Established almost 30 years ago at the very heart of this exciting city, the British School in Tokyo (BST) has steadily built for itself an enviable global reputation. As an accredited member of the Council of British International Schools and one of only a small number of schools worldwide to have been independently inspected according to the UK standards for British Schools Overseas—for which it has been judged to be excellent in every category—we aspire to set for ourselves the very highest standards in all that we seek to do.
Now home to well over 1,000 students, BST is a school where young people of all abilities from the most diverse backgrounds can find their niche and fulfil their potential. Over the past five years, we have seen the number of 15–18-year-old students on our IGCSE and A Level courses rise towards the 300 mark.
Meanwhile, examination results have improved to the point where they match the gold standard set by the United Kingdom independent sector. Our graduates now regularly win places at some of the most prestigious universities in the UK and around the world.
BST is, of course, much more than an A Level school. All examinations are important, and many parents are impressed by the rigour and structured progression of our particular brand of British education for children from the age of three through to 18.
That said, students here know that education is not simply about passing exams. Sport, music and drama are woven into the fabric of school life, and we see both community service and adventurous activity as real strengths.
From their early years in our nursery and reception classes, 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.
Leaving a legacy
As Japan prepares to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and looks forward to the Olympic and Paralympic Games just a year later, we are working closely with a range of national and international organisations in order to lay the foundations for a meaningful legacy at the school.
We have recently welcomed a number of high-profile visitors from the world of sport to inspire our students. And with the introduction of a range of new sports to our sporting calendar, including climbing and a triathlon, we are determined that the next few years will see an upsurge in interest and involvement at all levels.
Of course, it is not simply a matter of active participation. There are so many valuable life lessons to be learnt from elite sport: leadership, teamwork and the resilience to overcome adversity or to go the extra mile. Then there are those essential life skills with which any ambitious young athlete has to get to grips more quickly than the rest of us: focus, self-discipline, personal organisation—as well as recognition of the vital role that a good night’s sleep and a healthy diet play in our ability to perform at our best.
Making the most of it
At a time when there are so many concerns about the health and well-being of young people, the opportunities afforded by such proximity to these major events in the international sporting calendar are just too good to miss. They remind us that we have an obligation to do everything within our power to give our children the start in life that they deserve, to help them develop the mindset, skills and habits that will stay with them long after they have moved on from our care.
There are some exciting times ahead!