St. Stephen’s International School Khao Yai: Nurturing Lifelong Learners by Providing an Encouraging Environment

The school aims to develop a culture and a community of learners within a special East meets West educational environment

In the current busy and competitive world, it has become difficult for the parents to help their child in the daily studies. Consequently, they depend solely on the schools for their child’s development. This development does not only mean learning the subjects, but also the values and cultures and being ready for the future. St. Stephen’s International School Khao Yai is one such school, which embraces the best principles of East and West and creates tomorrow’s generation of global leaders. The school does this by equipping its students with wide-ranging knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply these as they keep abreast of ever-changing technological advancements.

The Community-Driven Founder

With the belief in supporting the young people to become good leaders of their communities, Late Kris Assakul founded St. Stephen’s International School. He wanted to give back to the Thai community by providing a school that offered a high-quality education directly from his experience in Hong Kong. Developing this school completed his dream, in which, the students around the world could benefit from its outstanding facilities, learning, and resources. He completed this final project before he passed away in 2002.

The Resolute Curriculum

The school’s curriculum is broadly based on the English curriculum with an international focus throughout. The primary school runs on the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Within this, the learners engage in exciting, globally relevant thematic units of work that help them engage in learning from multiple perspectives. Themes are explored through independent yet integrated subjects and cover all key academic areas such as science, history, geography, art, design technology, society, international studies, ICT and computer science. Each unit begins with an ‘Entry Point’ to engage and excite, a ‘Knowledge Harvest’, to identify prior learning, research and recording activities and an ‘Exit Point’, to reflect on and celebrate learning. Mathematics and English are taught as discrete subjects.

In the secondary school, students study a curriculum based on the English Key Stage 3 (KS3) curriculum for students age 11 – 14 and the IGCSE for students age 14 – 16. At KS3, focus is on achieving a broad all-round education that challenges every individual student and further develops their academic skills and dispositions of the learner profile introduced in the primary school. Thus, when students choose the options that they will specialise in for their IGCSE courses, they have been well prepared for the choices that they will make.

The Ideal Location

The International School benefits from its location on a magnificent 51-rai site in the World Heritage environment of the renowned Khao Yai National Park. Both its day and boarding students profit from the outstanding learning opportunities that the school and the surrounding area provides. Uniquely, the school hosts the Howling Gibbon Outdoor Education Centre on its site which in turn hosts visiting schools from across Thailand. On campus, its students benefit from its 25m swimming pool, tennis courts, a large gym and extensive sports field and grounds and various ‘hands-on’ activities. Their outdoor education specialist staff make sure that the students have proper access to activities such as kayaking, jungle trekking, rock climbing and abseiling, environmental surveys and animal tracking.

More than Just a Normal School

The school promotes not just academics but also develops the student’s physical wellbeing, cultural understanding, and their character. Describing the life experiences, the school states, “Life experience skills are cultivated in our students so that they understand themselves and society, maintain good health, ever enrich their wisdom, are self-reliant, honorable and disciplined, as well as being honest young citizens of the future.”

Intertwining the Cultures

The school takes the best educational practice from the west and intertwine the respect, culture, and desire to learn from the east. The result is an environment in which all communities are welcomed that is focused on learning and setting ideas into practice. Whether it is a young kindergarten or a primary student in the IPC or a secondary student developing thinking skills, student’s progress is both evident and tangible. Rigour and challenge abound at the school and academic expectations are high.

Character Development

The character development of the students is underpinned by the school’s learner profile, a collection of fifteen dispositions that are essential for students to be comfortable and confident in whatever situation they find themselves. So, not only are its students making excellent academic progress they are also becoming more self-aware.

A Learner Profile

In order to develop their learner profile, the students are encouraged to participate in the wide-ranging after-school activities programme. Students are also supported to be considerate and empathetic of others and become involved in a range of community activities.

Immigrants Programmes

For the international students, the school has extensive and comfortable boarding accommodation. The boarding students have additional support in developing English and other academic skills as well enviable access to the school’s facilities and a programme of weekend activities during term time.

Impressive Placements

The graduates from the school are placed in top Thai universities such as Chulalongkorn University, Thammasat University and Mahidol University studying courses such as Engineering, Psychology and Mass Communication. The graduates have also gone to Deakin University in Australia (Commerce), the University of Swansea in the UK (Medical Genetics), Suzhou University in China (Medicine), and Grand Valley State University in the US (Advertising and Public Relations) as well as other top universities.

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