Ruamrudee International School (RIS) is an American curriculum although school with a dedicated campus for students in Pre K2 to Grade 6.
The main school is spread across a 29-acre campus in the Min Buri district. The school's Ratchapruek school is a smaller campus in Bang Kruai for students from Pre-K2 to Grade 6; there are plans to expand up to Grade 12 in future years.
One of Bangkok’s oldest and most established schools, RIS is a 50-year-old not for profit school with around 1,200 students. Founded and still led by the Redemptorist Fathers of Thailand, RIS is first and foremost a Catholic school that promises to provide “an interfaith, inclusive, and academically rigorous education for students”. That said, students of all faiths attend the school, which teaches more than 25 nationalities; while the majority of students are Thai nationals, the school is popular with Americans, Indians, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Koreans.
The academic year runs from August to June and is divided into two semesters: August to December and January to June. At the helm is Dr. Joshua Fritts, who leads a team of international faculty.
Ruamrudee is a Thai word meaning ‘Union of Hearts’, and there’s strong sense of community, service to those in need, and moral development at the school. The school offers religion classes for all Catholic students; these focus on faith development, biblical knowledge, and Church history. Non-Catholic students take ‘values’ classes, which look at “analysing philosophies, cultures, religions, and the traditions of global societies, as well as encouraging the need to engage in community service activities”.
RIS’s inquiry-based curriculum starts in pre-Kindergarten. This “fosters growth through play in the areas of social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development, as well as literacy, communication and language.” The school’s youngest learners focus on dramatic play, writing, art, sensory activities, computing, PE, music, and Thai language classes.
RIS’s elementary school has a “rigorous curriculum” that is focused on reading, writing, maths, science, and social studies. The school day is also filled with lessons in visual and performing arts, PE, Thai, values, and health and wellness.
The school’s PE and arts programmes extend far beyond the school day. RIS belongs to the Bangkok International School Athletic Conference (BISAC) and fields 70 teams in both domestic and international athletic competitions. Sports include badminton, cheerleading, basketball, cross country, swimming, and football. Students are given plenty of opportunities to tread the boards in school productions and festivals, and showcase their talents in art exhibitions. The school also has a variety of choirs, orchestras, and bands for students to join.
Learning doesn’t stop when the school bell rings, and RIS runs an extended day programme (EDP) that includes sports, visual arts, performing arts, creative curriculum, language classes, and more. You’ll also find high school students meeting during lunch and after school for one of the many clubs; many of these focus on community service and charity work, such as the Habitat for Humanity and UNICEF clubs.
RIS embraces its multiculturalism, which is reflected in its calendar of events including Songkran, Chinese New Year, and the international food fair celebrations. Many of these events are organised by the very active (and welcoming) Parent Auxiliary group.
RIS has a purpose-built PreK Pod at the Ratchapruek campus with classrooms, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a soft-play motor room, and a swimming pool. Other facilities at the campus for its older students include an indoor salt water swimming pool, a learning zone, library, and "progressive student-centred classrooms".
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