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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 - 3RD JULY - TERM 3 DID INDEED COUNT

It really has been the best outcome we could have hoped for, to end Term 3 in school with the children. We’ve had so much fun having the whole school community back on site.

We’ve been able to ensure all children have transition activities and introductions to their new class teachers and are ready for August 2020

We’ve been able to hold our first ever Year 6 graduation ceremony which was a true celebration of the uniqueness of our Year 6 children - taking inspiration from Maya Angelou's poem 'Still I Rise…

We will miss our founding Year 6’s enormously but we look forward to seeing them blossom further at our Riverside campus and beyond.

Here at City Campus, we will be busy preparing our site to welcome visitors to tour the school during the summer. We are now able to open our gates to prospective families who have been waiting patiently to visit our beautiful campus.

Our new staff will arrive in August - they are so excited to be joining Shrewsbury City Campus…..

We also plan to have a community event toward the end of August, so please look out for more details.

Today, on our last day of term, I would like to wish you all a calm, peaceful summer break - a time for families and fun and relaxation.

I will be relaxing with my family and will be taking a break from my blog until August.

In the meantime, please join us in celebrating what has been an unprecedented yet rewarding term. 

READ TERM IN REVIEW

Take care everyone and thank you….
 
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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 26TH JUNE 2020 - CHEWING OVER THE WEEK

All our children are now in school full-time, and they are continuing to enjoy their learning and friendships. They are also loving being able to eat the delicious lunches in our dining space, especially today as it’s ‘ice cream Friday’! We are of course having to apply physical distancing at lunchtimes, but nevertheless there has been a wonderful atmosphere amongst our community in our dining hall and in our playgrounds. The children have adapted so brilliantly to our new safety regimes.

This week we have hosted a number of transition meetings for our families, as our students prepare to move into a new year group in August. The children have had transition lessons and found out who will be their new class teacher next year - very exciting times ahead. 

It is encouraging to be looking to the future with optimism as restrictions are being lifted further in Thailand with business and other activities being allowed to resume from 1st July.

At City Campus, once the term has ended next week, we will allow prospective families to come onto the campus for site tours. After months of virtual tours and events, which have nonetheless been successful and rewarding, we are very much looking forward to meeting prospective parents face-to-face and welcoming visitors to our school. 

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 19TH JUNE 2020 - OUR STUDENTS ARE BACK!

What a fabulous week it has been, as our children return safely to school.

Our Year 2’s through to Year 6 arrived on campus full of smiles and excitement to see their friends and teachers again.

It is amazing how quickly the children have adjusted to the new safety precautions that we have put in place. Students have been very mature and sensible, we are very proud of their responsible behaviour and their resilience.

Our teachers have once again shown their creativity and adaptability to a new way of teaching in school, ensuring the children receive high quality lessons alongside important wellbeing breaks.

We are looking forward to welcoming the rest of the school back on Monday when our EY1, EY2 and Year 1 children return.

This week we also held webinars via Zoom for all our new families who will join us in August 2020. It has been interesting and exciting to meet them, answer their questions and prepare them for their child to start with us at Shrewsbury. 

Enjoy your weekend everyone. 

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 12TH JUNE 2020 - A SAFE RETURN

We have received confirmation from the Ministry of Education (MoE) this afternoon that international schools are permitted to open next week. We have been preparing for the safe return of our students for many weeks. Representatives from the Ministry of Education (pictured far right) have visited City Campus earlier this week to inspect our facilities in preparation for the children’s safe return. It was concluded that we were ready. We are very much looking forward to welcoming some of our students back on site. 

In other news, it was a real pleasure to welcome our new Director of Schools, Tim Nuttall, to his first Board Governors meeting at City Campus (via Zoom). 

This was our last meeting for this academic year and we were split across the world in boardrooms here in Bangkok, in Shrewsbury UK and in South Africa. 

Although we missed the full experience of all the Governors being with us physically  our meeting was productive, informative, positive and constructive. 

The Governors were particularly keen to hear about our transition to online learning, the challenges, the solutions, the feedback from our children and parents and of course our plans for future reopening. The Board were pleased to hear that we are fully staffed for August 2020 and that we had  secure plans in place for the safe start of Term 1. 

Much praise was given to the whole staff team and the wider community at City Campus for navigating through these challenging times together. The Governors also congratulated us on our recent successful CIS inspection.

