News, Info and IB Student and Staff Blogs

August 26, 2016
by Ann Lautrette

Welcome Back and Welcome to BSJIB

So here we are, after a long break, back at BSJ and on the road again with a new Year 12 cohort and a new/old Year 13 cohort.personal-1044111_1280

Whatever you did over the holiday, I hope it was an adventure; relaxing and a lot of fun at the same time. I’m sure for Year 13 it included some work, and for Year 12 it included a long and anxious wait for IGCSE results which finally arrived yesterday. A huge congratulations to the Year 12 students, who did extremely well, and we here in IB are feeling lucky to have two fantastic year groups to work with this year.

So what’s new? Well, Batik Fridays for IB students launched today and we’re pleased to see a number of students taking the opportunity to demonstrate their love of Indonesian culture and heritage.

For Year 12 students in core we are bringing in a new skills development support programme called Callido, which is an interactive learning platform developed by ex-IB students after graduating from Harvard and Stanford. We’ve been working through core to develop Approaches to Learning (ATLs: Research, self-management, thinking, social and communication skills) as these are the top skills needed by employers but lacking in graduates according to current research.   Callido is a new weapon in our battle to ensure that BSJ IB students leave here as exceptional graduates with all the skills needed to be future leaders.

We’re just getting started in core with Year 12, but expect to see their blogs up and running soon. Through blogging we are developing great communication skills, improving writing ability and learning how to create our own brand: a positive digital footprint which represents us to the world. If you haven’t read our Year 13 blogs yet, this could be the time you head over to the blogs page and pick a few to read. They are a fantastic insight into their engagement in CAS, TOK and their skills development.

We’ve also got some exciting events coming up at BSJ, organised by our IB students. At IME Conference 2016 there’s an 20160826_101249incredible line-up of influential speakers thanks to the organisation of our Year 13 students, led by Narendra, Audrey, Philippe and Rahmani, amongst others. The event, on 9th September, will be an exclusive opportunity in Indonesia to hear the speakers on one stage and its a testament to our students’ hard work and powers of persuasion that they have managed to make this happen.

Coming up in October, we also have a TED X event organised by Bryan. Again, this is shaping up to be an exciting afternoon of young, influential voices. Both of these events really do demonstrate the development of project management skills, and the maturity of our students – and they make us exceptionally proud!

Leadership opportunities abound at BSJ, with the launch of the executive student council. Year 12 students wanting to make a difference at BSJ should fill in an application form later today. There’ll be more on other leadership roles soon so watch this space!

Through core, students will be modelling what it means to be an IB student at BSJ through two key events involving all IB students. Year 12 will be picking up the baton from Year 13 and running our second ATL conference – this time for Year 7 students. And, Year 13 will be focussing on caring conversations and well-being as they prepare to lead a week of RUOK?

All in all, an exciting term ahead – busy, challenging of course, but exciting. And students, it is worth remembering that BSJ is not like other schools. The opportunities you get here unique – don’t pass them by!


November 30, 2015
by Ann Lautrette
1 Comment

What is an IB Education?

I’m at an IB Symposium in the Mulia Hotel in Jakarta today. 

The long title of the day is ‘Concept-based learning and authentic assessment in the IB Continuum’.

But what’s interesting is the chance to reflect on what exactly an IB education is.

The IB mission, as we all know, is essentially ‘education for a better world’. And although I truly believe that this is our goal at BSJ too, it makes me feel more than a little nervous. It’s a lofty goal, and puts IB leadership and IB teachers under a huge amount of pressure to get it right. Because the alternative is unthinkable. One glance at the news and we see a world in crisis and turmoil. The answer is not more violence, more intolerance, more discrimination. The answer is education for international-mindedness.

But, it isn’t easy. 

How do we ensure that our students will leave BSJ and go on to make the world a better place?

The first thing we do is create opportunities in our local environment for students to act in an internationally-minded way – to attempt to address injustice and inequality. And we’ve been recognised by the TES for those opportunities.  

For the students at Sekolah Bisa! and for all who benefit from CAS projects at BSJ, the world is a better place.

But it isn’t enough for our students to be part of the CAS programme, to change the lives of others during two years at BSJ. Do our alumni continue to be driven by the mission to make the world a better place? Because that really is the test of the education we provide at BSJ in IB.

So what is an IB education?

First and foremost it’s an opportunity. Yes it’s hard work, yes it’s a challenge, yes you might suffer at times, but if you don’t suffer, work hard and rise to the challenge of making the world a better place, who will?

What else is an IB education?

It’s an education for conceptual understanding. That means understanding the big concepts which connect and transcend disciplines. For example, how can we take the concept of ‘change’ and consider that in Maths, in History, in English? Increasingly IB assessments are about this conceptual understanding rather than knowledge of facts. Mainly because no-one needs to spend two years in a classroom to know the facts anymore. Most of us have the whole of the world’s factual knowledge in our pockets.

An IB education isn’t about what you know, it’s about what you can do with what you know.

Of course, it’s a lot harder to do stuff with what you know than to sit and listen and learn the facts. Doing stuff requires taking risks, thinking, applying, critically assessing, failing sometimes…

And so what are the two most important facets of the Approaches to Learning skills according to the representatives of IB today?



And these are both aspects of affective self-management. How do you deal with failure? With change? With uncertainty? With risk? With hardship? With challenge?

