29 June 2018
Dear Ascot Family,
180 school days have passed and we are at the end of another academic year, as always this is a time to reflect on the past and think about our day, week and year. This is important for us if we are to grow personally, professionally and academically. With the constant distraction of social media, it seems that we are busier than ever and we don’t have time to sit back and take stock of where we have been and where we are going, but we must find some quiet time, away from the noise of the world. This is what I am doing now.
The year started smoothly as always and within minutes of the school opening, back in August, the students were all on task, teaching and learning was in full swing. There were a few tears in the Early Years building as our youngest children dealt with separation from parents for the first time, Year 1 students settled into the primary school, Year 7 students unravelled the complexity of their new timetables and our Year 11 and 13 students realised that this was a big year for them; IGCSE and IB DP examinations and deadlines were looming.
During the first term we welcomed a new group of parents to the school and had a very successful induction day. Open days began in order to inform the wider community about our school; we began to showcase more of our events on social media and stepped up our marketing campaigns.
With the arrival of Ms Patterson and the support of Ms Erica Da Silva, the school entered numerous dance, drama and musical events. These have been a big success and have added an extra dimension to the life of the school. Cultural events continued and improved in format with Wai Kru, Loy Krathong and Chinese New Year to name a few. As we improve the celebration of our community’s diversity we have flags representing the countries of origin of our student body on display and the parent body organised an impressive and enjoyable International Day.
Throughout the year, day trips, residentials, performances and sporting events continued and hardly a week went by without a major internal or external event to organise. The calendar for next year is just as full.
We were visited by two external organisations in the first term, the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and the Council of International Schools (CIS), both of these organisations are responsible for ensuring the quality of teaching and learning, health and safety and management of the school meets international standards. The IBO confirmed that we are ready to proceed with authorisation of our Primary Year Programme (PYP) and we will be visited by them again in Term 1. CIS also confirmed that we have met their rigorous standards and will be visiting us again in 2019. The feedback from both of these organisations included praise for the school community; engaged and supportive parents, eager and respectful students, committed and well qualified teachers, and a reliable and hardworking support staff.
Schools cannot be successful unless they listen and are responsive to the community. We understand that we have a responsibility to provide the academic and pastoral needs of all our children. This is a complicated and difficult task but is made easier if we communicate with each other. We have increased the number of presentations and opportunities for parents to come into school and see what we are doing and why we are doing it. We have increased the number of presentations and communications in Thai, Line groups have been established in the Early and Primary Years and we have started the organising a Parent Support Group. The school leadership team is always available to meet and answer any questions and offer explanations.
This brings me back to my initial point regarding reflection and improvement, we are trying hard to improve communication, we ask that all parents join us too; seek clarification and advice as soon as it is needed. This will improve the experience for all members of the community, but especially that of our students.
The school is quiet today as we prepare for our summer cleaning and maintenance, but on Monday the Summer Learning Adventure Camp begins and once again the classrooms and playground will echo with the laughter and chatter of children.
I thank you for all your support this year and I wish you a very safe and relaxing summer and look forward to seeing you all again on Monday, 27th August .
Mr. Gary Booth
18 December 2017
Dear Ascot Family,
As we draw to the end of the first term and the holidays are approaching, I would like to thank all members of the community for their role in the success of our school .
This term we have had two very important visits by external organisations tasked with overseeing high standards in education. The first, in October, was part of our International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) accreditation process. The school is already a candidate school for the PYP. The visiting consultant was very impressed with the preparations and the way the school had embraced the PYP philosophy and approach to education. The school will be ready for the accreditation visit in 2019. The second visit was by the Council of International Schools (CIS); they were in school for 3 days and talked to students , teachers, TAs, alumni, administrative staff, parents and the board of governors. The school was praised for its inclusive family atmosphere, the commitment to improvement, the high quality of teaching and learning and the cooperation of all parts of the school community. The school is already CIS accredited and the team gave us the go ahead to proceed with the next round of re-accreditation which takes place every 5 years.
