The Newsletter of Harrow International School Bangkok
Volume 21 Issue 7
26th January 2018
CATCHING UP WITH OUR COMMUNITY
STEP IN TO BOARDING LIFE
UPPER SCHOOL AND BEYOND
KEEPING UP WITH THE LOWER SCHOOL
KNOW YOURSELF WORK HARD NEVER GIVE UP
EDITOR AND DESIGNER Ceren Akkaya Marshall PHOTOGRAPHER Christian Henriquez OTHER CONTRIBUTORS Catherine Farley Richard Green ADVERTISING QUERIES Elizabeth Hammond email@example.com Thank you to the Harrow Bangkok Community for their contributions
FOLLOW HARROW BANGKOK ON SOCIAL MEDIA @harrowbangkok
This magazine is printed on recycled paper
FROM THE HEAD MASTER Dear All, There has been good reason to be extremely proud of our school in the past few days; above and beyond the norm. Last Friday evening we hosted our first Harrow Family alumni event at Harrow on the Hill in London and enjoyed catching up with almost 100 young graduates from Harrow Bangkok, Hong Kong and Beijing. Given Harrow Bangkok’s maturity, we represented the bulk of the participants and several Bangkok Faculty members, myself included, were on hand to enjoy an evening of memories and laughter. Equally importantly, the event provided an invaluable opportunity for alumni across the Harrow Family to cement their professional networks as they look to their futures. Undoubtedly a success, we’ll seek to provide similar events in the future. The alumni databases of our Harrow International School’s will be linked this year, providing a powerful networking platform for all within the group.
Elsewhere in this edition of The Harrovian you can read about the great honour bestowed on our school at the British International Schools’ Annual Awards ceremony in London last Monday evening. I’m thrilled that we’ve been acknowledged as the British International School of the Year for the visionary and impactful work our students and staff have been carrying out with the migrant communities on the Myanmar border to support educational programmes and offer hope for the future of hundreds of young people less fortunate than us. Our commitment to provide, ‘Leadership for a better world’ could not be better exemplified. I congratulate all within our community who have been involved in this extraordinary community service throughout the past decade. Best wishes to all participants in this Sunday’s ‘Ride for Rainbow’.
KNOW YOURSELF WORK HARD NEVER GIVE UP Tharee Youngvanich left us five years ago. After completing her undergraduate studies at Bristol University, she went on to Cambridge to do a Masters in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management. Although this may read like the perfect resume, Tharee is candid in sharing that she has had to take a few knocks along the way. Here she tells us how she drew on that famous Harrow Bangkok resilience to help see her through… second time was for a Master’s degree. At that time, Admissions recommended that I reapply after gaining more work experience. Finally, on the third application, the door opened. What did this experience teach me? I discovered that while working hard is crucial, not giving up can really take one far. The key is to know yourself; understand your learning style, then use that knowledge to boost your outcome. For example, I know that I have a bad memory when I just listen to new information or read it, but my memory is much better when I write. Thus, I make lots of notes in various versions and copy them many times. It is about knowing your learning style and working hard to execute it.
As a proud Harrovian, I would like to share my long journey of getting into one of the world’s most prestigious universities, with the hope of inspiring future graduates. Getting into Cambridge was a dream I shared with many people. However, in my case, I thought that it would probably remain a dream. For I was not the brightest in class, I was not the one with the fastest brain nor the one with the longest memory, but I knew my strengths and worked hard to pursue my dream.
It is often said that hard work pays off… but perhaps not straight away! In total, I applied to the University of Cambridge three times before I was eventually accepted. The first application I made was for my undergraduate degree - I was pooled and rejected. The
Hence to future Harrow Bangkok graduates, no matter which university you are aiming for, I encourage you to know yourself, work hard and never give up. It does not matter where you land. There are so many great universities, vocational courses and careers to step into. What matters is maximising your skills to reach your potential. Set your goal, reach for it with determination and ultimately look back with satisfaction. I wish you all the best of luck. Tharee Youngvanich HIS Class of 2012
Proud to be the Outstanding Community Initiative Winner
O n M o n d ay 2 2 n d J a n u a r y t h e A n n u a l B r i t i s h International Schools Awards were held in London. The awards ceremony highlighted some exceptional initiatives spearheaded by British international schools from around the world. Nominations included schools from 38 different countries and Harrow Bangkok was shortlisted for two categories: Outstanding Community Initiative, and the Outstanding Strategic Initiative. We were very proud to be announced as winners for our Karen State Community Initiative which celebrates our efforts working with the migrant and refugee communities along the Thai/Myanmar border. Harrow Bangkok staff, students and parents have contributed to these efforts for ten years with 289 Burmese teachers receiving Cambridge certified teacher qualifications to date that has impacted 80 schools and helped to improve the education for over 25,000 children.
