IS THERE LIFE AFTER LIST?
The simple answer to the above question is of course 'Yes'. Much of this article concentrates on how LIST helps to prepare students for the outside world and for their most common destination immediately on leaving school, that being college or university in Thailand and, in many cases, overseas.
We received a message recently from a former LIST student who had just graduated with first class honours from the university of Hong Kong. Here is a short extract from her message:
'It is an understatement to say that Lanna had helped me prepare for this academic challenge. Lanna did so much more than that. I not only learnt how to study, write good essays, deliver effective presentations, and think critically and creatively (which were tremendously helpful skills for HKU), but I was also taught to be confident and passionate in everything I set my mind to. I received so much support and encouragement from teachers at Lanna to dream and achieve what seemed impossible."
She neatly summarises much of what LIST aims to achieve for its students.
WHY CHOOSE LIST?
Parents choose to send their children to Lanna International School for many different reasons. The British style education is very popular, as is the wonderful new kindergarten for children of three and four years of age. Developing a good command of both English and Thai is another attraction, as is the friendly atmosphere in the school that many visitors mention. Perhaps the monthly bake sales are another reason? Very good IGCSE and A Level examination results and expert guidance about university applications are high priorities for many parents and students, and these areas are a particular strength of the school.
In addition to A Level qualifications, our graduates leave with Grade Point Average (GPA) transcripts and can sit SAT tests at LIST as we are an official testing centre. This appeals a great deal to those students interested in heading off to the USA.
WHERE DO STUDENTS GO WHEN THEY LEAVE LIST?
LIST graduates go on to study in colleges and universities in Thailand and much further afield. All students and parents receive detailed and individual guidance regarding choice of courses and universities. Students are given assistance throughout the whole application process. We have sent our graduates to many good Thai universities: Thammasat University International College, Mahidol University International College, Chulalongkorn, Silpakorn, Bangkok Business School, Webster University Hua Hin and Bangkok Campus, Academia Italiana, Raffles College of Art, in addition to universities here in Chiang Mai.
Many graduates go to universities in other countries. Some recent destinations and courses below:
Mechanical Engineering at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland
English Education at Bethesda University USA
Human Science at University College London
Medicine at Huazhong University Medical School, China
Architecture at Brighton University UK
Art and Design at L'Ecole Creatifs, Angers, France
Political Science at Hong Kong University
International Business Management at Kingston University, UK
Graphic Art at Auckland University, New Zealand
WHAT ARE UNIVERSITIES LOOKING FOR IN STUDENTS?
A number of aspects combine to make LIST students good candidates for university places, with examination performance obviously featuring but by no means being the only criterion for university acceptance. Many universities are also looking for well-rounded individuals who can demonstrate that they lead life to the full rather than just being academic robots! Community involvement, participation in a range of different school activities and events, plus demonstration of other qualities are all important. Being a good communicator is also essential and developing English skills from an early age is certainly an advantage.
A LEVEL EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE*
A key factor which increases the likelihood of being offered a place at a university is the grades achieved in Advanced Level (A Level) studies. These courses, organized by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) are long established pre-university courses offered in the final two years at LIST. Ideally, students should have studied IGCSE for two years prior to beginning A Levels. Good A Level results are recognized and valued by universities all over the world. LIST offers nearly twenty different courses and students are able to specialise in their studies, class sizes are small and courses are rigorous and demanding. A Level results have been extremely impressive.
IGCSE COURSES AS PREPARATION FOR A LEVEL STUDY*
Before studying A Level courses in Years 12 and 13, students follow another two year examination course offered by CIE, this being the International General Certificate of Education, better known as IGCSE. These courses are studied in Years 10 and 11 at LIST, with all students studying English, Mathematics and Sciences, plus a number of other subjects chosen by the student with teacher guidance. IGCSE courses are offered in over 120 different countries and are very good preparation for A Levels. Students are usually fourteen years old when they begin IGCSE study, and IGCSE gives them a definite target for the following two years. Results at LIST are excellent.
In the Primary School firm foundations are laid for the future. Students develop a command of English and good study habits essential for the high level academic work in the Secondary School. Our Primary curriculum follows the framework set out by Cambridge Primary (CP) for English, Mathematics and Science. CP closely follows the objectives set out for the British National Curriculum. In the final year of primary education, students take the CP Checkpoint Examinations. All students are issued with a Primary Certificate of Achievement by University of Cambridge International Examinations. Results are very good and get better each year, demonstrating that students are developing as we would wish.
LIST is the only British style school in Chiang Mai offering Cambridge programmes in Primary and Secondary. Many other educational systems offered in the region do not have external assessment through the different stages of a student's academic development. At LIST students are assessed regularly and respond very well to the rigorous academic approach.
Students are expected to aim for their own best level of achievement but teachers are supportive and flexible and understand that abilities vary from child to child and in different subject areas. Students are encouraged to think for themselves, to enquire and research, to become independent learners and decision makers as well as members of a team. They are also helped to develop a self awareness and an awareness of the wider world, plus a wide range of communication skills. All of this development takes place over time in a very friendly and supportive environment. Students learn how to learn. This is outlined in our Expected School-wide Learning Results (ESLRs) and, looking at what the UHK graduate wrote, it matches well.
LIST is far from being a school only interested in students' academic success. In addition to the excellent work being done in the classroom, students are presented with a wide range of other enjoyable activities, events and challenges which all contribute to their development. Those with a musical aptitude can learn an individual instrument or become part of the developing school orchestra, or join a band and play at one of the many parent/teacher social occasions. The house system provides many opportunities for healthy competition in school, both sporting and otherwise, and those with physical prowess can compete against other schools in athletics, swimming, basketball, football, etc.
The broad activities programme changes regularly and ranges from learning a language to producing the LQ magazine or to flying an aeroplane! Student Council involvement develops awareness and responsibility, with students contributing ideas for the development of the school and giving their time to help in the organization of school events. Students involved in the Model United Nations group could probably teach their seniors a thing or two, and those who participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme face many challenges and need to show great determination to earn ultimate success. Field trips, camping, charity work, community involvement, drama productions, the list goes on.
Student numbers have increased at LIST to a level where most classes are now full, with waiting lists operating in many year groups. Enquiries are being received quite regularly from parents wishing to enrol their children at LIST one year, two years and even three years from now. Planning ahead to guarantee a place in the school is a great idea! Congratulations and thank you to the parents and students who are already part of the LIST family. You have made a good decision and your contribution towards making LIST a thriving, positive and great place to be is appreciated. For those people reading this article who have not yet joined LIST, you are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later.
In some cases, capable students with good English ability do join LIST just in Year 12 to study A Level courses, or in Year 10 to do two years of IGCSE prior to A Level, but joining the school at an earlier stage is preferable for many reasons.
Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in finding out more or wish to discuss any of the points raised.
* Detailed information about IGCSE and A Level courses can be found in the 'Academics' section of this website.