‘Save Us, Save Doctors’

One of the owners of our school, Khun Taya Teepsuwan, has initiated a brilliant new project with some friends. ‘Saveเรา Saveหมอ’ (‘Save Us, Save Doctors’) aims to support the doctors and nurses working on the front line of this pandemic. There are various components to their work; all of which will bolster much-needed medical supplies.

The first part of the project has involved hand-making 5000 cloth masks. High demand has left a national shortage of masks. By producing cloth masks for people in the community, more surgical / medical masks can be available for the doctors who need them so crucially. Volunteers have been making and distributing cloth masks to non-medical workers who need them most. For example, motorbike and car taxi drivers, garbage collectors and many more. This production and distribution will continue for as long as there is a shortage of masks.

The second part of the project is an art auction to raise money in support of doctors and nurses. The group behind the project asked 5 famous artists to draw pictures and put them up for auction. So far they have raised 165,000 THB from the auction and have used those funds (in addition to other donations) to buy important medical equipment, such as PPE suits, face shields and N95 masks. These have all been donated to Rama hospital.

The third component to this incredible project has been creating the ‘Hero Bags’.  Many doctors are spending night and day in hospital: eating, sleeping and working tirelessly . The ‘Hero Bags’ offer survival kits for individual use including many necessary items: toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving kits, cutlery, tumblers, pillows, blankets, towels, shampoo and shower gels, sanitizers and energy bars. With many donations already contributed, initially the team plan to create 500 ‘Hero Bags’.

Khun Taya and friends, plus the wonderful volunteers, intend to continue these different projects within the ‘Save Us, Save Doctors’ campaign for as long as we are in this crisis. Now, more than ever, we need to help each other to help this country.

If you would like to donate to the project please see the bank details below.

Exercise is part of our school day… every day!

As part of their global strategy on diet, physical activity and health, the World Health Organisation launched a report last week entitled ‘Physical Activity and Young People’.  In it they say that to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, and cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers:

  • Children and youth aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity every day.
  • Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes provide additional health benefits.
  • Most of the daily physical activity should be aerobic. Vigorous-intensity activities should be incorporated, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 times per week.
  • Exercise and team-based activities are also vital for young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

At Rugby School Thailand our enhanced school day finishes at 5.50pm, meaning we include sport and games-based activities as part of the daily timetable – not simply as an optional extra.  The plethora of different sporting opportunities means every child has the chance to enjoy fitness, honing skills or discovering new talents, while getting active and improving their health. This is one of our many unique, forward-thinking approaches to school life and it feeds into our school ethos: the whole person, the whole point.

A teacher jumping with children in a fitness class at Rugby School Thailand

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.

Rugby School Thailand at the Faldo Series

This weekend some of Rugby School Thailand’s top golf players attended the prestigious Faldo Series in Phuket. The Faldo Series, recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls, gives competitors aged 12 to 21 the opportunity to play WAGR counting events.

The event this weekend, part of the Faldo Series Asia, was held at the beautiful Laguna Golf Club, and saw Asia’s most aspiring young golf talent (some of the best juniors around the world), including Rugby School Thailand’s 5 golf scholars: Son, Nua and In (Under-16 boys category) and Sea and Heewon (Under-14 girls category).

Rugby School Thailand golfers at the Faldo Series, Phuket

The Faldo Series Phuket results

Boys Team Winners – Nua, In, Son 

Under-16 boys champion – Nua 

Overall champion – Nua

Over the three days of the event, all five students represented the school in an exemplary manner and were a credit to Rugby School Thailand.

Congratulations to them all for fantastic performances!

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.

Behind the Scenes… at the Prep boarding house

Behind the scenes with Tim & Fliss Jones, our Prep Boarding House Parents, who tell us why the multi-cultural ‘family’ in Marshall House is so special.

Tell us a bit about what you do?

As House Parents, our role is to provide pastoral support and guidance to the children in their home away from home. Boarding is such a unique environment; the children are away from their own homes, but they become part of a really unique family environment here. They are loved and supported, and develop a deep sense of loyalty, responsibility, kindness and courage, helping them to thrive in other areas of school life, as well as nurturing characteristics to see them into adult life.

How do you create such a warm ‘home from home’ environment?

A lot of it comes from the children themselves. Boys and girls, across all age groups and nationalities, come together as one big family in a very natural way. They genuinely look out for each other, 24 hours a day, every day of the week. We see our children here develop such a strong sense of loyalty towards Marshall House, and it’s a very happy place for them to be.

