Kensington International Kindergarten‘Outstanding Small Business’ 2018
- 7 Dec 2018 at 14:15
Main photo, left to right: Amanda Botelho (Deputy Head Teacher), Varaporn Kanchanawat (Director), Nitiphan Phanwiroj (Director), Blake Dimsdale of Mazars (sponsors), Beverley Petch (Head Teacher), Thornjutha Noosap (Office Manager)
A Gala Dinner hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT), in the presence of His Royal Highness, Prince Richard the Duke of Gloucester and the British Ambassador to Thailand, Brian Davidson.
That was the setting for the 2018 prestigious awards ceremony, and Kensington International Kindergarten were delighted to have been shortlisted many weeks before! The evening gave the ‘Kensington Family’ the chance to celebrate being what they already believed, to be the best school in Thailand, regardless of what might unfold. Everyone looked very relaxed, laughing and joking about how they didn’t really care if they won, they were just grateful to have made the finals. Then after much merriment, the Master of Ceremonies started to announce the shortlisted candidates. Everyone laughed and clapped politely throughout, nobody wanting to look overconfident! BUT, from the moment the Kensington table heard the words, ”…and the winner is…” faces changed in an instant, time stood still, the next ten seconds seemed to drag into a slow slurring motion that lasted an eternity, until… “Kensington Internat……….. ……………….!” A deafening cheer rang out across the packed hall as they leapt from their seats; they thought they could fly, screaming with joy, hugging, even crying! Were those the same voices who minutes before, didn’t care if they won? The presenter joked, “Have you brought the children with you?” No, sorry, but the noise and now the night was all theirs!
School Director, Varaporn Kanchanawat, was overjoyed when she said, “What a great honour! We are so proud to receive this award in recognition and acknowledgement of our amazing Kensington team, who are without doubt the reason we are here today. Our passionate and dedicated early years educators and support staff work tirelessly in unity towards the same goal, to deliver the ultimate in early years education while delivering the best care to our students.”
The ‘Kensington Family’ was born in 2010 when Directors, Nitiphan Phanwiroj and his wife Varaporn, stood on a bare plot of land off Ratchaphruek Road and dared to dream. Anyone can erect a building, fill it with children and call it a ‘school,’ but they wanted to create a school capable of delivering a well-researched philosophy, designed from the outset as a ‘Learning-Centric Eco System,’ a new concept that would eventually outperform all others in its class. It was never going to be a school to change the lives of just a few, but a pioneering step in the delivery of Early Years Education across Thailand and beyond.
When asked what the key factor of success at Kensington is, Director Nitiphan said, “I could start with ‘how we translate our vision and philosophy into our building design,’ but if you asked me about the real secret of success at Kensington, I would proudly say, our people and our core values. Our dedicated senior management team work as one, with clear direction towards our vision and values, leading to an empowered culture and working environment where the entire team work tirelessly in an atmosphere of love and passion with early years children. My top tip? Stay firm to your beliefs around your school’s philosophy and don't get distracted by internal or external pressures.”
Back in 2010, they laid the foundations, gained a clear understanding of the future curriculum, philosophy and learning-spaces that they were about to create, and were able to paint that vision, not only to the best possible architect, who would capture their dream but to everyone they would eventually take onboard for that magical journey.
The appointment of Head Teacher, Beverley Petch proved to be one of the keys to that success, a very knowledgeable and experienced professional whose aspirations were in complete harmony to that of the directors. Beverley said, “For any school to succeed, there has to be a strong, trusting bond between the Directors and Head Teacher, and if you get that right it ripples on through the entire school team. I’m so proud of our directors, teachers and every member of staff, who through sheer dedication to a ‘child first’ philosophy have helped to make Kensington the resounding success that it is today.”