“Please, sir, I want some more.”
If the image of Oliver Twist asking for more gruel is your vision of a British boarding school, then think again. The British International School, Phuket (BISP) is so popular its students can’t leave the memories and experiences behind.
Not convinced that a school could leave such a lasting impression on its students? Well, in a 2016 video titled ‘What Do I Miss Most About BISP?’ to mark the 20th anniversary of the school, alumni give their candid and enamoured impressions of the award-winning English-medium, co-educational, day and boarding school in southern Thailand.
The responses list everything from the great food, the staff, friends and the boarding house among the things they missed the most.
Their comments are in keeping with research by eSchoolnews, which found that students want teacher mentors, choice, real world experience, relevancy and innovation from their school experience, and not just a focus on academics, results and achievement.
According to Rita Pierson, teacher, educator and TedTalks speaker, they also want connection and a champion.
“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can be,” she said.
While BISP has consistently achieved high results in academics, it also focuses on helping students develop life skills that will enable them to become considerate global citizens.
“BISP believes that the purpose of formal education is to develop the necessary skills to maximize the potential of young learners, thereby enabling them to lead quality lives,” reads the school’s mission statement, which also recognises that these skills are developed within a supportive community with recognition of each person’s development and expression.
It’s this expression and supportive community that graduates illustrate in this further video from BISP: ‘Lip Dub – Class Of 2015’.
Amongst its other achievements, BISP is the most accredited international school in southern Thailand with recognition from numerous world bodies including the Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate (IB), World Academy of Sport, Council of International Schools (CIS), New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), International Schools Association of Thailand (ISAT), Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA), and the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).
BISP also received the Prime Minister’s award as ‘the Best Service Provider in International Education’ in Thailand in 2010.
Here’s a closer look at some of these and other qualities at BISP that has its students wanting more.
“I’m so grateful to have grown up on an island like Phuket,” said one alumnus in the ‘What Do I Miss Most About BISP‘ video. This is for one simple reason – Phuket is a paradise island.
BISP is located in the foothills of the island so renowned for its sun and sand, but also its schools. Students at BISP have full access to the numerous islands and swimming and surfing beaches in the area. Phuket also has a number of unique festivals, food and a diverse culture that makes it a special place to live.
The school is a purpose-built green campus located on 44 acres with facilities that cater for professional careers in golf, tennis, swimming, football and triathlon. This includes three full-size football pitches (11 seven-aside), aquatics facilities that include both 50m Olympic sized and 25m pools, a tennis centre with six indoor and outdoor courts, on-campus golf short game training centre – which was opened by Sir Nick Faldo in early 2016 – and a fitness, strength and conditioning centre. Every year, the school hosts the BISP Soccer Sevens, a huge 7-aside football tournament that draws more than 1600 players from 38 international schools in 12 countries.
BISP provides international education for pre-school, primary and secondary school aged children. Initial stages of education are based on the National Curriculum of England and Wales. In years 10 and 11 students complete the IGCSE programme and then the IB Diploma programme in Years 12 and 13.
BISP has achieved consistently high rankings on academic tables, alongside an internationally renowned stable of Sporting Academies. This is thanks to world-class facilities that have enabled students to excel academically but also pursue careers in sports (golf, tennis, swimming, football and triathlon), business and the arts.
A ‘warm’ school environment
Rita Pierson’s philosophy was that human connection and relationships are the most fundamental part of education. BISP has recognised that compassion, strong values and concern for others underpin the educational process. With this in mind, counselling support and other services are provided and the BISP atmosphere is more like a family and home away from home.
As one alumni said, at BISP the students were “people you meet for life and you will always, always have them as friends.”
BISP’s diverse student population consists of 850 day and boarding students from over 60 countries, with 58% of the students of foreign nationality, 24% Thai, and a further 18% of half Thai, half foreign background.
The staff consists of some 100 experienced foreign teachers. There are about 100 students housed in the four boarding houses around the quad. About a third are on scholarships.
Boarders have supervised study sessions five nights a week and an array of social activities such as film nights, BBQs and weekend activities. The boarding facilities are designed in such a way as to enable independent study and privacy while providing a safe and caring environment where mutual respect, community and differences are celebrated.
As the last comment in the ‘What Do I Miss Most About BISP?‘ video says, “British International School gave me memories and experiences I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
For more information visit British International School, Phuket’s website