Having visitors in school conforming that we are doing the right thing and focussing on the essential business of teaching and learning was a huge boost for all at this busy time of the year. Everyday I stand at the front gate and walk around the school, I know that we are a successful school; students come to school smiling, engage in all their lessons, exploring and improving every day. Ascot is a happy, successful and improving school.
Recent parent presentations have highlighted the commitment to improvement by the school owners, these include:
– Completion of the primary library
– Building a new performance space
– Providing a design and technology suite
– Opening of Ascot International School in Kobe, Japan
Details of the presentation have been shared with all via SMS and class Line groups.
The confidence in the school and its programmes has led to school expansion overseas, with the opening of Ascot International School Kobe Japan, which will foster the family atmosphere and individual care for which we are renowned in Thailand. This provides excellent opportunities for close links between Thailand and Japan for all of the Ascot family. Ascot International School Japan will also apply to become an IB World School.
This term has been busy and all the extra curricular activities have been successful ; field trips, book week, cultural activities such as Loy Krathong and Wai Kru day, sporting fixtures, academic and musical competitions, and our first Winter Fair. This is only possible with the dedicated team of academic and administrative staff plus the resilience of our students and the support of our parent body.
The message behind this letter is improvement, and this can only take place if we reflect and are honest with ourselves. What are our motives? Do we think only of ourselves and our personal benefit or do we look at the big picture? To make changes we must begin locally, first looking at ourselves and our immediate group. Over the holiday period I hope you get some spare moments to reflect, take some time for yourself and think about how you can make improve things for yourself and make the world a better place.
I would like to thank you all and wish you all the very best for the holidays and a prosperous and peaceful New Year.
With Best Wishes,
Mr. Gary Booth
25 August 2017
I would like to extend a warm welcome to everybody at the start of the new academic year, and an extra special welcome to all our new students, parents and teachers. I look forward to getting to know you and seeing you thrive at our school.
We have more than 70 new students joining us this year and we are eager to see them nice and early on Monday, 28th August at 7:30am.
The new teachers joining us this year are:
Back row standing from left: Kru Game (Thai), Ms. Kiera Stillwell (Nursery), Ms. Joleen Manning (Year 4) , Ms. Mara Yan (Mandarin)
Seated from left: Ms. Shana Patterson (Music), Kru Namfon (Thai) Mr. Peter Lynch (EAL and English), Kru Ped (Thai), Ms. Natalie Jay (Year 5), Kru Su (Thai) , Ms. Rebekka Clarke (KG)
The new team arrived at school for the orientation programme on the 15th August, and are settled into school and Bangkok life, and I am sure they are eager to meet all the students.
The school campus has been a hive of activity since the end of term, first with the very successful Summer Learning Adventure Camp and then with the various maintenance and building projects. Playground areas have been renovated with new surfaces and shades, a new coat of paint has been applied to the outside walls, classrooms have been extended and the first phase of the new library is complete. Probably the most noticeable development is the new Futsal Court which will be ready after the school year begins, this will allow us to play sports under shade, host more competitions, as well as provide covered parking for vehicles.
All of our EY and PY teachers returned on the 16th of August for training provided by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) in order for them to prepare for the Primary Years Programme (PYP) accreditation process. The course was intense, informative and very useful; at Ascot we support the continuing professional development of our teachers.
Over the summer break I have talked to many families who are interested in joining our school and I emphasised that in addition to our rigorous curriculum and progressive teaching and learning, we also offer a caring, supportive community for all our students. This has been the Ascot way for many years and we are fully committed to taking care of your children’s academic and pastoral needs.
During meetings with parents last term we explained our new after school process; the procedure for EY children remains the same, but for KS1 and KS2 students that do not do ECAs, they will wait to be collected by parents under supervision by the gate. The coffee shop, basketball court and play areas will be out of bounds. Secondary students who are not involved in enrichment programmes between 3:00pm and 4:00pm will be expected to be picked up by parents soon after 3:00pm. This is to allow us to improve the security arrangements and ensure the safety of all our students.
There are many presentations and workshops planned for the upcoming year. I would like to encourage all parents to attend these in order to stay informed and up to date on all developments and plans. We want you to be an active part of our community and to understand all of our academic programmes. Parental support is a crucial element of student success, without it your child will struggle to realise their potential.
