RST Covid Education Support

Rugby School Thailand (RST) offers a genuine short-term alternative for parents in Thailand whose children, due to COVID restrictions/concerns, are unable to return to or to start their planned UK Independent School Education overseas.

With concerns about returning your child to the UK, your child is welcome to enrol for their upcoming term with us to continue with a less-disruptive education. We offer a solution that not only helps salvage academic learning but also reclaims physical education, co-curricular activities, and social wellbeing.  We are here to help… 


Thailand remains lower than ever on the COVID-19 pandemic charts. As the US/EU and other areas of Asia continue to tackle a pandemic crisis, Thailand is well on the way to recovery with a total of around 3,000 confirmed cases, and few or no new cases daily.

Thailand remains lower than ever on the COVID-19 pandemic charts. As the US/EU and other areas of Asia continue to tackle a pandemic crisis, Thailand is well on the way to recovery with a total of around 3,000 confirmed cases, and few or no new cases daily.

We understand that many people are in a state of flux due to the pandemic. Worried about a second wave of the virus? Not sure how long the UK or US will take to recover from their current state? Can’t get your child back to Australia or NZ? Confused about the changing rules on quarantine?

We’re offering new enrolments the chance to part ways with remote-learning, and take advantage of a limited commitment offer* to enrol at our incredible school for a short-term. Whether you see it as a short term solution or not, we’re here to help you through this difficult time and give your child the education they deserve.


We follow the British curriculum and British private boarding school model, meaning your child can reap the rewards of smaller class sizes and longer days that incorporate sport and co-curricular activities. Academic excellence lies at the heart of Rugby School, but our ‘whole person’ approach encompasses so much more.

  • RST educates across three schools: Pre-Prep School (2 – 6 years old), a Prep School (7 – 12 years olds) and a Senior School (13 –18 year olds)
  • We take boarders from Year 3
  • Our Prep and Senior School day continues until 5.50 pm.
  • Our teachers are largely from top UK Independent Schools
  • We recruit specialist teachers in all subjects from Year 4
  • We maintain high academic standards and expectations
  • We focus upon Sport, Music, Art, Drama, alongside endless Activities
  • We focus upon character development


We follow the British curriculum and British private boarding school model, meaning your child can reap the rewards of smaller class sizes and longer days that incorporate sport and co-curricular activities. Academic excellence lies at the heart of Rugby School, but our ‘whole person’ approach encompasses so much more.


RST Senior School prepares pupils for iGCSE and A Level examinations, and adopts a timetable very much based upon that of Rugby School UK. In the Senior School we continue to drive academic success as student’s begin to refine their key subject interests and prepare for exams. To find out more about our Academics and to view both the IGCSE and A-Level Curriculum with the subject list, click the buttons below.


Remote-Learning results in the loss of physical education which is a vital aspect of developing the whole person. By joining us on an interim term, your child will benefit from taking part in our energising physical education classes. Our physical education and sports classes will help ensure your child receives a daily healthy routine. 

One of the many advantages of joining a short-term with RST is the use of our incredible facilities which continue to grow within our 90-acre school campus. This year’s most notable addition to the campus is our enormous new Webb Ellis Sports Hall, which is due to be complete for the upcoming term starting in September. 

Your child can benefit from accessing all of our school facilities from lake sailing to tennis court sessions!

New Webb-Ellis Sports Centre opens September
Beat remote-learning fatigue with co-curricular activities


We’re offering new enrolments the chance to part ways with remote-learning, and take advantage of a limited commitment offer* to enrol at our incredible school for a short-term. Whether you see it as a short term solution or not, we’re here to help you through this difficult time and give your child the education they deserve.

* Rugby School Thailand’s ‘SHORT-TERM’ offer allows children to join RST for one term without the usual notice, commitment and payments. The special offer, for the first term, is as follows:

1. Standard notice-of-withdrawal period of one term (penalty THB 100,000) does not apply;

2. Acceptance Fee of THB 150,000 waived;

3. Refundable Deposit of THB 100,000 reduced by 75% to THB 25,000.

The overall saving for a child who joins for just one term is THB 325,000.

Additional terms of ‘SHORT-TERM’ offer:

4. September 2020 start only;

5. A Place offered is subject to standard entry assessment (https://www.rugbyschool.ac.th/admissions/policies-and-procedures/)

6. Tuition Fees and Boarding Fees, as applicable, are payable as usual;

7. If you decide to stay for the second term, Acceptance Fee and Deposit become payable.*


Congratulations to our first cohort – The class of 2020

Class of 2020... Congratulations to our first Sixth Form cohort!

