Bangkok Patana School was established in 1957 to provide a British education for the children of expatriate families in Thailand. It was recognised by the Thai government in 1964 and was accorded the name ‘Patana’, which is the Thai word for development. The school has grown considerably over the past 20 years and now occupies an award-winning, air-conditioned facility on the south-eastern fringe of Bangkok. The school constantly develops its facilities which include specialist classrooms and labs, Indoor Sports Hall, Foundation Stage facility, and a 12,000 m2 Arts Centre. A new state of the art Science Centre in the Secondary School opened in August 2015. Altogether the campus occupies 19 hectares of land.
Governance of the school is vested in a self-perpetuating, non-profit Foundation Board, which includes representatives of the Thai government, the Thai and international business and professional community and members of the parent body. The Steering Committee of the Board meets regularly and oversees the operation and management of the school. The Head of School, Matthew Mills, directs all aspects of the school supported by the Business Director, Andrew Gordon who leads the business teams. A Staff Welfare Committee meets informally with the Head of School, Business Director, Human Resource Manager on a regular basis to receive updates and discuss various issues.
Because the school is a Thai charitable organisation and receives its licence directly from the government, the Chairman of the Foundation Board, Dr. Tej Bunnag, whose involvement with Patana goes back many years, acts as the school’s licence holder.
Bangkok Patana School is an independent school in the tradition of British, American and Australian private education, and our primary source of income is from tuition fees. We are a not-for-profit organisation and we receive no funding from either the British or Thai governments.
We are a non-selective school and welcome children with a range of abilities provided that they are able to access the curriculum with normal classroom differentiation and/or the Learning support resources available. We give priority to applicants with English as a first language, but we are also committed to making our programmes available to those students whose first language is not English. Both Primary and Secondary Schools have well-equipped English as an Additional Language and Learning Support Departments.
We have a diverse student population of over 60 nationalities, with approximately 1,142 students in the Primary School and 1,094 students in Secondary. Our top ten nationalities are British (20%), Thai (20% - this is capped), American (9%), Indian (9%), Australian (6%), Japanese (3%), Singaporean (2%), German (2%), Korean (2%) and French (2%).
The majority of our teachers are British, although you will find colleagues from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Canada, the United States and a number of other countries. Together they bring to the school a wealth of educational expertise and international experience. The age profile is fairly broad, with the majority falling in the 27/28-50 group. Like all independent schools, there are high expectations placed upon the teachers. Teachers behave and dress in a professional way which reflects the expectations of expatriate and local communities. They are also required to participate fully in the school’s extensive extra-curricular activities programme.
Our mission is to ensure that students of different nationalities grow to their full potential as independent learners in a caring British international community.
We develop Global citizens who shape their world through independence, empathy, creativity, and critical thinking.
The Head of School has overall responsibility for the whole school.
The school has separate senior leadership teams for Primary and Secondary led by a Principal and supported by two Assistant Principals and two Senior Teachers. There is also a Cross-Campus Leadership team led by the Cross-Campus Principal School Development and supported by three Assistant Principals.
Middle Leadership: In Primary there is a joint leadership of each of the Year group teams. A Leader of Learning Welfare and Leader of Learning Curriculum who lead the pastoral and academic programme, supported by an Assistant Leader of Learning. In Secondary, leadership is through Faculty Teams led by Heads of Faculty and Subject/ Key Stage Coordinators and pastoral tutors led by Heads of Year.
Bangkok Patana School Academic Organisational Chart
Cross Campus Leadership Team
Leadership Structure, Primary School
Secondary School Academic Structure
A system of incentive allowances ensures that responsibility is recognised and rewarded. Our intention is that Patana teachers will gain professionally from being with us and that their careers will be enhanced by the experience.
Many Patana teachers move on to promoted posts overseas or back in the UK.
Naturally, our students come first. Many of our students arrive at Patana from overseas and study here for a limited period of time before moving on. Their average stay is three to five years, although there is also a group of long-stay families whose children will be with us until they enter higher education.
