This week we had another very special moment in the history of City Campus… We hosted our very first Piano International Prize Winners Formal Recital which was our first musical cross-campus event and our first formal black tie event. It was a spectacular evening which brought together 18 extraordinary musicians from Year 1 through to Year 13 from both Riverside and City Campus.
I was especially delighted to welcome back Baimon, one of our City Campus alumni who played Scherzo by Chopin so beautifully.
It was also wonderful to hear Pam play again. Pam is a Year 13 music Scholar who I have known since she was in Year 2 when I was Head of the Primary School at Riverside - it has been a privilege to watch her musical journey; I was delighted to hear she will continue her studies in the UK at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Exciting times ahead for her…
I'm also looking forward to this Saturday's Peace and Harmony Charity Concert at Aksra Theatre Bangkok, where our ‘Show Choir’ will be performing ‘Believer’ by Imagine Dragons by themselves, and also will be accompanied by the Bangkok Charity Orchestra and Harmonies Ladies Choir for other pieces.
Our value of the month is Reflection and was the focus of our Friday School Assembly. We looked back on the year and each year group and department shared the moment they were most proud of; so many to mention.
We have had a challenging academic year due to COVID-19, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As I type our very first Parent Reps Bake Sale is in full swing…….a lovely end to another busy week at Shrewsbury City Campus.
PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 17TH JUNE 2022 - GOVERNORS VISIT
Last week, we were able to host our full Governing body meeting at Shrewsbury City Campus. We were delighted that this included our UK Governors who also sit on the Advisory Board for Shrewsbury UK; they were able to join the meeting in person for the first time in two and half years.
Shrewsbury Bangkok takes great pride in our British origins that were formed at Shrewsbury School UK. Founded over 450 years ago, Shrewsbury UK is a strong and highly-respected school that has helped to guide the development of our Riverside and City Campuses.
The operation of Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, both Riverside and City Campus, is overseen by a Board of Governors which advises The Principals on the full breadth of the school programme.
These regular meetings between our British and Thai Governors strengthen this intellectual and cultural partnership.
The Advisory Board meets three times a year and brings together a wide range of local, regional and international experience in education, legal matters, finance, child protection and safety.
As well as the full Board meeting, afternoon tea with our class representatives, a special Recital and a full Open House tour of our school, the Governors enjoyed being Guests of Honour at our Inaugural Speech Day and Prize Giving Ceremony.
In our first year of operation, we had very few classes in Key Stage 2 so we planned to have our first Speech day the following year – Covid-19 then struck so we have delayed this for two years – we simply did not want our first important Speech Day to be online over Zoom. So here we are in 2022, hosting our very first Speech Day, which made it extra special…
Prize winners were nominated for their awards by teachers who have recognised their enthusiasm, empathy, creativity and the high levels of achievement they have shown consistently throughout this academic year. Their commitment to upholding the Shrewsbury values in many aspects of school life have been no less than outstanding.
We also had wonderful performances from our incredibly talented musicians who were simply inspirational. Not a dry eye was left in the house as our Primary Show Choir led, “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman, to end the morning. It never ceases to amaze me how phenomenal our students truly are.
Inaugural Speech Day: A very proud moment in Shrewsbury City Campus history.
PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 27TH MAY 2022 - SCIENTISTS AT CITY INVESTIGATE
This week we held our very first Science Fair at City Campus; it was a huge success.
Our Science Lead, Miss Harries, drove the event from start to finish. Her passion for science is infectious, and her inspiration encouraged over 30 budding Scientists from Early Years through to Year 6 to participate.
As part of their project, the children had to design and conduct an experiment, record their findings and then create a presentation of their project in a visually interesting way.
What a stunning array of projects greeted our guests (children, teachers and a special parent viewing opportunity) as they arrived at our three-day exhibition.
Just a few examples of the questions investigated included:
What creates a volcanic eruption?
Which materials float and sink?
Can black light find lost items at home?
Will more dry ice make more or less gas than less dry ice?
