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Key Stage 2: Full STEAM ahead to Meatless Mondays and Trash Thursdays

Sustainability is the name of the game as students in Key Stage 2 at St Andrews International School Bangkok have been learning about many different ways to move towards a sustainable future.

STEAM Week

Last week, St Andrews International School Bangkok Primary School had a STEAM-tastic few days of fun and exploration. The buzz of excitement around the school was immense and I think it’s safe to say that students and teachers alike all had a fantastic start to Term 3.2. Linked to the work of three real MIT professors, our students worked on a range of tasks which challenged them to work creatively, collaboratively and carefully, generating some very innovative ideas - we definitely have some designers of the future in our midst…

The principles of STEAM are embedded into learning in the Foundation Stage where the children follow their interests everyday to try, tests and make all sorts of things. Following the whole school theme the children upcycled old T-shirts into superhero capes and masks which are still favourites in the dressing up box and make the tools needed to be a successful superhero such as shields and swords.

In Year 3, the children researched adaptations of different animals, for example, finding out which ones were good at living in cold conditions and which had amazing eyesight, which could traverse rough or difficult terrain and which could lift heavy objects. Inspired by these super qualities, half of the year group went on to design and make products based upon animal skills for example camouflage shoes, hats which would light the way on a dark night and warm clothing for Arctic winters. The other half of the year group went on to create their own superheroes using an amalgamation of knowledge about different animal traits. They created their models out of modroc.

Year 4 embraced all three professors’ work, combining classes to look at animal adaptation, creating devices based upon animal characteristics, such as wings inspired by peregrine falcons, and thinking about how best to help people and enhance their lives. They produced some wonderful designs, made and refined some good models and then used some of their coding skills to enhance their products further.

In Year 5, the students were given a range of character profiles to work with. These ranged from a blind student leaving home to study who was worried about cooking independently to deaf parents who couldn’t hear their baby cry, to an elderly woman suffering from arthritis who was struggling to care for her dog. The children had to discuss the problems and dangers these people faced, research existing products available to help such people, discuss the pros and cons of each of these and then try and invent their own devices to help.

This week, Year 6 are going to High School to take part in Project Week. Here they will have the opportunity to work on “real-life problems”, generating solutions to help change our world - look out for more details next week.

Last week’s STEAM week was not only a lot of fun, but it enabled our children to not only learn a little more about animal traits, characteristics and adaptations, but also how to work as a team. Discussion, prioritising, compromising, delegating, meeting deadlines are all important skills which are often taken for granted, but through STEAM projects such as these, we hope to embed these 21 century skills to better equip and prepare our students for their future.

Look out for more STEAM projects coming soon…

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Food for Thought

This Friday, 7 June, in the Sports Hall, we will be hosting a fruitful event to launch our ‘Meat Free Mondays’ campaign. This is an initiative started by Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters Mary and Stella in which they are encouraging people to give up meat for one day a week to try and combat some of the environmental effects of the meat industry.

Our Eco Beast Club, who have so far presented this idea to our Primary School SLT and to Mr Walter from Epicure, believe that this is an important initiative that STA should be involved in as part of our steps to becoming a more progressive, eco-friendly school. We will be joining an international movement of schools and individuals who have decided to have a Meat Free Monday.

This will be trialled on Monday 17 June and Monday 24 June, with a view to starting it officially when we return in August. We have been working carefully with our catering company Mr Walter from Epicure who fully support this initiative and have developed an exciting range of delicious vegetarian dishes that are high in nutritional value that we are confident the kids will enjoy.

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The event on Friday will include guest speakers and vendors to help promote nutrition and sustainable agriculture. This will be open to all STA Parents and students.

The event includes special 30 minutes joint-presentations by Eco Beasts, the World Wildlife Fund and nutritionist Cristina Azcarate (owner of Olive Retreat in Hua Hin) during 1:30 p.m./2:30 p.m./3:30 p.m.

We'll also have a small market with the following vendors:

  • Vegan Crush - Selling food and running short workshops to show easy recipes using vegetable proteins.
  • Green Grocer - A new plant based initiative being launched in September by the owners of Icon Siam. We will be the first audience that they will be sharing their plant based cuisine with.
  • Patom - An organic farm that advocates and works with the local community to help them keep their vegetables chemical free and sustainable. They will be selling some of their organic juices, ice creams and baked items.
  • Orgbox - Works with organic farms growing high quality and high nutritional vegetables free from chemical pesticides. They will be selling some of their products and introducing our community to their vegetable box subscriptions that they can deliver to your door every week.
  • Green Vibes - Promoting good high quality organic foods.

Check out this link to a feature on our Instagram page, which includes more details of timings for the event

We hope you can make it!

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Recycling at St Andrews - new initiative

Last Thursday, we held our first ever ‘Trash Thursday’ at school. This is an opportunity for everyone in our community to recycle any old paper or cardboard. As well as paper and card, for our next event, we will also be accepting any old plastic bottles that you have. This will be held on Thursday 20 June. There will be two large bins at the main entrance from the car park. They will be there from first thing in the morning until 11.00 a.m. Each bin will be clearly labelled.

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KS2 Class Swap

We’re getting to that time of year when everyone is starting to think about next academic year. All of the children who are returning for another year at STA in August (Y3-5) will get a chance to meet their new class and new teacher on Tuesday 18th June.

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Important dates for the term

  • Year 6 Leavers Party - Thursday 6 June

  • Primary FOBISIA Games - Monday 10 to Friday 14 June

  • Year 4 Chocolate Factory trips - Monday 3 to Wednesday 5 June

  • Year 3 Expo - Wednesday 11 June

  • KS2 Class Swap morning - Tuesday 18 June

  • Primary Sports Awards - Wednesday 19 June

  • Year 6 Leavers Assembly - Friday 21 June

  • Year 5 Expo - Friday 21 June

  • Primary House Music Competition - Monday 24 June

  • End of term assembly - Wednesday 26th June

  • Last day of term - Wednesday 26 June