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Shrewsbury International School Bangkok Riverside, 1922 Charoen Krung Road, Wat Prayakrai, Bang Kholaem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

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1922 Charoen Krung Road, Wat Prayakrai, Bang Kholame, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

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A selection of our upcoming events is provided below.

The full event listing can be found on our live calendar, which members of our community may access via their Parent Portal or Firefly accounts. 

Upcoming Events

 

Where are you from, and what do you teach?

I am from the UK and teach English to 11-18-year-olds. I have been teaching for 15 years. 

What schools did you work in in the UK before you came to Shrewsbury and what did you learn there?

I only worked at one school (for ten years). It was Broadway Academy in Birmingham, and I learnt a LOT. I learnt how to manage a classroom, manage my time, how to lead a team and how to build meaningful relationships with pupils and peers. I was very happy there. 

What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher?

There are many. Working alongside pupils when they have the ‘a-ha’ moment is a big one, but so is the general day to day teaching where progress is made, which results in a beautiful piece of work. I also enjoy working alongside my peers and seeing a project or a moment come to fruition. 

What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand?

How lovely life is. Our family are so lucky to live and work here. And the food; living in the UK I thought I knew what Thai food was but only when you live here do you try proper Thai food! I am obsessed with Khao man gai. I would eat it every day. 

What is your teaching philosophy?

Everyone deserves a chance, whether that is someone who needs support with work or someone who has made a mistake and needs a second chance. I also learnt early on that every day needs to be a fresh start and we should allow that for ourselves and pupils. 

What do you admire most about Shrewsbury’s approach to schooling?

I like that pupils are treated as individuals. As a former Head of English, my exam meetings were not focussed on the results of year groups but the stories of individuals and their successes. It is the same from EY1 to Year 13; I am a parent too, and so I see how well my child is catered for in the classroom and the support he is given.

What is the most important thing students learn at Shrewsbury?

To be themselves. As pupils move up through the school, I see how they flourish and grow; that starts in EY1. It’s brilliant to witness. 

It is rare to have an Assistant Principal with a focus on Staff. Why does Shrewsbury have this role, and what does it add to the overall professional development of staff to have someone overseeing this?

Chris Seal, the Principal, recognises the importance of staff development and how far a school can grow if we support each other. Having an Assistant Principal in place to do this allows one person to direct their energy into ensuring all staff are up to date with CPD and fully trained to be the best teachers they can. This role also allows time for experimentation and showcasing the best of what we have to offer.  

How do you see your role moving forward? What developments do you have in store?

My role aims to continue developing staff and promote the Shrewsbury Institute to other schools so that we become the central place for pedagogy and learning across the region. We have many significant initiatives that support teachers. One example is  ‘Straight to teaching’, which has given several staff members the qualifications to teach at Shrewsbury while remaining at the school. We have many initiatives that build CPD through knowledge sharing such as ‘TeachMeet’ which is now bringing practitioners from other schools in Bangkok. We also regularly support staff with ‘Learning Lunches’ and Pastries and Pedagogy’ so they can gain new skills and diversify their classroom practices.

Who is your inspiration?

Teaching wise, a former colleague of mine who is a crazy science teacher; he was and is such an inspiration to his pupils and his colleagues even if he nearly blew up the school building on more than one occasion. Non-teaching wise I find inspiration in ordinary people who work and raise families at the same time; it’s a tricky balancing act, and I admire those who have lots of patience and support each other. 

Who is your favourite author, and why?

That’s too tricky for an English teacher! It’s like asking me to choose a favourite meal or a favourite pupil.  

What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours?

I read. I read anything and everything. I love fiction and non-fiction equally. I also enjoy spending time with family and cooking up huge meals, and I always plan leftovers. Still, there’s rarely anything left with the boys in my family hoovering it all up. 

Where was your most memorable holiday?

Visiting Nepal was breathtaking. The Romantic poets write about sublime feelings when it comes to majesty and awe of nature; trekking in Nepal gave me this feeling of being incredibly small and incredibly unimportant but at the same time superbly lucky to walk (the more accessible!) parts of the Himalayas. 

If you weren’t a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt?

Something where I organise people! Perhaps an event or wedding planner. Or maybe something to do with food and feeding people. 

What kinds of things do you not like to do?

Burpees. I will avoid them at all costs.

What is something you cannot live without?

Cadbury’s Chocolate and British crisps. I spend a fortune at Villa supermarket.


 

Expand about Mrs Victoria Rotheram

 

Where are you from, and what do you teach? 

I am from Sidcup, Kent, in England. I teach Year 2 as well as being Year 2 Team Leader. Weekly, I facilitate a Harkness style discussion with Year 6 students.

What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher? 

Mentoring the children who succeed after arriving at Shrewsbury, who once lacked confidence and were struggling academically is by far the most rewarding aspect. Watching them strive after a lot of input and instilling the belief that they can become successful - is fantastic to watch.

What is your teaching philosophy? 

Learning should be a very sociable and interactive process. It is very rare for my classroom to be quiet! Everything we do is based around enquiry and curiosity.

What do you admire most about Shrewsbury's approach to schooling? 

It's willingness to drive things forward and continuously improve. I love the fact that the children are the heart of everything; it makes it a joy to come to work every day.

What is the most important thing students learn at Shrewsbury?

Kindness, compassion, resilience and self-belief.

As Year 2 leader, how do you ensure that all staff in your year group are on the same page and work together effectively? 
 
We meet regularly as a team to discuss the curriculum, planning and logistics. We plan together, collaboratively, both in person and using tools like Google Docs, so we are all able to contribute, comment and then reflect once lessons have been taught. 

