Thailand / North Thailand / Chiang Mai / Panyaden International School

Panyaden International School Q & A

Panyaden International School delivers a slightly alternative approach to education – one that is rooted in life skills, Buddhist principles and eco-friendly awareness.
At a glance
School phase
Primary
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2020/21
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Availability 2021/22
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Annual fee average
THB 202,500
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
2008
School year
Aug to Jun
Principal
Michel Thibeault and Daiju Vithayathil
Main teacher nationality
A mix of nationalities
Main student nationality
A mix of nationalities
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LET'S GO

Welcome to the Panyaden 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.

What qualities and characteristics would you say define your school?

At Panyaden International School we aim to cultivate a way of life, not only an academic education. Buddhist culture and values are our basis for living together. Teachers, parents and children must share the same goal of self-development in the acknowledgement that we are all lifelong learners and must always be a good example to each other.

According to Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro, Panyaden International School Spiritual Advisor, "rather than an education system which is geared to testing and to competition and to preparing people for a particular livelihood, the emphasis of Buddhist education is on teaching children how to learn, how to enjoy learning, to love wisdom for its own sake. It teaches them the emotional maturity enabling them to make use of their knowledge to create a happy life for themselves and their family and to contribute positively to the society in which they live. It in no way compromises on the work of preparing children to make a good livelihood, but it lets them see that life is deeper and richer than working in order to consume."

How many nationalities are represented in your school?

The following 47 nationalities make up Panyaden’s student body:

Argentina, United States of America, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, England, Canada, Chili, Chinese, Chinese (HK), Chinese (Taiwan), Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greek, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Irish, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thai, Uganda, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

Dual nationals

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

Maximum number of students per teacher/TA each level:

Nursery: 1:6
Kindergarten 1-2: 1:7
Year 1: 1:13
Year 2-6: 1:13
Year 7-13: 1:10 (per advisor)

Does your school have a waiting list?

The school operates a first-come-first-served enrolment policy. To secure a place for the new school year, new parents can opt to pay a deposit of 50,000 Baht in advance. This fee is non-refundable should parents later choose to withdraw their application.

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

Whereas traditional educational approaches tend to put focus on material goals and on developing essential cognitive skills, the Buddhist view is that, to be complete, education must also focus on inner values, on the workings of the mind and emotions.

A ‘holistic’ education in the Buddhist sense refers to the bhavana sii, or four areas of development. Two of these relate to one’s interaction to the external world and the other two with one’s internal qualities. By helping children reach their potential in both these spheres and across all four areas, we believe that we are providing them with the best possible education:

Development of one’s relationship to the physical world.
Social and ethical development
Development of the mind and emotions
Development of the intellect and wisdom

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?

This entails learning about the physical world in which we live and developing a wise and balanced relationship towards it, starting from one’s own body.
 Healthy relationship with the body
 Understanding basic physical needs (food, shelter, clothing and medicine)
 Responsible use of possessions, money, tools and technology
 Responsibility towards the natural environment

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Curriculum relevance: Nutrition, physical exercise, sport, biology, time management, computer sciences, geography, environmental studies and life skills.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Panyaden International School provides healthy and nutritious snacks and lunches to ensure that students have a balanced diet each day. All school lunches are prepared on the premises from fresh ingredients. Our lunch menu offers both Thai and international options and morning and afternoon snacks include fruit, sandwiches and other healthy food.

There is always a vegetarian option and we use organic brown rice. As much as possible, we avoid foods that have high sugar or salt content or artificial flavourings and colourings. We understand that some children may have a different diet at home and may need to make adjustments, especially newcomers to Thailand, but we feel it is beneficial for children to be encouraged to sample a variety of foods. Children are encouraged to eat all the food they are provided and always to try new and unfamiliar foods. If parents have concerns about their child’s eating habits or the food the school provides, they are asked to discuss this with their teacher or School Office.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students?

Lunch is provided in the canteen while snacks are brought to the classroom. The school will also provide lunch and snacks on outings and field trips.

If yes, does it serve hot food?

We prepare food in good conditions. As our students line up to take their food by themeselves, food temperature would rather be warm.

What would be the amount spent by a student for their lunchtime meal?

Food Fee is included in School Tuition Fee.

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?

School hours are different according to student levels:
Nursery and Kindergarten 1-2, Year 1 (8:20–15:15)
Primary: Year 2-6 (8.20–15:45)
Secondary: Year 7-13 (8.20-16.00)

Is there a school uniform?

School uniform is compulsory. The uniform is designed to be comfortable and suitable for the climate.

On P.E days, P.E uniform should be worn from home. Days for standard uniform and P.E uniforms will be announced at the start of term. All uniforms are available for purchase at the School Office.

On Fridays, Thai school students across Chiang Mai wear traditional northern Thai-style dress. Children are expected to wear this or traditional clothes from another country. Casual clothes, such as T-shirt and shorts or sleeveless dresses are not permitted, even though these may have become ‘traditional’ in some countries!