Can you create electricity from a lemon?
What is the colour of sunlight?
How does electrical conductivity change in different concentrations of Sodium Chloride Salt in water?
How can you make an egg go into a bottle?
What inquisitive students we have, dedicated to independently researching their own interests and discovering fascinating results.
It is learning events like this that make City Campus such a special place for its community. This engaging Fair gave our students the opportunity to bring Science alive and to showcase their knowledge and skills to their friends, teachers and parents. This will definitely become a regular event in the annual City Campus calendar. I’ve overheard children already discussing and planning their investigations for next time…
PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 20TH MAY 2022 - SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT
I have always believed that Shrewsbury City Campus is a truly special place. Anyone who sets foot within our grounds can feel it almost instantly.
We have a beautiful campus, but what makes a school special is the individuals who fill it. Our staff are like-minded with shared values and a passion for providing the very best, enriched and varied education one can find. In a city where staff retention percentages are low, City Campus stands out in the crowd with a staggering 97% of staff choosing to stay this year.
Our students are provided with countless opportunities to flourish - each day they arrive at the gates with beaming smiles and leave in the afternoon with tired, but content, faces after a busy day of learning. Celebrating each other’s achievements and hobbies are actively encouraged through interest-led learning, producing empathetic and supportive individuals.
We saw this support in action at this month’s Studio Music Recital. These fantastic musical events provide an opportunity for any student of any ability to get up on stage and perform in front of a supportive and appreciative audience.
Children as young as four-years old performed, and for some of them, it was their very first time on the stage. As they climbed the stairs to take their place in front of the crowd, the loudest supporters were their peers. The Auditorium was filled with loud claps and words of encouragement from their friends and from the other performers, some of whom the young musicians had never even met before!
This City Campus generosity has also been seen in the preparations for our Open Morning this Saturday. Over 100 members of staff and pupils have volunteered their time to represent City Campus. With the support of Specialist and Class Teachers, Show Choir singers, Subject Leaders, Lifeguards, Teaching Assistants, Student Heads of School, Swim Team members, Maintenance, IT and Sport Coaches, the Campus will be truly brought alive.
I was especially proud when one of our Year 6 students approached me directly to ask if he could volunteer to be a “School Ambassador” and speak to prospective families about our school. What an inspiring and supportive community to be a part of.
If you would like to experience the magic of City Campus for yourself but were unable to join us on 21st May, please visit the ‘Events’ section of our website and register for our next Twilight Open House on the 29th June.
PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 13TH MAY 2022 - THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC
We hosted the second specialist talk in the City Campus Lecture Series this week which focused on music and child development. Miss Young, our Head of Music, led this fascinating presentation and reinforced my belief of the importance of Music in education.
Music, as we know, is a universal language which has many benefits. It has the ability to conjure many different emotions within us, from happiness to sorrow, reflection and everything in between. Perhaps most commonly, we feel joy when we listen to Music. We all have our favourites and everyone has a band, a singer, a piece of music or a song which will instantly put them in a good mood. Some of mine include pop hits from the band ‘Abba’ and hearing our talented City Campus children play the piano or sing so beautifully on the Auditorium stage.
Research has shown that the vast majority of Musicians are high achievers - academically, within leadership, on the sports field and socially. Musicians are able to manage busy schedules, are observant, hardworking, confident in public speaking, and most importantly, are happy.
This is unsurprising as Scientists have found that Music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function. Music alleviates stress, improves our sleep and our memory capacity. Music is healthy for us.
Whilst scientific evidence does suggest that starting to learn an instrument at a very early age is advantageous to brain development, it is never too late to start… Food for thought.
Miss Young is an exceptionally experienced professional and is currently the Musical Director for the Bangkok Music Society, opening up more and more musical opportunities for our students.
One of these opportunities has included the Shrewsbury City Campus Show Choir being invited to perform with the Bangkok Music Society Orchestra in a charity concert. This fundraising event will be held here at City Campus on the 25th June 2022, and I look forward to sharing more details about this performance with you in the very near future.
