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The Termly Magazine of Bangkok Patana School Bangkok Patana Magazine

Bangkok Patana


Issue 53 Term 1, December 2017



Global Citizenship

Robotic Enrichment Program

Building Our Sense of Community

The Importance of Work Experience TERM 1 – 2017/18

Bangkok Patana School is an IB World School, accredited by CIS and NEASC



Today - 31 Dec 2018



Issue 53, Term 1, December 2017


8 8 10 26 26


Robotic Enrichment Programme ECA Focus Alumni Profile: Kabir Saluja, Class of 1999 Introducing our new Alumni Coordinator



12 14 16 24


Everything Changes When We Read Maintaining Work Life Balance Building Our Sense of Community SEASAC: Behind the Scenes


18 18 The Boy/Girl Carpet Standoff 20 Integrating Global Citizenship into Science 22 The Importance of Work Experience 4

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BSL 2nd term ends before Songkran on April 7th, 2018




f someone had told me five years ago that I would be teaching in a brand new, bespoke Early Years Centre, I would never have believed it. After qualifying as an Early Years Specialist teacher in Leeds almost ten years ago, where even to have grass was considered a luxury, the idea of having a purpose-built setting sounded almost too good to be true. Why is the learning environment so crucial to effective early years practice? Yes, it’s true; good teachers can, and often do, make the most of any learning space. They do this by applying their knowledge of how children learn when considering setting up learning opportunities. However, to have had the privilege to take this knowledge and implement theories about learning into the design of the building, right down to the colour scheme, is a chance many teachers seldom get throughout their career. So what does this mean for our youngest learners? In the Early Years, we refer to the learning space as an ‘Enabling Environment’. This is exactly what our new environment does; it enables our students to develop in all areas of learning; from communication, personal, social and physical development to reading, writing, mathematics, understanding their world and creativity. The larger indoor space has enabled us to create cosy, curriculum-themed spaces where children can learn alongside one another, communicating, making friends and following their own interests. These spaces, alongside a neutral colour scheme, are designed to replicate the home environment where children feel safe and comfortable

643 Lasalle Road (Sukhumvit 105) Bangna, Bangkok 10260, Thailand Tel: +66 (0) 2785 2200 Fax: +66 (0) 2785 2399 Email: reception@patana.ac.th www.patana.ac.th

enough to explore and be independent. Our new outdoor space enables children to have direct access to the natural world, discovering plants, animals and weather, as well as sensory experiences like water play, mud and sand that are otherwise unavailable day to day. Research tells us that children communicate more outdoors than they do inside and that sensory play increases the rate at which neurological pathways are formed in the brain. So, let’s get them outside! Our fabulous kitchens are again part of the ‘homely’ design where children can cook, set the table, explore what a healthy balanced diet looks like and share meals together. The amphitheatre enables children to express themselves, sing, dance, tell stories and perform. The upstairs mezzanine

Editor: Rebecca Meadows Tel: +66 (0) 2785 2200 Email: reme@patana.ac.th Advertisement: Finn Balslev Tel: +66 (0) 2943 7166-8 Email: finn@scandmedia.com

will provide even more space to explore musical instruments and movement as we begin to take learning opportunities there. Our new rest and sleep areas allow children to self-regulate, understanding the importance of other aspects of healthy living – including the need for rest in order to be at our best when we return to our learning. What an absolute pleasure it is to watch our youngest, most inquisitive students, explore and discover in this new ‘Enabling Environment’. The possibilities for our children really are endless and as you read through the articles in this magazine you will see a plethora of exciting enabling environments and wonderful learning opportunities for every one of our Bangkok Patana students. – Sarah Gaughan, Foundation Stage Leader of Learning and Development

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Bangkok Patana Magazine is the termly publication of Bangkok Patana School published three times per year and distributed to 2,000 members of the School community. Reproduction of articles, artwork and illustrations by written permission only. 6

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Finally Reopened

Snapper is not just a restaurant; it is a glimpse of a nation’s obsession. It is Fish ’n’ Chips the way we like them in New Zealand as well as a whole range of yummy seafood and meat dishes with beautiful New Zealand wines to wash it all down. Find us on Sukhumvit Soi 8 Telephone: 02-033-2844 snappernz@snapper-bangkok.com www.snapper-bangkok.com www.facebook.com/SnapperNZ



Leader of Learning, Primary ICT


ou know that you’re doing something right when students are having so much fun in the classroom that they don’t even realise how much they are learning. Whilst teachers refer to this as ‘learning flow’, other people would simply say the students are ‘in the zone’. Learning flow is a common occurrence in the new Robotic Enrichment Programme for Years 1 and 2. The programme involves two classes from each Year group participating in an eight-week robotics course continuing the rotation until every student in Year 1 and 2 have experienced this enrichment. Within the enrichment classes, students learn how to program and operate robots so that they can complete basic obstacle courses and challenges. Our robotic enrichment programme is not primarily about equipping the next generation to work as software engineers, it is about promoting computational and critical thinking. It combines mathematics, logic and algorithms, and teaches a new way of viewing the world. Computational and critical thinking teaches students how to tackle larger problems by breaking them down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems. It’s a skill that is very useful in modern life.

