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JIS comes alive to ‘The Sound of Music’

JERUDONG International School (JIS) students produced yet another spectacular show recently, as more than 50 of them took the stage in the school’s adaptation of the classic musical ‘The Sound of Music’.

Based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, ‘The Sound of Music’ is the final musical written by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein before Hammerstein’s death in 1960.

The story follows the plight of Maria (Eden Chiam), who reluctantly takes a job as a governess to a large family while she decides about her future vocation, only to fall in love first with the children, then eventually with their widowed father, Captain von Trapp (Chuck Ionescu).

However, the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly for Maria, and she’s soon forced to take drastic action to protect her new family from the wrath of the rising Nazi army (or ‘First Order’ as they were called in the production).

The show was peppered with some of the world’s best-known musical numbers. The tone was set as Chiam belted out the title track ‘The Sound of Music’ with all the composure and assurance of a seasoned performer. Mother Matron (Freda Ngu), backed by Sisters Margaretta (Elanor Briffa), Berthe (Hannah Bourbon) and Sophia (Natsune Nishi), performed ‘Maria’ with aplomb.

Maria and the von Trapp children singing ‘Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do’

Maria and the von Trapp children singing ‘Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do’

Captain von Trapp, portrayed by Chuck (left) and Shana as Baroness Elsa von Schraeder. – PHOTOS: JIS

Captain von Trapp, portrayed by Chuck (left) and Shana as Baroness Elsa von Schraeder. – PHOTOS: JIS

The von Trapp family and part of the chorus singers in a scene from the finale

The von Trapp family and part of the chorus singers in a scene from the finale

This was followed by back-to-back hits, with Chiam again excelling in her renditions of classics ‘My Favourite Things’ and ‘Do-Re-Mi’ – the latter aided ably by the irrepressible von Trapp children Liesl (Renee Teo), Louisa (Rafeeqa Teo), Friedrich (Zed Smith), Kurt (Malo Sandow), Brigitta (Charley Grimshaw), Marta (Evelyn Hogan) and Gretl (Zoe Zhi Yi Chan). Egged on by their quirky ‘uncle’ Max (hilariously portrayed by Nick Bourbon), the von Trapp children were a constant source of entertainment, their innocence and optimism brilliantly captured by the talented cast, not least in their renditions of ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ and ‘So Long, Farewell’.

While the excellent performances of those on-stage deservedly took the plaudits on the night, perhaps the most impressive thing about ‘The Sound of Music’ was that it was a culmination of an entire school’s efforts, coming together as one to create a truly outstanding spectacle.

What the audience may not have noticed was the huge amount of work that went on behind the scenes, with hundreds of students and staff working on everything from set design and construction, costumes and choreography, to lighting and sound, props and hair and make-up.

“The skills most valued by employers awaiting these students are complex problem-solving, creative thinking, reflective improvement and collaborative communication,” said JIS Principal Barnaby Sandow.

“Every single scene in this play has been forged through each of these skills. The set has evolved into a solution-focussed masterpiece, each piece of choreography has weaved aesthetics into the narrative, every interchange has improved as a critical contribution of each participant. The value for me in the learning is even greater than the pride I feel in their performances.”

Borneo Bulletin | March 21, 2018




Students connect with future employers at JIS Careers Carousel

THE Jerudong International School (JIS) held its annual Careers Carousel yesterday, and accredited experts within their specialist fields were invited to give presentations to over 300 students in Years 11-12.

The students were allowed to attend two talks of their choice, with approximately 60 speakers presenting and discussing the topic of their future careers.

Among this year’s speakers were Nicola Rosenblum, the Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam; Ben Boddy, the Deputy British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam; Shazali Sulaiman, the resident partner of KPMG Brunei and Chairman of the Brunei Darussalam International Chamber of Commerce and Industry; JIS alumni, Shinny Chai, from The Collective; Aminudin Zaki bin Dato Abdul Rahman, Counsel and Deputy Public Prosecutor at the Criminal Justice Division of Attorney General’s Chambers; and Jason Kok, the Economics Manager at the Economics and Statistics Unit of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD).

Each talk included a question-and answer session, and students had the opportunity to ask about their chosen careers and network with the professionals to arrange a possible work placement.

