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Organization and History of the English Immersion & Bilingual Program at Katoh School


School Organization

Katoh Gakuen is a large private Japanese school (Kindergarten – High School) in Numazu, Shizuoka, founded in 1926. Katoh School includes a kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school and two senior high schools (on two separate campuses). The English Immersion / Bilingual Program is offered at our kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school and one of our senior high schools (these schools also offer a “regular” / non-immersion program taught in Japanese).

In the kindergarten and elementary schools the English medium course is referred to as the “English Immersion Program.” The course at the junior and senior high is referred to as the “Bilingual Program.” The Japanese medium courses are referred to as the “Open Plan Course” at the kindergarten and elementary school and the “Core” and “Alpha” courses at the junior & senior high school. All the schools are accredited Japanese national schools and follow the Japanese national curriculum.

The kindergarten curriculum follows a thematic-based approach and has many school events over the course of the school year. The elementary and junior high schools follow the Japanese national curriculum and use English translations of the required Japanese textbooks. The junior/senior high Bilingual Program is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) for the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in grades 7-10, and Diploma Programme (DP) for grades 11-12. Students graduating from our high school Bilingual Program receive both a Japanese high school diploma and an International Baccalaureate Bilingual diploma.

Award Winning Innovation

Katoh Schools is home to an innovative, award winning English Immersion / Bilingual Program. We were the first K-12 English immersion school in Japan and have been recognized internationally as a leader in K-12 bilingual and immersion education. The current owner and president of the school is Dr. Masahide Katoh.

The school is a Japanese national school accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).


The English Immersion / Bilingual Program is primarily intended for Japanese students whose first language is Japanese. The program may also be suitable for students who have recently returned to Japan after living abroad or for students from bicultural families hoping to raise their children bilingually. At the secondary level students who have a sufficient level of English and who are highly motivated and seek the academic challenges of learning through English may also be considered for the program.

History of the School

Katoh Gakuen was established by Ms. Fuji Katoh in 1926.


Date Major Events
Apr. 1926 Foundation of Numazu Shukutoku Jogakuin
1965 Fuji Katoh awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Emperor
Apr. 1947 New Junior High School is established based on the New School System at Jiyugaoka campus. The school is called Numazu Girls Commercial School and Junior High. Ms. Fuji Katoh is installed as the first principal
Jun. 1947 The school is authorized as a junior high school in the New School System
Apr. 1954 School name is changed to Junior High School attached to Numazu Girls Commercial High School 
Jun. 1960 School name is changed to Numazu Girls Junior High School
Apr. 1967 Katoh Gakuen Kindergarten opens
Apr. 1972 Katoh Gakuen Gyoshu Elementary School opens
May-72 Ms. Fuji  Katoh passes away. Dr. Katoh Masahide is installed as the second principal
Apr. 1983 Katoh Gakuen Gyoshu Senior High School opens
May-83 School name is changed to Katoh Gakuen Gyoshu Junior High School
May-83 Opening Ceremony to celebrate the start of Gyoshu High School
Apr. 1992 Katoh Gakuen Gyoshu Elementary Immersion Program starts 
(1st English immersion school in Japan)
Apr. 1998 Bilingual Program at Gyoshu Junior High begins
Apr. 2001 Bilingual Program at Gyoshu Senior High begins
Jan. 2000 The IBO authorizes Gyoshu Junior & Senior High School for its Middle Years Programme
(1st school in Japan to be authorized as a Middle Years Programme school by the Baccalaureate Organization)
Nov. 2000 JACET Special Award is granted for the English Immersion Program
Mar. 2002 The IBO authorizes Gyoshu Senior High School for its Diploma Programme 
(1st Japanese school to be authorized as a Diploma Programme school by the International Baccalaureate Organization)
Mar. 2004 First cohort graduates from Gyoshu Senior High Bilingual IB Diploma Programme
Jul. 2012 Katoh Gakuen English Immersion Program celebrates it’s 20th anniversary 

Katoh Gakuen English Immersion/Bilingual Program