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The beauty of 'walkabouts'

22 October 2014

Principal Iain Blaikie is a keen believer in daily contact with his staff and students to measure the atmosphere around school, always being up-to-date with student and staff achievements and generally welcoming exchange.

  • Regents International School Pattaya
  • Regents International School Pattaya
  • Regents International School Pattaya
  • Regents International School Pattaya

My new office up in the tower is a lovely place in which to meet people and it has one of the best views in the school. You can see everything from up here!

That said, it can be a vacuum in which e-mails flow, meetings grind and phones ring, filling up my day with seemingly important activities in the life of a school principal. My instinct is not to become incarcerated in my isolated glass box but to get out there around the extensive school site to inform myself about what is really happening out there.

I love nothing more than to be invited to classrooms and observe presentations or take part in a discussion or activity. There is so much to see and do every day and I like to wander between Early Years, Primary, IB, Secondary, Boarding and wherever else interest may crop up.

En route, I invariably find myself having passing conversations with students of varying ages about all manner of topics from politics to lunch menus as well as meeting with visitors and staff. No two site tours are the same and (the reason why I love my job …) every day is different.

It’s surprising where and what I have learned about Regents simply by meandering and keeping my ears and eyes open. The feel of the place is invariably positive and when I have had a particularly challenging meeting or a tricky situation to resolve, it is unfailingly uplifting to go on a ‘walkabout’, see students and remind myself why we are all here.

I hope that traffic flows the other way, too, and it has been a pleasure to be visited either by more adventurous inquisitive students who drop into my office to say hello and see the view or, as recently, to be shown some impressive work.

I was delighted by a recent visit by Year7 Geographers who showed me their models of world sites and described their geological features. In addition to the subject knowledge, I was impressed by the students’ enthusiasm, good manners, confidence and articulate use of English. It matters greatly to me that success and achievement are celebrated wherever and whenever they occur within and beyond the school. Assemblies full of certificates and accolades are a weekly pleasure, and seeing so much rich and varied activity reflected in our newsletters, on our website and Facebook page is only part of the story.

The fullness of each and every day at Regents created by brilliant staff and the enthusiastic students is quite something to behold and I love being part of it. Do come and visit, share your successes and don’t forget to say Hello if you see me round the place!