There is an old story that does the rounds at JB, of a young Lower K.G. child who was scared to enter her classroom because she found it drab and poorly lit, and how the Principal at the time ensured that the classroom was transformed into a child’s paradise with warm colourful walls, bright lights, attractive bulletin boards; and the child then came bounding into school each day. Although an old story, its essence is what permeates the air at JB even today - the idea that the student is at the heart-center of education, and that joyous learning is the one true benchmark of a successful educational institution.
The student experience at JB is unique and everlasting; as JB girls often say, you can spot a JBite anywhere in the world because she tends to stand out in a crowd and hold her own no matter where she is. This is the result of the transformative educational experience she receives in her years at the school, wherein she is encouraged to ask questions instead of being dismissed, she is drawn to celebrate her femininity instead of repenting over it, and she is propelled to think, reflect and learn experientially rather than just ‘do what she is told’. A JB student learns in an environment where inquiry is the norm and silence is the aberration, with teachers who are kind and compassionate, yet firm in their resolve to engage students vibrantly, and encourage them to strive for excellence. There is a real bond between the staff and students at JB, forged through heart-to-heart conversations in and outside of class, and warm hugs. Years after she has left school, it isn’t unusual to see a JB student running to a teacher, embracing her tightly and going on to recount a particularly intense classroom discussion or experience.
But it’s not merely the classroom dynamic that make the school truly unique, because at JB, education extends far beyond the classroom. From the time a student steps into the school, she is exposed to a world beyond the four walls of the class - a world where promising young artists are recognized and appreciated; their art work gloriously adorning the school corridors and passageways. Prospective musicians and singers perform at the annual Variety Entertainment Programme and other shows and events of the school, while talented dancers perform flawless pieces across various dance styles. Sportswomen and athletes get an opportunity to represent their house and school if they exhibit love for a sport, and the school actively encourages those students who are dedicated and passionate about a certain sport, to pursue it to whatever stage or level they can attain. Drama is historically deeply interwoven into the school ethos, and there are theatrical productions throughout the year that allow budding actresses to have their moment in the limelight.
With so many chances to discover and explore multiple facets of themselves, JB is a place where most students will always be doing more than just one thing, thus showcasing their unique identity, one that makes each of them their own person and yet so intrinsically part of the JB ‘family’. And like any family, this one too has its own set of traditions that make it different from others. Ask any JB student about the 'JB Jam' and she will proudly tell you how it is the one school social that students from all other Mumbai schools want to attend - an evening of dressing up, meeting friends in an informal setting, and of course, transforming the school hall into a mini discotheque. Also don't be surprised if you enter the school on a Friday and see students in clothes of their choice or dressed according to a particular ‘theme’; at JB, Fridays are ‘dress-as-you-like’ days and the students use this opportunity to dress in clothes that are a reflection of their individual personalities. There are several other such traditions that are characteristically ‘JB’- the inter class Mood n Mime competition, the JB Fete (Fun Fair), Class Canteens, Food Festivals, JB MUN, Just a Minute Competitions and debates, to name but a few. All of these make up the unique and intrinsic culture of the school, one that celebrates life and all that it has to offer, instilling in the students a realization that education can, and should always be a passionate engagement, and school can actually become ‘home’.