Building on a career dedicated to education and community-building, Simon Palferman took up his role as Rugby School Japan’s Deputy Principal (Pastoral) at the beginning of January 2023. Mr Palferman and the RSJ leadership team are deep in the throes of creating an incredible boarding experience for RSJ pupils.
What are your first impressions of Japan, and the RSJ team?
It is great to be back in Japan after many years. We are usually here as a family in the summer, so the most obvious impression so far is that it is cold right now in Tokyo! I am enjoying the contrasting order and buzz of the city, as well as the daily commute surrounded by tiny children with huge backpacks winding their way to school. The RSJ team is full of sparkle and energy, and it is really exciting to be part of the inception of this project.
Your views on the RSJ campus?
The campus is extraordinary. I was surprised on my visit there to see so much space and the open nature of the site, which reflects the values and concept of the school itself. It is going to be green, spacious, and hugely well equipped.
(RSJ Campus, Kashiwanoha Smart City Chiba)
As Deputy Head (Pastoral) what are your ambitions for “Whole Person, Whole Point” at RSJ?
At RSJ, we believe firmly in the development of the whole child, and it is within the boarding house structure that we are able to encourage and accelerate that growth. Education at RSJ is not limited to the classrooms, but is gained continuously through the safe, warm and personalised care given to pupils within their houses. Each and every pupil is allocated to a boarding house, regardless of whether they are a day pupil, or a weekly or full boarder. Pupils live and learn within a community, where they can understand how to interact kindly and constructively with one another, forming lifelong friendships. Within the boarding houses, there are pupils of all different ages, and so they are expected to look out for one another as siblings might in a traditional family. And as they progress through the school and prepare for higher education and life beyond, the pupils are provided with opportunities to take responsibility as leaders and mentors. The houses replicate the advantages of a large family unit and provide an all-encompassing, comfortable, and enriching experience that cannot be easily matched.
Your relationships with RSJ parents so far?
I have been speaking to a number of prospective parents, and their enthusiasm for the school’s ideology and potential is clearly shared. We have had many extraordinarily talented pupils apply to the school, that I am really looking forward to helping to shape the community alongside the children’s parents.
What are you most looking forward to, upon the School’s opening?
I am looking forward to helping to fuse the very best of Rugby School’s tradition of high quality pastoral care and student welfare with Japanese instincts for community and cooperation. Rugby School Japan is going to be very happy school, and I can’t wait to see the children arrive in a few months’ time.
Key messages for anyone interested in learning more about the RSJ ethos and School Life?
Rugby School Japan is going to be a school where a vast array of opportunities exists for learning and personal growth, all of which will happen in an environment where children are safe to be themselves, and can feel supported, encouraged and at home, regardless of whether they are day pupils or boarders.
For more information about the topics covered in Mr Palferman’s article, kindly see the links below.
RSJ Upcoming Events HERE
RSJ Admissions HERE
Announcing our RSJ Deputy Heads (Oct 2022) HERE
Email RSJ: firstname.lastname@example.org