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Head’s Lines: From triathlons to battling bands with drama in between… STA has it all

Our young triathletes are in action…Busking week kicks off in Primary School and Battle of the Bands and “Working Title” showcases musical and dramatic talent in High School...Some of our High School Thai students attend their ROTC camp in Kanchanaburi...Find out more about our partnership with Ban Huayraisamakkee and Anuban Mae Fah Luang Schools in Chiang Rai.

With the improvement in the air quality, the Key Stage 1 Trikids fun races really got going last week. It was great to see so many children and their parents getting involved and taking part in the swimming, cycling and running each morning.

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Also last week I really enjoyed watching “Working Title”, a collection of drama and dance pieces put together by the High School students. There was a fantastic level of professionalism and an amazing variety of performance. Congratulations to all who were involved.

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Primary Busking Week

Ms Alice introduced Primary Busking Week at a great assembly and a whole range of teachers performed a wide variety of activities for children to enjoy watching as they came to the assembly. There was a fantastic performance by our Year 5 flautists who had been working with two visiting flute players from the UK, Elisabeth Dooner and Sarah Newbold, who accompanied them during the assembly. It was a great start for this week's Busking week where lots of Primary children have signed up to show off their talents at break time and lunch time. There will be magic shows, singing, dancing and many more performers to watch around the school. By busking, which means performing in public, it is hoped that others will put money into the performers’ hats so they can make a collection for showing off their talents. This money will be collected throughout the week and then donated to the Bangkok Refugee Centre to support their work with families who are fleeing often very dangerous situations in their home countries.

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Battle of the bands

Saturday was the annual TISAC Battle of the Bands. This year the competition was hosted by Brighton College and was the biggest BotB yet with 20 bands from across Bangkok battling it out. St Andrews International School Bangkok was represented by three great bands: The Shoelaces, Triple Che and Part Time. Videos and photographs can be found in the High School Music section.

High School, Student ROTC camp

This week many of our Thai male High School students are attending the ROTC camp which will be held in Kanchanaburi. Since St Andrews International School Bangkok is a fully licensed international school and has held international accreditation now for over 10 years we are able to offer access to the youth Thai military training course which is run for young Thai men from Year 11  through to Year 13. Students take this course over three years through a whole series of meeting and activities, one of which is an annual camp held in Kanchanaburi. Our Thai students are able to fulfil their Thai Military training requirements meaning that they will have completed their national service commitment during the final years of their High School. This is a great opportunity and there are fourteen Year 13 students in their third year attending the five-day military camp, with 29 Year 12 students joining them for their three-day camp later in the week. We wish them the very best for the week and hope that they will receive successful and worthwhile camp training experiences.

Air Quality

Following the government shutdown of all schools in Bangkok, we shall continue to monitor the air quality using our monitors on each campus and alter the activities or access to the outside depending on the pollution levels.

Our school has developed an air quality policy which is based on four colours indicating the level of pollution in the air. The higher the pollution levels mean that we reduce the outside activities of children and staff. These pollution levels are monitored each day and discussed across the school to ensure all activities we undertake fit into our policy so protecting our whole school community.

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Our school has installed air quality or air pollution monitors on both the High School and Primary School campuses. These monitors give us local readings of the air quality levels within our campus. There is one air quality monitor based in the High School that is linked to the Government monitoring system which parents can view through online links.

 

The air quality monitors at each campus are both in the outside environment and in shared areas. This allows us to compare the quality of the air inside our teaching areas with the outside environment. For the last two years all our air-conditioning units which continually circulate and cool the air in our teaching areas have been fitted with additional filtration. This is a specialised 3M filter designed to filter the smallest particles from the air inside the classrooms. This means when the air conditioning is turned on, the air inside our school is filtered and the air quality monitors show it to be much clearer than the outside environment. The specialised filter is changed every 3 months or sooner if required ensuring that the air inside each area is kept clean. This means that once inside the school buildings our school community is working is a clearer healthy environment.

Our school has purchased some additional air purifier machines. These will be placed in different classrooms across the school to see if they further improve the air quality in these spaces. If this test period proves positive then we shall look at installing them across the school so that we have additional facilities in place to ensure that the air inside our buildings is clean and healthy.

Fun Day

It was a great shame that we had to postpone our fun day. We shall be looking with the PTG this week at possible alternative dates we could use where all the rides and games that were booked are free to come to school along with our staff. I like many people have brought raffle tickets and we will discuss how best to move forward with this or refund once we have looked at all the logistics of rescheduling Fun Day.

School Partnership Project

This coming Thursday 14 and Friday 15 February, Ajarn Pat, our School Director, and I will visit Ban Huayraisamakkee and Anuban Mae Fah Luang Schools in Chiang Rai for our School Partnership Project. Our school has joined a government-led initiative to improve the education in Thai schools. St Andrews International School Bangkok will partner with Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage and will seek to help improve the quality of education offered at Anuban Mae Fah Luang and Ban Huayraisamakkee Schools which are located in the area of Doi Tung Development Project in Chiang Rai. Following the school visit at STA made by the educational visitors from Chiang Rai  on 8 October 2018, Ajarn Pat made an initial visit on 17 - 18 December 2018 to Anuban Mae Fah Luang School in Chiang Rai to observe its learning environments and to discuss further the collaboration and a plan for supporting the professional development of Thai teachers of the schools in the Doi Tung area. Recently on 1- 2 February Ajarn Pat and Kroo Kitty provided a workshop on Project Based Learning to Thai teachers of these Thai schools.

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Parking

The new car parking facility at Suk71 by Soi 24 near our school is available for our parents to park in the morning and afternoon. One of our security guards will be present at Suk71 to assist vehicles with parking.

There is also parking available at MaxValu on Soi 71 with a shuttle bus service to Primary School both in the mornings and at the close of the school day. 

Please do not park in any of the streets around Soi 20. We have had discussions with the police who will be touring these areas in the mornings and after school and will wheel clamp any cars that are parked illegally in this zone. At the moment, drop off on Soi 20 is still allowed but the police have advised the school that the time parents and children are taking to leave their cars has caused serious congestion and they will review this drop off again with the school to see whether it should remain open.

Idling of Car Engines

The school has had several meetings with the Vadhana District office about parents leaving their cars idling in the car park and surrounding areas to the school. At the end of last term their environmental officers came to school and they will continue to monitor the idling car engine problem this term. There are now signs around our school car park giving information about the law as well as about the pollution caused by idling car engines and the sanctions that can be imposed. The District Environmental Officers will review the problem and, working with the school, could fine individuals who leave their cars idling in the school car park or surrounding area.

Furthermore, with the recent decrease in the air quality in Bangkok, we all need to do our part not to contribute to this ongoing situation by leaving car engines idling wastefully while awaiting our kids either before or after-school. 

If you have drivers, please also make them aware that cars should not be idling in the car park.

Residential Trips this term

Year 6 had their residential trip to Rayong last week and a fantastic time was had by all. Residential trips are a challenging but very exciting experience for all involved. Lots of preparation goes into each residential trip to make them really memorable and successful experiences for all our Primary children. Year 3 will have their residential at iCamp from 13 to 15 February and Year 5 will head to Kaeng Krachan from 25 February to 1 March 2019.

School Calendar 2019-2020

The school calendar showing our term dates and holidays throughout the year is available on the school website at this link.

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

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