What is Robotics?

Robotics is technology that deals with design, building, programming and operating robots. A robot is a mechanical device that can be programmed to follow a set of instructions. It has a processing unit, motors and mechanics to move limbs or wheels, and sensors to help it interact with its environment. Some robots have the ability to make sounds or speak 8

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whilst others have lights that respond by flashing according to instructions.

Why are Robotics important?

The Robotic Enrichment Programme is one of the first steps that the students take into the world of logic, sequence and programming. The applications of

this approach stretch beyond writing software. Just as languages open up the ability to communicate with worlds of people, programming gives children the ability to create technologies that impact those around them. With just a computer, students can use their programming skills to build things that could change the world.

Bangkok Patana Magazine

What else are they learning?

As well as developing computational and critical thinking, the students develop a number of other very important soft skills. All of the activities promote good communication and require teamwork in order to achieve success. When observing students during the programme it is encouraging to see these skills developing; we are seeing students who are usually shy and quiet, become articulate, problem solving collaborators when engaged in the robotic activities with their classmates. It also helps students learn how to fail (First Attempt In Learning), one of the most important lessons:

“The key to success is failure…success is made of 99 percent failure.” “Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success.” – James Dyson

The Outline of the Program

The Enrichment Programme starts with students using Bee-Bots, which are very

learn is by having fun and being completely engaged in an activity. One of the most popular Enrichment Program activities so far has been the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ challenge where students program the robots to perform a variety of coordinated dance moves. We believe the student feedback speaks for itself.

Student Feedback

“It is fun when we work together and try to finish the quests” – Tilly, Year 1

basic floor robots that can be programmed to move forwards and backwards, left and right. Year 1 and 2 students have been designing simple obstacle courses and then instructing their Bee-Bots, by creating algorithms (sequences of commands), to complete these courses. Once the students have mastered their Bee-Bots, we introduce them to our new state of the art Dash Cleverbots, which really are the kind of robot every kid has dreamt of having – able to sing, dance and talk! One of the best ways for children to

“Robotics is fun because I like the free play when you can make Dash do things!” – Armaan, Year 1 “Dash is very swag! He does what he is told; he follows all the sensible instructions I give him. My mum would like him because he listens!” – Chris, Year 2 “I think Dash is a smart robot because he follows our algorithms. I like to use the GO app the best!” – Tatsha, Year 2 “It’s cool when we give him loads of instructions at once. He works his way through them one at a time. I can’t do that!” – Sean, Year 2

TERM 1 – 2017/18



ECA FOCUS Cindy Adair

Assistant Principal Extra-curricular Activities and Sports

At Bangkok Patana School our Extra-curricular Activities (ECA) programme enriches and enhances the educational experience of our students. For many it is the highlight of their day! The vast array of ECAs are a chance for students to find and develop their passions, meet new friends, take their learning to new heights and contribute to the school, local and global community. Let’s meet some of our students and see how they embrace the ECA programme as a part of their holistic education. Which is your favourite ECA and why? Gymnastics is my favourite because I really like doing the all of the fun skills! How do you think ECAs contribute to your overall education? I enjoy them. How do you choose your ECAs from such a big list? I know what I like to do so I choose one of those. Isabel Horton, Year 4 Which ECAs are you taking this block? I am doing football, gymnastics and cross country.

If you could create an ECA that doesn’t currently exist at Bangkok Patana, what would it be? I would really like a Primary Rock Climbing ECA.

I get to learn magic tricks and later I get to perform them for my little brother and surprise him! How do you think ECAs contribute to your overall education? It’s a good way to have fun whilst learning.

Amaya Fahr, Year 6 Which ECAs are you taking this block? I am taking Knitting for Charity and Curtains Up Magic. Which is your favourite ECA and why? Curtains Up Magic because


Savyansh Srivastava, Year 5 Which ECAs are you taking this block? I play Basketball and am in the Shrek Junior production.

How do you choose your ECAs from such a big list? I choose my ECAs by thinking of timing, teachers, places and what I like.

Which is your favourite ECA and why? I like Minecraft Team Challenge best because we get to build, learn and work as a team.

If you could create an ECA that doesn’t currently exist at Bangkok Patana, what would it be? Roblox (An online multiplayer platform where users design their own games and play a wide variety of different types of games created by the developer or other users)

How do you think ECAs contribute to your overall education? I learn new things. Nathan Lertpisitkul, Year 7 Which ECAs are you taking this block? Under 13 Basketball and Tigers Tennis. Which is your favourite ECA and why? Under 13 Basketball because it is my favourite sport. How do you think ECAs contribute to your overall education?

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How do you choose your ECAs from such a big list? I choose the ECAs that benefit me the most. If you could create an ECA that doesn’t currently exist at Bangkok Patana, what would it be? American football

How do you think ECAs contribute to your overall education? It supplements our education and provides a range of new activities to try. It also gives us a chance to meet people across the Year groups and build relationships.

How do you choose your ECAs from such a big list? I first check what days I am available and then chose the ECAs that interest me. If you could create an ECA that doesn’t currently exist at Bangkok Patana, what would it be? I would create a Cooking ECA.

I think ECAs can give me lots of opportunities for the future.

