Tag Archives: International Primary Curriculum

Enjoy Being a Chef!

Being a chef is one of many jobs Y2 Grasshoppers students dream about.
When learning about careers, Anda’s mum, with Chef Bam and Chef Bie, made that dream come true.

Under the guidance of professional chefs, students made a bacon and vegetable sandwich.
They enthusiastically chose the vegetables they wanted, shaped and filled the fresh dough before baking it in the oven. Everyone enjoyed this fun baking lesson. Here’s what, the buns looked like.

Yummy!

 

Tea with Teachers: Answers to Parents’ Questions

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Here are answers to the questions parents asked during our recent Tea with Teachers event at Panyaden.

1. Can you explain your teaching methods?
In all classes, we aim to boost students’ independence and their sense of responsibility for their own learning. Key elements that we put in place include the following:

  • We keep lecture-style lessons to a minimum. Teachers keep instructions and explanations to 5-15 minutes maximum, then the focus turns to learning in small groups and or as individuals.
  • We involve students in identifying success criteria for the tasks at hand. Having a clear picture of the goal helps them self-monitor their progress.
  • We start the year with a unit about how the brain works and teach them how to learn more efficiently. Learning how to learn!
  • We accept mistakes and teach students ways to learn from them.
  • We describe their learning and behavior in non-judgmental words, leading them to assess themselves instead on relying on us.
  • We present the same information in different ways so students with different learning needs can access it reach the same goal.

2. Will K2 students learn combined vowel sounds in Thai language? (K2 parent)
In Kindergarten 2 Thai, children will be encouraged to read aloud a wide range of stories and listen to poems which they will start to recite by heart. They will become confident in being able to identify letters and will strengthen their learning of phonological awareness. They will be exposed to a range of daily sight words containing the simple and combined vowel sounds, and will practise forming individual Thai letters.

ในวิชาภาษาไทยสำหรับระดับชั้นอนุบาล 2 นักเรียนจะได้รับการส่งเสริมการอ่านหนังสือและนิทานที่หลากหลาย และได้ฟังบทกลอน บทกวีที่เหมาะสมตามวัย เพื่อพัฒนาทักษะด้านภาษาจากภายในอย่างเป็นธรรมชาติ
นักเรียนจะได้เรียนรู้เกี่ยวกับพยัญชนะไทยและพัฒนาความมั่นใจในการจำแนกเสียงของคำจากเสียงพยัญชนะ นอกจากนั้น นักเรียนจะได้เริ่มเรียนรู้และคุ้นเคยกับคำศัพท์ประจำวันที่ประสมด้วยสระอย่างง่ายเพื่อพัฒนาการเรียนรู้การสะกดคำในระดับสูงต่อไป

3. How can foreign parents help their kids to learn Thai?
Learning a second language yourself is a powerful way to model the importance of that second language but, maybe even more importantly, it’s a way to show your child that learning is a lifelong endeavour and that taking risks and doing something difficult is actually enjoyable! However, you don’t have to master a second language to help your child. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Provide learning materials that match your child’s interests: books, games, music, etc.
  • Organise activities where your child will have to use his second language: horse riding, swimming lessons, a visit to a theme park, etc.
  • Invite a neighbour or a friend who speaks the targeted language.
  • Show your personal interest in the language.
  • Read to your child in your first language but find someone to read to her in her second language or use audio books.

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4. Can the school increase the length of English learning time? (Year 2 parent)
Children in Year 1-7 have 5 hours of focused English language time each week but are also learning and practising English at other times, such as during integrated learning (maths, science, history, geography) and performing arts, so there are many more hours of English per week than in the English language lesson. As a bilingual school, we put equal emphasis on English and Thai.

5. How can we as parents support at home?
For Year 1-7 we will be sending activities home that aim to involve parents. On top of that, we suggest that parents:

  • Encourage reading by reading to your children every day, making sure that they see you reading, and limiting screen time.
  • Arrange a quiet, comfortable space for children to read or do homework and avoid distractions – like the TV being on – during that time.
  • Come to our parent-teacher workshops later this term where we will share ideas about our approaches to learning and behaviour. We will notify you of dates in advance.
  • Ask your children to explain the Wise Habits each time we send information about them home and look for opportunities to reflect upon them with our child.

6. Can we have access to the curriculum?
Yes, the UK curriculum is publically available and can be viewed here: Early Years Primary Years 1-7

Information about the The International Primary Curriculum – which is the tool we use to organise the different subjects into themes and units can be viewed here: IPC

7. Can we see the Thai language curriculum for Year 5?
Yes, we have the Thai curriculum for every grade at school as a PDF file. Any parents who would like to get a copy, please write to Kru Dokmai at dokmai@panyaden.ac.th.

ทางโรงเรียนมีหลักสูตรภาษาไทยสำหรับทุกระดับชั้นในไฟล์เอกสาร หากผู้ปกครองท่านใดต้องการสำเนา สามารถติดต่อครูดอกไม้ได้ตามอีเมลนี้ dokmai@panyaden.ac.th.

8. Can we have an overview of the following 3-4 months, upcoming festivities, field trips?
Main school events are available from the school’s calendar. We will also be sending home a summary of the term’s learning activities each term. This will be done soon.

9. What is the main language of communication among children?
Teachers only speak their first language with students. We expect all students to communicate with teachers in the teacher’s first language. Children choose the language they will use among themselves and we hear a lot of switching between Thai and English with English tending to dominate with the older students. To fully support Thai and English we monitor and adjust, in every group, the number of speakers who don’t have Thai or English as a first language.

