Dear Prem Community,
Congratulations on making it to the end of Term 1 in such style and with such dedication. As you can see from the video attached, we have had a wonderful seven weeks filled with Artist in Residency collaborations, musical performances, football tournaments, a swimming gala, lots of golf and tennis action, Forest School and Farm visits, PSC meetings and a very great deal of meaningful learning. When time allows I really enjoy dropping into classrooms to see how our students are getting along. What I have seen is a great deal of engagement, concentration and innovative assignments being worked on. I am proud of the way our students respond to their teachers’ instruction and facilitation and I am extremely grateful to all of our teachers for their intentional structuring of that joyful and effective learning.
Of course it is not the teachers alone who contribute to an exceptional educational experience. So important to the whole organization are our fabulous boarding parents who look after our residential students so very well; the support staff who do their best to ensure that academic, social and emotional needs are met; the nursing, cafeteria, administrative, housekeeping, security and ground staff who all contribute to the smooth-running of day to day school life. Sending each of you a very special thank you for your work this term!
In Senior School this week it was Spirit Week and as part of that teachers and students ‘swapped’ their uniform / clothes. Being back in school uniform again took me back to my own school days when I remembered with gratitude those very caring teachers who nurtured and encouraged me in my learning. I also thought how fortunate Prem’s students are to be born in an age where education is much more progressive, and particularly so when the IB programmes form the curriculum framework. Student-centred inquiry is at the heart of learning, which means, as Ajarn Justin mentioned last week, it is much more personal to each student. Students are also introduced to the best ‘Approaches to Learning’; they have to live up the ‘Learner Profile’ and they learn to be very adept with research skills. Service learning is also an essential part of the curriculum in order for each child to develop greater empathy and a sense of pride that they were able to give back to their community. Here are a few examples:
I was very fortunate last Saturday to accompany A. Ni and A. Sam to Banluang school in Prao. Here, one of our scholarship students Coco, (who runs the Food Bank Exploria) led a group of students in bringing books and other donations to the school of 50 children, before having fun together on the football field. Yesterday I learnt that one of our music scholars, Iven, donated all of her prize money from a prestigious Bangkok Strings competition to a Thai-Burmese refugee camp on the boarder, and Guanajua school in Bian Long. Iven not only went bearing gifts but also her cello. In her words: My mother drove me across the mountains to bring love and music to the children in the poor mountain areas! I said I was a musical emissary from Prem school! Then today I met with a group of students, led by another scholar, Moe, who are planning a Terry Fox Run to raise money for cancer treatment at a local Chiang Mai hospital. These students will be dealing with all of the logistical challenges of organising a large race (or walk!!) for charity: the ‘run’ will take place in January and the hope is that it will be a full community event with many parents taking part also.
I have just given a few examples here but I want to say how proud I am of all of our students for their work with local organisations and ‘consciousness raising’ of important causes. Prem’s students certainly live our mission each and every day. Between all of that and the homework many of them need to do, they have definitely earned their holiday!
I wish everybody a very safe, peaceful and enjoyable vacation.
Looking forward to seeing everybody back on Monday 16th October,
With very best wishes,
Rachel Keys M.A. (Oxon), M.Ed.
Head of School
Welcome to Our Dynamic New Junior School Council!
We are thrilled to introduce the newest members of our Junior School Council, a group of bright and dedicated students who have already demonstrated remarkable eagerness and commitment to their roles. These young leaders have wasted no time in offering their ideas, stepping up to lead assemblies, and sharing their visions for our Junior School Council. The inaugural meeting was a hive of activity, with animated discussions and enthusiastic collaboration as our council members brainstormed the essential qualities of an effective council member. From empathy and active listening to teamwork and creativity, these student leaders are poised to set a shining example for their peers. With a clear sense of purpose, our Junior School Council members have outlined their goals as a group for the upcoming year. They are determined to create a positive and inclusive environment for all students, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment. Their initiatives will focus on enhancing student engagement, nurturing a culture of respect, and championing exciting new opportunities. We are incredibly proud of the dedication and passion demonstrated by our Junior School Council members. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and we have no doubt that they will achieve great things this year. We can't wait to see their ideas come to life and witness the positive impact they will have on our school community. Congratulations to our new council members, and a huge thank you to all the students who expressed interest in being a part of this remarkable team. Your willingness to step forward and make a difference is truly commendable. Together, let's make this a fantastic year for our Junior School Council!
