Aleksandra Keserović, Principal, British International School In Belgrade (BIS):

The School Of Lifelong Learning Devotees

Over the past 20 years the British International School in Belgrade (BIS) has seen continual development, based on the motto “Success Comes to He Who Works”

British International School-BIS is a regular member of the European Council of international Schools (ECIS), and a member of the Council of international Schools (COBIS). It is also recognised by both UK and Serbian educational ministries, and is an operator for the International Award for Young People (Duke of Edinburgh Award), which was established by HRH Prince Phillip.

This year marks a significant anniversary of two decade since the establishment of the school in Serbia. What are the significant benchmarks that contributed to the development of the school?

– British International School’s development is reflected in an up-to-date approach to new trends in teaching and learning, which included provision of the latest teaching resources and expansion of our information technology facilities. This has resulted in steady growth of student numbers year after year and, consequently, in the expansion of our school facilities. BIS is recognised by various external educational authorities which serve as a benchmark in our operation, proving the quality of education that we stand for.

Much has changed in the meantime. Which standards provide the basis for the work of the British International School today?

– The motto of our school is expressed in the Latin sentence: “Meret Qui Laborat” (Success Comes to He Who Works). We believe in the ability of our teachers to instil the love of lifelong learning in our students. Each student is encouraged to use and develop their critical thinking, problem solving and enquiry skills in an interactive process of teaching and learning in class. We believe that a student can become a lifelong learner only if they take ownership of their learning. We are proud of our alumni, who live and work throughout the world, and who have succeeded in their careers as doctors, lawyers, engineers, managers etc.

We believe in a holistic approach to education which implies that a student should develop not only their intellectual, but also their social, emotional and physical skills

During the teaching of your regular classes, you also insist on developing your students’ social and ethical values. How do you manage to achieve this?

– We believe in a holistic approach to education which implies that a student should develop not only their intellectual, but also their social, emotional and physical skills. This is accomplished through many extracurricular activities, such as drama, chess, pottery, music, national dances, ballet, karate, capoeira, swimming and team sports.

This year you are once again organising your traditional charity event. What are the main activities?

– Each year the school organises a Spring Charity Bazaar in May with a particularly chosen purpose to support a charitable cause within the local community. The BIS Spring Bazaars represent an opportunity for our whole school community (parents, students and teachers) to come together in supporting those in need. The participants include many embassies and companies, representatives of our Parent-Teacher Friends organization (PTF), as well as representatives of our Student Council. Colourful stalls spread across the school yard feature various national cuisines and national souvenirs. There is also a stage programme which, besides singing and dancing, includes a fashion show of national costumes from different countries.

I am taking this opportunity to invite all who wish to join us at this year’s BIS Spring Charity Bazaar to visit our primary campus at Užička Street 7a on 20th May. We look forward to hosting all the visitors who are keen to support us in collecting proceeds to buy beds and mattresses for mentally disabled young individuals living in the hospice in Sremčica.