The elite British boarding school Wellington College has opened an all-through day school in central Bangkok, offering parents a new option for a UK curriculum school; looking ahead it promises to offer IGCSEs, A Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) from 2019.
Thailand welcomes its own generation of Wellingtonians to the country with the opening of Wellington College International Bangkok (WCIB). This new all-through, co-ed school is an export of the elite British boarding school, Wellington College UK. WCIB opened in 2018 with a primary school for pre-nursery through to Year 6, and the secondary school for Years 7 – 13 opened in August 2019; the first Year 9 class opened in September 2020, and the other year groups will follow soon. At full operation, the school capacity is 1,500 students, and promises to offer a very British education to girls and boys from all nationalities.
WCIB is the latest member of the growing international Wellington family, which also includes schools across China in Shanghai, Tianjin, and an upcoming campus in Hangzhou. As well as fully embracing the educational ethos and traditional values of the 150-year-old Wellington brand, WCIB will build on its international links to become a ‘global campus’.
The school says,
“As a result of being part of such a diverse and exciting group of schools, opportunities for staff and pupils are numerous but include students exchanges, cultural trips and collaborative learning opportunities. Pupils of Wellington College International School Bangkok will also benefit from our international links as the Wellington Family continues to grow.”
The name ‘Wellington’ has a reputation for its rigorous academic curriculum, and we would expect the same at WCIB. The school says that WCIB “brings the best of British education with a strong emphasis on Wellington College values to a Thai context”.
Located in the bustling Saphan Soong district of Bangkok, WCIB will feel a long way from the UK’s 400-acre parkland campus in southern England, but we would hope to see a very modern, purpose-built campus. At the helm is founding head teacher Christopher Nicholls who is known by the Wellington traditional title of ‘Master’.
WCIB offers a well-established pathway to Western higher education. An education here starts with the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum for ages 2 to 5, and this has a very play-based approach. Throughout the pre-prep and prep schools, students follow the National Curriculum for England for literacy, mathematics, and phonics. In all other subjects, they follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), which is known for its creative and thematic approach to teaching and strong focus on personal learning goals.
In senior school, students will study for their IGCSEs, and then choose between A Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in the sixth form.
As well as preparing students for exam success, WCIB talks a lot about encouraging a life-long love of learning and “nurturing and developing the whole child”. Activities inside and outside the classroom focus on the Wellington Identity, which guides children to be Intellectual, Independent, Individual, and Inspired. The timetable also features a well-being programme of lessons, sessions, workshops, and discussions that focus on six aspects: having and maintaining physical health; developing positive relationships; building emotional resilience; maintaining a healthy curiosity about the world; understanding and promoting ways of living sustainably; and working out our responses to the questions that life asks of us.
Sport and the arts
Sport is an integral part of the curriculum at WCIB, and we can look forward to a strong competitive sports programme. Arts classes focus on drama, dance, music, creative writing, art, and design, while diverse music lessons will span classical, rock, jazz, and pop; students will be encouraged to display their talents at plays, concerts, and recitals throughout the academic year.
Beyond the classroom
WCIB offers an extensive programme of extra-curricular activities, which are optional for Years 1 and 2 and compulsory for Year 3 onwards. The school says the ECAs are,
“An exciting opportunity for our pupils to try new activities, cultivate new interests and develop skills and aptitudes which will help with their personal and academic development.”
The school promises to have a “thriving house system”; students will each be allocated to a house that will become “very much their home in the college." As well as taking part in house events such as swimming galas and creative competitions to win points, students will have the opportunity to become head of house and take on additional responsibilities.
The school is located in Krungthep Kreetha, halfway between Bangkok city centre and Bangkok International Airport, next to the Unico Grande golf course.
Admission and fees
Full tuition fees at WCIB have not been released yet, but they are expected to be on a par with other leading international schools in Bangkok.
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