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Shrewsbury International School Bangkok City Campus, 982 Rim Klong Samsen Road (Rama 9), Bang Kapi, Huai Kwang, Bangkok 10310. Thailand

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982 Rim Klong Samsen Road (Rama 9), Bang Kapi, Huai Kwang, Bangkok 10310. Thailand 

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Principal's Blog

PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 10th SEPTEMBER 2021 - KEEPING CONNECTING

We are staying connected virtually and doing all we can to ‘walk the talk’ of our Value of the Month, which is Connectivity. 

Our students are wholly connected to their online learning, proven by another great week of attendance with 99% in our classes across the school. Children have been excited to start Term 1, meet their new teachers and classmates and connect with the wider Shrewsbury community.

We are taking every opportunity we can to connect with our parents virtually. We miss seeing you every day at the school gate. 

This week we have had two successful meetings. The first with all the brand new families to Shrewsbury City Campus. It was lovely to see everyone. We introduced key players, had a presentation about all our Library has to offer from our newly appointed librarian, Patrick Durkan. Ruth Boxer, our Marketing Manager explained our methods of communication with parents and time was given to ask questions.

Shrewsbury Bangkok hosted a cross-campus consultation meeting with parents who are health professionals to discuss ‘Living with COVID-19’.

In this initial meeting, we  outlined the current state of play from the authorities here in Bangkok and focused our discussion on:

  • What ‘Living with COVID-19’ looks like
    The possibilities of reopening schools and key risk factors
  • The ongoing systems and structures that schools might benefit from
  • Consideration of next steps and further conversations

At the conclusion of this very informative partnership meeting we are in a strong informed position to review material and then consider next steps.  Thank you to all the members of our Shrewsbury community for your ongoing support.


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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 3RD SEPTEMBER 2021 - CONNECTIVITY

A very warm welcome back to Term 1 2021. 

Our children all return to their classes this week, excited and eager to learn. The staff team were impressed by their focus and contribution. Everyone is happy!

We are of course starting the term online, and the connection across our community remains strong.

‘Connectivity’ is our new value of the month focus. It was introduced in our live Zoom assembly this morning.

At the start of a new school year, investing in good connections is an absolute must! Everybody feels valued if there are good connections and good communication.

I shared some top tips on ways to connect well in our school right now. We talked about:

  • Being on time and attending all lessons (Via Zoom) to connect with friends and teachers and learn together.
  • Listening carefully and paying attention. When someone is talking to you, listen. …give eye contact ….think about what is being said….small gestures can show you are listening - nodding your head , not slumping in your chair, thumbs up, smiling….. 
  • Asking questions and seeking feedback
  • Remembering a person's name - on Zoom you cannot always pick up the cues that someone is looking at you or talking to you, so listen out for your name, and use other people’s names too.
  • Making great connections by showing you care and by showing kindness. Be encouraging, positive, uplifting, and supportive. Say thank you for small things and big things….. People love feeling appreciated and cared about. They will feel more connected to you when you show that you value them. 
  • In order to connect well with people that you meet or already know …...it is important to  connect with yourself. If you have a good connection with yourself, it will help you connect with others.

I shared one of my favourite stories, ‘The Soul Bird’ by Michal Snunit which encourages children and adults alike to listen to their emotions and connect with yourself….in turn this will help us connect with others.

Our superb music department gave us two wonderful live performances to connect us all through song: ‘One Moment’ and ‘Believe’- both beautifully reflective and inspirational songs.

It was absolutely amazing to see all the children’s smiling faces as we begin this new academic year. It felt so powerful to see them. We were connected.

Many children were wearing their House Shirts which was a delight to see, ready for the announcement of this week's winners - it was ‘King’ House, by the way!


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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 2ND JULY 2021 - TERM IN REVIEW

This week saw our last whole-school staff Zoom of the term, to say farewell as we prepare for our summer break. Seeing us all together was quite overwhelming and emotional. We’ve all been cocooned in our own little bubbles, and learned how to stay connected virtually in these usual times. 

How the world has changed. I am continually proud of our outstanding staff team at City Campus. 

It was an absolute pleasure this week to host our Year 6 drive-through Graduation - red carpet, music, starfish awards, leavers books, personaliSed cookies, certificateS and that all important Class of 2021 photograph were collected safely by each of our leavers with Hollywood-style family photographs taken in abundance!

We look forward to following the journey of our wonderful alumni at Riverside, other schools and beyond.

It is the last day of term, the last day of this academic year. What a journey we have been on. Time to reflect and rest for a while away from our screens…..

We must all find our own ways to recuperate during these summer months - we have all been on an epic journey and it is important now to take time to be kind to ourselves.

Have a wonderful summer everyone and stay safe.