Most of our students have travelled widely and think nothing of flying to Penang or Singapore to compete in a regional sports event, or a drama festival or Model United Nations (MUN) conference - examples of events in which we have recently participated. Our students are articulate, open, and confident and have the charm and courtesy that comes from exposure to an international lifestyle. They also have personal and social needs that arise directly from these varied experiences and it would be a mistake to assume too great a degree of maturity from their social ease. Some may have experienced a considerably interrupted education thus far and have reached the stage where they need a programme of consolidation and constancy, before further development.
Our wonderful campus has been designed to ensure that teachers in adjacent areas can work and plan as teams. Shared spaces have been well positioned and it is common to find numbers of parents and instructors/assistants working with small groups of children in every part of the school. Parental help during school educational activities is readily forthcoming.
Among the features of the Patana campus is a large 602-seat Theatre, a separate Black Box theatre, a range of studio and rehearsal rooms, a suite of music and practice rooms, and two Libraries with a combined collection of over 50,000 volumes. We have a large, and exceptionally well-appointed Sports Hall, a gymnasium and a smaller hall offering facilities for dance and movement, Conference Centre, three swimming pools (one of which is Olympic-size), football and rugby fields, landscaped gardens, outdoor classroom and a traditional Thai sala, which houses the Head of School's office. In addition, there are two large hard courts which fulfil a variety of functions, from sports competitions to covered performance areas.
Primary classrooms mirror the best in the UK: all are equipped with interactive whiteboards.
The Secondary School has a top quality Arts Centre, a superb technology suite with design and technology workshops, a modern well-resourced library, a state of the art Science building and a university style area where students socialise. It is constantly developing.
Technology is tremendously important at Patana both in terms of infrastructure of learning and teaching. Secondary students in Year 7 – 13 are required to bring their own laptop computers to school and in Primary students have access to a wide range of computers including laptops and iPads. The whole campus enjoy wireless internet access.
The school receives regular updates on curricular issues in the UK, and in fact worldwide. We are, therefore, well aware of the pace of development, pedagogical innovations and trends and are able to take an informed and considered view of things before deciding how to respond.
Our Guiding Statements, Learning and Teaching Policy and Professional Standards for Learning and Teaching drive a curriculum which is devised to serve our UK and international student body.
Patana is committed to delivering a curriculum based on the English National Curriculum in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3, with a combination of International General Certificate of Education ( I/GCSE) courses at age 16 and the International Baccalaureate Diploma at 18. Our teaching approaches are interactive and we encourage learning through direct experience. The school has adapted the IB Learner Profile which identifies key attributes that permeate all aspects of learning and which we wish our students to develop.
Throughout the age-ranges, activities are based on exposure to the external environment. A coherent programme of residential visits begins in Year 3 and continues up to and includes Senior Studies. In the Secondary School, curriculum-based visits extend beyond Thailand, and include trips to China, Vietnam, Russia and Cambodia. Both the Primary and Secondary Schools’ sports activities take our students to a range of countries within the region.
Ultimately, we are concerned with the achievement of excellence. Experience has shown that this comes more readily when children are committed to tasks which they find challenging and which are rooted in their personal experience. We welcome teachers who agree with and practise this philosophy.
The Primary School spans the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. It is led by a Principal, with a Senior Leadership Team consisting of two Assistant Principals and two Senior Teachers. The Principal and Assistant Principals oversee all aspects of learning and teaching; Senior Teacher responsible for assessment and another for Foundation Stage.
The Year Group Teams provide the basis for planning and organisation in each of the year groups. The teams are jointly led by a Leader of Learning and Welfare and a Leader of Learning and Curriculum, supported by the Assistant Leader of Learning. Collective planning and mutual support are strengths of this system. The Year Teams provide a very supportive environment for new members of staff, and a colleague is appointed as a mentor in the first year. Class teachers play a key role in the pastoral care of the students.
The Primary School’s positive behaviour policy and calm working environment contribute to happy, orderly and focused children, who are eager to learn.
We view good relationships with parents as being essential to the learning process and encourage an active partnership based on excellent two-way communications. Teachers are expected to operate an “Open Door” policy.
