White Branch

American and Internationally Recognized Texts 
Used in All Grades

Language and Literacy

Common Core Standards, as well as other standards, are used to guide the curriculum and the unit studies in all the language and literacy classes at New Life International School.

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

In the 1st and 2nd grades, the students continue to learn to read and write. They read a wide variety of reading texts and real books. Grade 2 students 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 carefully chosen and at native English level. Students learn how to comprehend, analyze,  and synthesize the stories read. The students write to respond to the literature read and write essays to inform, entertain, describe, and persuade.  


Junior high students develop writing and thinking skills with a focus on vocabulary and building strong grammar knowledge. Students study important editing and revision techniques through writing.  Literary terms are taught appropriate to the study of the short story, novel, and poetry.  Through reading literature from various genres, students are stretched in their comprehension and analysis of literature.  

High school students continue to increase language skills in comprehension, fluency, inference, and vocabulary, as well as in the ability to write well. Students engage in a variety of research and learn how to document the findings.  The goal is to prepare the students for college, careers, and life.  British, American, and ancient and modern literature from around the world is studied.  

Art, Music, and Drama

The National Art Standards are used to guide the direction of the studies in the Fine Arts at NLIS.


Art is used daily in kindergarten class.  Students draw, cut, glue, paint, and actively explore learning through art.


In grades, one and up, 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.


Kindergarten children sing 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, classic and popular songs. Grades 3 & 4 perform handbells and grades 5 & 6 perform the ukulele. Concerts are held several times a year. Students learn to read music and how to play with rhythm.  


Junior high and high school students focus on visual arts. Color, pattern, repetition, line, shape, emphasis, balance, value, rhythm, variety, unity, texture, and form through a variety of projects using graphite, acrylic paint, oil pastels, and sculptures are created using wood and Paper Mache.

Junior high and high school students lead a biannual school assembly and lead the student council.

Dramas are performed by all grades every year.

We will start a gospel choir and a handbell ensemble in the high school as it grows.  


High school students are encouraged to take advanced placement classes. These challenging courses are created by the College Board in America and offer college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations.  Advanced Placement is accepted by universities in America, Canada, Japan, and over 100 countries in the world.  It is more widely used than IB. At this time all advanced placement courses are done online. The tests will be proctored by a teacher at NLIS. 


Kindergarten through grades 6 study Bible stories and Bible verses and how to apply the lessons of forgiveness, love, honoring our parents, and perseverance to our lives.  Our studies focus on character development.

Junior high students study Route 66. This is a survey of the 66 books in the Bible.  

High school students study the life of Christ, Proverbs, and other books in the Bible.  

A chapel time is on Fridays for all grades. The students memorize Bible verses, sing songs, and play games during this time.

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


Grades 9 and up may go to the English Bible camp, HiBA, in Chiba.  This is on the coast where the students stay in cabins, body surf in the ocean, go hiking, study the Bible, and make lasting friendships and memories.  

    Physical Education

          and Recess

Kindergarten grades have at least 2 to 3 recesses daily.


All students from grade one and up have 30 minutes of daily activity at the local park, in our front parking lot, or in our small gym, in case of rain.


Grades 1-6 have 30 minutes of physical education two times a week. Students play sports, do exercises, gymnastics, and jump rope competitions.

Grades 7-9 have 45 minutes of physical education two times a week. Students play various sports, including basketball, volleyball, and other sports, and they take fitness tests.


Grades 1 and up use computers to look up information, do research, play learning games, take tests, and listen to and read online books. One computer is available for all students from grade three through junior high.

Keyboarding is taught from grade three twice a week.  

Junior high and high school students do Google drive lessons, create accounts, manage documents, make spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, do coding, and create surveys.  

All students from grades 1 through 8 take a standardized test once a month online.

9th graders take a variety of practice SAT standardized online tests throughout the year.  This is to help enable them to achieve well on college entrance exams.

10th-grade students take the preSAT test.

11th-grade students take the SAT.  

Special Activities

Throughout the Year

School is made memorable with special activities throughout the year. 


There are 3 class parties, 2 field trips, several special theme days, and visiting speakers every year. 


An art fair for all grades is held in July and a science fair for grades 3 and up in February. 



and Associations

NLIS is working toward obtaining accreditation through Western Colleges and Schools (WASC). This will help students from NLIS be accepted into universities around the world. 


We are affiliated with the Christian Academy of Japan in Tokyo.


Kindergarten through grade 8 uses Singapore Math. It is one of the top-tested math texts available and emphasizes problem-solving and mental math.

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

9th-grade students take Algebra 1 or Algebra Honors 1.

10th-graders study Geometry.

11th-grade students take Algebra 2 or an advanced placement class.

12th-grade students can choose to take precalculus, trigometry, or an elective class.  


National Science is used for our standard in teaching science and health to grades kindergarten through grade 6.

Kindergarten through grade 3 explores science activities through hands-on STEM projects, research, and experiments.


Grades 4-6 study science through STEM projects, research, and experiments using American textbooks.  

Grades 3-6 present an experiment or a project for the annual science fair every February.

Next Generation Science Standards are used for our junior high science program.

Junior high students study the earth, and physical science using PowerPoint presentations, and labs.  We use Kesler Science.


Junior high students present a group science project for the science fair in February.

High school students study Biology, Earth Science and Chemistry.

Japanese Language

Native Japanese, experienced teachers teach 4 times a week, 45 minutes each day. All grades from grade one through high school use the Japanese national textbook (Kokugo textbook) and several kanji workbooks.  

Social Studies and History

Kindergarten through grades 6 uses American textbooks,  hands-on projects, and researches to study social studies, history, and global citizenship. Japanese history and culture are studied in all grades.


Child protection classes are taught to all students, grades one through high school, once a year for one week.  Sexes and ages are divided enabling the students to feel safe in their discussions.

Junior high studies Asian history, ancient history, and geography with a focus on the Eastern Hemisphere.

High school studies Humanities: World History, Comparative Politics, and Government.

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

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


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 to borrow.  We are very thankful for book donations.