Mary-Ann Van De Weerd
Deputy Junior School Principal
Weekend in Boarding
Our boarding community had an exciting weekend as planned! It all started on Friday night with a Halloween movie to get us in the early Halloween spirit. Saturday morning began with sports led by Ajarn Nic, followed by an afternoon visit to the Central Airport Plaza. Later that evening, Ajain Noina kindly offered to teach us how to make a delicious Blueberry Cheesecake.
Sunday was a more relaxed day. Ajarn Yuki and Ajarn Krisha worked with the students to make a Japanese dessert, so everyone enjoyed some sweet treats and relaxed in preparation for Monday. It was an awesome day to unwind and spend time with friends.
Our weekend plans were full of fun activities that allowed both staff and boarders to have a great time and learn different things before the school week begins again. Engaging in fun activities outside of the regular school routine is a great way to foster learning and build camaraderie among everyone involved.
Fire Drill in Boarding
Our number one priority here in boarding at Prem is that our students feel safe and secure. We carry out drills for emergency evacuation on a regular basis.
On Wednesday 4 October, we organised a fire drill for 6:30 p.m. in the evening, to ensure that students knew the procedure for an evening evacuation.
Our evacuation station is the Art House, which is a convenient location near to the boarding clusters. All staff and students were in attendance, the students took this drill seriously and moved quickly and quietly. From the time the alarm sounded to all students being at the evacuation area and registered was just 3 minutes and 44 seconds. We were very pleased with this time and the manner in which the students conducted themselves. Well done to boarding staff and students.
Director of Boarding
String the right chord!
Iven Shang (G7) Prem Music Scholar wins this year’s Thailand Strings Competition. Competing with the very best of all string players across Thailand, this was indeed a tough competition, but after months of preparation and many hours of practice, the result was well deserved – first place.
Director Music Academy
Dr. Tasana Nagavajara's Harmonious Residency at Prem International School:
A Prelude to More World-Class Musical Engagements
This week, the Prem community had the privilege of hosting a string quartet led by the world-renowned violinist, Dr. Tasana Nagavajara. Dr. Tasana's journey from the traditional Thai instrument, Saw Duang, to the global stage of classical violin is a testament to his exceptional talent and dedication and a testament to the power of joyful learning and student agency.
Our collaboration kicked off with a captivating concert at Terra, where our string quartet enthralled the audience and further cemented Prem’s commitment to engaging our wider community with our Arts and Creativity programs, as well as setting the tone for the days ahead.
The heart of this collaboration lay in the interdisciplinary workshops conducted with Prem's students. Dr. Tasana shared his passion for music and his deep understanding of the violin's history and development with students from various grades. From storytelling through music and drama to exploring the psychology of music, these sessions were key to empowering the learning across the departments and grade levels that engaged.
Art students had the privilege of creating gestural drawings of the visiting musicians, a unique experience that drove the development of spatial awareness and observational drawing skills via the provocation of ‘live classical music’ and our Film and Psychology classes delved into the intricate relationship between music and mood.
The two-day partnership not only showcased the musical prowess of the visiting quartet but also fostered a sense of artistic curiosity and appreciation among Prem's students, another harmonious blend of education and culture, highlighting the power of music to transcend boundaries and inspire young minds.
In closing, we express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Tasana Nagavajara for his exceptional collaboration with our community, and we extend our heartfelt appreciation to Ajarn Chris Johnson, our Music Academy Director, for his unwavering dedication, tireless energy, and invaluable support in bringing the first of these exciting musical collaborations to life. The Music Academy's pivotal role in these partnerships exemplifies the power and importance of collaborations and partnerships at Prem, enriching the lives of our community and young people through the transformative magic of the arts and creative engagement.
