Learning should not have to be onerous and boring. This philosophy is part of our British Ethos here at the International School of Samui. And it works.
Our teachers always see to it that in every event -- big or small -- there is learning involved.
Take our Songkran celebration, for example. If you are new in Thailand, Songkran (literally translated as "a new beginning") is the celebration of the New Year in Buddhist calendar. On 13th April, which incidentally falls on a Friday, Thailand is welcoming year 2561.
Songkran is celebrated by blessing other people with water. This has now been modernised in the form of "water fights" and is something many people in Thailand look forward to. Our students, parents and teachers at the International School of Samui are not an exception. Hence, we have our traditional annual water fight.
Thursday 4th of April was dedicated to learning all about the Thai New Year. This benefits everyone in the school. For our Thai students, Songkran activities immerse them in their own culture despite growing up in a British Ethos School. For our foreign students, these activities give them an understanding of the Thai culture and train them to integrate well in the local community.
Our morning started with a very solemn programme as we invited 3 respected monks to sing their prayers for our school community. In return, we paid respect to them by giving our offerings. Our guest monks also talked about the symbol of water and the proper ways of using it to celebrate Songkran. Check out our photos of this morning ceremony on Flickr, by clicking here. Or watch a replay of our live broadcast on Facebook:
Finally, our students take this opportunity every year to "cherish our families" which is celebrated on the second day of Songkran. ISS students bless and thank our parents and teachers for all the hard work and love they bestow upon them. We set up two long lanes of seats for teachers and parents around the basketball court and all the students, one by one, poured holy water into their hands to bless them.
Afterwards, a variety of Songkran-themed activities were happening around school. Tug of war, balloon games, Sepak Takraw, Thai traditional games and Muay Thai boxing are just some of them. All the students from Early Years up to Year 11 had their own timetable.
But the fun did not just end there. Towards the end of school day, everyone was waiting for the beginning of the water fight, as you would anticipate the clock to strike midnight every 31st December.
It is one of those ISS activities one can remember fondly. It is beautiful to be able to celebrate Songkran and engage in "water fights" in a completely safe environment.
A huge thank you must go to Kroo Jae for being the mastermind behind all these fun and educational activities for our families. We also thank all our teachers and staff who supported her 100% in organising everything.
PS. Did you get to try the free Vava Yoghurt Ice Cream courtesy of one of our parents? Thank you to the Konovalov family for the sweet treat to beat the summer heat!