Throughout each day, we engage in professional dialogue about upcoming lessons. Each teacher brings a wealth of experience and a variety of specialisms, so we can drive the curriculum, and our practice, forward. Opinions and ideas are fully welcomed and appreciated from the team. Each of us have an open door and are encouraged to drop in and observe each other to see best practice and ensure consistency.

How important is the whole of Year 2 in terms of preparing children for Prep School, and are there specific things you do to support the transition process?

A lot happens in Year 2, where we gear the children up from Year 1 expectations to Year 3 expectations. We provide them with tools for dealing with challenges and lay a solid foundation for their learning, ready to be built upon further. We develop them into independent, resilient, successful learners. To be specific, Year 2 are given MFL taster sessions, days in a Year 3 classroom, transition books and weekly visits to Prep Canteen in the final term, to name a few.

How do you feel supported to be the best teacher you can be?
 
We have regular meetings with the Senior Management Team, where ideas and opinions are fully taken on board. We are all supported to pursue professional development opportunities across the world. Also, staff have regular drop-ins and observations with formal and informal feedback on ways to improve practice further

Who is your inspiration? 

My mum. She is strong, fiercely independent and able to tackle anything, head on!

What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand? 

How quickly the time has gone - never thought I would be here 12 years (and counting!). I also never knew just how much I would love everything aboutThailand, as I had never been here before I applied for my first overseas teaching job on Koh Samui. 

Where was your most memorable holiday? 

Staying on a boat around Komodo Islands, Indonesia. This is the island chain that is home to the largest reptile species in the world, the Komodo Dragon! It was a truly amazing experience!

If you weren't a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt? 
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I would love to own a wellness resort where I could be a nutritionist, chef and personal trainer.

What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours? 

Training. Specifically, I love ultra-trail running, but I like other aspects of a healthy lifestyle such as researching nutrition and cooking whole plant-based foods. This is a great chance to plug my Instagram! @Plantbasedchampion!

What kinds of things do you not like to do? 

Housework!

What is something you cannot live without? 

Vegetables - I absolutely love them!

 

Expand about Ms Fiona Russo

 

Where are you from, and what do you teach?

I am originally from Manchester, England but lived in London for the whole of my teaching career in the UK. I am a trained Primary school teacher but I am currently Assistant Principal (Pre-Prep).

What schools did you work in in the UK before you came to Shrewsbury and what did you learn there? 

I worked in two state schools in London, both in the borough of Hackney. These schools taught me so much about education but also about me as a person.

What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher?

The most rewarding moments are when you see the joy in the children you are working with. Whether they have just read a new word for the first time, been amazed by the results of a science experiment or come into the classroom independently for the first time. Seeing them achieve and be proud of themselves is always rewarding.

What do you admire most about Shrewsbury's approach to schooling? 

Children are at the centre and getting to know families is paramount.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Working predominantly in the Pre Prep, I wholeheartedly believe in the importance of learning through play and for the children to be the leaders in their learning.

What is the most important thing students learn at Shrewsbury?

I think our character strengths are the most important. If each child learns just one of the character strengths, then I believe we will have done a great job.
 
You mention learning through play as key in EY - Can you explain what this means exactly, and how does it pertain to Shrewsbury?
 
Learning through play is how children make sense of the world around them. Through play and the interactions they make while playing, they develop their language, emotions, creativity, thinking and social skills. They also learn how to solve problems and work with others. All Early Years settings allow for periods of play; however, at Shrewsbury, we wholeheartedly believe in its importance, and it runs through the heart of not only the Early Years but the Pre Prep as a whole. We have highly skilled practitioners who can identify, develop and extend each child’s learning through their play. 
 
In some instances, children do not attend school until the age of 5 or above. Why is education in an Early Years school environment important?
 
Attending an Early years setting provides the opportunity to develop a child’s social, emotional and cognitive skills, which build the foundations for learning throughout their time in education and beyond. The home provides many opportunities too; however, an Early Years environment is filled with the appropriate resources, experienced practitioners and, of course, peers. These give each child a fantastic start and the opportunity to flourish. 
 
How does Pre-Prep manage the transition periods from EY2 to Year 1 and Year 2 to Year 3? 

The transition years at Shrewsbury have been carefully thought out so that it is as smooth as possible for all children. Over the past few years, we have worked particularly hard on the transition from EY2 – Y1 and the jump from the Early Years Framework to the National Curriculum. There are similarities between the two environments that provide comfort and familiarity to the children – the furniture, layout, access to an outdoor setting, similar resources. This helps the children to immediately feel at home and take away any fears they may have. We have also adapted our teaching practice across KS1 to ensure that the children are still given opportunities to learn through play. We believe in the power of play and continue to work hard to ensure the balance of adult-directed and child-initiated time - is right.
 
In Term 3, we plan for the following year, and the children partake in several transition activities to support them for the coming year. We develop and refine every year to ensure they equip the children with the confidence they need to leap into the next school year with confidence and excitement.

Who is your inspiration?

Since recently becoming a mother, I am always amazed by other mums. It is hard enough keeping your child fed, dressed and happy, but the women who do this and more every day are a real inspiration. On a professional level, I am inspired by people who are hungry for improvement and seek to do their best every day

If you were not a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt?

I would have loved to be in musical theatre. However, I was not blessed with the singing voice that it would require!

What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours?

I exercise most days, whether it be running or going to the gym. I also enjoy reading and attempting to complete crosswords! I have recently started meditating, which helps to switch off from the working day and feel a sense of calm.

