The Eductaction System in Thailand - A Complete Look

Education System in Thailand

The Education System in Thailand

The education system in Thailand includes government, private and international schools (which are also private). The system, and many of its schools, are split into 3 distinct stages, covering pre-school, primary and secondary education, and each stage consists of a number of separate levels, much the same as kindergarten, primary and secondary schools in Western countries are split into separate years. Whether you already live in Thailand or are planning to move there in the near future, you will need to acquaint yourself with the education system and how it works if you have school-aged children in your family. This short guide is designed to help you achieve that aim in the most painless way possible and may also serve as a good introduction to the topic for those who have a purely academic interest in the national education system of Thailand.

Pre-School

The first stage is for children aged from 3 – 6 and is not compulsory. Most pre-school institutions offer Kindergarten 1, 2 and 3 levels to their pupils although some only offer the first two levels, with pupils having to move to another school to complete Kindergarten 3. Because pre-school is not compulsory, the grading system used by individual schools may vary from one establishment to the next but this is not usually a major concern for parents as these grades will not form part of a child’s official scholastic record.

Primary Education

For the purposes of this article, primary education begins at the age of 6, when it is compulsory for children in Thailand to start attending school. The primary school system consists of 6 years or levels (Prathom 1-6), which means that by the time a child has completed their primary education in Thailand, they will have reached the age of 12. It may further be split into lower elementary (Prathom 1-3) and upper elementary (Prathom 4-6), and at government schools, primary education is provided free of charge. At private schools, there is of course a fee to pay, which is usually collected prior to the commencement of each term. The Thai school year consists of 2 terms, the first from early May until late September and the second from mid-October until the end of February, with a long summer break during March and April. In addition to the mid and end of year breaks, there are a number of public and government holidays that are observed by Thai primary schools, which you need to be aware of when making childcare arrangements. Generally speaking, school starts at 8am and finishes around 4pm, although each school may set its own hours, within reason. Most primary schools employ a standard A-F grading system, which corresponds to the same grades used in American and British schools. However, some schools use a 4-point grading system, from 4 to 1, with an F for pupils who fail. In practice, it is very unusual for a child to fail a year in a Thai school and be held back: in the normal course of events, children who do not pass a particular year will be given the opportunity to retake their end of year exams, after attending summer school if necessary.

pre school kids

Secondary Education

From the ages of 12-18, children in Thailand attend schools offering secondary education, from Matthayom 1-6. These 6 years are split into lower and upper secondary education and only the lower portion, i.e. Matthayom 1-3, is compulsory. For Matthayom 4-6, both vocational and academic streams are available, the former being an option for pupils who fail to achieve the required grade for entry into the upper secondary academic stream. As in Thai primary schools, the grading system employed in secondary schools may either be from A-F or from 4-1, with F representing a fail in both systems. For pupils who achieve a passing grade at the end of Matthayom 3 and wish to continue with their academic education through Matthayom 4-6, elective subjects may be studied alongside the core subjects, as is the case in most Western school systems. The core subjects that are studied in primary and secondary educational facilities include Thai language, mathematics, technology, physical education, social sciences, art, music and foreign languages.

Tertiary Education

Colleges and Universities regulated by the Ministry of Education offer a wide variety of academic and vocational programmes in Thailand, giving students the chance to obtain a BA, BSc, or higher degree in one of many subjects. In addition to public universities, there are also a number of private institutions offering degree courses to fee-paying students, with fees that are normally considerably higher than those you will find at government institutions of higher education.

Alternatives to Thai Schools Following the National Curriculum

For parents who would like their children to follow a recognised Western curriculum, such as those followed in British and North American schools, there are a number of private Bangkok International Schools and the rest of the country that provide this option. Whilst these schools are also regulated by the Thai government, they are free to offer foreign curricula to their students and many have an excellent reputation for delivering a high standard of education. Such schools are a good choice for expatriate parents who plan to move back to their home countries before their children have finished their education, as well as for parents who would like their children to have the opportunity to attend a foreign university after completing their secondary schooling. In general, international schools in Thailand have a reputation for more rigorous grading than their government counterparts, which means that being held back a year is a real possibility for children who do not apply themselves. Parents who wish to send their children to a top Bangkok International School in Thailand should, therefore, be prepared to support them in their studies and to provide them with all the motivation and encouragement they need.

