Dear Prem Community,
I hope you are all doing well. It has been another busy and enjoyable week at school. I am sure you will all be glad to hear that the Fire Evacuation Drill went very smoothly and the students set a new record of clearing all the buildings and reaching their evacuation points in 6 minutes and 50 seconds. I was very proud of them!
Following on from the book recommendations of last week you might be interested to read Mayada Bayomi's piece about literacy, and see the photos from Linda Buck's library reading hour. We have recently added over a thousand new titles to our collection so let's keep encouraging our children to keep reading.
The non-uniform day for Operation Smile was a huge success and due to the generosity of students and parents we raised over 20,000 Baht, which will fund two operations for those children in need. Thank you for your contributions!
This week I have heard from many Grade 12 students who have been completing extremely worthwhile projects for the 'CAS' component of the IB Diploma. CAS stands for Creativity, Activity and Service, and students must complete an extended project in at least one of these areas to pass their Diploma. Students took turns to share some of the great service activities they had been running, which supported such important causes as Operation Smile, Freedom Story, which aims to prevent child trafficking, the local Warm Heart Foundation, Kingdom Kids and Click a Tree, which combats deforestation. Students also talked about running Explorias for younger students on such diverse topics as Art and Engineering. I was really impressed by the students' organisation, commitment, perseverance, presentation and reflection skills. It was a pleasure to hear about how much they are 'giving back' to the community on top of all the academic work they need to do for the Diploma Programme. Additionally, in this month's news you can read about the advocacy work of our Grade 4 students in the piece by Vicki Jagger, Empowering and Supporting Action Together.
This week's news is full of interesting articles, including the lead article by Junior School Principal, Justin Jarman on the very important topic of personalised learning. Personalised learning is at the heart of work on IB Professional Development, and hopefully you are seeing the results of some of that at home.
Enjoy the beautiful images, happy reading and have a great weekend!
With very best wishes,
Rachel Keys M.A. (Oxon), M.Ed.
Head of School
At Prem we believe that each and every one of our students is a unique person with unique interests, capabilities and dispositions. It is for this reason that our school is invested in personalising learning for your children. While we value curricular learning standards, at the same time, we realise that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to education is less than optimal. Therefore, by infusing personalised approaches to student learning, it is our hope to inspire and motivate our students. By customising learning for your children, and by ensuring that every one of our students is uniquely seen and catered for, we aspire to create a learning community in which all of our students feel a sense of purpose, belonging and connection. It is important to us that our students feel valued and supported, and moreover, find learning to be appropriately challenging, regardless of their current capabilities.
All schools that offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) are required to engage in developing an IB Programme Development Plan. These development plans require schools to engage in strategic planning and action research in order to develop one aspect of the school’s learning program. Prem has chosen personalised learning to be the area of focus for our IB Programme Development Plan. As such, we are engaging in actionable steps across our whole school in order to facilitate our aptitude with respect to personalising learning for our students.
I would like to provide here a couple of examples of how we are taking actionable steps in the Junior School to further our capacities to personalise learning for your children. Firstly, we have asked all of our Junior School teachers to engage in some professional learning. To this end, our Junior School teachers have set a professional goal for this year related to enhancing personalised learning approaches. We have asked our teachers to choose a professional goal focusing on one of the following 8 areas that support a personalised learning approach. All Junior School teachers have set a professional goal to explore educational literature and implement action research within their classrooms related to one of these key areas:
A second example of our efforts to improve personalised learning for students is coming through our 3-Way Goal Setting Conferences. These conferences will happen next Wednesday for Grade 1 to 5 students. The format of these conferences require our students, parents and teachers to work together to help the student set goals. These goals are designed to support students to develop both their academic learning and their social-emotional competencies. These goals are personalised to motivate and challenge each student in a unique way that will allow them to take the next steps that are most appropriate for them. Our students, parents and teachers will work in partnership to support our students to meet these personalised goals. In this way we hope to optimise each student’s potential.
Should parents have any questions about our school's commitment to fostering personalised learning, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our educators or school leaders. It is important that you understand why we approach your child's education in the way that we do. Afterall, as our Prem Mission states, we are a community inspired by meaningful relationships, continuous learning and good thinking. If we can help to personalise your understanding, please reach out to us.
Junior School Principal
EXCITING NEW LIBRARY BOOK ARRIVALS!