Catherine Tantapakul, Year 8 Which ECAs are you taking this block? Extended Thai Programme (ETP), Pottery, Acrylic Painting, Chinese, Contemporary Dance and Thai Basic Literacy. Which is your favourite ECA? My favourite is Contemporary Dance.

How do you choose your ECAs from such a big list? I choose based on my interests and background. If you could create an ECA that doesn’t currently exist at Bangkok Patana, what would it be? If I could create an ECA it would be Digital Art because it is something I enjoy and I’d like to develop my skills further.

Bangkok Patana Magazine

enjoyment and education because after a long day of working hard, they provide loads of fun activities to do to bring a happy end to a long day.

Which is your favourite ECA and why? Orchestra is the only ECA I have done since joining the school because I enjoy playing music with other people. How do you think ECAs contribute to your overall education? ECAs allows me to explore new opportunities that may not be part in the curriculum, which broadens my education.

How do you choose your ECAs from such a big list? Throughout the time I have been at Bangkok Patana, I choose the ECAs that will help me with my overall education such as sports and academics as well as ECAs for my own leisure. If you could create an ECA that doesn’t currently exist at Bangkok Patana, what would it be? It would be a Photography in Nature ECA because it would Which is your favourite ECA and be a great way to learn why? about the outside world. As My favourite ECA is Under 13 Softball because it was a great way an environmentally-friendly to get competitive and enjoy playing school, the pictures would show how beautiful the with different teams and players. forests or a green area are. It How do you think ECAs contribute would also show people that we should take care of our to your overall education? surroundings. ECAs are so important to your Aarav Roy Chowdhury, Year 9 Which ECAs are you taking this block? I am doing Pre-Season Football.

ECAs really help me take my mind off any stress about academics and school work. When I am at an ECA, I forget about everything else and just enjoy myself during that time, so when I do have to work, I am really focused and prepared to do it. I think that having that balance really helps with my overall education because I am motivated to work hard at school when I have an ECA coming up in the afternoon.

Clara Boucher, Year 10 Which ECAs are you taking this block? Tigers Tennis, Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and I play for the Varsity Volleyball team. Which is your favourite ECA and why? My favourite ECA is definitely any sporting ECA. I currently do Tigers Tennis which I have been doing for four years. I really enjoy it because tennis is my passion and I find it really amazing that this school offers it to everyone who wants to play. Over the years, I have also made a lot of friends and created bonds with so many people through the Tigers Tennis ECA. How do you think ECAs contribute to your overall education?

How do you choose your ECAs from such a big list? I look at the ECAs that I think that I would enjoy. From then, I see whether I am free during the ECAs time slot. Chawin Asavasaetakul, Year 11 Which ECAs are you taking this block? I am a member of the Orchestra.

If you could create an ECA that doesn’t currently exist at Bangkok Patana, what would it be? I would like a ‘Sleeping and Massaging Stress Relief’ ECA, for people who want to relax after school.

How do you think ECAs contribute to your overall education? PAWS and Operation Smile help me with my communication and organisational skills and guitar helps me with my perseverance.

Tia Indran Vengan, Year 12 Which ECAs are you taking this Block? I play the guitar, and am a member of PAWS and Operation Smile. Which is your favourite ECA and why? I can’t pick one because I enjoy them all!

How do you choose your ECAs from such a big list? I have been doing the same ECAs for a long time because that is simply what I enjoy, but there is so much to offer for everyone that I am sure everyone can find something that interests them. I mainly choose sports because that is what I prefer doing. If you could create an ECA that doesn’t currently exist at Bangkok Patana, what would it be? I think that Bangkok Patana already offers so many different ECAs for different people of varying interests that everyone can find something that they really enjoy. Personally, I don’t need or want any other ECAs not already on offer as everything that I like is already available.

How do you choose your ECAs from such a big list? I usually look over all of them and click on the ones with titles that interest me, then I read the description which helps me to decide if I want to take it or not. If you could create an ECA that doesn’t currently exist at Bangkok Patana, what would it be? A homework help ECA

normal running. There is definitely a strong focus on technique and style. How do you think ECAs contribute to your overall education? They give you an opportunity to broaden existing skills.

Sri Ellen Hollema, Year 13 Which ECAs are you taking this block? Fast Track Athletics, Cross Country and Varsity Girls Volleyball Which is your favourite ECA and why? Fast Track because it allows me develop my running skills further, which isn’t offered in

How do you choose your ECAs from such a big list? I look through the titles and read the descriptions of ones I think are relevant to me and that I might want to do. If you could create an ECA that doesn’t currently exist at Bangkok Patana, what would it be? More athletics ECAs!