Students from years 9-13 have worked in collaboration with the Mobile Education Partnerships and the Burma Border Projects charity organisations. Through supporting these efforts they have felt empowered to imagine their own potential contributions, realising the capacity they have to positively change the lives of others, as global citizens. These subsequent student-led initiatives have included organising an annual ‘Play in a Day’ with migrant children, book, furniture and resource donations and various teaching enterprises, continually gaining momentum. As community service is an integral part of the Harrow Bangkok educational experience, the Karen State Community initiative is the embodiment of our spirit of compassion, empathy and leadership for a better world. Natalie Wilson, Brian van den Berg
A Visit From University of Bristol With guest speakers from the Faculties of Law, Engineering, Psychology, Biomedical Science and Economics and Management, there were talks for all interests, and they were well attended as students made the most of the opportunity afforded to them. The topics were on whether ransoms should be paid to pirates; robots disguised as aeroplanes; whether we see what we think we see; neurotransmission; and mobile During the first week back from the winter break,
phone marketing. After the presentations the lecturers
the Rayleigh Sixth Form Centre played host to five
took questions, giving our students a great chance to
academics from the University of Bristol, who came on
discover even more about their subjects.
a Wednesday afternoon to give our students a ‘taster’
into what they can look forward to when they begin
their studies at university.
Zumba Fun in EYC
The first couple of weeks back in the EYC have been fabulous and full of energy. If anyone was suffering from â€˜that Friday feelingâ€™ on the first week, this was soon negated by a very energetic start to the day with a Zumba class! As you know, on Friday 12th we were celebrating Lions Pride Day and consequently we managed to persuade Miss Nicole to show off her dancing skills and get us all active ready for a productive day ahead. It was wonderful to see not only the children but lots of members of staff who joined in with the dancing with huge smiles on their faces. A big thank you to Miss Nicole. Leanne Galloway Head of Early Years
EYC Sports Morning On Tuesday 16th January, Nursery and Reception gathered excitedly for their Sports Morning. Lots of fun was had, with the children taking part in various activities, showing off the skills they had been learning in their PE lessons. The children enjoyed running slalom, torpedo throw, gymnastics, space hoppers, hurdle races and lots more. It was brilliant to see so many happy faces and active children!
To finish the morning, the parents had fun with egg-and-spoon races and beating the staff team in the tug of war. All whilst the children spectated with their ice cream! Thank you to Mr Somparn, Mr Wat and all staff involved for their help.
