The new city-centre campus is being built with an investment of THB 2,600 million (approximately £60m) and complements Shrewsbury International School Bangkok’s riverside campus, which was established in 2003 with the support of Shrewsbury School UK and comprises a primary and secondary school for children aged 3 to 18 years. It is regularly ranked among the best schools in the region and currently has almost 1,700 pupils on roll.
The new campus, called ‘Shrewsbury International School Bangkok - City Campus’, aims to help accommodate the large waiting list of children seeking a place at the primary school at Shrewsbury’s riverside campus and has begun accepting enrolments for the academic year commencing August 2018.
Mr Chali Sophonpanich, Founder of Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, said, “We aim to build Thailand’s best primary school at the new site. It is being purpose-built for young children and raises the bar in primary school education in Thailand. A modern, technologically advanced learning environment, security, and plenty of natural greenery are all designed into the school from inception. And we’re staffing it with some of the best primary school teachers who will leverage Shrewsbury International School Bangkok’s highly acclaimed curriculum and its impeccable 15-year track-record in Thailand.”
He said, “The availability of great schools is a major factor determining the attractiveness of Thailand as a foreign investment destination because the best expatriate managers consider the education of their children to be one of the most important factors when determining where they wish to base themselves and their operations. The quality of the early years of education are key to ensuring that their children perform well in secondary school, at university, and ultimately at becoming capable leaders in all aspects of life. Creating one of the best primary schools in Asia will be an important addition to Thailand’s global competitiveness.”
Mr Stephen Holroyd, Director of Schools for Shrewsbury International in Asia and an educationalist with twelve years’ experience in Thailand as Principal of Shrewsbury’s outstandingly successful riverside campus in Bangkok, said, “Shrewsbury Bangkok’s riverside campus, which offers both primary and secondary education, is attracting a lot of very talented children because of its proven ability to develop well-rounded graduates who are academically and professionally successful and are inculcated with the best human values. Parents seek to place their children at Shrewsbury right from the first years of education and that has created a particularly long waiting list for a place in the early years where we have around 75 places open, annually.”
“In the last three years, we have been compelled to turn away more than 650 well qualified children who were applying for a place in our Junior School at the riverside campus due to the limitation of places. Shrewsbury International School Bangkok - City Campus will help us provide those extra places for deserving children while at the same time giving us an opportunity to build a campus that is specifically designed for children aged 3 to 11 years,” he said.
Children completing their primary school education at the city campus are guaranteed a place at the secondary school in Shrewsbury Bangkok’s riverside campus.
According to Mr Holroyd, “Developing a great school requires continuity in the cadre of teaching staff which is why the Principal of the primary school at our riverside campus, Ms Amanda Dennison, is the new Principal of Shrewsbury’s City Campus.”
“She will ensure that the same values and teaching standards in our riverside campus are embedded into the new city campus from the start. Paramount among her missions is to provide the holistic education that Shrewsbury is famous for, which develops children both academically and emotionally, and to provide contextualised teaching in a collaborative learning environment that prepares children well for university life and the transformed world of the future.”
Ms Dennison has led the Junior School at Shrewsbury Bangkok’s riverside campus as Principal for seven years and, prior to that, was the Principal of a leading primary school in London. The Assistant Principal at Shrewsbury Bangkok’s riverside campus, Ms Sally Weston, succeeds her as the new Junior School Principal.
Ms Dennison said, “Parents want to get their children into Shrewsbury Bangkok at an early age. Ensuring that children are proficient in their mother-tongue is especially important during these early years. In the new city campus, while English is the core language of instruction, we are placing special emphasis on embedding the best possible Thai and Chinese language instruction into our teaching and learning. As a result, all of our students will have outstanding English language skills, while at the same time they will be highly proficient in the Thai language as well as have a strong foundation in the fundamentals of Mandarin Chinese.”
Among the design innovations at the city campus is the arrangement of classrooms into a unique cluster formation that creates a better learning environment by maximising the connectivity of classrooms and children. The classrooms are set within only three floors.
These ‘cluster design’ elements stimulate greater interaction of children with each other across different classes and enable every child to have around 80 other children of similar age to befriend and from among whom to choose and make all-important life-long friendships.
She said that interacting with many peers in a year group also supports the proper social development of children, because children learn a lot from interacting with their peers.
“Recent research on classroom design has shown that children learn better when not confined to a ‘concrete coolbox’. Our classroom complex is designed to connect teaching space with the greenery outdoors through large windows that let in plentiful natural light,” Ms Dennison said.
The classrooms for children aged 3 to 5 years are placed in a separate building and zone which has an extra layer of safety for the youngest learners. These very young children also have their own dining hall and kitchens that are designed to be age-appropriate.
The new city campus has a gross floor area of 25,000 square metres that includes a 520-seat auditorium, a modern library, a recital hall, a dance studio, a gymnastics centre and a dining hall. The school’s 15-rai land area also contains a large physical fitness and swimming pool complex, natural turf playing fields, as well as indoor and outdoor athletics tracks.
Forty of the available places at the new school have already been taken up.
For more details, please see the Shrewsbury International School Bangkok City Campus website.