Singapore International School, Indonesia

Singapore International School, Indonesia, now known as Singapore Intercultural School Bona Vista (SIS Bona Vista), is an international school in Jakarta, Indonesia. The school caters for students from Preschool to 12th grade (JC2) based on an international curriculum. It is located next to Bona Vista Apartment in South Jakarta and has 7 sister schools in Indonesia.[1]

Singapore Intercultural School Bona Vista

TypeInternational school
MottoTowards Greater Heights
Head of schoolJohn Birch
GradesPreschool to JC2 (Grade 12)


In 1995, leading members of the business community felt the need for a Singapore-style school in Jakarta to cater to children of Singaporeans and other nationalities working in Indonesia. Several initial meetings with Singapore's Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Edward Lee, fired the enthusiasm needed to start the project, culminating in a meeting in early 1996 with the then Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Dr. Tony Tan, who was then the Education Minister. The inspiration drawn from that meeting set the wheels in motion.[2]

The team moved quickly to secure the help of their almamater, the Raffles Institution, one of Singapore's premier schools. The expertise of one of Singapore's most respected educationist, Eugene Wijeysingha (former Principal of Raffles Institution), was utilized to give the school a good foundation. Soon afterwards the Board of Governors of SIS successfully lobbied for the release of Magendiran also from Raffles Institution to be the first Principal of Singapore International School in 1997. Magendiran is today still with the Raffles Institution, Singapore.

In 1999, with a small investment, SIS Bona Vista was able to build a one-story school in yet another temporary site. After a year the school constructed its first basketball court and a small playing field. Despite not having many facilities, the high standards of teaching under the principals or another prominent educationist, Ms. Nanda Bandara, former Principal of the premier Singapore Raffles Girls' School and Haig Girls' School saw the enrollment increase from 50 to the school's maximum intake of 200. The school soon had a long waiting list students. This pushed the founders to conduct a search for more permanent premises with facilities matching the top international schools in Jakarta.

Located in a quiet neighborhood bordering the elite Pondok lndah real estate, SIS Bona Vista is two minutes from the Outer Ring Road making it accessible from many parts of Jakarta.[3] The SIS complex has lush, contoured gardens.

SIS Bona Vista welcomed its first batch of 25 pupils in January 1997 to its small premises in North Jakarta. The school was set up with the moral support of Singapore's Ministry of Education and financial support from the International Finance Corporation.[4] With the rising enrolment and also to cater for the international community, the school was moved to a larger premises in January 1999 at Gandaria in South Jakarta. Finally in January 2002, SIS opened the doors to its new building at Bona Vista, South Jakarta with present enrolment reaching 400 students from many nationalities. The founders later started Secondary (Secondary 1-4) and Pre-University Classes.[5]

To comply with the new Ministry of Education regulation (Permendikbud Nomor 31 Tahun 2014),[6] which also affected all International School in Indonesia[7] – the school has changed its name from "Singapore International School (Indonesia)" to "Singapore Intercultural School Bona Vista".


It is located in Bona Vista Raya, Lebak Bulus, next to Bona Vista Apartment. The SIS Group of Schools have eight other schools around Indonesia, namely SIS Kelapa Gading, Kebon Jeruk, Pantai Indah Kapuk (Jakarta), Medan, Cilegon, Semarang, and Palembang.


Despite its limited space, SIS Bona Vista has a multi-purpose hall), theater, Futsal court, basketball court, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics lab, SIS Aqua Land for Preschool students, and JC Information center for high school students. The school uses some of the properties of Bona Vista complex, such as football field, and swimming pool.tes


The colors of SIS Bona Vista are red, yellow and white. The logo consists of the letters SIS in white on a red background. Each SIS schools has a uniform. Every school has the same pattern but with different colors. SIS BV mainly uses green in the uniform.


The SIS curriculum has as its spine the curriculum used in top schools in Singapore.

The school is a certified Cambridge Centre for International Examinations (CIE) offering an international curriculum in the IGCSE and International A-level examinations. In September 2013, Singapore School Bona Vista officially authorized as an IB World School International Baccalaureate with availability in Diploma Programme.

From 2014, SIS Bona Vista (main campus) offers the IB (DP only) curriculum. Students can choose to follow IB DP, or CIE A Levels.

Independent appraisals

2002: SIS Bona Vista commissioned academics from the National Institute of Education (an institute of the Nanyang Technological University), Associate Professor Agnes Chang and Dr. Ang Wai Hoong, to appraise the school. A simultaneous appraisal was also done by another academic, Dr. Soh Kay Cheng (also of NIE) to assess the standards of the examinations. NIE is the exclusive government body that looks after teacher training and the development of the Singapore curriculum for all Singapore schools.

The appraisal not only confirmed the high standards in both the academic and non academic areas, it also puts SIS among the top schools in Singapore. To quote the all-encompassing line from the executive summary of the appraisers:

"The school is indeed comparable to a good school in Singapore in terms of teaching and pupils’ performance:"

2004: After a visit to SIS Schools by education and system experts from the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), IFC East Asia Regional Director, Javed Hamid, confirmed the high standards of SIS when he announced in a world-wide press release that "The project [SIS] will extend access to high-quality primary and secondary education in Indonesia. It will provide direct benefits to students while providing a model for educators and teachers that can be used nationally to further expand educational opportunity."[8]

2006: The Chinese Language department (conducted by Dr. Chua Chee Lay, sub-Dean of NIE, Mr. Lee Choi Lan from NIE, and Madam Wong Lee Er, Mandarin teacher trainer from Singapore) confirmed the high standards of the Chinese language taught in SIS.


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