TERM 1 – 2017/18




Primary Leader of Excellence in Teaching and Learning


t different stages in our lives, books can mean different things to us. One moment they can open up new horizons; at others, they can be a huge support. Often, we share treasured books with our families and friends but at other times we keep the reading experience to a private pleasure. Whenever we open a new book, it can be with the keen anticipation of embarking on a new, emotional and exciting journey. The big challenge for teachers and parents is not simply getting students to read but getting them to enjoy it too. Two key words that came from a recent reading workshop for parents were ‘inspirational’ and ‘refreshing’. As we asked the parents to think about not teaching their child to read but instead to nurture a deep love of books, which would enable them to sustain a lifelong love of reading. At Bangkok Patana School we are committed to inspiring our students to read more, to encourage them to share their enjoyment of reading with others, and to celebrate the difference reading makes to all of our lives, because everything changes when we read. The aim of the reading workshop was for us to share with parents how school and home can work in harmony to inspire a profound love of reading through the pure enjoyment of books. Parents were asked to commit to four reading values; dedicating time; creating the ideal environment; ensuring you are in the right mind-set; and valuing the read. Inspiration for the workshop came from passionate reader Lisa Bu who talked about how books can open your mind during her TED Talk, and also children’s novelist Michel Rosen who reminded us never to use the ‘pointy finger’ when reading but instead to read lots of stories about chocolate cake and be curious. The children shared their 12

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Mark Verde

Primary Assistant Principal

thoughts about books and the importance of reading with mum or dad whilst Roald Dahl shared his magical ability to immerse children into a world of imagination. The only rule related to ‘reading’ which we felt was important was to READ…READ and READ again. Parents were asked to share three key

words of what reading meant to them; their thoughts were put into a word cloud you can see here. It was great to see how imagination and escape where valued as highly as knowledge and learning. We were grateful for the feedback we received reminding us, as global citizens, to always value a child’s first language by

Bangkok Patana Magazine

celebrating home language texts and speaking in the mother tongue. Recent studies have shown that children who read for pleasure reap the benefits in many areas. Diana Gerald, CEO of the Book Trust says ‘We know that reading for pleasure has a dramatic impact on life outcomes – and this is as much about confidence and well-being as it is about educational achievements. Quite simply, children who read for pleasure are happier, healthier and do better in life than those who don’t.’ The benefits of reading are more likely to be felt when reading takes place through free choice. The outcomes of reading will

occur more often and more strongly if reading is enjoyable. This is why the ‘for pleasure’ element is so important. Reading is not just something that children should do at Bangkok Patana School; but instead, an everyday part of their lives, something they choose to do and enjoy. Research has shown that if children do not enjoy reading when they are young, then they are unlikely to do so when they get older. This is why we are committed at Bangkok Patana School to fostering a deep love of reading in every child in our care. Our parting thoughts at the workshop and now with yourselves are to commit to

making a reading pledge for your child. An example to share was that one of our parents pledged to create the ideal environment and sent us pictures of her reading corner at home. Another parent pledged to dedicate time, by committing to thirty minutes family reading time every Sunday, where each person in the family reads a book and then shares their thoughts about their reading. To entice and inspire the love of reading with your child why not offer them a reading gift. This could be as simple as sharing a story through Skype, sending a postcard to your child to read and put it in a special book, recording a story you have read for your child to listen to or writing down magic moments and placing them in a special bottle that you read together later. We would love to receive your ideas for reading gifts which we could share across our school community. ‘I have myself a library filled with so many books it could burst! When within its walls I am with my immortal, colourful friends who kindly watch me as I relax, shoes off, book in hand in my favourite comfy pod. I recommend these dear friends, Enid Blyton, Jacqueline Wilson, Cressida Cowell and many more, to others. And will you, through my words to adore their stories as much as I do.’ – Mille Welch, Year 5 TERM 1 – 2017/18



MAINTAINING WORK LIFE BALANCE Sakooltipaya (Koko) Lotharukpong (12G)


s 21st century students, our lives are filled with endless activities, ranging from sports and music to service. Throughout this, maintaining a healthy work life balance is imperative to staying stress-free and successful. Having recently experienced the (I)GCSE examination period, I have learnt several lessons about how to balance one’s lifestyle. For many Secondary students, achieving over eight hours of sleep may seem impossible. I thought so too; I sometimes slept under six hours and know of people who consistently slept for only four. However, during my exam period – spurred by Head of Year Mr Hume’s wise mantra of ‘Eat, Sleep, Revise, Repeat’ – I strove to sleep for nine hours every day. This change helped to rejuvenate me daily and increased my concentration tenfold. It had a much more positive long-term impact than skiving sleep to study. I frequently wasted study sessions procrastinating or reviewing information I already knew. From this, I realised it is 14

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important to study smart: to set specific studying times and have a clear, achievable goal for your study period. When I didn’t do so, I would sit down to revise and find that two or three hours later, I had achieved nothing but watched YouTube or scrolled through Instagram. This is something I am still struggling with. Clearly setting aside defined time to study and time to relax, is vital to ensuring you can concentrate. Doing so allows for shorter, more productive studying and, most importantly, frees up time for other activities like sports. Additionally, exercise is key to a wellrounded lifestyle. Personally, I think it is crucial to continue to participate in your activities (whether it be sports, music, or service) even when studying for an exam. Several of my friends believe that doing sports helps them relax, feel more confident in their abilities, and allows them to take a much needed break from studying. I really enjoyed attending my ballet classes and the gymnasium to practice gymnastics. An often overlooked factor of

maintaining work life balance is the importance of setting aside time to spend with your friends and family. They are the people that ensure you are working at a healthy and fruitful pace. Having down time with friends helps to destress and clear my mind. For example, during the Songkran break, I went to the beach with my friend. We set ‘study times’ and studied extensively, but the holiday also allowed me to unwind and reinvigorate myself. That motivation helped carry me through the exams. After a few weeks of IB, I have realised that having work life balance is going to be even more essential. The IB requires much greater time management skills, so we all need to plan carefully to make sure we sleep, study, exercise, keep up with our ECAs, and leave time for friends. I am already bewildered by this first term – I can only imagine what I’ll be feeling in Year 13. Mr Hume’s mantra is great, my personal version of it is now Eat, Sleep, Study, RELAX, and Repeat!