The Primary School bases itself upon the English National Curriculum (2014) and has successfully introduced a “connected learning” approach for the integration of subjects; are striving to ensure our programme meets the needs of 21st Century learners. We incorporate some International Primary Curriculum (IPC) units and have adopted the IB Learner Profile attributes across the Primary School. A recent focus is the exploration of learning and teaching styles and thinking skills and we are working on the full integration of ICT into the everyday learning of the classrooms. The Leaders of Learning for Curriculum and Welfare ensure continuity and progression throughout the school and within each Year group where they coordinate the planning.
Being an international school for many of our students, English is not their first language. Class teachers will therefore need to support these children with the support of our EAL team. Most EAL support is “in-class” with facilitators and specialist teachers providing focused intervention and support.
Planning ensures that differentiation takes place within the classroom and caters for the needs of all students. We use Assessing Pupils’ Progress (APP) as the basis of our assessment and for the time being administer National Curriculum Tests at Year 2 and Year 6. Special needs support is, however, available for those where this has been identified by their ILP (Individual Learning Plan). Support takes the form of advice to the class teacher, in-class support and, on occasions, targeted withdrawal for individual or small group work.
From Year 1, all students have lessons in Thai Studies. For expatriate children, the main focus is on Thai culture and history with some related language and vocabulary. For the Thai nationals, the programme focuses on developing literacy skills in Thai.
The school employs subject specialist teachers to teach PE, swimming, music, ICT and Art. We have technicians who assist in the preparation of Art, Design Technology and Science lessons. Modern Foreign Languages are taught by specialist teachers at Key Stage 2.
The facilities are excellent and amongst the best in the world. Modern, spacious classrooms, including a purpose built Foundation Stage centre, a Modern Languages facility and a recently constructed Year 1 and 2 building together with shared areas and specialist teaching facilities provide a rich and stimulating learning environment. We share with the Secondary School a large modern sports hall and two state of the art theatres. All classrooms are equipped with an interactive whiteboard. This is enhanced by high-quality displays and a most attractive physical setting.
All teachers enjoy the benefits of very generous non-contact time. This enables them to be even more effective in the classrooms and give time to meeting the needs of all the students.
We seek understanding, strong professionals who have a real awareness of how children learn through first-hand experiences and who reflect this in their classroom practice. All teachers contribute to the life of the school and place great importance on creating opportunities outside the classrooms. We are looking for enthusiastic team players who are prepared to be flexible and can ‘throw themselves into the job’!
Foundation Stage (FS) and Key Stage 1 (KS 1)
There are currently 27 classes who work within the four Year-group teams. Each class has around 20 students.
In our Foundation Stage 1 (UK Nursery) and Foundation Stage 2 (Reception) classes, the curriculum is based on the UK EYFS (revised 2012) Each class is supported by teaching assistants. The children in the Foundation Stage are housed in our purpose-built facility. The classrooms are very well equipped and there are attractive outdoor play areas. A Learn to Swim pool is available.
In Key Stage 1, there are eight classes per Year group (Year 1 and Year 2) and these are supported by teaching assistants. EAL support is provided for those children whose English is not sufficiently developed to fully access the curriculum. EAL teachers and instructors give in-class support and may withdraw children to work in small groups, closely following the themes in literacy and the other subjects.
All students are formally assessed at the end of Key Stage 1 using the National Test materials from the English National Curriculum.
The Assistant Principal Learning and Welfare oversees pastoral matters in Key Stage 1.
Key Stage 2
In 2013/14 there are 32 classes with around 22 students per class. Each Year group has assistants that provide clerical and in-class support.
The English National Curriculum (2014) forms the basis of the teaching programme and from Year 3 onwards, our Modern Languages programme offers students the opportunity to study French, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Japanese or Thai. EAL assistance is provided by a team of specialist teachers and instructors through in-class support and more focused sessions.
At the end of KS2, all students sit the English National Curriculum Tests in Mathematics and Reading in line with the change in national curriculum guidance.
The residential visits programme is an integral part of the curriculum. The visits usually take place in January each year. All Key Stage 2 teachers take part in these visits. The Assistant Principal Learning and Welfare oversees pastoral matters in Key Stage 2.
Key Stage 3, 4 and Senior Studies
The Secondary School spans Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Senior Studies. It is led by a Principal, two Assistant Principals and two Senior Teachers.
