SIS Semarang: Providing Accessible and Affordable Quality Education

SIS Semarang
SIS Semarang

Education at Cambridge Institutions is not just about acquiring knowledge; it’s about fostering a lifelong love for learning, promoting critical thinking, and nurturing individuals who can make a positive impact on the world. These institutions are more than just schools; they are vibrant communities that prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly evolving global landscape.

In Asia, SIS Semarang is one of the big names among Cambridge Institutions.

SIS Semarang is a member of the award-winning SIS Group of Schools.  Its objective is to make quality education affordable and accessible in developing countries.  The Group is expanding, and it currently has thirteen campuses in Indonesia and the region.  It is in a strategic partnership with the IFC (World Bank) and impact funds.

SIS Semarang was established in 2005 in the capital of the Province of Central Java, Indonesia. Indonesia is the fourth largest education system worldwide.

SIS Semarang’s mission is all about sparking curiosity and helping learners develop skills needed in a modern world.  Its vision is to inspire students to aim high in their learning journeys.

Fostering Ethical Values

The school’s core values are Fairness, Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Courage.

It embraces fairness, prides itself on equitable hiring, merit-based promotions, and offering growth prospects through its Group’s network. A number of leaders within the SIS group originate from this campus.  Regardless of background, students deserving access to a high-quality education are offered scholarships and generous and flexible tuition fee-paying schemes.

Within SIS Semarang, respect champions diversity and inclusion.  Its regular stakeholder reports encompass Environmental Social Governance and Diversity Equity.  Transparent surveys affirm the school’s sense of value and inclusion.  Ultimately, the students reap the benefits, evident in its high enrolment figures.

At SIS Semarang, integrity means unwavering ethical conduct, reliable financial reporting, and principled interactions with stakeholders.  This is why reputed organizations like the IFC (World Bank) and other international funds are keen to partner with it.

Strive for a Safer Learning Environment

Compassion weaves empathy into its educational approach.  SIS Semarang understands that each student faces their own challenges, and SIS is dedicated to providing not only academic support but also emotional encouragement.

The school works to create a safe environment where students can flourish both academically and personally.  Compassion is also embodied through employee well-being initiatives and promoting work-life equilibrium.  During COVID-19, its care extended to comprehensive employee support, reducing fees and extending scholarships aimed at aiding those overcoming adversities.

Courage shapes the school’s willingness to innovate.  SIS Semarang teachers look to innovative teaching methods such as Virtual and Augmented Reality.  Its interdisciplinary projects based around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals encourage students to challenge systems and solve environmental and community problems innovatively.  Beyond academics, its emphasis on Sports and Creative Arts harmonizes with the Desired Student Learning Outcomes (DSLOs), encapsulated by PACE: Perseverance, Analytical Thinking, Collaboration/Communication, and Entrepreneurship/Innovation.

Backbones of SIS

Mr. Andrew Paterson is the Group’s Director of operations. With 25 years of experience in the education sector, he oversees the quality control of all the SIS Schools in Indonesia.

Robert Davis is SIS Semarang’s Head Teacher. With 20 years of experience in the education sector, he oversees one of the most successful schools in the SIS network.

Instilling Inclusive Values

SIS Semarang celebrates significant events, international holidays, and cultural heritage months related to diversity.  For example, on Independence Day, the day is marked by various events, parades, and cultural performances. Diwali Day and Chinese New Year are other cultural events that are enthusiastically celebrated within the school community.

There is diversity in its teaching staff and administration, with nationalities ranging from Canadian, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, Australian, and English.  The curriculum and school events reflect a diverse range of backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives.

The school’s culturally responsive teaching practices acknowledge and incorporate the cultural backgrounds and experiences of students. This can include using diverse projects and homework that resonate with different students’ lived experiences.

Its inclusive Curriculum looks at contributions to communities from various cultures and historical perspectives. This ensures that students learn about a wide range of experiences and challenges stereotypes.

Maintaining Educational Quality

The school regularly assesses its progress and performance in fostering an inclusive environment, collects feedback from students, parents, and staff, and uses it to make improvements.

SIS Semarang students have moved on to some of the top universities in the world, from Singapore, the UK, Australia, Europe, China, and Korea to the USA.  Its alumni network is a diverse and dynamic community comprising individuals from many countries.  The network’s primary function is to facilitate lifelong relationships among alumni and between alumni and the institution through regular events like reunions and workshops.

The school’s robust digital management systems for tasks like admissions, student records, and scheduling look to streamline processes, reducing manual workload and potential errors.  Automation tools track data, enabling quicker decision-making and resource allocation.

Communication Enhancement is through multifaceted digital communication platforms, like Zoom and Google Meet, for online communication.  Others that support teaching and learning, like SeeSaw, Reading Eggs and Google Apps, are regularly used by teachers in preschool, primary, and secondary.  These platforms provide real-time updates to parents, guardians, and staff, ensuring transparent information sharing.  Interactive communication tools facilitate immediate feedback and enable effective collaboration among educators, parents, and students.

