I want to take a moment to reflect on our November focus that echoed through our school all month – courage. Courage has been more than just a word; it's been the value that has inspired our lessons, assemblies, and was even our special theme with our Shrewsbury UK Board of Governors.
During our class assemblies, we explored courage together. Students asked members from across our community what courage means to them, and the answers, shaped by diverse life experiences, all boiled down to one core idea: courage is about facing challenges despite the fear you may feel….
We have a strong connection with the Shrewsbury UK Board of Governors. In November as always they flew in from the UK for their termly visit. The highlight was 'The Leadership Talk' where our student leaders explored various dimensions of leadership with our Governors – Sarah Canning-Jones, John Clark, and Carla Howarth.
Allow me to share with you some thought-provoking quotes from our Governors, or you can read the full article here https://bit.ly/3R7iyix
"Leadership is not just a position, you have to earn it." ~ Sarah Canning-Jones, Chairperson of Shrewsbury Governor
"Be a good listener, be brave to stand up for what's right, be resilient even when your decisions aren't popular, and always be your honest self.” ~ John Clark, Shrewsbury Governor
"The most important skill a leader should have is to listen and not be afraid to lead." ~ Carla Howarth, Shrewsbury Governor
The impact of this session was more than just an exchange of ideas. It sparked a renewed enthusiasm for leadership among our students. The insights from our UK Governors not only widened our children’s horizons but also set the stage for their growth as tomorrow's leaders.
Let's carry forward the simple yet timeless principles of leadership – "Listen hard, learn about people, and have the courage to lead." As we move into the coming months, let's keep the flame of courage burning bright.
Feel the Fear and do it anyway.
I want to talk about something that's close to our hearts here at Shrewsbury City Campus - compassion. It's a value we hold dear, and it's something we strive to instil in our students every day. In a world where borders seem to be disappearing, compassion is the driving force behind the relationships we nurture. Our goal? We aim to cultivate well-rounded, empathetic citizens of the world.
One way we celebrate compassion is through our Floreat Award. The word ‘Floreat’ comes from Latin, and it means ‘to flourish.’ This award, which originated from Shrewsbury UK, isn't just about academic excellence or talent; it's about embodying important life values such as compassion and kindness. We give these awards to students who show kindness towards others, whether it's a simple ‘hello, how are you?’ or going out of their way to help those in need. Every act of compassion is highly appreciated and serves as a shining example to other students.
One of our assemblies hosted by Year 6 class was centred around compassion, and they shared a touching story based on Erika Meza’s book 'To the Other Side’ about refugee children who leave their home in search for safety. This beautiful tale reminds us to nurture empathy and compassion. It's a story that resonates with everyone, and our children’s interpretation of it left us all deeply moved.
Compassion also plays a crucial role in our child protection and safeguarding policy. We believe that every child matters, and they all should be loved and protected. We are dedicated to taking proactive steps to ensure the welfare of every child at our school, and continuously promoting this to the wider community as well. Earlier this month, we hosted a Lecture Series for parents and the public, with a focus on child safeguarding. Ms Fiona Betts, our Vice Principal and Designated Safeguarding Lead, led the discussion, emphasising the importance of fostering healthy communication, establishing a safe environment, and setting healthy boundaries.
Compassion is a thread that weaves its way through every aspect of life at City Campus, fostering a safe and nurturing learning environment for the holistic development of our children. Together, we are creating a warm, welcoming, and compassionate place for everyone.
Together we begin our 2023-24 academic year focusing on the value of ‘Responsibility,’ An important value that lies at the very heart of our school community.
At the start of the school year, we proudly introduced our Heads of School, House Captains, Student Councils, and Sports Captains. These remarkable young leaders are entrusted with significant responsibilities, representing the voices of their peers as well as leading the inspiring initiatives that make our student-led school community thrive.
We also observed the International Day of Peace on 21st September. Peace is not just a concept; it's a responsibility that we all share towards humanity. On this day, we dressed up in blue and white, symbols of peace and tranquillity, and during our assembly, we engaged in meaningful discussions and activities centred around fostering peace in our school, the wider community here and in our world.
Throughout our campus, we celebrated the cherished Thai tradition of Wai Kru with great reverence in the first month of term one. This tradition provides our students with a heartfelt opportunity to express their respect and gratitude to teachers. Teachers who nurture young minds with care and dedication, shoulder a tremendous responsibility, for they impart not only knowledge but also life skills that will shape our students' journeys for years to come.
For parents, we started the year with a meeting of our Shrewsbury Parents (SP) Committee and Class Representatives. Parents bear the responsibility for the well-being of their children both within the school and beyond, and by working collaboratively with the school, we can ensure that all our students are in capable, caring hands.
