Q+A: Harrow International School Bangkok
Harrow International School Bangkok, a co-educational day and boarding school for students aged between 18 months and 18 years, answers our questions and takes us on a virtual tour...
What happens when parents visit the school?
Our Admissions Team will be pleased to provide you with a tour of the school and answer any questions that you may have relating to your child’s education. Make an appointment by filling in the ‘Initial Contact Form’ on our website, or by contacting the Admissions Team. Please see our school profile (link above) for contact details.
What assessments are required to enrol?
Admission testing varies depending on the year group. Generally testing would include English, Mathematics and an interview. An in-class assessment may be required for younger students. If there is an available place within the appropriate year group, and the consideration criteria has been met, the student will be invited to visit Harrow Bangkok to complete the assessments.
Can you give me a breakdown of where your students come from? (nationality)
We have 1,500 students in our school from 38 nationalities – the international heart of the school is our Boarding Village, where students from all over the world enjoy the ‘home from home’ atmosphere.
Image: rugby practice
What curriculum do you follow?
In our Early Years Centre and Pre-Prep and Prep Schools, our pupils are taught a bespoke Harrow Bangkok curriculum, incorporating the best educational practice of England, yet with global influences.
Students in the Senior School study for IGCSE, AS and A Level examinations. The school prides itself on its reputation for academic rigour, and our Sixth Form students go on to study at top universities around the world, predominantly in the UK and USA.
What is your teaching philosophy?
All that we do in our school reflects our mission or ethos statement, ‘Leadership for a better world’. Whether within lessons, or the diverse ‘Leadership in Action’ (LiA) extra-curricular programme on offer, we focus on developing in our young people the attributes and desires that will make a positive difference to the communities that they encounter, now and in the future.
Image: Head Master with senior prefects
How have your pupils performed in examinations in recent years?
Harrow International School Bangkok students delivered the strongest set of results in the history of the school last summer, leaving the school’s community absolutely delighted. More than half of all A Levels and two thirds of all IGCSEs sat by their pupils resulted in A* or A grades; an exceptional accomplishment, and an appropriate outcome for the school’s hardworking and talented students, supported by the outstanding Harrow Bangkok team.
What is the teaching programme in your Sixth Form?
Students entering the Sixth Form follow a two-year programme of study. They normally study four AS Levels in Year 12 and three or four A2 Levels in Year 13. The students also contribute significantly to the Leadership in Action programme, taking on leadership roles within their House, the Sixth Form and the wider school community. The Sixth Form workload is demanding and requires commitment, motivation and excellent organisational skills.
To this end, we set a minimum entrance requirement of five IGCSE passes at grade ‘C’ or above to undertake Sixth Form courses, with at least a B grade in the subjects to be studied at AS Level.
Image: Year 13 graduates
How do you teach the acquisition of English?
The acquisition of high-level English skills is a top priority for us. With a recently enhanced curriculum, our aim is to ensure high standards of language and literacy by equipping students with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Our English curriculum is rigorous with a clear progression in teaching the basic skills such as phonics, spelling, grammar and punctuation. These expectations are woven throughout all aspects and subjects within the wider curriculum, to ensure students are able to apply their skills and knowledge effectively.
Image: Early Years play area
How do you support pupils who are struggling, and how do you challenge the more able?
The Foundation English Programme is often a student’s first step into Harrow Bangkok for those who need language support. The aim of the Foundation English Programme is to provide a framework where we ensure students have a strong-enough base in the English language, before attempting to study full-time in the mainstream classes. To provide the best support we can, class sizes are small (usually between ten and fifteen), and we have a full-time Teacher Assistant in the class alongside the main English teacher.
Students study Maths, Thai language (or their native language), PE and drama, and are in tutor groups. However, nearly all other lessons during the week are English lessons. Students also attend Saturday School, and currently study Science during that time, with a Teacher Assistant supporting alongside the main Science teacher.
High-flying students are stretched academically in a number of ways, including streaming into the highest tier sets while studying English and Mathematics at IGCSE. Able students can also take additional IGCSEs such as Further Pure Mathematics and Statistics, and additional IGCSEs such as Astronomy and languages.