university girls
sixth form college students

Our Campus

BANGKOK PREP ADDRESS

77 SUKHUMVIT 77, VADHANA
BANGKOK, 10110

77 สุขุมวิท 77 วัฒนา
กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110

02-700-5858

Primary School

The Head of Primary at Bangkok Prep emphasizes the importance of primary education in shaping students’ lives academically and socially. The school aims to prepare global citizens capable of facing life’s challenges in an ever-changing world. With a dedicated team of educators, Bangkok Prep sets high standards, encouraging students to dream big and work hard towards their goals.

Aligned with the National Curriculum of England and Wales, the school’s curriculum is adapted to reflect Thai culture and society. Teaching follows an innovative thematic approach, integrating real-life contexts with academic rigor to develop well-rounded individuals. Learning is personalized to cater to diverse abilities and talents, fostering mutual respect, trust, and inclusivity.

Bangkok Prep’s primary curriculum extends beyond statutory requirements, focusing on engaging cross-curricular themes to facilitate high-quality learning. Emphasizing active and interactive learning experiences, the curriculum encourages exploration, questioning, and collaboration. The school aims to nurture students’ curiosity, helping them discover lifelong passions and talents while preparing them for a fulfilling future.

Admissions Procedure

When choosing Bangkok Prep for your child, you’re welcomed into the school family, ensuring a warm and supportive environment. The admissions process begins with completing a brief enquiry form, followed by an invitation for an introductory visit and tour. Conveniently located on Sukhumvit 77, Bangkok Prep offers both Primary and Secondary campuses. Upon deciding on Bangkok Prep, applicants submit their application form and required documents. Assessment sessions are then scheduled based on the applicant’s year level, ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours. The assessment includes various activities and tests tailored to different age groups. After assessment, the admissions team evaluates the application and notifies the family of the decision within 1-2 weeks. Successful applicants receive a formal offer letter and an invoice for initial fees, including placement, security, and registration fees, which must be paid within the specified timeframe to secure the child’s place.

Early Years

At Bangkok Prep, the Early Years curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage framework of England, emphasizing thematic topics and child-led learning for a stimulating and enjoyable school experience. It nurtures learning through play and focuses on developing concepts, skills, and positive attitudes across various areas including personal, social, emotional, communication, language, physical, literacy, mathematics, understanding of the world, and expressive arts and design. The curriculum prioritizes individualized learning, ensuring continuous progress while maintaining confidence and a can-do attitude. Specialist sessions in Thai language and culture, music, library, physical education, and swimming further enhance learning opportunities. Supervised by native English teachers and Thai-speaking teaching assistants, children immerse in language acquisition through the immersion method, preparing them for the international community. The Early Years program prioritizes outdoor learning environments, valuing them as essential for children’s wellbeing and development. It serves as ideal preparation for the transition into primary school and provides resources for parents on the Foundation Years website.

Secondary School

Bangkok Prep prides itself on being a distinct international secondary school in Bangkok, prioritizing student needs and providing a stimulating learning environment. Central to this is the pastoral system, where each student is assigned to a tutor group led by a Form Tutor, ensuring personalized care and support. The curriculum evolves to meet students’ changing needs, offering a core curriculum supplemented by option subjects as students mature. Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) focuses on a broad curriculum adapted from the English National Curriculum, fostering personal growth. In Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11), students choose option subjects alongside a core curriculum, culminating in IGCSE examinations. Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13) sees students specialize in Advanced Level courses while also engaging in a core curriculum and receiving support for university applications. Bangkok Prep fosters a warm, inclusive community and actively participates in regional competitions and events. The school encourages student involvement and leadership, ensuring a thriving learning environment. Contact information is provided for further inquiries.

School Fees

School Fees 2023-2024 – Download

Click on ‘download’ to view each admission form below. Please complete these forms and return them to the school.

Application Form – Download

Click on ‘download’ to view the Application Form.

2023 – 2024 School Calendar – Download

Click on ‘download’ to view the Academic Calendar.

Year Group Equivalent Information – Download

Withdrawal Request Form – Download