Dear Prem Community,
I hope everybody is doing well on this beautiful morning. This week’s news is packed full of interesting articles showcasing the wide ranging academic, artistic and sporting endeavours at Prem. Our lead article is from Junior School Principal, Justin Jarman, and shares the importance of the “Culture of Action” within the PYP programme. You can also learn more about an inspiring intercultural exchange in Grade 4 in the article by PYP and MYP Art Teacher, Kelly-Anne Fahey, where students visited Wat Pa Dara, had the opportunity to speak with a monk, a young Thai artist, and explore the architecture and artistry of the temple. It is a wonderful example of an interdisciplinary unit that combines Art, Thai Culture and the Unit of Inquiry that explores identity.
Also on the Art front our Creative Director Alex Soulsby pays tribute to the work of visiting artist Melinda Butt who has been working with IEP students on creating symbolism that captures their identity, and with MYP students focussing on how the Arts can have a powerful effect on communities.
On the sporting front, Adam Copus, Co-Athletics Director, talks us through the team success of our U16 Girls Team who finished as champions of the CMAC soccer tournament. We are very proud of all of our Panther Teams and it is wonderful that the girls were able to enjoy that final position of success, which is a tribute to their intensive training, determination and teamwork! Thank you too, to coaches K. March and K. Fah who provided the strategies and encouragement that contributed to their success.
Another impressive example of success through hard work and dedication is the PSAT result from Gabriel Castillo, who gained 1440/1520 points, which puts him in the top 1% of students in the whole world! The PSAT is the precursor to SAT tests, which are required for entry to many US universities and colleges. You might be interested to know that five of our students have applied ‘Early Decision’ to the US, and three are applying to Ivy League universities, so we wish them the very best of luck in their endeavours!
Do check out the many Prem events coming up, including the PSC Meet up on 14th November 8.15-9.30 and the Premathlon on Friday 17th November where we will be raising money for Prem charities as well as Medecins sans Frontieres, and Save the Children who are working hard to bring some small relief amidst the horror of the situation in the Middle East. Please come and support our students and our charities. Premathlon is always a very fun community event and we would love to see as many parents there as possible.
Finally, there is an important letter coming out today concerning the Swimming Academy so please also read that. Enjoy the Community News and enjoy your weekend!
With very best wishes,
Rachel Keys M.A. (Oxon), M.Ed.
Head of School
Developing a Culture of Action in the PYP
In our ever-evolving world, it has become more important than ever for schools to educate their students about how they can take steps to make a positive difference. In the Senior School, Service is an integral part of our students' learning program. In the MYP, DP and CP, students are expected to contribute their personal efforts to a cause in the form of Service. They might engage in school-based,community-based or international service initiatives, perhaps by volunteering, spreading awareness or actively fundraising. Their efforts make a difference.
In the Junior School, we make a great effort to prepare our students to engage in Service, by teaching them to take Action. Action is a key component of a PYP education. The idea behind Action is that students do something that makes a meaningful contribution, as a result of what they are learning about in our curriculum. Sometimes when our students are engaging in their Units of Inquiry (UOI), they realise that something is not right or that there is a problem. Our students reflect that something needs to be done. When our students have this realisation, they are encouraged to take Action. They are not only encouraged to think about what they could do to solve a problem, or how they might contribute to make the world a better place, they are actually encouraged to actively do something. Action is sometimes called the “So what?” of learning. The idea is that you can learn something, but “So what?” Learning something doesn’t change anything unless you do something. By integrating Action into our teaching and learning program, our students take their learning and use their knowledge to make the world a better place.
In the PYP, we promote five kinds of Action: participation, advocacy, social justice, social entrepreneurship and lifestyle choices.
Taking Action in the PYP can be doing something small or something big. It can be as simple as a student deciding to bring in a book from home that is connected to the class’ learning and sharing it with their classmates. Or it can be something larger like taking steps to restore an ecosystem. Our Units of Inquiry and the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition are designed to inspire students to respond to their inquiries through Action. To prompt our students to consider how they might take Action we ask our students to engage in the PYP Action Cycle which you can see here below:
Here below are a few examples of how Action has happened in our Prem Junior School community:
In the Junior School, it is our goal to create opportunities for students to take Action. By identifying real world issues and taking steps to create solutions, it is our hope that our students learn to intrinsically care about others and our environment. We want our students to grow up to be the type of people that have the capabilities and desire to contribute meaningfully to make a positive difference. The world has some significant problems right now, and if we can equip our next generation with the experiences, values and dispositions to understand that their Actions can make a difference, then perhaps there is hope for the world to become a better place.
