British Junior Academy of Brussels (BJAB): Encouraging Children to Love Life and Learning

The British Junior Academy of Brussels (BJAB) occupies a position in a select group of schools worldwide accredited with British Schools Overseas (BSO) standard. Evaluated by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, BJAB has the highest rating possible for the academic achievement and the personal development of its pupils. Located near Montgomery circle in the heart of the diplomatic quarter of Brussels, BJAB is elegant and refined in its approach.

On entering BJAB, one is immediately aware of a sense of calm. There is the sound of a gentle, industrious buzz of human voices. Occasionally a group of children in neat uniforms walk quietly through a corridor into a classroom. With smiles and purpose they settle into their work. The stylish surroundings of the typical Brussels Maison de Maitre are complemented with state-of-the art technology and bright furnishings. Walls are covered with displays of work and celebration.

Experiencing the Best Teacher

The teachers move between groups of pupils offering support and challenge as the lesson develops. There’s opportunity for discussion, exploration, review and reflection. The pupils are encouraged to think for themselves, innovate and question; to organise themselves and take responsibility for their learning. They also show care for one another. New children need help settling in; many are learning in their second or even third language; everyone is valued and respected.

Prospective parents and families meet the Headteacher, Mrs White, and then embark on a tour of the school led by two pupils. They will answer any questions and explain how a typical day is organised, what after-school clubs are available, how important assemblies are and what is the special ‘’value’’ of the month. And, of course, what the lunches are like! The Early Years department is always a special place to visit, where classrooms extend into safe outdoor learning spaces and each child is nurtured by the specialist early years staff.

A Lifelong Wisdom

The ethos and the curriculum of BJAB are geared towards the many internationally-minded families in Brussels. The core subjects are delivered to a high standard in the context of a broad and balanced range of provision. The National Curriculum of England is adapted for BJAB’s international context and enhanced in the Prep years (6,7 & 8) with the ISEB curriculum to prepare children for their first choice of secondary school. English language, both spoken and written,  is of “an exceptionally high quality” according to the Independent Schools Inspectorate, fostered by teachers who are all English first language speakers or British trained.

Beyond the core subjects, the range of subjects in the timetable is wide: computing, French, philosophy, classical civilisation, Latin, German, music, art, PSHE, PE and sport. A wide range of after-school clubs add further value. At special times in the year the whole school works together on certain topics: Brussels Week; Science Week and MADD (music, art drama and dance). These events are supported enthusiastically by parents and the wider community.

Parents are a vital part of the school community and contribute to BJAB’s trademark family atmosphere. The Friends of BJAB organise the annual Mud Run through the forest, the International Day –  a celebration of cultural traditions,  pizza and pyjama parties for the children and quizzes for the adults. The annual centre-piece sports day, Carol Concert and BJAB Day are BJAB traditions which bring everyone together. Alumni from BJAB’s 25 year history are frequent and welcome visitors to the school.

As a sign of its continuing success BJAB has acquired an additional building in order to expand provision into Years 7 and 8 (up to age 13). BJAB Prep enables pupils to prepare for high level secondary school entrance whilst in familiar surroundings and where the maximum number of children in a class is 16.

BJAB is a school with a distinctive ethos and character rooted in values of kindness, respect and a desire to achieve to the highest standard possible. Learning for life is a BJAB tradition.

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