What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand?

How friendly everyone is! I was told this before arriving, but despite having lived here for four years, it still warms my heart when people smile or say hello. This is particularly true since having a child; Thai people are always so kind and friendly to children.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

As a child, I visited Ireland most summers with my family, as my grandfather was Irish. We used to spend hours building treehouses, climbing over hay bales and exploring! It was great fun and gave me a real appreciation for the outdoors. 

Who is your favourite author, and why?

There are too many to choose, and I enjoy a wide range of books. I have recently loved the first two books by Sally Rooney.

What kinds of things do you not like to do?

I do not enjoy washing up and will get out of it any way I can!!

What is something you cannot live without?

An obvious choice, but I would struggle to live without chocolate. I don't eat it in vast quantities but rarely go through a day without having some form of chocolate!

Expand about Mrs Siobhan O'Brien

 

Where are you from, and what do you teach?
 
I grew up in Somerset in the South West of England and started my teaching career in Bristol before moving to West London. I teach languages – French, Italian and German. I am also Assistant Principal (students) and lead the Shrewsbury Safeguarding Team.
 

As the Designated Safeguarding Lead, what kind of environment do you hope to create for the whole Shrewsbury community?
 
The main aim is, of course, for all students to feel safe. We want students to feel safe in their connections with staff and with all other students. We want them to feel safe in their learning, and we want students to know that they can reach out for help and support from their teachers. The other essential part of Safeguarding relates to staff. All staff are trained to be aware of their role in creating a safe learning environment and reporting concerns. I believe Safeguarding is a responsibility shared across the whole community, and therefore it is something that involves students, staff and parents alike.
 
How has this role changed over time, and where do you see it going?
 
The role has changed enormously over the last ten years or so, and Shrewsbury has made many significant developments in the way we implement safeguarding measures across the school community. Our ongoing training and support for staff has enhanced the understanding of the role we all play in safeguarding the students in the school.
 
The other major development in recent years is how we have embedded the use of technology in our teaching and learning. Alongside this increased use of technology comes the need for students and parents to know how to stay safe in the ever-changing online world. It is quite a challenge, but one that we see as a real priority for safeguarding in the 21st century.
 
What schools did you work in in the UK before you came to Shrewsbury and what did you learn there?
 
I was Head of MFL at John Lyon School in Harrow before moving to Shrewsbury. I learned a great deal from being involved in many extra-curricular activities ranging from umpiring cricket matches to leading expeditions to Kenya and Uganda. I also learned (from one successful Italian class) that hard-working students can achieve amazing things when there is a supportive and positive atmosphere in the classroom.

What is your teaching philosophy?
 
I believe in trying to find ways that engage students as individuals but also acknowledge that learning something well demands time and rigour. Language learning is a slow process and can be frustrating at times, but the long term outcomes are so rewarding.
 
 What do you admire most about Shrewsbury's approach to schooling? 
 
The motto says it all for me: " if the heart is right, all will be well". I wholeheartedly believe that our caring, individual approach to teaching, learning and student wellbeing make us a great school.

What is the most important thing students learn at Shrewsbury?
 
The most important thing I hope students learn is that they have a role to play in creating an outstanding environment for learning by choosing to be kind, positive and supportive to each other.

What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher?
 
So many! I love the idea that the core element of being a teacher is that you are helping young people – every day, in small and more significant ways. I recently received a "thank you" message via LinkedIn from a student I taught near 18 years ago. That was quite special.
 
Who is your inspiration?
 
In the teaching world, I often think back to Mr Eastmond, who was my Head of House at school. He was firm, fair, approachable and always took time to talk to students. He also loved sports, like the teenage version of me. He is still a good friend.
 
In the wider world, I am inspired by people who look at how to improve relationships between people in society – Martin Seligmann, Brenee Brown are two people whose work has fascinated me. Recently, of course, the doctors, nurses, and health care providers around the world managing the COVID pandemic are a model of courage and altruism.
 
What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand?
 
Thailand is so full of surprises and contrasts – life is never dull. Perhaps this is why I have been here for 12 years despite my original plan to stay here for four years maximum.
 
Who is your favourite author, and why?
 
Such a hard question – only one name? E.M Forster is someone I find I read and reread. The characters in his novels gently explore what it means to be human.
 
What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours?
 
I love sports such as golf (time permitting) or squash (energy levels permitting). At home I love reading, baking bread and (since the start of the lockdown) I am learning classical guitar – slowly!
 
Where was your most memorable holiday?
 
Costa Rica with my wife – many years ago before we had children! Such a beautiful country – full of wildlife, birds and friendly people.
 
If you were not a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt?
 
I have often been told that I am a good listener – so perhaps a profession that involves that skill? I'd love to be a pro golfer too, but I think the boat may have sailed on that idea.
 
What kinds of things do you not like to do?
 
Filing paperwork! I always put this kind of task off until 'later'.
 
What is something you cannot live without?
 
Coffee – ideally espresso, ideally organic. 

 
 
 
 
 

Expand about Mr Nick Loudon

 

Where are you from, and what do you teach? 

I am from St Andrews in Scotland, and I am the Assistant Principal for the Prep School.

What schools did you work in in the UK before you came to Shrewsbury and what did you learn there? 

Apart from my placements, I was lucky enough to find a fantastic school in Hackney, East London, where I worked for ten years before joining Shrewsbury. The school is situated in one of the most deprived boroughs in London, and the students all come from very disadvantaged backgrounds. It was a humbling experience, and I believe it made me the teacher that I am today as I had to adapt to many different situations, I had to support students and families who didn't believe in the education system. It was tough but gratifying. The little things made a world of difference in that school and community.

