Located on Bangkok’s Ratchapruek Road, Kensington International Kindergarten stands out for its striking, futuristic design and learning spaces. The design goes well beyond the aesthetic element, playing a crucial role in enhancing the school’s Early Childhood Education model based on the Early Years Foundation Stage and the British National Curriculum. Here, students ages 1 to 6 explore, discover and thrive in a purpose built setting that nurtures engaged and effective learners.
At the “Bridging Pedagogy, Spaces and Technology to Enhance Learning Environments”, the marker for the 4th Annual Learning Spaces conference held in Singapore in May 2018, Nitiphan Phanwiroj, Director of Kensington International Kindergarten, accompanied by fellow director, Varaporn Kanchanawat, recalled how starting their dream school was meticulously planned several years before the first child ever walked through the door.
He explains that the planning process can be broken down into four phases: “First, devise a clear understanding of the future curriculum and philosophy that you’re going to develop, including the learning spaces. This must include the owners, head teacher and other key management whose feedback to the designer and architect are crucial.”
The second phase is to script beliefs so that they become real, draw working spaces to start the creation of Learner-Centric Eco Systems that will support the school’s philosophy and curriculum. “Dedicate time to this because soon, you will have to convey your vision to the designer/architect,” Nitiphan says. “Then choose your designer and architect well, research tirelessly, then communicate and translate your vision of what will be your unfolding dream. Explore all possibilities and options and don’t be afraid to test them and learn.”
And finally, “Make it come alive. Select the right Head Teacher, the right leaders and staff who understand the curriculum and buy into your school’s philosophy, so they utilise the learning spaces. Don’t be distracted by internal and external pressures, stay with your beliefs and commit firmly to your goals.”
Today, Kensington International Kindergarten marks a Thai national icon of school design/philosophy. It has also attracted attention from governments and educational experts throughout Southeast Asia. Results at graduation are a resounding success, with students gaining places at some of the most prestigious schools in Bangkok.
Has this development then uncovered the optimal design that enables multiple sources of stimulation to encourage the development of physical, creative, cognitive, emotional and social skills? Varaporn chimes in, saying, “We know that our purposeful school design, the professional team who work here and our pupils are exceptional, but we are never complacent. We are all lifelong learners and we owe it to each other and society as a whole to continually strive to improve education for future generations.”
For more information on Kensington International Kindergarten, please visit www.kensington.ac.th
Please note: This article was originally published in the Bangkok Post. It has been modified and re-printed by by permission of Kensington International Kindergarten.