“Building for the Best" – Discovering how DBS Denla British School supports every child to reach their full potential.
published : 15 Feb 2022 at 14:00
DBS Denla British School is an international school that puts the world-famous British independent school experience at the heart of its teaching philosophy. The school is currently expanding its campus facilities with the addition of two new buildings to accommodate the growing number of students enrolled with learning facilities to prepare our students for university and beyond. I spoke with the Principal, Jonny Liddell, Senior Vice-Principal, Simon Fowler, and Head of Sixth Form, Richard Downs, to find out how DBS prepares its pupils for the future.
What distinguishes DBS's school facilities from those of other international schools?
"Setting up an environment that is designed to nurture children to reach their full potential is what we are aiming for," Jonny Liddell, Principal, said as he began the rationale for why DBS needs to expand its facilities by building the Senior School building and a specialist building for the Arts – both of which feature a variety of academic and creative learning areas such as the Senior School library, top specification science and computer labs, Design Technology and Graphics Suites, a Sixth Form Centre, 665-seat auditorium, the Blackbox, drama rooms, music rooms and studios, art studios, and so on.
“Our construction project has been dubbed 'Building for the Best,' because we genuinely believe that our students are the best and therefore deserve the very best. We are confident that whatever our students' interests are, we can provide them with the best education possible.”
Without a proven record of IGCSE and A Level results, how can you be sure that DBS is able to help students achieve their pathway to their chosen universities?
“Despite not having a history of IGCSE/A Level exam results, we have carefully recruited teachers with a proven track record of success,” Simon Fowler, Senior Vice-Principal said. “I am involved in the recruitment of teachers into the Prep and the Senior schools and I ensure that the teachers and Heads of Department that we do recruit all have experience of achieving outstanding results with their students at IGCSE and A Level while working at other international schools or top schools in the UK.”
What are you working on right now to support your Senior students?
“DBS has brought some best practices from the UK and ensures full school integration through a balanced usage of integrated tutor systems, led and guided by their tutors,” Richard Downs, DBS Head of Sixth Form, explained. “At DBS, we also have university guidance counsellors to support children taking those next steps, enabling them to find the right course and to succeed at any university in the world.”
What can the school do to better support and educate its students for the rapidly changing world of the twenty-first century?
Jonny spoke about what learning is like at DBS “This is why we designed our High-Quality Learning Framework. We want our students to develop knowledge, values and skills and we carefully design our learning activities so that concepts are built carefully in sequence and students develop sound foundations leading them to success. We are often asked about enquiry vs direct instruction. We firmly believe that for students to become effective at enquiry, they need strong foundations so we tend to use direct instruction approaches for knowledge building and utilise enquiry once they have built these foundations. Students will be better able to develop 21st Century skills like critical thinking, communication, creativity and problem solving when they have a firm knowledge basis. You can’t think critically if you do not understand what you need to think critically about. For those who can say ‘but in the future you can just google it’, I would say that you can outsource information but you can’t outsource understanding.”
"It's extremely exciting now because with the next phases of our school campus, we'll be able to support each and every student in reaching their own individual potential and interests even more,” Jonny concluded. “It's not just about the new facilities; it's also about the initiatives, the plans, and the curriculums we have designed for them to meet the needs of each child."
2022 is going to be a very promising year for DBS Denla British School as the Denla Group has invested over 600 million THB, and will be completed in time for the 2022-23 academic year.
For more information about DBS and its new development, please visit https://www.dbsbangkok.ac.th/building-for-the-best/