What is your biggest achievement since you arrived at Shrewsbury?

My biggest accomplishment in my time at Shrewsbury is probably the work I, and others, have done on assessment. We created our own bespoke tracking system and triangulated it with aptitude and attitude data to get a picture of the whole child. This allows us to dig deeper and understand why particular students are perhaps not reaching their true potential. We can then support them to ensure they make the progress they are capable of. A happy child is a child that can fulfill their potential fully.

What do you admire most about Shrewsbury's approach to schooling? 

That our focus is not just academic, we realise the importance of academic success and pride ourselves on this, but we realise that every child's progress is dependent on a number of factors, and especially on having a balance of experiences at school which can serve to complement and reinforce each other in different ways. Students need a variety of experiences; they need to be happy and confident in themselves, and they need to be allowed to be children.

What is the most important thing students learn at Shrewsbury?

To be themselves, to be confident in their abilities, to continue to strive to reach higher standards/ goals, to be unique and stand out in a crowd, to be happy.

What challenges lie ahead for you and the Prep School?

I guess the main plan for the immediate future is to ensure a smooth transition in following Ms Sally Weston’s departure. As Head of Primary, she has been a cornerstone of why Shrewsbury is so successful. We need to ensure that the great work continues, and that her replacement has a smooth transition so that the legacy that Miss Weston created continues.

What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher? 

I think any time you see the 'lightbulb' moment. The moment where a student understands what you have taught them and demonstrates it.

What is your teaching philosophy? 

Ensuring that all students succeed irrespective of any barriers that they have to learn. That students enjoy learning and are happy, positive, all-round individuals.

What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand? 

How 'normal' it has become. Teaching is teaching, and of course there are differences, but ultimately we are all still doing what we love, and so it is not so different as a teaching professional. The quality of life, the work/school balance is better, and we take full advantage of it living in Thailand.

If you weren't a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt? 

I've always wanted to be an animator. I love drawing, but I knew I wasn't quite good enough. It doesn't stop me trying, though!

 What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours? 

I guess my children are my hobby and I have little time for much else. I come from a family of chefs and bakers, so I do love cooking and baking. I secretly like playing computer games too, although I am not as good as I used to be. Similarly, I used to be a footballer, but my body has given up on that!

What kinds of things do you not like to do? 

I have a big phobia of public speaking - which isn't great in my profession! I also have a bit of a fear about water, so boats are not my friend.

What is something you cannot live without? 

My family, closely followed by chocolate! I'm a bit of a chocoholic!

Who is your inspiration? 

My P7 teacher (Y6) Miss Barr was phenomenal. From almost the 1st day in her class, I decided I wanted to be a primary school teacher. Another inspiration would have to be Sue Windross, my headteacher when I worked in London. She had been a headteacher for 25 years in a difficult borough, in London, and I was in awe of the work that she did and wanted to be like her as I progressed through my career.

Who is your favourite author, and why? 

I like authors like Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown as I enjoy a good adventure thriller. I also like dystopian novelists James Dashner and Suzanne Collins.

Where was your most memorable holiday? 

My parents are not travellers, and so it took a lot to get them to come out to Thailand. They have only left Scotland a handful of times (and all of those have been in the last five years!). So, Christmas 2018, my whole family came out to Bangkok. There were 14 of us! All were staying in my apartment, which was hilarious, and we had a lovely holiday in Dolphin Bay, south of Hua Hin and Chiang Mai. It was an exceptional time shared with my family.

 
 

Expand about Ms Debbie Brown

 

Where are you from? 
 
I am from Scotland.
 
What schools did you work in in the UK before you came to Shrewsbury and what did you learn there? 
 
I was at Teesdale Sixth Form Centre. My Head Of Department was a lovely lady and taught me proper classroom management and how to work in glass. 
 
 
Why is the Art Department so successful in terms of internationally recognised awards? 
 
The Art Department’s success is due to the amazing students which attend Shrewsbury International School. Every day I am in awe of the work produced which is guided by a team of dedicated and qualified staff which come from a rich variety of backgrounds. We offer strong skills based KS3 and a pathway for independent learning in KS4 and 5 where students can really come into their own as skilled artists and the work is always current and original.
 
What are the Art Department's plans for the future?
 
We are very much looking forward to the new space coming soon! This will encourage the broadening of skills and techniques we teach such as screen printing, 3D technologies and other new and emerging media.

What do you admire most about education at Shrewsbury?  
 
We have a very well-resourced Art Department and students are taught skills and can advance their skills and knowledge with the support of their teachers. By Y13, the students' work is industry standard which is unheard of and truly remarkable.
 
What do you think is the most important thing students learn at Shrewsbury? 
 
Perseverance and how to conduct themselves professionally, by the time a student has left Shrewsbury, they are prepared for the real world.
 
What is your own teaching philosophy?
 
When I think about my philosophy with regards to the Arts, I am reminded of the Greek word, 'meraki'. It's a verb that simply means to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work. This is how I see learning, teaching and creativity happening within the Arts at Shrewsbury. Still, the benefits will go far beyond the studios.
 
What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher? 

 
I am always incredibly proud of my students and the work they create. I love to see when the work is a clear progression of skills that they have been learning.


Who is your inspiration? 
 
Susan Collins, she is an Artist and academic and Director of the Slade. The Slade is the art school of University College London and is based in London, United Kingdom. It has been ranked as the UK's top art and design educational institution.
 