Many careers were represented for the first time in this year’s Careers Carousel, such as Marketing, Marine Biology, Info-Communications Technology (ICT) and Neuro-Science.

Nicola Rosenblum, Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam speaks on International Relations and Diplomacy. – ISHAN IBRAHIM

Nicola Rosenblum, Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam speaks on International Relations and Diplomacy. – ISHAN IBRAHIM

Borneo Bulletin | Ishan Ibrahim | February 15, 2018




JIS students explore higher education opportunities

JERUDONG International School (JIS) recently hosted their annual Year 12 Higher Education Evening at the JIS Arts Centre, where parents and students attended a range of country-specific presentations and visited information booths set up by the respective missions represented at the event.

The event commenced with an opening address by the school’s Principal, Barnaby Sandow, followed by an overview of the system for guiding and advising JIS students making university applications by the Dean of Higher Education Russell Mann.

These sessions provided the opportunity to learn more about a range of popular tertiary destinations worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. In addition, one session addressed Oxbridge and Medicine applications for those aspiring to apply for places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, as well as those wishing to pursue medical studies.

Nicola Rosenblum, the Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam; Richard Lindsay, the British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam; and Craig Allen, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Brunei Darussalam, were present with their teams to make presentations, disseminate information and answer questions about studying in universities in their countries.

Richard Lindsay, the British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam addressing parents and students about studying in UK universities

Richard Lindsay, the British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam addressing parents and students about studying in UK universities

JIS Principal Barnaby Sandow delivering the opening address. – PHOTOS: JIS

JIS Principal Barnaby Sandow delivering the opening address. – PHOTOS: JIS

ABOVE & BELOW: Representatives at the information booths speaking to parents and students about higher education opportunities

ABOVE & BELOW: Representatives at the information booths speaking to parents and students about higher education opportunities



Also in attendance were Katia Menargues, Deputy Ambassador of France to Brunei Darussalam; Thomas Heilmaier, the Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Brunei Darussalam; and Pengiran Izad Ryan bin Pengiran Laila Kanun Diraja Pengiran Haji Bahrin, Honorary Swiss Consul to Brunei Darussalam.

Teams of representatives from Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Universiti Teknologi Brunei were also available to answer questions and provide information.

The annual Year 12 Higher Education Evening is a key part in every JIS student’s journey to researching and selecting the appropriate university for their future careers.

Borneo Bulletin | Aziz Idris | February 2, 2018




JIS bags Outstanding Strategic Initiative Award in London

JERUDONG International School (JIS) recently won the Outstanding Strategic Initiative Award in the prestigious British International Schools Award (BISA) for 2018 for their environmental effort to restore 10,000m2 of tropical heathland initiative.

The Outdoor Discovery Centre (ODC) initiative by JIS was announced the award winners in London, the United Kingdom (UK) at a prestigious award ceremony at The Connaught Hotel on January 22. Chris McGeorge, the former Sports Director at JIS and now based in the UK, collected the award on behalf of the school.

Early in 2016, the JIS set aside 10,000m2 of land within the extensive campus.

Part of the land is forested while in other sections the tropical heathland had been beaten back, leading to soil quality to be diminished.

It has now become a learning space of which the school community are very proud as it lies just behind the large Sports Complex adjacent to the Junior School for easy accessibility as a learning area.

Students explaining about compost to Her Royal Highness Countess of Wessex

Students explaining about compost to Her Royal Highness Countess of Wessex

Chris McGeorge, former Sports Director at JIS, receiving the Outstanding Strategic Initiative Award in the prestigious British International Schools Award (BISA) for 2018. – PHOTOS: JIS

Chris McGeorge, former Sports Director at JIS, receiving the Outstanding Strategic Initiative Award in the prestigious British International Schools Award (BISA) for 2018. – PHOTOS: JIS

Botanists from Universiti Brunei Darussalam assisted in identifying plants in the remaining areas of woodland while students helped by testing the soil and indigenous Bruneian saplings such as the Simpur which will be planted in the open areas.

Students have met weekly, mentored by a local permaculture expert to focus on using garden waste in a composting project. The infrastructure for the ODC was developed with pathways, seating, signs and fencing being installed by the students and assisted by teachers.

