British International School, Phuket: An education in paradise

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British International School, Phuket (BISP) is focused on the future. No matter how dedicated it is to the values it was built on, it has come a long way since its founding in 1996. With over 35 years of experience, pioneering educator and current headmaster Simon Meredith has witnessed and spearheaded the execution of many new developments on this lush, tree-lined 44-acre campus in the last 17 years.

Some of his favourite milestones include the school’s international recognition for academic excellence; acclaimed sporting programmes in football, tennis, swimming, golf, trapeze and aerial arts; scholarships to train with professional sports figures; an IGCSE result average that only grows annually; IB academic scholarships awarded to worthy candidates; and performing arts productions that delight parents, locals and international travellers alike. However, nothing beats the excitement that comes when the school adds another nationality to the list of countries represented on its campus.

“We are one of the few institutions in the world that is truly international,” says Mr. Meredith. “We have 700 students representing over 60 different nationalities and that’s what makes us unique. Parents choose our tropical island based school to expose their children to foreign perspectives that translate into global mindsets.”

To accommodate the many aspirations that come with an extremely diverse population of learners, Mr. Meredith and his team have strategised and innovated one dynamic, yet multifaceted mission to ensure every learner achieves a balanced and productive life. Surrounded by Phuket’s glistening wonders, they work tirelessly to inspire learning, nurture wellbeing and ignite passion in the hearts, minds and souls of learners.

While the combination has proven essential to laying a solid foundation, students are never compelled to excel in all three areas — instead, comprehension is key. Educators here focus their efforts on ensuring every learner simply understands how each area can enrich their lives.

“Some students arrive knowing exactly what they want to achieve,” explains Mr. Meredith. “Others need more time. We offer support by letting them experience as much as they would like to before coming to a decision. We have experts ready to help them every step of the way.”

Boarding students enjoy their supervision 24/7. Adapting to life away from home has never been easier since faculty members are just as multinational as the students they care for. The school’s head of boarding is French. The boarding junior house is managed by an Australian and Filipino. House parents for senior students are from Australia and New Zealand. Others hail from Brazil, the UK, and Korea.

Their support makes it all the easier for students to find their life’s calling. Academically, students in Years 10 and 11 take on the IGCSEs and those in Years 12 and 13 explore the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) — students can even choose between the Full IB Diploma or IB courses.

British International School, Phuket

British International School, Phuket hosts multiple productions a year that attract families, locals and travellers alike. Source: British International School, Phuket

An equal amount of discoveries are made outside the classroom. For example, BISP is home to strong STEM and robotics clubs. Change, however, is on the horizon. Apart from the upgrading of learning spaces and general facilities, several designated spaces that develop future-focused competencies are scheduled to open in the coming year. Currently, resources abound for those interested in music, sport, writing, business, and much more.

Experiential opportunities are plenty too. For example, students in the Art Academy have produced thought-provoking pieces for hotels and organisations across Thailand.

Those keener on channelling their inner humanitarians are able to do so through community service. Over the years, students have commonly brought joy to local orphanages, built classrooms in Cambodia, rescued dogs, and entertained the elderly.

Of course, there’s plenty of time for fun as well. Boarding students live the Thailand dream by splashing around pristine beaches at least once a month. When they’re ready for a break, they shake the sand off their toes and head over to some of the best reflexology spots in Thailand to spend up to half a day improving their circulation, energy and alertness.

British International School, Phuket

Every year, BISP students matriculate to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Source: British International School, Phuket

What better way to balance out the rigours of a comprehensive education? At BISP, physical health is just as important as mental stimulation. “It’s a very healthy school,” explains Mr. Meredith. “My staff, students and their parents are all involved in physical activities. While bonding, they gain strength.”

Little wonder why goodbyes are never easy. Upon graduation with an IB qualification and Phuket High School Diploma accredited by international bodies and the Thailand Ministry of Education, students choose from a range of global opportunities, with graduating classes in the last five years choosing places at over 160 outstanding Universities in twenty-four countries.

With an IB Diploma pass rate of 100% in 2021 and 97% of students achieving grades A* to C in IGCSEs, these outstanding outcomes are unsurprising. To secure the same for your child, learn more about how British International School, Phuket offers a dynamic education in paradise here.

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