Schools in Phuket:
Choosing a School
In our third and final article on schools in Phuket, we will look at which schools are good choices for western or half-western children.
Of course, this is very much a subjective decision and will totally depend on the parent's circumstances and requirements. Probably the biggest requirement most western parents will have is a good English language program.
The international schools are for the wealthier parents. What exactly is an international school? I would say a school with a curriculum from a country with internationally recognised schooling standards rather than the Thai curriculum. By that definition, there are six international schools and one primary school on the island.
British International School: Formerly Dulwich School but recently broke its links with that well-known British institution. This is the top school on the island and one of the top schools in Asia. It is a very impressive facility with beautiful architecture and finely manicured grounds. As its name suggests, it follows a British curriculum.
This school accepts children from the ages of 3 to 18 years old. It accepts local or boarding students. It is expensive. Even for a non-boarding student you could be paying as much as a million baht a year.
QSI (Quality Schools International): QSI opened in 2000. It is a non-profit international school following a curriculum from the USA for children from the ages of 3 to 18. The fees are not quite as high as the British International School but are not far off.
Montessori & Rawai Progressive School: The Montessori uses an Australian curriculum. It is for children from the ages of 12 to 16. The fees are less than the British International School and QSI but still high compared with other schooling options. This school has a close working relationship with the Rawai Progressive School, which is for children from the ages of 3 to 12. This school encourages the children to take a lead in their own learning activities and gives them plenty of freedom.
Phuket International Academy: PIA is a new international school opened in 2008 in fabulous surroundings at the foot of Khao Phra Thaew National Park. It caters for children from 2 to 18 years old using the International Baccalaureate program. The school also has excellent sport facilities.
HeadStart Phuket: They have recently expanded from being an international kindergarten in Phuket Town to new premises on WIchitsongkhram Road opposite Makro as an international primary school ages 2 to 11. Their curriculum is based on the English National curriculum.
Kajonkiet International School: Kajonkiet have long had a well respected bi-lingual school but in August 2011 they open their international school. It has a great central location on Pra Phuket Keaw Road. They will cater for children from ages 2 to 11 using the Brtitish curriculum.
The privately run bilingual schools are a good choice for parents who cannot afford the fees at the international schools. There are two bilingual schools offering education in Thai/English. They both follow the Thai curriculum. They both offer parents a choice of putting their child in only Thai language classes or putting the child into a mixture of Thai and English language classes where native English speakers teach some subjects.
Kajonkiet Bilingual School: This private bi-lingual school is for children from 3 to 12 years of age. It is on Chao Fa West road about two kilometers south of Central Festival. It offers an entirely Thai language curriculum for between 5,000-10,000 baht a term or a mixed Thai/English language curriculum for 45,000-60,000 baht a term.
Darasamut Bilingual School: This private bilingual school is for children from 3 to 12 years of age. They have plans to increase this to 16 years of age. It is a Catholic school but the religious aspect is not strongly pushed and Thai festivals and traditions are maintained. It is on the edge of Phuket Town opposite Central Festival. It offers an entirely Thai language curriculum for between 5,000-10,000 baht a term or a mixed Thai/English language curriculum for 30,000-50,000 baht a term.
Phuket Thai Hua School: This is also a bilingual primary school but the languages are Thai and Chinese. They do also have an English Language program so it is possible to educate your child to be tri-lingual with what are probably the three most important languages in Thailand. Chinese is certainly going to become a very useful language in this region and many Thai parents are very keen for their children to learn Chinese.
There are many Thai schools around Phuket. Some are government schools and others private. They follow the Thai curriculum, usually English is taught as a foreign language. The more highly regarded schools seem to be in Phuket Town.
Dowroong School - A private Thai school for 3 to 18 year olds on the edge of Phuket Town on the road to Chalong. This is also a Catholic school but Thai religious festivals are also followed.
Satree School: A well regarded Thai girl's school for 12 to 18 year olds in Phuket Town on Damrong Road.
Phuket Wittayalai School: A well regarded school for children from 12 to 18 years old in Phuket Town on Nakhon Road.
Thai Schools Part 1- Nursery Schools - There is an ever growing number of western and half-western children growing up in Phuket. What schooling options does Phuket offer for western parents? We start with a quick look at nursery schools.
Thai Schools Part 2 - The School System - Our second article about schooling options in Phuket looks at how the Thai school system works.