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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 - 22ND JANUARY 2021 - BALANCE

This week, I've been making sure I keep the right balance.

A balance of rest and diligence and a balance of positivity and pragmatism. 

The situation in Thailand is beginning to look more positive. The BMA announcement this morning allowed more businesses permission to re-open from today - and we have everything crossed that school will be able to open soon. But we know that official guidance means distance learning will continue for at least the rest of this month and the whole team here at City Campus is working hard in a practical way to ensure children's learning continues successfully. 

We continue to do all we can to support our children at home and it’s very much ‘business as usual’. 

I was also thinking this week about the right balance for our students; I believe it is important to get a balance of onscreen and offscreen learning and our teachers are working hard to ensure we provide the right mix of recorded, live and offline content each day.

After the delivery of our Early Years Busy Bags last week, we prepared Mindfulness Matters bags for our Year 1 - 6 children.

The bags are aimed at allowing children to get the right balance and take a break from screen time by being creative, planting and growing a sunflower, writing and drawing in a journal and finding the silver linings in these challenging times.

I’m so excited to share all of these silver linings when we’re back together again (which will be soon!) 

Have a relaxing, safe and balanced weekend…

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 15TH JANUARY 2021 - POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND SILVER LININGS

As we start Term 2 with school closure and online learning in place once again, it is so important that we remain positive and focused. 

We learnt so much from our closure last year and because of that we have slipped seamlessly back into providing excellent teaching and learning via our Seesaw platform. We are all used to it now, both children and staff, and therefore we are coping with the routine much better than before. A silver lining?

Of course we miss having the children on site - a school is simply not a school without them - but we need to cherish the connections we can and do have, especially given the technology at our fingertips, and be thankful. A silver lining?

Our Value of the Month for January is ‘Positive Attitude’.

Everyone is usually very full of hope for the New Year. It’s a fresh start...a time to make commitments about how to improve things for yourself or for others. I believe it is important that we remain hopeful and positive even (and especially) during these very challenging times. 

When it comes down to it, positive, optimistic people are happier, healthier and enjoy more success than those who think negatively. The key difference between them is how they think about and interpret the events in their life.

I sent a ‘Welcome Back!’ video message to our children on Monday, encouraging them to ‘Find the Silver Lining’ of home learning and to feed these back to their teachers and to me.

Here are a few of the silver linings shared this week: 
 

‘I will be safe at home and can spend more time with my family’

‘I can play in the surf in the sea everyday’

‘My family and I have a greater spiritual connection and deeper faith’

‘I have more time to practice my clarinet’

‘My silver linings are doing art and swimming at my house. It makes me happy and healthy.’

‘I have more time to spend with my baby brother’


Let's dig deep. I invite you to find your silver linings, share them and encourage others to do so too...

Take care and stay safe. 

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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 18TH DECEMBER 2020 - CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS & A SILVER LINING

The highlights from this week simply have to be everything Christmassy….

From our wonderful singing from EY1 around the Christmas tree, to the first big stage performance from our EY2 children, and the ‘Christmas Countdown’ Concert where every child from Year 1-Year 6 was included in the cast. We heard almost 300 voices singing our favourite Christmas songs, as well as some lesser known festive tunes from around the world. All led by Mr and Mrs Christmas, Shinny and the all-important elves!

Our class parties were also in full swing across the school, with seasonally coloured party attire, traditional party games and true (rainbow) feasts provided by our wonderful parents.

City Campus is now truly filled with the Christmas spirit.

As we close and reflect on 2020 which has been, as we are all fully aware, an extraordinary year,  it is important to look for the silver lining. I have appreciated most of all our strong community spirit which has  shone through in abundance and provided us all with support, hope and optimism. Thank you everyone.
 
Term 1 has certainly seen many amazing highlights. Please do have a look at our Term in Review to read more. 
I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas, a peaceful safe holiday and a fun-filled 2021.

 
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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 11TH DECEMBER 2020 - "EXCITING TIMES AHEAD"

This week we had our Year 6 parents’ An Introduction to Riverside presentation. Mr Seal, (Principal at Riverside) and Mr Miller (Vice Principal at Riverside) joined me as we shared this year's plans for a smooth transition between schools for all Year 6 children.

We talked about the already established cross-campus links that are in place to enable all children and staff to forge friendships and relationships. There was a full explanation of life in the Senior School and the continuation of exciting and ambitious teaching and extracurricular opportunities that a Shrewsbury education offers (more on this in a moment).

We know it’s not only our students who are transitioning but also our parents; an open dialogue will now pursue and we have key dates throughout the year for an exciting programme with them in mind.