Junior School Principal
Supporting Student Action through the Lens of Concepts
PYP teachers at Prem are always dedicated to connecting classroom learning with real-world impact as we support students to be proactive, caring community members.
However, guiding students towards meaningful action is not always an easy task. Finding the right balance between student-initiated action and guidance is a skill that requires practice. Recently, in collaboration with grade 5 teachers, we embarked on a journey to boost students’ understanding and application of action as a result of their learning from a unit of inquiry on Government systems and leadership.
Throughout the unit, the students dived deep into how the qualities of leaders and various governing systems impact society and human rights. During one teacher meeting an important question arose: "How can we take action on governments?" This question instigated a discussion back to the unit concepts: leadership, role models, influence, action, responsibility, change, and rights. As we explored these concepts in the discussion, it became evident that each of these held potential for students to make a positive change independently or collectively.
Guiding students towards action involved a step by step approach, beginning with classroom walks around the room to revisit work on display and word walls to revise their initial learning. As a class we identified the concepts such as leadership, role models, systems, positive action and change as areas that are actionable. This reflective process provided a concrete framework for students to actively apply these concepts, not just understand them, allowing students to think critically and creatively.
The creative ideas students came up with was a great demonstration of the transformative power of education. Action ideas ranged from being a good role model as a house captain, suggestions box to support a great classroom environment, posters that highlight the core features of a good role model, taking the lead to teach students how to draw comic characters, posters to advocate for football leaders, and creating slideshow showcasing where all the bins are located at Prem.
As we provide these opportunities, we cultivate thoughtful and engaged learners, set to make a positive impact on the world around them.
Mary ann Van de Weerd
Thai Culture EY3: Beyond the Leaf and Stem
The Early Year 3 students are studying how traditional Thai practices can support our community's sustainable living. The class has integrated the Reggio Emilia approach throughout our learning journey.
We explored the uses of the banana leaf or “Baitong” for making banana baskets to wrap up our Thai desserts. In traditional Thai cuisine, banana leaves are employed as plates and food wrappers, and the leaves are used to steam dishes such as “Kaaw Dtom” (coconut sticky rice with banana wrapped in banana leaves) and “Mok Bplaa” (steamed fish).
The banana tree plays an important role during traditional blessing ceremonies such as the “Bai Sri” ceremony and the Loy Kratong festival.
We also created Thai Toys from the banana stem and made a horse or “Maa Gaan Gluay” for horse riding competitions. Students discussed and shared ideas. Some students volunteered to be the judges and others were divided into teams for the race.
Throughout our exploration and learning, students naturally embody the spirit of designers, risk-takers, inventors, and teamwork.
Thai Language and Culture Teacher
Celebrating Successful - Gabriel Castillo
Gabriel, a senior at Prem, placed within the top 50,000 PSAT test takers (out of 1.5 million). Congratulations, Gabriel!
"I received a Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship (NMS) Program. The PSAT is a preliminary version of the SAT, a test widely used for college admissions in the US. Last year in 2022 (when I was in grade 11) I took it and scored 1440 out of 1520, which placed me on the 99th percentile of students who take this test (top 1%). This test is also used by the NMS program to select students to give scholarships for, though it does this through a series of tests where the PSAT is the first one. Due to my high score, I placed within the top 50,000 PSAT test takers (out of 1.5 million) and as a result received a letter of commendation to congratulate me for my “excellent performance on the PSAT"
Head of Digital Media
Weekend in Boarding!
With the start of the dry season, it was so nice to be able to get out and enjoy the blue skies this weekend.
The students really enjoy board games and I managed to get the new Chiang Mai Monopoly, which is a really good way of learning new words in English - Laurel and Yaelim are very competitive!! Teacher Sid took some students into Meechok market for massage, nails, hair and of course snacks for the weekend. A real experience of local living.