This year, we are also delighted to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Shrewsbury Bangkok. Originally founded in 2003 at our Riverside Campus and expanding to our City Campus in 2018. We take our responsibilities across our ‘One school, Two Campuses’ very seriously and remain highly committed to our mission and values, which are encapsulated in the phrase ‘Inspiring Exceptional People’. Our values, ‘Outstanding Opportunities’, ‘Care and Compassion’, and ‘Reflection and Renewal’, continue to firmly shape our journey into the future.
Responsibility is more than just a value; it's an important cornerstone underpinning our shared journey.
The end of the year is a bittersweet time of graduation and transition for many Shrewsbury students. Bittersweet because of the immense pride and nostalgia we feel as we wave goodbye to our Year 6, who are about to embark on the exciting journey of secondary school at the Riverside campus.
Our EY2 children are taking their first steps into primary education Key Stage 1, and our Year 3 are now fully equipped to move up to Key Stage 2. It has been a long year of development, effort and achievement in which we have seen them all grow into more holistic members of our community and our world.
This week, we all celebrated a heartfelt moment at the Year 6 Graduation, where they gave us talented musical performances one last time and we watched the Year 6 children grow up on screen, from founding members of City Campus in Year 2 up to their best moments this year. What a lively, hard-working and memorable cohort. They will be dearly missed. Yet, we all foresee amazing things for them at Riverside and cannot wait to see their fantastic achievements on our visits in the next few years.
Well done to all of City Campus. I am immensely proud of all of you. Have a wonderful, well-deserved holiday.
I’ll see you all in the new academic year full of energy, enthusiasm and Shrewsbury Spirit!
I am thrilled to take a moment to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary achievements of our talented students over our 5th year in operation. From academic accomplishments to artistic endeavours, from sporting triumphs to personal growth, each child's journey is a testament to their immense potential and the unwavering support provided by our teachers and parents. These achievements not only showcase their passion and dedication but also highlight the nurturing environment we provide for their holistic development.
Every week, at our recitals, assemblies, and sporting events, we bring our children on stage to celebrate their hard work and talents. They have excelled in the arts, participating in poetry, music, and film competitions. In sports, they have made a name for themselves as tennis, football, and basketball players, swimmers, figure-skaters, and horseback riders.
We also hosted our termly Floreat Award afternoon tea last week. The Floreat Award acknowledges the strides our students have made to become kind, positive, and inspiring influences in our community and how they have flourished in their interests. Sixteen of our wonderful students received the award this term. Our UK Governors, who were our special guests, and I praised them for their contribution and positive influence in our community.
We also celebrated another momentous occasion, our Primary School Speech Day and Prize Giving. We came together to recognise and applaud the remarkable achievements of our children. This has been a day of immense pride and joy, as we acknowledge the dedication, perseverance, and talents of our young students. It was my pleasure to award students for their Academic Excellence, unwavering Diligence, outstanding Commitment to Speaking English, exemplary demonstration of Global Citizenship, exceptional expertise in Physical Education, extraordinary talent in Music, and the Principal's Awards.
Well done, City Campus!
What a great couple of weeks for sports at City Campus!
Our fifth year has truly marked a home run in our sporting achievements, thanks to our hard-working athletes who have been training all year.
Last week, our newly established FOBISIA team of 24 students went away to spend four nights in Chonburi and gave their all in the FOBISIA Primary Games! They returned triumphant, with a new trophy for the cabinet and many, many medals. Most importantly, we have heard they had lots of fun playing the sports they love and making new friends with children from the seven other international schools from Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Brunei. Also one of our students was voted Most Valuable Player by the event organisers, proof of our students’ skill and good sportsmanship.
Our Shrewsbury swimmers have also been going from strength to strength this term. A couple of weeks ago, we brought home 3 first-place trophies from the Storm Cup Swim Meet at Shrewsbury Riverside, after competing against ten other schools. Many of the youngest in school Years 1-3 had their first-ever swim meet last week, at the Mini Marlin Mayhem at St Andrew's Sukhumvit. It is thrilling to see them embark on their swim journey and achieve their first personal best, with many to come as they move through the school.
It was only fitting, then, that we provide our swimmers with the great honour of meeting Paralympic gold-medal winner Ellie Simmonds and her coach Billy Pye this Friday. It was such an inspiring moment to see our young swimmers meet a world champion who earned their first gold medal on the global stage at the age of 13. They were encouraged to ask questions and learn about the sport and the Paralympic Games. This Saturday some of our students will be able to attend a Swimming Masterclass by Ellie Simmonds to inspire and advise our swimmers to achieve their dreams in the pool.
