Madeleine Adams, Head of Athletics
I am from a small suburban town on the outskirts of London. Sport and physical activity have always played a big part in my life, I grew up doing gymnastics and later took up hurdling which I still absolutely love! I am the Head of Physical Education and Athletic Director here at Sacred Heart and I am proud to be part of this community. I joined Sacred Heart back in 2015 and ever since then I have been really impressed with the opportunities we offer our students in order for them to grow as young women. I am passionate about the transformative power of sport and I'm excited to share this passion with our students.
Leo, Middle School student
Being in ISSH has changed my life a lot. It was very different from my old school, but I really enjoy being here. It motivates me to get out of my house every morning to see my friends and learn the most interesting topics.
I am glad that I came to ISSH. It made me become a better person and taught me many meaningful life lessons. I have learned that diversity is important in any society for it to function. Showing who we truly are can be difficult. That is because we are scared that people might not accept us. To avoid not being accepted, we often take the easy route to be the same as everyone else and not to stand out. On the other hand, think about it this way; if everyone is the same then what fun is there to be in that plain community? As cliche as it might sound, be yourself, speak your mind, act like how you want to, and do not care about what others may think of you, because eventually, there will be a group of people that will accept and treasure you.
I hope that everyone can experience all of the amazing things that I have here. I would definitely think back as a senior in high school and enjoy all of my memories here. Sacred Heart will always be a special place in my heart and be an important part of my life. In the words of Lao Tzu, "Whenever you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you."
“I graduated ISSH in 2012. I am based in Brussels, Belgium. I work as a junior analyst and my job is to coordinate and manage working groups for an industry organization. Our membership is made up of telecom companies and we help drive their sustainability and human rights strategies by conducting studies and developing digital tools to help achieve their goals.
There are so many ways that Sacred Heart helped me get to where I am today, but if I have to focus on one thing it would have to be how Sacred Heart helped me in becoming confident in myself and the things that I stood for. There is something really special when you have teachers, administrators, and staff who help build up young women in this type of environment. It’s important especially in my sector, which is mostly made up of older men, I have always been the youngest person in the room and often times, I was one of just a handful of women in the room. There were times when I would get pushed aside just because I had less experience but when I was asked for my opinion, I really knew my stuff. Because of that, I was able to show my competence and confidently share my opinions. I think this confidence had to build up gradually, but it started from my days at Sacred Heart.
The extracurricular activities really helped steer me in the right direction. Namely, drama, Sparx, and band. From drama, I learned how to work with different types of people and to always be on my toes. Having a person like Mr. Hagans challenged me and my group because he threw scenarios at us and taught us how to do improv. Of course, they were fun, but thinking back now, I realize that those classes helped a lot. And again, going back to my confidence, it helped me navigate social interactions. It showed me how much I loved working with people and working towards common goals. It’s so relevant to the work I do now because I handle memberships and external affairs. So you have to be very flexible, empathetic towards people. Sparx and band taught me basic management skills – event management, project management. That’s a large bulk of what I do now. You have to be a really good multitasker. Of course, back in high school, I looked at these as fun classes to explore the arts but it’s actually because of these activities that I am very level-headed now when I do project management and event management.
I miss the teachers a lot. I think that’s why I keep coming back. The teachers are the foundation of the school. We are very lucky to be able to build a strong relationship with our teachers and it helps that we have such a small class size.
It was a challenge for me to get out of that international school bubble. It is very important for us to recognize that our environment and our school is not the norm. We are very lucky to have all these friends from different, beautiful cultures but that’s not how the rest of the world is. So when I moved to the US for college there needed to be a conscious effort on my part to reach out to people who have had different experiences and empathize and understand how they lived. By doing so, I ended up finding issues that I was very passionate about. I put my energy into that when I lived in Boston. I got interested in homelessness, public school education, and human rights.
You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself and you need to seek things that you are passionate about. I know it’s easier said than done when there are all these external forces telling you otherwise. But it’s ok to be unsure. I honestly wasn’t sure by the time I graduated. I had so many interests. I think students need to give themselves time to explore things. In the meantime, when you are exploring you should choose areas that help you build the right skills until you figure out a path that works for you. So for example, I wasn’t sure about my path, but in the first year of college I ended up taking courses that would end up benefiting me no matter which path I took. Everything will work out as it should as long as you keep doing what you are interested in.”
Hana, High School Student
When I first came to Sacred Heart, I didn’t expect this school to be able to change my school life completely. In my 10 years of being at Sacred Heart, this school has taught me the importance of friendship and kindness. The Sacred Heart community is a warm welcoming school to anyone. They always allow us to make new friends from all around the world, people from many different countries and cultures. I’ve always thought, what it would be like not going to Sacred Heart. This school, not only teaches us academics but also allows us to develop our skills and talents. Sacred Heart provides different fine arts programs and many different sport teams. Having many opportunities in sports and arts allows us to do what we like and do what we believe to do. This year, I take a part in the MS choir, MS/HS orchestra, MS band, volleyball, soccer, etc. All of these that I take a part in is a very special part in my life and am sure that I will never forget these moments. In conclusion, I am thankful for my parents to give me this opportunity to come to this school. I am sure that all students at this school is very thankful of Sacred Heart in uncountable ways.
Tamima, Middle School Student
Sacred Heart is where you can find your weak point to be a better person. In my experience of my 2nd year, Sacred Heart never made me blue. It always cheered me even though I didn’t tell it too. It always make me try for new things and learn the difficulties through mistakes. Join a lot of activities that makes you delighted. It always made me think this is impossible to accomplish and be a Sacred heart student.However, my dream took an action. By help of amazing teacher, friendly students that are so easy to make friends and the most important thing is the whole school throughout the year. When this world began, it was impossible to understand everything because I could only speak english only a little bit. Nevertheless, teachers taught me to learn throughout mistakes. I couldn’t believe the day I was told I became a student council. This is when I learned how to make a wise decision and be a great student. I love Sacred Heart which pushed me toward a goal. This is my story and I think I am lucky to join the International School of the Sacred Heart.
