Wellington College International School Bangkok is thrilled to announce that Dr Jim Panton will become Head of Senior School from August 2021.
What Inspired You to Join Wellington College Bangkok?
I have been a teacher and an educator in schools for nearly 20 years; and in that time I have come to know Wellington’s unrivalled reputation, not just as a prestigious school with a venerable tradition of excellence, but also as a world-leading innovator in progressive education. That reputation is what inspired me to want to join Wellington, and it is an honour to be joining the leadership team at Wellington College Bangkok to work alongside Chris Nicholls, the Founding Master, and Hannah Jeffs, the Head of Junior School. One of the privileges of joining a Wellington school is that one really is joining an international family of world leading schools. And I think what is really unique about that family, is the extent to which Wellington schools collaborate on the shared educational mission that is the Wellington College project and identity.
How Are You Preparing For Your Move To Wellington
I am currently spending time at Wellington College (UK), working with Mr Iain Henderson (Deputy Head of Education Development and Partnerships) and Mr Scott Bryan (Wellington International Director) along with other colleagues. During this time, we have been sharing ideas and planning some of the work I am going to be doing at Wellington Bangkok over the coming months.
How Would You Describe Your Educational Philosophy?
For me, education should be a transformative experience. It is about helping students on their journey of discovery to become the very best that they can be. And this I think is the vision that drives education throughout the whole Wellington family.
Of course, on the one hand it means guiding students towards outstanding academic results with inspiring teaching; and on the other, it also means caring, supporting, and providing for the happiness and wellbeing of every individual member of the school community.
I really look forward to building on the firm foundations that have already been laid over the past three years at Wellington Bangkok. There are many exciting challenges in front of us; and I am confident that with my experience, alongside the hard work and support of Wellington colleagues in Thailand, the UK, and elsewhere around the world, the Senior School at Wellington College Bangkok will continue to grow and evolve as a world-leading school organised around the unique Wellington Identity.
Can You Tell Us a Bit More About Your Background?
I have been fortunate throughout my career to study, lecture, and teach at some of the UK’s elite centres of learning. I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. I then went on to graduate work at the University College London and doctorate work back at Oxford. Before I become a teacher, I worked for a number of years as an academic at Oxford University, and I have continued to teach, write and lecture in recent years. So I think I know all of the intellectual challenges and many of the opportunities that are available to students when they eventually leave the Senior School at Wellington College Bangkok.
For the past eight years, I have been at Magdalen College School in Oxford where I’ve taught Politics, History and Philosophy. I’ve been a House Master, I’ve been a Head of Department, and a Head of Year. I have also been fortunate to work with outstanding colleagues and hardworking students, guiding them through GCSE’s and A’ levels, and on their path to leading universities in the UK and around the world.
I cannot wait to support students at Wellington College Bangkok on that journey, through Senior School, to university, and then to their lives and careers in the world beyond that. My family and I are really excited to be moving to Thailand. And I am particularly delighted that, for the first time in my career, my children will be joining me at the school at which I am teaching.
There is an Exciting New Senior School Building Under Construction, What Can You Tell Us About That?
In keeping with the spirit of Wellington College International Bangkok, the new Senior School will be in a light and spacious, innovative educational setting. The building has been very carefully designed inside and out to capture the ‘tone’ of what a Wellington school is: vibrant, stimulating, thought-provoking, innovative, and truly excellent.
And indeed, work on the new Senior School building is going incredibly well. I am really looking forward to welcoming both students and families to this quite incredible, purpose-built facility early in the Michaelmas Term, as well as working closely with the whole Wellington community in the coming weeks and months and years that we have together.
Wellington College International School Bangkok is an academically selective international school offering a world class and all-round education in English for children from 2-18 years old. To find out more about us and to arrange a visit, please visit our website: https://www.wellingtoncollege.ac.th/