We pride ourselves on our close-knit community here at City Campus. It is one of our top priorities that children, parents and teachers work together to support the children’s learning and to make our school a warm, safe and fun environment.
I thank our teachers and department leads for hosting Shrewsbury’s flagship Tea and Topics this academic year, as well as numerous Parents in Partnership events. These events have been a fully-booked success, where we have cemented the parent-teacher bridges to help support the children's learning, well-being and development at school and at home.
Parents are a child's first and most important teacher; our partnership events are sought-after by parents looking to learn parenting and teaching strategies to boost their education from home.
Our Shrewsbury parents are wonderfully involved in our on-campus life, volunteering as Class Representatives and for the Shrewsbury Parent Committee (SP) which we can all agree that their establishment was a great milestone for City Campus. Their hands-on approach to organising events for the City Campus community is really something special. I am sure none of us will forget the many activities hosted and sponsored by our SP such as the Christmas fair, Chinese New Year, Songkran festival and many family-oriented activities such as Parents Football, Family Golf Day and many more to come for us to enjoy together this year!
As they say, "It takes a village to raise a child," and we all at City Campus believe that a child's success lies in the active and positive participation of both parents and the school.
We are now back for Term 3, which is the last term for this 2022-23 academic year. I'm delighted to see everyone refreshed and full of positivity, ready for another eight weeks of excellent learning, including exciting curriculum activities and theme days, shows, sports, and other special events.
It brings me great pleasure to see all of our City Campus children grow academically and emotionally throughout the year, going from strength to strength in their work, personal and extra-curricular lives. In the blink of an eye, they'll be transitioning to a new year group, especially our Year 6 students who will begin their next chapter in the Senior School at our Riverside Campus.
City Campus is experiencing remarkable growth in numbers, with new families joining us every term. Together, we are creating a caring community that fosters growth and development.
Growth is a natural part of life, and it occurs in different ways throughout our journey. As children, we grow by learning little by little, exploring the world around us with curiosity and wonder. As teenagers and young adults, we grow by experiencing more and more, making mistakes and learning from them, trying new things, and taking risks. And as we enter adulthood, we continue to grow by reflecting on our lives and experiences, learning from our successes and failures, and striving to do better.
From young children to adulthood, the growth journey is exciting. It involves navigating new challenges, building meaningful relationships, discovering our passions, and shaping our identities. This growth is not always easy, and it can come with setbacks and struggles. However, it is through these challenges that we develop resilience, strength, and a sense of purpose.
As we grow and evolve, it's essential to stay grounded in our values and beliefs while remaining open to new ideas and perspectives. By doing so, we can continue to learn, grow, and contribute to our communities and the world around us. So let's embrace the journey of growth and celebrate the incredible potential that lies ahead of us.
City Campus, we’ve grown from strength to strength!
It was the UN’s International Day of Happiness last week. We celebrated this day at Shrewsbury City Campus to remind the children of their right to lead a happy life and our duty as a school to provide a space for their happiness.
What makes us happy? What makes a happy child?
Love and support from friends, teachers and family, feeling safe and cared for, and a space to express themselves.
Last Friday, we had a non-uniform day for our community to come to school in whatever clothes make them happy to represent this freedom of expression. We saw children in their sports clothes, such as Muay Thai shorts and football and swim team shirts, in costume as their favourite superheroes and movie characters, and a few children (and some staff!) in their pyjamas.
As you can tell, there were a lot of variations on what makes every individual happy. What is important is to create a caring, safe space for people to express themselves.
We had a very happy occasion this week; the Floreat Awards! The presence of Mr Leo Winkley, Headmaster of Shrewsbury School UK, at these awards during his family’s visit from England, made it all the more special. This tradition began at our UK institution, and Mr Winkely was delighted to meet our Floreat winners. Reading out our teachers’ nominations of each child, was, as always, a reminder of the unique, kind and hardworking students we have in our school.
As a parent and teacher, my heart bursts with pride when I see children thriving and happy as individuals. It's a beautiful thing to witness, and we all should cherish every moment of it.
We celebrated International Women’s Day last week. To emphasise the importance of this day, we adopted the Embrace Equity campaign. It was a reminder to all our students that we must provide everyone with not only equal opportunities but also the support and inclusion required for them to grab these.
At Shrewsbury, we recognise the need to counter any bias and provide young girls with the attention, tools and support they need to reach their goals. This is what the International Women’s Day #BreaktheBias campaign calls for: identifying how women can be subjected to bias and helping them break through any obstacles in the way of their dream opportunities.
