Set within a large green suburban campus, St Andrews Sukhumvit 107 is a small all-through school with a strong family community, where students follow an enhanced UK curriculum up until the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Years 12 and 13. Looking ahead, the school plans to expand its facilities and increase its intake of pupils…
As an all-through school with around 450 students, St Andrews International School Sukhumvit 107 is definitely smaller than most in Thailand. Students and teachers talk a lot about the “villagey feel” and “sense of family” at this British school, and how everyone knows the students by name. That can often be hard to find in a city centre school like this.
Founded in 1997, St Andrews Sukhumvit 107 teaches children from two to 18 years at a surprisingly large and leafy green campus for such an urban school. The school follows the English National Curriculum (ENC) and offers IGCSEs for Years 10 and 11 and the recently introduced IBDP for Years 12 and 13.
Located at the heart of Bangkok, the school is part of the St Andrews group of four schools in Thailand; it has close links with St Andrews Dusit, its feeder primary school. (It’s not to be confused with St Andrews International School Sukhumvit 71, which is also in the neighbourhood.) The other two schools are St Andrews Sathorn primary school in Bangkok’s CBD and St Andrews Green Valley, an all-through school on the outskirts of Pattaya.
St Andrews is part of the international Cognita group of schools, which has headquarters in the UK and educates 15,000 pupils in more than 70 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-odd schools in the UK.
A British curriculum with an IB influence
St Andrews Sukhumvit 107 offers the English National Curriculum with a strong international slant and an alignment with the International Baccalaureate (IB) framework, standards and practices. It’s a rigorous curriculum and the school says it has “high expectations” of its students.
The St Andrews learning path starts with the early years for children aged two to five years. The schools says,
“Teaching and learning for the children in our early years centre has a high emphasis on structured, creative play and interactive learning.”
The early years programme follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and focuses strongly on developing English vocabulary and communication skills, as well as maths, social studies, and art and design. The school combines this with an inquiry approach to learning, which “encourages students to be global thinkers, proactive learners and have a global perspective on everything they do”. This also prepares students from a very young age for the IDBP at the end of their learning journey.
All early years’ students learn Thai and Mandarin, 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 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 and 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. St Andrews Sukhumvit 107 also encourages multilingualism; as well as daily Thai lessons, primary students have the option to learn either French or Mandarin from Year 3.
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, 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, which was only introduced to the school in 2013, 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, basketball, tennis, badminton, mini golf, football, taekwondo, dance, athletics, gymnastics and rugby. The school also fields teams in various competitive fixtures against sports teams from international schools across the country; as well as playing in the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) Games, the school’s basketball and athletics teams regularly compete at TISAC (Thailand’s International Schools Activity Conference).
Technology supports learning at all stages of education at St Andrews Sukhumvit 107; classrooms are equipped with smartboards and tablets, there’s a dedicated ICT suite, and a 1:1 laptop programme from Year 10. The school is a Common Sense Digital Citizenship certified school, which highlights its commitment to creating a culture of digital teaching and citizenship. How? Well, the school focuses on the seven Cs (critical thinking; creativity and innovation; collaboration; cross-cultural understanding and communication). This teaches the, “digital skills necessary for them to use relevant technology, and teach them how to use that knowledge responsibly.”
The curriculum is also very creative, and all students have specialist music, drama and visual arts lessons. 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. Students are encouraged to showcase their talents – there are at least ten musical performances every year, an annual art exhibition, and several drama productions.
There’s also plenty going on outside of the classroom, from a wide choice of extra-curricular activities for students from the age of four to community service projects and residential trips from Year 2. St Andrews Sukhumvit 107 has a varied programme of Creativity, Action and Service activities, which are part of the IBDP.
"Our students have built water tanks in remote areas of northern Thailand, supported medical charities such as Operation Smile and worked closely with refugee organisations."
St Andrews Sukhumvit 107 has built up a close-knit community where parents are actively involved with fundraising, social events, and learning support. There’s also an active house system that that awards points for academic performance, behaviour and teamwork; it helps to build a strong school community spirit, which is seen every Friday when students come to school in their house t-shirt. As well as receiving a weekly newsletter, parents can log onto a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) to keep track of what’s happening on campus.
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 Sukhumvit 107’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 2018 IGCSE results were higher than the UK national average, and 80% of grades were A*-C range. In 2018, its average IBDP score was 32.2.
The first thing to say about St Andrews Sukhumvit 107 is that it’s incredibly easy to get to. Located next to the Skytrain Bearing station, the school is easily accessible from the city. It’s also a large, green campus that gives its small population of students more than enough room to work, rest and play.
It's a spacious and well-resourced campus that includes a modern canteen, a 250-seat theatre, modern science labs and fully-equipped art, drama, film and music rooms, computer suites, specialist classrooms, including a large food technology room, primary and secondary chool libraries, a 25m swimming pool, and a FIFA standard football pitch.
Admission and fees
Tuition fees are in the mid-range for international schools, but significantly more expensive than primary fees charged at its feeder school St Andrews Dusit. 2018-19 fees range from THB 553,050 for Year 1 and THB 570,530 for Year 7 to THB 586,400 for Year 12.
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