Celebrating Our Athletics and Activities Progress
We have a lot to be happy about this year as we have made much progress in the athletics and activities that have taken place. Here is a brief summary of some of the main programme enhancements we have accomplished during the past 10 months.
- Introduction of the Greater Thailand Activities Conference
For a few years now I have been exploring ways to provide more travel opportunities for our students on sports teams. I was trying to balance the needs of programme development with the realities of support from families regarding the funding for the trips. For this reason, joining other existing regional conferences wasn’t a good fit for us. However this year, through talks with several athletic directors in Thailand we have been able to form, for the first time, the Greater Thailand Activities Conference, or GTAC. GTAC is a group of eight small- to mid-sized international schools in Thailand whose intention it is to organise Thailand-wide competitions for our students. Competitions will basically happen in Chiang Mai or Bangkok which would make travel more affordable for our families. Next year are just four competitions for U20s teams, for volleyball, football, basketball and a year-end tri-sport competition. Dates and venues have been set and communicated to students already. Great opportunity for our varsity U20s teams starting next year.
- More active-based events available to students and parents
In addition to the usual array of after school activities and tournaments being hosted regularly on campus, we’ve tried to add even more activities to involve the community this past year. After a year of absence, the community fun runs are back and we hosted two of them. In mid December we hosted the Prem Community Fun Run (see photo), which featured 3 km and 6 km versions for participants. In late February we hosted (for the first time) the Prem Step-Up Relays, a fun, four-person relay format where participants complete increasingly longer distances to complete the course. Next was the Prem Junior Triathlon called ‘T3’ because as was the third of its kind. This again featured about 70 athletes competing in both the short and long courses – a great event for our Junior School athletes. Our U16 Prem Invitational Tournaments (one in November and one in February) were expanded to include U14 girls and boys teams. That meant for both tournaments we had action happening on both the basketball courts and football pitches at the same time, which made for a very exciting day-and-a-half tournaments. Finally, we’ve started up a Swim Academy at the pool which is operated under the guidance of coach Paul Rigney. Coach Paul runs morning and afternoon sessions and is always open to more people joining.
- Continued high participation in Exploria and on Panthers sports teams
Participation in after-school activities continues to be high among students across both areas of the school. Almost every term (approx. 97 percent of all students) participate in at least one after-school activity, be it a creative, academic, service-oriented or and organised sports team. Many students participate in two, three or even more activities every term. Throughout the year, about 75 percent of all Senior School students participate on at least one CMAC competitive sports team. This is a testament to the value and popularity of these teams. Students love to participate on these teams because there are so many opportunities for authentic engagement in the form of competitions against other CMAC schools during the regular season, as well as at CMAC tournament time. New offerings have been added to Exploria this year as well: Aikido, Chinese Study Club, Mixed Martial Arts, Creating a Tire Playground, Extended Essay Prep, Operation Smile, Rock Climbing and Yoga, just to name a few.
- Exploria course offerings and sign-ups now in ISIS
An exciting development for the Exploria program this year was the introduction and implementation of the new school database management system called ‘ISIS'. The Activities module went live at the beginning of Term 3 enabling parents and students to view all after-school activities online, and make activity selections.
Senior School students were given the opportunity to sign up during Homeroom time. We now have 100 percent participation using ISIS among Senior School students. For Junior School, parents were given the option to either begin to use ISIS or use the old fashioned paper sign-up method. In Term 3 about 20 percent of families used ISIS and for Term 4 about 50 percent used ISIS. Beginning next year, Term 1, all activity sign-ups will be conducted using only the ISIS system – no more paper sign-ups.
- Improvements with the IBCC Programme
Several behind-the-scenes foundational pieces were put into place this past academic year in regards to the IB Career-related Certificate programme. At the beginning of the year we took a fresh look at the proposed Hospitality Management strand and tried some new approaches to help promote the coming course. Part of that was the launching of two online microsites, one each for sports and hospitality.
Another thing we did was organise and hold the first ‘IBCC Day,’ a chance for all 9th and 10th grade students to get detailed information about the IBCC and also to experience some lessons that would part of the career-related courses that are part of the IBCC. Finally, we officially went ahead with our second career-related focus, hospitality management. We hired a program instructor, Ms. Claire Ferguson to help lead the development of the curriculum and partnership efforts.