A very warm welcome back to school after the summer break. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the holiday and had a relaxing time with family and friends.
A couple of weeks ago I greeted our new teachers as they arrived in Thailand. They’ve now enjoyed a packed week and a half of induction to ensure they understand our school and are fully prepared and ready to greet your children on Thursday.
Whilst all of these new teachers have several years of experience of teaching in the UK and other Western countries, it's really important that they have an introduction to their new host country and that they understand our systems and processes and the Harrow Bangkok way of educating. I appreciate that it’s always a little disappointing when your children's favourite teacher leaves but, having now worked with this new cohort of teachers, I'm confident that your sons and daughters will have new favourites very soon!
Over the summer break we've continued to improve the quality of our estate. In Pre Prep we've created extra classrooms to cater for the five classes going into Year Three for the first time this year and then for them in Years Four and Five in later years. We’ve also built a brand new, state-of-the-art Science Lab and Music room with three dedicated practice rooms for Pre Prep students. Creativity will flow in the relocated Pre Prep Art room which boasts arguably the best views of any of the school’s classrooms. Junior and Prep classrooms have new air conditioning; significantly better for the environment and a more comfortable learning space where even the softest voices can be easily heard. The new acoustic ceilings enhance the ambience even more.
To further improve security a new Main Reception is being built at the Clock Tower from where a Receptionist will direct school visitors to the appropriate part of the school. This will be finished in September so, for now, the Main Reception is still in the Executive Office.
The new Lakeside Centre of Excellence will open in the next few months as will the new Admissions Lounge for prospective parents. The Sports Hall has new refurbished and remarked flooring to conform to the latest standards.
New staff accommodation is to complete by February next year bringing more teachers closer to their students.
And the Access Road? Unfortunately, it can’t open for the start of term. Hey-ho. It’s been a 16 year wait so far, what’s another few months! I’ll keep you posted.
On a happier note, my congratulations go to the Class of 2019, last year’s Year 13. In their A Levels, 60.2% were graded A*/A, twelve students achieved A* in three or more subjects and a third of students achieved straight A*/A grades. Of 359 exams entered, over one in four were graded A*. A fantastic and aspirational achievement for many – well done everyone.
For last year’s Year 11 their final results have yet to be announced, as we’re still waiting for the grades from other exam boards. Fingers crossed!
As I said at Speech Day, the entire hard-working and dedicated Harrow Bangkok team are determined to help your sons and daughters achieve the very best they possibly can and whilst this year's A Level results are clearly exceptional and have enabled students to go on to the very best universities worldwide, we will not be resting on our laurels. We will be leading the way on an exciting project with our teachers this year - high performance learning. We will also make sure that teachers are embracing the latest research from the fields of neuroscience and psychology. I’ll tell you more about this as the term progresses.
Here’s to a magnificent year.
To keep abreast of what’s happening at Harrow Bangkok follow me on Twitter @HeadHarrowBKK and make sure to read the next Harrovian to find out all about the new teachers and events that have been happening at the school.