Emily Aston Head of Lower School PE
KEEPING UP WITH THE LOWER SCHOOL Year 3 Art Exhibition After a highly successful Topic studying ‘Artist’s impressions of the World’, Year 3 hosted an exhibition showcasing their amazing work. The students had learnt how art was first developed in prehistoric times and how it changed and developed through history to the modern day. The exhibition contained cave-inspired artwork created using natural materials and prehistoric methods, a range of Cubist paintings and African masks sculpted from clay. The visitors, which included both parents and Harrow staff, were given a guided tour by the students and provided with in-depth information about each art movement. The teachers of Year 3 were incredibly impressed and proud of the children’s achievements during this topic and their excellent abilities as tour guides. Suzanne Hunt Year 3 Group Leader
News From the Pullman Library
Last term, the library staff chose the winners of the bookmark competition. It was an extremely difficult task because all the entries were so good. The winners were Y5A Baikaew, Y4S Tang, Y3R Ryu, Y2D Prim, Y1L Austin and RK Prae. Alisia in 1T got a special commendation for her design of ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’. The winners received book tokens and printed copies of their bookmarks. Further prints of the bookmarks are available for everyone in the Pullman Library. Next month on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th February, we have the author Nicola Davies visiting Lower School. Nicola Davies is an English zoologist and writer. She will be presenting to students from Nursery up to Year 5. Nicola will be available to sign copies of her books. Parents can reserve copies for students in the Pullman library. Jennifer Bell Teacher Librarian
UPPER SCHOOL AND BEYOND As I write this I am coming to the end of a successful recruitment trip in London and getting ready for the British International School Awards tonight where we have been selected for the finals in two categories. This is a prestigious award recognising excellence in international education. One thing that has really stood out conducting interviews and visiting schools, meeting candidates and their head teachers is the reputation of our school. We are an international school that has a fantastic reputation in its own right and not just because of our association with
Harrow on the Hill. We are an institution with a reputation for excellence. I now can’t wait to come back home to our excellent school. We have managed to employ some fantastic teachers this round and it has been worthwhile but I am looking forward to coming back to our wonderful community and the smiles of our students. See you all soon. Jonny Liddell Head of Upper School
A Trip to Dusit Zoo To celebrate the fantastic progress made during the first term, Harrow Bangkok’s psychologists took a trip to Dusit Zoo. Of course, this was not simply an excuse for a day out of school; the students developed their practical research skills through observing primate behaviour, as well as considering how useful such research is in understanding humans. After an initial observation of several species to generate research ideas and hypotheses, our dedicated research psychologists multi-tasked; designing their observations while eating lunch. With their methodology finalised and approved they headed back to the enclosures to gather their data which they are currently analysing and evaluating. The students did the school proud with the effort they put in and the only people close to being late for the bus back to school were the staff! Jake Dodds Upper School Teacher
The First Broom Sale of 2018 Last Wednesday, the Prep charity activity held their first broom sale of 2018. We buy the brooms from the Prep charity One Sky Foundation. One Sky are a charity based in Sangkhlaburi, on the Thai/Myanmar border, who concentrate on supporting vulnerable children and families. One Sky’s philosophy is ‘Keeping Families Together’ and one way to do this is by supporting a broom-making business that employs mainly single mothers allowing them to earn a meagre but crucial income so they can pay to feed, clothe, house and educate their children. Parents, staff and students bought brooms - and donated to the coin-stealing-ocelot! - a family supporting 4515 baht – thank you.
Richard Green Upper School Teacher
Sara Hirsch Slam Poet Visit
What an amazing two days! UK slam poet Sara Hirsch worked with students in Years 6-10, entertaining, engaging and motivating everyone she worked with through two action-packed days this week. Sara’s workshops ranged from performance sessions with Years 6-8 where students watched Sara perform her poems to asking her questions on ‘everything and anything you want to know’. Year 9 focused on found poetry, scouring social media, Sara’s book and school corridors to find text they could manipulate into a poem they then performed before their year group. Year 10 literature students developed their ability to interpret unseen poetry through two workshops that saw their confidence grow visibly. Sara’s visit was energy-filled, creative and inspiring. Students were left with the belief and confidence that not only poetry is a form of writing that is accessible to them, it is one that they can relate to and create themselves. Alison Jeffery Upper School Librarian
