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

OTHER SHREWSBURY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS ASIA

Bangkok City Campus

+66 2 203 1222

982 Rim Klong Samsen Road (Rama 9), Bang Kapi, Huai Kwang, Bangkok 10310. Thailand 

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

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Principal's Blog - Riverside Reflections

Riverside Reflections: Giving, Gaining

 

"Golf is a Good Walk Spoiled" - Mark Twain

I am not a natural golfer.  With a frame more suited to colliding with other people or projecting missiles at pace, I am an uncomfortable sight on the tee.  There are tall golfers, Ernie Els known as ‘the big easy’, played with style and grace and of course, Tiger Woods is over six feet tall.  Sadly though, I make my way around the course finding areas hitherto unexplored vacillating between the sublime and the ridiculous.  But does it matter?

On Sunday, I played the first round of golf since back surgery in December 2018.  The titanium stayed in place, and I was accompanied by a colleague and two Shrewsbury students. The journeys we took to and around Suwan Golf and Country Club were different, the outcome broadly the same.  An experience that we all enjoyed and can reflect on with some pride.  We were all playing in the Riverside Charity Golf day and by simply being there were contributing to the 70,000 Baht raised on the day.

Charity takes many forms.  Financial donations matter and we were touched last week when a group of parents at the golf event came together and gave the school a further gift of 15,000 Baht, embodying all that is well at Shrewsbury - making a contribution to others who are less fortunate.  This week in school we will provide gifts for charities across Bangkok and have purchased Christmas cards designed beautifully by our students.

However, we also know that perhaps the most valuable thing we can offer is time.  This gift is why Habitat for Humanity, A4D and Operation Smile and other projects are coming to the fore at Shrewsbury.  The opportunity to build a house for another, to educate a diabetic in healthy eating, and even the chance to learn how to support families with children born with cleft lips or palates.

The beauty of charity is also the beauty of sport.  There is no right or wrong.  Cash donation and putting from off the edge of the green, or time offered and hitting a four-iron off every tee.  The point is that it doesn’t matter how you get there, it just matters that you do.

On Sunday, over 60 people gathered to give of themselves.  Time and money were offered for those who need it, and into the bargain, we had great fun and proved to ourselves once again that we aren’t going to earn a living from golf and crucially that this does not matter!

Riverside Reflections: A few of my favourite things

 

In recent weeks I’ve started writing again.  Writing to express a view, writing in reaction, and writing for enjoyment.  I’ve missed it.  So, in the weeks to come I will be writing more.  Welcome to the Riverside Reflections.

This week I write following a wonderful weekend in Hua Hin with our admin staff.  The term ‘admin’ does not do this particular group of people justice.  They are the blood that keeps this body alive, the spine that keeps us straight, the lungs that allow us to breathe.  We exercised all of those elements with team building games culminating in an ‘egg drop’ challenge.  Senior managers working with couriers, Principals working with PAs, marketing executives working with housekeepers.  The bond that draws us together is Shrewsbury.  A school, a collection of buildings but most importantly a community.

For years I worked in boarding schools in the UK, building and enjoying community.  The theory goes that if you live together, the closeness brings a bond that becomes unbreakable.  But this slightly misses the point, proximity is not the key reason for community.  In our case, our community is built on pride.  Long serving staff working in varied roles in support of the teaching that goes on, and in turn teaching us what loyalty and pride in our great school really look like.  The ‘admin’ weekend is one of my favourite Shrewsbury things.

A more recent addition to the Shrewsbury community is Floreat.  This too is now a favourite.  The opportunity to take a break every Friday with high achievers is too good to be passed up, and most pleasingly the achievements are often outside the usual classisfications.  Tidying toys, overt and consistent kindness, and being the first to finish Gold IA are just some of the examples of our students flourishing and being great examples to others.  They’ve enjoyed meeting me (I think?) but have certainly enjoyed the incredible cakes provided by our developing catering team.  More pride taken and more learning has meant more doughnuts consumed in support of precious human contact celebrating all that is good in life.  Long may this continue.