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High School: “We are safe, healthy and balanced.”

It’s February, and time for another new monthly theme...

Air Quality Update

As you know, we have been carefully monitoring the air quality at the High School, especially given the high AQI figures since the beginning of this term.

Last Wednesday, even though the AQI did not reach the 200 threshold for moving all activities inside, we cancelled all outdoor PE and swimming lessons and football and basketball at break and lunchtime. As I said at the recent PTG Meeting, we make these decisions based on our live data from the AirVisual Pros that we have around the High School, and the readings last Wednesday morning were not improving after the morning rush-hour as they usually do.

Early on Wednesday afternoon we heard officially that, due to the very high PM 2.5 levels, the Ministry of Education had closed all schools in Bangkok for Thursday and Friday. This also meant that we had to make the difficult decision to postpone this year's Fun Day, which was due to take place on Saturday. As Paul has written in his Head’s Lines, we will be working with the PTG to explore the possibilities of re-arranging this later this term.

As I wrote last week, while most of the High School was away on Residentials we replaced the 3M Filtrete™ Electrostatic Air Conditioner Filters in our air conditioning units all over the High School. These ensure that even when the air quality is poor outside, the air quality in our classrooms, where the students spend the vast majority of their day, is much better.

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As you can see from the images above, this morning, when our Atrium AirVisual Pro was showing the outside air quality to have an AQI of 108, the AQI in the Shared Area on Floor 3 of the Gold Building, a much bigger space than the classrooms I showed data for in last week’s Newsletter, was below 50, with the graph on the right showing the significant decrease in AQI when we started to turn on air conditioning units this morning, even as the AQI outside was increasing.

While the AQI is currently much lower than it was on Wednesday last week, it is predicted to increase again this week. We have therefore made the decision to postpone the House Athletics events, planned for this week and next week. While it is a real shame to postpone these events, which last year were a real celebration of both athletics and our Great St Andrews Community, the students are much safer and healthier in our air-conditioned and 3M Filtrete™ protected classrooms than spending a whole day outside at the moment.

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“We are safe, healthy and balanced.”

While the poor air quality means that we have had to postpone the House Athletics events, which were planned to link to February’s monthly theme, this is still a very busy week at St Andrews International School Bangkok, with Sex Education workshops for Years 9, 10 and parents today, a Lunar New Year Dragon Dance and Working Title on Wednesday (see the Drama section below for more details) and a range of Tiger Awareness Assemblies and activities taking place on Friday.

This range of activities, even without House Athletics, very much reflects the IB Learner Profile definition of Balanced:

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Roo Stenning
Head of High School

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The school’s full Google Calendars are available on Moodle, accessible via