Education resumes in Phuket, pandemic classroom problems tackled

It has been two months in, and the Phuket Sandbox Scheme has proved successful with over 26,400 tourists circulating over 1,634 million baht. Along with the economic achievement comes an initiative to open school gates again to offer students on the island a more expansive learning experience after a year of challenging online classrooms in 2020, in a step approved by Phuket’s governor and disease control committee.

Among the leading schools to reopen is British International School, Phuket (BISP), an English-medium, co-educational, day and boarding school. It’s also the first school in Thailand to provide activity-based and sports classes this academic year,  at its extensive 120-rai well-aerated facilities, commencing September 4, 2021. 

Mr. Suwinai Viponchai, BISP Director, said, “In the exceptional and healthy environment of a tropical island, students will enjoy a less sedentary lifestyle appropriate to their youth, normal social interaction, and essential physical activities, including soccer, tennis, swimming, golf, and trapeze, all under strict preventive safety measures. Moreover, our school has over 19 professional sports coaches ensuring supervision for everyone.”

The three programmes BISP offers for the 2021 academic year include:

1. Primary Safety School Sandbox for day students in Nursery to Year 4 (Years 5-6, in the near future): Younger students can attend a normal onsite classroom with arts and physical education classes, under close supervision of teachers and coaches. Thanks to the vast area of the school, each year group will have their own space and playground, separated from each other, and learn in their own bubble for maximum safety. Each class will have only around 10 students.

2. Wellbeing and Sports for day students in Years 4-13: After a day of virtual classroom learning, students can come to use school facilities for various wellbeing activities and sports, separate from boarding students. The current schedule includes Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and Saturday(morning/afternoon session) and Sunday mornings.

3. Bubble sandbox for boarding students in Year 4-13: Boarding students are safe in their own bubble as all have completed a 14-day quarantine before joining the rest of the group. They can make use of school facilities for sports and outdoor activities on Monday and Wednesday to avoid contact with day students. In addition, meals are provided and cleaning standards are strictly followed. There’s also a nurse station 24/7 to take care of the students.

The requirements include full vaccination for parents, teachers, and staff, self-declaration, and a weekly ATK testing for teachers and students.

Mr. Suwinai added, “Thanks to our over 120 rai area, our school can manage contact avoidance among different year groups, including different gates for students in different programs. We believe that these programs will fulfil the learning needs of our students in this critical time. This year is also our 25th anniversary and we are happy to see the results of our hard work in terms of academic prestige. For instance, our faculty has included over 110 fully qualified members representing 16 nationalities with an average 17.4 years of teaching experience. We believe that these wellbeing programs also underscore the fulfilment of our commitment to provide an outstanding holistic education.”

The first term of 2021 is now open to welcome newcomers looking for a healthy and purposeful school experience. Trial sessions can be arranged. For more information, please contact admissions@bisphuket.ac.th.


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