Helping Hands I am especially honoured to be part of the Helping Hands community. I joined this activity in Year 9 and have loved it since then. From my perspective, this activity does not only give a handful of joy but also learning to be kindhearted. I have learnt that life is not only about us as individuals, it's also about giving and helping those less fortunate people. I feel touched every time I visit an old aged home or an orphanage. This time last year, I went to an orphanage and spent a really good time with the little kids. Due to time constraints, we had to leave early and I didn't want to. I guess I just love being around the children. For the upcoming season, I strongly encourage students to participate in this activity because I am certain that you all will like it as much as I do. Lavik C11
Researching Tourism in Bangkok
Year 12 and 13 students enjoyed a varied and fun day in Bangkok on 17th January, exploring a wide range of tourist destinations. We started with an early morning walk up the 322 steps of the Golden Mount to better understand cultural and religious tourism and see fine views of Bangkok. Then students heard highly informative talks from industry experts at the ASEAN Cultural Centre and the Chief Marketing Officer of Buddy Group, the leading business owner on Khao San Road. After carrying out fieldwork on Khao San Road the students enjoyed the excitement of travelling along the
canal and the calm of Jim Thompson’s House before travelling home via Skytrain. All together it was a very busy day, but one which has left students primed with case studies to apply to their examination answers. Year 13 especially were enthused by Kuhn Pha of Buddy Group who gave them really inspirational ideas to consider as they look towards their future in the world of further education and industry. Sian Veysey Upper School Teacher
Like Chariots of Fire, the students lined up on a sunny afternoon ready to take part in the House cross-country run. With numbers growing year on year, the competition is now the ‘Coe-main’ distance running event along with the Long Ducker. ‘Cramb’ed’ together at the start, the participants sped off at a gallop of a pace. Huddled together like a pack of ‘earBudd’s’ the competition was well represented from all years and Houses. Once all teams had passed through the line and the positions added up; Sonakul won the Senior competition, very closely followed by Suriyothai and Churchill third. In Prep, the competition was exactly split between Byron and Sonakul with Suriyothai coming a close Third. Special thanks to the PE department, volunteers from across the departments and the Running Club for their help in organising such a huge event.
Daniel Bolt Head of Sonakul House
FOBISIA Coding Challenge The different awards the students could achieve were ‘Commended’, ‘Highly Commended’, ‘Excellent’ and ‘Outstanding’. We were able to connect with other participating schools remotely using a piece of online software called ‘Hangouts’, it was interesting to see the other schools working hard on the challenges and our students loved interacting with other schools across the world. Students had to use their team work and problem solving skills to ensure that they completed as many of the challenges as possible, the atmosphere in the room was fantastic. On Friday 8th and Saturday 9th December, 2017, 34 Harrow Students from Year 9 through to Year 13 gave up their free time in order to represent our school in the FOBISIA Creative Coding Challenge day. This was the first time Harrow International School participated in the FOBISIA challenge and it was certainly a resounding success. Students who took part were required to set aside 5 hours, during which they had to solve several problems using a programming language to help them. The problems had varying degrees of difficulty, easier challenges were called ‘Bronze’ challenges, intermediate Silver, and the most difficult ones were ‘Gold’.
All of the teams did so well and impressed us all. When the results came in we were very proud to announce that out of nine teams four of them reached ‘Outstanding’, three reached ‘Excellent’ and two achieved Highly Commended. We are very much looking forward to running the event again next year. Samantha Bruin Upper School Teacher
On a cool Sunday morning on the 14th of January, 300 runners from the Harrow community woke up early to run the 20th anniversary edition of the Harrow International School Bangkok Long Ducker. The Family Mile runners set off first and this race was won by Brendan in 4K and Aimmy in 5P. The five kilometre race was won by Tyler in So8 and Kady in N7. Finally, The 10 kilometre Long Ducker 2018 was won by Non in B13 and Maple in C13. We also have some tremendous runners on staff here at Harrow Bangkok; well done to Ms Pidgeon, Ms Salmon and Mr John for taking out the open categories of their races. Good luck defending these titles next year! The Running Club would like to sincerely thank the boarding community for hosting us: The Long Ducker has truly found its home here.. Scott Howe Upper School Teacher
The Weekend Visit to Mae Sot 19 staff and students travelled up to Mae Sot to meet with students from the Mae La refugee camp, many of whom are taking Cambridge English examinations. For some of these young men and women, it was their first ever step outside of the camp. For many the first time to eat an M&M; take the escalator; ride an elevator; eat KFC or pizza and, funnily enough, visit a supermarket like Tesco. It was a very humbling experience and one that I will recall vividly with very fond memories. Michelle Brinn Deputy Head of Sixth Form ‘‘The weekend in Mae Sot was a surreal and beneficial experience for all. The integration between the Mae La students and the Harrow students allowed us to establish a relationship of friendship, bond and solidarity. It was a grateful experience as it allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the community beyond our borders.’’ Su K12 ‘‘The past three days have been an unforgettable experience. I have met many amazing people and I have got an insight into their lives in the camp and their aspirations. I am grateful that we had the opportunity to spend the three days they had out of the Mae La camp with them. The positivity and laughter the refugees bring with them is absolutely inspiring and I hope that one day I will be able to go back and see the people again..’’ Moe C12