To our superheroes, cowgirls, artists and footballers who make up our Class of 2017, on their IB Results 100% pass rate from a cohort of 114 students (We are not academically selective)

22% achieved 40 points or more out of 45 They achieved an average score of 35 points (The World Average is 30 points)

We wish you all the best as you spread across the globe, to attend top universities and take advantage of the many post-secondary options your excellent results have opened for you. admissions@patana.ac.th www.patana.ac.th Tel: 02 785 2200

Celebrating 60 years of British International Education

Bangkok Patana is a not-for-profit IB world school accredited by CIS and NEASC



Chair of the PTG


or many families, both new and long-term here in Thailand, Bangkok Patana is the one place they share a commonality with other families; a place where they feel they belong, a place where they matter to others and where they feel a true sense of community. This goes beyond the physical environment of school which can provide a place for parents to meet new people, engage in activities and hopefully establish long lasting friendships. As Bangkok Patana parents, we need to take the time to cultivate and foster a place where we all feel a strong sense of community spirit. It is good for us and good for our children. The Parent Teacher Group (PTG) at Bangkok Patana has a definite aspiration to build a greater sense of community spirit within our school environment. Creating this positive sense of community spirit is an ongoing process that never really ends; PTG committees of the past have had the 16

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same aspiration, as will the committees of the future. It is a shared goal with the school and if we work together and make it fun every member of our school community will benefit.

This year’s committee has seen a very positive start to the school year. When parents are involved and enjoying themselves they become high-energy with a positive outlook and have a focus on being inclusive

Bangkok Patana Magazine

- they smile! It is essential that the PTG is representative of the entire school community. Our many cultures and backgrounds, interests, mums, dads and teachers need to have a presence. A diverse committee that represents a diverse community with true mutual respect can accomplish a great deal more on behalf of all members of the school community. Our new families to Bangkok Patana this year received a very special welcome when they arrived, with committee members available on Induction days to offer advice and support. This initial genuine welcome is invaluable in making families quickly feel like they belong to the school community. The Newcomers Morning Tea was a great success introducing the many faces and opportunities available in a friendly setting. There is a second

newcomers event planned to welcome new families at the beginning of Term 2, ensuring that regardless of start date, new families all receive the same welcoming experience. Open, transparent communication is

also helping to establish a stronger sense of community. Word of mouth is a powerful communication tool, as is social media with almost 800 members in the Bangkok Patana PTG Facebook group. There is a regular PTG submission in the weekly Patana News and parents are being asked for input and new ideas. There seems to be a greater interest and involvement in the PTG this year which can only be attributed to the fact that the lines of communication are open and more parents are more aware and are talking about ways in which the PTG can support them, the school and the wider community. In an effort to support parents at Bangkok Patana, several groups and opportunities have been initiated by the PTG committee as a result of suggestions from the wider parent body. The PTG Choir, the PTG Running Club, T’n’T dropin sessions and English lessons for those parents that need help with conversational English have been established. Likeminded parents coming together as strangers to participate in something they enjoy doing and as a result become connected to something. Hopefully we will see the PTG Choir on the Fun Day stage performing in February! The PTG Big Night Out in October sold out, with a record number of parents and teachers thoroughly enjoying this annual event. New friendships were formed and old ones were strengthened. Parents and teachers appreciated the opportunity to talk about topics other than academics and grades in a social environment outside the school grounds. There was definitely a positive sense of community spirit on the night which has in many ways been brought back to school. We all look forward to a bigger and just as fabulous event next year. The traditional African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” is just as relevant within Bangkok Patana today as it has always been. For many families, our school is that village, the community that supports them and supports each other. When the PTG fosters and encourages a greater sense of community spirit it is one of the best possible ways to provide a feeling of belonging for all families which is of course the ultimate goal. Thank you for your support and remember we are all in this together! TERM 1 – 2017/18



THE BOY/ GIRL CARPET STANDOFF Thomas Brooks Year 4 Teacher


t’s first thing in the morning, the children have self-registered and I ask them to find a space on the carpet. My instructions didn’t specifically ask them to sit with their Learning Partners and therefore they position themselves wherever they wanted. Lo and behold, the boys are on one side and the girls on the other. This was an opportunity not to be wasted and coincidentally for my class of Year 4 students, it tied in perfectly with our Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) theme of ‘Celebrating Differences.’ In the days leading up to the lesson, I had made a point of allowing the children to sit where ever they wanted, taking a


