Academic Tracks
Academic Tracks > Project-Based Learning Track

Project-Based Learning (PBL) Track

This track premiered at Usui in April of the academic school year 2022. Although PBL is at the core of the program, students in this track will still study all of the subjects outlined by the Ministry of Education for a total of 25 ~ 26 credits in humanities and 48 total in sciences.

This track contains both academically intensive courses as well as PBL activities aimed at cultivating motivated learners who are academically talented. Students in this track are primed to apply for National Public universities such as Osaka University and Kanazawa University or high ranking private universities such as Kansai University, Kwansei Gakuin University, Doshisha University and Ritsumeikan University.

Project-Based Learning (PBL) Track Curriculum

★The curriculum accounts for 33 credits per academic year. Each year is divided into two semesters of study.

As of the 2022 academic year, Usui High School has adapted the school calendar from a trimester system to a semester system as well as revised its curriculum for the standard track. Students will now finish earning the necessary credits to graduate sooner and thus gain more time for electives. This will help them in their effort to find work or get into the university of their choice.

Although students don’t have formal classes the last two periods of the day on Friday, the curriculum still allows for 33 credits per academic year.

After School Usui (ASU) Shapes Learning

After revamping the curriculum in 2022, we dedicated sixth and seventh period to “ASU,” or After School Usui, every Friday. During these two dedicated class periods, students carry out their own self-designed studies. For example, students interested in culture may choose to experience the history of Fukui, traditional crafts or visit local businesses and factories. During this time frame students may also choose to attend classes aimed at helping them score better on university entrance exams or engage in self-study to work on homework and review.

Advising Your Region (PBL) and STEAM

We put our utmost efforts into creating PBL at this school to bring out the best in our students. Students cooperate with local officials to learn about as well as discover problems affecting Fukui and polish their critical thinking skills as they strive to find solutions to them. The overarching theme of PBL at Usui is “Advise Your Region”! Students typically team up in groups of three or four to tackle a regional issue.
Some examples include trying to vitalize the city centre of Fukui (Fukui City), thinking of how to make work environments more inclusive for women and child raising and redesigning disaster prevention and relief.

STEAM is a term combining the first letters of five English words: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. The educational philosophy is to combine science and mathematics education with creativity. The appeal is the excitement of creating new discoveries through cross-disciplinary learning that creates a cycle of "knowing (exploration)" and "creating (creation)."

Integrated Humanities Class

Students in the PBL track will be part of a class comprised of their peers focusing on both humanities and sciences. Although many subjects are taught in separate classrooms, students will share ideas and values as they come together in as a single class to enhance each other's learning. They will also have two homeroom teachers so that students can receive career support from both the humanities and science departments.

The PBL Room

Usui has an exclusive room that is dedicated to the students in the PBL track. This room is perfect for when students work on their projects during class time as well as meet after school to work on them independently. It is here that students can deepen and further their own discussions. The room has been recently renovated and came online at the end of the 2021 school year.

The PBL room sports whiteboards that can slide along the walls, multiple projectors, and a table and chairs set up that was designed to effectively encourage collaboration. The room is also scheduled to be equipped with microphones, speakers and wifi to ensure that students can easily communicate with anyone of our affiliates even if they cannot physically be present in the classroom. This is the hub for all of their PBL activities.

Global Studies Overseas

Although students in this track do not participate in the school trip with their peers, they will participate in a four nights, five days study tour in Southeast Asia. They will not only experience foreign culture but they will also gain a better understanding of local municipal facilities and their research, as well as take part in foreign exchange with the students of our sister schools. Most of the dialogues they will have and presentations they will give will be conducted in English. Students will gain the benefits of undergoing extensive inquiry themed learning in this track.

University Preparations

From elite national universities to private universities, the PBL track has a variety of programs that begin preparing students to enter the university of their choice from the time they are sophomores. A few examples of such programs include; the “University Inquiry Program,” “Studying For a Future In-Line With Your Family,” and “Special Lectures Based on Prep-Schools.” During summer vacation of their junior year, students gain access to the “Visiting Universities” program where they can visit university campuses and speak with recent graduates. Students in this track may also choose to prepare using high level mock-tests during the aforementioned After School Usui. Our staff is ready and waiting to support students who are aiming for a top level university.