Who is your favourite author, and why? 
 
I read recently 'Figuring' by Maria Popova and enjoyed it very much. Maria's writing explores significant female figures in Art, Literature and Science.
 
What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours? 
 
I like making Art or DIY at home, I love checking out second-hand stores for bargains! I also play racquet sports and practice yoga.
 
What kinds of things do you not like to do? 

 
Emptying the cat litter tray!
 
Where was your most memorable holiday? 
 
I have been very fortunate to travel to many places but the place I find the most memorable is my Granny's house which is in Harris, the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. There is something special about being able to be close to home.
 
What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand? 
 
I enjoy the 'sanook factor'. While every culture has a word for' fun', in Thailand, more than a verb, 'sanook' is elevated to an ethos, a way of life that intrinsically permeates how Thais think about and do things, almost to the extent that "If it's not sanook, it's not worth doing". I am also surprised at the variety of landscapes in the Thai National Parks and that I can now eat Somtam poobala!

Expand about Ms Valerie McCubbin

 

Where are you from, and what do you teach?
 
I am from a small town in the South East of England, called Ipswich. I am a primary school teacher, currently teaching Year 3.
 

What degree did you study and where, where did you do your teacher training?
 
I studied Biology at the University of Bath. Throughout my degree, I completed several teaching placements, though these were mostly based in KS3/4. My formal teacher training to become a junior school teacher began at Shrewsbury Riverside, and I gained my full QTS qualification through the TES ‘Straight to Teaching’ programme which provides an avenue to gain certification outside the UK. I am so grateful that this is offered at Shrewsbury because it has helped me realise my dream to live and work in Thailand.

What do you admire most about education at Shrewsbury?
 
I like the way Shrewsbury focuses on developing genuinely extraordinary and well-rounded individuals. Shrewsbury does this by incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals into the learning of every classroom. Students must be active participants in the world they live in, and by learning about the 17 Global Goals, they are inspired to take action.

What do you think is the most important thing students learn at Shrewsbury?
 
One of the most important things that students learn is how to celebrate differences in culture and personality. The diverse student body exposes students to the world around them, promoting cultural literacy and awareness. The students gain lifelong friendships with other students from countries all around the world.

What is your own teaching philosophy?
 
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou.

If there ever was a quote that represented teaching young children, this is it. Thinking back to when I was a child, I cannot remember much about my teachers or their ability to show me the alphabet or numbers. Still, I remember their ability to make me feel valued. Children learn the best when they are in a positive learning environment where they feel welcomed, comfortable, and safe with each other. This ethos is always at the forefront of my mind.


What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher?
 
There are so many rewarding moments daily. Comments from children and parents come as friendly reminders as to why we chose to become teachers. However, my most rewarding moment so far has come as a result of the situation revolving around Coronavirus. Whether you are a child, parent or teacher, everyone has had to adapt to a new learning environment quickly, most of which is taking place online. I am humbled by the resilience the children have shown but also the level of support for teachers worldwide. We did not choose this career to sit behind a computer. Still, I am proud of myself and every teacher out there who has had to adapt, prepare and provide lessons digitally across the curriculum to try and recreate a positive learning environment.
 
If you weren’t a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt?
 
If I wasn’t teaching, I would love to be a professional photographer or videographer. I say professional, because although you may find me often hiding behind the lens of my Nikon, or editing holiday GoPro videos - it is all for my own enjoyment. I have always had an interest in photography, painfully remembering putting my camera on a self-timer and being my own ‘model’! I’d like to think I have come a long way since then and captured some exceptional moments for myself, friends and family. Photography is a powerful tool for memory. I can remember exactly how I feel, the moment the shutter clicks. People often argue that taking photos means you are absent in the moment. I think the images on film are far more powerful than those in my head which are subject to decay. With a photograph, the sentiment lasts forever.
 
What kinds of things do you not like to do?
 
I don’t like waking up too late on the weekends. It throws me off a good routine that has taken a few years to master! It’s also rare to find me swimming in the sea. There is something very unsettling about not being able to see my feet!
 
What is something you cannot live without?
 
My head is saying, friends and family. My heart is screaming chocolate.
 
What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand?
 
I was surprised by how easy it was to travel in and around Bangkok. I couldn’t believe that the first time I visited Shrewsbury, I did so via boat!

Who is your inspiration?
 
My sister. She is someone who I have always looked up to – being only three years older, we have always maintained a close relationship. Throughout my childhood and particularly in my teenage years, she showed me how to work hard for what you want. She is now a doctor of Chemistry.
 
Who is your favourite author, and why?
 
My favourite children’s author and illustrator is Oliver Jeffers. His picture books have received numerous accolades, and every book of his I’ve ever read is always welcomed with huge smiles. There is always the requirement for the story to be read over and over again. For my own reading pleasure, I don’t have a favourite author as such, but I like to indulge in thriller novels!
 
What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours?
 
Outside of school, I like to participate in a variety of different sports. From a young age, I have always been involved in elite-level sport, competing in national-level athletics. My love for competitive sport has not faded with time. I now play in a Bangkok netball league. More recently, I have started playing basketball and touch rugby.
 
Where was your most memorable holiday?
 
Despite having been lucky enough to travel to lots of different countries, a holiday that stands out for me as a child is camping with my family in the UK. There is something extraordinary and nostalgic about being surrounded by loved ones, playing rounders on the grass while smelling the sausages sizzling on the BBQ in the Great British summer weather.

 
 

Expand about Miss Beth Clarke

 

Where are you from?