Music is central to a Shrewsbury education. Every student at City Campus is encouraged to pick up an instrument and take part in various choirs and ensembles for the reasons we have been discussing this week. There is truly something for everybody here.
Why not join us and reap the proven benefits music provides…
PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 6TH MAY 2022 - HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY!
We have a new Value of the Month - Honesty, such an important quality for everyone to exhibit.
In our first live and interactive assembly (much like pre-Covid days) I discussed with Years 3, 5 and 6 why it is so important to be honest. The children shared some of their thoughts, including; “if you tell the truth people trust you and want you to be your friend”, “being honest allows you to relax”, “if you tell the truth, even if it is admitting to something bad, you can learn from it”, “if you tell the truth, you won’t get in a muddle with your story” and, of course, “honesty is the best policy”.
One of the children shared a story about a time when they blamed their cat for spilling a glass of milk on the floor, but when their parents found that they had actually spilled the milk, they were reprimanded - not for spilling the milk, but for not being honest about the accident. They soon realised that if they had told the truth, they would have been in less trouble. I think this is a lesson that many of us learned during our youth!
I read a beautifully illustrated book called ‘The Empty Pot’ by Demi; a story about a child who was honest, with a clear message that honesty is indeed the best policy. The combination of conversation and this story will have planted the seeds for further discussions, both in school and at home.
Our Value of Month is one of the many ways we grow and develop a moral compass in our children. We aim to create not only academically strong students, but also individuals who are well-rounded and are kind, empathetic and recognise the importance of endeavours outside of the classroom.
This week we saw these characteristics in action. Children in Year 1 spread joy all around our campus on Thursday when they visited members of staff and gifted handmade flowers. This act of kindness was inspired by their Literacy book ‘The Extraordinary Gardener’. Yet another inspiring story that we can learn so much from.
The delighted expressions on all of our faces as we were presented with these beautiful handmade gifts showed how far a small act of kindness can go. Thank you, Year 1, for making our day even brighter.
We also celebrated the achievements of both Schweitzer House and Theresa House with ‘Pizza and Play’ parties this week. Through high-quality work, notable progress, and displaying fantastic attitudes towards learning, the children in these Houses had worked incredibly hard to secure the most House Points in terms 1 and 2.
It was fantastic to recognise the efforts of these children with such well-deserved rewards. Through continuous and repeated conversations about our school values, we hope to see many more of these celebrations in the future.
As you know our Nursery, Early Years and Key Stage 1 & 2 curriculums set the pathway for success in so many ways.
On Saturday 21st May we will be welcoming prospective parents to an Open Day at City Campus where they will learn more about our curriculums, meet our School Leaders (including our fantastic children), tour our purpose-built campus and experience first-hand classes and activities with our Specialist Teachers.
If you have any friends or family members who might be interested in learning more about City Campus, please encourage them to visit the ‘Events’ section of our school website, or alternatively use the QR code below to register their attendance.
I am looking forward to sharing our wonderful community with the Open Day visitors.
PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 29th April 2022 - CREATING A BETTER FUTURE
What a fantastic first week back and a great start to Term 3.
Science and Sustainability were the key focuses of this week, bringing a real sense of excitement across the whole campus. It was wonderful to dedicate a whole week to nurturing our students' natural curiosity through countless Science experiments and interesting discussions on topics surrounding the environment.
It is so important for our children to understand the concept of sustainability and what they can do to create a better future for the world. The numerous environmental campaigns that our Science and Sustainability leads organised this week have certainly encouraged this type of thinking. From considering more meatless options at meal times to recycling our batteries and turning off our appliances, there are plenty of small changes we can each make that will make a big difference long-term for everyone. I will certainly be trying to adopt some of these suggestions and play my part in making the world a more sustainable place.
