Panyaden Parents Meditation Retreat at
Wat Pah Yen Boon, Feb 4-7, 2016:
Book your place by tomorrow, Friday, Jan 22 latest!
We still have places for the 3-day retreat in Chiang Rai. The retreat will be suitable for both beginners and regular meditators, Thai and English speakers. Please fill out the booking form available from the School Office or retreat organizer Andres Ruiz (email@example.com). You can also contact Andres, Kru Neil or Kru Boy for more information. Don’t miss out on this opportunity, book now!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss, ‘I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!’
We kicked off our Reading Week today with an entertaining skit based on a well-loved fable, ‘The Three Little Pigs’ performed by our teachers in Thai and English. Then we each picked up a book laid out in the assembly hall by librarian Kru Ou for thirty minutes of quiet reading. This is part of our Drop Everything and Read programme (D.E.A.R.) that helps our students cultivate the good habit of reading a little each day. Upon finishing a book, our children will write its title on a heart-shaped leaf (like that of the bodhi tree) and hang it on The Reading Tree.
There will be lots of educational activities throughout the week like storytelling sessions and performances based on books as well as a visit to the CMU Book Fair. Join us in encouraging our children to enjoy reading and learning more every day.
Parents are invited to visit the ‘Book 53’ book fair to be held at the Parents’ Sala on Wednesday and Thursday between 1-5pm. We would also like to invite parents to come and read a favourite story to their child’s class one day during the week. If you would like to volunteer, please contact your homeroom teacher to arrange a convenient time.
By Panyaden School Director, Neil Amas
We have been teaching our children the importance of effort over results and how to successfully deal with winning and losing. First the Olympics and now a Chiang Mai inter-school competition on art, Thai and English have given Panyaden students a chance to practise their skills in effort, modesty and generosity and the experience of joining a contest with other schools.
Students from K3 up to P6 joined the contest this week and acquitted themselves well. In Olympic jargon we had a gold, some silvers and bronzes, but most of all, we did our best and had fun!
We want out students to understand that we can not avoid competition in real life, the main thing is to approach it with the right attitude. The inter-school competition gave them a chance to practise best effort, regardless of the end result and how those around you do. And if you win, be gracious. If someone else wins, be happy for them! We are proud of the way our students participated, did well and thoroughly enjoyed themselves regardless of how they did.
Panyaden School is honoured that our spiritual advisor, Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro was able to visit us in Chiang Mai last week. On 12 July, he gave a public Dhamma talk about the 4 kinds of development that form the foundation of a holistic education and the flourishing of a well-rounded person.
Ven. Ajahn Jayasaro spoke fluently in both Thai and English about these 4 areas, which encompass both our external and internal spheres of development. The first and second spheres concern our physical and social relationships starting from how we can learn to treat our bodies wisely (such as eating a balanced nutrition, getting adequate rest and the like) to how we can relate constructively to the material world of money and possessions, to our families, colleagues, friends and the wider community. The third and fourth spheres are internal, concerning the education of the heart/emotions and of wisdom (panya).
He went on to explain how the application of the 12 wise virtues that are part of the education system at Panyaden, can help towards the constructive development of all these 4 areas. These habits provide a compass and refuge in our daily lives. Their practice can help towards creating a wholesome, bright, positive and kind person who lives a wise and well-balanced life.
Panyaden School celebrates Teachers’ Day
It was a beautiful sunny morning today in Chiang Mai, a wonderful time for Panyaden School’s students to formally show their respect and thanks to our hardworking teachers with flowers and tributes during the school’s Wai Kru ceremony.
Two young Prathom students welcomed everyone in Thai and English before inviting the school’s director, head teachers and homeroom teachers to the front. Our bilingual student representatives spoke about the meaning of ‘Wai Kru’, which means to ‘wai’ or bow with hands pressed together as a sign of deep respect to their teachers (‘kru’) through the giving of flowers.
Key flowers like ‘dok khem’ (ixora) are presented in decorative paans (Thai-style pedestal trays) or wrapped in banana leaves. Among other things, they symbolise the students’ promise to the teachers to be good, to keep their minds sharp and always ready to learn.
Our teachers (and parents in the audience) were visibly moved by our pupils’ gentle and heartfelt recital and singing of a poem and song paying tribute to all teachers in Thailand. Class by class, the students then lined up to present their flowers. Three Prathom students shyly read their essays about ‘My Teacher’, drawing smiles all around.
Before wrapping up the ceremony, our school director, Neil Amas, thanked the students on behalf of all the teachers for the kindness and gratitude shown today. He encouraged all to be kind to everyone including ourselves, and to try our best in everything we do. With that message in mind, the students went back to their classrooms to begin a brand new school day.
More photos on Panyaden blog:
Panyaden’s Cotton Project was part of our self-sufficiency crop programme for our students. Today, we share with you (in both Thai and English) the traditional Northern Thai process of making cotton fabric that our children have learnt.
The essential tasks are as follows:
1. Producing cotton fiber
กระบวนการผลิตเส้นฝ้าย การย้อม และการทอผ้า กระบวนการสำคัญก่อนที่จะ มาเป็นผืนผ้าที่สำคัญคือ
1. Producing Cotton Fiber
Cotton fiber is made of wool from cotton trees.
ฐานที่ 1: การทำเส้นใยฝ้าย
เส้นใยฝ้าย ทำมาจากปุยของดอกฝ้าย จากต้นฝ้าย มีขั้นตอนดังนี้
Normally, dyeing can be done by dyeing the cotton fiber before weaving or dyeing the complete fabric. Using colours makes pattern designing easier.