Mr Seal also shared and spoke in great detail about major new developments at the Riverside campus, with a wonderful new Senior School building set to open in August 2021; perfectly timed for our second cohort of City Campus graduates. 

As well as promoting the academic successes of a secondary education at Riverside, Mr Seal was also keen to highlight the wide range of additional activities available to our students; including expeditions, young enterprise programmes, music and drama, sport, art and environmental work - to name just a few.

The amazing focus given to extracurricular pursuits at Riverside is a lovely continuation of our You Time activities at City Campus. Year 7 students can continue to grow their passion and fulfil their potential at Riverside and I would like to personally thank our amazing staff, at both campuses, for their commitment in providing our students with every opportunity to achieve their potential for excellence. 

Exciting times ahead.
 
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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 4TH DECEMBER 2020 - "BRING ME SUNSHINE"

Our new Value of the Month is Humour. 
 
Humour is important for emotional wellbeing, and supports our brain development and physical health too.
 
Humour helps relationships and friendships and helps us to cope with stressful situations. It improves resilience. It's good to look on the bright side and see the funny aspect if things go wrong.
 
In our assembly today,  we made sure that the children know that having fun and having a laugh can make you feel a little bit better when you are feeling unhappy, sad or worried. We were reminded however that humour shouldn’t be used to pretend that you don’t feel sad or worried.
 
We also discussed that it is unkind to laugh at someone else’s problems or because of the way that they look, think, speak or act. It is ok to laugh with someone but not at someone.
 
I shared the famous A Classic Breakfast sketch from Morecambe and Wise, a comedy duo I was brought up with. Eric "Morecambe" Bartholomew was from my hometown. I think their work has stood the test of time, because all the children laughed very loudly and it got the thumbs up! 
 
I then invited some of our children onto the stage to share their jokes with the rest of the auditorium. We all enjoyed many laughs immediately, as our young jokers confidently delivered their lines!
 
I’d like to pass on some humour strategies that are important for us all to consider as parents and educators:  

  • Laugh at yourself – when you do something silly or wrong, mention it and laugh at it.
  • Have a Joke A Day – parents/carers and children can prepare one joke each a day to share with the family.
  • Remember, above all, that sarcasm has no place. Only "no hurt" humour is acceptable.
  • Talk to your children about what books make them smile and laugh, and find out why they find them funny.
  • If your child is feeling tired or grumpy, find a funny (not rude or mean) video clip or programme to watch, or tell them your favourite joke.

Have a fun, happy, laugh-out-loud weekend!


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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 27TH NOVEMBER 2020 - SHORTLISTED: INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL AWARDS 2021

 

Our success stemming from our innovative Design & Technology curriculum continues in this week's news. We were thrilled to announce that Shrewsbury City Campus has been nominated for the International School Awards 2021

We are shortlisted for the category ‘Initiative to support students as future-thinking innovators’. This acknowledges our firm belief that age is no object when it comes to the skills our children need in this increasingly digital age.  

We were selected from over 250 applications from schools in 62 countries.This is an amazing achievement.

The world is changing at a superfast pace and  beyond anyone’s predictions. To be shortlisted for the ‘Future-thinking Innovators’ category is a great tribute to our creative, passionate, open-minded and dedicated teachers and learners.

I am thrilled that this has been acknowledged by the Awards panel. We look forward to the International School Awards 2021 ceremony, which will be streamed virtually from the UK on Monday 18th January 2021.

 

PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 20TH NOVEMBER 2020 - EXTRODINARY ENGINEERING

The highlight this week was hosting our very first ‘Primary Engineer Young Leaders Awards’ prize-giving ceremony

Primary Engineer® promotes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) within schools, through a range of events, workshops and competitions.

Primary Engineer® has many partner organisations, including well known engineering firms such as Balfour Beatty, companies such as BOSCH, EDF Energy and NISSAN, as well as many UK universities.

Our children were asked the question ‘If You Were An Engineer, What Would You Do?’ They then had to do three things:

1.   Interview an Engineer to find out more about the world of Engineering and designing products.
2.  Identify a ‘problem’ that exists in society and design (draw and annotate) a creative, innovative, and preferably sustainable solution to that problem.
3.   Write a letter to the judges explaining what their idea is and why they think it should be chosen as the winner.

We were extremely impressed with the amount of questions that were submitted to Emma Knowles, our participating engineer, from Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children.

92 of our students received certificates of recognition for their designs, with an abundance of passes merits distinctions and finalists; we couldn’t be prouder 

Three of our finalist children were selected by the Primary Engineer® judges  to receive medals and an ‘Achievement of Excellence’ trophy.

