A Home for Bold Learners: The British School in Tokyo

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The British School in Tokyo is dedicated to developing students who combine academic excellence with resilience, independence, and a spirit of adventure.

The British School in Tokyo has enjoyed an enviable reputation for the provision of high quality education since first opening its doors in Shibuya more than 25 years ago, and the past year has seen its star continue to rise even higher, culminating in a richly deserved place on the short list for British International School of the Year 2015. 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, BST has once again been adjudged to be Excellent (the highest rating) in every area. We regard this as a very welcome endorsement of the high standards we set for ourselves.

Following the notable achievements of our previous graduates and their success in winning places at some of the top universities in the UK, the Class of 2015 were keen to emulate their predecessors. This year’s talented group of A Level students certainly set the bar high for those who will follow them. Remarkably, 51% of all entries were awarded A*/A grades and a very creditable 76% achieved grade B or better. These results are a long way above the UK national average (in UK schools just under 26% of entries were awarded the top two grades) and easily surpass our own three-year average scores.

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It is especially encouraging that our students continue to win places on extremely competitive courses at top-rated universities, including Edinburgh, Imperial, King’s and UCL. This year, for the first time, BST musicians are studying at both the Royal College of Music and Trinity, while for the fourth year running one of our talented A Level artists will be studying at St Martin’s. Emphasizing our international outlook, our students have also taken up places at universities in Canada, India and the United States and, closer to home, at Doshisha in Kyoto. Young people today see themselves as global citizens and they recognize that A levels offer an academic passport that can take them anywhere in the world. There is certainly increasing interest in the USA and a number of current students are looking towards Australia and mainland Europe.

Most universities worldwide are very familiar with Britain’s public examination system and are more than happy to accept students with A levels or their equivalent. In fact, the specialist nature of these courses means that students with better grades can expect to earn significant credit – sometimes up to a whole year’s worth of study. At Harvard, for example, you will need to have at least three A/B grades to matriculate (earn a place) but three A grades will merit a full year’s academic credit; Boston College will offer two courses of credit for A/B grades, while C grades will earn one semester’s credit, and Princeton clearly states on its website that A/B grades will earn Advanced Placement credit. It is a similar story across the world.

As an international school of more than 900 students aged 3-18 BST is, of course, much more than an A Level school. All examinations are important, and many parents are impressed by the rigor and structured progression of our particular brand of British education. 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.

–Brian Christian, Principal of the British School in Tokyo

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For more information please visit the official website: www.bst.ac.jp
Address: 150-0002 Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Shibuya 1-21-18

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