The trip introduced me into the lives of refugees which I have never experienced before. I got to talk with the refugees in Mae La camp who happily told me stories about what it’s like to live in the camp, their ambitions and the reasons they migrated to Thailand. It was another side to life that I would never otherwise see. Pun Pun N12 ‘‘I am very thankful to be given the opportunity to visit the people from the refugee camp Mae La. Not only was everyone so friendly and welcoming, I was given a reality check by being exposed to a different side of society that I did not grow up in.’’ Sea K12 ‘‘The trip to Mae Sot changed us for the better. I was able to gain a perspective on the social issues that was so close to home. Every moment was worth it! I was thankful for the opportunity and people around me.’’ Kaye So12
‘‘It was a great weekend where both Harrow and Mae la students had the opportunity to share their stories. While the Mae la students got to experience the world outside their camp we Harrow students got to know and understand to some extent what it is like in their lives and how they feel about their homes and country.’’ Kat So11 “This experience is strange and new but somehow wonderful. Sharing smile and happiness to others, to one who shares it back. It was a humbling experience and one that I will remember for a long time” Max
SEASAC Creative Arts Festival Last weekend, select Harrow Bangkok artists and musicians attended their first SEASAC Creative Arts Festival, hosted by United World College in Singapore.
On the final morning, Harrow Bangkok students showcased their talents alongside students from other SEASAC member schools, by installing an exhibition and taking to the stage with concepts originating in their workshops. Our visual artists filled the theatre foyer with drawings and paintings, whilst our dancers performed a beautifully choreographed contemporary dance piece. All our musicians performed superbly within their ensembles, and several played leading roles - Aum (S12) directed the Samba drummers with distinction, and Pao Pao (S12) ably wrote songs throughout the weekend and performed them with singers from other schools.
The four-day festival began with a visit to Gardens by the Bay and a walking tour of Singapore, which students used as inspiration for their own artworks and performances by sketching and photographing stunning architectural structures in the Arabic Quarter and Marina Bay area. Over the following few days, students attended a series of taster sessions introducing them to new creative practices and alternative ways of approaching the arts. They then took part in specialist workshops aimed at pushing forward their knowledge and skills. The programme included sessions in songwriting, contemporary dance, silkscreen printing, monologue writing, laser cutting, digital image manipulation, painting and installation art. Mrs Pederzolli also gave a masterclass on Afro-Cuban Music titled ‘One Rhythm Two Worlds’.
After four days of collaboration, new friends and outstanding performances, Harrow Bangkok students returned home with fond memories and brimming with ideas to take forward within the creative arts. Mike Case Upper School Teacher
Theatre Sports House Event
The Black Box theatre resounded to the sounds of laughter this week as the Senior House theatre competition took place. Every lunchtime was like a game of sardines; huge numbers of students filled the Black Box to watch their Housemates best attempts at making us cry with laughter. Which for me, happened only once: well done to Nehru for making this happen! Highlights included Byron doing an act that involved naughty students in Mr Farley’s office, Keller doing a questionable version of the Sleeping Beauty storyline and Nehru’s comical interpretation of a hair sample being taken. It was a tough competition, with Keller and Nehru making it into the final, which turned into a nail-biting event with only one point separating the winner. Huge congratulations to Nehru who won this competition for the third consecutive year, meaning that Mr Southgate finally gets a trophy he can keep, forever. Rachel Chicken West Acre House Mistress
Boarding is often promoted as a transformational, character building experience. Here their own words our boarders reflect on what being a boarder has taught them. TAKING THE INITIATIVE, DEVELOPING ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS, TIME MANAGEMENT, AND MAKING THINGS HAPPEN Nala: I have realised that if I want things to happen I have to get up and make them happen. I used to spend a lot of time in my room, now I am a lot more active. It has made me more responsible and that makes me feel good. My parents are really happy too. Noreen: Boarding gives me structure. It has made me organise and manage my time well – since I have been here, even at the weekend I wake up at 7am. The day seems fuller I have time to get things done. Arthur: When I was a day school student, sometimes I didn’t get my homework done as there wasn’t a particular time to do it. Therefore, I might leave it until the last moment, and then it would stress me out. Now I have a set prep time and I get my homework done and don’t have to worry about it.
