We understand that the decision families make as to where they send their children for their schooling is an important one, not made lightly or without doing some research.

To help you decide whether Panyaden is the right school for your child, we have included our most frequently asked questions. Of course if you don’t find the answer to your question here, please feel free to contact us for more information, or to arrange a visit to Panyaden please apply for a school tour.

Early Years FAQ

Are they learning, or are they just playing? Any visitor to our classrooms will see the children engaged in play during our school day; they might seem to be “just playing”. However, for young children play is their means to learn. Well thought out opportunities for play support a child’s learning holistically, ensuring that they make progress across the curriculum. Our teachers are skilled at planning age-appropriate, engaging, play-based activities for our pupils, both indoors and out.
For young children a nap during the afternoon is vital for their physical and mental development. Coming to school is a tiring task, so this nap period means they do not become overtired, which can affect their focus and mood. According to the National Sleep Foundation our young pupils need between 11 and 13 hours of sleep per day. Young children nap between 1-2 hours per day; by age five most children no longer need a nap.

Children can be supported at home in a number of ways. The first thing we would recommend is to use your first language when speaking to your child. Try not to put too much pressure on them to speak in a new language too soon. We recommend that you familiarise yourselves with the 12 Wise Habits and refer to them at home with your children. Young children require a lot of sleep, so try to establish an early evening bedtime routine at home. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time with your child as you read their bedtime story.

At present the Early Years programme is full-time, running from 8:20-3:15 each day. A range of clubs are offered from 16:00-17:00. Please speak to your child’s homeroom teacher about your child’s suitability for clubs. 

At Panayden each class has one non-Thai teacher, one Thai teacher and one teaching assistant. Our teachers are all trained and have experience working with young children. We offer regular professional development, both in-house and externally, to ensure that your child’s teacher is up to date with the latest educational practices.

There are a number of ways we communicate with our families. One of the main ways is via the online Tapestry learning journal. All our Early Years teachers are available in class each morning from 8:00-8:20. Nursery and K1 send home a Communication Book each day which lets you know how much your child has slept and eaten. There is also a small comments sections where you can write a note if needed. If you have a larger topic to discuss please arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher. 

As highlighted above our curriculum focuses on the three Prime Areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, and Communication and Language. These provide the foundation of all that we do. When children are ready they are exposed to Phonics, this usually occurs in K2, and they begin their journey towards reading and writing, a journey that continues throughout their education with us. 

When your child first joins our Early Years programme we will ask you to abide by our settling in schedule during their first week or so. Leaving home for the first time or even moving to a new school is a big transition for a young child. In our experience, a short settling in period allows the child to become familiar with their new environment and their new teachers. We ask that you or a family member make yourself available for the first few days to join your child in class. Your child’s teacher will plan a settling in schedule that meets your child’s individual needs and liaise with you each day about how it is going. 

We usually place children alongside their peers. Making the decision to move a child into another age group, either older or younger, can impact on their experience of school as they move through Primary, Secondary and beyond. On rare occasions when a child is born on the cusp of the cut-off date, our Admissions Team will place them in the class which is deemed their ‘best fit’.

Primary Years FAQ

Panyaden students learn two languages at school by learning about various subjects in two languages. Early Years and Primary aged students spend 50% of the day at school studying in English and the other 50% of the time is spent learning in Thai.

Bilingual education has been proven to enhance first language skills as well as international-mindedness and the ability to think in more complex ways.

Early Years students enjoy a full day of discovery with a foreign teacher and Thai teachers through songs, literacy and numeracy learning, guided activities, individual interactions, storytelling, etc.

In primary classes, our team of Thai and English language specialists is there to support homeroom teachers and students via co-planning, co-teaching, adapting the learning material to suit the needs of the non-native speakers and providing direct support during lessons.

To help our students master an additional language, we create situations where they have to use it, making sure our Foreign teachers only use English and Thai teachers only use Thai when communicating with students.

Other languages

Our bilingual program is not only about learning Thai and English, it’s about opening learners’ mind to different ways to see the world and about building skills that will transfer to not only learning other languages but to learning in general.

We acknowledge the fact that many Panyaden students speak a language other than English or Thai at home. Research shows that the strength of a child’s first language determines the strength of every other language he will be learning. This is why we encourage all parents to use their first language at home. Our approach is supported by numerous studies done in various contexts.

Here are a few benefits of bilingual and multilingual education:

  • Improved Performance on Standardised Tests

Students perform as well as or better than non-immersion students on standardised tests of English and math administered in English.

  • Enhanced Cognitive Skills

Students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem-solving skills as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.

  • Increased Cultural Sensitivity

Students are more aware of and show more positive attitudes towards other cultures and an appreciation of other people.

  • Long Term Benefits

Students are better prepared for the global community and job markets where a second language is an asset.

