Communication

The British School in Tokyo Communications Protocol

Good communication is the backbone of any strong community and at BST we believe that ours is genuinely a community school. For many of our families, particularly those who are new to Japan, the BST network becomes something of a lifeline.

The Communications Team at BST is committed to keeping all members of our community informed of events in the day-to-day life of a busy school. Parents want to know what their children are doing; they want to keep up with any changes to routine or to the curriculum and they want to feel that they are well informed in terms of school policy and strategy. We believe too that we are well placed to share information that may offer insight and guidance to enhance the wonderful but occasionally bewildering experience that is life in Japan.

Channels of Communication

As with most organisations in this digital age, BST uses a wide range of communication channels. For more personal, sensitive exchanges of information it is likely that someone from school will contact parents directly by telephone. For this reason, it is important that we have the most up-to-date contact information* recorded on our iSAMS database; remember to let us know if you change the number of the primary contact (when you pick up your new Japanese mobile phone, for example!). Remember too, that it may not be possible to make contact by telephone in the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake.

We use email as our main channel of communication. Occasionally an email will go out to all parents, sometimes to Primary or Secondary parents and, more often, to parents of a specific group of children – members of a particular year-group, class or after-school club, for example. Again, it is very important that we are given any updates to parents’ preferred email addresses, especially as this is likely to be a key channel of communication in the event of a major emergency.

It will come as no surprise that BST makes significant use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. There are a number of accounts to follow, @BST_Principal and @BSTSport for example, but the main school accounts on Facebook and Twitter are particularly important as these will be used as a back-up to email in the event of an emergency.

The website itself is a key element in school communications. Here reviews to our School Policies are published, the Calendar is regularly updated and there is a carefully curated Photo Gallery. You will also find a link to the Principal’s Blog on the Home Page.

We also, of course, make regular use of more traditional means of communication, such as our comprehensive weekly Newsletter, The Lion; occasional hard-copy letters sent home with children; and, in Secondary School, notes written in the Student Planner.

At BST we recognise that face-to-face communication is often more effective than through any other channel and we aim to be the most open and approachable of schools. The professional email addresses of our teachers are published here for the Primary School and here for the Secondary School. We ask them to respond to queries within 24 hours, except at weekends and during the holidays – teachers need a break too! In the Primary School the first point of contact is the Class Teacher and in the Secondary School it is your child’s Tutor.

It should also be noted that every term, in addition to regular academic and pastoral Parents Consultations, the school offers a wide-ranging series of informative workshops at both Shibuya and Showa on subjects as diverse as Earthquakes & Radiation; Help, My Child Has Become a Teenager; and The Maths Curriculum in Key Stage 3. These are sometimes led by external speakers with specific expertise in a particular area but, more often, by our own BST staff. Workshops are publicised on social media, on school noticeboards (electronic and traditional) and in The Lion, and are usually entered on the website calendar well in advance.

 

*Contact information can be updated at any time by sending an email directly to comms@bst.ac.jp or data@bst.ac.jp

Alternatively, a Contact Update Form can be completed at either of the Reception Desks at Shibuya and Showa.

 

Check-list

To help you better understand the many communications channels that we utilise, please see the summary check-list below.

This is subject to change, but will be reviewed on a regular basis.

 

Channel Content Frequency
The Lion School News & Events, with an introductory message from the Principal Weekly
Principal’s Blog Thoughts & news about British and international education, and life in Japan Weekly
Head of Primary News Primary News & Events Weekly
Head of Secondary News Secondary News & Events Weekly
Primary Years Newsletters Curriculum information
Notices/Requests
Weekly
PTA Newsletter PTA News & Events
Sale items (BST parents)
Community News & Events (BST parents)
Weekly
Facebook BST News & Events
PTA News & Events
Emergency information
Photos
Alumni link
Daily
Twitter BST News & Events
Emergency information
PTA News & Events
Daily
Website About BST
Curriculum information
News & Events
Daily
Letters home Trip information
Parent/Teacher evenings
School reports
As required
Class parents Coffee mornings
Requests from teachers
Emergency information (not reliable)
As required
Direct Emails Emergency information
Safety updates
Health updates
Trip updates
Important notices
Changes to ECAs/ASC/MECAs
As required
Primary Notice board
(in the 1F corridor on the Shibuya campus)
PTA News & Events
Sale items (BST parents)
Community news & events (BST parents)
As required
Secondary Notice board
(on the 5F corridor of the Showa campus)
Sports fixtures
Team lists
As required
Student Planners Homework
Notices from tutors
Sports events
Daily
Posters BST events
Educational events & opportunities
BST related sales (for charity)
As required
Teachers/Tutors Requests for parents
Scheduling information
School news
Daily
Showa and Shibuya Foyer TV Screens Dates for the diary and upcoming events (School and PTA) clubs information, photos from past events, list of comms platforms New every month, updated as required

 

 

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact the Communications Team at comms@bst.ac.jp