INDEPENDENCE Ziwa: I am more independent – I do my own chores, laundry, preparing my own food, much more than I did at home, hopefully this will continue when I go home! Raymond: It is helpful being a boarder, because in the end you are going to have to leave your parents, and I feel this experience means I will be ready and prepared for when that day comes. APPRECIATION OF FAMILY AND HOME Nsgail: It has made me think about how much work my parents did - all the little things I took for granted, for example, going out for a meal. When I buy my own things I realise just how much money they cost. I realise that when I am with my parents they do everything for me. Angela: Boarding has made me value my home and my family more and when I go back to them I know that I am going to leave them again so it makes the time together more precious. I value them way more because I no longer see them all the time. FORGING STRONG LASTING FRIENDSHIPS Jazz: Boarding got me away from devices and into communicating and making friends. Sai: I feel like I have become more independent, being around a lot of people means I have developed my communication skills I am the only child back home so I used to spend a lot of time up in my room, but here in boarding I have made many new friends and I like to communicate with them, socialise with them. I have a big incentive to get out of my room. In the morning when my roommate and I both need to use the bathroom. He goes in to brush, then I go in, then he showers then I do…we need to be considerate of one another. I like the AC on 16 and he likes it on 26 so we have met in the middle on 23!
Aurthur: We are less spoilt, and we have more opportunities to socialize with other people so we can make more friends and really get to know each other.
STEP IN TO BOARDING LIFE Community Weekend
The first weekend of term started with a bang in boarding. Everybody was encouraged to stay in school to take part in our first â€˜Community Weekendâ€™. Events kicked off (immediately after the house cross-country!) with a roundrobin of activities including raft building, dragon boat racing and orienteering. After supper, boarders headed out onto the playing fields to make the most of an enormous dinosaur-themed bouncy castle, some bubble footballs and a (hugely enjoyable!) slip-slide mat. Tired but happy after hours of energetic endeavour, boarders returned to their houses for a film and some downtime. In the morning, after breakfast, the round-robin of activities continued with the whole community meeting around the lake at the end of the day for some water-based high jinks. Saturday came to a close with a delicious barbecue out on the field and an outdoor film in the cool of the evening. On Sunday, many boarders were up bright and early for the Long Ducker, a great event at which more than 300 participants tore through the boarding village on their way around the course. An otherwise extremely energetic weekend ended with a trip to Central Lad Prao for a bit of retail therapy. A great time was had by all. Dr Tim Jefferis Second Master
LATEST UPDATES New Year Celebrations We were very busy at the beginning of 2018 celebrating both within school and outside in our community. Celebrations started early in the morning of Monday 8th January with a New Year and new building (CPA) meritmaking ceremony. Later, the Head Master and I went to wish ‘Sawasdee Pi Mai’ - Happy New Year - to the Director of Don Muang District office, Director of Don Muang and Thoung Song Hong police stations, their senior staff and the Secretary General of the Private Education Commission as well as other key personnel.
Merit Making Ceremony in CPA
From Don Muang District Office
Moving on to another celebration: Children’s Day 2018. Harrow Bangkok presented gifts or sports equipment to the children of 28 local communities.
Merit Making Ceremony in Bradbys House
Last but not least, at the newly renovated Knoll, which will soon be the temporary home for Bradbys’ boys, on Friday 19th January 2018, Ms. Jevons, Bradbys House Mistress, arranged a merit-making ceremony to help bring great luck and prosperity. Khanitha Prawichen Thai Principal
Celebrating ABRSM Practical Examination Success! A Steinway Concert Grand D and the exquisite acoustics of our soon-to-be-opened Recital Hall: A Perfect Combination.
