Little Angels International School

Little Angels International School and Academy (リトルエンジェルス学園 Ritoru Enjerusu Gakuen) is an international school, kindergarten, English school, and adult business school with two campuses located in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan.

It was designed to cater to Japanese children, whereas other Indian international schools in Japan were established mainly for Indian children.[1]


The school includes Little Angels International School (LAIS; リトル・エンジェルス・インターナショナル・スクール) for full-time students and Little Angels English Academy (リトル・エンジェルス・イングリッシュ・アカデミー) for after-school classes. The Little Angels International School has four divisions: Little Angels International Kindergarten (リトル・エンジェルス幼稚園), the Little Angels International Elementary School (リトル・エンジェルス小学校), Little Angels International Middle School (リトル・エンジェルス中学校) and Little Angels High School (リトル・エンジェルス高等学校). The curriculum follows both Japanese government (文部科学省) guidelines and international English guidelines for education. The Little Angels Middle School and High School have received accreditation from the Cambridge International Examinations.

The school also offers special classes for adults,[2] under the name Little Angels Business School (リトル・エンジェルス・ビジネス・スクール).[3]

The Mitaka Main Campus (三鷹本校) has all levels of education,[4] including the school, kindergarten, English academy, and business school.[5] The Mitaka Station Campus (三鷹駅校) houses the Little Angels English Academy & International Kindergarten.[6]

The school's original kindergarten campus in Mitaka was previously a single family residence.[7] The school previously had a campus in Kichijōji, Musashino.[8]


Jeevarani Angelina, a native of Chennai, moved to Japan in 1990 and became a non-resident Indian. Angelina, who is known as "Rani Sanku"[note 1] due to the ease in pronouncing it in Japanese,[1] established an English-training school, Little Angels English Academy, in 2002.[9] The kindergarten was started in 2004.[7] In the beginning, the school had an enrollment of only 5 students; This, however, increased to 15 students in 2005 and 30 students in 2006. By February 2008, enrollment had reached 85 students.[10] Japanese student enrollment increased along with the general student enrollment.[11] The school was scheduled to add the sixth grade in 2011. Melinda Joe of The Japan Times wrote that Little Angels "even helped pave the way for other Indian international schools in Tokyo, such as the Global Indian International School in Edogawa."[2]


The school has incorporated aspects of Montessori education,[2] with additional group work and a decreased emphasis on memorization.[1] Students begin speaking English in public at ages 2[12] or 3,[10] and at age 4 they must only speak in English at school.[12] Mathematics instruction begins at age 2 and computer instruction begins at age 3; these ages are younger than the respective ages at traditional Japanese schools. Other classes include arts and crafts, dance,[10] and science.[13] The school uses Indian textbooks,[10] but the school does not have Indian history classes.[1] Conversation, games, and songs are part of the curriculum.[13]

As of 2010, most students at this school and other Indian international schools who intend to study in the system until high school are aiming to enroll in universities outside Japan; the Tokyo Metropolitan Government considers this school and the other two Indian international schools in Tokyo to be "unauthorized schools" or schools which do not count as providing compulsory education under the School Education Law of Japan. A student who only attends "unauthorized schools" is ineligible to attend a university in Japan,[11] unless they complete an accepted international curriculum such as the International Baccalaureate,[14][15] or Cambridge International Examinations.[16]

The school is currently undergoing evaluation by the Council of International Schools to provide opportunities for the graduates to enter Japanese and foreign universities.

Student body

In 2008, it had 45 students, one of whom was Indian.[1] Japanese people made up 80% of the students as of 2010. Children of mixed marriages and children from other countries make up the remainder.[2] As of 2012, the percentage of Japanese students rose to almost 90%.[12] As of 2015, the number of students rose to almost 90 students spanning from pre-school to middle school.

Teaching staff

In 2008, there were four full-time teachers, three of whom were non-Japanese.[1] As of 2008, the majority of the teachers started English early in their lives.[10] These instructors originated from South Asia and Southeast Asia; including India, Indonesia, and Nepal.[2] As of 2015, the school has teachers from Australia, England, Greece, India, Jamaica, Nepal, Philippines, United State of America and have a diverse faculty.

See also

Japanese schools in India:


  1. Fackler, Martin. "Losing an Edge, Japanese Envy India’s Schools." The New York Times. January 2, 2008. Retrieved on March 9, 2015. Alternate link (Archive) "Unlike other Indian schools, Ms. Angelina said, Little Angels was intended primarily for Japanese children, to meet the need she had found when she sent her sons to Japanese kindergarten."
  2. Joe, Melinda. "Why do English teachers have to be native speakers?" (Archive). The Japan Times. April 15, 2010. Retrieved on March 9, 2015.
  3. "Welcome to Little Angels Business School." Little Angels International School. Retrieved on March 9, 2015.
  4. "Mitaka Main Campus." Little Angels International School. Retrieved on March 9, 2015. "Address: 9-7-14, Shimorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0013 〒181-0013 東京三鷹市下連雀9-7-14"
  5. Home. Little Angels International School. Retrieved on March 9, 2015.
  6. "Mitaka Station Campus." Little Angels International School. Retrieved on March 9, 2015. "1-3-2, Kamirenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0012 〒181-0012 東京都三鷹市上連雀 1-3-2"
  7. Saito, Mayumi. "Weekend Beat: Japanese parents praise Tokyo's Indian schools" (). The Asahi Shimbun/International Herald Tribune. September 22, 2007, Tokyo edition. Retrieved on March 10, 2015. See alternate location (Archive). "A native of India, Sanku opened the kindergarten in Mitaka, western Tokyo, in 2004."
  8. "Spring School Program 2011 Application Form" (Archive). Little Angels International School. Retrieved on March 9, 2015. "Little Angels International School 4-9-15, Honcho, Kichijoji, Musashino-shi, Tokyo 180-0004 (〒180-0004 東京都武蔵野市吉祥寺本町4-9-15)"
  9. "History." Little Angels International School. Retrieved on March 9, 2015.
  10. Terada, Shinichi "More parents send kids to Indian, Chinese schools" (Archive). The Japan Times. Sunday December 28, 2008. Retrieved on March 11, 2015. Alternate link
  11. Takizawa, Kosuke and Mai Fukuda. "Indian-style education gets an A Archived 2015-03-09 at WebCite" (Archive). The Daily Yomiuri. February 12, 2010. Retrieved on March 9, 2015.
  12. Oguma, Naoto. "Little Angels Gakuen Encouraging Independence and Self-reliance" (Archive). Fun Life!. No. 1, Summer 2012. Retrieved on March 9, 2015.
  13. "Asians offer fresh perspectives" (). The Nikkei Weekly. August 27, 2007. Retrieved on March 10, 2015.
  14. Iwasaki, Kumiko. "Will the International Baccalaureate Take Off in Japan?", Nippon Communications Foundation. December 4, 2013. Retrieved on August 13, 2015.
  15. Abrioux, Marc and Jill Rutherford. Introducing the IB Diploma Programme (Cambridge resources for the IB diploma). Cambridge University Press, February 14, 2013. ISBN 1107606284, 9781107606289. p. 1.
  16. "Little Angels - About Us". LAIS Homepage.


  1. "Sanku" is the surname of Angelina's husband, Sarath Chandar Rao Sanku

Further reading

Video files:

Audio files:

(in Japanese)

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