Prep School Sustainable Development Murals

As a school we’re passionate about sustainability, which is why the Prep School pupils were so excited to paint the UN’s ‘17 sustainable development goals‘ as murals around the Veraphan Building. Each mural, designed and painted by the children here, beautifully encapsulates the goal with creativity and colou.

1. End Poverty

2. Stop Hunger

3. Good Health & Wellbeing

4. Quality Education

5. Gender Equality

6. Clean Water & Sanitation

7. Affordable & Clean Energy

8. Decent Work & Economic Growth

9. Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure

10. Reduced Inequalities

11. Sustainable Cities & Communities

12. Responsible Production & Consumption

13. Climate Action

14. Life Below Water

15. Life On Land

16. Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions

17. Partnerships For The Goals

Guiding children through the coronavirus

The new coronavirus pandemic has inflicted a global health concern that young minds will be aware of, but perhaps not fully understand. There is a growing concern for the impact the pandemic will be having on mental health, with increased levels of anxiety in both parents and children.

Here are some ways you can help protect your children in every way:

Good health and hygiene

Regular handwashing should be de rigueur in every household at the moment, as this is understood to be the best way to keep germs away. Self-care, including handwashing, is something we teach our pupils as soon as they join in Pre-Nursery, so hopefully many children already understand the importance of this. A great video to help them learn a fun but thorough technique is here.

This is also a key time to keep vitamin-rich fruit and vegetables part of every meal and offer additional supplements to boost your child’s immune system. Make it a fun experience by reading books about how food helps our bodies (Usborne “lift the flap” books are particularly engaging), getting them to help you cook nutritious family meals, or seeing if you can create a rainbow on the plate together by including many colourful fruit and vegetables.

Give them accessible facts

Children will be aware of something going on, especially if school closes as a precautionary measure. Be honest, with simple facts about the virus that allow them to understand what it is. No fuss, no emotion, no drama, just the basic concept of the virus and what we can all do to keep ourselves and our loved ones well-protected. A great video you can show them is here.

Practice mindfulness and relaxation together

If you’re feeling anxious about the uncertainties of the virus, which is completely understandable, then your child will be picking up on that. Try practicing some mindfulness or relaxation together. Children often focus well on Cosmic Kids Yoga videos, and the Cosmic Kids YouTube channel also offers mindful sessions too. Another good way to instil mindful thinking is lying with your child, each with a soft toy on your tummy, and watch the toy rise and fall as you count your breaths together. You could even simply listen to calm music or audiotapes together. The key thing is to tune into calm moments with your child(ren) where you cut out the noise and anxiety from the world beyond.

We hope everyone can find positive ways through the uncertainties of these times.

As you guide your child though the coronavirus pandemic, take care of your own mental health too Here is a good article from the BBC that we’ve shared with our staff.

Why choose our Sixth Form?

A child’s Sixth Form experience can really shape their lives. These final years of school are an important stepping-stone into further education and life beyond. Shaping university applications means building a body of experience to demonstrate exceptional aptitude as well as gaining top-class qualifications.  Here are some of the reasons our Sixth Form really stands out:

Academic

We offer a whole host of subjects to be taken as A levels. These exams replicate all aspects of the IB but with greater flexibility, and A levels also allow students to specialize (for example in sciences, or arts). Many universities recognize them as giving a deeper understanding and development in topics taken onto degree level.

Support

Sixth Form years are the foundation years for early career development, so having support and guidance to make the right choices really matters. We tailor support to each individual, allocating personal tutors who offer weekly 1-to-1 sessions to ensure students are looked after academically and pastorally. Tutor groups and class sizes are small, too.

Personal Development

There is so much more to schooling than academic achievement. We want to see our students flourishing as rounded individuals who are ready for the real world – which fits with our school mantra: “the whole person, the whole point”.  In Sixth Form our Community Action Programme means students have dedicated time for weekly charitable service, and they can join the Duke of Edinburgh award as part of this. Our daily co-curricular and sport inclusions also help students develop passions and important core values. These bespoke experiences form the basis of university applications and often reflect specialist routes such as Oxbridge, medicine or engineering.