Significant numbers of students choose to study one or two musical instruments and/or singing during their Harrow Bangkok career. Whilst some see this as a fun way to socialize and make friends through attending choirs and ensembles as part of the activities programme, many take this one step further and enter for Associated Board or Trinity Practical Examinations. As universities offer credits to students who achieve the higher practical grades, it is not surprising that there are always healthy numbers of students entering for each session in November and June each year. Results from November 2017 are commendable as we celebrated 36.36% students achieving a Distinction, 27.27% a Merit and 36.36% a Pass. Those wishing to enter for the June 2018 session should ensure their entries are
in with Kuhn Nat (Senior Music Administrator) by Monday 19th February. If you do not have instrumental or vocal music lessons in school, but attend evening or weekend tuition elsewhere, we are happy to accommodate you within our Harrow Bangkok examination session. There are many benefits to taking your practical examination here in school, not least there is no travelling involved and you have the added advantage of performing in familiar surroundings. If you require an accompanist from the Harrow Bangkok visiting teaching specialists, this can also be offered at a favourable rate. For those of you who are solo pianists, our new Recital Hall and the Steinway Concert Grand D awaits you! Christopher Johnson Director of Music
Ski Camp in Japan Harrow Bangkok took part in the inaugural Harrow International Schools Ski Camp in Appi Kogen, Japan in December.
Students and staff set off on the first Saturday
of the holidays and after landing in Tokyo ventured north on the Shinkansen Bullet Train to the Appi Kogen Ski Resort. A wonderful time was had by all skiing in near perfect conditions within an idyllic landscape. We were made to feel extremely welcome by our Japanese hosts and aside from the superb skiing, were treated to a taste of Japanese culture including arts and crafts, fine cuisine, Mochi making as well as Japanese language practice with the local school children. As Josh (K11) summarised, â€˜we came to Japan to ski and left having experienced so much more than thatâ€™. David Foster Director of Studies
The adults and children in the audience were awed to witness the composure and accomplishment of our students, as they stood in the spotlight, in front of a huge audience, with neither pen nor paper visualising complex words in their heads. Harrow Bangkok’s very first 20th Anniversary Spelling Bee!
‘When our spelling is perfect, it’s invisible.’
Happy New Year to all of our Lower School parents and students! It’s been an incredible start to the new year. Whilst our Early Years students exercised their bodies during a fun and action-packed Sports Day, Pre Prep exercised their brains in our special 20th Anniversary House Spelling Bee! Every student took part during the first round and the excitement built up throughout Round 2, with the top spellers from each House in each year group, going through to the Grand Final. The atmosphere in the Olive Theatre on the day was electric! The finalists were cheered on by the students, who sat mesmerised, hands over their mouths in anticipation, waiting to find out who the winners would be. The room descended into absolute silence, during some very tense tie-breaks, where students in Year 1 had to spell words like ‘patience’ and in Year 5 ‘metamorphosis’! HUGE congratulations to all the winners, who had to fight off some tough competition:
Anya for Nehru in Year 1
Nae-Nae for Byron in Year 2
Anna for Nehru in Year 3
Tang for Suriyothai in Year 4
Simon for Churchill in Year 5
Alexandra Costa Deputy Head of Lower School
Prep Phase students had to learn a list of challenging words and spell them aloud independently – no writing or notes allowed! The first rounds took place within tutor groups, and students were whittled down to a winner from each tutor group. The final 8 were chosen from this group, having reached words as complicated as ‘instantaneous’ and ‘appendectomy’.
The atmosphere was electric for the grand final, held during Prep Phase assembly. The finalists were all impressive but gradually fell out of the competition on complex words including ‘flabbergasted’ and ‘vociferous’. Finally, only two remained to battle it out: Phoebe from B6 and Chen from N6. The competition seemed as if it was at deadlock, and the audience were on the edge of their seats, until Chen eventually broke through, winning with the word ‘translucent’. He sealed his victory by going on to spell the hardest word in the competition – ‘ichthyosaurus’. Well done to all the students who took part, particularly the finalists: Lalla So7, Evie B8, Ormond C8, Prim K8, Ashira N8 and Maggie S8. Massive congratulations to our runner up, Phoebe B6, and the first ever Harrow Bangkok Prep Spelling Bee champion, Chen N6! Josie Allen Head of English Faculty
Introducing our community parent representatives for this academic year. If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns that you would like to raise, our parent representatives are here to support you. Harrow Bangkok would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their support, and for the commitment they have made to strengthening the channels of communication in our school.