I look forward to the year ahead and sharing the journey of learning with your children, your family and the whole of the team at Ascot.
Mr. Gary Booth
22 June 2017
Dear Ascot Family,
At the end of another successful school year I would like to thank everybody for their support and involvement in all our school activities.
From the first day of term until the last day, our teachers and staff have been committed to providing a world class education for our students, one that will give them a great start wherever they go and whatever they do. Our mission is our guide to all we do:
At Ascot students develop according to their needs in an attractive, family environment.The challenging curriculum enables our students to become adaptable lifelong learners in an increasingly changing world. Our intercultural ethos promotes respect for all within the community.
Schools are very complicated organisations made up of many teams of skilled professionals, all working towards the education of young people. As long as we are supported by the administration team, parents, caterers, maintenance staff, TAs, maids and nannies , we can be successful. This is why I like the the keywords that we have chosen for our school: Communicate, Collaborate and Respect. These are are absolutely necessary for the success of any organisation.
As always at the end of the year we say goodbye to students and teachers, the Ascot Family sends our best wishes for the future:
In Early Years
Ms. Cecilia Kok is heading to the USA to start a new life there. I would like to thank her for all her patience and effort with our youngest children in the Nursery class.
Ms. Godfrey is also leaving us and will be heading back to the UK to be close to family and friends, her input into the EY school and especially the Kindergarten class has been very much appreciated.
Ms. McKenzie is going on maternity leave for one term and we are all excited to have another family member and look forward to seeing her new baby, we wish the McKenzie family all the best during this very special time.
In the Primary School
Ms. Yell is heading to the Middle East after spending 3 years with us, she has been a huge help as teacher of year 1 and year 5 classes, and has dramatically improved the level of reading and writing across the whole of the primary school in her role as literacy coordinator.
In the Secondary School
Mr. Case and his family are heading back to England to be closer to family. Mr. Case has also been with us for 3 years and has been a very valuable head of EAL who was worked tirelessly to ensure that students improve their English and can find success in the mainstream classes.
The specialist teachers
Mr. Bryer is leaving us after 10 years at Ascot and has been a successful and enthusiastic teacher of music to our EY and PY students, and recently has set up an impressive primary school choir.
Ms. Amber has been with us for over a year and is moving to another school in Bangkok to pursue her role as a Mandarin teacher.
We are also saying goodbye to Kru Fah from the Thai department who has been with us for 4 years.
New teachers joining us next year
Kiera Stillwell will be our new Nursery Teacher
Shana Patterson will be our new Music Teacher for PY and SY
Joleen Manning is our new Yr 4 teacher
Natalie Jay is our new Yr 5 teacher
Peter Lynch is our new English teacher and head of EAL in the secondary school
Kru Namphet as a Thai teacher
Kru Thanathip as a Thai teacher
Ms. Mara Feixia Yan as a Mandarin teacher
During the summer we will be working hard to add more facilities and improve the current ones, two of the biggest projects are the Futsal Court and car park areas, and an exciting new EY library. The library development is the first phase, the second one will include the PY facility. In addition to the above, we will be adding more shade to the EY playground and resurfacing the swings and climbing frame areas.
Next year we will host the CIS (Council of International Schools) visiting team, who will be conducting their 5 year visit in December 2017.
IB PYP (IB Primary Years Programme) training is ongoing and the IB DP (Diploma Programme) has been a big success and we welcome our second intake in August. These internationally recognised and well respected curricula set Ascot apart from many schools and puts us in an elite group of IB World Schools.
At the the end of the day, week, term, month and year as I see our students improve and grow, I am confident that when they become leaders and influential members of society they will continue to work together to make the world a better place for all. I count myself very lucky to be able to work with a team of committed teachers supportive parents, and delightful students.
I hope you all have a safe and relaxing summer, and spend quality time with your children. I have one request, turn off your phones and devices for a while sit in a quiet, green place, daydream and marvel at what a wonderful world we live in.
Mr. Gary Booth