To express the profound sense of mourning that we all feel from the loss of our beloved Majesty the late King Bhumibol, St Andrews International School Bangkok would like to encourage the entire school community to observe an appropriate dress code in respect to this great man. If possible, we ask that you wear black or dark clothing, or at the very least, tone down the colours of your shirts or dresses for the entire month of October. Students should still come to the school wearing their normal school uniforms. Furthermore, during October we will not be wearing House Colours until the mourning period and the royal cremation is finished.
NAE Senior Leadership Meeting feedback
At the Nord Anglia Education Senior Leadership Conference which I attended over last weekend, there was a lot of discussion about the collaborations thats schools like ours have with centres of excellence around the world. As an international school working alone, it would be very hard to establish strong links to institutions such as Juilliard, MIT and the UN. As a part of the NAE family of 46 international schools in countries around the world, our association with NAE has opened up these links to well-respected global institutions through which we all benefit, especially the students of St Andrews.
Our partnership with Juilliard in particular has led to the stratospheric development of our Music programme, providing us with some fantastic practitioners who have come and worked directly with our staff and children. This relationship will continue to blossom as this year Katherine Anderson, our Juilliard link consultant, will be visiting St Andrews later this month to inspire our future musicians even more.
Next year we will expand our Dance programme, which has already been incorporated into the Primary School, into Key Stage 3. Since connecting our Music programme with Juilliard has been so successful, in September 2018 the Juilliard programme will influence our Dance curriculum by similarly providing visiting experts in the field of creative dance and movement to come and invigorate both our teachers and children. The hope is that students will be eventually equipped with the necessary skills to undertake IGCSE Dance as part of their individualized study programme offered as part of the Year 10 IGCSE programme.
In September 2019 the Juilliard Drama curriculum will be available to schools to support the excellent work that is currently taking place across the school. I know we will enjoy and gain a lot from being involved with another area of performing arts excellence in Juilliard, with our staff looking forward to both the curriculum introduction and the training that will be available alongside this.
Additionally, along the lines of collaborations discussed at Senior Leadership Meeting, the online platform known as the Global Campus is available to all children from Year 4 up across the NAE family of schools. Within this platform, there are lots of discussion forums for young people to express their views and exchange ideas. I know many of our students really enjoy their participation in this. There are also Global Challenges issued to students in each school, either through music or dance performances or through designing something to solve a global problem, that can foster global competitions and cooperation between schools. NAE formed a link last year with the UN and as a result, some of our older students attended the UN Higher Level Political Forum over the summer to hear and work on activities related to the UN’s Global Goals. A lot more work will happen in these UN Global Goals, where it is hoped getting young people from NAE schools across the world involved will really start to make a difference to the challenge of solving these massive issues. The challenge here is to stimulate student-led inquiry based discussions in classes that will lead to creative innovative solutions to two specific Global Goals: Goal 11 which focuses making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and Goal 12 which ensures sustainable consumption and production patterns. Just like last year, participation in this project will lead to a group of high school students selected to represent St Andrews at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City in the Higher Level Political Forum.
Last year we were lucky enough to have both a group of Year 7 students and two of our teachers go to MIT and work on a range of projects looking at how to integrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. This has created a STEM curriculum whereby learning via more open-ended tasks, students will integrate the skills emanating from each of these subject areas into broad creative ideas to solve problems. Last Friday High School students presented a whole range of different projects they had been working on in the Atrium. There were some great ideas, such as an artificial limb that had been created. The support that has been given to our school by MIT through suggested approaches and projects for a whole range of age has really got everyone thinking about how to introduce more of this style of work across the school and what facilities would best to support this style of teaching. We shall be looking to send both more teachers and students to be trained at MIT during the next long vacation.
The last topic of discussion was the expeditions that we can offer thanks to the presence of NAE centres in both Tanzania and Switzerland. For the last three years we have sent a group of High School students to the Tanzania camp. There they have undertaken activities with children from local schools to support their development, while also being able to witness the wonders of wildlife that Africa offers. As yet, we have not been to Les Martinet in Switzerland, which was where the NAE Senior Leadership Conference was also held. Now that I have seen the resources Les Martinet has to offer, it certainly opens the door to our school community for life-changing experiences through outdoor education activities like mountain walking climbing and skiing in an environment which is totally different to Thailand.
All in all, my attendance at the Nord Anglia Education Senior Leadership Conference was a great way to discover more about how our school community can further benefit from being a member of the NAE family of schools.
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