In the Sixth Form, the ‘Scholars’ Curriculum’ is a special programme of study which encourages students to read broadly around the curriculum to gain a greater breadth and depth of knowledge.
Image: Prep School
How can you ensure continuity if my child moves between countries?
We follow the UK National Curriculum, and so students who return to the UK can resume their studies for GCSEs and A Levels seamlessly. This is also true for students who go on to study at any international school that teaches the UK National Curriculum.
What links do you have with other schools?
Harrow is a family of schools comprising Harrow School in London (The Hill), John Lyon School, Harrow International School Bangkok, the original Harrow International School, Harrow International School Beijing, Harrow International School Hong Kong and the newly opened Harrow International School Shanghai. They share the aims of academic excellence and a broad-based learning experience.
Harrow Bangkok has close links with its affiliated school, Harrow UK, and there are many opportunities for our students to link up with Harrow UK, such as student exchange trips, and joint musical and academic trips. The Head Master of Harrow UK visits Harrow Bangkok to deliver talks to our parents, which further strengthens our bond with this school.
Image: Upper School Library
What opportunities are available for children who are boarding?
Life in boarding provides fantastic opportunities for children to advance academically and socially. Boarders are engaged in a wide range of after-school activities, as well as provided with a well-structured study routine which allows them to complete homework. They have free tuition sessions from qualified Harrow Bangkok teachers who are specialists in their subjects.
Boarders are fully immersed in the Boarding House ethos, which promotes the camaraderie of common experiences, friendship among peers and a trust and openness with teachers in the House. Boarders are able to enjoy the school’s facilities both after school and at the weekend, and all of these facilities are safely accessible from the Houses. We find that many families are attracted to boarding to help children find the balance between the academics and sport and social activities.
Image: Swimming Pool
How can parents get involved?
There are so many ways to be involved in the Harrow Bangkok community. Friends of Harrow (FOH) is a group of parents who work to enhance the school experience for the entire school community and beyond. Whether you are an elected committee member, assist committee members at sales and events, come to our Parent Workshops or simply enjoy being part of FOH events, we welcome your involvement.
There are many aspects to what they do to add value to the school. For example, they help to arrange special learning and festival days in school and encourage student and teacher initiatives through their bidding programme, to provide those little extra things that make life at Harrow Bangkok so rewarding.
Image: Early Years Christmas performance
How important is music and the arts in your school?
At Harrow Bangkok the creative arts play a large part in the development of our students. A ‘core’ Music curriculum is followed from Year 1, up to and including Year 9. During this process students are developing their knowledge of different styles and periods of music through a process of performing, composing, listening and appraising.
We equip students with the skills necessary to study Music at IGCSE and A Level if they wish. Whether your child is an advanced musician or an absolute beginner, there are many performance opportunities throughout the school.
The Drama curriculum from Years 6 to 9 opens up a world of skills, styles and aesthetics from different cultures around the globe. Design elements, such as set and costume design, are also taught. These skills are the foundation of the IGCSE and A Level courses. The extra-curricular programme is also based on the concept of challenging our students, and giving everyone the opportunity to participate.
In terms of Art, students from Year 6 to 13 are taught by specialist Art teachers, who support them in developing technical, creative and problem-solving skills. Projects range from traditional portrait painting to architectural model making and digital media.
At the end of the school day, the creativity continues. The extra-curricular programme offers opportunities for individual work as well as leadership in collaborative projects.
Do you offer the Duke of Edinburgh Awards?
Yes, we offer full support for students who wish to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh International Award, which complements our LiA programme.
Is there a school bus service?
Montri Transportation is the service provider for door-to-door routes to and from Harrow Bangkok. The service is a safe, reliable way for your children to travel to school. All children have an ID card that allows you to track their departure and arrival times.
Please go to this link to view the Winter's profile for Harrow International School Bangkok.
Image: Lower School mini concert
All images: Harrow International School Bangkok