Message from Head of School

Jake Madden, Head of School

Welcome to Aoba-Japan International School, a vibrant educational community dedicated to preparing students for success in today’s rapidly changing world. As the Group Head of Schools, I am thrilled to share our vision and emphasize the profound importance of equipping young minds with the skills, knowledge, and values they need to thrive in our interconnected society.

At Aoba, we believe in nurturing young entrepreneurs who can make a tangible difference and contribute to a better world. Our educational philosophy revolves around fostering collaborative learning, teamwork, and self-confidence, while also promoting creativity, innovation, and motivation. We strive to empower students to transform their ideas into reality, make thoughtful decisions, and ultimately achieve their goals.

To realize our vision, we have established five core values that underpin our educational approach: Global Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Effective Communication, Prudent Risk-Taking, and Proficient Problem-Solving. These values serve as guiding principles, shaping our curriculum, teaching methodologies, and extracurricular activities. Our chosen curriculum, the International Baccalaureate (IB), provides a framework for holistic education, encouraging deep exploration of important ideas and developing students’ creative and critical thinking skills.

At Aoba, we prioritize the holistic growth of our students. We strive to create a nurturing environment where they can develop essential life skills, build meaningful relationships, and embrace their unique talents and interests. We recognize that success extends beyond academic achievement, and our dedicated educators are committed to providing a supportive and enriching environment that nurtures the social, emotional, and physical well-being of every student.

By fostering a culture of respect, collaboration, and open-mindedness, we aim to instill a global perspective and intercultural understanding in our students. We celebrate diversity and provide opportunities for cross-cultural experiences, encouraging students to become compassionate and responsible global citizens.

We invite you to visit our beautiful campuses, where you can witness firsthand the dedication and passion of our educators. Experience the vibrant and inclusive community we have cultivated, where students are encouraged to explore their passions and talents while receiving exceptional academic instruction. At Aoba-Japan International School, we are committed to shaping a brighter future for your child, inspiring them to make their mark on the world and embrace the limitless possibilities that lie ahead.

“To be better tomorrow than you are today”
Jake Madden
Head of School


After graduating with a primary teaching degree majoring in physical education Jake has enjoyed a successful teaching and leadership career across three states and four educational systems throughout Australia. He has been a principal of seven schools over the last twenty years building and leading learning communities. He is passionate about leadership and the positive difference that it can make to teacher and student learning outcomes.  Over many years, Jake has led and facilitated the professional learning of principals and staff at school, national and international level in the area of leadership, school improvement and curriculum development.

Guiding his leadership practices is the key focus on improving student learning. This highlights his educational interests in building teacher capacity through the development of learning in the contemporary world, the promotion of flexible learning spaces to meet the needs of the 21st century learner and curriculum for global mindedness. This is highlighted in his online presence. Additionally Jake is recognised for his passion in supporting the training and development of beginning teachers.

Jake sees teachers as leaders in his schools with his doctoral research being focused on the relationship between teachers as leaders and school principals. Flowing from his research and experience in schools, Jake has provided blueprints for schools wishing to engage in school improvement initiatives. He is the author of six books and numerous articles. Incorporating his doctoral work on building teacher capacity Jake’s expertise has assisted schools in undertaking pedagogical change.

Jake is a leader in the notion of teacher-as-researcher and through his leadership in schools engages teachers to collaborate in revising curriculum, improving their work environment, professionalizing teaching, and developing effective school policy. In his role as International Schools Consultant Jake is called upon nationally and internationally to offer insights into building teacher capacity in de-privatizing teaching and learning.

Jake is awarded a Fellowship with the Australian Council of Educational Leaders in recognition for his contribution in this area and to fostering teacher professional learning. In December 2019 the Global Forum for Education and Learning conferred him in the top 100 leaders in education and in 2020 he received the outstanding contribution to education from GESS, Dubai. Jake was the editor of the Journal of Applied Research and Innovation and he sits on the editorial board for the International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. He was the inaugural Dean of the Australian College of Researchers.

Strategic Goals of Aoba

Aoba will become a leading school in Asia that develops global leaders. We will:

  • Offer the PYP, MYP, and DP International Baccalaureate Programmes.
  • Develop real-world learning experiences that are diverse, student-centered, relevant, engaging, and globally valued.
  • Integrate technology and innovation into learning.
  • Promote genuine and constructive partnerships with parents and the wider community to improve and enhance student learning and success.
  • Ensure that faculty, staff, and administration are equipped to deliver excellence in education.
  • Create formal partnerships and collaborative relationships; Aoba will pursue its mission by embracing a culture of exchange and cooperation with schools and organizations in Japan and around the world.

Aoba Strategic Plan 2021-2025

Education Objectives, Goals and Strategies: 

  1. Learning Outcomes – Deliver exceptional learning outcomes for all students
  • Identity – Our organisational mission, vision, identity, and unique market position are clearly understood by all community members. 
  • Accreditation / Authorisation – Our academic programmes clearly meet standards for external / internal QA and recognition. 
  • Programme Development – Our educational programs achieve improved learning outcomes.

2. Professional Capacity – Support professional thinking, practice and collaboration to ensure  educational impact.

  • Staffing – We confidently and proactively attract, monitor and retain quality staff who manifest our identity. 
  • Embedded Blended Learning (EBL) – Build EBL professional capability in all teachers from K to 12. 
  • Blended Learning Resources – The school leverages the teachers’ intellectual property to produce resource products for internal and external use.

3. Outreach – Deepen partnerships within and beyond the community.

  • Community Development – Our parent and community network clearly understand and actively support our strategic plan. 
  • Network Development – Our professional thought leadership network actively contributes to the A-JIS strategic plan. 

Business Objectives, Goals and Strategies: 

  1. New Revenue – Develop relevant educational programmes, products and services that can be taken to market. 
  • Digital products and services – Develop new digital educational programmes resources and services in support of the Aoba strategic revenue objectives.

2. Efficiency – Generate value by leveraging connected and collective organisational assets.

  • Technical Infrastructure – Our technology infrastructure, resources and support are fit for purpose at all associated campuses, programmes and services. 
  • Business Administration – Our business administrative structures are fit for purpose to scale for organisational growth, consistency and efficiency, where appropriate.

3. Growth – Ensure support for future projects and organisation expansion through school growth and enrolment growth.

  • Branding / Marketing – Our brand and marketing are updated to effectively and consistently reflect our identity. 
  • Renovation / Expansion of Existing Schools – Our campuses are renovated / extended to raise our brand profile and increase enrolment. 
  • New Schools / Programmes – New schools and programmes increase revenue.

4.  Accountability – Ensure that operations are sustainable and run effectively

  • Strategic Planning – Our strategic planning and project management systems empower teams to set and achieve organisational goals in ways that are purposeful, collaborative and productive. 
  • Budget Planning – Our budget planning and management empowers leadership teams for optimal financial accountability. 

We are accepting applications