To end on a musical note, I would like to invite you to watch our first of this term’s Online Recitals. It really is a pleasure to watch our young musicians perform so professionally. Our value of the month is Success, and our featured pianists have certainly embodied this through keeping up their schedule of practising, delivering some impressive performance, and sharing heartfelt messages of support for their friends and the school community. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy the recital here

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 5TH JUNE 2020 - DIFFERENT FORMS OF SUCCESS

Our beautiful campus is ready and waiting for our students to return. Of course, we hope schools are given permission to re-open soon, and we continue to await further advice from the Ministry of Education. 

In the meantime, our strong home learning programme for our students continues. On Monday, I (virtually) introduced our children to June's Value of the Month. We are focusing and reflecting on the value of ‘Success’.

Success is measured in many different ways and it is important for us to acknowledge this. It can be about reaching your goals or your dreams; it can be measured through exams and grades; it can be measured through your emotions and how you feel; it can be small steps or huge ones. 

At different times and in different situations how ‘Success’ looks, feels or sounds will mean different things to different people. 

What we do know is that success is determined by hard work, persistence and commitment. I also strongly believe that success is very much linked to the two previous values that we celebrated respectively in April and May - Courage and Resilience.

When I think about all our children, parents and teachers at the moment and I see how hard they are working and how well they have adjusted to this new life online I am amazed. I see our truly inspiring work and commitment to making Term 3 count and be a success.

This week in our City Campus community, we are also feeling a sense of  ‘success’ following the announcement that we have been granted membership with the Council of International Schools (CIS). 

CIS praised the school for the rapid progress we have made in a relatively short period of time with growing student enrolments, a broad and rich curriculum, and a range of programmes to support student learning and wellbeing.

City Campus’s key observations and special commendations from CIS can be read in more detail here

Our successful online Admissions Events programme continues. This morning, our Early Years leadership team presented 'An Introduction to Early Years at City Campus. Many families joined us via Zoom to hear about our provision and our approach for our 3-5 year old students. 

For this particular age group, myself and Ms Cath (the school’s Head of Early Years) also did a Q&A for families earlier in the year. We addressed some frequently asked questions HERE

Places remain limited in all year groups. My team is currently delivering online assessments for families that have applied for a place at City Campus in August 2020.

Have a safe and relaxing weekend, everyone.  
 

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 29TH MAY 2020 - NOTHING IS WASTED

We have received confirmation from the Ministry of Education (MOE) today that international schools will not be allowed to re-open from Monday 1st June. 

We have prepared our school site for the safe return of our children, and these efforts are by no means wasted. The work has shown the commitment and resilience of our community. The safety of our students, staff and wider community will always remain our utmost priority, and this has been especially evident in the work by our school teams in recent weeks. 

Our operations team have done a fantastic job of keeping our site thoroughly cleaned throughout school closure. Alongside the deep cleans and more regular cleaning routines, new hand washing stations are in place, classrooms and communal spaces have been reconfigured with child-friendly stickers placed across the campus to be a visual reminder for our children with their physical distancing. 

Today our amazing teaching team were on site for training, including discussions and planning in preparation for the children’s safe return, as and when this can eventually happen. 

For now, our strong home learning programme continues. We know we have to continue to be open and flexible as well as keeping core standards and non-negotiables for the safety of all our community.

At City Campus we will continue to monitor the national and Bangkok COVID-19 infection rates, keep in close contact with other schools and ensure that all Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) and MOE guidance is received and followed as well as remaining in close contact with the British Embassy. 

We all have to remain informed and be prepared to take decisive action to keep our communities safe.
 

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 22ND MAY 2020

As with other schools around the world, we have been carefully considering the possible return of our children to on-site learning, before the summer holidays. 

Providing this is safe to do so, it will be simply amazing to welcome the children back to school - we have missed them so much.

In preparation for this possibility, we have of course been making comprehensive health and safety adjustments throughout the campus to ensure a safe return. We have drafted a set of protocols and plans we will have in place for a safe return for City Campus students, staff and parents. These will be confirmed and shared with our community once further instructions and guidance are issued from the Ministry of Education (MOE).

At City Campus, our Maintenance team has been working hard to rearrange the classrooms and to maintain deep cleaning procedures across the site.

Next week, we will be training our teaching staff in preparation for a safe return for our students. We will also be delivering special teaching sessions for our children, so that they are introduced to new safety expectations and the new environment on their return.