I was born and grew up in Manchester, Jamaica. I am a Historian by trade and previously taught various history courses. 

What degree did you study, and where did you do your teacher training?

My first degree was a MA in Historical Studies. This was done at the Lomonosov Moscow State University in the former Soviet Union, where the programme consists of six years of study, and the end of which we receive a Masters degree. Teacher training is a part of the course. I also have a diploma in Russian language (translation). Three years after completing my MA, I went to the University of Cambridge, where I did my MPhil and PhD in History.

What schools did you work in before you came to Shrewsbury, and what did you learn there?

On completion of my PhD studies, I went to teach in boarding schools in the US for ten years. I also grew up in Jamaica, where the school system and exams were British. I sat what was then known as the GCE Cambridge O and A levels in high school, so the British educational system is not new to me. However, don’t think that differences between systems are a hindrance to teaching. Once you are an expert in your field and trained as a teacher, it should not be challenging to teach in other systems. Teachers are also students and can adapt, learn and grow.

What do you admire the most about education at Shrewsbury?

I admire our holistic approach to schooling. For us, it’s not just about reading, writing and arithmetic. We care about the wellbeing of our students. Thus, there is an emphasis on pastoral care and a very robust child protection department. Our academics are strong, but the all-round approach means that attention is paid to extra-curricular elements such as sport, trips, community service, and learning outside the exam curriculum. We not only see our students through from EY1 to Y13, but we also maintain contact with them throughout their university careers and via the alumni association.

What is the most important thing students learn at Shrewsbury?

It’s hard to pick out one aspect since each component of learning at Shrewsbury is essential. But, if I must choose, I would say to be critical thinkers. They learn to express their opinions and to use evidence and questions as an important part of their learning.

What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher?

There have been many rewarding moments, but perhaps one of the more rewarding is to help instil confidence in all students, to teach them to recognise their abilities and to see them “shine”. I also love my general interactions with young people (which is what teaching is about), helping to guide their future and follow their progress after graduation.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy, even before I started teaching, is quite simple – every child can learn. This philosophy was further influenced by my first teaching job, where I was introduced to the Harkness teaching and learning pedagogy that encourages students to think critically and ask questions. My philosophy also recognises differentiation in the classroom.

Who is your inspiration?

Tough question since many people have inspired me! From my high school teachers who encouraged us to express our views and to be international in our outlook. My favourite university professor Eric Foner from Columbia University (emeritus), showed me the best example of good teaching. But my greatest inspiration has to be my mother who is a beacon of focus, sacrifice, love and hope. She became a widow when we were still very young after our father died in a car accident. Alone, she raised five successful children. Truly inspirational.

Who is your favourite author, and why?

I am not sure if I necessarily have a favourite author because I have broad interests which are also my hobbies! I particularly like books that speak to global issues in all subject areas. However, I do have a penchant for classics, especially those based on history. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice come to mind. I also like Maya Angelo and Toni Morrison as they take you through the history of the United States in literary form.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

I have been blessed to visit over thirty countries and some more than once! But if I have to choose I would say Switzerland where I went in 2018 for the second time. This trip was special because its primary purpose was to attend a United Nations meeting. I also enjoyed visiting Italy, specifically Venice, Florence, Pisa, Assisi and Rome. I went as a co-chaperone of our European history students and at a significant historical time, when the Catholic Church was choosing a new Pope. The beauty and history of Italy enriched the students and my learning.


What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand?

Nothing surprised me about living in Thailand except that I never in my dreams thought I would be living here! I have an open mind and usually view things as different as opposed to ‘strange’. I had taught students from Thailand at previous schools and had a close relationship with them, so I became familiar with aspects of Thai culture before my arrival. I was more intrigued with its history, culture and architecture.

If you weren’t a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt?

Law, journalism or foreign service.

What kind of things do you not like to do?

Take the elevator and swim.

What is something you cannot live without?

Friendship, sunshine and travelling.

Expand about Ms Maxine Clarke

 

Where are you from, and what do you teach? 

I am from the Midlands in England, and teach Drama.here at Shrewsbury.
 

What is your teaching philosophy? 

I want my students to enjoy their lessons and develop a passion for learning, not just about Drama and Theatre, although if they also love the arts too then that’s great. I want them to have fun, feel safe to explore and be creative not just practically but in their discussions and written work. But I also want them to respect each other and the environment, allowing others to build confidence, boosting each other through praise and constructive criticism.

What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher? 

The school productions are always heart warming to see so many different students enjoying performing and being a part of something so big and creative, they make so many friends and learn so much out of a classroom environment too – and not just about Drama, but themselves.

Who is your inspiration? 

I get inspired by different practitioners all the time, as a younger teacher it would be more experienced teachers around me who I would learn from and take ideas into my own practice. I found I am now often inspired by our students here at Shrewsbury, their hunger for learning and their amazing attitude and effort in the classroom inspires me to be a better teacher, to develop my own knowledge and to create amazing opportunities for them in and out of the classroom setting.

If you weren't a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt? 

Maybe acting but only if I won the lottery as it doesn’t pay well and the jobs are few and far between…

Where was your most memorable holiday? 

I've had so many memorable holidays since moving to Bangkok but Sri Lanka comes to mind it’s amazing scenery, culture, food and wildlife!

What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours? 

I like cooking a lot, I wouldn’t say I’ve missed my calling but I do have a lot of recipe books and like to create something in the kitchen with the help of a glass of white wine.

Who is your favourite author, and why? 

David Mitchell, I love his Japanese influence in many of his stories and how he takes you on a great journey – my favourite is ‘The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet’.

