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The Arts, at the British School Jakarta, are valued and nurtured through curriculum time and excellent facilities and resources. Most crucially, The Arts are supported by well designed courses and passionate teachers who offer students a wide range of opportunities to develop their skills, explore their interests, and reflect on the world around them.

At BSJ, we are proud to offer four Arts subjects: Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts. 

Years 7-9: IB MYP

In MYP 1 (Year 7) and MYP 2 (Year 8) students study all four subjects as individual disciplines throughout the year, allowing them to explore where their interests are and build on the learning done in the Primary school. All units are concept based, inquiry models and allow students to begin to carve their own paths as artists, through their own explorations and independent inquiries. Collaboration is crucial and students will learn to question, think, create and reflect together through communication and negotiation. 

In MYP 3 (Year 9) students select two of the four Arts subjects: Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Art. This allows groups to come together who enjoy specific disciplines in the arts and gives more curriculum time to the arts subjects students love most. It means we can dig deeper in our inquiries and start to get a taste for what studying the subject at (I)GCSE will be like. We are proud to offer students a choice at this stage of their learning as we believe it gives them both ownership and more opportunities as they develop their skills as artists in their chosen discipline. 

Years 10 & 11: (I)GCSEs

In Years 10 and 11, we switch to (I)GCSE and use the full range of exam boards as each discipline within The Arts department has carefully selected the board that best suits our international context:


Drama: Cambridge International Education IGCSE

Music: Edexcel GCSE

Fine Art: Edexcel IGCSE


The GCSE Dance course encourages students to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity. Choreography, performance and critical analysis are taught in an integrated manner through the study of 6 professional works and students get a chance to learn set routines as well as choreograph their own pieces in groups, duos and solo. Although the course is predominantly contemporary dance, the students have opportunities to choreograph in other dance styles of their choice, and the professional works range in style. The course is 60% practical, divided into solo and group performances, and a choreography; the written component is in the form of a final exam worth 40% covering critical analysis and choreography.


In Drama, students work both together and individually to create a wide range of work. We create devised (original) work as well as learn how to work with scripts. We work with a broad range of themes and both classical and contemporary plays. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests and make their own creative choices. The course is 60% practical, and students submit three pieces of performed coursework for this component. For their written component, they study play extracts and reflect on their devising process to work towards a final exam for the remaining 40% of their grade.

Highlights of Class 2020:


The GCSE Music course is designed to allow the study of Music through the integration of performing, composing, listening and appraising. It recognises that we live in an age of cultural diversity and covers a wide range of music: classical music, world music, popular music and music technology. The flexible nature of the course allows students to capitalise on different musical interests

The course is divided into three main areas:

  • Performing 30% - All students will need to perform one solo piece and one ensemble piece by the end of the course. 
  • Composing 30% -  Students will compose music throughout the course using computer sequencing software and will build up a portfolio of compositions in a variety of styles. They will then select two compositions to be submitted towards the final exam.
  • Listening 40% - Students will listen and respond to music from a wide variety of styles and traditions. This will include jazz, classical, pop and rock music, folk and world music. There will be a listening exam at the end of the course.

Fine Art

The IGCSE in Fine Art is a 100% practical course where students are given the opportunity to be creative and express themselves through a visual form. Students will be able to create using a wide variety of different media, mainly in 2D, but opportunities for 3D are available. In the first year of the course, students will develop their skills in drawing, painting, mixed media and printmaking. Towards the end of the year, students will start the coursework component which is worth 50% of their mark. In the second year, students will take an exam component that is set by the EDEXCEL also worth 50%. Both components are very flexible in their titles, to enable students to be able to create work that they would like to develop, therefore enabling them to have a high level of autonomy over their own creative work. Many students lead on to taking a higher level course in Art or take the course to have a creative balance in their learning.

Years 12 & 13: IBDP

At IB Diploma Level, we offer Music, Theatre and Visual Art. We are hoping to introduce Dance as an IB option in the near future. All IB Group 6 (Arts) subjects are designed to create independent artists who carve out their own path, supported and guided by the teacher who acts more like a mentor and engineer of experiences, rather than any more traditional model of teaching and learning. In all three disciplines, students are exposed to a wide range of genres, artists and traditions, in order to pique their interest and help them discover their own personal journey. Students have a great deal of control over their assessment projects and there are no exams in any of the courses, so students can be in the driver’s seat throughout their chosen course.


