Welcome to the NIST International School official Q and A page. Here we ask the questions, and the school answers directly. It is its chance to have its say on specific areas you have told us you want to know about. If you think there are additional questions we should be asking you may contact us here.
NIST strongly draws upon its mission and values in all aspects of learning and operations. The school's mission is to inspire growth, empower individual excellence and enrich lives. In turn, this is expressed through four key values: integrity, caring, community and growth. While many school maintain mission statements, few take the steps necessary to truly integrate it into daily practice. By systematically reflecting and identifying the ways the mission and values can be put into practice, NIST has cultivated a supportive community with a shared sense of purpose.
As of 2017, 57 nationalities are represented by the student body.
The largest groups include Thais (26.5%), Americans (15.6%), Japanese (7%), Australians (6.3%), Indians (5.3%), Germans (4.8%) and British (4.3%). No other group accounts for more than 4% of the total.
The teacher:student ratio differs depending on the year level. In the early years programme, it is approximately 1:6, which rises to 1:11 in elementary and 1:20 in secondary.
NIST maintains a waiting pool of applicants in most year levels due to the high demand for spaces. The school believes in purposefully fostering a diverse community in all respects, meaning each applicant is assessed not only in academic ability, but also through previous school records and recommendations, IB programme experience, nationality/ethnicity, extra-curricular and community involvement, and a service mindset.
As parents are highly encouraged to be involved in the community, their openness to the IB and commitment to their child(ren)'s growth is also considered during the admissions process.
As a full IB World School, NIST is dedicated to the principles and practices of the IB, most notably an international-minded framework and approach, independent of any one nationality or creed; a model intrinsically centered on the concept of a well-rounded learner; a very strong focuses on inquiry-based learning, service learning, experiential learning and trans-disciplinary learning; a coherent, consistent programme across all year levels through recurring themes, concepts and ideas; and the formal application of differing teaching and learning styles to address the needs of all students.
From the early years programme, which adopts a play-based and inquiry-based approach, to the physical education (PE) classes and activities in secondary, NIST strives to help children stay active. Formal PE classes are built into the curriculum, and a wide range of competitive and non-competitive sports are offered, ranging from softball and basketball to more unconventional options such as fencing and rock climbing. The school is also the official home of Chelsea FC International Development Centre Bangkok, which serves as an additional resource for best practices in health.
Beyond the physical education curriculum, the school maintains an ongoing programme to promote balanced physical, emotional and mental health: WellNIST. This includes workshops, seminars and activities not only for students, but also parents and staff. In addition to the facilities available to students, parents and staff also benefit from a dedicated fitness centre with an on-site professional trainer.
All of the school's food preparation is handled by NIST Catering, an in-house team of over 40 that manages the school cafeterias, as well as multiple kiosks and cafés around the campus. This group is headed by a professional Western chef who prepares the menu in consultation with nutritionists to ensure the best quality products. Candy, soda and other types of junk food are not sold on campus, and parents are able to monitor their children's purchases through the online catering system.
The elementary and secondary sections have dedicated cafeterias, and students are also able to use the community spaces where the kiosks and cafés are located.
A wide range of hot and cold dishes are available each day, including Western options, Asian options, Thai options, a salad bar, a baked potato bar, a soup station, a sandwich bar, and pre-prepared items. All baked goods are made in-house by the school's baker, who previously worked in the hotel industry.
Depending on the items selected, most students spend between 45 to 100 baht.
Classes begin at 7:30 AM and end at 2:30 PM. Extra-curricular activities continue following the end of the final period.
All students are required to wear an official school uniform.
Due to NIST's extensive system of support and monitoring, as well as the strong emphasis on community and shared values, very few disciplinary issues tend to arise. In cases in which this does occur, a team comprising the appropriate deputy head of student welfare, counsellors and teachers works together with parents to address the issue.
All student reporting is centralized in the school's student information system, Veracross. This provides a one-stop online platform where parents and students can monitor attendance, assignments, grades and other information.
Official reports are released twice each year, and two conferences are included in the calendar each year - usually in October and January to allow students time to address any concerns.
English is the main language in most courses.
Arabic is not offered at NIST.
Other languages offered formally through the IB and/or outside the main curriculum include Thai, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and Swedish.
The school maintains a dedicated EAL Department with specialists who provide push-in and pull-out support as required.
As a non-affiliated school, NIST does not offer courses related to specific religions.
Though no prayer room is at NIST, private spaces are available for members of the community if required.
The school maintains its own internal system of teacher growth and assessment through the Teaching for Learning Index.
Formative internal assessment is built into the school's programmes. Additionally, the PISA, SAT and IB exam are administered each year.
In line with the body of research demonstrating the minimal, and even potentially negative, impact of homework for younger students, NIST does not assign homework for elementary students. As an alternative, the school promotes reading independently and with parents. Following the implementation of this policy, performance in all subjects rose.
At the secondary level, homework is assigned specifically for preparation, practice or review of learning. This is differentiated based on the year level in line with the school's MYP and DP assessment protocols.
The Learning Support Department at NIST includes specialists who provide enrichment opportunities for students with talents in particular areas.
Excluding a small number of students who fulfill military service, nearly 100% of the school's graduates go on to higher education. The most common destinations are institutions in the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia-Pacific and elsewhere in Europe.
The school maintains dedicated support teams in both elementary and secondary.
NIST can accommodate learners with mild or moderate needs. Though the school does not have the resources to support those with significant learning needs, it partners with local specialists and organizations to provide families with options.
NIST is recognized as one of the top non-selective IB schools in the world. The graduating Class of 2017 posted exceptional results in the IB DP exams, setting a record average score of 36.3, with 41.4% of the students earning 38 or more points, and 30.6% earning 40 or more points. Comparatively, in 2016 16.7% and 9.2% of test takers worldwide achieved those same levels. Similarly, previous classes achieved averages well above many of their peers, bringing NIST’s five-year IB average to 35. This is particularly notable in that it is the highest average among any large cohort in Thailand with nearly the full class enrolled in the DP each year. Additionally, over the past five years, seven students have earned perfect scores of 45, a mark reached by only 200 students worldwide each year.
Specialists within the Learning Support Department include a physical therapist, speech therapist and psychologist.
The school's counsellors are all licensed professionals, and they also work with external experts when necessary.
NIST has an active parents' group that provides support for the school, and also organizes activities and events for the community.
Through the admissions and re-enrollment process, parents are queried to identify their interests, areas of expertise and professional experience. This information is maintained in the school's database, and teachers are able to connect with them to help support learning inside and outside the classroom.
As a not-for-profit foundation school, NIST is owned by the parent community. The foundation board and school board, excluding the chair, are both composed of parents elected by the community.
An extensive orientation session is offered for new parents, as well as a dedicated online site that walks them through the entire application and enrollment process. The parent group provides class representatives who offer further support as necessary, and workshops and seminars are available to all parents through the year across a wide range of topics.
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