“New studies are showing that a multilingual brain is nimbler, quicker, better able to deal with ambiguities, resolve conflicts and even resist Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia longer.” 

“Multilingual people, studies show, are better at reasoning, at multitasking, at grasping and reconciling conflicting ideas. They work faster and expend less energy doing so, and as they age, they retain their cognitive faculties longer, delaying the onset of dementia and even full-blown Alzheimer’s disease. A bilingual brain is not necessarily a smarter brain, but it is proving to be a more flexible, more resourceful one.” (How the Brain Benefits From Being Bilingual, Jeffrey Kluger, 2013)

We are not leaving any of the curriculum out in order to insert a language, we are enhancing the content by teaching it in two languages. We respect the time recommended for each subject and add some extra time each week to make sure the second language is not neglected. At Panyaden students study various subjects 50% of the time in English and the other 50% in Thai. Using the target language to learn content from other subjects is a great time saver but also shows students the relevance of knowing a second language. It’s also important to note that many of the skills used to learn a language are not language specific. Concepts such as the parts of a good story, the skill to make predictions when reading, while useful and practiced in both languages, need only be taught in one but will be used in two distinct contexts, supporting a deeper understanding of the concept and increasing students’ skill levels As the English writer Geoffrey Willans put it, “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two”.
We offer Intensive Language Support to students not initially able to function within basic language requirements.  See “Intensive Language Support”. We know from experience that students can make significant language improvement in a relatively short time when needed. Research shows that children naturally transfer language and literacy skills from one language to the other. The stronger the language and literacy skills in the home language, the more likely the child will transfer these skills successfully to his or her second and third language.
The development of emotional intelligence is not an add-on but the very fabric of our educational approach. Strong social and emotional skills are predictors of success in study, work and relationships so we build them in our preschool program and keep nurturing and strengthening them at every grade level. Focussing on soft skills means enriching what and how students learn.

Yes. At the start of every term, a list of clubs is shared with parents and students. In order to run, clubs need a minimum number of students and there is usually a cap on how many can join. After school clubs cost around 300 baht per session payable one term in advance.

We constantly monitor students’ progress, provide constructive feedback and empower students to take control of their learning by leading them to monitor their own progress.  This is done via note-taking, verbal on the spot feedback, insightful questioning and the use rubrics (success indicators) often designed in conjunction with students themselves. The purpose of all assessment at school, whether formal or informal, is to reinforce learning in the three core areas: knowledge, skills and understanding. We do realise the need to prepare students for formal exams and to this end we use a variety of assessment methods at the end of each unit of work, including a unit exam, adapted to year 1 to year 7 students. In addition, upper primary grades will have an end of year exam. In the Foundation years, all assessment is based on classroom observation – your child will not be tested – using the early learning goals which can be found in the Early Years Framework.

Yes. Whether the family plans for a child to go to an international school or a Thai school, we need to deal with the current reality: they now live in Thailand. Having stronger Thai skills will allow for better social integration and understanding of Thai society. Intensive language support will be provided, for a fee, until your child is functional in Thai and can integrate into the regular classroom. We count on families to support the school and provide more opportunities for their children to practice their Thai language skills outside of school.  Learning any second language generates significant brain development benefits. For more information, see the section on the benefits of being bilingual.

When he or she is ready and excited about developing those skills. For some children, this starts when they’re three years old. Others might start when they’re five. We don’t believe in pushing students beyond their level of readiness, but we do believe that readiness level can be positively influenced by the environment. By creating a literacy rich environment, we know children’s natural curiosity will be piqued and they will be ready for us to challenge them to learn everything they can, sometimes as early as 3 years of age. Children play phonics games that build phonological awareness as early as nursery but we formally start a phonics program in Reception year. Before the end of Year 1, all children practice reading decodable books and can read many common sight words. We will first focus on learning how to read and write in the child’s first language (Thai or English). Our approach is based on the fact that as soon as students have a strong foundation in reading and writing their first language, they can use those skills to tackle any other language. For more information, see the section on bilingual education.

We do not teach Buddhism as a stand-alone subject because we see the development of Buddhist values as something to be integrated into daily life.  We have a regular meditation and mindfulness program for all grades which help students develop the calm, focused and alert state of mind that is optimum for learning.  Teachers are expected to include the four areas of wisdom development (physical, social, emotional and intellectual – the bhavana) into daily lessons and to find opportunities for students to practice and reflect upon the school’s core virtues, the 12 Wise Habits.

Once an understanding of these has been gained through various means – such as assembly presentations, songs and role-plays – we use the Wise Habits as a tool during activities and daily interactions to remind students to reflect upon them and relate them to their speech, actions and reactions as part of an ongoing process of self-evaluation and learning through experience.

No. We only ask that families embrace the school approach so that we are all working in the same direction. In this way the school values will most benefit the child. Children are expected to join in with all daily activities, including paying respect to the Triple Gems (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha) in assembly every day.