IB Music is an exciting and broad syllabus and is suitable for all those who enjoy listening to and playing music of any sort and are keen to learn more about music and how it works. The key areas of focus are presenting, experimenting and exploring music. The study of music is split into 4 Areas of Inquiry and 3 contexts; personal, local and global. This format allows students the opportunity to listen to and explore a variety of music from different time periods and places, whilst at the same time focusing on their own particular areas of interest. This journey of discovery requires an openness of mind and can be very rewarding. 

The new SL IB Music course is split into 3 projects:

  • Experimenting with Music - Students submit an experimentation report with evidence of their musical processes in creating and performing.

  • Presenting Music - Students submit a collection of works demonstrating engagement with diverse musical material.

  • Exploring Music - Students select samples of their work for a portfolio submission.

HL Music students cover all three projects above as well as the Contemporary Music project which consists of a multimedia presentation documenting a real-life music project. 

IB Theatre is an extremely exciting course for any student with an interest in the theatre, either from a performance perspective or from a design or technical perspective. It is not a course in acting but rather in theatre-making, and students will approach the process from the perspective of creator, designer, director and performer. The course begins with exposure and experiences as the students are introduced to a wide range of traditions and styles of theatre-making through practical explorations, workshops and independent research. We shift into four main projects for their assessment:

  • The Research Presentation is an opportunity to independently research a world theatre tradition

  • The Director’s Notebook is an opportunity to hypothetically stage a play of the students’ choice, detailing their creative vision for the production

  • The Collaborative Project is an opportunity for students to work together to create an original piece of theatre borrowing ideas and processes from well known theatre companies

  • The Solo Theatre Piece is for Higher Level students, allowing them the chance to explore their selected practitioner and theory in detail through independent research and the creation of their own solo performance

Link to Video highlights:

2020 Solo Theatre Pieces:

Visual Art

The Visual Arts Programme at The British School Jakarta provides our students with the opportunity to develop their creativity and imagination through active investigation, experimentation and participation leading to individual growth and development. Art is about making choices and we deliver a curriculum that provides students with the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions about their work. Students are encouraged to become proactive, independent learners within a structured, caring and supportive environment.

Students appreciate the importance of art when they can respond to it on a personal level, when it has meaning for them as an individual, when they have the confidence to produce work of significant quality and are not afraid to be experimental and daring. Through emphasising the historical, cultural and social contexts of art and fostering internationalism and interculturalism, we meet the diverse needs of all our students. Working as artists, students learn to understand the world from a visual perspective. We aim to nurture independent, creative and inquiring minds and to give students a greater awareness of the world around them and their role within it.

In the Art classroom, students are expected to access, explore and utilise a wide range of subject matter, symbols and meaningful images in order to share ideas and emotions; develop and articulate informed opinions; and reflect ideas in two dimensional, three dimensional and digital forms. The course is split into 3 components:

  1. Process Portfolio 40% (sketchbook work)

  2. Exhibition 40% (artworks)

  3. Comparative Study 20% (research project)

Instrumental Programme at BSJ

Welcome to the Instrument programme here at BSJ. We are very proud to welcome you to join our programme. We have 7 full-time and 5 part-time instrumental teachers who facilitate instrument learning here at BSJ.

The programme starts in Year 3 when students are invited to begin with a 25-minute lesson once per week. When students reach the equivalent of ABRSM Grade 4 and above, we then offer them a 50 minute lesson each week. Lessons are on rotation to avoid disturbing the same curriculum time each week and timetables are shared within the first few weeks of term.

We encourage our musicians to join our Music enrichments (primary) and activities (secondary) to get the most out of their learning, by sharing and developing together and enjoying performing both in and outside of school. More information about the Music Extra-Curricular opportunities at BSJ can be found on the Arts Extra-Curricular Page.

If you have any further questions regarding the instrumental programme please feel free to contact for more information or for more details regarding registration or hiring instruments.

We look forward to your children joining our programme!

The Endangered Instrument Programme

At BSJ, we promote some of the less frequently studied instruments in school and to encourage students to try something new. Therefore, if a student chooses to learn what we call "an endangered instrument", we will lend them the instrument without any rental fee. Participation in instrumental lessons is free of charge for all BSJ students and students who play an endangered instrument need only pay for any music books they require.

The following instruments are members of our endangered instrument programme:

Music Examinations

The Rockschool exams are recognised internationally and we are proud to be a Rockschool Exams Centre. We have run the exams at BSJ for several years now. RS exams tend to take place at the end of November or the start of December.

ABRSM exams are for our more classically based instrument students. These exams have been held at BSJ for some time now and usually take place in the month of March.