Phrao: Baan Luang Local Public School - Supplies & Books donation
Last Saturday, 30 September, Food Bank & Local Communities team along with Ajarn Rachel, Ajarn Sam and Ajarn Ni visited local students at Baan Luang School (a Small Public School at Prao in Chiang Mai). The school only has seven teachers with around 45 students in G.1-G.6. We received a very warm welcome from the students with a lovely Pattaya Dance Performance and a tour around their small school.
Our team brought books for their library as they only have very old textbooks. The students and teachers at Baan Luang School were very happy to see all of the colourful books in both English and Thai. They had a very fun time playing games and having lunch with our Prem teachers and students.
We would like to thank our representatives: Coco (G11), Max (G11), Alessia (G11), Boon Boon (G11), Eva (G6) and the rest of the team who helped make this event possible.
We will continue to support this school and try to establish a functioning library.
Last but not least, If anyone would like to know more about our Food Bank Exploria, you can find us on Facebook (Food Bank and local community service) and Instagram @foodbanklc_th. We are very happy that our team can be one of the groups that can provide transportation to share Food and necessary things with others. If anyone would like to support us or has something to donate you can contact us at email@example.com or support our next events at Halloween, a variety of sales and many more!
Sometimes we just need to give a small little item to make others smile. We believe that we could do this together to support others as Prem Community.
Advocacy for Global Welfare (AGW) Foundation Visit in Chiang Rai
On Saturday last weekend, our team visited The Freedom Story in Chiang Rai. We met over 25 children that were vulnerable to human trafficking and are now being taken care of by the organisation with financial aid and proper education. We had a short workshop with Chris Morgan, who was in charge of Resource Mobilization Manager. We learned that in the process of raising awareness and promoting their actions, it was inevitable for them to use footage of the children with their faces. This brought about a number of ethical challenges revolving around the discussion of consent and infringement of portrayal rights. And so they were always concerned about their positive actions degenerating into profit-seeking marketing by purposefully making people evoke an emotion of guilt. This is the reason why they restricted themselves to only using photos of children with smiles on their faces. We also learned how it is hard for them to compile statistical analysis of the service they are offering and quantify to what extent their actions are meeting their goals. The limitation arises from the nature of the organisation as their primary objective is concentrated on prevention, not rescuing people who have been trafficked. This makes it harder for them to prove to what degree their actions had actual influence in preventing child trafficking which made it harder for them to demonstrate the positive impacts from their indirect actions. Overall, this trip to Chiang Rai was significant for us as Advocacy for Global Welfare. This visit allowed us to seek potential threats and how we could alleviate and raise further attention to the issues associated with human trafficking in Northern Thailand. This stimulated our sense of responsibility to be part of Advocacy for Global Welfare because there are still numerous children in rural areas where they were not able to reach out to help. From this, we were able to enhance further our vision statement to raise additional awareness for global welfare.
Amelie van Lieshout
Student Council Co-President
PSC Monthly MeetUp
During the last month we have had many discussions regarding the concept of Community and what it means to different people. This month, we explored the theme; Community. We asked participants What is a community? and, Why is it important to Prem’s success?
Thank you to the parents who joined us and for your questions regarding Community Service, Gap Years and IEP student involvement. Thank you, also to our speakers for providing updates on Junior School, Senior School, IEP, Premathalon and to Ajarn Rachel for further insights on Prem’s Strategic Plan 2023-24.