Saturday saw some of our students at the football tournament, others were out with their families, but a small group of us went to Art in Paradise and the Umbrella Factory, it was such a joy to see the students' faces when they went into the interactive art exhibition, and then on to the umbrella factory where they could have beautiful designs put onto their phones, glass cases, and even their arms!!
Teacher Sid took some of the students to golf on Sunday morning, and on Sunday afternoon teacher Krisha and teacher Yuki taught the students how to make Japanese curry - a huge success.
A group of the older students went to watch a movie at Maya and to eat their favourite food along the Nimmanhaemin street market.
A very chilled and enjoyable weekend, it is really what makes boarding at Prem so special.
Director of Boarding
CALLING ALL WRITERS: JOIN SEMESTER 1 OF THE PULSE MAGAZINE!
🌟 Open to All: Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni 🌟
Are you passionate about sharing the incredible stories happening at Prem? Here's your chance to shine in the Semester I edition of The Pulse Magazine.
📝 Submit Your 300-Word Magazine Article and Pictures Deadline: 8 December 2023
Magazine Release: 31 January 2024
Choose from a variety of exciting article categories:
Join us in capturing the essence of Prem's excellence and sharing it with the world. Don't miss this chance to contribute to The Pulse Magazine - where your stories come to life!
Let's make Semester I unforgettable together! SUBMIT your article here: LINK
Illuminating the Interplay of Light, Space, and Identity with ARThailand resident, Melinda Butt
In a series of transformative sessions, our current ARThailand collaborator Melinda Butt has brought a broad range of lenses and perspectives to Middle School students at Prem. Exploring different contexts and the playfulness that can be explored within light and space, Melinda has guided students through the nuanced language that these elements speak within art. The IEP sessions have delved into concepts of personal identity and symbolism and students have investigated some of their own narratives through the mediums of light and symbols.
Melinda's workshops have empowered our IEP students to begin conceptualising large-scale works that reflect their unique identities within the broader canvas of community space. Her expertise has enabled students to see how individual symbols can coalesce to form a powerful collective expression when placed within the right context of light and space.
With the Middle Years Programme (MYP) students, Melinda has been serving not just as an educator but as a living provocation for artistic research. Her presence has provided an authentic insight into the real-world dynamics of the arts and cultural sector. The students have been exposed to the collaborative spirit that drives the New Zealand art world, understanding how artists like Melinda engage with and empower communities through their work.
Shedding light on the symbiotic relationship between the artist, the community, and the cultural frameworks that bind them, teacher Liz will use the interviews and time spent with our artist to inform research practice and artist critiques. Through her, students have witnessed firsthand how art can serve as a conduit for social and cultural empowerment, reinforcing the idea that art is not an isolated endeavour but one deeply entrenched in the fabric of community and personal growth.
Melinda, along with all the other committed creative professionals that collaborate with Prem has been a testament to the school's commitment to education that is not only informative but also joyful and experiential. As she draws her residency to a close next week, we look towards celebrating the lasting impact of her contributions to our community.
Grade 4 Visual Arts Integration
Grade 4 students have dedicated the past few weeks to an integrated unit encompassing their Homeroom Unit of Inquiry (UOI), Thai Culture, and Visual Arts. Within their UOI class, Grade 4 students delved into the concept of well-being as part of their 'Who We Are' unit. During these lessons, students explored the idea of well-being and discovered that spirituality is one of the ways people nurture their overall health.
In Thai Culture class, students explored the different roles that Thai temples play in the local community. They learned that these temples serve not only as places for spiritual reflection but also as an important place for people to gather for various community events. Additionally, students learned about behaviours that exemplify respect when visiting these sacred Thai temples. This experience allowed students to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and spiritual aspects of these cherished places of worship.
Meanwhile, in the Visual Arts class, Grade 4 students explored artists who draw inspiration from their local communities, with one notable artist being Tintin, a twelve-year-old boy from Bangkok. Tintin's portfolio features multiple pieces showcasing Thai temples and Buddha statues situated in Bangkok. As a class, we closely examined his artwork, identifying intricate details, such as patterns and lines. Over the next few art classes students honed in on their observation skills and learned the importance of using their eyes as a tool to make art.
