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High School: An opportunity to catch our breath

Updates on our mobile phone “Breathing Space” policy, the Celebration of Simon’s life taking place next week, our annual visit from FCD and High School International Day.

Simon Lawrence

As I wrote before half-term, we are now trialling a mobile phone “Breathing Space” policy, with all students keeping their phones in their lockers between the beginning of Registration, at 7:45, and the end of lessons, at 2:30, each day. During the second half of term we will discuss this with all students, beginning in PSHE on Friday 10th November, with the Student Leadership Team and with parents, working out how we can all best work together to ensure that our students can learn to use ICT appropriately, but not allow this to detract from either our “safe, happy, supportive” environment or our Great St Andrews Community. It was great to see so many students talking to each other at break and lunchtime today...

Just before half-term I e-mailed all High School parents with more information about the celebration of Simon’s life here in Bangkok, which has now been confirmed to be taking place on the evening of Thursday 9th November, beginning at 7pm, at a hotel in central Bangkok.

As we get closer to the event, we now need confirmed numbers to arrange seating and catering. If you plan to attend, please complete this Google Form by the end of this week: https://goo.gl/forms/Ou6O0TmWIAT8njT63. We will then e-mail you details of the location closer to the date.

The second half of Term 1 is always a very busy period in the High School, with our first Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings and the beginning of the Year 9 and Year 11 Option Choices programmes, as well as a number of other events.

Next week we have our third annual visit from FCD, a non-profit organization that provides substance abuse prevention education for schools. Since 1976, they have taught over a million students of all ages.  You can read more about their work on http://fcd.org/

FCD’s mission is to:

  • Encourage and support the non-use of alcohol and other illegal or illicit drugs during the growing years.

  • Empower young people to make healthy, responsible choices regarding alcohol and other drug use

  • Teach students and adults how to recognize the early warning signs of substance abuse and to intervene appropriately

  • Educate students, teachers, and administrators on the physiological and psychological effects of alcohol and other drugs

  • Promote awareness of drug addiction, including alcoholism, as a progressive, chronic, and often fatal disease

  • Provide educational communities with the guidance and training necessary to implement comprehensive, effective approaches to substance abuse prevention

FCD Prevention Specialists are highly trained professionals who have achieved long-term recovery from alcohol or other drug addictions. This unique perspective enhances the credibility of their message and provides students with role models for happy, healthy, drug-free living. This year, FCD will mostly be working with Year 10 students, with each Year 10 Tutor Group having two sessions with one of our visitors, and also spending some time with students in Years 11, 12 and 13, who have worked with FCD in previous years.

Finally, Friday 17th November is High School International Day. As I wrote before half-term, the PTG will be  providing the same great International Food Hall at lunchtime, and we will be working with the school’s  Sustainability Group and the House Leaders to plan the next evolution of International Day.

Last year, groups of students, in Houses, but containing students from Year 7 to Year 13, worked together to explore, and then portray, the eleven What makes a Great St Andrews Community? qualities, with some fantastic logos, mimes and spoken word poems created during the day.

This year, students will spend the morning working in groups in preparation for an International Sustainable Fashion Show taking place in the afternoon, with each of the Houses both creating Sustainable Fashion, using a range of recycled items that they are provided with, and International Fashion, as we challenge the students to really think about what they wear on the day, and how it represents their country/region/culture.

I look forward to seeing you at many of these events taking place in the second half of term.

Roo Stenning

Head of High School


High School Calendar: Term 1

Thursday 2nd November

Year 13 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Monday 6th November

Year 9 Options: Parents’ Information Evening

Monday 6th - Tuesday 7th November

FCD Visit / Workshops with Years 10, 11, 12 and 13

Tuesday 7th November

Year 11 IB Information Evening / Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Thursday 9th November

Celebration of the life of Simon Lawrence

Friday 17th November

High School International Day

Friday 24th November

Year 7, 8 and 9 Grade Reports published

Tuesday 28th November

Year 7 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Thursday 30th November

Year 8 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Tuesday 5th December

Father’s Day: School Closed

Thursday 7th December

Year 9 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Monday 11th December

Constitution Day: School Closed

Friday 15th December

Year 10 and 12 Grade Reports published

Friday 15th December

End of Term 1

The full High School Calendar is available on the school’s website.