We encourage all our children to believe in themselves and become the best version of themselves every day. This day gave all of our students a moment to value and respect the efforts of our City Campus girls to reach their full potential. Women and girls alike at City Campus struck the #EmbraceEquity pose to commemorate this.
In keeping with the theme of the power of women, I want to reflect on an experience from last year when Fiona Betts - our Vice Principal, Cath Okill - our Assistant Principal, and I participated in the FOBISIA Senior Leaders Art competition. Together, we recreated the famous artwork "We Can Do It!" by J Howard Miller, which was created during World War II to inspire female workers. Our artwork won us a star which we named Shrewsbury City Campus!, and made us proud as women working together in leadership roles to manage our school and community to be the best we can. We were proud of ourselves, our children, our staff, our parents, our community, and how strong we are as Shrewsbury City Campus.
To everyone, regardless of gender, I want to emphasise the importance of believing in oneself; if you put your mind and heart into it, you can do it! As our school motto says, "If the heart is right, all will be well."
This week it was time for our long-awaited and much loved Fully Booked Week, with the theme for this year being, ‘Let Your Imagination Soar’.
As a community of exceptionally enthusiastic readers, this is such a momentous week for everyone at Shrewsbury City Campus. Every day, we see our children’s love for books in our lessons, in the popularity of Library Lunchtimes, in Book Club You-Time, and even on the playground at break time! It is impossible not to hear children’s creative minds effortlessly making up new games based on their latest read during playtime.
Fully Booked Week celebrates and promotes reading for pleasure. Simon Mole, the children’s author of “Kites” (2019), “I Love My Bike” (2021), and “I Love My Cat” (2022), came to visit us from the UK to teach students about storytelling and writing poems. He held a workshop for each of our year groups and taught them how to concoct whimsical characters and recite them as a poem. We even created a whole-school poem about a bright pink alien and an intergalactic tuk-tuk in outer space! The children loved our author's visit; it was the perfect inspiration to begin a week of fantasy and fun.
This week was truly fully booked with our Book Fair running all week, Book Swaps between students and between staff, the Bookmark and Young Author short-story competitions and story chain-writing from Early Years to Year 6. The grand finale on Friday morning was when the school was filled with the full range of weird and wonderful book characters from Harry Potter, Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland to Matilda, Cleopatra, Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf and Granny and even our very own Social Media Icons. Children, staff and even our wonderful parents joined in for our annual celebratory Book Character Parade.
Our UK Governors were also visiting this week, so they too experienced the Book Week magic and were fully immersed in ‘Come Read with Me’ and with storytelling during our Early Years focused Open House event.
We, of course, also had our formal Board Meeting which was exceptionally positive and productive; we pride ourselves on maintaining our close ties with Shrewsbury UK through our regular termly visits to ensure high standards and consistency in education and management across our family of schools.
Happy reading, happy learning!
As educators, we understand that supporting our students' well-being is critical to their success and happiness. We believe that schools have a vital role to play in teaching students how to make healthy lifestyle choices and understand the impact of these choices on their well-being.
Recently, we celebrated the UK Children's Mental Health Week, during which we organised mindfulness activities, such as process art and bubbles blowing, to help our students relax and connect with others. A super fun Zumba dance was also held for the whole school to remind us all that maintaining good mental health requires taking care of our physical health as well.
But well-being at Shrewsbury City Campus goes beyond just one week. We encourage our students to be kind to themselves and others, and we have a story about "Starfish" that has become a symbol of our community. This story teaches our students that small acts of kindness can make a big difference, and now we even have a song, "Save the One," that was inspired by this story. Thanks to our friends from Ex Cathedra - the UK's leading choir and early music ensemble led by Ms Rebecca Ledgard and her team, who visited us a few years ago, and have now written this original song for us.
We also celebrated International Mother Language Day, which highlighted the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity. We welcomed lovely guests from the National Association of Deaf Thailand to our campus. Their community cannot utter a word but their silent presence spoke louder to our hearts.
They taught us sign language and reminded us that despite our differences, we all share a common humanity, and that it is possible to communicate and connect with one another in meaningful ways.
The experience was truly touching, and it left a lasting impression on all of us. Our students learned so much from our guests, and they were eager to put their new knowledge into practice. It was heartwarming to see them interact with our visitors with such warmth and openness.
As I reflect on this experience, I am reminded of the incredible community we have at Shrewsbury City Campus. We are a place where kindness, compassion, and understanding are not just words, but values that we live by every day.
I am so grateful to be a part of this wonderful, caring community, and I can't wait to see where our journey takes us next.