Our founding group of Sixth Form have had an exceptionally eventful two years and the resilience and determination they have shown has been, by all measures, remarkable. The progress they have made in the two years they have been with us has been astounding. By way of example, two students who spoke little English when they arrived are securing A’s & A*’s at A-level. To see this cohort of students develop into rounded, confident and mature individuals has been one of the most gratifying times in my career. We are all incredibly proud of what they have achieved. The offers they have gained reflect the hard work they have put in, both academically and in the broader life of the school. The group has demonstrated responsibility to future generations of Sixth Form by setting a culture of determination, leadership, independence and excellence. Importantly, we’ve also had a great deal of fun along the way! The outcomes they will be rewarded with are nothing less than they deserve.

For this cohort, classes were exceptionally small with the average class being around three students. Tutor groups were of a similar size. This meant that we could offer a completely bespoke journey to each student. Any weaknesses in study skills, organisation or motivation were identified quickly and overcome. With the extended school day, we were able to offer a tailored programme that best suited the application criteria for the university and course each student wanted to apply to. For students who required it, there was an abundance of additional support. Students who wanted to pursue film or fashion were able to spend structured time developing portfolios, with service or charitable activities arranged around this. For example, one student arranged a fashion show for their service, which directly added to their university portfolio. Students are able to design their own clubs and activities and lead them for younger children. Students are encouraged to take on leadership roles and display independence, which has led to a proliferation of charitable events and activities.

Excellent achievements from the class of 2020

88% of our UCAS applicants secured an offer from a Russell Group university


Average of 4 university offers per student


Offers from 2 of Australia's top universities


Student applications to 4 continents.


Business & Economics Offers

Our first cohort has proven to be an exceptionally entrepreneurial group. The eight business and economics students applying to university have so far achieved 30 offers between them. Thirteen of these are at Russell Group universities and include London School of Economics (ranked sixth in the world for economics). They have offers for two of the top five Australian universities and the highly prestigious Seoul university.

These offers are no surprise. Aside from the excellent academic results they have achieved, business and economics students have been involved in setting up over fifteen different businesses, raised hundreds of thousands of Baht for charity and conducted practical projects in marketing and human resources. Most have completed work experience, where they have been able to practically demonstrate leadership and independence – traits universities across the world look for.

To demonstrate their commitment, whilst most students are enjoying an extended summer break, our students have decided to undertake an additional academic project. They are currently completing an undergraduate level project in conjunction with the University of Nottingham, Malaysia, on topics such as: ‘The Impact Of Leadership On Business Outcomes’, ‘A Study Mathematically Analysing Option Trading Strategies ’, ‘A Historical Study Of Keynesian Responses To Economic Crises’ and ‘The Impact Of Market Structure On Competition’. Our business and economics students have not only secured offers to great universities but they will be in pole position to excel when they arrive.

Offers for London School of Economics and Seoul University

Our head boy, Sung Eun has secured offers to read economics from the London School of Economics (ranked sixth in the world for this subject) and the highly prestigious Seoul University, amongst others.

Sung Eun won the ‘Best in Thailand’ prize for AS Economics, has a perfect score in all but one maths exam and was highly commended for his music AS. What sets Sung Eun apart is the broad range of activities he was able to discuss in his applications. From setting up the school charity and helping to organise multiple fundraising events, to house sport and the leadership he displayed in organising the student council, Sung Eun was able to demonstrate his all-round ability.

A Bespoke Journey For All

A university place is not an outcome, but a step on the journey. Whilst we are extremely proud of the excellent offers our students have received – and the places they will be securing – we want more for them. We want our students to be ready to make the most of university life when they arrive. We focus on career outcomes, of which university is a part. We place importance on developing character, producing rounded and confident individuals who are able to persevere through challenges. The rigorous academic side of life here is balanced with a variety of activities, from sport to house competitions and charity fundraising, to mention a very few. At Rugby School Thailand, the whole person really is the whole point.

“Our philosophy is to get students into the university that fits them best. Then to make sure they have all the skills needed to excel when they are there.”


"‘University is part of the journey not the destination."
Lee May
Head of Sixth Form

Get ready for University Course

During the course of their time in 6th form our students have undertaken a course to ready them for all aspects of university life. The course included healthy eating, cooking, budgeting, student finance, accommodation and in the final 3 weeks, a course to ready them for the academic challenges they will face.

