Situated at the very heart of the city, BST has steadily built an enviable world-wide reputation over more than quarter of a century. Here’s a glance at five of their recent achievements and accreditations.
1. BST is 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, and judged to be excellent in every category. We regard this as yet another very welcome endorsement of the high standards we set for ourselves.
2. Young people today increasingly see themselves as global citizens and, while many of our graduates seek to continue their education in the UK, there is growing interest in both the USA and Japan, and a number of current students are looking towards Australia and mainland Europe. Most universities worldwide are familiar with Britain’s public examination system and are keen to accept students with good A level qualifications. In fact, the specialist nature of these two-year 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*/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.
3. 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 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.
4. In January, the school’s good name was further enhanced when the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Mrs Marianne Black, was awarded an MBE for services to international education in the latest New Year’s Honours list. This prestigious award, one of just 76 granted to recipients overseas, recognises the advances made by BST under Mrs Black’s guidance during the past five years and offers affirmation of the school’s central importance to both the British and the broader international community here in Tokyo.
5. This year, for the first time in its history, BST is home to well over 1,000 students. There are many reasons to explain the remarkable surge in student enrolment at BST in recent years but foremost among them is the widespread recognition that this is a school where young people of all abilities from the most diverse backgrounds can find their niche and fulfil their potential. Since 2012 we have seen the number of 15- to 18-year-old students on our IGCSE and A Level courses more than double to almost 250; examination results have progressed to the point where they match the gold standard set by the United Kingdom independent sector and our graduates are winning places at some of the most prestigious universities around the world.
This article appears in the February 2017 issue of Tokyo Weekender magazine.