A bespoke education for every child at the British Junior Academy of Brussels

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Published on 2022-05-25 at 13:09
For nearly three decades, the British Junior Academy of Brussels has provided excellent education to an increasingly international community in the centre of Brussels. The school is situated in Etterbeek's diplomatic quarter, a mere 15 minutes from Cinquantenaire Park, and offers primary and secondary admissions for children 3 to 12. With small class sizes and a family feel, parents praise the school for its personal touch. The Headteacher, Mrs White, explains how from the first visit, BJAB creates a unique experience for each pupil.

A personal touch

We place a big emphasis on the whole child, not just on academic performance. The children know exactly what is expected from them from the moment they walk in, and this security allows them to thrive in all areas,' the Headteacher says, building on BJAB's nurturing ethos. Each morning, you will find her greeting children at the front gates as they start the school day.

With over 200 pupils on role, the experienced Headteacher still makes knowing each child's background a priority. ‘A large part of my job is knowing the families, to best prepare their children for their future education,' she says. With nearly all children achieving their first-choice school, many expat parents trust that BJAB will prepare them for top-notch schools abroad. The school also welcomes a large amount of local Belgian families, who choose BJAB for its nurturing environment and wide support network of teachers and parents to complement its high academic standards.

Excellence for all

The focus on each pupil goes further than its curriculum, which expands on the British National Curriculum. The school is known for its pastoral care, for which its small class sizes are a starting point. With no more than 16 children in each class, teachers are able to tailor their approach to best suit individual pupils. The Headteacher explains, ‘We are able to educate beyond the curriculum because we can respond to the needs of each child.' Parents are also convinced by the school's thorough approach. ‘BJAB has been a safe haven for our girls and we constantly felt supported,' one parent said. ‘They've been very happy, safe and constantly motivated to achieved new goals.'

In addition to excellent pastoral care, the school pushes for each child to reach their potential with the assistance of top-of-the-line educational technology. Pupils as young as 5 develop excellent research skills with the use of 1:1 iPads. The school also recently introduced an augmented intelligence platform in-class to supplement its core curriculum of mathematics, science and English, the first in Belgium to utilise this technology. ‘Each child is assessed by the AI programme, which then personalises a targeted, enhanced learning journey to challenge them,' The Headteacher says. ‘The platform is integrated organically throughout lessons, allowing teachers to bolster each child's strengths and bridge any learning gaps.'

A family-like atmosphere, from toddlers to teenagers

Two years ago, BJAB announced its plans to expand into a secondary school. With its announcement came the acquisition of a third school building located on Etterbeek's Boulevard Louis Schmidt. The new Prep School, which houses students up to Year 8 (age 12-13), is purpose-built with a library, computing suite, science laboratory and a dedicated art & design space.

The school has also recently announced plans to grow into an all-through school, growing organically to eventually offer a secondary section up to age 18. However, BJAB's expansion hasn't come at the expense of its small, close-knit community. The Headteacher points to a ‘café culture' in the Prep School, whose refectory allows staff, parents and students to connect in an informal environment. ‘When you walk into BJAB, you can sense a buzz of productivity. It's a community, where every member knows they are supported, valued and encouraged to reach their goals.'

If you would like to learn more about BJAB and book a school tour, visit bjab.org or call 02 732 53 76.