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Crich Junior School



Kon’nichiwa soshite yōkoso. Our theme this year at the Junior School is East Asia, and this term we are studying Japan. This topic has really engaged all of our school family.

Life in a Japanese School


We have been learning about what school life is like in Japan and comparing it to our school life. Some things are similar to our school, but, there are also many differences. Below are some of the facts we have learnt and our views about them.

Fact one:

Parents do not walk or drive their children to school as they are already at work. When walking to and from school, the pupils are expected to walk in groups, rather than on their own, to help keep them safe. The school provides yellow hats and a yellow bag – this is to help them stay visible and safe when walking to and from home.

Our views:

This is a good idea as the pupils can socialise and chat to their friends while walking to and from school. It also helps the whole community as there will be less pollution in the air as less people will use cars to get to school. A downside to walking to school in groups is you will have to be ready at a certain time in the morning, so the other pupils aren’t waiting for you.

Fact two:

During the school day, the pupils and teachers are expected to remove their shoes. The school provides blue slippers for everyone to wear.

Our views:

Wearing slippers instead of shoes in school will keep the school cleaner – mud and dirt from outside won’t be trodden into the classrooms. Another advantage of this is if someone accidently treads on someone’s fingers in school, it won’t hurt as much if wearing slippers. A disadvantage of removing shoes in school is the expense of buying slippers and providing all pupils and staff with the appropriate footwear.

Fact three:

Organising the school classrooms is slightly different to our school as the pupils stay in the same classroom all day, every day – they even have lunch in their own rooms. The teachers, on the other hand, move around the school for different lessons.

Our views:

A benefit of this is the pupils have less walking to do, as they don’t have to move from their classroom for different lessons. This will also mean the school will be quieter and tidier as there is less movement around the school. It also prevents pupils getting lost around school, if it is a big school. Some of our pupils don’t like this idea, as they aren’t able to mix with pupils from different year groups at lunchtime. You may also get bored of seeing the same four walls all day, every day.

Fact four:

During lunchtimes the pupils serve their own lunch, rather than having midday supervisors to do this for them.

Our views:

Most of our pupils like this idea as it helps gives them more responsibility. It also saves the school money as they won’t have to pay for any extra staff at lunchtimes.

Fact five:

Every school has to take part in earthquake drills – this is to prepare the pupils so they know what to do if an earthquake happens. Everyone has to wear a soft pillow hat to protect their heads and crawl under the school desks until the drill has stopped.

Our views:

Having earthquake drills would be quite scary to begin with, but the more times this is practiced, the less scary it would be. It is also something that is necessary to do in Japan as earthquakes are quite common there. If the drills aren’t carried out properly, the staff and pupils wouldn’t be prepared if the worst was to happen.

Fact six:

Schools in Japan do not employ cleaners. After lunch the teachers and pupils have 15 minutes every day to clean throughout the school, including the toilets!

Our views:

Pupils cleaning their own classrooms is a good idea as it gives them more responsibility. The pupils will look after their learning equipment and areas more if they have to clean up after themselves. It also saves the school money as they don’t have to pay a cleaner. Another view we had was the pupils will be missing out on vital learning time by having to clean, but, we also found out that school starts at 8am so they can make up the missed learning time in the extra hour before school. And Mrs Gregory, our fabulous caretaker says, ‘Great idea – let’s get cleaning....

Haiku Poems


“Haiku” is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. Haiku poems consist of three lines. The first and last lines of a Haiku have five syllables and the middle line has seven syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.


Savage, crazy, tough.

Overtaking boats, smashing

Choppy, crashing water.

Mia Y3


Frothy, choppy seas.

Uncontrollable, strong waves.

Gusty, violent winds.

Josh Y4


Frosty grass goes crunch.

Playing conkers is such fun

Rolling in the leaves.

Imogen Y5


Drums are really loud.

Waking the nextdoor neighbours.

Smashing sticks all day.

Oliver Y6




On our Japanese-themed activity day, Helen from Derbyshire Music Partnership came in to teach us Taiko. Taiko means drumming in Japanese. She was very good at drumming and made it very exciting for us.

We were taught a traditional Japanese piece of music. We drummed very loudly using all parts of the drum and we also shouted out a Japanese word, which was “sasa”, whilst we completed ninja moves in time with the beat of the drum.

We performed our piece of music to our parents once we had learnt all of the moves. We really enjoyed Taiko and would very much like to do it again.


Drummers at the ready  the pupils had to learn the actions as well as the drumming




In cookery lessons our chopping and cutting skills have taken on a Japanese theme – we have prepared, cooked and eaten chicken stir-fry. It tasted delicious and the whole school was filled with a wonderful aroma. If you would like to try our recipe you will find it on our website: Click on the ‘A Flavour…’ tab and then click on ‘Japanese Cookery’.


Japanese cooking at its best Everybody helped in the food preparation well it certainly looks good


Feeling the ‘Zen’ at Crich Juniors


With Christmas coming up – enjoy the moment – don’t worry about the stresses of Christmas. Have fun!!