Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, Riverside continues to impress every year, with students regularly offered places in the world's top universities and recording academic results above the global average. Aided by an award-winning Higher Education team and a group of the finest Sixth-Form educators, Shrewsbury continues to exceed expectations. It makes sense then that the new Sir David Lees Innovation Centre - part of the 1.1 Billion-Baht 'Project 2021' investment by Shrewsbury's Executive Board - will house the dedicated, modern and forward-thinking Stephen Holroyd Sixth Form Commons. This 'space to think' will enable staff and students to build on the school's success and continue to push ever higher.
The vision for the Stephen Holroyd Sixth Form Commons is an ambitious one but very much in line with the school's ethos – a centre of excellence to unlock potential and provide all of our students with world-class facilities that facilitate and engage their learning and soft-skill development to the very highest level. The space will be a warm and welcoming base that encourages excellence and drives success through to university, into the workplace beyond.
It has always come as a sense of pride to those involved in Shrewsbury's Sixth-Form that they combine substantial academic achievement with the very best student support. The new space will continue, and expand on this tradition, housing all key staff in the new environment - giving students the support they need to shine.
The ever-changing world faced by all students worldwide demands exceptional skills of intellectual flexibility, analysis and enquiry. Teaching students to be critical and research-based is central to the future graduate's skills. This sentiment is held dear by the Director of Sixth-Form, Mr Neil Cornforth. As part of the design process, he lobbied for a university-style workspace that matched the learning environments of the very best institutions.
"Once our students leave school, they need to be equipped to adapt. Universities now expect students to work in a more agile way, holding them responsible for choosing work zones that best suit the task they have in hand. The Shrewsbury Sixth-Form space is designed to introduce students to new ways of working and encourage them to be the driving force behind their study," he insisted.
Students themselves had a hand in the design and structure of the space in which they will be spending a lot of their time. The students understand how they work and what will be conducive to ongoing peace of mind with the learning process.
Therefore, the new Sixth-Form Centre provides classrooms, breakout and collaboration rooms, offices relating to Sixth-Form student support, Higher Education support, a café, separate study areas and a general social space.
"The guiding design principle was to create a building that anticipates the feel of a university and incorporates feedback from the whole community. This is a process that will be ongoing as we consider how to optimise the use of the facility to meet best the needs of all stakeholders moving forward."
"The new facility is a very significant enhancement of the current space dedicated to the Sixth-Form, and it will allow us to accommodate more students, comfortably and appropriately. Besides providing world-class facilities, we will have increased capacity to develop our outreach and academic enrichment programmes. Our learning landscape will effortlessly balance the formal and informal," Mr Cornforth explains.
Shrewsbury is not starting from scratch. Far from it. The outstanding academic teaching and Higher Education support are already in place and form a base to enable further progress. Shrewsbury's Stephen Holroyd Sixth Form Commons, with its imaginative use of learning and social spaces, the abundance of light and the inspirational views of the Chao Phraya River, really do provide 'the space to think' for our exceptional young people.