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Mougins School

The Learning Curve

 Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会) Taking the Japanese Way
  • Secondary Matters
Paul Michael

During the years I spent working in the Japanese education system as a young man in the early 2000s, I would, from time to time, hear the expression ‘Ichi go, ichi e’. I would see it written on various documents, too, (this was before social media!) and as it had a fairly easy kanji/written script, it was also one of the first pieces of Japanese I learned to write. 

During the years I spent working in the Japanese education system as a young man in the early 2000s, I would, from time to time, hear the expression ‘Ichi go, ichi e’. I would see it written on various documents, too, (this was before social media!) and as it had a fairly easy kanji/written script, it was also one of the first pieces of Japanese I learned to write. 

Its translation is largely agreed to be ‘one time, one experience/occasion’. Its meaning, however, is somewhat more subtle and can find a connection in, I believe, a number of important moments for our students

As this term draws to a close, I am conscious that for many of our Year 11,12 and 13 students, the prospect of their final external exams means that they really want to make that one moment reflect a much larger number of experiences. Their lessons, field work, revision hours, super-curricular endeavours, and many more moments besides, will come into focus in the exam hall. Ultimately, we know that they will do their best, give their all, and we will await another moment in August when the results are released. 


This, of course, will lead to further moments: choosing A Levels, university courses, and on into adult life. And, amongst the busyness and ambition of all of these occasions, it is possible to lose sight a little of purpose, poise, and, crucially, enjoyment of study and school life. Being calm in the moment, bein prepared for pressure, and taking time to enjoy challenge Is a lifelong skill for us all to develop.

For all of those students who are not taking examinations at the end of our two week holiday, there is a different chance to enjoy these ichi-go, ichi-go moments. Taking time to reconnect with friends and families,with places that are familiar or investigating and exploring new and exciting locations is equally important. Remembering that we have one chance to be fully engaged with one moment at any one time can be very helpful for us as we restore and re-energize ourselves for the final term ahead.

I hope you all have a wonderful, ‘moment-ful’ fortnight and look forward to hearing about your time when we return.
 

Paul Michael
Head of Secondary School

  • Secondary