What is your main dislike?

Cleaning the apartment...

What is something you cannot live without? 

A cup of tea in the morning!

Expand about Ms Kay Sanders

 

Where are you from, and what do you teach? 

I'm from Auckland in New Zealand, and I teach music theory, music composition and music history to primary level students. 

Where have you worked in the world? 

I studied a Bachelor of Education at Auckland University in New Zealand. My teacher training was also in New Zealand, but I have worked in the U.K, and Vietnam before arriving at Shrewsbury. These experiences have shaped me to become who I am today. 

What do you admire most about education at Shrewsbury? 

I admire the community feel this school has. Everyone is in it together. There is no adversarial nature to teaching or learning. Teachers in general love to share best-practice and Shrewsbury is definitely at the forefront of that ethos. It is a great place to grow as an individual and work on a day-to-day basis.
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Why does the school stand out so well when it comes to specialism, musical provision and extended learning opportunities?

Wow! In so many different ways. We have staff who are skilled, passionate and specialists in their instruments so the quality of learning that is passed on, even at a young age is pretty high. We identify high-achievers pretty early and nurture their talents so they have the best opportunity at excelling as they progress. From Early Years, right through to Year 13, the music department creates the perfect environment to flourish. Our Music scholar program is really the epitome of success, where a student is recognised for being a phenomenal musician and it has led to many students receiving entry to some of the best musical conservatories around the world.

What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher? 

I love it when, after putting in a lot of hard work with my colleagues, a show, band, choir or ensemble comes together, and everyone is enjoying the music. The look on the audience faces and the sense of achievement from the students makes it all worth it. 

What is your teaching philosophy? 

I want children to have a passion for music like I do. I want them to fall in love with music and realise it is a vocation worth pursuing and as crucial as any other subject. 

Who is your inspiration? 

My old high school music teacher who introduced me to Jazz, Blues and other types of music. He taught me that there's more to music than just the Rock and Metal albums I was listening to at the time. It is part of the reason I became a teacher because I understand the real value of having people who can engage you in a meaningful way and help create a passion that can last a lifetime. 

Who is your favourite author, and why? 

JRR Tolkein, because I love how epic the Lord of the Rings books are! 

What is something you cannot live without? 

I cannot live without my guitars. Each one of them is an extension of myself, and I love being able to pick them up and play. Perhaps more obviously, my family and friends. I miss the people who are back home in New Zealand, so holiday's are pretty special. 

What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours? 

Music is my life, and so I still thrive in situations where I can perform. I often play in venues around Bangkok which is always heaps of fun. 

Where was your most memorable holiday? 

A while ago, I went on a fantastic six-week trip from New York in the U.S.A all the way down to Chile in South America. On the way I visited some of the most spectacular places in the world such as Machu Picchu. I also cycled down the ‘Death Road’ in Bolivia, which was exhilarating! 

What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand? 

I still love eating Thai food after being here for two years! ‚ÄčThere is always something new I haven't tried before, and I love the way the culture is part of Thai culture. Eating a meal in Thailand is still an enjoyable experience.

If you weren't a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt? 

A Rockstar, for sure! 

Expand about Mr Ron Saw

 

Where are you from, and what do you teach?
    
I am from the state of North Carolina, on the east coast of the United States. My teaching history has included working with students of all ages. For eleven years, I taught middle school, which corresponds with Y7-Y9. During that time, I taught English/Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. Then I worked at an elementary school as the librarian where I taught research skills, technology, and read a lot of stories, of course! I also worked for almost five years at high school level with students on their English research, and a lot of technology integration. I also taught two levels of Library Science classes during this time.

What do you think is the role of the Library at Shrewsbury and being a Librarian her?

The role of the library and the librarian is multi-faceted. The library should be the hub of learning, research, and 21st Century Skills while supporting all members of the school community. Instead of merely housing books, the library, with the Librarian leading the way, is here to help students enjoy reading, give them a place to explore and discover new concepts and ideas, and allow them to become both 21st Century leaders and ethical and strong researchers. When students begin to learn research skills at an early age, research becomes something more approachable and enjoyable, with students becoming more confident to take their research and learning further as a result.

What can you tell us about the developments of the Library space at Shrewsbury?

The new library space (which was refurbished in 2019) is quite beautiful and relaxing. The students are really enjoying spending time in both libraries (senior and junior), and having a nice place for reading and studying. We are quite busy before and after school with parents choosing books with their children. I love to walk around and see parents reading books with their children.

What do you admire most about education at Shrewsbury? 

There are a lot of hands-on activities, especially in the Early Years. I think it is essential for students to have the opportunity to explore through play. In many schools in the USA, I think that rigid academics are pushed too hard at such an early age, students begin to dislike school when they are relatively young. It’s not like that here. Children are engaged and enjoy their learning.

What do you think is the most important thing students learn at Shrewsbury?

I like seeing students learning how to be responsible, contributing members of a global society. The numerous service opportunities students have to help others is fantastic.

What is your own teaching philosophy?

All children can learn and read, but sometimes the challenge is to find the subject or book that truly sparks their interest. Once engaged in learning, children can do anything!

What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher?
   
There have been a lot of rewarding moments over the years. Some of my favourite moments are when former students see me and talk about the things they still remember learning in my classes.

If you weren't a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt?

Until my final year of school, I was set to enter law school. It was only after some meetings with my advisor in high school, my Calculus teacher, that I realized I wanted to explore the field of education.

What kinds of things do you not like to do?

Laundry. Tedious paperwork.

