The Head of Secondary writes… Value of the Month is Internationally Minded

What does it mean to be internationally minded? It’s a key part of our school vision, it’s one of our Life Values, as teachers and students we focus on being internationally minded but it can still be hard to define.

When I google the definition to see how it is described in an educational context, every definition is different but I can connect and believe in each. It reaffirms my conclusion that it is one of the most important values that education can help to develop in us all.

Put simply, international mindedness means understanding, respecting and valuing different cultures, embracing diversity and knowing that different perspectives have a great deal to offer. It is rooted in equality.

This week typifies Bangkok Prep’s commitment to being, and learning how to be, internationally minded.

On Monday, all students and staff stopped their work at 11am to stand and respect one minutes silence on Remembrance Day. This followed one of the most powerful Remembrance Day assemblies I have ever seen. The assembly was student led and Svara, Marco and our Deputy Head Boy, Andre, did a remarkable job of researching, planning and delivering a solemn and reflective occasion. I was so moved, I have asked the students to share their scripts with me and shall write to you separately so you can get a sense of the feeling and empathy generated in the room. Thank you to Mr Davis for enabling the students to do this and also taking them to the British Club on Sunday 10th November to represent the school. You all make us very proud.

On Wednesday, the Thai Department and our students performed a special Loy Krathong Ceremony for KS3 and then again for KS4 and the Sixth form. It was phenomenal! The music and dance performances were of such a high standard. We also enjoyed the community joining in the Loy Krathong dance around the Auditorium, with students teachers and some brave parents showing their best moves. Well done to everyone involved, these events take weeks of rehearsals and commitment that showed in the quality of the event.

Wednesday was also International Kindness Day and the Sixth Form students started the day with notes that held kind thoughts and messages like “Thanks for being you” and “You make me smile”. They were passed on from student, to staff, to student throughout the day and reminded us just how much the small things count. Kindness is such an admirable quality. Thank you to Ms Wright for leading the initiatives to help us remember this!

Today, Friday 15th November, students spent the whole day dressed in clothes from either their home country or a country they have a meaningful connection with. We truly value the diversity in our school and also recognise that identity and belonging are key factors in well-being. Many of our children have had wonderful opportunities to live in different countries and cultures and this diversity can be reflected within families too. Dressing up doesn’t make us internationally minded but working together and talking and listening to each other can.

Thanks to Ms Adhego’s amazing planning, organisation and leadership, all day our students worked in mixed groups to focus on the UN Global Goals.

The aim of the day was to encourage a working knowledge of the UN Global Goals and what Bangkok Prep students can do to make an impact in accordance with the life values of our school. The students worked together in house groups of 10-14 students, to design and deliver a project that would get the world closer to achieving the Global Goals. The groups chose a goal they were passionate about and designed a way to raise awareness or propose a solution relevant to their community. For the first time ever, Bangkok Prep worked with Rick from Teaspoons of Change and every student took part in a one hour workshop. The day concluded with a final assembly in the auditorium where presentation of the winners took place -congratulations Panthera!

We also thoroughly enjoyed the community coming together for a fabulous ‘International Food Expo’ at lunchtime: Thank you to all the teams of parents who helped by contributing their time, resources and care to the event: The students loved it! And so did the teacher’s!  Well done FOBP! It was so good that the cafeteria was very, very quiet even on the first week of opening the second floor cafeteria or the cafeteria penthouse as I heard it called.

As always our students were amazing and I would like to say I was especially impressed that today every student took part in a lesson planned and prepared by our student leaders in the Equality Team: Thank you. To help us learn about being internationally minded, different groups were given the same task but very different resources. They had to do the best they could with what they had.  Jane Elliot’s now famous race experiment was then shared to further stimulate discussion. Her experiment proved to Elliot that prejudice is a learned behavior. Which means, she says, it can be unlearned. I hope at Bangkok Prep, we really do promote equality and with our student leaders keeping this at the forefront of our minds, we are embedding our school vision.

Finally, next week, we will have two evaluators in for a synchronised visit from CIS (the Council of International Schools) and NEASC (The New England Association of Schools and Colleges). As a global organization, CIS helps schools access new international educational practices, gain recognition for accomplishments, attract qualified staff, facilitate student connections with leading universities around the world, and provide a quality international education experience to students and parents. We are proud to be a CIS accredited school. We are looking forward to their visit and will share what they have to say about Bangkok Prep soon.

This was a week for us all to be proud of being part of Bangkok Prep and giving each other the chance to live by our vision to be truly internationally minded.

 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,

 

Tia Court-Smith

Head of Secondary

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