In April 2017, for Earth Week, the first opportunity to showcase the ODC to the local community in Brunei arose. The ODC was used as the backdrop and focus for the celebrations that week with activities arranged by the whole school and participation from local NGOs.

The project to restore and use this area has been primarily student led. The ODC was visited in October 2017 by Their Royal Highnesses Earl and Countess of Wessex when visiting Brunei for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Accession to the Throne.

As Year 12 student, Shanie Chauhan (who volunteered to help in the ODC as part of her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award) commented, “It has given me an overwhelming sense of accomplishment for everyone who was a part of it. I am especially pleased to know that the ODC will continue to grow and develop.

“I will be proud to be able to say that I witnessed the development from the very beginning. Working as part of a team of all ages has inspired me that when you have an idea and you truly believe in it, it will grow into something to be proud of. Going from a deserted space, the ODC has transformed into a unique learning facility for all ages and all the faculties of my school. From the sensory path, to the herb spirals and the compost area, these have all impacted many people from my school community and I’m glad to have been a part of and will continue to be.”

Meanwhile, Principal Barnaby Sandow expressed his delight to hear that JIS has won the prestigious award. “It highlights the presence of such an outstanding school here in Brunei on a global platform – something we all can be proud of.

“It is also testimony to the dedicated students and hardworking, inspirational teachers at JIS who have united to set up and create the ODC. I hope that it is something we can all celebrate here in beautiful Brunei.”

Borneo Bulletin | Aziz Idris & Khairil Hassan | January 28, 2018




Wu Chun shares business secrets with JIS student

BRUNEIAN superstar Wu Chun recently hosted a lunchtime lecture, and question and answer session for Jerudong International School (JIS) students at the school’s Lecture Theatre.

A hugely successful entrepreneur, Wu Chun shared some of the business secrets that helped him along the way to owning some of Brunei’s most prosperous companies. “Business has to be meaningful,” he told the audience.

“Business has to be your passion, something that you really like. Being an entrepreneur is not easy – you have to work long hours, you have to be hands-on and you have to motivate a team to perform well. Being a good leader is very important.

“I don’t know everything, but in my experience in business, I’ve learnt and want to share that you need to have the right kind of attitude,” he said. “You have to commit to your dream. When you start a business it is your dream, it’s your baby, but if you give it your full commitment then it can grow into something amazing because miracles do happen if you truly believe in it.”

The lecture was the latest in the regular ‘Lunchtime Lecture’ series at JIS where students can bring their lunch and listen to a talk on a variety of subjects. Wu Chun added some serious star power to the Business and Economics courses on offer at JIS as part of the broad IGCSE, A Level and IB Diploma curricula.

Wu Chun during the lunchtime lecture, and question and answer session for Jerudong International School. – JIS

Wu Chun during the lunchtime lecture, and question and answer session for Jerudong International School. – JIS

Another important point Wu Chun was keen to focus on was charity. “Some people think partying is very cool,” the entrepreneur said, “but I want to tell you that helping people, doing charity work, is even cooler.”

An ambassador for a whole raft of charities including the National Anti-Drug Association, the star has done everything from goodwill concerts to raise money for children and athletes with special needs, to twice yearly blood donation campaigns and even a 10-hour road trip from Qinghai to deliver much-needed medical supplies to small villages in China.

It’s a concept that will no doubt resonate with the students at JIS, who are educated with a strong philosophy of giving, and contribute to the school’s support of a number of charities, not least with the innovative Polio Points system, which sees good behaviour rewarded with donations to charitable causes.

“Polio Points are really meaningful and very encouraging for students to prove themselves,” Wu Chun said of the scheme. “It’s programmes like this that make JIS what it is. The school is more about building personality than focussing only on results. They want to make learning fun and such an encouraging culture is definitely the right direction for the students.”

And amid all the talk of showbiz and entrepreneurialism, Wu Chun was keen to point out that, for him, there really is no substitute for good old-fashioned family values. With his family joining the JIS students in the audience he finished his lecture by saying, “The thing I am proudest of in the world is being a father. That is something that money can’t buy.”

Borneo Bulletin | December 1, 2017