This academic course is an undergraduate level mini-dissertation where students are learning how to research, plan projects, set research questions, define the scope of a project, academically reference, use spreadsheets and give multimedia presentations. Lectures from Bath university and Nottingham university, Malaysia have supplemented lectures from RST staff. Each student has at least 2 tutorials each week to help them keep on track.

A-Level Preparation Course

Before starting in our Sixth Form we offer our students the opportunity to take an A-level Preparation course. This course is offered to Our D Block students (Year 11) and aims to ready them for selecting their A-level options. Interactive work is provided in all subjects with weekly (or more frequent) catch-up sessions. In addition to helping students feel confident in their A-level choices, and where these could lead them in life after school, the course encourages our students to become more independent learners in readiness for Sixth Form.

Next Year

We are now busy preparing the next cohort and applications will be made to the UK, US, Canada, Thailand, Japan, Australia and mainland Europe.
Each student will have a bespoke pathway and we are excited to be preparing our first medical students. Class sizes remain very low, averaging at about five and the breadth of co-curricular options is even greater.

Reopening Protocols

(based upon OPEC’s “Measures to Support Educational Management during the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak for the Private International Schools”)

Prior to Opening

  • All visitors and members of RST community must complete a Health & Travel Declaration prior to entry
  • All spaces at RST will be arranged in order to ensure social distancing of not less than 1 metre between each individual. Classrooms will have desks/tables suitably separated and pupils will be seated apart during lunch. One-way systems will operate in walkways and there will be separate entrances and exits. Clear signage will be evident around the school.
  • Prior to each day, RST will disinfect all spaces and surfaces, including learning resources and equipment.
  • Any individuals arriving at RST will have their temperature taken.
  • Alcohol-based hand rubs will be available at the school entrance(s), in every classroom, restroom, activity area and in all buildings/spaces around the school.
  • RST will provide all pupils at school with basic information about COVID-19, in particular how to prevent transmission.
  • Child-friendly mataerial and posters re COVID-19 will be placed around the school.
  • Where necessary to ensure 1m social distancing, some classes have been split, with pupils coming in to school on alternate days. And drop-off/pick-up times have been staggered.

During School Day

  • Before leaving home, parents/carers must

    a) check their child’s temperature. If the child displays a temperature on or above 37.5 degree Celsius, he/she must not come to school.

    b) check for signs of respiratory symptoms such as cough, sneezing or runny nose. If any such symptoms, he /she must not come to school.
  • A modified version of our Montri School Bus will operate.

    a) Montri will ensure that its bus monitors and drivers undergo a temperature check before they commence work. They shall not be permitted to work if their body temperature is on or above 37.5 degree Celsius.

    b) A face mask will always be worn by monitors and drivers

    c) Buses will be fully cleaned and sanitised prior to every round-trip
  • Bus monitors will check the temperature of every pupil before he/she boards the bus. Pupils with a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius will not be allowed to travel. All bus pupils must wear a face mask while on board.
  • Anyone entering the school campus will be screened for fever at the entrance. Any individual with a fever of 37.5 degree Celsius or more and/or displaying signs of respiratory symptoms such as cough, sneezing or runny nose, they will not be permitted to enter the school. RST will keep a record.
  • Everyone must wear a face mask while on campus.
  • a) RST will ensure good ventilation and circulation of air in teaching spaces.

    b) All pupils will take shoes off before entering teaching spaces, except those spaces (eg DT, Art) where safety and cleanliness is a factor.
  • At the end of every day, or more often, all areas of the school (eg classrooms, toilets, play areas, dining hall) and all school equipment/resources (eg sports, music, science) will be cleaned and disinfected. Any intimately shared resources (eg music mouthpieces, piano keys, safety glasses, safety gloves) will be cleaned before and after use. Pupils may only bring in their own pencil case with required stationery.
  • RST will ensure that food preparation and food safety are maintained at a high standard. RST will provide safe drinking water dispensers.
  • RST is required to cancel all activities, clubs and extra tutorials. The school day will accordingly finish earlier (see specific information for each section of the school).
  • RST will not hold any meetings or activities that involve ‘a large number of people’.
  • Only sports that do not involve close contact of participants may take place.
  • Teachers will remind students to wash their hands at the end of every lesson or activity. Hand sanitising gel will be present in all teaching spaces, at the school entrance, in restrooms, and in the Dining Hall..
  • Pupils and staff must have their own water bottle.
  • Should a confirmed case of COVID-19 be reported in school, RST will isolate the individual immediately and will notify a public health official for further disease investigation, quarantine and treatment.
  • RST will ensure that individuals are not in an air-conditioning space for more than 2 hours.
  • The decision whether or not to send children to school is at the discretion of parents/carers.