Preparation For Life

Where school is full of support, the next step may not be. Our Sixth Form students receive insightful career advice and do a practical “Preparing for university” courses, where they learn to cook, budget, understand how to get the most out of university and look for accommodation. Boarding can add another level to this preparation.

University

Our senior teaching staff meet the rigorous Rugby School standards; they have a degree in their subject and many have attended top global universities. The teachers are perfectly placed to help students achieve entry to these sought-after institutions, too. We offer portfolio preparation, university (and Oxbridge specific) application routes, helping with all aspects of the application process to universities around the globe (including in-house IELTS and SAT preparation). Tutors guide students to broaden their horizons, build prospects and take on leadership roles where possible.

To speak to a member of the Sixth Form staff or arrange a private tour, please contact: admissions@rugbyschool.ac.th

The International Art Project

The International Art Project

Mrs Barnes is leading an exciting collaboration between schools around the world to develop teaching and learning in art

The International Art Project is an exciting scheme that has been created by Mrs Barnes, Head of Art for the Prep School. The project involves a group of schools from all over the world, working together on various art tasks and to share good practices. The individual art tasks have started with a focus on the people taking part, their local areas and their countries; and this will expand to learning about the global project partners and exploring where everyone is from. The aim is to make art teaching and learning more relevant, dynamic and inspiring! 

The project, established by our Prep School art department here at Rugby School Thailand, involves partner schools in Greece, Finland, UK, Australia, Germany, Poland and Catalonia, Spain.

The International Art Project collaboration began with a self-portrait task, which has been shared between the schools so all the pupils can get to know each other. Here at RST, the pupils made monochrome pencil portraits in Years 7 and 8, while Years 5 and 6 created symbolic portraits inspired by the work of Frida Kahlo, and Years 3 and 4 were challenged to produce a series of portraits after studying the work of Pablo Picasso (of which some were in the cubist style and others a little more realistic). 

The subsequent tasks have involved creative map making, traditional patterns and costumes, plants and creatures found where all the different children live – and within these themes, there is a focus on improving your own surroundings. 

The work from all the schools involved will be displayed in an end-of-project exhibition to celebrate our achievements! 

To see this exciting global collaboration unfold, take a look at the website: https://sites.google.com/rugbyschool.ac.th/art-in-schools/home

Our eco-efforts on stage

Journey of the Noble Gnarble

This December we’ll be demonstrating our eco efforts on stage with a play unlike anything we’ve done before.

Year 3 and 4 classes will be performing in the “Journey of the Noble Gnarble”, a tale about a tiny little Gnarble with a great big dream: to swim to the top of the ocean and see the sky. His friends tell him that no Gnarble has ever swum that high… so leaving the naysayers behind, the Noble Gnarble follows his passion to explore and begins his journey up.

Not only does “Journey of the Noble Gnarble” cover environmental themes, but our portrayal of it will physically highlight some of the challenges we face in saving our waterways (both in Thailand and beyond), by juxtaposing the vibrant beauty of an underwater world with unsightly single-use plastic. The set for the play is being built uniquely from recycled materials, all thanks to an incredible community effort, with parents donating waste paper and plastics, pupils creating eco-bricks and the D&T department dedicating time to design the whole thing. In essence, the set has been built by the whole Prep School community. The eco-bricks will be re-used or future projects (like building flower beds) once the play is over.

We can’t wait to show you the outcome when the show comes to stage… so put 4th & 6th December in your diary. We look forward to seeing lots of parents there!

Behind the scenes… the staff football team

We’re going behind the scenes with Mark Symmonds, our ‘Year 1 Sharks’ teacher who helps manage the staff football team.

Why do you think having something like this is important?

