Rugby School Thailand (RST) opened in Chonburi Province on the Eastern Seaboard of ‘the land of smiles’ in September 2017.
Just 90 minutes from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), and a 2-hour 45-minute flight from Hong Kong (HKG), RST was established to fill a gap in the market by offering a genuine UK independent school education in South East Asia, based on the model of its sister school – Rugby School in the UK – one of the original British public schools dating back over 450 years. RST is certainly not another typical international school.
From the outset, RST aimed to be a ‘proper’, academically-selective school. Offering a full academic curriculum, based on the English National Curriculum, culminating in the gold-standard IGCSE and A-level qualifications, RST also offers a full co-curriculum to ensure the all-round development of each student – mind, body and spirit. As they put it: the whole person; the whole point.
A co-educational, age 2-18, boarding and day school, RST offers an extended school day ensuring that every pupil can enjoy to the full its fabulous facilities set in its stunning, peaceful, 90-acre (36-hectare) greenfield site 12 miles outside Pattaya and 250m above sea-level. Already making waves in the day market, RST is also attracting boarders both from within and outside Thailand (including from Hong Kong) keen to substitute fresh air for pollution; games for gridlock; and tranquillity for tension.
Creativity and innovation are in the school’s DNA: from music, art, dance and drama to top-notch swimming coaching (the Head of Aquatics is a Team GB triathlete). Amongst other things, sailing, paddle-boarding and riding compliment the usual team sports, and the wonderful outdoor education centre offers rock-climbing, abseiling, bush-craft, high-walks and a zip wire in the woods.
Just-opened new buildings include a third boarding house and a science centre complimenting a sixth-form (Years 12-13) centre and two spacious, light and airy classroom blocks including specialist suites for computer science, design and technology, art, music, dance – and a theatre – catering for all the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) subjects.
Combined with two swimming pools, a stunning dining room and a statement breezeway entrance, the campus of buildings is used by a combination of top-notch, predominantly expatriate, teaching staff (over 100 in total) all of whom are fully involved in the extensive co-curricular programme and the students’ pastoral care. Maximum class sizes are 18 and just 16 in the Early Years and Foundation Stage (Pre-Nursery to Reception) years. Teaching assistants bring the student:staff ratio down to 9:1 or less.
Parents are buying into the School’s ethos in droves: opening with 110 pupils in September 2017, today RST has nearly 680 on its roll – with waiting lists in certain year groups – over half of whom are international students comprising 60+ nationalities. And after the locals and the Brits, no one nationality comprises more than 5% of the roll.
RST is ideally-placed to help facilitate the growth of Thailand 4.0’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) through the ultimate provision of 1,200-1,300 school places, ensuring that when major multinationals want to set up shop or expand in the EEC, their ability to do so won’t be constrained by the absence of school places for their employees’ children – and their children certainly won’t be constrained by the confines of a typical international school.
Rugby School Thailand is already a name to conjure with; expect to hear a lot more from it. And do pay them a visit.
Fees: Please see website
The Head: Nigel Westlake
7/2 Moo 2, Khao Mai Kaew, Bang Lamung, Chonburi, Thailand, 20150