Exciting New Library Book Arrivals! We are thrilled to share some exciting news from our school's library. Over the past few weeks, we have received a fantastic selection of new books that are sure to ignite the love of reading in our students. With these new arrivals, we aim to inspire curiosity, creativity, and a lifelong passion for learning. As the junior school Literacy Coordinator, I regularly collaborate with our dedicated team of library staff to carefully select a diverse range of books to cater to the interests and reading levels of all our students. From captivating picture books for our younger readers to thought-provoking novels for older students, there is something for everyone. This year we have added about a thousand new books that support students’ social emotional well-being, units of inquiry, the learner profile attributes, guided and levelled reading. We believe that reading should be an integral part of the learning process, and these books will help reinforce classroom concepts in an engaging way. Every year, new orders will be added to our existing collection to ensure that our young readers have rich resources that support learning and enrich their imagination. We look forward to seeing our students and parents explore the new additions to our library. Together, we can inspire a new generation of lifelong learners. Happy reading!
Literacy Coordinator and EAL Teacher
Wednesday Mornings: Where Magic Unfolds
I think we all have one day that we look forward to during the working week. For me, it has to be 9:10 on a Wednesday morning when I read to EY2. I know some people might think it is a 'busman's holiday', going from being with one group of students to spending time with another group, but it really is quite a different experience. When students arrive at the library, they are trying to carry book bags, take off their shoes and speak to you all at the same time.
They really love being in the library and spend a couple of minutes picking up books and showing them to their friends, and then they settle into our reading time. After reading two books, where they interact and help the story along, students pick five books to take home. Often a child will ask me to read to them alone at this time.
I leave the library smiling and refreshed, ready for the day and feel grateful that this opportunity is available to me.
Director of Boarding
EMPOWERING AND SUPPORTING ACTION TOGETHER
An important part of the IB curriculum is focused on Student Action. Action is student-initiated and provoked by a concept that students have engaged with or researched during their Units Of Inquiry. Through action, students develop a deeper understanding of issues and seek ways of bringing positive change either individually or collaboratively. Recently, Grade 4V took part in some student action in the form of Advocacy.
The Grade 4V students have been working on Well Being in their Unit of Inquiry this term. As part of the ‘Artist in Residence’ programme here at Prem they had the opportunity to work with Timothy Nouzac, an Austrian-American choreographer, performer and maker who explores communal movement practices. In the first session they thought about words that came to mind when they visualised a space that made them happy or was important to them. Then, students went on a walk through the campus and visited three different areas: the Junior School playground, the Junior School undercroft and the Fire Pit space. At each place they represented the things they felt, heard and saw using colour and images.
Back in the classroom they made connections between these spaces and the concept of well being and started to investigate how these spaces could have a positive impact on their well being. The students felt that this was important information that could be shared with other students in the Junior School. They created slideshows which explained how each area could support the well being of students at Prem.
Grade 4 students then visited the Junior School council to share their presentations and seek support on how best to advocate for these learning spaces around the school. The Junior School council listened to each performance, gave feedback and then added the presentations to the agenda for the next Junior school Assembly. Grade 4 are excited to present their knowledge and share their understanding with the rest of the Junior School.
Together, the Grade 4 students and the Junior School Council demonstrated the impact of collaboration and working together to take action that could lead to change with the rest of the Junior School community. This experience not only helps us grow an atmosphere of collaboration at school but also supports all our students towards taking meaningful action and advocacy.
Vicki Jagger Grade 4
INTERVIEWING TEACHERS ABOUT THEIR FAMILIES
In G9 English Acquisition, we have been inquiring into the concept of families as well as learning about interviews and articles as text type. We also learned about different types of questions, closed questions and open-ended questions so that they can ask the right types of questions during the interview process. Students had an authentic learning experience where they interviewed the teachers and wrote articles about their families. Here is an example of an interview article about Ajarn Jennifer written by Xiaoxiao and Richard. Interview article link
SS English Acquisition and EAL Teacher
IEP Student's in Action
As mentioned in the lead article today, IEP students have been gaining a variety of experiences throughout their school day, and each new learning experience acts as an amazing provocation for later conversations, reflections, inquiries and projects! All of which help to expand IEP student's English listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. We encourage parents and families to actively support their child's language learning journey at home by engaging in conversations about their learning, encouraging reading for pleasure at home or as part of their bedtime routine, exposing children to different cultural experiences related to language, and celebrating their achievements! As with many journeys in life, a language journey is best shared with those we love.
Head of IEP
PD Lead and Interim AP Student Wellbeing
New Student Pizza Party!
Over the past few weeks, the counseling team hosted three delightful New Student Pizza Parties during lunchtime! New students, along with their friends and the Counseling Team, had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with one another, engage in games, and enjoy some casual conversations. Our aim is for these gatherings to mark the beginning of positive relationships, providing new students with a safe, comfortable space and someone to turn to when they require support.
