The early years of a student’s life are the most crucial, as it is the rapid phase of his/her growth and development. The foundation of cognitive skills, creativity, social, and emotional skills are developed during these years of a student’s life. Such outcomes require a stimulating and positive atmosphere at both home and school. With the potential of instilling predominant skills for life, a child’s school plays a significant role in its holistic development.
The basis of education is incorporating meaningful activities that elevate motivation, creativity, perseverance and of course, learning. And St. John’s International School has it all. At St. John’s, curriculum and learning engagements are geared towards fostering a positive classroom environment, where student-centred learning takes place in a stimulating learning environment.
Pioneering Progressive Curriculum
St. John’s International School– is a private, international, and non-profit school located in Brussels- the capital of Belgium. The sprawling campus of over twelve acres lies in the beautiful, leafy suburban town of Waterloo, just 15 kilometres from Brussels.
Since its founding in 1964, the school has provided young citizens the best curriculum, pedagogy, facilities, and security. St. John’s strives to develop internationally minded students who are equipped with the right skills to be able to confront the challenges posed by the growing highly competitive global environment.
This international school, with more than 50 years of experience in education, is devoted to offering holistic, life-oriented and values education with a well-defined focus on academic excellence. It is not surprising that St. John’s students are in demand across the world and are sought after by the world’s best universities.
In 2016, the school joined the ‘Inspired’ group of schools, a global premium group of over 50+ schools. This exciting step in the school’s history has opened a wealth of opportunities for students and staff to collaborate and share best practices across the world.
St. John’s Values
- Companionship– the gentleness to befriend and strength to accompany.
- Integrity– being true to ourselves, to each other, and to our world.
- Respect– the appreciation of diversity amongst people, languages, cultures and beliefs.
St. John’s Unique Curriculum
St. John’s is a prestigious member of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)- an elite group providing an internationally recognised outstanding education where inquiry-based teaching and learning is key. St. John’s offers programmes for students from the age of two and a half years, up to 18 years.
The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) from Grades 6-10 and then the IB Diploma Programme (DP) taught in Grades 11 and 12 ensure that our Middle and High School students are taught internationally benchmarked and assessed curriculum.
In Grade 11, many students also choose to take Advanced Placement (AP) exams in a range of subjects, which give St John’s seniors the edge in their applications to North American Colleges and Universities.
Our graduates are understandably sought after by leading Higher Education institutions globally, including: Oxbridge, MIT, Bocconi, McGill, and Maastricht.
IB at the Forefront
The International Baccalaureate is a curriculum that has always been available at St John’s. Unlike other more traditional systems, the IB teaches students for understanding in a hands-on, inquiry-based way. It includes a wide range of skills and approaches that will help them serve better both in the workplace and in life.
The IB, besides being coupled with important concepts and content to learn in its curriculum, greatly emphasizes on understanding how students know what they know and utilising that wisdom to achieve deep understanding and stimulate deeper inquiry. The IB curriculum is dynamic and creates agile and critical learners with the ability to make connections between subjects and disciplines.
Recently, St. John’s achieved accreditation for the IB Middle Year’s Programme (MYP) as well, making the school an IB World School offering the three programmes, PYP, MYP and DP. The school is also accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Middle States Association (MSA).
Along with its rigorous academic programs, St. John’s also encourages physical fitness and a healthy balanced lifestyle. St John’s sports teams compete throughout Belgium and Europe in a variety of sports that are offered to cater to the students’ interests.
The strength of St. John’s sports and arts programs manifests itself in students attaining top sports scholarships in the US, and several students realising their dreams in the arts.
Students are encouraged to harness a wide range of tools and experiences to support their learning, including technology, libraries, guest speakers, and field trips. Students are encouraged to navigate technology-driven research with a careful and practical academic approach.
Inspirational leaders at St. John’s
The Senior leaders at St. John’s International School define international education as a commitment to guiding their students to reach their best. They abide by the IB’s term “internationally-minded people,” who, “recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.”
Head of school, Elaine Purves is transforming the school since she joined St. John’s. Elaine possesses a deep acumen in both developing and growing schools. She has been heading the school with commitment and dedication.
She is leading St. John’s in a totally unique way embracing the foundational principles of the school. The principles have played a significant role in moulding the students, boosting the teachers, and building a unique space besides competition. Her decision for the betterment of the school are taken keeping in mind its:
- Vision: Learning that empowers, perspectives that inspire, a community that cares and excels.
- Mission: The international education is student-centred and holistic, encouraging personal excellence in Academics, Arts, and Sports. They celebrate diversity and instil in students the open-mindedness to think globally.
Simon Vanderkelen, the Middle and High School Principal, has a long history of serving international schools in Australia, Singapore, and Germany. Mr Vanderkelen has been leading the Middle and High School of St John’s since 2017 after serving as a Secondary Principal at Bonn International School for four years. He brings with him a strong commitment to helping students reach their potential.
Simon is a strong supporter of the IB Programmes and has many IB connections around the world. He also sees the huge benefit to our students in engaging in our outstanding Arts and Sports programmes alongside academic endeavours.
Joanna Havenhand, the Primary School Principal is an experienced school principal with a proven track record of working in international schools around the globe, including Belgium, France, South Korea, Switzerland, and India.
She is an excellent education professional with a PGCE from Canterbury Christ Church University. She completed her BA(Hons) in Geography and Economics from Anglia Ruskin University and MEd in international primary education from the College of New Jersey, USA. As an IB Educator, she is also a seasoned school visitor and Consultant for the Primary Years Program (PYP)
The inspirational leaders of the school envision learning that empowers, perspectives that inspire, and drive a community that cares and excels. These leaders at St. John’s promote individual responsibility for life-long learning, service and achievement.
Enlightening Future Ambitions
As a member of ‘Inspired’, the leaders are constantly enhancing the programs and are currently launching an exciting partnership with the Berklee College of Music in New York. The pioneering move with the college of music includes an innovative arts curriculum and artists-in-residence in school.
Making a perfect choice for your child is certainly not easy, but it is an exciting task for the family. Here are some insights of St. John’s International School that can completely transform your child’s learning experience, click here.
So, plan your visit today and see why so many students and their families have chosen to make St. John’s International School such an important part of their lives.