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Head's Lines: A warm welcome back to school

Mr Paul welcomes everyone to school and looks forward to an exciting year ahead...He outlines some exciting developments at both Primary and High School and provides details on our expansive shuttle bus service to reduce traffic congestion at both sites… Also, be environmentally conscious by making use of the new recycling bins around school.

20818 Head 3

Welcome back to St Andrews International School Bangkok for the start of the new academic year 2018-2019.

I trust everyone has had a really good break and is looking forward to getting back to work and making the most of all the opportunities everyone will have this term. It was great today to see so many happy smiling faces across the two campuses meeting up with old friends and starting to make new friends.

Always at the start of each academic year, there are many new families who are joining our school community. I hope each family quickly settles into our community. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch with either of the School Offices, the Admissions teams, or your child’s class teacher or tutor so we can alleviate any stresses individuals may be feeling. It was great to see and meet so many new families at our first day PTG coffee morning. I hope new families will become active members of our Parent Teacher Group and really enjoy getting involved in our wider school community.

It has been great to welcome all our teachers, teacher assistants and learning support assistants back to school. All the new staff are here and looking forward to this first week where they will meet their classes. I know our school community will support the new staff as they settle into the school routines and lifestyle of living in Bangkok.

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As always, our Estates teams and some external contractors have been working incredibly hard during the long vacation. There has been lots of work across both campuses to improve the learning environment both inside and outside the classroom. I hope you get a chance to come into either campus to see all the great things that have happened.

At our Primary School we have a new soft flooring where the Key Stage 1 playground is situated. Unfortunately, the new playground has been delayed through customs and will be missing for the first week of term. It will hopefully be erected next weekend for everyone to enjoy in week 2. The old play equipment has been renovated and moved to behind the goals on the field with some new features added to make a second play space for our primary children to enjoy.

At the High School the first floor of new classroom spaces is available on the 4th floor of the Blue Building. Our Mathematics Department has already moved into this great new space. The floor below this will be finished before half term for the English Department, while the fifth floor of the Red Building will become our new Arts Department at the start of next half term. Additional science facilities which will also come online at this time. Everyone has the necessary facilities to start Term 1, and it will be great to gradually have even more space as the next two floors are finished during the start of this academic year. Lots of other features have been added and improved in High School such a new flooring to all the outside areas along with additional roofing for some of our covered walkways.

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Car Parking and Traffic

As High School parents and students are aware, there is a Drop Off Area at High School which allows students to quickly and safely disembark from their transport and proceed through the access-protected gates. Should parents wish to park and accompany their children into school, they should take advantage of 2-hour free parking that St Andrews has arranged at Gateway Shopping Mall. Alternatively, the close proximity of our High School campus to the BTS Skytrain stop at Ekkamai really does give our older students an easy and safe way to commute to and from school.

At our Primary School, there is limited parking at the front of our school. Therefore, we have free shuttle buses running frequent routes between Gateway Shopping Mall and Primary School. This makes it very convenient for Primary parents who ride the Skytrain or park at Gateway to use the shuttle bus and avoid the traffic congestion around the Primary School at the start and end of the school day.

Over the long vacation, our school has had ongoing discussions with our local Police Department stemming from the fact that a significant number of parents park in city-designated ‘no parking’ zones on Soi 20 and its sub-sois. This action causes a great deal of traffic congestion and problems for the residents of the local community around our Primary School. The Police have insisted that from the start of this academic year, no parking ordinances will be strictly enforced. If parking is not available in the front of school, parents are strongly recommended to make use of the MaxValu car park where we have negotiated free parking and a regular shuttle bus service to bring parents to and from school.

I respectfully ask Primary parents wishing to bring their children to school in their own vehicles not to park in Soi 20 or remain for extended periods of time with their car engines idling. Please park at MaxValu and come to school to collect your children using the shuttle bus. If we cannot reduce the congestion problems on Soi 20 then we may be instructed by the city to permanently close this gate so that no one will be able to enter or leave the school through this gate.

We will be looking at a range of other alternatives as to how to encourage parents to use the MaxValu parking facilities and possibly have Primary children delivered to parents who are already waiting there in their vehicles. We will be discussing these issues with our PTG and try to find all the best possible solutions to try to reduce the stress of the parking of cars at the beginning and the end of the school day.

20818 Head 11

Recycling

This year our school aims to become a very active recycling centre. Building on the work that was done last year inside and outside of the curriculum, and working with parents and our PTG, we intend to recycle as much of the school’s waste as possible. We have our Zero Waste Ranger in Primary and their video showing everyone how we shall be using the new bins around school facilitating the separation of waste into that which we can recycle and that which we will have to dispose of. This next half term will show us what our school produces and then we can look at how we can cut this down and even widen the amount we can recycle perhaps taking different things from our school community to help us all to recycle more of what we use.

20818 Head 12

I hope everyone has had a very enjoyable start to the new school year and I look forward to seeing you in the next few weeks at the “Meet the Teacher” afternoons.

 

For parents with enquiries about Primary School, please contact officeps@standrews.ac.th">officeps@standrews.ac.th or Tel: +66 2 381-2387-8

For parents with enquiries about High School, please contact officehs@standrews.ac.th">officehs@standrews.ac.th or Tel: +66 2 056-9555