Harrow International School Bangkok: Blending High Academic Standards, Traditions and Service to the Community with Innovative Educational Methods
Harrow International School Bangkok | The Knowledge Review

“All of our students will contribute as leaders to a better world, realise their academic potential and succeed at the university of their choice”

Many parents consider kindergarten as a critical period for laying the foundations for learning. It is the official start of a child’s education but the years preceding this milestone are an extremely important time for learning. Preschool is in fact the time when most learning takes place and is considered by many schools not just a good idea but crucial for a child’s overall success. Harrow International School Bangkok is one of them and they concentrate on fostering the emotional, physical, social, intellectual and creative development of the students.

The school is located on a spacious and green 35 acre campus beside Harrow Lake in North Bangkok, close to Don Muaeng Airport. Harrow Bangkok is a British curriculum day and boarding school for students between 18 months and 18 years. Students study IGCSEs and A Levels and these exam results place the school in the top 5% of British schools anywhere. Graduates transfer to many of the world’s top ranking universities.

There are over 42 nationalities in the 1,600 student body and most students join in the Lower School and remain right through the Sixth Form.

The school’s mission for Leadership for a better world is defined by six leadership attributes that students demonstrate during their time at Harrow Bangkok: Contributing positively to the community, applying knowledge with compassion, solving problems collaboratively, solving problems creatively, making fair and just choices, facing challenges with determination. The leadership attributes are embedded into all aspects of school life, including the kinds of learning experiences teachers prepare for students in lessons, extracurricular opportunities, the House system and the students’ experiences in boarding.

History of the School

Harrow International School Bangkok opened in 1998 as the first Harrow School in Asia. Thailand was chosen for the first Harrow International School because of close links between Harrow School in London and Thailand’s royal family; 23 Thai princes were educated at Harrow London. The school operates under a license granted by Harrow School in London and close ties exist between them, with teacher and student exchanges, new teacher interviews held at Harrow School, and day-to-day co-operation between staff and management. Two governors from Harrow School London are on the board of governors of Harrow Bangkok and they regularly visit the school.

Harrow Bangkok is split into Lower School and Upper School. The school has recently completed a large redevelopment and expansion program and has a host of new facilities, notably the flagship Creative and Performing Arts Centre for art, design, music and drama. Sporting facilities include a multi-purpose athletics centre, a large air-conditioned sports hall, a gymnastics centre, floodlit rugby and football pitches, two swimming pools, a fitness suite, a climbing wall and tennis courts. Harrow Bangkok has its own lake, used for sailing, kayaking, dragonboat racing, adventure races and raft challenges.

School Leadership

Nicholas Prockter is the Head of Lower School. He is responsible for the running of the Lower School (Early Years and Pre Prep). He was educated at Roehampton in London. After a brief spell as a broker at Lloyds of London he began his teaching career in the late 1990s. Nicholas became a primary head in the UK in 2004 and went on to successfully lead three schools in South East London and become accredited as a National Leader of Education (NLE), a role where he provided leadership support for many other schools. Through this work, Nicholas became one of the first heads to form and lead a National Teaching School in the South East of England and led one of the few schools with the Investors in People Gold kitemark.

Harrow Bangkok was founded by Head Master Stuart Morris who was then succeeded by Mark Hensman who was responsible for relocating the school to its current 35 acre campus allowing the school to grow in infrastructure and enrolment.

In 2012 a new Head Master started, Mick Farley. In his six year leadership, Harrow Bangkok flourished and grew even more. The student body expanded to over 1600 and last year results improved further across the schools. It is ranked in the top 2% of British schools globally and last year’s graduates notably went to Oxford, Cambridge, Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania, Kings College, Imperial, London School of Economics (LSE) and University College London (UCL).

In 2014, Mick Farley instigated the ambitious and far-reaching ‘HBuild’ school redevelopment and expansion project. Every section of the school was upgraded and expanded with new facilities for academics, sport, music, arts, and boarding. The final project, a private entrance road to the school, will reduce commuting time and complete the HBuild project.

In January 2019 a new Head Master took over at Harrow Bangkok – Jonathan Standen. He has had successful headships and leadership posts at a number of schools in the UK and was most recently headmaster of Plymouth College.

Teaching with a Difference to Creating Well-Rounded Students

The Early Years teachers at Harrow Bangkok provide a play-based approach to learning, as this is the key way young children make sense of their world. As they move through the school from Pre School through to Sixth Form, the curriculum focuses on developing skills and attributes their students will need to become ‘Leaders for a better world.’

The Early Years curriculum at Harrow Bangkok closely follows the UK Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum delivering seven areas of learning and development of:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design.

The teachers focus on how children learn and create opportunities for young children to play, explore, take risks and think critically about what they are doing. The school also places a strong emphasis on teaching care and concern for others. They pride themselves on the stimulating atmosphere in their thriving Early Years Centre with a large and beautiful environment for the young Harrovians to explore and learn.

The school realises the importance of students acquiring essential learner skills of Literacy and Numeracy and ensure that these skills are embedded in their curriculum. Art, Music and sport are also fundamental components of their Early Years curriculum. Teaching and learning is supported by exceptional facilities including large classrooms, ICT suites, libraries, soft play facilities, music rooms, performance spaces, adventure playground equipment and outdoor learning spaces.

Learning within Classrooms and Beyond with Leadership and Service

The school mission is to make their students Leaders who contribute to a better world, realize their academic potential and succeed at the University of their Choice. The school also focuses on developing in their young people the attributes and desires that will make a positive difference to the communities that they encounter, now and in the future.

Harrow Bangkok is a co-educational boarding and day school that embraces its vibrant host city. The school is responsive to the needs of the community, ensuring that as students get older, charitable service is central to the experiences of their students. Harrow Bangkok benefits from outstanding purpose-built and spacious facilities, staffed by a talented and dedicated faculty, trained and experienced in the best of educational practice. These factors, combined with the desire of their students to get the best from their school life, create a learning environment that is unique in South East Asia. Harrow Bangkok provides innovative opportunities for the students to learn about the world. The young Harrovians fully embrace their school.

The school believes that a healthy lifestyle in young people is vital. Through a focus on physical activity, their Personal, Social and Health Curriculum, promotion of healthy eating and emotional well-being activities, they endeavour to teach and promote healthy choices to their students. Their Global Leaders committee made up of students in their Pre Prep phase is passionate about sustainability and is working towards becoming an accredited Green Flag Eco-School. The school grows plants and food in its nature garden and the dining hall has first-class nutritional standards.

Sustaining Discipline with Promoting Good Behaviour

Teaching staff at Harrow Bangkok seek to create an environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour. The school seeks to educate the whole child and create Leaders for a better world.

The behaviour of the young students at Harrow Bangkok was recently described by a visitor as “exemplary and exuberant”. The key factors in their success are the positive relationships and good communication with parents alongside teachers who encourage, reinforce and celebrate good behaviour and achievement at every opportunity and promote self-esteem.

The promotion of good behaviour is underpinned by the Lower School’s iRules, which are a child-friendly articulation of the leadership attributes unique to Harrow Bangkok: iCare, iRespect, iCreate, iTeam up and iGo for it. Wherever possible the school celebrates and acknowledges achievement in all aspects of the school curriculum and praise students for following the iRules. To be effective, the iRules are supported by consequences and sanctions for any wayward behaviour. The school’s curriculum also explicitly teaches key values as well as how to develop and maintain positive relationships with others.

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