Because if you are going to have a successful IB education, if you are going to make the world a better place, you can’t fall down in the face of difficulty. You have to be able to pick yourself up, over and over and over. Making the world a better place won’t be easy so you have to be up to the challenge.

And so, an IB education is challenging. If you aren’t challenged, you can’t persevere, you can’t practise resilience and you won’t be ready to improve the world.


An IB education is about what you can find out, not what we can tell you. It’s about inquiry.  And it’s about how you use your Approaches to Learning skills to inquire.

If you can think well, if you can research, if you can manage your emotions and organisation, if you can communicate and work with others, then you can be successful.

And so what is the greatest challenge in an IB education?…

Can you take what you’ve learned and apply it to make the world a better place?

Students, I would love to read some responses on this theme, either comments here or your own blog posts.




October 9, 2015
by Ann Lautrette

A bit of R and R: Rest, Relaxation, Reflection and Review

As the half term draws to a close and we all take a much needed holiday, I’d like to take the opportunity to say a few things to our BSJ IB community. 

Firstly, Year 12. Well done. You’ve survived the transition from Y11 to Y12. It is a leap, we know it, but you’ve stepped up your game, jumped in with both feet and got on with it. I hope you’ve enjoyed the first half term and hope you’re feeling motivated and energised by your subjects. I know many of you are through your reflective blog posts. More on the blogs later.

I also know many of you are tired and ready for a break. And you deserve it. But take the time to reflect also – how did you find the first few weeks? Are you happy with the way you approached your studies? Do you need to change anything next half term? Do you need anything from us to make things better? It would be great to write this in a blog post. We love reading them because we love learning about you all. I may not comment on every blog post you write but I do read them all and I’m always amazed by the variety of experiences, passions, interests and thinking you display.

Year 13. I know it’s been a tough half term. The thought of mocks, university applications, predicted grades. There’s no doubt it is hard. But do remember that this is a short period of time in which you are setting up your path in life. Hard work will pay off and you will look back and decide it was all worth it. But remember too, that the adults around you have been where you are, and they understand. I know you think it couldn’t possibly have been as difficult in our day, but seriously, we didn’t even have Google! Talk to us if you need support. This half term holiday will be a study break, but find some time to rest, read about good study habits and get organised for next half term.

Parents, thank you for all your support, as always. The students we see working hard at school do so because of the education you’ve given them and your encouragement and love. These two years are tough on parents too. You are supporting your children to leave home and head off into their futures – my own children are 9 and 7 and I can’t bear to think about that yet, so I know it must be hard for you!

IB parents, the IB evaluation survey went out this week. It is really important that you give us your opinions through this survey. thank you to everyone who has completed it already. If you haven’t, I urge you to do so. Here’s the link again.

I promised more on our IB blogs. Students have overwhelmingly voted to have the option to make their blogs available outside the BSJ network, so parents, if students wish, you can now access their blogs. Rather than selecting specific posts this week, I’d like to highlight some great blogs which are well worth reading, even if it your child is not the writer.

Lukas has developed into a humorous, thoughtful and extremely interesting blogger. He gets it right with every post and has impressed core teachers so much we all read his posts as soon as they are out.

Arjun is always engaging, often helpful and writes about a range of topics in his IB Survival Blog.

Chris’s reflective blog is varied and thoughtful, while Jasmine’s well written posts cover everything from The Knowledge Framework to motivation and CAS.

Andrew is developing into a prolific blogger, so is Patrick, whose CAS reflections demonstrate the power of the Core.

Puspa’s blog is personal and developing into an exploration into identity, while Anesu is creating a varied and reflective record of her IB life.

There are many more students I could mention. All core teaches are looking forward to seeing these and everyone else’s blogs develop next half term. Students, if you know you haven’t blogged as much as we would like, use this holiday to build your blog.

Have a great break. See you in a week!


September 15, 2015
by Ann Lautrette

Review, Reflect, Celebrate and Improve

That title, for me, sums up the learning process.

REVIEW: What do you know? What can you do? What do you not know yet? What can you not do yet?

REFLECT: Once you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can reflect and set targets. Being reflective is a skill though, or an art some might say which means we can improve and become more reflective.

CELEBRATE: Celebrate success, celebrate failure – it’s all part of the learning process, as long as you can set goals and move forward.

IMPROVE: No one is perfect and there is always room for improvement. A good thing too, because otherwise there is nothing to learn!

This is what we try to teach students within our mission of inspiring, challenging and nurturing. From this comes excellence – academic excellence perhaps, excellence in skills, a personal version of excellence, being a lifelong learner.

In the IB Centre at BSJ we are still learning and the goal is continuous improvement. We believe that as the world around us changes, so should the education we provide and so therefore we must continuously reflect, review and improve. This is what achieves the IB mission of Education for a Better World. Along our learning journey, we can do a lot of celebrating too.

Offering the IB Diploma programme means we have to formally reflect and review our programme implementation every five years and this morning I gave a presentation to IB parents on the process and the role of parents.

One of the most important aspects of the process is collecting feedback from all stakeholders in the school: parents, students, leadership and governance and teachers. Your honest opinions are especially valuable to us as we seek to improve our IB programme. We ask therefore that you complete the survey you will be sent soon as honestly and comprehensively as possible.

It is also important that the school community has access to the General Regulations so I have linked a copy through the ‘Useful links’ on this blog.

If you have any further questions on the IB Review process I’d be happy to answer them. Feel free to comment or contact me.



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