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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 25TH JUNE 2021 - WONDERFUL WELLBEING

Throughout this time of online learning, our senior management and teaching teams have prioritised our children’s wellbeing alongside their academic development. This theme has prompted to me to ask a series of questions this week...

What healthy choices are we making?

We have had a fun focus on fitness this week with our enthusiastic PE department ensuring we all get moving. It was inspiring to see so many children and their families up early ready to join in the fun and get their bodies awake ready for the day.

How are we connecting to nature?

Our Nature Bags have been ‘whizzing off the shelves’ and it has been good to connect with families as and when they are being collected. Activities include a STEM construction challenge, some shallot planting, bird house building and monster-making, to mention just a few!

How do we make time to relax?

Our Virtual Book Fair has also been successful this week. Our children always love to read - and City Campus has seen hundreds of books borrowed via its Click & Collect service during this current period of school site closure. 
 
The importance of reading is key and underpins a Shrewsbury education. I myself am looking forward to the summer break to have some space to read and relax. 

How do we stay in touch with friends and family?

One week until the end of yet another very extraordinary year. It is important to stay connected during this time and ‘Connection’ will be our first value back when we return after the holidays. As a community I feel we have tried our best to remain connected virtually and sincerely look forward to real face to face connections next term.


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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 18TH JUNE 2021 - THE VALUE OF VIRTUAL

A busy (socially distanced!) week on campus, with many highlights. As with all educational establishments across the world, we have faced the necessity of moving our extensive school events programme online. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue our community-building values via virtual platforms.

It was lovely to host a welcome event for our new EY1 2021 families. Our new cohort of parents and children were very excited to get to meet their class teachers and teaching assistants. The families were given an extensive introduction to our Early Years and how we will start our new term. 

We also hosted a live onsite tour of our campus for prospective families, who were able to enjoy our welcoming and informative school tour experience in the comfort of their own home. Myself, Ms Betts and Ms Cath ventured around the whole campus sharing our beautiful spaces bringing them to life while explaining our values, pedagogy and curriculum. 

A few families also opted to book our safety-checked pre-booked individual tours onsite with our Admissions Team. It was wonderful to welcome them.

Congratulations to Year 2, who attended their graduation online today. This marks an important milestone for this year group at Shrewsbury, as they prepare to transition into Year 3 with a new uniform, a new floor in the primary school building and a set of increased responsibilities within their learning.

End-of-year reports for City Campus students are going out today in preparation for Parent-Teacher meetings next week. 

Our final two weeks of term are packed full of exciting events, including an author visit, a virtual book fair, year group transition activities, class parties and a whole-school Sports Day, all hosted virtually of course. 

As I type, our second round of extremely popular Take a Break Bags being prepared by our wonderful TAs for our children to enjoy - I may sneak one home too - they are amazing! This time, we’ve designed the bags with a ‘Back to Nature’ theme - as we continue to bear in mind the wellbeing of our children, and the gift of time away from their screens. 

City Campus is certainly not slowing down as we reach the end of term! 


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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 4TH JUNE 2021 - IN EACH OTHER WE TRUST

This week we started our new value of the month, which is ‘Trust’. 

We have been discussing with the children the importance of trust and how we can nurture this value within ourselves and put it into action.

How can we be a trustworthy person and what does this look like in practice? Here are a few of my reflections:

  • Be true to your word and follow through with your actions
  • Learning how to communicate effectively with others, which is always an ongoing focus here at City Campus.  
  • Allowing ourselves time to make decisions and think before acting too quickly.
  • Helping our children understand that it takes time to build and earn trust.
  • Leading by example in proving the value of trust, and that it is a key character trait to want to have. 

We’ve been seeing trust in action this week at City Campus, during our special online transition events, hosted for our parents by our fantastic Early Years Team Leaders.

Our parents trust us to thoroughly prepare and guide our students through key transitional milestones in the Early Years, and the exciting steps taken into Year 1 in the primary school.

We’re looking forward to seeing our youngest learners flourish in their new year groups, as we see the trust play out between our children, their parents and our teaching teams. 


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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 28TH MAY 2021 - BETTER TOGETHER

As we continue to safely work in our own bubbles we are managing to find creative ways to connect virtually, to have some fun and to socialise.

The staff who are working on site have theme days for our dress code, for example a special colour, animal print...'Under the Sea' was a bit challenging, but today's theme of sparkles was easy for me!

Our children connect 'live' with their teachers and classmates everyday, as we continue to maintain a strong and well-balanced online curriculum for our students. Whole year groups have got together for singing, sharing stories and other immersive activities. Today, our Year 2’s had a wonderful session altogether, delivered by local plant experts Tiny Tree - the children created their own mini terrariums, their very own living world in a jar.

