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BANGKOK 18 November 2018 23:58
Nepal4me

Bangkok Patana for smart kids - good?

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My son will go into Year 8 this coming year.  He routinely scores in the 90+ percentiles in math and reading in MAP scores.  His reading is in the top 15% for Yr 12 students and he is in Yr 7.  Math is also in the 90s and he has never done Kumon or other math program, which dramatically bumps up MAP scores.

 

Now he is in an Int'l school that is very easy, tiny amount of homework but a wonderful environment.

 

Overall, I'm happy with his school but I am wondering if BKK Patana might be a better place for him as I understand they put kids into classes based on their abilities.  So in my case my son would most likely be in the top class and would interact academically with kids of his level.

 

He is athletically active so he would fit in athletically too.

 

I guess I will visit the school to get a feel for it but wondering if any parents or teachers could comment on the advantage for kids in the top classes.

 

Thanks...

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Pattana is one of the best and most established here. I would highly doubt any parents would be unhappy with the school, apart from their high fees. 

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8 hours ago, BobbyL said:

Pattana is one of the best and most established here. I would highly doubt any parents would be unhappy with the school, apart from their high fees. 

Thanks for the comment.

 

I hope someone will respond on the, what Patana calls "tier 2" or "Extended Learning program".

 

This is the exclusive reason for moving to Patana for me.  I'm sure it's a great school but our school is great too.  I've heard Patana really helps the top 5 or 10% kids and that is the big differentiator for me.

 

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On 6/6/2018 at 6:06 PM, Nepal4me said:

Thanks for the comment.

 

I hope someone will respond on the, what Patana calls "tier 2" or "Extended Learning program".

 

This is the exclusive reason for moving to Patana for me.  I'm sure it's a great school but our school is great too.  I've heard Patana really helps the top 5 or 10% kids and that is the big differentiator for me.

 

Patana has a "Gifted and Talented Coordinator", who works with students and teachers.  The school does go out of its way to accommodate outliers (at both ends of the bell curve), but don't expect loads of special treatment.  The average student at Patana is not your average student elsewhere,  so don't be surprised if your son is considered average there even though his numbers and performance at his current school is exceptional.

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Thanks for the comment Old Hand.

 

I am still hoping someone with knowledge of the program can comment.

 

Also, your comment on average at Patana vs average at other top Int'l schools isn't accurate or isn't accurate to a meaningful degree. Patana, ISB etc are not on average meaningfully different.

 

12 year old kids that score nationally in the top 15% for 17 year olds will not be "average at Patana."  They will be at the top.

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2 hours ago, Nepal4me said:

Thanks for the comment Old Hand.

 

I am still hoping someone with knowledge of the program can comment.

 

Also, your comment on average at Patana vs average at other top Int'l schools isn't accurate or isn't accurate to a meaningful degree. Patana, ISB etc are not on average meaningfully different.

 

12 year old kids that score nationally in the top 15% for 17 year olds will not be "average at Patana."  They will be at the top.

You will be best served by contacting the school and speaking with the "Gifted and Talented Coordinator" about how they work with exceptional children.

 

My only knowledge is from speaking with parents of older children (my son just finished the nursery year, so not much talk about differentiating children based on ability), with one in particular upset that his child wasn't considered gifted and talented based on test scores (patana has a very touchy feely atmosphere, where they claim to take a more holistic approach to such things). 

 

A surprising number of parents feel that their children are a cut above, and in fact they are at patana (and probably ISB as well).  i'd say the vast majority are.  children are for the most part from stable wealthy families, which goes a long way to creating an above average child. 

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Actually I did contact that person but you have to go thru an admin person that forwards all your messages and then that persons messages back to you.  A bit cumbersome, they won't give the persons name.  I did forward my sons official MAP scores document and the person agreed that "he would likely identify with the tier 2 group" or words to that effect but they would have to make that determination based on the internal CEM test, which is a test more closely similar to an IQ test.  It is not academic performance based. They would only give that test after we joined the school...which is reasonable.

