Andrew Paterson, Director of Schools at SIS, and Ryan Krause, Head of Teacher at SIS South Jakarta, share the importance of accounting for the various backgrounds of students and faculty at SIS South Jakarta in an enriching school environment.
Hi Andrew and Ryan! Please introduce yourselves.
AP: Hi! I’m Andrew, Australian, and I’ve been a part of the SIS team for eight years. I’m currently the group’s Director of Schools based at our South Jakarta campus.
RK: I’m Ryan from South Africa. I was the head of the SIS campus in Medan for two years and I’m now the Head of the South Jakarta campus in Lebak Bulus.
Tell us more about SIS Schools.
AP: The group has seven schools throughout Indonesia, three overseas, and more on the way. Our roots come from Singapore but now our faculty and students are very multinational – now with more than half of our students in South Jakarta are from Indonesia and a very large number are from mixed-culture families.
RK: I think what stands out about SIS is that while our curriculum is international with a focus on preparing students for overseas universities and scholarships in a full English immersion environment, we cater to students with varying levels of past exposure to the English language. SIS has a strong emphasis on traditional values – including respect for those who come from a variety of religious backgrounds, which is not commonly the case with other international schools. Our unique Active Learning approaches put students at the centre of the learning process, which leads to students making meaningful connections with the curriculum and increased retention through hands-on, real-world linked activities.
SIS adheres to an international curriculum. What do students learn and what activities do they engage in?
AP: We use curriculum from Singapore, Cambridge, and the IB Diploma while also meeting all government requirements for Indonesian students and Indonesian universities. We are proud of our long history of student results of the highest standard. We believe in building a strong foundation that caters for both native speakers of English and those who only ever use English while actually at school.
RK: One of our particular areas of focus is technology. We want to make sure our students are not left behind as the world changes and so we have a fully integrated robotics and coding program and the emerging use of virtual reality headsets and 3D printing. Active learning helps students connect the curriculum to real-life problems. The teaching of values remains a core area of focus at all levels – we don’t just want smart students – we want students of good character, who care for the world around them and respect people of all religions and cultures.
Congratulations on rebranding into SIS South Jakarta! What’s the story behind the rebrand?
AP: We have students coming to us from throughout the larger South Jakarta region and so the new name reflects that better but even more important is our desire to focus more on the needs of that community. Many Indonesian and expat students (for example, from South Korea or Japan) do not start with a strong level of confidence in using English so we have deliberately upgraded our English support program to build that confidence.
RK: Andrew has already mentioned the importance of values. We don’t think segmenting students into “single religion” schools is ideal for developing collaboration and broad community leadership skills but we also recognise that Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, and Hinduism are important to many of our community and so we seek to respect and cater for those students along with those who have no religious background.
With only three words, describe SIS South Jakarta.
AP: Values, English, Technology.
The decision to reduce tuition fees was taken this year. Why is that so?
RK: We prefer to reach a larger number of families instead of a small number of very high-income earners.
Considering the reasonable tuition fee that comes along with the quality of international teachers and a diverse student population, please share the value of the school.
AP: About half of our teachers are expatriates but we choose teachers based on their attitude and skills rather than their years of experience or their specific country of origin. We invest in high-level facilities when it makes a positive impact on student well-being or learning but we avoid spending money on luxuries or status symbols. This makes SIS the best-value international school in Indonesia.
RK: Students get exactly the same qualifications and levels of performance as international schools that are more than three times more expensive – in a genuinely international and English-speaking environment. Many students move to SIS because although their existing school offers some level of international curriculum, many of their teachers do not have the ability to deliver it consistently in English.
Complete this sentence: Students and parents at SIS Schools can look forward to…………
AP: Inspiring teachers, engaging technology and a fun, values-oriented family atmosphere with lots of individual support.
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