Westonbirt Headmistress, Natasha Dangerfield was lucky to visit one of our sister schools recently, Fujimigaoka school in Tokyo. and reflects on her visit there and, their return visit to Westonbirt in March.
They shared with us an ethos in our education models for girls in the 21st century over lunch. It is always very empowering to sit on the other side of the world with little common language between us and to be able to understand our joint values for leading girls into the future and our hopes for our schools, which are clearly very similar. Fujimigoaka sits in view of Mount Fuji which we were fortunate to see on the lovely morning I visited. An ethereal and imposing view in the landscape as you look across the roof tops of Tokyo, it certainly reminds you of our place amid the landscape despite being very central in the city.
Fujimigaoka has a wonderful feel to it and is considered to be one of the most progressive and impressive girls’ independent schools in the region. With a Principal of esteem in Mr Yoshida, the school has been in existence since 1940 when his grandfather established it as World War II was beginning. It is now embracing a very modern age with both hands and as an educational partner, we hope that together, we are able to provide girls in both of our schools with further opportunities for exchange and the sharing of good ideas across continents.
On March 23 we were delighted to welcome our friends from Tokyo back to Westonbirt as the delegation from the school arrived with 3 staff and 28 girls, on a return trip! The largest group to visit us yet and perhaps the most excited. Westonbirt has become a favourite destination for them on their cultural visit to England. This will be followed by a further visit from Mr Matsuzawa in September to improve his English teaching and staying with us for short time to understand our delivery of education. Two girls will join him for their Autumn exchange from Japan and I hope two of our own girls will then travel to Japan for a 2 week stay at Fujimigaoka. This is open to girls in Year 9 and above and they will be accompanied by one of our members of staff. A wonderful partnership with our friends in Japan, thank you for visiting us.