“We develop students to be inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced and reflective. These provide the foundation for the development of international mindedness at UDIS and the dynamic student body the school has”
Located in Thailand, Udon Thani International School (UDIS) is a day school for students seeking an international education. Founded in 2013, the school uses the National Curriculum of England (NCE) as it offers clear standards of education at each level. It is currently a Primary Years Programme (PYP) candidate school with the International Baccalaureate and a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS). UDIS offers nine classes in 2018/2019 from Preschool (2-3 year olds) to Year 7 (11-12 year olds). The school has opened new year levels every year and is planned to extend to Year 11 (15-16 years of age) at least.
The school began by taking over the campus of the RISOL School of languages in Udon Thani. The school inherited the ‘Disney Castle’ from RISOL which is an Udon Thani landmark. From these beginnings, the school has added purpose built Early Years and Primary Years buildings, a covered tennis court and is completing the development of a 25m swimming pool. These facilities have helped the school grow from humble beginnings to over 120 students today.
The school was started with a motive to provide education for parents wanting a quality education without the need to have to send their children to schools outside of Udon Thani. This has resonated firmly with many parents in the region who face the difficult choice of where to school their kindergarten and primary aged children. UDIS has met this need by bringing quality international education to the people of Udon Thani.
The school uses inquiry based learning to prepare students for the information rich world in which we now live. The school prepares its student to find, interpret and analyze information that has become so important nowadays. In the Early Years, the school uses the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) from the UK to run alongside their inquiry programme. They have developed a unique programme combining the rigour of the EYFS with the freedom of inquiry which has worked well to prepare their learners for the Primary Years at the school.
The school also financially aids families at the school going through hardship or change in circumstances. The school is also developing a scholarship program.
In 2015, the school became the first member of the International Schools Association of Thailand (ISAT) in the greater Northeast region. In 2016, the school became a candidate school for the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB) which was the first PYP school in the Northeast of Thailand. In late 2016, the school also became a Council of International Schools (CIS) member school which was another first for the region. The school now aims to complete authorization with PYP in 2019 and accreditation with CIS in the 2020/2021 academic year.
The school was founded by Dr. Lindsay Stuart and Khun. Siriphat Pukpo in 2013. Siriphat has been involved in all levels of education for over 15 years in Thailand. She is currently the licensee of Kornprapaphat Bilingual School (KPBS) in Khon Kaen which opened one of the first English programmes to be launched in Khon Kaen in 2004. She has also been involved in the administration of universities, polytechnics and has been a prominent member of the Khon Kaen Private School’s Committee for many years. Siriphat has education in her blood, and lives and breathes for the development of student learning in Isaan.
Dr. Lindsay is an experienced school administrator with over 17 years’ experience working in education in Thailand. Lindsay hails from New Zealand, where he graduated from the University of Canterbury with Bachelor degrees in Arts and Science before completing a PhD in Information Systems. He also holds a Master’s degree from Mahidol University in Thailand and a Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Administration from Massey University in New Zealand. Lindsay has an excellent understanding of educational administration, learning and technology and uses that knowledge to guide and shape exciting learning programmes for the students of UDIS.
Splendid Learning Methodologies
At UDIS, learners inquire using a well-designed curriculum within a safe and caring environment where they grow socially, emotionally, physically and academically. Learners actively learn about different cultures, respect, appreciate and celebrate diversity, while taking action to become global citizens. The learners here are also challenged to achieve their potential by empowering a diverse set of skills while celebrating success wherever it occurs. The school also tries to make a difference in the world through problem solving at every level by respecting and taking responsibility for themselves, others and the environment.
Balanced learning and intercultural education is an important part of the vision of the school while they aim for learners to take responsible action in the world.
At UDIS, high quality learning means learning which is goal focused, student initiated and led, where students are actively engaged, motivated and responsible for their learning and which involves critical thinking skills such as evaluation, synthesis and cognition within a teacher supported, active environment.
Opportunities and Exposure
The school provides the best facilities and resources to provide the best learning and development of the students like:
- Early Years Building
The school has a purpose-built campus which was completed in 2014. The school building was built around an indoor/outdoor learning concept so that learning is supported across all areas of school in a safe manner. Buildings include innovative environmental features in line with the school’s goal of sustainability that include day-lighting, cavity walls and airflow design.
- Primary Campus
The school has a purpose built primary building to host the upper primary classes and supporting specialists. All the class-rooms are connected to wireless internet and are provided with a range of projectors and computers.
- Sporting Facilities
UDIS offers a variety of sporting facilities to support learning and physical development in students:
- 25m swimming pool – To support swimming from beginning to advanced levels.
- Covered multi-purpose court – Soccer, tennis, basketball and mini cricket
- Walking/running paths – Landscaped paths around the school for running, walking and cycling
- Early years playground – Multi-use outdoor space for early years and lower primary
- Primary playground and field – Primary playground and grassed outdoor space
With all these facilities learners here have begun competing in local competitions where results have been strong. At the most recent competitions in Udon Thani, learners from UDIS won their respective competitions and attended regional finals in Buriram. The school has also begun inter-school competitions with Silver Fern International School at Roi-Et. As the school grows, it hopes to engage more with competitions locally but also with international school competitions in Thailand as well.