Education at BSJ is not only about academics but also about creating a rounded individual through working in our community and learning to be an active member who engages in local and global issues to make a difference.
The CAS and CP Service Learning programmes at BSJ have a strong foundation from many years of working within our local community establishing solidarity with the marginalised and excluded. BSJ students are known regionally and internationally for their work in contesting social inequality and asserting common humanity.
All of our Diploma students undertake the CAS programme which leads our students to develop their interests widely by challenging them to develop creatively and actively as well as responsibly as internationally minded young adults. Our newly introduced Careers Programme students engage in Service Learning and have the opportunity to work alongside our CAS students as well as to explore projects that link directly to their careers course.
Each year our Sixth Form students are involved in over 50 different service projects which are sustainable and which show careful consideration of the needs in our local and global communities. Our students and community also respond to emergencies both locally and overseas. Our response action team consists of teachers and students who have worked hard to help flood victims and individuals who have been badly affected by the lockdown in response to Covid 19 here in Indonesia.
Photo 1: Face Shields Project Photo 2: Say it with Kay Feed the Refugees
Photo 3: Sekolah Bisa children receive fruit and their homework each day
The Service Learning programme at BSJ recognizes the need to make connections and to engage in meaningful experiences to help students to understand and respond to the needs of others. As such, we organise visits to the local shanty town to meet the children who attend Sekolah Bisa, the free school that was developed as a result of the work of BSJ CAS students, opening for lessons in April 2011.
Photo 1: Year 12 students visiting the shanty town
Photo 2: Some of these children attend Sekolah Bisa whilst the younger children await the rebuilding of their pre-school.
As part of the experience programme, our students attended a Refugee Sleepover at school in January. During the 15 hours that the students stay at school they play a refugee game to help them to have a slightly better understanding of the difficulties that refugees face on a daily basis and particularly on the journey away from their homes. This year we were honoured to be able to hear the stories from refugees who are living here in Indonesia and our students valued the opportunity to ask questions of the refugees and to connect with them in a meaningful way. It was most striking for them to realise just how similar the refugees were to themselves!
Photo 1: Students had to find their ‘family’ without being able to see them
Photo 2: Students had to find a place to sleep in the school canteen for part of the night
The meaningful relationships which BSJ students develop lead to long lasting projects which are passed on from year to year. Students are also encouraged to develop their own, new projects and to respond to needs as they arise. One such response is being led by the Tiny School Movement who are currently working to rebuild a pre-school which was demolished in the local shanty town. Pre-school children have missed out on an education for a whole year and our CAS students are working to correct this wrong by designing and building a new school. The designs are drawn and the foundation is being started as this website goes to publication. The joy of the CAS programme is that another team of students are working to provide funds so that there will be a teacher, toys to learn with and somewhere comfortable to sit. The next step is to consider the health and nutrition of these children and their future education, possibly at Sekolah Bisa.
Photo: Location of the school
Sekolah Bisa (SB) was the brainchild of CAS students in 2011 and is a competition winning project which we remain incredibly proud to continue with. Twenty four students attend Sekolah Bisa each year and our CAS programme and students continue to support SB alumni as they continue on with their education to high school and even university if they wish. The new SB building was opened in September 2019 and is the result of the wonderful relationship between the British School Jakarta, The Body Shop, and Yayasan Sekolah Bisa.
It is wonderful to see students combining all elements of CAS as they grow and develop into knowledgeable and caring students. An example of Creativity and Service meeting each other is the more recent Say it With Kay Project. In this project, the team learn how to create beautiful flower bouquets, they design new bouquets, sell them and then donate the money to orphanages in Jakarta. They are building relationships with these orphanages and the children along the way.
Another example of creativity and service projects is Yanto’s Stones which is a small group of CAS students who enable Yanto to rise from poverty through creating jewelry. The students work to help Yanto to evolve his designs to fit with the new fashion trends and therefore continue to sell his products and support his family.
A recent creative response to poverty has been the drive to build a bed from bamboo so that families don’t need to sleep on the concrete floor each night. The first bed has been built (June 2020) and now the group are moving on to work on storage spaces and shared spaces.
Our students grow within our community but they also take the opportunity to learn new skills and explore new opportunities. We are proud to offer our students creative workshops which also include local creative arts. Batik painting is a very important local tradition and skill that our students engage in. We are always looking for other creative skills to introduce to our students and welcome and encourage anyone in our community who is willing to run a workshop for our Sixth Form Students.
When students leave BSJ for university, they find it hard to let go of the relationships that they have built and of the experiences that have changed them as a direct result of their engagement in CAS and CP Service Learning. The success of the programme can be seen as our alumni continue to serve, to be creative and build activity into their lives. We welcome them back to work with both new and old service projects, bringing experience and memories to share each year.