We have a huge campus and the school is growing all the time, so we don’t cross over with other areas of the school as much as we’d like. The football team brings a group together and allows us to make better connections as individuals, as well as giving better understanding of each other’s personal strengths at school. Many of the staff I’ve employed for the RST Holiday Camp have come off the back of learning their characters when playing for our team.

What’s your role within the staff football team?

Due to my aging bones I have taken a step back from playing and become the manager of the team ensuring we are competitive on the pitch. I have been tasked with communicating with the league on the fixtures, arranging the team for each game and bringing us together at the end of each season to celebrate our successes.

Who do you play against?

We play in a two-division six-a-side league and we are currently in Division One. The teams consist of a range of nationalities. There are some teams from the local area, teams from other local and international schools, as well as teams from Russia and other parts of the world.

Are the matches just a bit of fun, or do you take them quite seriously?

Initially it began as a bit of fun but as we played more we realised that we were able to compete and so it has become a little more serious. We ensure that we give everything we have on the pitch and support one another no matter the result; just as we do with the children in school.

How do you feel after football each week?

Win, lose or draw (and even if we are a little sore) we enjoy getting together after the game to celebrate our success and discuss where we can be better next match. The bonds that we have developed has been a real positive to being part of the team.

What are your future hopes and aspirations for RST’s football team?

Much the same as I say to the children I teach, we all just need to keep improving and aiming a little higher each time. We won promotion in our first season, as well as the Vase, so securing our place in the First Division and then pushing on for more success from there. With the new intake of staff we’re planning to create two teams next academic year, so we can involve more people. I think the aim is to have one more competitive team, and a team for staff who want to keep it more fun.

Marcus Large kicking the ball in a Rugby School Thailand staff football match Friends cheering the Rugby School Thailand staff football team

 

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

Behind the scenes… learning through play in Nursery

We go behind the scenes with Miss Joanna, Head of Nursery, to find out why her working day is all about learning through play!

What is your biggest belief when it comes to EYFS education?

That is a tricky question as there are so many things that spring to mind… I think my biggest belief is that education is about instilling a deep love of learning that affords children the courage to develop their imagination and explore their individuality. Children should be excited by their experiences in school and learning should ultimately be fun for both the learner and the teacher. In their earliest years, I believe this means that children should be given the time and space to explore their individuality by learning through play. This approach allows children to learn how to challenge themselves, problem-solve, share with others, use their own senses, communicate… the list is endless.

Why are these years so vital to development?

There is lots of highly-respected research out there that points to the fact that a solid early years foundation is the key to the future success of a child. It is so vital to get the years from 0-5 right so children have a good base to build upon as they grow through their educational years. Someone once described the importance of early years to me with the analogy of building a house and it has stayed with me ever since. It is like someone choosing to create a really beautiful loft conversion; with all shiny new appliances and lovely decoration. Without a solid foundation for the house itself, this shiny new loft conversion would soon come tumbling down. Early years education can be seen in much the same way; you get the foundations right, you give children every opportunity to have a great future ahead of them.

Why is it important for kids to get messy?

Messy play is not just about having fun, it teaches children to explore and challenge a wide range of senses at one time. I often say that the messier the uniform at the end of the day, the more of a sign it is that the child has had a successful and rich learning experience. On top of this, messy play is a great way to get young children to confidently communicate as they share their thoughts and ideas around how certain materials feel, smell and look. I will often look at the messy tray in my own class and see a large group, playing happily together, smiling, laughing and talking while they explore an open-ended activity as a group. Messy play can be calming as well; repetitively exploring the look and feel of slime, for example, can be quite meditative. Getting messy is just great, I cannot advocate for it enough!

What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?

