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Foundress Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779 - 1865)
The first Sacred Heart School was founded in 1801 in Amiens, France, and began as a boarding school for girls. Since then, schools have been established in various locations in France, where the spirit of Christian values, high intellect, and effective action became the tradition of the Sacred Heart education for girls. In 1818, the first Convent of the Sacred Heart was established in America, later extending to South America, and in 1908, arriving from Europe via Australia, four Sacred Heart sisters grounded the foundation in Japan. Now, there are seven Sacred Heart schools from kindergarten to university in Japan, and 147 schools in 30 countries around the world, continuing the spirit of the Sacred Heart education.
Sr. Eriko Oyama, RSCJ Headmistress
At the Sacred Heart School, on the campus full of green, there is the joy of learning, the pleasure of playing and talking with friends, and the silence of prayer. Every day the school is full of energy of growth. As a typical characteristic of the Sacred Heart, our students have a challenging spirit of striving beyond boarders. They broaden their view within the worldwide Sacred Heart network and try to live together as women blessed with global minds.
We have implemented a 3-stage educational system, 4 years in each stage from Grades 1 to 12, to realize a consistency appropriate to the developmental stages of girls. In every day classes, much stress is placed on critical thinking, and judgement skills are polished through various experiences in school life. In addition, our students develop ways of expression which originate from their inner strength.
As a Catholic mission school, we provide a peaceful learning environment founded on the teachings of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and look after our pupils and students with great care. We support them to nurture their souls, enrich their minds and foster their power to act, developing their uniqueness as a whole.
We share with the parents the idea of a solid foundation for children in this rapidly changing world, and together, strive towards an innovative education. In order to support working parents, we began an afterschool care program for First Stage pupils in 2016, and this year we have extended the program to accommodate Grades 5 and 6 pupils. Furthermore, we support children and parents in building stronger relationships. We also place great emphasis on our ICT program; every Grade 5 pupil now has her own iPad.
We will continue to develop this Sacred Heart education with both the sureness of tradition and the flexibility to respond to this ever changing world.
In the Middle and High School Sports Day, Grades 7-12 students compete by grade. Individual events such as the 100 meter race, team sports such as the obstacle race and tug-of-war, and various dance performances by grade take place. In the Primary School, Sports Day is held on the Feast Day of our foundress, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat. Her words are recited in unison, and with Grade 6 students as leaders, students learn about her heart and compassion
The school festival is hosted by the Middle and High School. Planned and organized by the Mikokoro Festival Committee, students perform and exhibit their achievements from their classes, clubs, and committees. Games are also prepared and food sold on this day; thus, parents, students, graduates, along with hundreds of guests enjoy this large-scale event
This ceremony is held to celebrate the birth of Jesus through carols and prayers. High school students attend mass, and in the Middle school, selected students perform in the pageant created by Grade 9 students. In the Primary School, Christmas Wishing is celebrated in English with carols and a play, with Grade 6 students taking the lead.
Primary School students perform on stage or display what they learned throughout the academic year. Until Grade 4, students present their creative achievements from their Living Environmental Studies and Integrated Studies, Grade 5 students from their English classes, and Grade 6 students from their Music classes. In the year of exhibitions, all students display their art work and learn from each other.
The main gate was built by the architect Jan Letzel in 1978, who also constructed the Hiroshima Dome. These are the only two monuments of his in existence today in Japan, and this gate has been designated as a historic landmark of Tokyo. The brick-built gate is a design of Western classical architecture, while the turtle shell-shaped roof and turtles carved onto the two gateposts give it a Japanesque touch.
The Chapel was designed by Antonin Raymond in 1928. It stands as a place of worship for Mass, religious events and morning assemblies. Part of the wooden structure was brought over from a French chapel over 100 years ago, and the bench that the foundress Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat prayed is still in precious use today. There is an anecdote that when the Main Building was struck by a fire bomb and engulfed in flames during World War II, the fire miraculously extinguished in front of the Chapel doors, saving the sacred hall.
The architect Tadao Ando designed this multipurpose building in 2008 to commemorate the centennial anniversary of this school. The hall, with a seating capacity of 200, is located on the third floor, and small classrooms are on the first and second floors, creating a place for prayer, learning and integrated studies.
The green courtyard is the oasis where students come and go between classes. The many plants, including the symbolic metasequoia that overlooks the campus, express their beauty throughout the year. This is also the place where morning assemblies are held, and where children run around and play.
This painting shows the young Virgin Mary resting her hands at work and devoting her heart to God in front of a background symbolizing a hopeful future. Expressing the fundamental human lifestyle of prayer, thought and labor, and with the lily symbolizing innocent virtue, this painting is hung in every Sacred Heart school around the world to be looked upon as the model the foundress urged women to become.