On the first day of term, all students should wear school uniform. Modest dress in accordance with Thai culture is expected at all times. Shoulders, upper chest, upper back and upper legs should be covered. Jewellery or other forms of body decoration are not permitted.

Please advise on your discipline policy?

The goal of discipline is to develop self‐discipline. Our early childhood
program fosters an environment in which children learn to respect others and their surroundings. We teach and encourage children to use problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. Other discipline techniques we employ are prevention, teacher shadowing, redirection, positive modeling and gentle reminders

How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?

Teachers will assess students’ progress towards these goals on a daily, weekly and termly basis. Assessment of learning is based on two fundamental principles: evaluation for the purpose of developing the learner’s capacity and for appraising their achievements. The goal of assessment is to track progress, from whatever point each student starts, and identify learner needs. Ongoing formative assessment, based on observation, informal testing and student self-evaluation, is complemented by some formal testing (summative assessment). Assessment is 80% formative and 20% summative. The latter is partly achieved through the school’s online assessment programme, Measuring Academic Progress.

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?

The school reports to parents on student progress in a number of ways.
1) Written Reports
2) Parent-Teacher Meetings
3) ‘As needed’ Meetings
4) Tea with teachers. Tea with principals
5) RenWeb data management system
6) [Early Years] Tapestry online system

What is your medium of instruction?

All Panyaden students are expected to reach a level where they are functional in speaking, reading and writing in English and in Thai in primary levels. English is the main language of instruction for secondary levels.

Is Arabic taught as both a first language and second language in your school?

N/A.

Which other languages are taught?

Panyaden International School’s curriculum is taught in both Thai (50%) and English (50%) from Nursery right through to Year 6 (the end of Primary). Each pre-school classroom has a native Thai teacher and native English teacher who take turns in leading learning activities. In primary years, Maths and English are taught by native English teachers, PE/Life Skills, Art and Thai by native Thai teachers and Science, Social Studies, Design and Technology and Performing Arts are taught in both languages.

We expect students who are with us from kindergarten through to the end of primary to become fully functional in both languages by the end of Year 6. Students are exposed to both alphabets and basic literacy skills in kindergarten with formal reading and writing skills in the child’s first language typically introduced in Year 1. Students need to show some understanding of the reading and writing system in their first language before being introduced to literacy in their second language. This can happen anytime from K2 onwards, depending on the ability and confidence of each student.

For secondary levels, our aim is to become one of the best secondary schools Thailand has to offer, maintaining the standards that we set in our kindergarten and primary levels, one of the main goals of the Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) programme is to provide students with an environment that supports the rapid intellectual and personal changes in their lives. Key Stage 3 students move through the rapid changes that are part and parcel of their age, including the progression from the self-contained learning environment to the potentially daunting transition to Key Stage 4. The Panyaden Academic Diploma is the culmination of a challenging, university-preparatory program for students who plan to pursue higher education upon graduation. Courses include a range of offerings including English, modern languages (e.g Chinese), individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, art and a variety of electives.

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?

We offer the English and Thai as an additional language (EAL and TAL) programme for students from Year 1 and above.During the first few weeks of school, language proficiency will be assessed for very Year 1 and above student to determine the best possible placement for them during language time. Students who are assessed by the school as needing supplementary intensive language support in either language will be required to join the Intensive Language Support programme until they are able to function comfortably in a class with first language learners.

Is Islamic Education/Studies for the Arab Muslim students delivered in Arabic for them?

N/A.

Do you have a dedicated prayer room/s for the Muslim students?

N/A.

Does your school measure Value Added data? Please provide details of your current Value Added average scores

N/A.

If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?

Measuring Academic Progress (MAP) is used by thousands of schools around the world to track primary students’ progress in Maths, English and Science. It provides a snapshot of every student’s knowledge and identifies specific areas of strength and weakness. We run these short assessments two or three times a year in order to help teachers see how students are progressing against the objectives in those subjects and to enable them to set specific learning goals based on the strengths and weaknesses identified.

Students in Year 6-9 will also be taking a standardized assessment. This assessment is widely used by many international schools to provide data on certain aspects of student learning. The 'ISA' assessment is an assessment programme that has been specially developed to measure skills in mathematical literacy, scientific literacy, reading and writing of students according to internationally accepted standards.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma requires a demanding, pre-university course of study that leads to external examinations. The IB Diploma curriculum is a comprehensive, two-year programme that aims for students to share in an academic experience that emphasises critical thinking, intercultural understanding and exposure to a variety of perspectives. Students must receive a minimum of 24 points in order to graduate with an IB Diploma. The maximum possible number of points is 45 – a maximum of 7 points for each subject group and a maximum of 3 points for Theory of Knowledge (ToK) and the Extended Essay. Students are also required to fulfil the requirements of the CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) component of the IB Diploma. Students study towards three Higher Level (HL) and three Standard Level (SL) courses.

The Panyaden Academic Diploma is the culmination of a challenging, university-preparatory program for students who plan to pursue higher education upon graduation. Courses include a range of offerings including English, modern languages, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, art and a variety of electives. A minimum of 24 credits is required to graduate with a Panyaden Academic Diploma. One year of coursework in one subject area is worth one credit. A Panyaden Academic Diploma is a minimum requirement for acceptance to universities in the United States and Canada. This diploma will also meet the requirements for acceptance to various higher education courses in Europe and other continents.

