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Finding your children the best school or nursery can be a tough choice for a foreigner with a family heading to Koh Phangan. Children might find it challenging to try to adjust to a new social setting, to a different form of learning, to a different school system and to create new friends.
The education system in Thailand comprises municipal, private and foreign/international schools (which are also private). The curriculum and much of its schools are split into three distinct stages, covering pre-school, primary and secondary education, and each step consists of a range of distinct tiers, almost the same way Western countries classify kindergarten, primary and secondary schools into different years. If you are currently residing in Thailand or are hoping to move here in the foreseeable future, you may need to become acquainted with the education system and how it works if you have school-aged children in your family or expect to have children.
If you have children younger than school age you may need or want to use a nursery. Many families opt for a private Nanny too who can come to your home if you need to work or would like a little time off. Nannies are affordable here and come with plenty of experience. Thai people are extremely children friendly and they will be welcomed as if they are their own.
Located close to Thong Sala down the road turning from Podium Gym is the nursery ran by Nanny Oy. It is basically a home from home and they accept babies from a few months old to age 3. You can either pay by the hour, day, week or month and they also offer an overnight service. Most staff live on-site and so is a warm environment.
Nanny Oi's (same name as above but different) local Thai Nursery cares for children of all ages, large or small. In a secure and safe setting, they warmly welcome ALL nationalities and encourage your kids the right to play, discover and have fun.
The Learning Tree is an independent private nursery and kindergarten for kids 2 to 7 years of age. Their goal at The Learning Tree is for children to learn in a healthy and caring atmosphere through fun and play.
As well as being open as a wonderful play centre for toddlers and children, Little Panda offers a morning class for 1.5 to 3-year-olds.
Your first choice to make will be whether to send your child to a government school (if allowed) or a private international school. Places are not spread in government schools on a catchment area basis, proposals need to be taken specifically at the school. The infant is classified as a Thai national and is entitled to all the privileges of a Thai national, including being eligible to go to a public school, if a child has one Thai parent and their birth in Thailand has been registered.
However, if both parents are not Thai, then you would not be eligible to submit your child to a public school, so this automatically leaves out this option.
PLEASE NOTE: We believe that you actually CAN send your child to a government school if both parents are not Thai however there may be some criteria. Please research this yourself.
Education in Thailand is free for Thai citizens up to the age of 13, at which stage they need to follow academic admission requirements and start preparing for university, which starts for students as young as 16 years of age.
Many ex-pats have decided to send their children to an international school or tutorial school. In a language and familiar style to children, by the provision of Western curricula, these bodies teach and allow continuity in education. Almost always, with new (even lavish) equipment, limited class sizes and an impressive number of extra-curricular events, these schools are often well-financed. In addition, to fulfil many home-country demands, international schools in Thailand and Koh Phangan provide a healthy variety of curricula. Expat parents should note that schools have long waiting lists and enrollment will rely on language skills and academic accomplishment. Requirements vary variable from school to school, so it is always better to initiate the enrollment and registration process as early as possible. Depending on the age of a pupil and the school, fees in Thailand for international schools tend to be quite high. Expats will do better to attempt and negotiate their job contract with a schooling grant, else spending on school expenses will wind up being perhaps the most lucrative bonus.
(The only official recognised International school on Koh Phangan)
Si Ri Panya is authorised to teach a full international British program for primary-age children by the Thai Ministry of Education. They work hard to ensure that every child in the key areas of English, Maths and Science is successful. Via a diverse program and a variety of extra-curricular and after school experiences that support their job in the classroom.
As mentioned before in nursery’s, The Learning Tree does go up to age 7. Their aim is for kids to learn by fun and play in a safe and loving environment. The ideals of respect, kindness, trust, fairness and good courtesy are being promoted at around the same time. The Learning Tree is a bilingual nursery and kindergarten where children learn the languages of English and Thai to speak, interpret, and write.
The international curriculum is given by Wisdom for Stages 7 to 9 (Ages 11 - 14). Learners obey the Cambridge program in preparation for their IGCSE exams at the ages of 14-16. The program follows a typical school year calendar, with an optional subject review from 14:30 to 16:00, athletic clubs, and Holiday Adventure Camps running on weekdays from 8:30 to 14:30. Learners are required to develop as respectful and mindful people and creativity is welcomed.
The largest Thai school in Koh Phangan is located on the main Baan Tai Road and tons of local children visit this school during the week.
Although this school is predominantly attended by Thai nationals, Western children who wish to attend a local school rather than an international one are also available. The field is used on the weekends for thrilling football matches and you can sense the excitement and gestures from very close by.
Not a typical structured school, instead you get creative and flexible classes. Teachers are attentive and the space is inventive.
Serenity Residence International School is available to all children aged 3 to 15 years of age, and they invite anyone to attend the school at any time of year. There are classes available in English. Thai, French and Russian.
Koh Phangan is a wonderful location for kids of all ages to come and go to school. The island also has a number of clinics, play areas and the all-important outdoor lifestyle that is suitable for anyone of any age or for the first years of existence! For toddlers and young children, staying on an island has many benefits for the entire family. The sea breeze and soft sands provide a great place and more quality time together away from the stress of Western culture for kids to explore, play and develop. Good luck in choosing the right school for your kids.