Recently 50 grade 1 and 2 students took a trip to Saai Gaew Beach in Nakhon Sri Thammarat to study various types of soil and to visit the Saai Gaew Beach Museum. To help supervise, and enjoy some beach themselves, teachers Simon, Susan, Kris, Jiab, Nok, Suwanee, and Chris went along.
Sithammarat Suksa School is committed to teacher development and often sends teachers for training, conferences or developmental seminars. This is in addition to our continual in-house training, counseling and observations. They have shown this once again by sending a group of representatives to the “Four Corners Seminar” presented by Cambridge University Press.
Science class in the English Program is always a place of discovery and excitement. Here we take science to a tangible level by performing numerous academic, yet fun, experiments. Every unit we teach is made more cohesive through hands on learning activities that really solidify the topic for the students. This not only brings science alive in the classroom, but it also allows the topics to be brought back home for further discussion, as the students share their experiments with their families. These experiments create a lasting memory, one which translates to the knowledge of scientific principles. This week in Mattayom 1 to compliment our ‘Heat’ unit we constructed solar ovens using pizza boxes!
Throughout the previous week we had been learning about heat absorption, radiation, and reflection, and what a better way to see these properties in action then to use them to make lunch! Each student was to bring a piece of foodthat could be cooked, like cheese on bread for example.
As part of Srithammarat Suksa’s mission to exemplify Christian values in the community at large Grade 8 (Mattayom 2)and 9 (Mattayom 3) students recently volunteered to help less fortunate students in nearby rural communities. Teacher JJ’s Christian Education classes M2/15 and M3/15 proposed community outreach programs to better understand the spirit of charity and joy of giving. The classes decided on a plan to go to local impoverished rural schools and give needed school supplies to students. But giving is more than material, and the students planned to give of their time as well. English Program students led various activities and games with the local students, testing their academic knowledge and other important abilities.
After the activities all of the students ate lunch together before the Srithammarat Suksa students had to return to campus. The students of Pak Nam Bapun School and Ban Huay Sai School were left with notebooks, pens, household goods and the memories . Srithammarat Suksa English Program students and Teachers JJ, Mac and Jordan left with a new experience and a new understanding of charity and the joy of giving.
The short amount of time I have lived in Thailand and taught at the English Programme has been a wonderful journey. This sense of adventure (along with the language’s utility) has motivated me to learn the little Thai language I so far have. Unfortunately, that enthusiasm about language can get lost in the classroom too easily. My grade seven students, however, attacked this unit’s content with the vigor of jungle warriors—and that’s just what they were.
Motivating students to study content in English outside of school can be a challenge. Furthermore, many students have not acquired study skills necessary to succeed in subjects taught by Falang teachers, who often put greater emphasis on critical thinking than what many Thai students are used to. However, one strategy I have found very helpful is study jam sessions outside of school. Before each unit test, I schedule a review session with my students at the local KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) within one of the department stores in town. We complete a study guide, answer any questions students may have, and then enjoy a wonderful meal together. Students receive bonus points and an extra study guide for the test. More importantly, we build community within the class and experience learning in a meaningful way outside of school.
In the third week of this second semester students of Matayom 1 (Grade 7) and Matayom 4 (Grade 10) went out from school to learn firsthand some of the topics being covered in their classes in the English Program at Srithammarat Suksa.
M1 students were studying about international trade as part of their Social Studies course with Teacher Jordan. After having covered renewable and non-renewable resources, sustainable use, imports, exports and international trade students first went to the Nakhon Si Thammarat City Museum. Museum Guides showed the students around the 2 buildings which illustrate the history of Nakhon Si Thammarat from stone age beginnings, through its development as an independent trading empire to its current status as part of Thailand. Teacher Jordan spent time with the students focusing on the displays of past products and exports of Nakhon Si Thammarat, including animal skins, elephant tusks, rhino horns, bees wax, jungle hardwoods and other forest products.