One Assistant Principal oversees the academic curriculum and is supported by an assessment team throughout the Key Stages. The Secondary School is organised into faculty areas, each under the management of a Head of Faculty. Subject Coordinator and Key Stage Coordinator are appointed to lead and manage specific subject disciplines within the faculties or to oversee specific areas such as learning and teaching within a department or faculty.
We place equal emphasis on the pastoral system and devote two periods every week to tutorial sessions. The Assistant Principal for Student Welfare and the Senior Teacher for Key Stage 3 lead pastoral developments and work with the Heads of Year and tutors. The tutors also act as mentors for their tutees focusing on academic progress. The seven Heads of Year all play an important role in the leadership of the school, each one having a slightly different emphasis in line with the requirements of their particular Year group, including oversight of students’ progress. The Pastoral Team are also responsible for reporting to and consultation with parents.
In May and June our students sit the I/GCSE and International Baccalaureate examinations. Our results are extremely good with extremely high pass rates. This success is in no small part due to our able, dedicated and enthusiastic staff who work extremely hard and contribute widely to the life of the school both inside and out of the classroom.
We require excellent classroom practitioners who have experience of teaching the English National Curriculum, I/GCSE courses and preferably the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme or similar post – 16 courses. We are looking for enthusiastic teachers who see the importance of all aspects of school life. The role of all teachers is threefold:
(i) to have a sound knowledge of their subject and contribute to curriculum development
(ii) to act as a tutor/support tutor and deliver the pastoral programme
(iii) to contribute to the extra curricular programme
We are very fortunate that both our Primary and Secondary Schools occupy one site, allowing for valuable links between both schools. A great many of our Primary students transfer directly to the Secondary school so it is really important that there is productive continuity in the learning across all of our age stages. A recently created leadership position helps to make sure that this happens. The Cross-Campus Principal for School Development seeks to ensure that there is cohesion, consistency and cooperation across the Primary and Secondary schools.
Other leadership positions which are cross-campus in scope include the Assistant Principal for Professional Learning (CPD), the Assistant Principal for Technology Integration, the Assistant Principal for Extra Curricular Activities and Sports, and the Head of Libraries. Together we work with colleagues across both schools to serve the best interests of the students and their continuing education.
The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities provided by and supported by the school help our teachers to grow professionally while they are in Bangkok. When they move on to new posts they take with them enhanced skills and a wealth of experience.
Patana we offer a learning environment to which teachers respond with great motivation and energy. Expectations are high and the rewards are many. ‘Life-long Learning’ is our philosophy and there is a strong commitment to professional development for all staff. Teachers contribute to planned developments and lead INSET wherever possible. We also bring in external providers from the UK and other countries to deliver programmes.
In the South East Asian region there are also a number of organisations that provide up-to-date training, and teachers regularly attend courses and workshops and return to school to share information with colleagues. Teachers attend workshops organised by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO), the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) and the Council of International Schools (CIS) and East Asian Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS). Courses such as ‘Training for Middle Leaders' observing lessons Andy Philips, 'How Children Learn - Patterners and Dramatists - Fran Paffard', 'Understanding Multilingualism and Learning in International Schools - Dr. Virginia P. Rojas', 'Teaching and Learning – Success for All - Paul Ginnis with Sharon Ginnis' and Embedding Formative Assessment - Dylan Wiliams are examples of courses provided on campus. These titles give you an idea of the range of opportunities available.
Colleagues are encouraged to study for higher degrees as we have established links with the University of Bath and are now a study centre for their Masters programme. We have also established a Bangkok Patana Journal to which staff contribute articles.
A recent development has been the introduction of an allowance for personal CPD which is available after teachers have worked at Patana for two years. It can be used to help fund a range of approved Master's Level and leadership courses.
As part of the Performance Management System we encourage our teachers to develop a professional portfolio detailing their achievements during their time at Bangkok Patana.
Students at Patana use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool to enrich and extend their learning across the whole curriculum. The classrooms have interactive whiteboards and all common areas of the school are wirelessly networked. Years 6 through 13 are part of a 1:1 Bring Your Own Device laptop programme that was introduced in September 2011. Access to devices is regularly reviewed to ensure students have access to technology whenever it is appropriate.
