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020919 hl 1

Head’s Lines: Aspiring for excellence

 An overview of the many certifications and accreditations St Andrews International School Bangkok has received over the years… Continuing our battle to reduce traffic and congestion on Soi 20.

Thank you to everyone who attended the ‘Meet the Teacher’ sessions at both the Primary and High School. There was a very positive atmosphere at all of these meetings with lots of beneficial information being given out to the parents and guardians of our new and returning students.

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This week, I want to touch on a few of the actions the school has taken over the years to be able to offer the broadest and highest quality education. Back in 2005, I started our push to have the school full international accreditation by an overseas education specialist organisation. Having this accreditation provided us with a positive, critical friend, from whom we could seek advice on the best way for the school to develop its curriculum and management. The specialist international agency we chose was, at that time, called the World Education Services (WES). They were an educational company that undertook the accreditation of International Schools using British standards of school operations and management. We achieved our first full international accreditation in 2007. This silver level award meant we were operating very successfully, but still provided ideas for further development.

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WES, a relatively small organisation, was then taken over by one of the largest education training and inspection organisations in the UK- CfBT. This organisation later changed its name to The Education Development Trust. They have inspected our school for the last six years through a very rigorous self-assessment, monitoring and evaluation cycle, which is repeated every three years. During an accreditation, a team of education experts visits the school, spending a week reviewing the self-assessment report that the school produces against their strict criteria. Observing the practise in classrooms, play and sports grounds and offices of the school allows them to make informed judgements to reach a final decision. For the last six years, in all areas of the accreditation inspection, the team stated that our school was outstanding. 

Alongside the international accreditation, a new inspection was created by the British Ministry of Education for British International schools called the British Schools Overseas Award. We were very keen to invite a team of experts to visit our school to review our practice against British standards. As a school, we strongly believe in striving to improve, and we do not rest on our laurels. Instead, we always try to develop, to be reflective and aim to create the best learning environment for each child. Therefore, we also undertook this inspection to ensure our standards of learning and assessment were equivalent to what one would find in a British independent school based in England.  

In 2012, St Andrews International School was the first school in Thailand to be awarded the prestigious British Schools Overseas Award at the outstanding level. We were again judged to be outstanding in 2018.  

This accreditation self-review cycle has also been undertaken jointly with the Thai assessment body- ONESQA. On each inspection, have had a team of their inspectors in school during each of our full accreditation visits. This means we have also been fully accredited by ONESQA and the Ministry of Education in Thailand.

Over the 16 years that many of my senior management team and I have been together at the school, we have been proud to have been externally accredited, placing us on par with British schools around the globe. Our school has had to go through a series of rigorous inspection programmes to attain this approval to deliver each of the high-quality British courses we currently offer.

We are an examination centre for the Cambridge International and Edexcel Examination Boards. Recently, we have extended this further by becoming an AQA examination centre. This means that we can offer an even wider choice of external IGCSE and GCSE examination courses taken at the start of Year 10. The final grades students received being seen by other schools and universities alike as standards of excellence. These courses are examined at the end of Year 11 and marked externally to the school by the examination boards. 

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You will also be aware that we are a fully inclusive school, being non-selective on academic ability. As such, we also offer a range of externally assessed courses for young people who do not thrive in an examination environment. These students require a more project-based approach, focusing on an integrated style of learning on a wide range of world related topics. Our school is a registered centre for ASDAN courses and is also a centre for the delivery of British BTEC courses. Together, these allow students access to vocational and non-classroom based learning and add to the fantastic opportunities young people can study through their final years of High School.

Our school’s senior programme, Years 12 and 13 has the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) as its academic backbone. This is the best, highly academic pre-university education programme in the world. We are fully authorised to be able to offer this programme. This approval was gained following a two-year authorisation process. Following this, our school has had to undertake a comprehensive five-year review by the IB organisation of all aspects of our school running the Diploma. This includes ensuring that all teachers are fully trained to teach their specialist IB subjects, having to regularly attend the IB training and being fully up to date with all their individual IB course requirements.

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Another fantastic opportunity for our older school community is that our school is a recognised Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs) Centre. This means our school holds these pre-university tests on site so anyone in our school community or from other schools in Bangkok can register and sit these tests under the strict examinations conditions they require. In addition to SATs, we are also authorised by Cambridge Assessment to offer our students university entrance exams for specialised courses, including the BMAT and STEP exams. Both of these opportunities help our students with their applications to universities in Thailand and around the world.

No Parking in Soi 20

Again I really must insist that parents and especially drivers refrain from parking in Soi 20. Several residents in this area are understandably fed up with the inconveniences caused by a few members of our community parking across there driveways, restricting access to their properties. There are lots of signs and cones which clearly indicate that there is no parking, so please adhere to these prohibitions. If we cannot maintain this area as a no-parking zone, the police and the local authorities may permanently remove access to the school through the gates on Soi 20. This would be a considerable inconvenience to our whole community, based on the actions of a few.

Thank you for your help with this important issue.

School Calendar 2019/2020

The updated school calendar for the 2019-2020 is available here.

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.