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quick photo each time. That day, the children came in after an energetic break-time and found a space to carry out the task that was on the whiteboard. The activity was to complete five sentences, of which the first two are ‘Boys are…’ and ‘Girls are…’. The children worked thoughtfully, keeping their responses hidden before sharing their new fully-formed sentences to the rest of the class. Many of their sentences elicited a light-hearted chuckle from the gathered circle of classmates. The giggles soon turned to intrigue when a more unusual whiteboard of sentences was read out. We discussed the sentences further as

a class, encouraging the students to say what they liked as long as they could explain it in further detail, the PSHE mantra. Tackling gender issues is a hot topic around the world and has recently been at the forefront of education due to a very popular programme from the BBC called ‘No More Girls and Boys.’ To compete successfully in the global economy of today, increased importance has been placed on the need to develop the potential of all citizens. Even though we are just one hub in Bangkok, our values will no doubt permeate for years after as our students spread around the world, and with our school’s emphasis on developing global citizens it feels even more important to discuss and try to address this matter. Before tackling these issues with the children, I carried out some simple research in my own classroom to see if any of the social gender trends crept into our learning environment. Unsurprisingly, they did. At the end of lessons, children put their pieces of learning in a colour-coded basket that determines their confidence at that particular skill. Throughout the week I kept a record of how many boys put their books in the green basket (a colour code which says ‘I am confident; I could teach somebody this skill’) and how many girls put their books in the yellow basket signifying that they understand the skills but they are not confident enough to teach it to somebody else. I trialled this approach for Maths lessons only as the trend suggests that girls are more likely to feel anxiety towards Maths than boys. For me, the results were both eye-opening and thought-provoking; as predicted, at the end of every lesson the green basket had more boys’ books than girls’ and there were always at least three more boys’ names in there than girls’ names. At the end of the week the number of girls in the

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yellow basket was disproportionately higher. This indicated to me that some changes needed to happen if I was to make the girls in my classroom feel more confident in Mathematics. My first steps to bring about change was to increase the amount of praise I gave the girls, share more of their work examples to the class and issue more Praise Postcards. With these few subtle alterations, a week later and the number of girls putting their books in the green basket had increased. This was a great feeling but left me with an increased desire to do more to ease other gender imbalances in

the classroom. Since the initial PSHE lesson, I have endeavoured to ask myself questions and address small issues to ensure the foundations in the classroom are built on integrity, resilience and respect. Things I have considered are: • In the texts I choose how are boys/ girls stereotyped? • How can I discuss the roles of boys and girls in the text I’m reading? • In my classroom library, is there a healthy balance of male and female

authors and is there a healthy balance of male and female protagonists? Do I ask girls as well as boys complicated questions and concepts? Do I ask the boys to help with organisation of the classroom? Do I speak to the girls about sport as well as boys? And lastly and probably more importantly; Do I talk about gender issues with my children?

A few weeks later I shared the photos from the ‘boy/girl carpet standoff’ with my class and, despite the giggles, they appreciated the message and took on board the significance. Whilst this is only a small step to addressing the balance of gender stereotyping, I know it is a step in the right direction for the students of my Year 4 class. I have noticed a positive shift towards a more merged, gender cohesive classroom. One member of the class summarised his ideas into one simple thought that we should all bear in mind as we strive to correct our own, often automatic gender stereotyping; “I have learned there are no boy personalities or girl personalities. Just personalities.” TERM 1 – 2017/18




Environmental Systems and Societies Coordinator


lobal citizenship education is a form of civic learning that involves students’ active participation in projects that address global issues of a social, political, economic, or environmental nature. Here at Bangkok Patana School, we recognise we are living in an increasingly globally interconnected world and embrace this reality. Our staff take great pride in anticipating and handling challenges that come with it by infusing our curriculum with Global Citizenship when and wherever appropriate. All of our academic areas at Bangkok


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Patana have their own unique approaches in dealing with the challenges of fostering the development of Global Citizenship within our students. Science is one curricular area where the inclusion of Global Citizenship ideals and principles comes naturally. Environmental Science in particular is a powerful arena where the values of Global Citizenship can be taught and appreciated by our students. One of the main foci of Global Citizenship is the vital concept of environmental sustainability and the principles of sustainable development, which fit very seamlessly in a solid

environmental science programme and strongly to the school value of “Inspired to improve global sustainability”. I take great pride and pleasure in teaching my students about the importance and feasibility of sustainable living in our environment, and how they can conduct their own lives with this very important ethic in mind. In my time teaching environmental sciences here at Bangkok Patana School, I have found my students not only to be receptive to the concept of sustainable living, but I have found them to be truly yearning to be practitioners within their own spectrum of influence – both

