Since its opening in Shibuya in 1989, The British School in Tokyo (BST) has been establishing itself as one of Asia’s premier not-for-profit international schools.
Today, the school educates well over 1,000 students from the ages of three to 18, representing more than 60 nationalities. We employ 120 highly skilled and talented teachers, recruited directly from the best schools in the UK or from other highly-rated British international schools around the world. Because we know that finding the right people is crucial to our future (and to that of our students), we insist on seeing each one of them teach in their own schools before confirming any appointment. Only the best will do.
From the outset, BST has worked hard to establish a global reputation for academic excellence. Examination results are outstanding: in 2018 almost half of all entries at A-level were awarded coveted A*/A grades, paving the way for our graduates to win places on extremely competitive degree courses at prestigious UK universities, including Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, and University College London. In keeping with our international outlook, this year BST students will also be taking up places at first class institutions as far afield as The Hague, Sydney and Toronto and, closer to home, at Keio University in Japan.
The success of our graduates has led to a significant increase in applications from ambitious young men and women of all nationalities who are keen to give themselves the best chance of going on to study at the university of their choice. Young people today see themselves as true global citizens and they recognise that UK A-levels offer an academic passport that can take them almost anywhere they might wish to go. Universities around the world are very familiar with Britain’s public examination system and are more than happy to accept students with A-levels or their equivalent.
Of course, there is much more to life at BST than rigorous academics or exam preparation. While parents are impressed by the level of academic challenge and the structured progression of our particular brand of British education, students here learn so much more than how to achieve top grades.
Sport, music and drama are integral elements in the routines of the school day, and both community service and adventurous activity are central to the school’s ethos. This summer, for example, we opened a wonderful new music suite to meet the needs of our talented singers and instrumentalists while, at the same time, an intrepid group of young eco-scientists travelled to Fiji to participate in an internationally renowned Operation Wallacea project.
In this respect, the next two years promise to bring us some unique opportunities. As we move ever closer to hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, here at BST we are focusing on the values inherent in fair play and the true spirit of sport. We are determined to build a broad and lasting legacy on the inspiration these global events afford us.
We have always encouraged our students to pursue excellence in everything that they set out to do, to learn to appreciate the strength that diversity can bring, and to discover the joy of exceeding even their own expectations of themselves. From their earliest years in our nursery and reception classes, our children are given countless opportunities to develop the independence and resilience that will enable them to take the next step in their education—wherever it might take them—with confidence and a smile. As the world’s most talented sportsmen and women begin to turn towards Tokyo, we hope that their example will underscore the priceless value of the attributes we have always championed.