The sense of community here is something special. We seem to have drawn on the best of the traditional British Prep School model – keeping pupils active and entertained, nurturing individual interests and community spirit– whilst drawing on top qualities from the international system – notably the empathy and understanding that comes from the wonderful mix of different cultures, and the lifelong friendships it fosters. Ask any of the boarders what they love about it here, and friendship will be top of the list.  Marshall House is a unique ‘family’ of friends.

How do you keep everyone entertained and happy?

As well as the in-house team (us, the assistant House Parents, Penny and Steve, and the house matron, Amanda) we have a rota of Prep staff who bring an extensive range of evening activities into the mix. It includes everything from fun sports, to more relaxed or creative options. Some of the more popular activities have been dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, face painting, drama, slime-making, baking, photography and Mr Dawson’s famous Scottish dancing!

On weekends, highlights include going to the beach, catching the latest movie, ten-pin bowling, exploring some of Thailand’s best water parks, trampolining, laser tag, pizza-making, ziplining, rock-climbing, marshmallows around the campfire… the list goes on and on.

How does boarding fit with the school ethos, ‘the whole person, the whole point’?

The ‘whole person, the whole point’ aims to help pupils reach their potential not just academically, but also in sports, music, the arts, drama and equally in the formation of their character, morals and manners. Boarding provides a supportive environment where we actively encourage all of these things; but also where pupils are happy and healthy, allowing them to make the most of all the activities offered to them throughout the long school day. Instead of travelling long distances or sitting in traffic each day, boarding pupils can immerse themselves in all that Rugby School Thailand has to offer. And that’s a lot, right on their doorstep!

A group of children in the boarding house at Rugby School Thailand

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.

 

Rugby School Thailand’s new PJ Tennis Academy

This term we’ve unveiled our brand new tennis courts, along with a world-class coaching programme run by Paradorn Srichaphan (former #1 tennis player in Thailand and #9 world ranking), and Jed Gould (former Australian #1 Junior tennis player, 20 years tennis coaching experience in Australia).

High-quality porous tarmac

Our four new courts are constructed from a traditional hard court surface material, known as the painted porous macadam surface. Our new court surface is constructed from the same material that is used at the Australian Open. Favoured as a middle ground, it allows for faster play than clay courts, but remains slightly slower than grass, and is often described as offering a true bounce. The court is designed to lower impact on the joints and lower limbs, making it ideal for well-paced tennis matches and training.


Spectacular floodlit courts

RST’s courts feature a state-of-the-art innovative lighting system, powered with a high stability output. Our LED floodlit courts offer players high efficiency and high power from precise lighting and directional aim. Featuring a built-in anti-glare system, players are able to play and train undisturbed throughout the evening.

Professional tennis academy

Paradorn and Jed will oversee our new coaching programme – within what is known as the ‘PJ Tennis Academy’ – and will pay regular visits to RST. Every coach working for the academy will be of international standard. We currently have Igor Trachenko here, who has been coaching directly for Paradorn Srichaphan at his International Tennis Academy in Hua Hin. Igor is working with pupils from aged 3 years up to elite level.

Expert coaching, from award-winning tennis players

Khun Varunya Wongteanchai (Yuyii)

Rugby School Thailand is proud to announce that we offer world-class coaching from one of Thailand’s top tennis players – Khun Varunya Wongteanchai (Yuyii). Khun Yuyii boasts a record of awards from her time playing in various tournaments. Dedicated to the sport, she strives for success and teaches extraordinary tennis skills that will last a lifetime. For a glimpse into her success, see the below list.

  • Winner Women’s Single under 18 Thailand King Cup 2011
  • Winner Women’s Single Thailand King Cup 2012
  • Winner Women’s Doubles $10,000 Indonesia 2014
  • Winner Women’s Single Singha tatp tour Impact tennis academy 2014
  • Winner Women’s Doubles $10,000 at Ramagardent Hotel 2014
  • Winner Women’s Doubles $15,000 at True Arena Huahin 2017​
  • Winner Women’s Doubles $15,000 at the lawn tennis association of Thailand 2017
  • Winner Women’s Doubles $25,000 Pune, India 2017​

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Igor Trachenko

Igor Trachenko has been coaching for Paradorn Srichaphan in Hua Hin at the Paradorn International Tennis Academy. He works with students aged 3 years to elite level. He is Russian, and also speaks English fluently and a little Thai. He has completed a degree is sports science, majoring in sports management. His tennis profile is as follows:

  • National Top 10 player in Russia as a junior player
  • Top 20 ranked Russian junior Under 18.
  • Thai National junior ranking top 10 in Under 14 and Under 16.
  • Winner of 80 competitions/tournaments
  • Champion of Siberia and Far East juniors and seniors
  • 8 years coaching experience in Russia and Thailand”

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