Ascot International School achieves milestone with further IB authorisation
published : 25 Feb 2019 at 11:55
Since opening its doors in 1995 at its Ramkhamhaeng Soi 118 campus, Ascot International School has provided a caring, nurturing and academically dynamic learning environment.
With previous accreditations and authorisations including CIS, Cambridge Centre, ONESQA and the IB Diploma Programme, the school is proud to announce it has recently received International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) authorisation, making it among only four schools in Bangkok to be authorised for multiple programmes.
Available to children aged 3 to 11, International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme learning differs from “traditional” classroom study in that it encourages students to challenge ideas, ask questions and extend their skills.
“The learning process involves taking risks and at Ascot we create a safe environment for students to learn this way”, explains Headmaster Gary Booth. “We encourage students to make choices about their learning and behaviour in order to develop resilient and well-rounded students.”
At Ascot, teachers serve more as guides than instructors of student learners. In PYP schools, students do not sit passively in rows with a teacher at the front as in traditional classrooms. Students are active and move around the learning space, visiting the library, collecting data outside or interacting with the teacher. A visit to a PYP classroom will reveal students working in groups as they pursue their inquiries, consulting books, conducting online research or gathering information from other people and their surroundings. Using this information they create meaning and links, and can apply their knowledge in local and global contexts. In short, PYP classrooms are dynamic, exciting and very lively places.
Students are taught to use a transdisciplinary approach to their exploration of topics. Rather than using Maths or Science in isolation, they apply all their subject knowledge and skills to tackle an inquiry, mirroring what adults do daily in their jobs. Furthermore, they work collaboratively on projects to ensure that they are developing strong interpersonal and problem solving skills.
The IB PYP culminates in a Year 6 exhibition (11 years old), which involves students working in collaboration to conduct an in-depth inquiry into real life issues or problems. They are expected to utilise the transdisciplinary skills they have learnt over the course of the PYP to present their inquiry to the school community using a variety of methods.
The PYP curriculum at Ascot is complemented by other initiatives that support students in developing attributes of the Learner Profile. These include Philosophy for Children – which supports children in developing their reasoning and debating skills while they explore pertinent social issues related to the context within which they live – and regular Mindfulness lessons, which helps children to become more attuned to their attention, compassion & empathy, emotional regulation as well as their cognitive and inter- / intra-personal development.
The IB PYP authorisation process takes at least two years, throughout which time the school is required to demonstrate its commitment to the IB philosophy, willingness to support teacher training and long term financial stability in order to support the programme. The International Baccalaureate Organisation provides a consultant to guide the school through this candidacy period, and authorisation is only granted after the school has been vetted by a visiting IBO team and is determined to have successfully met the stringent IB PYP requirements.
The school culture is difficult to describe, but the first impression at Ascot is one of warmth and friendliness. Members of the leadership team are on hand each day to greet students, parents and teachers at the main gate. This personal touch is an approach taken by teachers, TAs (teacher assistants) and school leaders all day, every day. Teachers maintain a relaxed and caring relationship with students, and encourage conversation about events both inside and outside the classroom such as upcoming birthdays, current reading, or weekend plans. Lunch times are shared between students and faculty members, with teachers regularly engaging in conversation without the distraction of mobile devises interrupting the exchange of thoughts. This supportive teaching approach – maintained over the years through a shared vision – is one characteristic of our school which visitors and those encountering our students and teachers notice most often.
Ascot International School is fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), and all classroom teachers are fully qualified native English speaking educators.
The school is currently accepting students aged 18 months to 18 years, which allows students to complete their secondary education against a backdrop of familiarity and avoid the potential distraction of readjustment issues. This relational continuity of peer group and teaching staff represents a significant advantage for students in that it reduces stress and anxiety associated with acclimating to a new school environment. Additionally, students’ development can be comprehensively tracked, allowing their individual needs to be identified and fulfilled throughout their education.
Those interested in enrolling are invited to contact Ascot to arrange a visit for a first-hand look at the school in action, our door is always open. We understand that choosing an international school for your child represents a major decision. We will be happy to take the time to show you around the campus and speak with some of our students and staff so that you can make an informed decision.