Full Transcript of Head of School Address – first Assembly 2019

“Thank you very much Student Council. And a very warm welcome to everybody here this morning; it’s very nice to be able to share our opening assembly with parents too. I would like to give a special greeting to the Grade 12 students on stage here; the leaders and role-models of our school on this, the first day of a most important year for them!

So, some of you are probably wondering a little bit about me. I am Ajarn Rachel, your new Head of School, taking over from A. Alun, and here are a few short facts about me:-

I have worked in international schools for a very long time – 30 years in fact! I have lived and worked in 10 different countries, and 15 different schools, including language schools! I have two children, Sophie and James, and one husband, Richard. I love Music, Dance, Theatre and Art so I am really looking forward to all the Prem productions, performances and exhibitions. I’m also pretty competitive so it will be a pleasure to see all the sports teams in action, and the House Competitions, and to watch how they grow and develop over the course of the year!

I’m from the United Kingdom but fell in love with Thailand 21 years ago when I first visited on holiday. Not long after that I returned.  This time to work, at an international school in Bangkok. I was there for 4 years and during that time I brought my Grade 11 students to Prem for Leadership Training. They loved it and learnt so much, and so did I. Since 2003 I have had many rewarding years in Switzerland, China and Oman in the Middle East, but I am so happy to be back in Thailand, and particularly proud to be working at Prem! I feel fortunate to be joining and leading such a prestigious school; one in which the values are so clear. General Prem Tinsulanonda himself knew that what our future will look like, depends upon the choices and actions of our young people today. For him it was very important that what children learn at school should make them kinder and more caring people.

When the founder and owner of your school, Mom Tri Devakul first imagined and conceived of this beautiful, green and serene community it was with the idea that students would be enriched by their environment and develop an acute understanding of what it means to live and work together for a sustainable future.

I would also like to pick out another aspect of Prem’s Mission Statement – That of compassion, or perhaps more simply translated – kindness! Our foremost school goal this year concerns Wellbeing– we want every member of the Prem community to be as happy and healthy as possible! One certain way to achieve this is to make sure we are really kind and caring to each other. Please remember to stop and ask, “How are you?” and then stay, and really listen to the answer!!

Also, I want you to particularly think about those new students – Prem has 116 new students this year, and I would like to ask those new students to stand up so we can give them a warm welcome!!

Welcome all of you!!

These new young people have only just started and will need your help finding places and things, and generally getting to know their way around. Please include them in your friendship groups and make sure nobody is left alone. Judging by the great work the ambassadors and buddies did yesterday, I don’t think that is very likely.

What about our 2nd goal of the year?

Well, our 2nd goal is around Joyful and Effective Learning. We hope and believe you are going to have a lot of fun this year, because we know that you learn more and learn more quickly when you really take pleasure in what you are doing!

And I believe that last year’s great 12 students must have taken at least a little pleasure in their learning because their IB results were very good. 2 students scored 43 out of 45 points. And 97% of them passed the highly challenging Diploma Programme and 80% passed the Careers-Related Programme. And 65% of those, received a bilingual Diploma which means they are completely fluent in at least 2 languages. Another reason that I was very happy to join Prem was because it offers all four of the IB programmes – and so every student is – or is about to be –  an IB Learner – it means you will know A LOT, be very good thinkers, and enquirers but ALSO really good people too.

The message from the IB Organisation and General Prem is the same: that you need to work with your heart as well as your mind!

And so, how should we start the new school year? It is always so exciting – you have a completely fresh start, a whole new beginning within which to write the next chapter of your life.! I would ask you, as the Prem Vision Statement does, to aim for excellence in all that you do!!

Do your best, every day, in every way.

Of course in your classes, and in your lessons and with your learning at home and after school.But also in the way that you speak – that you are polite and respectful at all times both to others and with others. And in the way we present yourselves – Whether that is the Business Dress of Grade 12, the leaders of our school, or your Prem uniform. Please wear this with pride: perfectly turned out with no ‘additional accessorising extras’ – I think you know what I mean.

So, we are aiming for excellence this year, we are all going to do the very best that we can.

And I have no doubt you are going to be successful here because you have such fabulous teachers to help you do that. So I would like you to welcome further onto the stage, the JS and SS Principals, The Director of IEP and the Director of Boarding as they introduce their new staff to you.  I am going to start with the Junior School and your new Head who is taking over from A. Anita. It is my pleasure to introduce A. Justin who joins Prem this year from the American International School of Bucharest along with his wife Akane, and two sons Niall and Otis.” Rachel Keys 14th August 2019