End of School Day

  • RST will ensure that all pupils are picked up immediately at the end of school day. It will not be possible for children to play in the playgrounds. At the end of the school day, Scrummies will be open for takeaway only.
  • An RST COVID-19 committee has been in existence for several weeks. It will continue to evaluate the school’s preventive measures on a daily basis and will report daily to members of the school Executive.

Welcome to our new Director of Aquatics

Rugby School Thailand is pleased to announce the appointment of Sebastian Marko-Varga as our new Director of Aquatics and his wife, Ida Marko-Varga as one of our key Swimming Coaches.
Sebastian is currently Head Coach of Swimming Club Poseidon in Lund, Sweden. He has previously been an elite coach in Malmö in Sweden, Stavanger in Norway, and Kastrup in Denmark. He has elite coaching qualifications from both the IOC and Swedish Swimming Federation. Alongside these prestigious accreditations, he has also trained numerous athletes to elite level at competitions such as the World Short Course Championships, European Championships, and the Olympic Games. He has additionally been a national level coach in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
His wife, Ida, is a four-time Olympian, having represented Sweden at Athens, Beijing, London, and Rio, and prior to COVID-19, was preparing for the Tokyo Olympics too. Her specialist strokes are freestyle and butterfly! 

Sebastian and Ida are excited about the move to Rugby School Thailand and will be accompanied by their two children, Vincent and Evelyn, who will join our Pre-Prep.

Our new swimming coaches will be continuing on with the great work Craig Wood had done as Director of Aquatics with us for so many years. We are very excited to welcome them to our Rugby family and look forward to the incredible guidance they will offer.

"Coaching and swimming has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have been a part of every step there is in a club. "

When asked about his coaching career, Sebastian said:

“I started out my coaching career in the learn to swim programs and today nearly 18 years later I have worked my way up as the Head Coach of Swimming Club Poseidon in Lund, Sweden. My biggest inspiration and source of information has been the journey with my wife as a professional swimmer and her four consecutive Olympic Games. The challenges and the success on the way has been both inspiring and educational. I know what it takes because I have lived 24/7 with a world class swimmer for over 13 years.

My Scandinavian coaching experience (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) and my Hungarian heritage has given me even more proof of the concept: “All roads lead to Rome”. Despite the cultural differences between the Scandinavian countries and Hungary, swimmers still get great results in the pool. As a coach, I have to do whatever I can to find the right pathway for every individual despite their differences. That’s the real challenge, and what I love about coaching. It’s dynamik…”

Sebastian Marko-Varga
Director of Aquatics
  • Swim Teacher , age group 5-8 years of age – 2001-2003
  • Swim Coach, Group E, D, and C (SK Ran, Malmö Sweden) – 2004-2006
  • Swim Coach, Group B , Junior Elite Group (Sk Ran, Malmö Sweden) – 2006-2008
  • Swim Coach, Group B (Age group) “KVIK”, Kastrup, Denmark – 2008-2009
  • Assistant coach, Group A (Junior-Senior), “KVIK” Kastrup, Denmark – 2008-2009
  • Head Coach, Stavanger Swimming Club, Stavanger, Norway – 2009-2012
  • Assistant Head Coach, KVIK Kastrup, Denmark – 2012-2013
  • Elite Coach, KVIK Kastrup, Denmark – 2014-2017
  • Head Coach Swimming club Poseidon Lund, Sweden – 2017-2020
Ida Marko-Varga
Swimming Coach
  • 4-time Olympic Finalist; Athens 2004 Olympics, Beijing 2008 Olympics, London 2012 Olympics, Rio De Janeiro 2016 Olympics
  • Youngest swimmer in Swedish history (13 years) to win a Swedish senior swimming championship, 1998 in Sundsvall.
  • Been part of the Swedish Senior Swimming Team for over 18 years.
  • Multiple medals at the European and World Championships
  • Trained Mental Trainer Practitioner. Within the last term to become a licensed Mental Trainer.
  • Youth and Junior Coach the last 10 years

King Rama IX commemoration day 2019

Today, we commemorate the passing of the late King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej, known as the King Rama IX, he reigned Thailand since 9 June 1946 until his death on 13 October 2016, making him the longest-reigning monarch ever in Thailand’s history.