Learning Experience Augmentation and Personalise learning tools provide impactful learning journeys for students.  SIS Semarang embraces novel teaching methods like using VR and AR.  Digital libraries, multimedia resources, and e-learning platforms diversify teaching methods.  SIS Semarang is also an Apple School, with all teachers achieving Apple certification.

This academic year, the Semarang campus purchased Apple iPad charging carts with class sets of iPads, so educational applications like Reading Eggs to support students’ reading development and AI can be utilized in classes from preschool to upper primary.

Online Professional Development courses provide ample opportunities for teachers to improve their teaching techniques. Other online professional development courses made available include cultural competency and effective communication.

The school’s focus on technology as an enabler to the teacher was tested during COVID-19 when schools went online.  SIS Semarang’s online teaching and learning was rated as one of the best in the region, resulting in an increase in its enrolment numbers.

Keeping Pace with Evolving Needs

SIS Semarang is part of a Group of Schools and does not operate in isolation. The Group’s continuous research on exceptional learning and teaching strategies has proven effective in keeping SIS Semarang in pace with evolving student needs and industry demands.

Other ways the school does this is through:

  • Industry Collaboration, where the schools regularly invite professionals to share insights on current trends and emerging skills. This ensures the curriculum is aligned with the ever-evolving demands of the job market.
  • The School Board comprises industry experts providing the school with real-world relevance and cutting-edge insights.
  • The curriculum is “live,” and the programs are regularly updated to swiftly integrate new subjects and adapt existing courses to address emerging needs and technologies. For instance, inter-disciplinary projects and modules, like Global Perspectives, allow students to analyse and discuss solutions to real-world problems.
  • Regular Curriculum Reviews by outside and inside experts with feedback from educators, students, and industry partners ensure that content remains current and aligned with industry advancements.
  • Drawing inspiration from successful models, the School infuses technology across disciplines to mirror industry practices. This prepares students for tech-driven workplaces, equipping them with digital skills that are essential in today’s landscape.

Promoting Physical and Mental Well-Being

SIS Semarang’s Holistic Support Systems looks at academic, emotional, and personal aspects.  Dedicated counselors, mentors, and advisors offer guidance, ensuring students feel valued and understood.  The school implements wellness programs that promote physical and mental well-being.  Its design looks at collaborative and inclusive spaces where students from diverse backgrounds feel welcome and respected.

SIS Semarang understands that every child learns differently, and therefore, it develops personalized learning for each student.  This approach acknowledges their unique strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles, ensuring tailored support.  Its Co-Curricular Activities offer a wide array of activities that help students discover new talents and support a balanced academic life.

Its field trips and industry engagements expose students to practical bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application.

Besides many other approaches, SIS Semarang has effective feedback mechanisms where students can voice concerns and suggestions.  This fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment within the institution.  The school also goes a long way to recognizing achievements, both big and small, which cultivates a sense of accomplishment, and encourages continued growth.

Its interdisciplinary Projects facilitate collaborations among faculty and students across different disciplines.  By breaking down traditional silos, the school encourages the exchange of ideas that lead to innovative solutions.  It organizes innovation challenges and competitions that encourage students to propose solutions to real-world problems. This nurtures creativity and critical thinking while offering a unique opportunity for students to collaborate with other SIS Schools globally.  Its students combine with other students from India, Myanmar, Korea, and Indonesia to share different perspectives, ideas, and solutions to current world issues of relevance while also focusing on the UNSDGs.

Fostering an Understanding of Diverse Cultural Norms

SIS Semarang students are exposed to both Singapore and Cambridge as they progress through grade levels. It provides relevant training for faculty and staff to foster an understanding of diverse cultural norms.  The school infuses modules and content that reflect Asian cultures, Social and Religious Studies. SIS Semarang organizes cultural celebrations and events that showcase the vibrancy of Asian traditions, as well as specific practices of the communities.

Its students are tri-lingual in English, Bahasa Indonesia, and Mandarin. This preserves linguistic heritage and enhances cross-cultural communication skills among students. The school actively recruits faculty from diverse cultural backgrounds.  This enriches the academic environment with varied perspectives and experiences. It engages local communities through outreach initiatives.

In 2019, the Financial Times (UK)-IFC (World Bank) recognized SIS for the transformational work SIS Semarang does in education with a global award. Capital Finance (UK) crowned SIS the top SE Asia education institution in 2021 for impact. This year’s nomination for the Steward Leadership Award from INSEAD and the Hoffman Institute highlights its continuous commitment.

SIS will continue to expand in Indonesia and the region in big and small cities to focus on making quality education accessible and affordable, each serving as a beacon in its Public-Private Partnerships with the communities.

The school plans to adapt to continue integrating innovative teaching methods and cutting-edge technologies as enablers to teachers, enhancing the school’s commitment to nurturing 21st-century competencies.

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