On Tuesday, we hosted our second Floreat Award Afternoon Tea. Nominated for outstanding achievements, both in and out of the classroom, the Award recipients had demonstrated exemplary commitment to Shrewsbury values. Spending the afternoon with these inspiring individuals was truly a highlight of my week. It never fails to amaze me how remarkable our children are and I send my congratulations once more to these truly impressive students.
This week, we also hosted some very special meetings in the Shrewsbury City Campus Boardroom. We have recently entered the F1 (Formula 1) in Schools Challenge, and Year 3 have worked very hard preparing their pitches over recent days. On Thursday, the children presented to the Senior Management Team to secure sponsorship for ‘pitcoins’ that will be used to buy further resources. It was simply wonderful to see how our students have grown in confidence under the guidance of their Class Teachers, speaking clearly, concisely and with purpose. I can’t wait for Race Day!
Thursday saw the recommencement of our Shrewsbury Starfish Playgroup. It was fantastic to welcome both familiar and new faces to our campus to play in our Nursery classroom and outdoor spaces. From splash play to scooters and arts and craft to story-times, there was something for every child to enjoy.
If you and your family would like to attend one of our Starfish Playgroups, please sign-up for the next session via our website, or make contact with our Admissions team at: email@example.com
Staff have been busy planning sports fixtures, class trips, music recitals and a variety of parent events; our Term 3 Calendar looks fuller than it has been for two years and this really makes me smile… So many wonderful, enriching and fun opportunities for our children and community to look forward to as we race towards the end of this extraordinary academic year.
As we reach the end of the second term of our academic year, I look back with enormous appreciation and genuine pride in the way our wonderful City Campus community has worked together and supported everyone.
Of course, the highlight of this week has been celebrating Songkran, the Thai New Year. Our Thai Studies Department organised an array of celebrations during this final week of term. Bamboo weaving, pagoda flag making and kite flying have all been included in our festivities and it has been wonderful to see the children’s sheer delight as they enjoy all that has been organised for them.
We all enjoyed a very special Songkran assembly this morning. Years 4, 5 and 6 joined us in the Auditorium to participate in the palm watering ceremony, whilst the rest of the school watched from their classrooms over Zoom. We sorely miss having the whole community together in our Auditorium for our weekly assembly, but we remain connected through positivity and a shared sense of hope as we bring in the Thai New Year.
Our students once again displayed their generous spirit by participating in our Sponsored Songkran Swim that was in aid of our school charities; Second Chance Bangkok, Thai Scholars of Sustenance and UNICEF. As always, we were delighted to see such generosity from our parents and the extended Shrewsbury community for supporting our children to support others. With our parents in partnership, we are developing kind, compassionate and thoughtful children who will go on to do great things in their futures. Our students once again displayed their generous spirit by participating in our Sponsored Songkran Swim that was in aid of our school charities; Second Chance Bangkok, Thai Scholars of Sustenance and UNICEF. As always, we were delighted to see such generosity from our parents and the extended Shrewsbury community for supporting our children to support others. With our parents in partnership, we are developing kind, compassionate and thoughtful children who will go on to do great things in their futures.
We had the pleasure of hosting a visit from the Council of International Schools (CIS) for our Preparatory Evaluation earlier this week. The CIS accreditation process supports a structured opportunity for reflection, evaluation, future development and also ensures that we, as a school community, systematically and continuously improve. As always, it was a pleasure to show our beautiful campus to the evaluators, provide opportunities for them to speak to our students, parents and staff, and show them what a Shrewsbury education truly offers.
We also enjoyed fantastic performances from our talented young musicians at our April Studio Recital on Thursday. Beautiful renditions of Terzibaschitsch and Gossec, as well as family favourites from Aladdin and our school’s favourite, The Greatest Showman, delighted the audience. A very well done to all of the students who performed so professionally, and especially to those who took to the stage for their very first time!
The Thai New Year brings change, transformation and hope for what is to come. Let us take these feelings forward into Term 3 and face the future together with optimism…
As the penultimate week of Term 2 draws to a close, I look back on a series of events - both on and off site - that reminds me of how proud I am to lead City Campus.