This week, we have begun to welcome teaching staff back to campus. Of course, we are all practicing physical distancing, but it has been wonderful to see some familiar faces in person and be able to wave!

I think we are all learning to really appreciate the little things in life right now. We have a mini break now with two days of half-term for our children and teaching staff, before we step forth into another chapter and adapt to this next expected phase of teaching and learning.

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 15TH MAY 2020 - TERM 3 STILL COUNTS


Last year, we planned a Council of International Schools (CIS) membership evaluation visit at City Campus during this month. The SMT had worked hard to ensure all the documentation was ready and in place. Given the circumstances, we were expecting this visit to be postponed. 

We were delighted that the CIS team invited us to take part in the pilot of a remote membership evaluation visit that allowed us to proceed with the school’s membership application, despite these challenging times. We  worked closely with the inspection team to support and hopefully help shape future CIS remote visits.
 
Our visit took place this week and was a very positive, reflective and constructive experience. We will be able to share outcomes of the visit when the report is published in a few weeks time.

This week, I sent out a Home Learning survey to our parents. This survey formed part of an ongoing dialogue we have had within our school community during these unprecedented times.

I am pleased to report that the results show us that a strong majority of parents are happy with the level, volume and variety of work their children are receiving at home. This reflects the success of ongoing collaboration between our academic teams, our parents and our students within the school’s home learning programme. 

Some positive comments that I was particularly pleased to read: 

  • “I couldn’t be more pleased with the attention and support my child gets from her teachers.”
  • “I love the teacher’s comments on my child’s work, it keeps us connected to my daughter’s learning and encourages her to be to complete and put effort in all her assignments. Big thanks to all the teachers.”
  • “I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your dedication for our children.”
  • “We understand that this is not the normal situation. Thank you for your hard work.”

We have of course received other constructive suggestions and comments, which myself and my senior leadership team will carefully consider and action in the following days. We continue to work together with our staff, our children and our parents to ‘make Term 3 count’. 

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 8TH MAY 2020 - LIVE AT THE SCENE...


Myself, Ms Betts and Ms Okill beamed ourselves live this morning, by holding our first Virtual Open House. We welcomed prospective families, we shared expertise from our early years and primary curriculums, we took our guests on a virtual tour of our beautiful campus, and we answered a range of useful questions. 

On our Virtual Open House guest list, we were also delighted to host families who have already accepted a place at City Campus, and will be joining us in August 2020. We were more than happy for them to take a ‘second look’ at the school they will be joining very soon.

This week, we have held our Parent-Teacher meetings. My teachers have shared with me the overwhelming support  and positive feedback they have been receiving. 

The feedback indicates that our carefully crafted home learning programme is well-balanced between the three key strategies for delivery (live sessions, recorded content and downloadable documentation). Together, we are making Term 3 count.

This week, City Campus was put under the spotlight by the popular expat family advice portal BKK Kids. I was delighted to see our school celebrated for its unique position as a purpose-built primary school in the heart of our city. I invite you to read the full article here

Take care everyone and have a safe, peaceful weekend.

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 1ST MAY - RESILIENCE

Our new value of the month is ‘Resilience’. 
 
A very important value to discuss, reflect upon and to grow, develop and nurture at this moment in our history.
 
To launch our new value of the month with our children, I read 'Giraffes Can't Dance' by Giles Andreae. In the story, we see how Gerald the giraffe defies the odds and bounces back from difficulties. 
 
It is important for us all to consider what we can do to build our own resilience during these challenging times. That way, we can also support others.
 
I used a ball to demonstrate how it keeps bouncing again and again and again. No matter how hard you throw it, it always bounces back up.
 
We all understand that difficult things are happening to every aspect of our lives right now...for us at City Campus, the important thing is how we adapt to this situation that we didn’t expect.

People around us can support our resilience. Friends, family and colleagues can help us get through these tough times and help us remain hopeful. It is important to keep connected to people.
 
Continuing to do things we enjoy or help us relax can help enormously. It is crucial to give time to the things that you enjoy and that make you happy.
 
It is important not to give up - keep trying and remain positive. It is also important to positively encourage and praise others, this supports them to remain positive and grow/develop  their resilience.

Getting through difficult times is a vital part of learning and can help inform how we respond in the future, helping us to ‘bounce forward’.

ENJOY GERALD'S STORY WITH THE PRINCIPAL HERE:

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