British School Jakarta Improves Student’s Wellbeing Through Head-Heart-Self-System Approach

British School Jakarta Improves Student’s Wellbeing Through Head-Heart-Self-System Approach

6 December, 2020

British School Jakarta improves student’s mental health through an exceptional programme in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Institute of Positive Education at Geelong Grammar School.

by British School Jakarta
All image by British School Jakarta


The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the world of education in a way no one has experienced for over a century. Schools have had to be agile and adapt to online and home-based learning. Wellbeing in schools curricula has steadily grown in the last decade as credible research in positive psychology and neuroscience gives us greater insight into the mind, habits and pathways of young people. At the British School Jakarta (BSJ), we have been acutely aware of the need to go deeper in the planning, preparation and implementation of a wellbeing framework. The resulting framework must meet the needs of our students, their families and our community in the current predicament that we find ourselves in with the pandemic.

Since January 2019, BSJ has introduced Compassionate Systems Thinking and Tools with training to both our students and staff. The collaboration has been with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) headed by the renowned Dr Peter Senge and Professor Mette Boell. The purpose is to bring better training and meaning to the Wellbeing programme at BSJ. In Secondary School, there is a thirty-minute period a day that is devoted purely to wellbeing. We are also working with the Institute of Positive Education from Geelong Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia, that has created a comprehensive Wellbeing curriculum.

At BSJ, we have also created an MIT-BSJ Middle Years Framework that puts the child very much at the centre of the Wellbeing Programme. Why? The world we face even before the Covid-19 pandemic is vastly different from the world of generations before. We need to listen, collaborate and prepare students for a different world that is going to need a new skill set than the ones we learned. To do this, we have adopted a Mandala as an anchor of what wellbeing means to BSJ: the Head, Heart and Self System. For any student or employee of BSJ, this anchor works together to help us improve in our community.

With the use of MIT Compassionate Systems tools and thinking, students can focus on their journey through school. The students, guided by their teachers, start to reflect and see their journey from their Head; they would ask questions such as, “How am I doing? How am I coping and understanding?”. For the Heart, it is about how to understand themselves and their emotions. The Self, on the other hand, is about the journey in life and how to get there. Lastly, the System is about their family system, the school or possibly their ecosystem—how is the family, school and ecosystem supporting them, and how does it need to improve? All of these questions give the students a greater sense of understanding through inquiry of themselves and, subsequently, of how they learn.

We are living in a lengthy period of disruption that we did not expect. The impact of Covid-19 on the youth, your children, or in our case, our students at BSJ, is one that we need to be prepared to help them. Having created a very robust Wellbeing programme, we are vitally one step ahead in helping our students in that journey from childhood to adolescence, and from adolescence to adulthood.

Visit for more information about BSJ, or visit its social media @britishschooljkt