The little smiles on the children’s faces when they see you in the morning. My job is rewarding in so many different ways, but developing those safe and trusting relationships with these vulnerable little beings is definitely the reason why I get up in the mornings! I also love seeing how far they come in the year. I know that’s the same for all teachers of all ages, but there’s something about these little people that come in covered in tears when they first start, growing in confidence and ending the year being able to listen, follow instructions, speak English and share in the fun of life together.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Getting the children from one place to another without any tears! At the start of the year, it is quite honestly like Monty Python’s ‘100 yard dash for people with no sense of direction’. But by the end of the year, they’re walking in a lovely little train from one side of the Pre-Prep to the other all in one line and that’s a huge achievement; and they know it too!

What is unique about education at RST?

What makes our Early Years unit so strong is the emphasis and time we allow for play-based learning. In Pre-Nursery, almost every activity that is on offer is open-ended, and while the stimulus is there to inspire the children, what they choose do with it and how far they decide to take it is entirely up to them. On top of this, the Specialist Teachers that we have make a great contribution to the children’s development. Each child has two PE lessons, a Swimming lesson and a Music lesson in Pre-Nursery and I feel this is pretty special at this age.

How does a typical day in your class embody the RST ethos?

In the Nursery years we teach the children socially, emotionally, physically, culturally and spiritually, as well as academically. Our school mantra is ‘the whole person, the whole point’ and Pre-Nursery embodies this in all that we do. It is not about academic excellence for me at this age, but about instilling children with a real zest for learning; providing them with fun and engaging school experiences that mean they enjoy coming in every day. It is about lighting that spark that makes them want more. If I can achieve this, then it has been a successful year for me!

 

RST Art Exhibition: 25-29 June 2019

You're invited to our

ART EXHIBITION

Open Evening

Tuesday 25th June 2019

from 5pm-7pm

in the Sixth Form Centre

On 25th June, from 5-7pm, we’ll be opening the doors to our very first public Art Exhibition!      Join us for refreshments as you peruse the collective artistic talents of our Prep and Senior students from this year.

The exhibition will remain open from the 25-29th June and will be open daily from 8am-6pm (Weds-Fri) and 10am-1pm (Sat).

Behind the scenes… the staff football team

We’re going behind the scenes with Mark Symmonds, our ‘Year 1 Sharks’ teacher who helps manage the staff football team.

Why do you think having something like this is important?

We have a huge campus and the school is growing all the time, so we don’t cross over with other areas of the school as much as we’d like. The football team brings a group together and allows us to make better connections as individuals, as well as giving better understanding of each other’s personal strengths at school. Many of the staff I’ve employed for the RST Holiday Camp have come off the back of learning their characters when playing for our team.

What’s your role within the staff football team?

Due to my aging bones I have taken a step back from playing and become the manager of the team ensuring we are competitive on the pitch. I have been tasked with communicating with the league on the fixtures, arranging the team for each game and bringing us together at the end of each season to celebrate our successes.

Who do you play against?

We play in a two-division six-a-side league and we are currently in Division One. The teams consist of a range of nationalities. There are some teams from the local area, teams from other local and international schools, as well as teams from Russia and other parts of the world.

Are the matches just a bit of fun, or do you take them quite seriously?

Initially it began as a bit of fun but as we played more we realised that we were able to compete and so it has become a little more serious. We ensure that we give everything we have on the pitch and support one another no matter the result; just as we do with the children in school.

How do you feel after football each week?

Win, lose or draw (and even if we are a little sore) we enjoy getting together after the game to celebrate our success and discuss where we can be better next match. The bonds that we have developed has been a real positive to being part of the team.

What are your future hopes and aspirations for RST’s football team?

Much the same as I say to the children I teach, we all just need to keep improving and aiming a little higher each time. We won promotion in our first season, as well as the Vase, so securing our place in the First Division and then pushing on for more success from there. With the new intake of staff we’re planning to create two teams next academic year, so we can involve more people. I think the aim is to have one more competitive team, and a team for staff who want to keep it more fun.

Marcus Large kicking the ball in a Rugby School Thailand staff football match Friends cheering the Rugby School Thailand staff football team