A New School with a New Model

By Elizabeth Thies, Head of School, BASIS International School Bangkok

We are not just a school; we are a learning community. BASIS International School Bangkok will be opening to grades Pre-K through 5th grade beginning in August of 2019 and add one grade level every year until we have reached our capacity as a Pre-K-12th grade school in 2026. Our goal is to give our students the opportunity to learn in a unique, dynamic, and collaborative learning environment.

This will be the first BASIS Curriculum School to open in Thailand but our school is part of a highly successful network of schools located across the United States and China. We currently have 34 campuses worldwide and serve roughly 20,000 students. The first BASIS Curriculum School opened in 1998 and, since that time, we have been exploring the best ways to provide opportunities for our students locally and abroad. Our style of education focuses on finding the best teachers and giving them the resources that they need to create dynamic and engaging classroom experiences. This begins with the structure of our curriculum in the primary years.

The BASIS Curriculum Schools network is among the most highly acclaimed educational networks in America and around the world because we focus on childhood development and cater our lesson plans in the most age-appropriate way. In our Primary years, we have two teachers in the classroom at all times, a Learning Expert Teacher and a Subject Expert Teacher. The Learning Expert Teacher has a degree in Early Childhood Education while the Subject Expert Teacher is required to have a degree in the area that they teach. Simply put, our Math teacher has a degree in Math, our English teacher has a degree in English, our Physics teacher has a degree in Physics, etc. The Subject Expert Teacher manages and monitors the content while the Learning Expert Teacher incorporates activities and other ideas that keep each lesson exciting and interactive.

During the class, the Subject Expert Teacher handles most of the instruction while the Learning Expert Teacher is able to circulate, check for understanding, and remain actively engaged with the students. The collaboration between these two teachers makes the Primary school experience fun, exciting, and rewarding and it gives our teachers an opportunity to connect with their students in a way that is not typically seen in the early years. Furthermore, we believe in emphasizing the importance of real-world learning and transitioning the skills learned in the primary years to the analytical and critical thinking skills that students need to be competitive in a 21st-century learning environment.

The key ingredient to our international success is the fact that we have designed a curriculum that puts the emphasis on great teachers and connecting with students. It is this partnership that has proven to be effective all over the world and I am very excited to emulate that success here in Bangkok.