We held a special occasion and meaningful moment at our school last week in remembrance of Thailand’s beloved King. Pre-Prep assembly started with the Royal anthem, followed by a beautiful video and PDF presentation that focused on a great man’s lifetime and how he had lived and worked for his people.

We held a special occasion and meaningful moment at our school last week in remembrance of Thailand’s beloved King. Prep assembly started with the Royal anthem, followed by a beautiful video and the below PDF presentation that focused on a great man’s lifetime and how he had lived and worked for his people.

Year 8 pupils then shared their respectful perspective to the King, which was followed by our Headmaster’s speech, to honour the late king to our all of our pupils. Mr. Nigel Westlake stated that the King’s way of life was very much an identification of what our school motto’s meaning truly resembles, and that he was a perfect example for what ‘the whole person, whole point‘ truly means.
Lastly, all pupils sang together for a beautiful rendition of ‘Kings in fairy tales‘. View the video below to gain a sense of this emotional song and witness how the story unfolds through the video.
The King Rama IX left an important message for the Thai people, which was to not remember who he was, but more importantly remember what he did. We encourage our Rugby School Thailand pupils to follow the king’s steps by being a good person and doing honest, helpful and kind things. 
King Rama IX, Bhumibol Adulyadej remains forever in our hearts here at Rugby School Thailand, and we pay our most profound respects on this remembrance anniversary 2019, from the board of directors, management, and staff of Rugby School Thailand.

5 Benefits to boarding

Our aim in the boarding houses at Rugby School Thailand is to create a  happy place where children feel relaxed and supported, but there are also many other benefits to a positive boarding experience. Here are our top 5:

Expert pastoral guidance

In the homely environment of our boarding houses our House Parents and House Deans ensure good guidance to their boarders. This stretches from developing core values and supporting any personal issues a child might be experiencing, to strict rules on mobile and screen usage, to help children build interpersonal skills and discover new hobbies.

Less time commuting, more time engaging

Everyone knows commuter hour is busy, particularly in cities like Bangkok where the journey to and from school can take up many precious hours of the day. The boarders at Rugby School Thailand cut out the commute and instead enjoy a short walk along green pathways to get to class. This means they have more time to engage – with friends, in lessons, during free play, with new hobbies.

“Boarding is such a unique environment; the children are away from their own homes, but they become part of a ‘family of friends’”

Tim Jones, House Parent for Marshall House

Friendships for life

The friendships made in our boarding houses are incredibly strong. There is a sense of family community that comes from living together, caring for and supporting each other, and enjoying free-time together. Some of the deepest-rooted friendships develop amongst boarders.

A sense of independence

From the first boarding years through Prep, to the last ones in Sixth Form, we build a sense of independence in children that helps them through life. For example, children make their own bed and are encouraged to help with laundry, or with loading the dishwasher after snacks. This all contributes to our boarders leaving school with a mature attitude and prepared for the demands of university.

Incredible facilities in the ‘back garden’

The facilities at Rugby School Thailand become part of your home environment. This means playing fields are a back garden for boarders, and swimming in the school pools, exploring the nature trails around the grounds, and camping in the Outdoor Education Centre are regular activities. Life on campus is dynamic and inspiring, but we also take boarders to a whole host of exciting local place on weekend excursions.

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“My favourite thing about boarding is the bonds we can make with friends”

Nina (Year 7)

“The house staff get on really well, they are good friends, and it makes the house feel like a big family”

Milly (E Block)

“The food is delicious”

Mischa (Year 8)

“You don’t have to get up early, which is good because we have more time to sleep and more time to do work”

Tim (LXX)

The Louise Ball Prize for Creative Writing

Portrait of Louise Ball

At Prep Speech Day today our Senior School Head, Alan Ball, presented a new award in the Prep school: The Louise Ball Prize for Creative Writing. This new prize has been created in honour of Alan’s late wife, Louise, who passed away suddenly at the beginning of this academic year, a tragic loss for all who knew her, and especially for us in the Rugby School Thailand community.

In one short year at RST Louise made a lasting impact on the school. While teaching English to Prep pupils, she was also realising her dream job as the school’s Founding Librarian. To “be with books” (in Alan’s words) gave her complete joy, and fostering a passion for books and reading in children came naturally to her.

