Japanese tests for foreigners, beginning with the N5. See this site for more information about the tests:

Other languages are also available to high school students online.  

After school, Japanese language classes are offered. One is for native Japanese speakers, and one is for non-native Japanese speakers.

Students can study after school with a qualified teacher for the Eiken test. Many of the students at NLIS take and pass the Eiken tests from an early age. 

Social Studies and History

Kindergarten through grades 6 uses teacher-made units,  hands-on projects, and research to study social studies, history, and global citizenship. Japanese history and culture are explored in all grades.


Child protection classes are taught to all students once a year for one week in kindergarten through high school. Puberty lessons are included for grades 5 through 12. Sexes and ages are divided, enabling the students to feel safe during the daily question-and-answer times. 

Junior high studies Asian history, ancient history, and geography, focusing on the Eastern Hemisphere.

High school studies Humanities: World History, World Geography, Global Issues, and Government.

Elected student council members lead school assemblies, work on projects, and learn leadership skills.  

High school students volunteer 50 hours of community service during the four years of high school.  

Advanced Placement Courses

High school students are encouraged to take advanced placement classes. The College Board creates these challenging courses in America. Some courses offer college-level curricula. American colleges and universities grant placement and course credit to students with high exam scores. Advanced Placement courses are accepted by universities in America, Canada, Japan, and over 100 countries worldwide. It is more widely used than IB. At this time, all advanced placement courses are done online through SevenStar Academy, an accredited school in America. 


Classes walk ten minutes to the prefectural library near Kofu station every other Friday.  Students check out two English books and one Japanese book.  This encourages the love of English and Japanese literature.

NLIS has books available in each class for students to read in class and borrow.  NLIS teachers and students are very thankful for book donations.

Special Activities

New Life International School has special activities throughout the year. These events help the students bond with their teachers and classmates and help motivate them to love school. We work hard and play hard. The children participate in three class parties, at least two field trips,  and several special theme days, such as Beach Day, Opposite Day, 100 Days, Christianity Week, Personal Safety Week, and Camp Literacy Day every year. NLIS has had a violin concert, a ventriloquist, a drama teacher, and other motivational speakers come to the school this year.


Other special activities include an art and science fair, ​and graduating 6th, 9th, and 12th graders have special field trips. NLIS is an active school!

Accreditation & Associations

Candidate for Accreditation. Approved by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges WASC
Accrediting Commission for Schools
for grades K through 9.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
533 Airport Blvd., Suite 200, Burlingame, CA 94010
NLIS teachers, students, board members, and parents are working hard to obtain full accreditation by 2025 for all grades. 
NLIS provides quality education and safe care that parents trust. 

We are also affiliated with the Christian Academy of Japan in Tokyo. CAJ is an accredited school with over 60 years of experience.

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