British School Jakarta (BSJ) is undergoing an overhaul of its facilities, including a new International Baccalaureate centre. Since its founding in 1974, British School Jakarta (BSJ) has provided an international education based on the British school system.
A British education is known for offering a broad and balanced curriculum, teaching that enables students to exceed their goals, exceptional extra-curricular opportunities and a commitment to student welfare. NOW! Jakarta spoke to Shane Nathan, Interim Principal of BSJ to 31 July 2018, about the school’s changing demographics and British heritage, as well as its students’ success.
Jakarta has changed, the expatriate profile has also changed. How have the school’s demographics evolved to reflect this?
The school’s population was once mostly British but today we have many students from other countries, including Indonesia and elsewhere in Asia. Our stringent entry requirements ensure we only enrol students who meet a certain standard of English. 30 per cent of our student body is Indonesian, 40 per cent come from the UK and the Commonwealth and the rest are from other countries. Around 56 nationalities are represented here. Our International Baccalaureate (IB) programme is particularly popular with Indonesians who want access to other markets for university and their careers.
What are the benefits of the British system and how are the values of the system reflected at BSJ?
One of the main assets is that it is balanced. It is focused on academics but also on the development of the person. We have extra curricular activities in music, the performing arts, sport, Model United Nations, debating groups, organisations that link to other international schools and programmes with the local communities. BSJ employs more British-trained teachers than any other school in Indonesia.
How have Indonesian students benefited from BSJ’s programmes?
They have a well rounded view. We believe it’s good for students of all nationalities to work together towards a common understanding that there are more similarities than differences. We know that our students comprise future Indonesian and international leaders, who will go out there and make a difference. Our Indonesian students give us an insight into this country and the environment we are in. It’s mutually beneficial.
Where have students gone to University after they finish their studies here?
The majority of our students go on to University in the UK and the US. I’d say about 40 per cent go to each of those areas. The remaining 20 per cent go to University in Europe or Australia or Canada. We have counsellors who look at the student’s profile and talk to them and their parents about ideal career paths. They also do University tours in the US. They build links to those universities.
Quite often we’ll have counsellors who can ring US universities and speak to them about a student and recommend them, assuming of course the student meets the admissions criteria. In the UK it’s a bit more straight forward as we have UCAS [Universities and Colleges Admissions Service which operates the application process for British universities]. Our demanding IB programme is recognised worldwide.
Is there a specific British curriculum that is followed here?
It’s based on the English curriculum and adapted to the international context. It’s developed for schools where students may move from one school to another. It’s more inquiry based. If the students have been in the UK system they’ll slot right in and if they move from here to the UK or to another British school they will find they fit right in academically.
We have the added benefits of specialist teachers in different languages, such as Mandarin, Indonesia, French, Spanish, etc. We have a stringent employment process and we choose teachers who have worked in this system before, who share that ethos and and that pedagogy.