All teachers have the facilities to integrate the use of ICT in all areas of the curriculum. In addition, ICT is taught as a discrete subject in Primary and Computing in Secondary.
Patana has an extensive in-house web-based administrative system that dovetails into the iSAMS Information Management System. Our Virtual Learning Environment is hosted on-site via Firefly. Digital Citizenship is integrated into the whole school pastoral programme.
Like many schools that serve expatriate communities, Bangkok Patana School is a focal point for the British and international community. Social and recreational opportunities for young people, which would normally be provided by local communities in the UK, are simply not available in Thailand. Parents and children, therefore, have additional expectations of the school to provide a programme of after-school and weekend activities. Each afternoon, our classrooms are filled with exciting activities covering a wide spectrum of skills and interests. Our sports fields and sport halls are filled with students participating in a range of sports and athletic activities, while our theatre, drama studios and art rooms provide cultural and aesthetic activities. Additionally, we run an extensive International Award Programme and Home Language Programme. One of the contract requirements of Bangkok Patana School is that our teachers participate fully in our ECA Programme, committing themselves to at least one weekly activity over the course of the year or a different activity each term. We seek staff, therefore, who are willing to be guides, mentors and coaches beyond the classroom, and who are open to the opportunities that such involvement will provide.
Bangkok is a thriving international metropolis, with a population in excess of 12 million people, including expatriates from all parts of the world. Patana serves a community that features expatriate and local, high-achieving families, who give whole-hearted support to the school. Our parents expect the best and know how to express that expectation to those responsible for delivering their children’s education.
Living as a teacher in Bangkok is as exhilarating and frustrating an experience as you could find anywhere. Thailand is a wonderful country for travel and the people are friendly and open. Expatriate teachers have to remember, however, that we are essentially guests in this country and, while our contribution is valued and respected, we are expected to observe cultural sensitivities at all times.
Things often happen more slowly here (travelling within the city being a prime example) and if you are the kind of person who is easily irritated when things do not go just according to plan, you may want to reconsider your application. Working and living here is fun and rewarding but can be demanding and as stressful as any urban environment; it is really up to each individual to see both of these aspects as an integral part of being in Thailand.
For our part, we ensure that expatriate teachers are accommodated in good quality, air conditioned housing in the general vicinity of the school. During the first year of contract, teachers are required to live in school-sponsored accommodation close to the school. We provide two or three-bedroom apartments. For subsequent years, teachers take the designated housing allowance and make their arrangements either locally or nearer to the city centre. Traffic congestion in central Bangkok, while improving, can, at times, be frustrating so it is advisable to consider living close to the school. Transport to and from Patana is provided free for expatriate teachers who live in designated accommodation near to the school. Taxis are not expensive and will get you into and back from the city centre. In town, the skytrain (elevated railway) and metro, have greatly improved mobility in recent years. An extension to the skytrain, which has a station very close to school, was opened in August 2011.
Teaching Couples and Families
Teaching couples with young children are advised to think carefully before applying for overseas teaching posts; while Bangkok has many positives, including good medical facilities and the availability of maid/nanny care, it is also a large tropical city with transport and pollution issues. Many families make the adjustment to living here very happily but, before applying, you should consider what could be termed “family life-style” and expectations.
The precise point at which a teacher’s salary is calculated will be in line with the Bangkok Patana School pay scale and is based on the number of years teaching experience completed since qualifying. Varying levels of incentive allowances are awarded to those who lead teams or participate in curriculum development activities.
A detailed salary offer will be discussed at interview and will later be confirmed with the formal offer of a contract. Our scales and benefits are highly competitive and among the best in Thailand.
The experience of working here will certainly enhance your career and expand your horizons, as you will read in the teachers’ comments that follow. An interesting fact that will support this is our track record in seeing former teachers secure senior positions in other schools. Recently, seven former staff members have become Deputy Heads, two have become educational inspectors, and two were appointed Principals of international schools and another Head of an international high school. This represents two things: firstly, the quality of Patana teachers and, secondly, the quality of the Patana experience and the benefit of the professional development we provide for our staff.
We therefore seek to recruit professionals of the highest calibre, individuals who will also grow with us as we expand our own horizons. If you think that you can match our expectations, please submit an application, and thank you for considering Bangkok Patana School.