Blossom Day By Sarah Brown

Panyaden was joined at the end of term by a representative from the International Primary Currculum (IPC), Sarah Brown. We are integrating the IPC with the Thai curriculum and have just completed our first year of using it. We invited Sarah, the IPC’s Professional Development Manager, to join our Blossom Day and she kindly recorded her observations for our blog.

 

Panyaden’s annual celebration of children’s learning

By Sarah Brown

Sarah conducting IPC training at Panyaden

Normally I only get to visit schools when the children aren’t there – if all the teachers are being released for professional development, this means I don’t get the chance to see children’s learning in action. But my trip to Panyaden school was different. Before I worked with the staff, I was invited to join the entire school community for Blossom Day – Panyaden’s annual celebration of children’s learning.

I met with excited parents in the assembly building where the different classes showcased the knowledge, skills and understanding they had developed across the year. The show was also a celebration of internationalism within the school. Panyaden’s dedication to providing a truly bilingual approach to learning was evident through the dual language programme, announcements, songs and plays. Through performances such as ‘Stone Soup’ and ‘Magic Land’, the students celebrated Thai culture, folk tale and history, as well as teaching us about the importance of lifelong learning and new adventures with our friends.

Panyaden School students selling their handmade books on Blossom Day at the school Panyaden School student selling the cave tour to an interested parent Panyaden School Handicraft for sale - made by Panyaden School students

After the show, we were invited to the Blossom Market where the young entrepreneurs set to work persuading the audience to buy objects and food they had made during their different units of work. Bilingual storybooks, potted plants and other crafts were for sale, with all proceeds being donated to a learning centre for disadvantaged children. I spent the rest of the morning quizzing pupils about their learning, and was given a guided tour of caveman art, learnt how food can be made using a solar oven, and was treated to a taste of home with some freshly made scones and jam!

Potted plants for sale at Panyaden School's Blossom Day market

There are 3 key elements to the IPC – academic, personal and international learning. It is so easy to focus solely on the academic, but it is the personal and international which help guide and prepare children to be responsible and caring adults in the future. Panyaden celebrate personal learning through their 12 Wise Habits – I found these personal qualities to be a living and breathing part of the whole school community. They are explored, modelled, encouraged and celebrated through the school’s entire approach to learning, meaning that any visitor feels welcome the minute they arrive at Panyaden.

The school is only in its first year of using the IPC but is successfully adapting the unit themes to meet the needs of their school context and culture, as well as the needs of their individual students. Staff are now developing the assessment of children’s learning, with a focus on involving students in this continuous process of feedback and future target setting. Leadership at the school also spent a day looking at how they can move forward with the curriculum by involving all staff in a review of their successes so far, and working together to find ways they can continuously improve the learning for all students in the school.

Thanks for having me Panyaden – I look forward to another visit to Chiang Mai in the not too distant future!

 

 

Our School Curriculum: IPC

Learning at Panyaden:

The International Primary Curriculum

by Michel Thibeault, Head Teacher

Panyaden School will be basing its curriculum on the highly regarded International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Acclaimed by teachers across the world, IPC was originally established in the UK and is now taught in more than 1,000 primary schools in 66 countries, including Bangkok Patana School. As the IPC’s academic standard is amongst the highest internationally, the programme answers the worry of many parents as to whether their children will be able to switch seamlessly to any other school around the country or even the world should the need arise.

Similar in approach to the International Baccalaureate, IPC focuses on learning that is student-centred, can be tailored to the needs of individual students and that encourages enquiring minds and independent thinking. IPC has been developed based on the latest research on the brain, on emotions in learning and memory and learning styles. It integrates subjects and topics so that, for example, a week-long project on ‘ weather’ might  incorporate learning in maths, science, language, geography, art or any other subject. For these reasons we have chosen to base our curriculum on the IPC.

Michel Thibeault Conducting IPC Training At Panyaden School
Taan Ajahn Jayasaro, Panyaden School’s Spiritual Advisor

At Panyaden, the teachers’ role is to facilitate learning in their classroom, to enable students to discover things for themselves. We put emphasis on their acquiring of concepts and skills that can be transferred to other subjects and areas of life. The IPC programme was designed on those principles. It nurtures a love of learning and encourages the necessary key skills and personal qualities. Its rigorously planned units of work inspire the learner and provide hands-on activities.  This is aligned with the Panyaden approach to education as described by our spiritual advisor, Ajahn Jayasaro: “the emphasis of Buddhist education is on teaching children how to learn, how to enjoy learning, to love wisdom for its own sake.”

The following chart highlights the main features of IPC, a true 21st century curriculum.

Adapting IPC to Panyaden School

Panyaden’s curriculum, while based on IPC, will also meet the requirements and standards of the national Thai curriculum. Thai culture and history will be taught alongside international themes by merging the key aspects of both curricula. Daily ‘Life Studies’ will reflect our Buddhist approach and environmental mindfulness.

Adapting our own curriculum through picking the best from the IPC and Thai curricula and embedding Panyaden values throughout provides our students with the best possible education. It is an education based on Buddhist principles integrated with a modern, academically competitive curriculum and which provides perspectives that are both international and local.

For prospective parents who would like to know more about IPC and learning at Panyaden, please contact us and we will be happy to arrange a meeting with our Head Teacher, Michel Thibeault.