Last weekend, we joined forces with Riverside at the Bangkok Education Fair. I had the honour of presenting Shrewsbury International School Bangkok to a large group of interested parents, before joining Ms Okill, Angie from our Admissions Team and staff from Riverside on our joint exhibition stand to meet prospective parents and tell them more about City Campus. We are so fortunate to have such a beautiful site that is filled with talented and passionate staff who nurture each of our students as individuals.
On Tuesday, we were excited to launch our City Campus Lecture Series. It is always a delight to open our doors to the wider Shrewsbury community, and as we continue to place safety at the top of our priorities, it was refreshing to be able to offer this opportunity for parents and friends to enjoy our inaugural lecture.
Dr Patcharin Trijaksang, a specialist in Paediatric Critical Care Medicine at Samitivej Hospital gave an engaging talk on Accident Prevention for Children at Home. Attendees had the rare and valuable opportunity to speak directly to an expert in the field of paediatric medicine, and this was both fascinating and informative.
Naturally, we take the safety of our students incredibly seriously at City Campus. Our children are encouraged to be adventurous and learn through trial and error, but always within the safety net of our purpose built, age-specific facilities. All members of our teaching staff are first-aid qualified and we are fortunate to have our own state-of-the-art medical centre, with a staff of medical professionals always on hand.
We are looking forward to the next City Campus lecture on the 10th May, which will focus on Music & Child Development. I encourage you to join this wonderful series of specialist talks that we have commissioned for parents of young children. For information about future lectures and to book your place, please visit the 'Events and Community' tab on our website.
To bring the week to a close, we held a fundraising day for UNICEF Thailand. As pioneers in children’s education, safety and wellbeing, UNICEF’s mission is one we fully support. UNICEF functions to lessen the suffering of millions of children in over 190 countries and territories, to defend their rights and help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through to adolescence. They work for every child, everywhere.
To show our support for the work of UNICEF, the children brought in a donation and wore their house shirts to represent the colours of national flags from around the globe, demonstrating our solidarity with the fight for equality and peace.
This support for UNICEF, and for the work the organisation does with children facing hardship, is a clear example of one of our school’s values - Care and Compassion - in action. Yet another reason to be proud of our City Campus community!
PRINCIPAL'S BLOG - 25TH MARCH 2022 - A WEEK OF CELEBRATION
As another week draws to a close, we have so much to reflect upon and celebrate.
We celebrated World Maths Day this week with an abundance of creative learning opportunities taking place across the whole school and across all departments. The children were engaged, having fun and exploring their topic everywhere! In the Library, they enjoyed the challenge of using the Dewey Decimal System to find their books, whilst in Swimming, the children had a wonderful time playing Maths-based games in the pool. In Design & Technology, robots were programmed to draw different shapes, and in Music, an array of Maths themed songs were sung. The children even learnt how to do Maths calculations on ancient Chinese abacuses in Mandarin. A huge well done to our teachers for instilling such a love for this important subject.
This week, we also received the results from the 2021 International Dubbing Competition that was held by The Chinese Bridge Organisation. It is my absolute pleasure to announce that all 18 of our participants won ‘The Great Performance Award’. Shrewsbury City Campus also won ‘The Award for the Best Organisation’ and Mr Michael, who advised and supported our participants throughout the process, was quite deservedly awarded ‘The Outstanding Teacher Award’. This is an incredible achievement and I am very proud of our Mandarin team.
In our last assembly of March, we focused on our Value of the Month, ‘Creativity. We saw a whole range of talents showcased by our inspirational staff team including roller skating, painting, drumming, singing, sewing, tap dancing, robotics, and recorder playing to name but a few! As well as spotlighting some of the creative talents possessed by our teachers, our extremely talented student pianists (who have received over 50 international Awards between them) were also celebrated.
Shrewsbury City Campus is filled with truly outstanding individuals!