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?

Homework
Students in the primary years will be given activities to complete at home on a regular basis. This becomes more regular as the student moves up through the primary years. Home activities should be a useful and positive experience which complements what is being taught in class. The goal is to help students to become more independent and disciplined in their study and create an opportunity for teachers and parents to share in the students’ learning. Parents are asked to support the school by:
 Arranging a quiet, suitable place to do the activity with their children.
 Making it clear to their children that they value home activities and how they will help them make progress in school and in life.
 Checking that deadlines are met.

Panyaden International School Home assignments are your child’s responsibility—not yours. Be available to help and answer questions when they need you, but please don’t do their work for them. If you feel your child is not handling his or her responsibilities well, please contact your child’s teacher. Parents are a critical factor in a child’s academic achievement.

Following are some simple suggestions as to how you can be the most effective support when its homework time.

Area: Provide a quiet, well-lit area for your child to do his/her assignment. This area should feel comfortable and always be available at homework time.

Routine: Establish a daily time for homework. If there are no homework assignments, all students should use the time for reading. This routine helps establish a commitment to the entire academic process.

Tools: Provide tools for doing home assignments: pens, pencils, paper, computer/iPad. A desk or tabletop makes the best place to do homework—not the knees, lap, or floor.

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

Our program provides differentiation to students of all abilities. The small teacher-student ratio ensures that our children receive the specialized instruction and learning opportunities to excel in their areas of expertise and passion.

What percentage of your sixth form that take exams at 18 go to university, and where, in general, do they go?

N/A.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

We have a very individualized approach and procedure in providing the additional support students may need at different times in their learning journey.

Not all schools are staffed or resourced to offer learning support to those children with either moderate or significant learning needs. To what level can you offer support for those with learning differences?

All children are assessed by our admission team and we discuss with the parents if we can meet the needs of their child. This is an individual discussion with parents when they apply to our school.

Please provide comprehensive details of how well your school did in external exams for students at 16 and at 18 years of age? Please provide sufficient detail to allow parents to have a view on how academic your school is?

For Academic year 2019-2020, our highest class is Year 9. We are expanding our school alongside our current students and expect to complete all secondary levels by the Academic Year of 2022.

Students in Year 6-9 will also be taking a standardized assessment. This assessment is widely used by many international schools to provide data on certain aspects of student learning. The 'ISA' assessment is an assessment programme that has been specially developed to measure skills in mathematical literacy, scientific literacy, reading and writing of students according to internationally accepted standards.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma requires a demanding, pre-university course of study that leads to external examinations. The IB Diploma curriculum is a comprehensive, two-year programme that aims for students to share in an academic experience that emphasises critical thinking, intercultural understanding and exposure to a variety of perspectives. Students must receive a minimum of 24 points in order to graduate with an IB Diploma. The maximum possible number of points is 45 – a maximum of 7 points for each subject group and a maximum of 3 points for Theory of Knowledge (ToK) and the Extended Essay. Students are also required to fulfil the requirements of the CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) component of the IB Diploma. Students study towards three Higher Level (HL) and three Standard Level (SL) courses.

The Panyaden Academic Diploma is the culmination of a challenging, university-preparatory program for students who plan to pursue higher education upon graduation. Courses include a range of offerings including English, modern languages, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, art and a variety of electives. A minimum of 24 credits is required to graduate with a Panyaden Academic Diploma. One year of coursework in one subject area is worth one credit. A Panyaden Academic Diploma is a minimum requirement for acceptance to universities in the United States and Canada. This diploma will also meet the requirements for acceptance to various higher education courses in Europe and other continents.

Does your school have particular expertise in dealing with a specific learning need such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers syndrome and so forth?

We have a dedicated and experienced faculty who are able to offer support for some learning needs and all cases are individually considered.

Does your school have an educational psychologist or access to one to assess and support those youngsters with more challenging learning and emotional needs?

We offer recommendations to parents of excellent outside providers to complete comprehensive diagnosis if needed and have an onsite counselor available for students.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

We have the school’s parent-teacher group, Friends of Panyaden or FoP, to exchange information related to the school’s improvement, organise parent-run events and join fun activities with other families.

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?

The school values the contribution of parents. We see parents as partners in the education of the students and understand that home, school and community each play a key role in the development of children. Parents may wish to contribute to the school as follows:
- Be a ‘special guest teacher’. Parents who have a special skill that may be of interest and benefit our students may be invited to join a class for a lesson or activity.
- Volunteer on school special activities.
- Join Friends of Panyaden (the school’s parent-teacher group)

Is there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?

At the moment our school is governed by a voluntary group of advisors and this group does include fee paying members.

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?

New Parents Orientation event is set before first term starts. Early in the first term there will be an opportunity for parents to meet their child’s classroom teachers at school and exchange information on expectations, the plan for the year and daily routines.

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