Weekend in Boarding
Our exciting weekend activities for our boarding students began on Friday evening with a flavorful journey to an authentic Indian restaurant. The atmosphere was filled with camaraderie as our boarders came together to savour delectable Indian cuisine. Meanwhile, those who chose to stay on campus gathered in the boarding lounge for a thrilling Kahoot Quiz Night, cleverly named "Guess Who and Where at Prem?"
Saturday's outing was a special treat for our junior boarders, who embarked on a cosmic adventure to Astro Park. Armed with powerful telescopes, they had a mesmerising experience observing distant galaxies, gaining a deeper understanding of the marvels within our solar system.
Sunday morning saw avid golf enthusiasts teeing off with Ajarn Sid, indulging in their passion for the sport. In the evening, we ventured to Chiang Mai University Market, offering our students a fantastic opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich local Thai university culture and enjoy the vibrant street food offerings.
Hitting the high notes - Prem Academy of Music continues with Anantara’s 'The Young Artist Award
We are thrilled to continue with the ‘Young Artists' Award’, a celebration of exceptional musical talent that has unfolded over the past few weeks in a new creative partnership with Anantara Chiang Mai and the Prem Music Academy. Following an inspiring selection process, which included a panel of judges led by K. Chin (GM Anantara Chiang Mai) and Ajarn Christopher Johnson (Director of Prem Music Academy), the selected students will be performing throughout the month of September at the prestigious 5-star Anantara Chiang Mai from 3.00pm – 5.00pm.
The musical performances have incorporated a diverse array of musical styles and genres with students from all sections of the school showcasing their remarkable talents set against the backdrop of this exquisite location during the serving of an equally exquisite ‘5 star’ afternoon tea. There remain two more Saturday performances, 23 and 30 September. Anantara Chiang Mai highly recommends booking ahead to ensure you reserve the best possible table as the restaurant has been fully booked so far. Contact details for the hotel: Anantara Chiang Mai ResortTel: 053 253 333 | Line Official @anantarachiangmai | Facebook @AnantaraChiangMai
Director Music Academy
Closing Another Fantastic Residency
It’s been three weeks since we welcomed the Bangkok International Children's Theatre Festival (BICT Fest) into our creative fold. Their residency has been a wonderful journey that has connected with students across our Junior, Middle and Senior Schools, and we're thrilled to share the remarkable highlights of their time with us.
BICT Fest delved deep into the hearts and minds of our students. They spent time observing and talking with Grade 1 students, exploring their thoughts on school and learning. This unique engagement encouraged our young learners to reflect on their learning environment in fresh and imaginative ways. The Grade 9 Connections students had the privilege of working with BICT Fest, using memories associated with coming to school as a catalyst for creating captivating movement. These experiences will also serve as inspiration for a collaborative artwork in the near future. Our Grade 6 English as an Additional Language (EAL) students embraced theatrical exercises led by BICT Fest. These activities played a crucial role in enhancing language and communication skills while fostering creativity and self-expression.
The Prem community and other invited guests were captivated by the final devised piece, 'On the Move,'. Heartwarming audience reactions, reflecting the impact of their work across our school. The laughter, awe, and thoughtful contemplation showcased the power of theatre to inspire and connect to our philosophy of ‘joyful learning,’ all centralised geographically in the heart of our library.
Prem's ARThailand program is honoured to have been a co-producer in this new version of 'On the Move.’ As we bid farewell to the BICT Fest ensemble, we express our deepest gratitude for their remarkable contributions to our creative community and hope to cross paths again in the future, through our work with ISTA (international school’s theatre association).
Chiang Mai Concert Band Festival
Last week, the Prem Symphonic Band held their second festival this year. This was organised by NIS and featured six International Schools from Chiang Mai. It culminated in a wonderful concert which was open to the public. If you were not able to join, or if you wish to relive the magic, here is the full video
Please note that the Prem Symphonic Band will be organising a fundraising concert to build a money pool for future Prem Symphonic Band festivals and trips. This concert will be on Friday October 20th, 05:00-06:30p.m. at Prem’s Auditorium. This will showcase all the pieces students learned for both the Bangkok and ChiangMai festivals.
We hope to see you all there,
Head of Music Department
MYP/DP Music Teacher
“Leadership is not a title. It is action & example” Lanna is Action l. Noa is Example.
The New Parent lanyards have arrived! They will be available for pick up at the front gate on Monday, 1 October. Please use these new ones with your Prem ID Card as we have new colour coded lanyards for everyone in our Community.
The Marketing Team