Our Design and Technology department also selected a student to receive an award for his ‘Outstanding Contribution to Design & Technology’. 

The winning designs included:

  • an auto suitcase that is connected to your phone and moves through a GPS signal alongside you as you walk, or it travels to you, and carries all of your belongings.
  • a wireless charging units that would connect to phones via Bluetooth and automatically charge them if the battery is low
  • a sway working chair that is ergonomic and good for people’s posture through the shape of the seat and making the chair rock
  • an autopot that is linked to an application on your phone and you can water your plants using the app when you are away from your home or set a timer for the plants to be watered automatically
  • a multitask tool that can grab things from on the floor and it also turns in to a chair and has pockets to put things in

I feel overwhelmed with pride with the outstanding response from our students' enthusiasm for this competition. The standards were high and to receive so many awards is extraordinary.

Miss Holland, our Head of Design & Technology has been a true inspiration to our students and we are very fortunate to have her passion, expertise and knowledge. 

I believe our future is in creative and safe hands.


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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 13TH NOVEMBER 2020 - VALUING OUR PARENT COMMUNITY

We have had another wonderful week, which ended with today's vibrant and meaningful Diwali celebrations. The school was awash with colour and sparkle once again as children, parents and teachers dressed up to join in the celebrations.

Special assemblies were held for the primary students and for the early years…..all learning about the traditions and customs of Diwali, and understanding that good always wins over evil.

We also continue to enjoy our much-valued parent involvement within the City Campus community. A sports competition, a ‘Tea and Topics’ event and a Maths in Year 1 Parent in Partnership were full houses with enthusiastic parents attending. 

Our City Campus Swim Team photoshoot also attracted a lot of parent involvement with cheers of encouragement eching across our campus boulevard. 

Yesterday’s Autumn Piano Recital was outstanding; it is the perfect end to a day to be able to relax and listen to our young musicians play so beautifully and professionally. Parents are clearly committed to supporting their children on this journey. Music is truly at the heart of a Shrewsbury education.

This week’s Bake Sale added another dimension to the week with many parents fully supporting the Year 3 stall - lots of excitement and candy floss!

Peace, love and joy to you all.


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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 6TH NOVEMBER 2020 - RAINBOW PLATE REMINDERS

Our new Value of the Month for November is ‘Health and Wellbeing’. Over the month we are discussing and learning about the importance of exercising, sleeping well, drinking plenty of water, eating healthily, being sunsmart and thinking positively and looking after our emotional health.

We’ve started by learning about choosing a rainbow plate at lunchtimes to ensure we are all enjoying nutritionally balanced plates of food. 

Our children are already great at selecting healthy options but we all need a  polite reminder from time to time to ensure our plates continue to be colourful. 

That being said, we had our first Bake Sale of the year - our wonderful parents went above and beyond to arrange an amazing array of goodies for the children (and adults!) to enjoy...  which did include healthy options, I have to say. 

Our community spirit has remained strong during these changing and unprecedented times. Life is slowly getting back to normal here in Thailand. We are lucky to be living in a country that has managed the situation well. 
Take care everyone and look after yourselves.


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PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 30TH OCTOBER 2020 - HAPPY LOY KRATHONG

Happy Loy Krathong everyone! This year, we have had a wonderful celebration, with the children taking the lead to present us with a very colourful and informative assembly. Children and staff enjoyed some wonderful singing and dancing with hints of  the tradition and the modern. The school was a sea of colours, sparkle and fun!

Earlier in the week, we had our Board of Governors meeting. Our Thailand-based governors joined us on campus, and we  connected with our UK members via a digital conference.  Obviously we missed having  them here in person and they missed the Thai hospitality and being here to connect personally with families and staff in our community. Nevertheless we still  had a positive and productive meeting, looking to and planning  optimistically for the future. 

We showed appreciation to Khun Supawan Lamsam’s 17 years of dedication, commitment and contribution in serving on the Shrewsbury’s Advisory Board. We are now delighted to  welcome her daughter Khun Pook, a graduate from Harvard University who has now joined us. Dr Wattana Mahattanakul, a graduate from the University College London and a City Campus parent also joined the Board - exciting times ahead for the Governors.

In contrast, I  also enjoyed the Year 7 (postponed from Year 6) Graduation Disco, hosted at Shrewsbury Riverside. It was wonderful to see our first City Campus alumni so settled and happy with their new friends in the Senior School. We look forward to following their progress.

Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy the Loy Krathong celebrations. I am certainly looking forward to the fireworks along the river and floating my krathong.


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