There are 2 ways of dyeing:
ฐานที่ 2: การย้อมสี
การย้อมสีโดยทั่วไป จะมีทั้งการย้อมที่เป็นเส้นใยก่อนการทอ และการย้อมที่เป็นผืนผ้า การย้อมสีเส้นใยก่อนนำไปทอจะช่วยให้ได้สีของผ้าตามต้องการ และช่วยในการออกแบบลายผ้า เช่นลายขวาง ลายตาราง หรื
อการสลับสีในรูปแบบต่างๆ การออกแบบลวดลายนี้มีการใช้เทคนิค และการใช้เส้นฝ้ายสีต่างๆช่วยให้เกิดลวดลายขึ้น
การย้อมสีมี 2 วิธีคือ
Weaving is the method of making the cotton fiber into the complete fabric. Two types of cotton fiber preparations are necessary before weaving. They are called ‘stand-up’ cotton and ‘lie-down’ cotton.
There are two types of weaving looms commonly used in Northern Thailand:
ฐานที่ 3: การทอ
คือกระบวนการทำเส้นใยให้เป็นผืนผ้า โดยมีขั้นตอนการจัดเตรียมเส้นฝ้ายที่จะนำมาทอเป็น 2 ชุด คือเส้นยืน และเส้นพุ่ง
การทอผ้าในภาคเหนือ มี 2 รูปแบบคือ
กี่ 4 เสา นิยมใช้โดยทั่วไปในหมู่บ้านพื้นราบ ใช้เขาและฟืมเป็นเครื่องมือสำคัญในการแยกเส้นฝ้าย และยกชั้น ฝ้ายเป็น 2 ชุด ( 2 ตะกอ หรือ 2 เขา ) ใช้เท้าเหยียบไม้ที่ยึดติดกับการขึ้นลง และพุ่งกระสวยทอสลับกันไปมา ทั้งมือเท้าสัมพันธ์กันไปตลอดผืนผ้า
กี่เอว นิยมใช้ในหมู่พี่น้องชาวดอย หลายเผ่าในภาคเหนือ
“un modo di vivere centrato sull’essere, non sull’avere”
“(A) way of life focused on ‘being’, not on ‘having'”
L’Espresso, a major Italian news magazine recently published a short article by Massimo Morello about our school (see below). Massimo refers to the fact that Panyaden School focuses on teaching our students to think and live creatively and independently, to care for others and the environment, and eventually creating a new class of Asian leaders who have both strong values and global awareness.
Bilingualism at Panyaden
by Neil Amas, School Director
To be truly bilingual is to be fluent in two languages, comfortable switching between the two and a competent reader and writer in both. At Panyaden School our goal is that by the time a student reaches the end of Prathom 6, he or she will be able to move easily and naturally between English and Thai, whether in conversation, when reading a book or writing a story. To achieve this we have pulled together research, the experiences of bilingual teachers and students and visited successful bilingual schools in Europe to find the best possible model of learning for our school.
While it is recognised that there is no universally accepted ‘recipe’ for successful bilingual leaning, our approach is informed by our assessment of what works and what doesn’t. The key aspects of our approach, therefore, are as follows.
50/50 Thai and English
All subjects apart from Thai and English will be taught in both languages, 50% in Thai and 50% in English. Each class will therefore have one Thai teacher and native English speaking teacher, each of whom will stick to his or her native language. Activities may be led in either Thai or English, with the second teacher assisting students who may be unfamiliar with the language of instruction. Minimal translation will take place in the classroom, students being encouraged to learn naturally and work out new words for themselves.
Speak first, write later
It is important that children are able to build confidence in speaking skills at an early age. We know that many pre-school children of mixed parentage pick up both languages naturally if they are exposed equally to both and each parent keeps to their own language. For this reason our nursery and kindergarten will focus primarily on speaking and listening language skills with basic reading and writing introduced in the later stages. Students, however, who have pre-existing literacy skills or particular eagerness to learn will be encouraged to further these as our teaching will accommodate mixed competencies.
Staggered literacy learning
The best way for a student to learn how to read and write in both languages is to introduce literacy in their ‘mother tongue’ first then, when a strong foundation exists in their first language, introduce literacy in their second language. Therefore, formal instruction in first language literacy will begin in Prathom 1 and second language literacy at the beginning of Prathom 3. By the end of Prathom 4 we expect students to be competent readers and writers in both languages, reaching fluency by the end of Prathom 6.
School children not only learn from their teachers but also from each other. We will positively encourage ‘peer mixing’ so that students who are weaker in one language will have the opportunity to learn from those who are stronger. This is an important aspect of language learning because children spend so much time with each other, whether in the classroom or in the playground.
It is usually the case that we achieve more by working in a team. This is particularly true of a bilingual school. At Panyaden our Thai and foreign teachers not only teach together, but plan all their lessons together, equally sharing responsibility for creating and facilitating activities for their students. It is also important that we lead by example. If we expect our students to be bilingual, we as teachers should also work towards that goal. All Panyaden teachers are working each week on improving their own second language skills.
Bilingual and bi-cultural
When we learn a language we also learn a culture. At Panyaden we see our school as not only a bilingual experience but also a bi-cultural one. In fact it is multi-cultural as our students and teachers come from a range of countries, including Thailand, the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, Belgium and Hungary. I have found from visiting bilingual schools abroad that for children to appreciate and want to learn a second language they must also respect and value the culture of that country. We therefore place great importance in how we as a school acknowledge and value equally Thai and Western histories, customs and cultures.
Our aim is that at Panyaden our students will not only enjoy a truly bilingual experience but also a truly bi-cultural one. I strongly believe that if all of us share this vision – teachers, students and parents – we will achieve it.