Her own childhood was spent on a dairy farm with limited Television, so books were her escapism and reading sparked a light in her. Just two weeks before she passed, Louise was thrilled to be able to spend a day in a book fair in Bangkok, choosing books for our libraries.

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every

syllable that is spelled out is a spark”

Victor Hugo

Louise wanted the Pre-Prep library to be a bright, homely, comfortable, and relaxing space for our youngest readers, so she was hard at work knitting cushion covers for cushions she planned to scatter around the floor. This project is being completed by some of Alan’s work colleagues back in Australia, and by Louise’s colleagues here at RST.

When the ‘Louise Library’ was unveiled in October 2018, the absence of its founder was profound. But in the same way that the library holds her hallmark, we see the Louise Ball Prize for Creative Writing as a fitting legacy, recognising the young writers of RST who are bringing words to the world and continuing to spark joy.

A huge congratulations to Ira Tantsyura for winning the inaugural Louise Ball Prize for Creative Writing.

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“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”

Maya Angelou (one of Louise’s most-loved authors)

A public announcement

Dear staff, parents and students of Rugby School Thailand.

On 10th of July 2019, my husband, Nataphol Teepsuwan, received the Royal endorsement from His Majesty the King Maha Vajralongkorn to became Thailand’s Minister of Education. The Teepsuwan family is humbled and forever grateful for the Royal appointment and the trust from the Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O Cha. However, to avoid conflict of interest as Nataphol is the top policy maker in the Education portfolio, I have to resign from the position of Chief Executive Officer, School license holder and Governor of Rugby School Thailand – effective immediately. We apologise for the short notice as the appointment to this honourable and prestigious position cannot be predicted.

Education has always been our passion. We are fortunate to be have been able to create a unique private education institution to enhance the development of children in so many ways. This new path of Nataphol will lead to greater education improvement for the country as a whole which is even more critical. The experience that we have had in the RST project (many thanks to all of you) will surely contribute towards the development of education in Thai society.  Whilst the RST dream is not yet complete, our priority must be the greater good of Thailand. We have to acknowledge and accept the consequences.

Our aim is naturally to ensure that this change has as little impact upon Rugby School Thailand, particularly its children, as possible. The day-to-day running of the school’s administration will accordingly continue to be led by our Executive Committee, our COO, our CFO, and our General Manager; all educational matters will continue to be addressed by our experienced Heads and their senior management teams; we will continue to benefit from the advice and guidance of Rugby School UK; and RST’s Governing body will continue to focus upon the key strategic and financial decisions. In other words: ‘business as usual’.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board of Governors for all your kind support, along with a great working relationship, throughout the time. I know that Rugby School is in very good hands and that the school will continue to develop and thrive in the terms and years to come.

Sincerely Yours,

Taya Teepsuwan

In response to Khun Taya’s announcement, we would like to add that on behalf of all the management, staff and students of Rugby School Thailand. We offer our sincere gratitude for all that you have built and contributed towards establishing a truly unique international school, and for all of your dedicated hard work in leading the plans to bring together a magnificent school combined with talented staff that will continue to operate and provide an education like no other. We wish you the best of luck, and send our blessings with you on your next steps.

When you’re green, you’re growing

A boy jumping at sports day, Rugby School Thailand A canoe on the lake at Rugby School Thailand

By virtue of our lush emerald surroundings, we are constantly reminded to think green. While our pupils enjoy activities outside and the nature around them, we ask them in return to take responsibility for this environment. In doing so they can not only enhance the world around them, but reap personal rewards, broadening their outlook in life and developing good values.

We firmly believe that ‘when you’re green, you’re growing’ and make this attitude part of the educational experience at Rugby School Thailand. With the city smog of Bangkok some 140km away we feel truly grateful for our green surroundings and fresh country air – but it’s a close reminder of increasingly alarming environmental issues.

Runners getting ready at Rugby School Thailand's largest lake (aerial shot) Students learning about growing produce at Rugby School Thailand

The news on global warming, pollution and animal extinctions can be overwhelming, but our actions as individuals can make a difference. “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” (Margaret Mead). We all have choices, we need to change our behaviours and make the right ones to meet the UN Global Goals for Sustainability. Because there is no Plan(et) B.

