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Beyond the Scares: The Transformative Power of Social Glue in Building Community

Bangkok Prep The Transformative Power of Social Glue in Building Community

Courtesy of Stephen Hurworth, Deputy Head of Secondary, Bangkok Prep

Who would have thought that a haunted house in a black box theatre could symbolise the strengthening of a school community’s ‘social glue’? Some people reading this might be wondering how a haunted house can strengthen bonds and what is social glue. Understanding a little history of our school and the organisation, creation and execution of this year’s Halloween event, will help you fully understand its meaning and symbolisation.

Bangkok Prep’s journey began in 2003, at our original location in Thonglor, but as our community flourished, expansion became inevitable. Six years ago, we inaugurated the Secondary Campus on Sukhumvit 77, evolving into one school with two campuses. This academic year marks a significant milestone as our Primary Campus, adjacent to the Secondary Campus, opens its doors, bringing us back together as one united school community.

Bangkok Prep The Transformative Power of Social Glue in Building Community

The Halloween event enabled and empowered our whole community to get together on the same campus for the first time in six years! The spooktacular event wasn’t without its challenges, but the dedication of our wonderful parent group, Friends of Bangkok Prep (FOBP), student leadership, and our staff body, was nothing less than inspirational. When a team unites to achieve a common vision, the outcome can truly be remarkable and surpass expectations greater than one could even imagine.

The success of this year’s Halloween came down to the perseverance and purpose of a group of parents, student leaders, and with help from the staff. That group of people set out to provide an experience for young people that was like no other. This was their purpose and they stayed true to achieving their vision and their ‘why’ throughout. One should never underestimate the power of the positive triangular relationship between students, teachers and parents in all walks of school life. Add to that embedded, shared values, a clear vision and mission and it truly is the magic recipe and what defines ‘social glue.’ 

Bangkok Prep The Transformative Power of Social Glue in Building Community

Kiri, one of Bangkok Prep’s Year 13  students who was instrumental in arranging this event, had this to say: 

“I was given the opportunity to work with the Assistant Head of Performances, Art Prefects, the Student Action Team (SAT), and FOBP on this year’s Haunted House that we have named “Land of Oz”. Working with various teams, inevitably, requires a good level of teamwork and communication skills, as well as respect. Not only did I try to inspire the teams with my ideas, I had to have confidence in my thoughts to be able to communicate clearly with the different teams. Fortunately, everyone that I worked with on this huge Halloween event was very passionate, enthusiastic and willing to give up their time to make the Halloween event more enjoyable and memorable for other members of the community. 

With the different talents that we all have, we were able to give ideas and support each other in different aspects of organising the Haunted House. We had the Art Prefects design the layout and decorations, and the SAT and FOBP worked on the decorations and operation of the Haunted House using the ideas that came from the Art Prefects. Communicating and collaborating with FOBP was a little bit of a challenge for me due to the language barrier. However, we were able to build a good relationship working on this project. 

I learned that challenges like language barriers can easily be overcome by having patience and respect for one another to try to understand each other. And this is a vital skill to have especially in an international community like our school. I have been hearing a lot of positive feedback from many students, parents, and staff members, and I hope to work on more events like this in my last year here at Bangkok Prep to make this academic year more exciting than ever for everyone in the community. I would like to take this opportunity to show my gratitude to everyone who has taken part in organising the Haunted House, and to everyone who has entered inside and gave back to us with the best reactions ever. It wouldn’t have been so successful without your support!”

Bangkok Prep The Transformative Power of Social Glue in Building Community

These opportunities can enrich our students’ experiences at school and prepare them for life beyond academic study. No student needs a title or a badge to be a student leader: just the willingness to get involved and be an active member of the community. 

At Bangkok Prep, we pride ourselves on having a strong organisation culture that is built on a caring and supportive community.  With our values at the core, our vision and mission at the forefront, and if Halloween is anything to go by, Bangkok Prep’s ‘social glue’ is becoming stronger and stronger by the day. 

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