Class in Thailand

In Bangkok, we stayed with the director of a private school in the city. We spent two mornings learning about the school and sharing great times with the students. Thank you Supaporn for your wonderful welcome!

Questions from French students to Thai students

We took up the same questions as for the visit to the class in Turkey.

What is the school called? “Supawan school ”. It is a primary school.
What are the classes called? There are the 3 years of nursery school as in France: small, medium and large section. In primary: class 1 corresponds to CP - 2nd: CE1 - 3rd: CE2 - 4th: CM1 - 5th: CM2 - 6th: corresponds to 6th in France but it is still in primary.
Approximately how many students are there in the classes? About 20 students per class.
How many classes are there in all in the school? There are 9 classes.
How many days do they work each week? 5 full days: Monday to Friday.
What time does school start and what time does it end? It starts at 8:30 am in the morning and ends at 3:30 pm.
Do you have a video projector? Yes, in a particular room in the school. A computer and internet access? There is an internet room with several computers.
Do they have a chalk board or a white board? Most rooms have a blackboard, but a few have a whiteboard.
Do they have responsibilities in class? Yes: they have to clean the classroom every day. They are responsible in small groups, one group per day of the week.
Do they have a library in the classroom? In the classroom, there is a basket with a few books for those who have finished their work before the others. Otherwise there is a large library for the whole school.
What materials do you work? Thai, Math, science (+ 1h per week of practice and experiences), English, history, music, visual arts, sport.
Each lesson lasts about 1 hour and the students have a teacher for each subject (like at college in France)
Are they doing plastic art? Yes, 1 hour per week. And the school has "specialized" in the artistic expression of the students, something that is very present throughout the curriculum. Students are encouraged to draw in all subjects: with a writing, in science, etc. This is an important principle for the principal: for her, art helps develop observation and intellectual abilities.
Do they play sports? There are 1 hour of sports lessons per week.
In the evening, is there a study for homework? No. But there are sports and music clubs after school if you will.
Do they have any recess? How long does recess last? There are three 15-minute breaks per day: in the morning, at noon after lunch, and in the afternoon.
Is there a canteen or a cafeteria for lunch at noon? Yes, there is a canteen for all the students.
At what time does the lunch break take place? It takes place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Do they go on school trips? Which ones? There are two school trips per year. Two in particular are important in education:
- a 1st class (CP) where children will see how rice is cultivated in the fields; they learn respect for food and the importance of not throwing it away.
- another where the children will meet a Buddhist monk who reminds them of the rules of good behavior, and initiates them into meditation.

Some other details

In general…

- the school year starts in May and ends in march. There is a month vacation in October and a little less than 2 months around April. There are a few short 2-3 day vacations a year, but that's it. These short holidays are for Buddhist religious holidays whose dates are not fixed because they vary depending on the moon. Ah yes and then also: here, we are not in 2014 but in 2557! It's not the same schedule as us!
- Students must work 200 days a year at school.
- There are graded exams throughout the year. And at the end of the 6th, a big national exam to pass.
- All students wear a uniform particular to his school (one for “normal” lessons, and one for sports)
- Before entering a classroom, as before entering a house in Thailand, we take off our shoes. So students and teachers alike are in socks for lessons!
- Thai writing is quite complex. It takes a lot of practice to write well.
- Each child receives from the government one carton of milk per day.
- Every morning at 8 a.m., students sing the national anthem while hoisting the country's flag.
- From what we saw while traveling, the architecture of all the schools is a bit the same. The building is L or U shaped, the corridors between the classes are exterior and overlook the courtyard in the middle. It's very nice !

Supawan School:

- It's a private school. In Thailand, there are private schools (expensive), government schools (a little cheaper), and municipal schools (free, but lower quality education).
- On Thursdays, the students do not dress in their uniform: they come dressed in traditional Thai costume! It’s colorful, it’s very pretty. We went to school on a Tuesday and Thursday: you can see the different outfits in the photos.
- on Friday afternoon, students have a course they have chosen at the beginning of the year: cooking, dancing, English, music ...
- the school welcomes many disabled children (Down's syndrome, mental retardation, etc.). There are 1 to 2 (maximum) per class. An assistant takes them apart for certain subjects, but they are integrated into most courses.
- We were impressed by the calm of the students. Sure, sometimes they bicker a bit, but the teacher just needs to say 2 words and they stop right away ...

Forward the images!

And the national anthem