Maria, High School Student
I was a timid 5 year-old when our Principal asked my mother what her expectations were from the school if I were to be admitted. To this, she replied, “I want my daughter to know - before she graduates - exactly what she wants to do. I want her to be prepared for her future.”
13 years later, I’m a senior applying to college, and her expectations seem to be fulfilled.
Sacred Heart, of course, prepares students to pursue a challenging academic path by emphasising the importance of a strong fundamental education. To truly allow students to gain confidence in their skills and develop an interest, however, is the freedom students are given to personalise their studies. Our school offers a range of values classes, elective courses, and extra curriculars, which all allow students to explore and begin to understand themselves better.
‘Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom’ is greatly valued by our community and is a school goal that many students live by, whether they know it or not. Every time we challenge ourselves, we add to the diversity of our community and learn about our personal boundaries while doing so. We grow together as students, athletes, musicians, leaders, and friends, preparing ourselves for the years to come.
Looking back now, I finally see how our warm, diverse Sacred Heart community has helped shape my past, present, and future, preparing me for college. I can say with confidence that I know what I want to do and who I want to be.
Joining a new high school in Grade 11 definitely has its obstacles, however, Sacred Heart’s environment and supportive faculty allowed my transition to be smooth and exciting. Even though I only spent 2 years in such wonderful school, I have learnt from students, teachers and faculty values that I will forever cherish. As a 16 year old, I was still unsure about what I wanted to do in the future. However, the AP program provided by the school and the support of dedicated teachers and faculty, allowed me to explore wide variety of subjects and in the end, I decided I wanted to major in Physics. Even after graduating, the school always welcomes its alumni with open arms and it feels as if I never left! No words can describe how thankful I am that I had the opportunity to spend the last crucial years of my high school in such a wonderful institute that I can now call my other home
Joseph Adams, Head of Values
Originally from Manchester in the UK, I joined Sacred Heart last year as a Values teacher and Head of Department. Previously I was in a similar role at a school in South London. I have loved my time at the school so far. The community here has managed to create a space where all students and faculty are supported and encouraged to improve themselves. At Sacred Heart Schools we have five clear goals as our educational mission. Many places of work have similar mission statements and targets but here I have been very impressed to see that these goals are consistently at the forefront of decisions made throughout the school. I feel very honoured to be a part of it!
Yuka, High School Student
The International School of the Sacred Heart is full of international children. There are students who have been at this school their whole life, moved out of Japan and came back, or just joined from another school in or out of Japan. No matter how many years you’ve been at this school, however, Sacred Heart is a place where you can relax and be yourself. For me, Sacred Heart is a second home and a place I would always want to come back to even after I graduate or leave this school. I believe that all of us feel the same because I constantly see alumnae or those who have moved out of Japan visiting us whenever they come back to visit Tokyo. Sacred Heart is also a very warm community. I always see a new student who seems nervous on the first day, running around with friends on the very next day like she’s been here for years!
Sacred Heart has been teaching me not only various academic subjects, sports, and music, but also things like the importance of sharing, open-mindedness, honesty, kindness, forgiveness, and perseverance. Most of all, by coming to Sacred Heart, I learned how to love unconditionally and spread kindness from the bottom of my heart. I feel very honored and privileged to be a Sacred Heart student.
Ai O, graduate, veteran at Sacred Heart, teacher
Since graduating from Sacred Heart, I have attended universities in the U.S., worked at a global financial software company, and taught internationally in the U.S. and China. When I became a teacher, I hoped that one day I would be able to return to Sacred Heart. And now that I'm a teacher here, I feel like I'm back home.
I spent thirteen years as at Sacred Heart as a student, learned from dedicated and knowledgeable teachers, and made life-long friends from all over the world. What makes Sacred Heart special to me is the community; the combination of students, teachers, and families who care deeply about one another and the school. Attending Sacred Heart has greatly influenced who I am today and the experiences I have had since graduating.
I am very happy to be back now, and I look forward to making more great memories here with our students.
Aoi, Middle School Student
In my first year at Sacred Heart I felt excited. I was excited to make new friends but sad to say goodbye to my old friends. In my old school there were no goals or school themes. I think with the goals you can challenge yourself so I think it`s a good idea. The school theme helps you try to do the theme for the year and be a better person. I made new friends here and I am still making new friends at Sacred Heart. It was not as hard as I thought. The part that really surprised me was in my old school when you get a class you never change classes but in this school every year you change classes and you also get new teachers. This helps you make new friends. I am so glad I am at Sacred Heart. At Sacred Heart there are a lot of nice teachers and funny principals who will cheer you up. Teachers will help you when you need help. Friends will help you too. I have learnt a lot at Sacred Heart. In 4th grade we have monitors so we help the younger children be safe and learn to be responsible and respectful and our best. If I was not at Sacred Heart I would not have experienced lots of new things. I would not have such a special successful life. This is how Sacred Heart is special to me.
Chihiro, High School Student
The International School of the Sacred Heart has never disappointed me. In my 8 years of experience, I have made so many friends, joined so many activities and learned such a wide range of knowledge. Being able to accomplish these things first seemed impossible for me, a non-English speaking student. I was wondering how I could talk to others, smile with others, eat lunch with others and other countless things. To me, it was the end. But the teachers at this school helped me speak English. The students befriended me. This school did everything that it possibly could to help me. This is just an example of why I love this school. And I assure you that any ISSH student can write a book about all the reasons for loving Sacred Heart .