To connect their learning from UOI, Thai Culture, and Visual Arts students went on a field trip to a local temple in our own community called Wat Pa Dara. During the trip, students had the chance to make their own connections from their learning to the local community, they had the opportunity to speak with a Monk, and they used their observation skills to look closely at the various patterns, animals, symbols, and styles of architecture. Students were guided by teachers through various temples at Wat Pa Dara, completed key questions, and had time to create observational drawings in their field trip guide book.
Upon returning to the classroom, students discussed the connections they had discovered and examined the various architectural elements they had observed. The students observed black and gold designs and intricate patterns in Thai temples. This sparked inspiration and served as the foundation for our final artwork!
After our field trip, students began their artworks by sketching with pencil, capturing something they had observed at Wat Pa Dara, such as one of the temples or a Buddha statue. Next, they utilised micron markers to outline and incorporate patterns and designs inspired by their observations at the temple.
The next stage in our creative process involved teaching students how to apply watercolour to their detailed drawings. During this step, students gained an understanding of creating various values with watercolours. They had the freedom to choose whether they wanted to use colour or black for their paintings. Following the watercolour application, students proceeded to apply gold acrylic paint to either the background, the frame, or both. Students recognized that the qualities of watercolour paint differ from the qualities of acrylic paint and learned different application techniques. At this stage, students could begin to see their artwork coming to life.
Another feature that caught the eyes of our students during their temple visit was the intricate black and gold designs adorning the temple interiors. Students learned that these designs are created using a stencil so in art class we cut out different stencil designs and used black paint to create a gold frame around their artwork.
This week students began the final stage in their creative process as they carefully reviewed their artwork, making slight changes and adding details. Throughout the entire creative journey, our students displayed dedication and enthusiasm, forming meaningful connections that extended across subject areas and fostered a deeper connection with our local community.
As we look ahead to the coming week, we anticipate concluding this unit with a class-wide gallery walk, providing our students with the opportunity to carefully examine their peers' artistic creations and offer constructive feedback. Kudos, Grade 4 students, for your outstanding efforts and remarkable artistic achievements!
PYP & MYP Visual Arts Teacher
Congratulations to the 23-24 CMAC U16 Football Champions: PREM Panthers
We struggled to identify individual MVPs, as it was a total team effort all day, but we did settle on outstanding defensive efforts from Nina & outstanding offensive efforts from Helen.
0-0 vs NIS
2-1 over Varee (Goals: Helen & Lanna)
Semi Final: 3-0 over CMIS (Goals: Jenna, Lanna, & Helen)
Final: 2-1 over GIS (Goals: Emi & Lanna)
These girls are off to Phuket for another tournament in November.
With thanks to the HS & MS Athletics Council students and the Marketing Department for their input, please see our 'Season 1 Panthers Stats Pack'
Season 1 Panthers Captains
Team captains are vital to a well run & successful team. Success is not just winning the championship at season's end- only one team can do that. A successful team is one that is able to form a cohesive unit of players and coaches all interested in personal and group development working toward individual and shared goals in a supporting and suitably challenging environment. Captains help challenge their peers to be better and they lead by example. Some captains talk a lot while others lead quietly. Thank you to all our dedicated and passionate Panthers Season 1 team captains
Join us for your PSC Monthly "Meet Up" this November. Meet your PSC Grade & Cultural Ambassadors, along with other parents at Prem. Find out more about how the PSC supports the school. This month we take a look at how Prem and PSC support families at home by strengthening the Home - School Relationship.
Please submit any questions to PSCsecretary@ptis.ac.th before Friday, 10 November.
Come join our weekly parent group, where we discuss mindfulness, self-inquiry, and how to support our children and families. Drop-ins are welcome and we are really excited to welcome you into our parent community!
Traidhos Winter Outdoor And Nature Craft Camp
Traidhos Camp would like to invite children aged 5-8 to join Traidhos Winter Outdoor And Nature Craft Camp on 18-22 December 2023. Please scan the QR code to register or contact email@example.com