SR5 Phase Representatives: SR5parentreps@harrowschool.ac.th
Prep Phase Representatives: Prepparentreps@harrowschool.ac.th
Dr Eric Wong
The Unlocking of Potential Khun Varaporn, mum of Ingke in B11, Anchan B9 and Uno, our 2016/17 Head Boy, has been a parent at Harrow Bangkok since the earliest days of the Don Muang Campus, starting in 2004.
We are a big family, with 10 students in total attending Harrow, so other than excellent school facilities, we also hoped that the school we chose would allow our children to learn from other cultures while valuing our Thai culture, ethics and traditions. It was the international culture of Harrow Bangkok, the British curriculum, along with the House system, (which I love) that all came together in the final decision to send our children here. I have to say that I have not been disappointed in the choice of school I made. My first child, Uno, graduated (from Harrow Bangkok) last summer and started at The London School of Economics in October. When Uno started at Harrow Bangkok in Year 1, I knew he was not strong in English. In Year 3, he was put on language support for the whole year. Initially, I was shocked when I learned he needed extra support. However, once the programme was put in place, the teachers coordinated carefully with me to enable Uno to improve in this area. I remember very fondly Ms. Veena and Mrs. Rose; I cried when Uno finally passed the support programme excellently. He now communicates in English as naturally as he does in Thai. Uno has grown up here at Harrow, his tutors and his Heads of House have influenced and inspired him greatly, bringing out his individual strong points and helping him improve in his weaker areas. The university counselling system in the Sixth Form helped him to find his destination effectively. I thank Mrs. Prout and the Sixth Form Team, who helped him shine through every detail of the university application process. The care and attention to detail was far beyond what I expected. My younger children, Ingke and Anchan, have their own ways of enjoying school life. Ingke has loved sport since she was very young. Mr. Rock once told me, that Ingkeâ€™s eyes lit up when she headed out onto the sports fields. Coach Frank has put together a great basketball training programme and motivates my kids with all his heart. This aspect of school life, beyond books, has contributed enormously to Ingkeâ€™s confidence. Learning to work as a team is as important as being a winner. Anchan in B9, is still discovering herself. Harrow continues to open many opportunities for her to learn from others. She has no fear of stepping outside her comfort zone and participates in a wide variety of activities, constantly opening her eyes to new things as well as studying hard. My experience so far at Harrow, has shown me that the teachers here do their job, not just as their duty, but from their hearts. I feel this is a very precious moment in time for my children.
CATCHING UP WITH OUR COMMUNITY Time for Celebration The university application process is intense. Perhaps none more so than an Oxbridge application, for this involves an extra examination as well as a grueling interview. Oxbridge is unusual too, because every candidate knows the exact date on which they will find out whether they have received an offer. This year that date was January 10th.
So if you opened your e mail on the 10th of January and there was a message that began: ‘Dear Miss Cherchawankul, We are delighted….’ You would probably have reacted exactly as Naproud in Year 13 did - scream with joy! Naproud: I was at home upstairs, when I felt my phone vibrate. I pressed my e mail, read the opening line, ‘We are delighted….’ and I just screamed and immediately shouted downstairs to my parents.” Meanwhile, Ji Won (Y13) was having dinner over in the boarding village, when her good news came through: I was really excited and surprised, and then the whole boarding community congratulated me!” JiWon has an offer to read Maths at Pembroke College, Oxford and Naproud has an offer from Homerton College, Cambridge to read Natural Sciences. Both were quick to commend their fellow applicants who did not receive offers this time. “Every one of us is hard-working and we all deserved it. I know that everyone who applied would have been capable, but it is just incredibly competitive.” If you have been disappointed this time, our alumni feature in this issue may inspire you, so please read!