Bangkok Patana Magazine

in terms of their own lives and the world they have the potential to impact. There is a sincerity in many of my students that is truly inspiring as a teacher. I hope that most of us are now aware that Bangkok Patana is blessed with an amazing teaching and learning facility, the Outdoor Classroom. Located on the south side of Soi Lasalle, next to the Sports Complex, the Outdoor Classroom offers our students the opportunity to investigate the concept of sustainability in a fully functioning urban ecosystem. Our students make regular visits to the Outdoor Classroom to learn such topics as conservation of biodiversity, ethical capture and study techniques of living creatures, sustainable ecosystem management techniques, human impacts on

natural systems and much more. As most of our students are urbanites, the Outdoor Classroom is an outstanding feature that allows them to learn how to sustainably interact in our environment, one of the key tenets of Global Citizenship. Last year, Bangkok Patana School approved the construction of a natural building at the Outdoor Classroom. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to have our own students play a major role in this project and put into practice real and authentic Global Citizenship. Year 13 Environmental Systems and Societies students were tasked with designing the actual building and specifying a set of sustainable building materials to be used in its construction. Students took on this challenge with

extreme dedication and excitement, forming like-minded groups to created their own plans, both in terms of overall design and preferred sustainable materials. The atmosphere in the class was very competitive and filled with positive energy. The students researched sustainable materials and building techniques before creating detailed plans to share. Students then presented their concepts to the class and our Outdoor Learning Spaces Technician, Turbo, who will be instrumental in turning the design into the final product. As a teacher, I was very inspired by how thoughtful and professional our students’ designs and presentations were but what struck me the most was how each of the many presentations piqued the students’ interests more and more. Hearing them state that one group’s concept had features that were lacking in their own but were definitely great enough to include in the final product was particularly rewarding to me as their teacher. There was a true sense of camaraderie and purpose during these lessons. In this meaningful real-life activity, out students took the best ideals of Global Citizenship and put them into practice in their own personal and professional lives. And I believe that this is what Global Citizenship is all about: being good practitioners of sustainable practices as our default option. Simply guiding one’s life in a way that promotes sustainable living within your own sphere inspires others to do so in theirs. TERM 1 – 2017/18




Careers and Universities Counsellor


he provision of careers related support to students at Bangkok Patana continues to develop. In our roles as Careers and Universities Counsellors, we are responsible for supporting our students in their research and submission of some 600+ applications to institutions of higher learning across the globe annually.

Our office receives hundreds of visits throughout the year from Admissions staff representing a myriad of universities and colleges. There is often one key question we ask of each representative: “What can we encourage our students to do to make their application a particularly compelling and competitive one?” The answer is consistent:

1. Strive for academic achievement 2. Demonstrate interest and genuine enthusiasm for their chosen pathway: i. Read widely beyond the class curriculum ii. Engage with current affairs, issues and debates in their chosen area iii. Seek out opportunities to gain work experience The message is clear: The benefits of ensuring an organised voluntary work placement programme is available to our students are significant. The Year 11 Work Experience programme at Bangkok Patana moves into its seventh year in 2017/18. Our aim is to involve all 22

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Bangkok Patana Magazine

interested Year 11 students in a placement before they graduate from the school. The value of this experience continues to escalate in relevance to what is becoming an increasingly competitive world in university admissions. Business, engineering and medical related pathways continue to be popular choices for Bangkok Patana students, reflecting strong student interest globally. University places in these fields are often oversubscribed. The ‘HEAP Guide’, written in collaboration with UK university admissions tutors, advises: Business: “There are many different kinds of businesses and any work experience is almost essential for these courses. These should be described in detail in students’ personal statements and essays. They should be able to comment on the size of the firm, turnover, sales and marketing aspects, etc.” Engineering: “We are looking for applicants with work related experience and having sought opportunities to develop hand-on skills within the field. Comments on career ambitions, ability to solve problems and work-related experience are explored deeply in selection interview.” Medicine: “With such a high number of applicants, we look for students who have evidence of career exploration in the field of medicine. Work experience and work shadowing is viewed very positively. A demonstrated interest in caring for others in a community setting is highly regarded.”

Source: HEAP Guide 2018

Perhaps, over and above the possibility of increasing chances of a university acceptance, time spent out on a Work Experience placement can have a profound personal impact on the student, at a time in their studies when many 16 year olds could benefit from finding meaning, purpose and relevance in their studies. We see

many students simply relish the opportunity to apply classroom skills and concepts to the ‘real world’. A well organised and meaningful work experience placement can have a tremendous motivational effect at the time when it is most needed. It can: • Provide students with an opportunity to relate school studies with a workplace • Give students an insight into the diversity of employees in the workplace • Prepare students for the realities, demands and expectations of the working world • Help students make informed career decisions and better inform subject choices at IB level by assessing their aptitudes and interests, and exploring potential careers • Improve students’ maturity, confidence and self-reliance

Our Year 11 programme runs in the final week of the school year (this year, 18th-22nd June 2018). We aim to secure schoolarranged placements for over 100 interested students and we also strongly encourage and support those students who are able to arrange independent opportunities. The continued success of our Work Experience programme would not be possible without the generous support and understanding of the Bangkok Patana Community which has been the source of the majority of our opportunities over the years. We are incredibly grateful to the individuals, businesses and organisations who have shown interest and support for our initiative. If, as a parent/guardian, you are involved in, or have connections with, a business or organisation that may be willing to place one, or more, or our Year 11 students, please get in touch with Sally Jarrett at saja@patana.ac.th. TERM 1 – 2017/18




