Part of the St Andrews family of schools, this small school by design for two to 18 year olds has been offering an integrated international and British curriculum to families living in the Eastern Seaboard for over 20 years – and it’s the only school in the region to offer a Dutch stream.
St Andrews Green Valley is an all-through school for children aged two to 18 years, offering a combination of the English National Curriculum with the International Baccalaureate programme, and offers assessments including IGCSEs and the International Baccalaureate Programme (IBDP). In the school’s own words, it offers “the best of international learning”. It’s also the only school in the region to offer a Dutch stream with language lessons from children aged four to 18 years old.
Founded in 1996, St Andrews International School Green Valley is one of Thailand’s oldest international schools. It has the benefit of more than 20 years’ experience, which is reflected in its excellent academic record in both IGCSEs and the IBDP. It’s a small school by Thai standards, with around 450 students from early years up to Year 13 from more than 35 nationalities. According to the school it offers,
“The close, individual attention offered by a small school, together with the academic and cultural opportunities and outstanding facilities of a far larger one.”
Located on the outskirts of Pattaya and Rayong, Green Valley belongs to the much larger St Andrews group of four schools in Thailand. The other three schools are all in Bangkok: St Andrews Dusit primary school; St Andrews Sathorn primary school; and St Andrews Sukhumvit 107, which takes students from two to 18 years and offers the English National Curriculum integrated with the IB PYP in primary, followed by the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).
St Andrews International School Green Valley is also part of the international Cognita group of schools, which has headquarters in the UK and educates 40,000 pupils in 70-plus schools worldwide. While Cognita’s other schools in South East Asia follow either American or Australian curriculums, St Andrews is much more in line with its 40-plus schools in the UK.
The school is popular with families living and working in the Eastern Seaboard, which is Thailand's centre for export-oriented industries. The school is inspected annually by the EDT (Education Development Trust), and has held the highest rating in the region of Gold for the past two inspections in 2015 and 2018 and was awarded “outstanding” in all areas each time.
St Andrews Green Valley claims to offer the “very best of international learnings” by integrating the English National Curriculum with the International Baccalaureate programme.
The St Andrews learning path starts with the early years for children aged two to five years. The early years programme follows the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) integrated with the principles of the UK Early Years Foundation Stage. It focuses strongly on developing literacy and maths using “structured play and interactive learning”. All students learn Thai, and there’s a specialist English language support programme to prepare students for mainstream education. In terms of sport, children have PE and swimming lessons from as young as two. Other specialist classes include music, drama and art.
The primary curriculum follows the framework of the PYP integrated with the principles of the English National Curriculum (ENC). It covers KS1 (Years 1-3) and KS2 (Years 4-6) and includes the following subject areas: maths, English, science, IT, history, geography, design technology, art, PE, music, as well as personal, social and health education. While teaching is strongly aligned to the ENC, the school continues to follow the learner-centred principles of the International Baccalaureate. The IB’s inquiry approach to learning encourages students to be global thinkers, proactive learners and have a global perspective on everything they do. This prepares students from a very young age for the IBDP at the end of their learning journey.
St Andrews Green Valley encourages multilingualism; as well as daily Thai lessons, students learn both French and Mandarin from Year 5. The school has a sizeable Dutch population, and it is the only school in the region to offer a Dutch stream that meets the benchmarks set by the Dutch government. From reception through to secondary, students whose mother tongue is Dutch can attend two to three classes a week taught by Dutch teachers, working towards IGCSE Dutch and IBDP Dutch.
The secondary school, from Year 7 to 13, continues to offer the broad and well-balanced ENC; subjects include English language and English literature, maths, science, Mandarin, French, Dutch, geography, history, ICT, art, and business studies. Years 10-11 follow the two-year IGCSE course, and Years 12-13 then take a more international learning path as they study for the IBDP. IGCSEs give students a good grounding for the IBDP, and many international schools have decided to follow this route rather than offer A Levels.
Students learn the importance of exercising for a lifetime from a young age. There’s a strong PE programme that includes swimming, rugby, basketball, football and athletics, as well as tee-ball, netball, cricket, cross country, gymnastics, tennis and hockey. With facilities including riding stables, three golf courses and plenty of wide open space, students can also sign up for ECAs including golf, horse-riding and beach polo. The school has a strong competitive streak, and says, “we are committed, passionate and big game winners”. It fields St Andrews Panthers teams in various competitive fixtures against sports teams from international schools across the country, including the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) Games.
Technology supports learning at all stages of education; classrooms are equipped with smartboards and tablets, and there are dedicated ICT rooms. The curriculum is also extremely creative, and all students have specialist music, drama and visual arts lessons. The school says,
“We believe that studying music, drama and dance helps students become aware of additional methods of communication and develop a lifelong engagement with and appreciation for the arts.”
In music, students work with percussion instruments, keyboards, recorders and ukuleles to learn vocal skills and composition; from Year 3, all students select a specialist music instrument. The school offers private lessons in violin, viola, cello, drums, classical guitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocal coaching, group ensemble, singing, flute, recorder and piano. Students are encouraged to showcase their talents – there are at least six musical performances every year, three annual art exhibitions, several drama productions, and a Student Spotlight drama festival.
There’s also plenty going on outside of the classroom, from a wide choice of extra-curricular activities to community service projects and residential trips from Year 1. St Andrews Green Valley has a varied programme of Creativity, Action and Service activities, which are part of the IBDP. It also encourages senior students to take part in events such as the Model United Nations, Tournament of the Minds and Eastern Seaboard Science Fair. During the school holidays, there is a popular summer camp for both primary and secondary students.
St Andrews Green Valley has built up a close-knit community where parents are actively involved with fundraising, social events, and learning support; there’s even a parent cafe with wifi where mums and dads can meet for a coffee. As well as receiving a weekly newsletter, parents can log onto VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) to keep track of what’s happening on campus.
There’s an active house system that is branded by the school as Island Communities; this awards points for academic performance, behaviour and teamwork. Every student is a member of one of four communities named after Thai islands. It’s a friendly initiative that really helps to build a strong school community spirit, which is seen every Friday when students come to school in their house t-shirt.
There are more than 30 different nationalities represented at the school, and this is embraced by celebrating key cultural festivals throughout the year. St Andrews Green Valley’s university and careers counselling team supports senior students on their path to further education – and the school fosters a strong reading culture through author visits and other literary events.
The school has a very strong academic record. In the 2018 IBDP, the average score was 35 which is considerably higher than the global average of 30 and only six points off the top score of 45; the school has had an average score of 35 for the last five years. There was a 100% pass rate.
In the 2017 IGCSEs, 88% of students achieved grades of A* C, 39% of these being A* and A.
Set within the Green Valley Country Club, St Andrews Green Valley offers students the opportunity to learn in some beautiful green surroundings. Located on the outskirts of Pattaya and Rayong, this small school boasts the facilities of a much larger school. Lessons are held in dedicated areas for early years, primary and secondary students. Facilities include modern computer suites, central library, music practise rooms, art studios, makerspace room, a new black box theatre, science and innovation centre, cooking facilities, student garden, large sports fields, an eight-lane swimming pool, basketball courts and beach volleyball court.
The school says,
“At Green Valley we already provide a range of outdoor education learning experiences for our students, but this facility could put us at the cutting edge of best practice in this area.”
Admission and fees
Tuition fees are at the lower end of the scale for international schools. For 2018-19, tuition fees are THB 400,470 for kindergarten and THB 507,630 for Year 1, THB 580,410 for Year 7, and THB 651,000 for Year 12.
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