Phuket International Academy achieves prestigious International Baccalaureate Authorization

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Phuket International Academy Day School (PIADS) is delighted to announce it has achieved International Baccalaureate (IB) authorization to offer the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP).

The prestigious authorization now enables the burgeoning academy to be recognized as an IB World School, representing a significant move in the school’s development towards becoming a full three-programme IB World School.

Rounded education: Phuket International Academy Day School takes a giant step forward in gaining recognition as an IB world school. Rounded education: Phuket International Academy Day School takes a giant step forward in gaining recognition as an IB world school.

Incoming PIADS Head of School, Dennison MacKinnon, said the transition to IB World School status will confirm the academy’s already solid reputation as one of the leading educators in the region.

“The educational beliefs and values of the school and the school’s community, which are based on the IB Learner Profile, reflect the IB philosophy, and this has been recognised and commended by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO),” he said.

Best in class: Recruiting the best and most experienced teachers lies at the heart of PIADS success in gaining IB recognition. Best in class: Recruiting the best and most experienced teachers lies at the heart of PIADS success in gaining IB recognition.

“Our commitment to an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning, promoting the development of critical-thinking skills, has always been the school’s priority. We have also always been fully committed to staff training in IB pedagogy and are pleased that all staff members have embraced it whole-heartedly. We are thrilled to have achieved the PYP authorization and now move towards the next step in implementing all three IB programmes.”

Ahead of the curve: In addition to its facilities and resources, PIADS’ ‘virtual’ learning environments were singled out for commendation. Ahead of the curve: In addition to its facilities and resources, PIADS’ ‘virtual’ learning environments were singled out for commendation.

PIADS’ resources and support structures were commended by the IB, as they help to ensure an efficient and successful implementation of the IB programmes. They include providing qualified staff to implement the programme and mindfully recruiting experienced teachers with either IB PYP training and experience or an educational philosophy that aligns to the philosophy and practices of the programme.

Special mention was made of the staff members, who are committed to learning and developing the implementation of a transdisciplinary programme.

“Strategies such as visible thinking tools, pre-assessments, student reflections and diverse articulations of the learner profile and attitudes were in evidence throughout the learning spaces,” the IB added in a letter to the school.

Ahead of the curve: In addition to its facilities and resources, PIADS’ ‘virtual’ learning environments were singled out for commendation.

PIADS offers its 210 students – currently from 25 different nations – five-star facilities, including spacious classrooms and unique access to the entire Thanyapura complex, comprising the Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club and the Thanyapura Mind Centre. These forward thinking facilities offer an extraordinary dimension to the education the school provides.

“We are also developing an across-school social and emotional learning and mindfulness programme to be integrated with the IB Learner Profile, which will add tremendous scope to the teaching and learning programmes,” said MacKinnon.

“It follows the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) programme, one which enhances social and emotional literacy and capacity, and builds self-esteem. PATHS has also been shown to improve academic performance, particularly in developing attention and thinking skills,” he said.

In terms of mindfulness, the programme is modelled on the renowned Susan Kaiser Greenland’s InnerKids programme. Both PATHS and InnerKids are best-practice evidence-based programmes and, as the school further develops, a service learning emphasis is also evolving as an integral part of the school ethos.

The IB PYP is from Kindergarten to Grade 5. The academy currently has IB candidate status for the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Grades 6 to 9. This will be extended to Grade 10 in due course.

“We aspire to be a three-programme IB World School, culminating with the IB Diploma (DP) studies in Grades 11-12. The IB Diploma is a highly regarded university entrance qualification, which is globally recognized as the ‘gold standard’ of university entrance qualifications,” added Mr MacKinnon. “We will then have in place a “best practice” continuum across the three Programmes (PYP, MYP, and DP).”