VERSO International School is a new all-through school for Bangkok that promises to be a “school of the future” when it opens in August 2020. It will offer a US curriculum, bucking the trend of other schools opening next year, which have opted for a mix of the UK's GCSE and A' Levels, and the IB.
VERSO International School is adding to the growing choice of international schooling options in Thailand, and the increasing availability of places in many year groups. Due to open in August 2020, this all-through school will offer an innovative American standards-based curriculum at its futuristic, Apple-style campus in Bang Na.
Located on a 30-acre, purpose-built campus located next to Thana City Golf and Country Club, VERSO will open for students in early years (two-year-olds) up to Grade 8 in 2020, with the Grades 9-12 opening in August 2021; its full capacity will be 1,800 students.
VERSO will offer an “innovative and highly progressive curriculum”, which will be a US-style curriculum that’s aligned with New York State’s Educational Standards. The school promises learning beyond the classroom walls; project-based learning; a focus on decision-making skills; and opportunities for students to “share their learning through regular public exhibitions and showcase events”.
While VERSO will open in the same year as two British all-through schools – North London Collegiate School and King’s College International School Bangkok – and the schools couldn’t be more different. In contrast to the traditional, British public-school curriculum delivered at NLCS and King’s College, VERSO will offer a new model of education.
This is a school where teachers are more like mentors guiding students through activities and topics of interest; students are divided into cohorts rather than traditional single grade levels; and students can choose their own curriculum in a very personalized-style of education. Class sizes will range from 2-20 students in early years up to 24 in Grades 1-12.
Based on the information given so far in its website, we can expect a school that is flipping the traditional style of schooling to deliver “an innovative educational choice that will truly prepare children for the future”. The design of the school will make a huge contribution to this, and VERSO has partnered with IDEO to design an Apple-style campus that “reimagines what a school of the future would look like”. With its uniquely-designed looped buildings, VERSO moves away from the confines of a traditional classroom – and it will be interesting to see just how the school uses this to enhance learning.
The school is a joint-venture partnership between U City (Bangkok) and a Hong Kong private investor.
Head of school is Cameron Fox. Originally from Scotland, Fox has lived and worked in Hong Kong since 1993, and for the past 14 years has been the head of school at the American International School of Hong Kong. AIS has a 30-year track record of delivering a college-prep education, and is one of only a very few international schools in Hong Kong to offer the full AP programme.
The campus in Bang Na is described by the school as an “inspirational futuristic campus with uniquely designed looped buildings”. The Lower Loop for early years to Grade 4 will classrooms, learning commons, studio spaces for art, science and design, an indoor pool and multi-purpose gym. The Middle Loop (Grades 5-8) will be home to flexible classrooms, learning commons, active spaces, science labs, maker spaces, and communal areas. In the college-style Upper Loop (Grades 9-12) there will be flexible classrooms, project spaces, learning commons, university-level science labs, design labs, makerspaces, and community spaces.
At the heart of the campus will be a lake, surrounded by sports facilities including Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool, junior indoor pool, gymnasium and fitness centre, 1,000-seater athletics stadium, full-size soccer pitch, training pitch, and tennis and basketball courts.
Admission and fees
The school has not released its fees yet.
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