 

Thus my interest in seeking out feedback from somebody that perhaps had a kid in the program.

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I don't know Pattana personally, but its reputation speaks for itself.

 

These G&T classes or 'Extending Learning' etc are generally just a nice selling point for schools anywhere. They use it to show they recognise a child's potential and look at ways of furthering and developing that. Just the same way that schools will offer interventions and support classes for lower ability children. 

 

In theory the idea is great, and being with children of similar, or even slightly higher ability can be a real benefit. I do think in secondary classes they should be split into ability levels as they would mostly be back in the UK. 

 

I highly doubt the stuff they teach is going to be ground breaking, and I would guess that it will still be very curriculum orientated, meaning it won't be too different to what they would learn normally.

 

If it is enough for him to pass the tests with higher scores then maybe it is a benefit, but could he also pass the test with high scores without it? That is probably your big thinking point. 

 

 

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Really I'm just trying to understand what the program entails.

 

I don't really care about passing tests, I just wonder how beneficial this program might be for a kid that is very smart.

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Unless the child is returning 'home' for university and life, they are better off studying in top Thai secondary schools. Mahidol Wittayasorn, Triam Udom Suksa and Suankularb Wittayalsi all teach high math all are prestigious. Pathumwan Demonstration is also a very solid school. He will need to take the entrance exams in M4 but if he can get into PDS prior, it has the best M1-3 in the country.If that can't happen for him,  Pathumwan, Samsen Wittayalai and Bodindecha. If he's good enough, there are gifted math programs. Stay well clear of any EP program. Your son should also seek tutoring outside as they all do. I teach English to a gifted math class at one of the above schools, very smart, diligent kids. Great atmosphere. Feel free to contact me. See pic one of my students just posted on FB.

 

Pattana is a great school to be sure.

 

 

Screenshot_20181021-032215~01.png

Edited by Number 6

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Thanks for that info.  I expect his Thai would have to be natively fluent to go to those schools.  His Thai is good but as an Int'l schhool kid, it's not at that level.

 

After more thought we have decided to leave him where he is.  

He is well integrated into his school socially and athletically and musically.  That is probably much more important than pushing his math.  Let him have a normal fun school experience.  He will do the advanced courses at school and will not take external math classes.  He can make decisions in his last 2 years of high school.

Don't want to screw him up, we thought about an IQ test but even decided to not do that.  There is really no benefit to knowing his scores now.

We have also cancelled the Patana idea.  Being really smart isn't particularly cool at this age.  He would prefer to keep it quiet and just not tell the other kids about his MAP scores.  If he went into the EL program at Patana, everybody would think of him as a brainy kid and that's just not cool.

 

Mom and I have decided to let him have a "normal" school experience.

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Let him take the M4 entrance exams. They are tested in Thai as well. Don't rule out the option.

 

His Thai being mediocre, that's exactly why he needs to go to a Thai school if he will remain in Thailand. It may prove to be a real career killer. What sort of future will he have here without proper L1 command of the language?

 

Smart kids go to international schools. The REALLY smart kids go to the top five publics. HS is also believe it or not even at this level about lifelong connections as well.

 

Edit: Being smart is very cool at the schools I'd mentioned. Your kid is in the wrong school.

 

Good luck.

Edited by Number 6

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I can understand why some parents would want to put their kid, with really high scores into a program as you suggest.  

 

I think my wife and I are not those types of parents.  Not being critical, rather we want a kid that has a really happy well rounded pre-uni experience.  He plays football at a high level and trains 4 days per week and also plays piano 30 minutes 5 or 6 days per week. He loves football and piano and those schools likely wouldn't allow him the time given the high level there.

 

Also, I would like him to go to Uni in the West.  I think that gives him the most flexible options for his future.

 

Your route would give him the best pathway for success in Thailand but possibly less so internationally.

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