Publicity March 2016

The privilege of making mistakes

Giving young people opportunities

BST students work collaboratively in class.

BST students work collaboratively in class.

At the British School in Tokyo (BST), we take great pride in the outstanding examination results achieved by our hard-working students, and we are equally proud of the prestigious list of schools, colleges and universities all over the world where they have gained hard-won places.

However, we also understand that academic performance is just one element of a much broader educational picture. Their strength of character, sense of fairness and consideration for others, and broad range of skills and enthusiasms will count for as much as their exam results when these young people begin to make their way in the world beyond school.

There is no denying that good public examination grades offer reassuring verification of the quality of teaching and learning. It goes without saying that schools failing to deliver the results that their students deserve will quickly find themselves exposed, but it is equally self-evident that education must always mean more than exam preparation.

At BST we work hard to make sure that the children entrusted to us are given every opportunity to become happy, caring young adults: willing team-players, who are also prepared to step aside from the crowd and be leaders; intelligent risk-takers driven by curiosity and a thirst for learning; as well as interested—and interesting—human beings.

We argue that we should challenge and support our students in a way that encourages self-confidence and resilience, as well as a sense of adventure.

Underpinning all that we set out to do is our deep-seated conviction that one of the very worst things we can do to children is to fence them in with low expectations, which hold them back. Young people grow in self-belief, derive greater personal satisfaction and begin to develop real character when we expect more from them than they expect from themselves.

Here, within the safety of a caring environment, we set our students demanding challenges, and we are prepared to see them fail occasionally. We aim to instil in them the confidence to risk stepping outside their comfort zone. We are happy to afford them the privilege of making mistakes because mistakes are precious gifts to someone who really wants to learn.

It is for this reason that so many of our key objectives lie far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. On the sports field and in the concert hall, in the mountains and on stage, BST students acquire skills, develop interests and face challenges that will equip them with the attributes they will need to thrive in adulthood.

Through community service, cultural exchanges and a wide-ranging series of residential trips, expeditions and educational visits, they learn how to stand in the shoes of others—how to appreciate beliefs and values that differ from their own.

In our extensive work experience programme, through internships and with the benefit of advice from our high-powered network of business leaders, expert practitioners and professionals, our students begin to develop a genuine appreciation of the demands and delights of the world that awaits them when their school days are over.

Established more than 25 years ago, BST cares for more than 900 young people aged 3-18. Although our curriculum is based squarely on the globally respected British model—and all instruction is in English—we are truly international in our outlook, and our diverse student body represents 60 nationalities.

To learn more, please contact our admissions team, who will be happy to arrange a visit.