Assistant Principal Extra-curricular and Sports


rom November 3rd-5th, Bangkok Patana School was honoured to host the South East Asian Schools Activity Conference (SEASAC) Division I Football Championships. The Sports Complex was home to 14 teams from all over South-East Asia for three days of exciting seven-a-side Football. Teams played a round-robin before advancing to the semi-finals and final knock-out stages. As a school, Bangkok Patana hosts over 25 large sporting events a year, but have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes? In May each year, all Athletic Directors from the region attend a two-day planning event to allocate each SEASAC event to the host school. From there the hard work begins... This season it was SEASAC Football. Our Admin Team help us to negotiate with the event hotel to secure suitable accommodation packages for the visiting teams ensuring they can provide an early breakfast! The Buildings and Grounds team help us to prepare the event venue. This includes


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marking the pitches to meet FIFA regulations, maintaining the pitches to ensure a smooth surface and ensuring the changing rooms, medical room and pavilion are

clean and ready to host our guests. Our Sports and Activities team have many tasks to action including recruiting a team of referees and briefing them on the

Bangkok Patana Magazine

SEASAC rules and regulations, purchasing match balls, securing vendors to provide snacks and drinks for spectators, liaising with our Medical Team to have an ambulance on stand-by and of course arranging the provision of our world-famous foot massage to enhance athlete recovery and give that taste of Thailand. Our Marketing team spring to action as well, designing the branding for the event to be used on t-shirts, websites, banners and flags. Food Services have a huge task on their hands feeding of 150 hungry footballers for three days! Buffet style is a must to cater for their diverse range of tastes. Athletes need healthy carbohydrate rich food which can fuel them throughout their gruelling tournament. Throughout a SEASAC competition the catering team will serve approximately 250 lunches daily as well as hosting a Gala Dinner for 150 alongside all their other regular commitments. Our Transport Team are also kept busy on an event weekend shuttling students from the airport to the hotel, the hotel to school and back again…a whopping 168 journeys are estimated to take place! That doesn’t include the ones when players leave their boots back in their hotel rooms! Our Athletic Council (AC) are also

involved in helping to host our visiting teams. Not only are they at the event assisting with various tasks including collating

scores, taking photos, cheering on our teams and generally helping out but they are also integral to the organising of the Gala Dinner. From decorating the venue, acting as student MC’s, manning the photo booth and running several fun sports themed games (keepie uppies is a favourite) on stage for prizes to entertain the crowd, there is nothing the AC can’t turn their hand to! More recently we have also tried to support our CAT Clubs in their fundraising efforts by inviting them to have Campaign Booths at our big sporting events with lots of foot traffic. Approximately one week before the event the organising team get together to check on arrangements and plan for contingencies. With SEASAC Football happening during our rainy season we needed a back-up plan! This is a time for each team to share their plans and for final details to be ironed out. So, when you are next at a SEASAC, FOBISIA or BISAC event do take the time to look out for and thank those ‘invisible’ staff who make these amazing events happen, it really is a team effort! We are extremely fortunate to be able to host and participate in these kinds of events and we really appreciate everyone’s hard work and support. TERM 1 – 2017/18



ALUMNI PROFILE: KABIR SALUJA, CLASS OF 1999 Nationality: Thai Years at Bangkok Patana School: 13 years (K1-Year 13)

• I have consulted for fast moving consumer goods companies like Pepsi, Nestle and Unilever. • I am currently the Managing Director of the Carlsberg Group in Thailand. • I continue to be an arts and sports aficionado just like I was in school.

What are your favorite memories of Bangkok Patana? • Mr Woods’ History class drawings and mind maps. He would create these amazing pictograms of historical events and timelines in every class. • Youth Club on Thursday’s afterschool; We could roam the school, organise tournaments or charities, and in some cases run a riot…! • Making up homework excuses! What have you been doing since leaving Bangkok Patana? • I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and enjoyed every moment in Australia.

• I have managed world class brands like Johnnie Walker in South East Asia and have been involved in global advertising campaigns like “KEEP WALKING”

What are the things that you learned or experienced at Bangkok Patana that you still use today? • I still use ‘Mr Woods’ Mind Mapping Techniques’; It has immensely simplified my ability to digest information and apply it across different contexts. • Working in a cross cultural and diverse environment; In today’s corporate environment, talent that can assimilate in a variety of situations and environments is highly sought after. Bangkok Patana ingrains that in you from a very early age.

Introducing our new Alumni Coordinator, Mark… Hi, My name is Ray Mark Lanzuela and I am from an archipelago called the Philippines. I finished my Business Baccalaureate degree at the University of Makati in 2012. I have focused my experience in marketing, specifically in branding and identity and delved into the world of digital marketing where I discovered my passion for photography and visual story telling. Before joining Bangkok Patana, I was an EFL teacher in the province of Nan, Thailand where I taught children from the mountains and lowlands, it was there I found true joy in serving people. This made me realise that this world is one big family and that we are all interconnected. I look forward to meeting the many alumni of Bangkok Patana and hopefully get you involved in all the exciting Alumni events we hold! Want to get involved? Fancy visiting for a tour of school or some noodles? Feel free to contact me at raln@patana.ac.th or alumni@patana.ac.th


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Profile for Bangkok Patana School

Term 1 Magazine December 2017  

The termly magazine of Bangkok Patana School.

Term 1 Magazine December 2017  

The termly magazine of Bangkok Patana School.