Nord Anglia Education
St Andrews Bangkok
12 February, 2018

High School: Be the best you can be

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High School: Be the best you can be Four recent events that showcased our Great St Andrews students being the best that they can be, and further discussion of Bangkok’s recent air quality. 212 hs 3

Four recent events that showcased our Great St Andrews students being the best that they can be, and further discussion of Bangkok’s recent air quality.

It’s been a great five days in the High School, beginning with a fantastic St Andrews Presents… Showcase last Wednesday evening. With twelve different pieces, performed mostly by Year 10-13 Drama students, but with a few Key Stage 3 “Special Guests” in our sneak preview of next term’s High School Production of Grease, we saw a huge range of thought-provoking and entertaining Drama. After the two previous St Andrews Presents… Showcases, held at M Theatre, it was very special to be able to host this year’s event in our new Theatre, and there was a lovely atmosphere in the “foyer” before the show, during the Interval and afterwards. It was also a real privilege, at the end of the show, to announce the new name of the theatre, following discussion with students and teachers over the past few months, as The Jo Adamson Theatre.

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After the Grand Opening of The Jo Adamson Theatre on Wednesday, the Sports Hall, now with added bleachers, hosted the STA Invitational Under 15 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament on Saturday. It was a great day of basketball, ending with both the Girls and Boys STA A Teams losing very close, and very exciting, finals against two different basketball academies

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Also on Saturday, two High School bands, pictured below entertaining the crowds at Fun Day, competed in the TISAC Battle of the Bands, with the Diphthongs winning First Prize and Part Time winning Third Prize.

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As the same day as those bands were playing at Fun Day, ten students from St Andrews formed three teams to take part in the VEX robotics competition, hosted at NIST. VEX is a global leader in educational robotics, challenging students to design and build a robot capable of winning a competitive tournament. After months of hard work, perseverance and dedication, all three of our teams qualified for the alliance stages which is a fantastic achievement. One of our teams, Shadow Corruption (made up of Paul, Kaif, Aryan and Poom in Year 9) sailed into first place in the qualifying stage after winning every qualification match – the only Thai team to achieve this along with a team from Kazakhstan (VEXecutioners). This led to the alliance matches, in which Shadow Corruption consistently won match after match to reach the quarter-finals, semi-finals and eventually the final round. In this thrilling ‘best of three’ final, the team devised their final strategy with the team from Kazakhstan and a team from Cambodia – after winning two consecutive matches they were crowned the tournament champions!

This is a fantastic achievement for all of the students who took part, especially as this is the first time St Andrews has entered the competition. For Shadow Corruption, qualifying in first place and winning the final alliance round was particularly impressive as the team were amongst the youngest students taking part in the competition, finishing ahead of many students in older year groups; they were also the only recipients of the Design Award for having the best designed robot and engineering handbook. As the only Thai team in the final winning alliance they truly deserve to be recognised as the best VEX roboteers in Thailand. Mr Matt and Mr Hiren are proud of all the students who took part in the robotics ECA this year and look forward to competing again next year, hopefully with even more teams!

Thank you very much to all those parents who have e-mailed about Bangkok’s Air Quality since last week’s Newsletter.

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As you can see from the graph above, PM2.5 readings at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital on Rama 4 were high on Wednesday and Thursday mornings last week, with the maximum AQI for the week, of 188, being recorded at 7am on Thursday morning.

As I wrote last week, The Thai Government “did not, until recently, report PM2.5 figures”. While these “are still not shown on either their webpage or their app”, they are available hourly from - the source of the above graph - and PM2.5, or any other data, can be converted into AQI figures using this website.

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AQI figures are calculated from the maximum AQI after each of the different pollutants has been converted, with this screenshot from this morning showing that it is still PM2.5 that is the major pollutant in Bangkok. AQIs for cities are calculated in the same way, showing the maximum AQI of any station in the city, so AQI readings for “Bangkok” often reflect the AQI reading for Intarapitak Road in Thon Buri, almost twice as far away from St Andrews as the two sites we monitor.

Following all this monitoring, we then have to make a decision about what to do with this data. We have revisited our Air Quality Policy, discussing this which is shown below and by clicking this link.

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This policy reflects US Government advice to schools, and is closed based on two US Government web pages, linked in the document. As you can see, while we will restrict outdoor free flow play for EYFS students and take more breaks and do less intense activities in PE and ECAs once the AQI goes over 100, we would not cancel all outdoor activities until the figure reached 200. We will, of course, make exceptions for those students with asthma, or other medical conditions, who are more sensitive to air pollution. All High School students, of course, can also choose to spend time at break and lunch in the air-conditioned Shared Areas.

We have now ordered our own air quality measuring equipment, which will allow us to have much more specific data at both the Primary School and the High School and to avoid the reliability issues of The Thai Meteorological Department at Bang Na station in recent weeks. This will also enable us to publish our own data on the school’s website or Moodle, so that parents can be sure that we are all discussing the same data.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Year 11 and 13 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings this week.

Have a great half-term!

Roo Stenning
Head of High School


High School Calendar: Term 2

Tuesday 13th February

Year 11 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Wednesday 14th - Thursday 15th February

Visiting Drama Company Performance/Workshops

Thursday 15th February

Year 13 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Thursday 15th February

Under 13 & Under 15 Athletics Meet: Shrewsbury

Monday 19th - Friday 23rd February


Monday 26th February - 7th March

Tanzania Expedition

Wednesday 28th February - Saturday 3rd March

FOBISIA Drama Festival: Garden International School, KL

Thursday 1st March

Makha Bucha Day - School Closed

Friday 2nd March

INSET - School Closed

Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th March

NAE/NISC MUN: Northbridge International School, Cambodia

Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th March

Martin Cup Swim Meet: Assumption University


The full High School Calendar is available on the school’s website.