What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
British International School Jakarta
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
British International IB
What grade levels are represented at this school?
FS1 (3 years) to IB (18 years)
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Door to door bus service provided by Big Bird Bus Group (part of Blue Bird Group). Each bus is equipped with GPS & radio monitoring so HQ knows it's whereabouts & speed at all times. A bus mum or dad is always on board to chaperon the kids, as well as the driver. They also accompany the youngest kids to/from class in the morning/afternoon. Some by private car.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Best facilities a parent can ask for. The campus at Bintaro opened in 1994 & is set in the middle of playing fields away from local traffic. There is an Olympic sized pool as well as shallow toddler pool for the youngest students (FS2 get swimming lessons twice a week!). There are several soccer/rugby fields & several tennis courts. The outside/inside play facilities for younger children in Primary are excellent & include a "soft-play" room.
Extracurricular activities after school start at year 2. From year 1 the 5th lesson on Tuesdays is personal choice & range from soccer/golf to computer/religious studies & everything in between.
There is the absolutely fantastic BIS WORLD THEATRE which is only a few years old. It not only hosts the children's professionally produced plays but also world class productions visiting Jakarta.
A brand new secondary school library opened just last year & there is also Busters Cafe, where parents can meet for cappuccino or wait for their kids. Free WI-FI nearly everywhere on campus.
BIS Jakarta also takes part in the FOBISSEA tournaments, including music. They have a fantastic music dept with a great student Gamelan group & traditional drumming group (which has played at The St. Andrew's Ball, Jakarta), BIS rock band, BIS orchestra.
ICT even for the youngest students. The school has invested heavily in PC & MAC in all classes including for 3 year olds.
Modern languages, technology & sciences have their own buildings.
There is a school nurse office for each sector of the school. Primary & secondary IB.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home
country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
My children started their school careers at BIS Jakarta so I'm not qualified to answer.
If there is a program to prepare my children for repatriation, I'm not aware of it.
You haven't asked but since I feel its an important issue at schools - BULLYING IS NOT TOLERATED AT BIS JAKARTA. Pamphlets have been sent home to educate parents as well as the children.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
The PTA is a tireless entity. They organize one of the biggest events in Jakarta which is also open to non-BIS participants...the BIS PTA CONTINENTAL COUNTRY FAIR, a fun day out for all. They also organize a "splash day" at the beginning of the school year, several quiz nights for parents only (BYOB) with curry dinner, several other events including book fairs etc including Bonfire Night. All proceeds go to the different local charitable causes funded by BIS.
At the beginning of the school year with the headmaster, there is a "tissues & tears" coffee morning, a welcome to the school for newcomers to Primary. No doubt, something similar exists in Secondary & IB program.
Class mums & dads are also closely coordinated with the PTA & invited to join school meetings to convey info to the rest of the class parents.
Communication books return home daily from class where you can post non-urgent notes to your child's teacher.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
When in Jakarta come see the school in person. You can look up the phone number on the website http://www.bis.or.id & make an appointment, but as in our case we just turned up & the lovely Christine in admissions took us around to see the school.
My husband is American but we chose BIS over the "American" school in Jakarta because BIS teaches the youngest children academics (reading & math) earlier & instills a true sense of community in the children. Not only are my kids proud to wear the BIS uniform but also enjoy helping the local people in charities run from class. They also promote recycling at school from the youngest to the eldest.
BIS has the most beautiful campus of all the schools in Jakarta & it's safety conscious without being barricaded behind 10ft walls. The air quality is probably better too, as local traffic isn't right outside the main gate.