St John’s: Nurturing international excellence
Text: Emma Jones | Photos: St John’s
A t St. John’s, students have been following the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum since the 1970s; the IB is a widely recognised gold standard curriculum that is taught worldwide. All students follow the IB programme in the Primary, Middle Years and Diploma programmes from age two and a half to 18. The curriculum is broad-based and academically rigorous, developing students’ skills such as evaluation and communication, curiosity and creativity.
The IB is ideally suited for international families as the curriculum is taught in schools right across the globe and recognised by universities worldwide. It is an excellent preparation for higher education; students develop highly proficient research skills and the ability to write academically. St John’s graduates achieve places at highly competitive university courses, including; Oxbridge, Russell Group and Ivy League.
The admissions team is always helpful and happy to put families moving to Belgium in touch with estate agents. Once accepted to the school, new families are contacted by the parent-run Welcome Committee who connect them with a buddy family and provide any support needed as well as welcoming them socially. The school aims to simplify the integration process as much as possible, so families receive a ‘Welcome Handbook’ detailing food shop recommendations, and even where to find English-speaking medical care.
On campus, all primary, middle, and high-school buildings are interconnected – a great bonus with the temperamental Belgian weather! With classrooms that are described by the head teacher as ‘bright, airy and well-equipped, designed to promote collaborative learning’, the school also has an open-door policy, and parents are very welcome on campus.
St John’s also provides great extracurricular programmes and facilities that include a 400-seat theatre, dance studios, the Greene Art Gallery, sports halls, a gym and ample sports fields.
St John’s is always looking to improve its facilities, adding a recently refurbished Early Learning School and a beautifully appointed boarding house. As a member of the Inspired network with 60 other schools worldwide, it offers inter-school exchanges and welcomed students from South Africa earlier this year. The network has established a unique collaboration with Berklee College of Music in New York to further enrich its outstanding performing arts programme.
International schools nurture a global mindset, intercultural understanding, emotional intelligence and adaptability in students. And with the current shifting job market, students are flexible and open to all eventualities, giving them a competitive advantage and springboard for life.
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