What is something you cannot live without?

I would find it difficult to live with my eyesight. It would be difficult to lose my vision and never see my family members' faces again. Plus, this world has so many amazing things I have seen and still want to see. When I think about my hobbies, and most require seeing, I am not sure how well I would handle being blind.

What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours?

Naturally, as a librarian, reading is near the top of the list. I also enjoy writing, cooking, creating stained glass, travelling, and photography.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

Two years ago, the adults of our family were able to take a trip together to Vietnam and Cambodia. It was an enjoyable experience to travel along the Mekong River and to see the ruins of Angkor Wat. We met so many incredible people on that adventure as well.

What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand?

I don't know if it was really a surprise because I had already heard about it through online discussion groups, but the people of Thailand are incredible. There are so many people who are kind and helpful and always smiling. After that, it surprised me that the climate here is a lot like summers back in North Carolina.

Who is your favourite author, and why?

This question for a librarian is like asking a parent to publicly name their favourite child! For every genre, I have at least two or three authors whom I read often. However, I would have to say two of my favourites are authors whom I was fortunate enough to meet years ago. They both are incredibly lovely people: Jody Feldman, author of The Gollywhopper Games trilogy, and Bruce Hale, who writes picture books. We are planning an author visit in Autumn with Mr Hale!

Expand about Mrs Stephanie Rous

 

Where are you from, and what do you teach? 

Born and bred in the UK. I teach English as an Additional Language (EAL).

What degree did you study and where; where did you do your teacher training? 

I did a BA in Politics and Philosophy at Lancaster University many moons ago. I first started teaching English in Bangkok in 2004; I did my post-graduate teaching diploma in Newcastle four-and-a-bit years later. 

As EAL Director (as of August 2020) what do you consider your role to be?

The first role of any Director is to ensure the teachers within the department have the training, resources and support needed to provide excellent teaching. I also act as a link between the school's Senior Management teams and department staff. These are just two responsibilities among a thousand other things! In the coming 12 months, the EAL department is planning to further push and promote exceptional use of English in both the Junior and Senior departments. One of the school's key missions is to ensure students can think, learn and communicate in English. The role of the EAL department is to support all students and teachers throughout the year groups and departments in achieving this goal.  

What are the specific challenges and support methods for EAL learning at Shrewsbury? 
 
One key challenge is to help students and teachers become more aware of how English works. Developing a sound working knowledge, awareness and appreciation of grammar, syntax and structure is an ongoing project for the department. This is not only built into our teaching materials, but also forms the basis of the professional development we deliver to colleagues. 

What do you admire most about education at Shrewsbury? 

I mentioned it earlier, but the sense of community and family is solid at the Shrewsbury, Riverside, and it plays a big part in its appeal. Also, one of the first things I noticed when I started here was that teachers are genuine experts in their respective fields. The students respond to this with respect and curiosity: I think ‘expertise’ is a vital part of the school’s approach to schooling.

What is your own teaching philosophy? 

Everything we ask students to write is intentional, purposeful and public. My teaching philosophy is geared towards students being aware of this and taking the necessary steps to ensure that they communicate effectively, and with a little style! This can’t be done unless the students have confidence in you, so building rapport and trust with students often takes precedence over lesson aims and deadlines. 

What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher? 

When students achieve success in their exams, that is a really tangible outcome and I really enjoy sharing students' joy that their hard work has been rewarded through these formal qualifications. Knowing that you have helped them achieve their goals and seeing them take the next steps, educationally is very rewarding. I’m passionate about language, so whenever students are diligent and purposeful with their writing, I take tremendous pride and appreciation in that too. 

If you weren’t a teacher, what profession would you like to attempt? 

Farming. My summer and Easter holidays were spent on farms in South Wales helping out grandparents and uncles. Activities included, lambing, feeding chickens, hay baling, allotments; generally just mucking in (and getting mucky!).

What kinds of things do you not like to do? 

I hate running: but I love sport. Marking coursework is a burden, but helping students to improve is rewarding. Oh! Doing the dishes is a chore!

What is something you cannot live without? 

A good pen. In a world full of touch screens and keyboards, nothing beats the feeling of a quality pen on paper. That and food.

Who is your inspiration? 

Personally, my daughter. Wanting to set a good example to her of how to live your life has really made me stop and think about the things I do and say. Professionally, my first teacher trainer. He was someone who was clearly doing something he loved, and because of that, took great care in the way he did it; something I try to aspire to each day.

Who is your favourite author, and why? 

I go through phases; Orwell, Kurkov and Steinbeck are authors I return to frequently. At the moment I am really enjoying reading Kurt Vonnegut. I suppose what all of these have in common is honesty and an efficiency with words. Hemmingway falls into this category too. 

What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours? 

The two that take up quite a bit of my time (and money!) are sailing and golf. I’m currently trying my hardest to get to a handicap below 16, and stay there, but inability is outweighing effort so far! My brother-in-law first got me into sailing about 12 years ago, and when we moved to Thailand, joining a sailing club was one of the first things we did. 

Where was your most memorable holiday? 

At the end of my second year at university, I travelled around Madagascar for 4 weeks. In terms of sights, sounds, smells and memories, it hasn’t been beaten. It was also the first holiday I took with my then-girlfriend; now, Mrs Pethybridge. 

What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand? 

Nothing - but that’s a good thing! At the interview, we were told Shrewsbury was a great place to work, with a real sense of community and passionate professionals. It is. My wife and I had lived and travelled around Thailand previously, so knew what to expect.

Expand about Mr Phil Pethybridge
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