For those who attended and as a reference to some of the questions asked, please refer to the slides here PSC Monthly "Meet Up" link
Next month's PSC "Meet Up" will be held on Tuesday, 7 November. Please, provide any questions, suggestions, or feedback by 27 October to firstname.lastname@example.org
World Teacher Day 2023
It's days like this past Thursday that demonstrate Prem's beautiful, caring community spirit. The 5th October is World Teacher Day, it is a time to recognise and support our fabulous teachers here at Prem. Many students and parents worked hard on creating special displays of appreciation. Trays and containers of delicious food flooded into the school while parents decorated doors and staff rooms for the occasion. In return, teachers took to communication platforms to sends warm words of appreciation and thanks to families. A huge thanks goes to all PSC Ambassadors and parents who took the lead on many of these activities. We wish all teachers a restful and enjoyable half term break - you've earned it!
PSC Fund Raising - PSC Committee
While many of our PSC Ambassadors and parent volunteers focused on World Teacher Day activities, another team of parent volunteers and PSC Ambassadors cooked, delivered and sold food for the Senior School (SS) swimmers, parents and coachers of CMAC's 12 schools. PSC raised close to 20,000 baht from food and drink sales during the Football Tournament, 2 weeks ago and Thursday's SS CMAC Swim Meet. A huge thanks goes to our Thai and Korean Cultural Groups for their hard work, our Chinese Ambassadors for sales assistance and our wonderful maintenance staff for their support with set up. All proceeds will be circulated back into our Prem Community and will go towards school and PSC initiatives.
Exciting News from our PREM HS & MS Athletics Councils!
We are thrilled to unveil the fantastic new design for our school Fitness Center windows. Thanks to the generous support from our Panther community we've made some improvements. The bottom half of the ten windows have been blurred to enhance privacy for our community members. Now you can enjoy your workouts with added comfort and peace of mind. But that's not all – we've also added our beloved school mascot, the Panther, to the doors. This distinctive branding not only showcases our school spirit but also helps reduce confusion between the "Fitness Center" and the "Gymnasium." No more wandering around trying to find the right place to break a sweat! This transformation was made possible by the proceeds from our Panthers merchandise sales, showing the power of our school community coming together to enhance our facilities. We can't wait for you to see and enjoy these improvements! Sticker Panthers Time Lapse
Swimming At Prem
The pool centre has been a hive of activity during our first term, overseen by our newest staff member Poppy, who has joined as a lifeguard. All students have participated in swim lessons each week since the start of the school year. Swimming is a vital life skill, which prepares us to be confident and safe around water and it has been great to see so many young learners develop their swimming skills.
A focus for junior school has been water safety. We practised rescuing ourselves by floating on our backs to save energy and breathe easier. Students were also challenged to think about conditions when swimming becomes too dangerous. The rainy season brings the threat of lightning. Fortunately, Prem's on duty lifeguard carries a storm warning device and we evacuate the pool immediately if the warning light signals. Grade 4 were asked to think about why we sat out during a 10 minute downpour. They soon identified why heavy rain is a danger, as visibility worsens and noise levels rise.
Many students have joined the CMAC swim team training. For some, swimming class has been a way of preparing for races, learning turns and shallow dive technique to improve their speed. In the past week, there have been CMAC swim events for Junior and Senior School. Students had to show their speed, composure and race knowledge, remembering whether to finish with 1 hand or 2 on the wall depending on the swim stroke.
When posed the question, 'how could swimming help you in your life?' some children answered that it may help them rescue themselves/others in an emergency, swim to stay fit or simply enjoy a swimming pool on holiday. Other students reflected on how they learned to swim from their parents and would someday like to pass on the skill to children of their own. Swimming lessons as part of PE will resume during term 4.
Junior School HPE Coordinator
Prem FC Coach
We will resume sessions of our Parent Mindfulness group as soon as we return from Term Break. Whether you have some experience with meditation, or none at all, we invite you to join our beautiful community in MS6 (above the Blue Mats room). Hope to see you there!
Claire Kim is delighted to share some exciting news with us. Over the past few months, she has dedicated herself to the creation of a solo exhibition, and she is pleased to announce that it is now complete. This announcement comes on relatively short notice as the exhibition is scheduled to commence this Friday. Nevertheless, Claire Kim would be honoured to extend a personal invitation to you and she kindly requests your assistance in spreading the word and inviting others to attend. Please find the event details attached.