At an Eco Beasts Action Day attended by a select group of RST pupils, a speaker pointed out that ‘children are 20% of the population, but 100% of our future’. This is why Mrs Dawson has recruited a passionate Eco Club within the school. These pupils make an excellent body of green ambassadors for their peers, developing initiatives such as poster campaigns promoting energy saving and waste reduction.  They have had fun doing recycling craft projects such as making bags out of old t shirts, decorations from rolled newspapers and planters from plastic bottles.

A teacher with students learning about green energy at Rugby School Thailand Pupils learning about kinetic energy at Rugby School Thailand

As a school, we have recycling bins throughout the campus. Our on-site café, Scrummy, offers discounts to anyone using their own cups. Staff and pupils are encouraged to use their own water bottles, rather than paper cups by the water dispensers, and paper shopping bags are available in the school shop to minimise the use of plastics at all. These initiatives help remind people within RST to reduce, reuse, recycle.

As the campus here develops, we do our best to be sustainable; planting trees, growing produce, preserving areas for wildlife and adding ecosystems with our school lakes. We are also working with BANPU INFINERGY to install solar panels across the campus, and these already produce almost 30% of our energy (a figure set to increase substantially). Project week this year focused on power and renewable energy, which we were able to demonstrate live in action. We are constantly reminding pupils to be environmentally conscious – the hope being that this attitude becomes second nature and that every child leaves RST with an innate sense of duty towards the world.

A solar powered tuktuk at Rugby School Thailand A solar powered tuktuk at Rugby School Thailand

As motivational speaker Denis Waitley says, “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” So, we are accepting responsibility and doing our best to counter some of human assault on the world. We may only be a few caring people, but we’re here to change the world.


Being Human: Pastoral Care at RST

“A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone”. So says Matt Haig, author of ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’ which confronts the reality of rising rates of stress and anxiety in our technological era.

As a school we have pastoral responsibilities to keep our children happy. We offer them a positive, nurturing environment to learn, while also aiming to give them the tools to adapt to the challenges posed by the changing world around them. Educational philosopher, Guy Claxton, looks at the way many schools purport to “(prepare) their students for a ‘lifetime of change’”, but how the difficulty is to “prevent these fine words slipping back into a concern with improving examination performance”. Academic excellence will always be a key focus for us, but the development of wider interests, character and core values is equally vital. The emphasis on developing the human in such a fast-paced technological world is a fundamental part of our pastoral care here at Rugby School Thailand.

With a prevailing era of wellbeing, the benefits of self-care and mindfulness within organisations have become widely recognised. Wellness (in its holistic sense), promotes happiness, which enriches performance. It is deep in our DNA to devote time to physical health (after all, our roots lie in the very school that invented the game rugby), but we also whole-heartedly believe in the power of emotional health. The Rugby school motto is ‘the whole person, the whole point’, and our holistic approach to education underpins this. Much of the learning here happens far beyond the classroom walls, with activities that nurture mind, body and spirit, across the 80-acres of countryside we have at our disposal.

Studies have shown that simply exposing children to nature can reduce stress by as much as 28%, while also improving mood and cognitive performance. Nature distracts from civilized life and allows the mind to ‘be’ in an age of connectivity where there is little time for that. Our daily sports programme, sailing lakes and a unique Outdoor Education Centre (where children can learn the likes of archery and bushcraft), mean exposure to nature is part of life here.

Nature aside, one of the reasons we dedicate a large portion of our timetable to co-curricular activities and sport is for children to indulge their curiosity and discover new things that make them tick. It gives every child a chance to excel in a fun and social environment, and ignites passion for continual learning.

Dr Nick Bayliss notes the extraordinary benefits of simple social activities, such as community action. He says it “elevate(s) ones happiness, physical health, self-respect and sense of being able to make a difference”. The simple act of doing good for (and with) others, is actually doing good for yourself. Our pupils experience this self-service regularly through our Community Action Programme (CAP), which this year has seen RST senior students working alongside the Wat Koh school in Rayong to host a charity Fun Run that raised money for lunches and sports facilities that need additional funding at Wat Koh. The feel-good factor at the event was palpable.

So while technology has advanced even within the space of this article, and the world remains forever unpredictable, our hope is to provide a steadfast space at RST where pupils are happy and healthy. Somewhere that never loses sight of the human, and the importance of the whole self. Somewhere to learn the art of adaptability, so whatever this fast and nervous planet throws at them, our children are more than able to cope.

Holiday Camp at Rugby School Thailand

Children jumping in a sports day race