We’ve had live workouts with over 100 children joining in with our Head of PE Ms Buehler; it’s so important for us to keep active and moving during these restrictive times.

The staff have been connecting via Zoom at ‘playtimes’ for informal chats which has been great fun too. Our Social Committee are running a full programme of after-school Zoom events to support staff wellbeing through connecting and ‘downtime’ activities

Our new staff who are excited to be joining us in August have been connected to a ‘buddy’ to support and welcome them to our community, as they prepare to join our ever-expanding team.

Next week we will connect virtually with our Governors for our third and final meeting of the academic year

The joys of connecting, socialising and having fun together is still crucial for keeping our spirits up. Across all channels in our City Campus community, we are finding imaginative and fruitful ways to stay connected in these unique times. 

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 21ST MAY 2021 - OPPORTUNITIES TO DO GOOD

Ms Dennison, Ms Betts and Ms Okill join 'PJ Day' fundraiser to support the school's Charity Partners

This week at City Campus we have had a strong focus on supporting our chosen charities.

However tough we are finding these challenging times we are lucky enough to be able to always find the silver linings.

Many more communities are not so lucky and it is important that we reach out and  support each other in whatever way we can, however big or however small.

As part of their ‘Charity’ topic this term, Year 5 have been learning about local charities here in Bangkok. In particular they have been researching Second Chance Bangkok (SCB) and the wonderful work they do with the community of Khlong Toei.

SCB relies on donations which creates employment and they also run an upcycling project transforming clothing into beautiful bags and giftware.

Ms Kearns and the Year 5 children organised two events for our school community, to support the fantastic causes at SCB. Firstly a Donations Drive to collect dried food goods and secondly a  'PJ Day'  for the whole school community to take part in today.

Whether in the office or at home on Zoom, all of the City Campus children and staff took part to have some fun and more importantly to raise awareness and raise money for this wonderful organisation.

Meanwhile earlier this week, our dedicated Community Engagement team set out for a 'big shop' at their local Makro store to buy essential supplies for SCB and another one of our charity partners SOS Thailand. The team purchased masks, food, water, cooking equipment, hygiene products and hand sanitiser. 

Finally to top of a fantastic week of giving, City Campus was able to make a 35,000THB donation to worldwide children's charity Unicef. Thank you to all who have donated to the school’s Charity Fund so far, you have made this all possible.

 
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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 14TH MAY 2021 - TAKE A BREAK BAGS

I drove to work this morning with ‘Bear Nobel’ (who worked from home with me last week) by my side, so I could film the announcement of this week's House Point winners in school (the correct House shirt must be worn for the big reveal!). 

As I reached the school gates, I was delighted to see all the ‘Take a Break Bags' were lined up beautifully, ready for our families to collect with exciting activities to pursue together (away from a screen). There is a warm welcome as there always is from Loong Jai, our wonderful loyal and friendly security guard.

These bags represent the spirit and the drive of my team - from the inspiration for the content, the creativity of the teachers and the fabulous team work, energy and commitment to have them ready in time for the weekend for the children.

Families drive up to collect the bags and we have the opportunity to see some of the children’s excited smiling faces...My spirits were lifted, even before I reached my desk.

Here in Thailand we continue to navigate our situation as many more cases of COVID-19 are being reported. I am generally a very optimistic and positive person, but I know that many of us are beginning to feel deflated with all the continued uncertainty. 

However, I remain extremely proud of the dedication of our students, our wonderful parents and our amazing staff team.

 
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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 7TH MAY 2021 - YOU ARE UNIQUE

As we start the month of May - with the school site closed and online learning in full swing - it does seem fitting that our value of the month is ‘Uniqueness’.

We are in unique times, and everyone is experiencing and coping with the challenges in their very  own way. It is really important to hold on to a sense of ‘self’ who you are, your values, goals and what you stand for. We need to stay strong.

To be a unique person means that you are one of a kind and no other person is exactly like you. This uniqueness partly comes from within, shown through our actions and behaviours. 

Bella, one of our founding pupils and a City Campus alumni, wrote a wonderful insightful and progressive award-winning book called Lemon Boi. The story follows a restless yellow lemon who looks at other fruits and decides to try out different identities and appearances. The moral of the story is that we must learn to be our unique selves and not try to fit into any particular box, develop your own sense of identity and be yourself…...

As we focus on uniqueness this month, why not try to embrace it and  develop yourself further, discover more and explore your true self…….

The quote reflection in our community this month is: “As we grow as unique individuals we learn to respect the uniqueness of others.”

Before the recent school site closure, Ms Dennison gave a special reading of Bella's award-winning book, Lemon Boi. Watch here:


 
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