The Head of Secondary writes… - Bangkok Prep

The Head of Secondary writes…

Value of the Month is Internationally Minded

Bangkok Prep: Beyond our Campus

What is a school without teachers and students? We found out the answer this week, and, while it is still a beautiful set of buildings and a lovely place to work hard, the heart of the school has been missing. I am very glad all our secondary students, teachers, teaching assistants, technicians and learning mentors are home, safe and sound.

The weekend will bring some much needed rest, I’m sure. Also, a chance to tell stories and share the memories made through the week. For those that engage and take a full part in Residentials, they are a superb opportunity to learn beyond the classroom. I hope every member of our fantastic staff is also able to rest and reflect on what a wonderful week year groups just had.

The Residentials are months in the making! Our Year Leaders and Trips and Events Team do a marvellous job. Booking the dates and venues is just the start and that happened 12 months ago. Next, we think carefully about the itinerary and value of the experience and opportunities we want to share with the children. Then follows the pre-visits, risk assessments, piles of paperwork and communications. All of which are undoubtedly worth it as soon as you see the students getting so much from the week and having a lot of fun. Residentials are truly such an important part of an international school education. A huge thank you to the many, many, teachers and staff that make them happen and especially our Year Leaders for leading with excellence. I watched the updates and poured over the photographs on Firefly – I hope you did too. It was very hard to choose just one picture from most trips to share with you today. Please do go to see the galleries on Firefly if you haven’t done so yet.

Our children and staff enjoying the 2019-20 Residentials!

Evaluations, planning, further improvements and booking for next year has already begun.

Our school is a fantastically busy place. We are always striving to improve and ensure we are moving together towards the vision of the school. One way in which we do this is to look outward and ask questions about what other schools are doing, what is the best practice around the world and what would suit our students and staff and families. Working with CIS and other external accreditation processes helps us do this. Self-evaluation and community feedback is crucial too. Working across FOBISIA and gaining from those partnerships is also a responsibility and opportunity we have.

Mr Watters and I have been very fortunate to experience two significant learning opportunities just this week.

ISAT (the International Schools Association of Thailand) marked their 25 year anniversary with a dinner talk called “EDUCATION VISION 2030”. We were lucky to hear from a number some excellent and prestigious speakers on international education in Thailand. It was an honour to attend with Khun Patrada, Duncan, Brad and Martin Breen and esteemed members of the board. I took a great deal from the night but will share two things in particular: First the message from the Minister of Education about our ability and responsibility to support education development in Thailand. Secondly, Dr Brian Perkins spoke passionately about each teacher and each school contributing their ‘drop’ to an educational sea of change. For our children to reach their potential, we should prepare them to solve problems, think critically and be able to act independently in a global and intercultural society.

Mr Watters and I also had the pleasure of visiting Garden International School (GIS) in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. GIS is a highly regarded school that shares many of our core values. It has been open since 1951 and like all schools, experiences continual review, change and improvement. We were made to feel most welcome and exchanged lots of information about our schools to return with good ideas. In particular, we found we had a lot to discuss with regards to the ways we enable teachers and staff to continually develop. Professional learning is essential for us to provide the best for students. We also thoroughly enjoyed the parent workshop on Higher Education preparation in which parents were learning too. Our vision of being a learning community at Bangkok Prep is an aspiration shared with GIS.

We are not the only staff travelling to learn first-hand and come back to benefit the students. Our own University Guidance Counsellor, Lucy Allen, travelled to the UK this week. Bangkok Prep made a successful application to attend the University Guidance Counsellor Conference at Cambridge University, England. She has also visited UCL and Imperial College to make valuable connections and have the latest advice and news, first hand, from their admissions teams. Lucy has also found the time to connect with some of our alumni too! Do you recognise them?!

Poom is in his 3rd year at Imperial studying Mechanical Engineering and Tap has just finished his Master’s in Chemical Engineering at Imperial – he got a 1st at Lancaster University. We will hear more from Lucy and what some of our London-based UK alumni had to say when she returns.

Mrs Wilsonlock and Mr Stonehouse were also travelling on Wednesday, they were still in Bangkok but there to celebrate the outstanding academic achievement of three of our Sixth Form Students. A huge congratulations from all of the community to Muskan who received an Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award for Information Technology in June 2019: Top in the Country! Well done too Mr Blakemore and the Maths and Computer Science faculty.

Another huge congratulations from all of the community to Pear and Pear, who each received Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award for Foreign Language Mandarin: Top in the World! Thank you and congratulations to Ms Wang, Ms Gong and the World Languages faculty for their teaching and support in Mandarin.

Finally, some reminders that the whole school is closed this coming Thursday 5th December. The 5th of December is the Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and Thailand’s Father’s Day.

Key Stage 4 & 5 School Photographs will take place on Monday 2nd – Wednesday 4th December.

We re-open secondary school on Friday with the Secondary Sports Day on the 6th December. Parents and carers are very welcome – hope to see you there! One week later on Friday 13th December, the school will close for students at 11:30am. I shall write to wish you a happy holiday then. There is lots to do in our final few days of term but I hope there are plenty of happy times and smiles for all as well.


Tia Court-Smith

Head of Secondary

Our Campus


BANGKOK, 10110

77 สุขุมวิท 77 วัฒนา
กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110