The British School Jakarta (BSJ) has long enjoyed a reputation as a marvellous launchpad for children wishing to go to top universities around the world. But recently they decided to up the stakes at the entry level for the youngest children, upgrading facilities (which were already good) and changing back to being called ‘kindergarten’, a better understood term. NOW! Jakarta’s Alistair Speirs went to visit and met three parents who entrusted their children to start their learning journey in the school and let them talk about their genuine satisfaction about this award-winning facility.
Mr. Adhika Maxi and Mrs. Karen Carlotta
Maxi and Karen are celebrities in the culinary world, having founded the very successful Union Group. They have three sons at BSJ.
Alistair: What made you choose BSJ for your children’s education?
Karen: I think we must choose the best education for our kids. Maxi was the one who proposed for us to visit BSJ, so we checked it out and we were amazed: the facilities, the parents and teachers working well together and witnessing the teachers’ passion with the kids. We have seen that sending our kids to BSJ Kindergarten has been a great way to get them to want to learn. I believe that the Kindergarten stage is the most crucial one, three and four years old, I think it shapes who they are, and it is really, really important to make our children self-confident—I believe BSJ can help us achieve that.
Alistair: What are your kids enjoying the most about their experience here at BSJ?
Maxi: Here in Kindergarten, our boys really enjoy Splash and Play on Wednesday afternoons, I believe they look forward to playing with the water. Our boys always come home and tell us about lots of things they did at school, such as “I did this at school and it was very good fun” or “My teacher gave me a sticker for joining in” and it really encourages our boys to take more risks with their learning and to see learning as fun. They also love the new playground, the bike tracks and the meals! And the good thing is, we know the menu of the meals everyday so we can check it out, it is good to know that our boys are eating well.
Alistair: What about the curriculum itself? With the fact it is an English National Curriculum. Is that important for you and your kids?
Karen: I love BSJ Kindergarten because they take learning step by step, it’s not pressuring the kids. When we were young, sometimes going to school felt high pressured, and that’s not what we want for our boys.
I think BSJ Kindergarten makes the learning so much fun for them and I think it is very important for them to enjoy the learning process. It is a smart curriculum; it is a mixture of play hard and work hard.
Alistair: Is starting in the BSJ going to lead to a British Education, or higher education around the world?
Maxi: I truly believe that my boys going to BSJ Kindergarten is going to shape them to go on to a great future, where they value quality education. I do hope they can go to university in London, because they are accustomed with the culture here in BSJ, I believe they will adapt well. They are smart, they are independent- It is a great start at BSJ Kindergarten.
Alistair: What made you choose the BSJ in the first place? There are so many opportunities to find other places!
Karen: I think that education is the most important thing for our kids, and I have inspiring friends whose kids go to BSJ. We wanted to take a look at the school and we were so impressed with the sports facilities, how big the whole school ground is, and such a great curriculum. From the moment we looked at BSJ’s Kindergarten I thought it would be perfect for our growing family. It has been perfect, this is what I want for our kids to start their learning, definitely.
Mrs. Tania Bridges
Tania has a young boy in Kindergarten and another who will join soon.
Alistair: What made you choose BSJ? There are so many kindergartens and primary schools in Jakarta, so why BSJ?
Tania: What we were looking for in a kindergarten was a school that, not only was fantastic in terms of its academics, but also a school that really wanted to nurture our child’s social and emotional development. One that would really help our child to find confidence, to make friends, and to deal with emotional regulation. All those things were really high on our list for a kindergarten and when we came to BSJ and looked around, and met the team, we were hugely impressed by the members that we met- we just knew that under their wing, our children would be well taken care of.
Alistair: What do you think about the curriculum and the facilities? Are they to your satisfaction?
Tania: We were very impressed with the facilities here at BSJ. When we first arrived to look at the school, we were pleased by the space itself, for the kids to have so much space to roam around in, to play and to run and for the kindergarten ages it is hugely important. And then the range of different types of play that are available here: not just in terms of the toys, but also in terms of sensory play, gross motor skills, and I do not know how many schools have, for example, a water play area. So the children are really able to follow their own interests and just see where their creativity and imagination takes them, for me, that was absolutely magical. It is the place I would have loved to go to when I was little, so we are very impressed with the facilities here.
And in terms of the curriculum, one of the things we love is how the staff will really get to know each child. Because of the pedagogy and the facilities at BSJ, the teachers can really facilitate the child’s learning according to their interests, their curiosity and what captivates them- that’s something that’s very unique and special.
Alistair: Is your child enjoying what they do? Do they tell you stories when they come home on how happy they are to be here?
Tania: Yes, absolutely. Our child has just bloomed since coming to BSJ. We have seen a huge growth in confidence. So much joy at the end of each day, sharing stories and sharing what has been taught in the classroom. There is evidently a really great dynamic between teachers, between the children and within the year group. Children are very happy with the school environment, very engaged, very stimulated, very safe, very supportive and very happy.