NaNoWriMo Celebration & Book Launch


On Monday 29th May, parents, teachers and students came together to celebrate the elementary school’s newly published authors. This journey began back in November when around 150 students chose to take on the NaNoWriMo challenge. Many students then decided to embark on the additional challenge of publishing their novel. After six months of writing, editing, revising, formatting, and designing, we were able to see the results of all that hard work and effort. All this year’s NaNoWriMo novels can be seen in the ES Hub and a taste of the celebration can be seen in the video above. 

Special thanks must go to the PTA for their generous grant which enabled us to present each of the published authors with a gift to inspire their future creative endeavours.

Another special thank you to fifth grade student Kati Gagnidze who created these amazing photo frames for the celebration. 


Thanks also to Mr Whitman for his incomparable knife-wielding skills, Mr Boll for his help with photography and for putting together the video, and to Ms Bentley for all her support with planning the celebration.

Congratulations to all our new authors!


This year’s novels are so awesome that absolutely nothing can distract students from reading them!

Limitless Learning at World Scholar’s Cup Bangkok Round


How unlikely is it that dozens of ISB students would give up their weekend to write essays and complete a challenging exam? Well, when those events are part of the unique co-curricular program that is the World Scholar’s Cup, the answer is very likely indeed.

Last weekend saw the Bangkok Round of the World Scholar’s Cup where ISB was admirably represented by 41 dedicated middle school students and six high school students. Over two action-packed days, the students, in teams of three, argued passionately over three rounds of debate, wrote a persuasive essay, completed a rigorous six-subject exam, and raced the clock to compete in a multimedia quiz bowl with electronic clickers.


Outside of the competitive arena, students participated in an all-volunteer talent show, with seven of our students taking a risk and performing for their peers. Additionally, G8 student Sasha Wertime was selected to participate in the Debate Showcase, a public debate by some of the best speakers in the competition.  

This year’s competition theme is An Unlikely World, and students have been preparing since January by studying the six inter-related subject areas that make up this year’s theme.  

In Science & Technology, students have been learning about moonshots, including rocket science, the original space race, and today’s wildly ambitious innovative projects such as the hyperloop and Google’s Project Loon.

In History, students have researched the history of conspiracy, investigating many famous historical and contemporary conspiracy theories, as well as considering the psychology of conspiracy theorists; collusion and profiteering; and related ethical issues.

Short stories or excerpts of works by authors such as Douglas Adams, Lewis Carroll and David Levithan all featured in the Literature subject area, along with a diverse selection of poems by classic and contemporary poets including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda and Peter Goldsworthy.

This year’s Art and Music subject area required students to engage with a wide variety of unlikely artworks or music with an unlikely theme. Students were exposed to artists and musicians such as Caravaggio, Gerald Laing, David Bowie, Dire Straits and Lin Manuel Miranda.

In Social Studies, students considered the likelihood of predicting the future in all it’s many forms – economic forecasting, political polling, prophets and prophecy, sports analytics and bookmaking.

This year’s Special Area is Modern Mythologies, a wide-ranging topic including cultural and origin myths from around the world; contemporary sporting and business myths; the intersection of myths, misconceptions and stereotypes; the role of myth in religion; and the role of myths in history and politics.

World Scholar’s Cup continues to attract increasing numbers of students because the program clearly fulfils its mission of taking learning seriously without taking ourselves too seriously. Students are motivated to study because the subjects are globally relevant and inherently interesting. Researching a topic from the WSC curriculum is like falling down a rabbit hole of curiosity and wonder, with each new discovery leading to more questions and more links to investigate. Successful teams work together to tackle the material, developing useful skills in collaboration, problem-solving and sometimes, conflict resolution.

At the Bangkok Round at the weekend, all of our teams’ hard work paid off, with ISB clearly being one of the most successful schools at the competition. In the Junior Division, an ISB team won every single team event, with many other teams and individuals featuring in the top ten across all events.  

After two long, tiring days our students certainly left with a great many medals, trophies and alpacas (the WSC mascot), but also inspiring memories, friendships and a renewed confidence in their own limitless potential.

A full list of ISB’s results and achievements is here.

Congratulations to all the teams, many of whom will now go on to compete at the Global Round!

Chris, Misa & Emmy

Sasha, Anna & Evalynn

Todd, Natalie & Aarika

Aaron, Ken & Pleng

Rory, Pun & Min

Pinkie, Firuza & Pan Pan

Nina, Sohee & Nadia

Ploy, Jane & Emilie

Aadit, Boyan & Earth

Jayger, Nick J & Divyansh

Nick V, Praj & Grand

Caden, Tongnueng & Jingmin

Jai, Marc & Well

Vismay & Elmo

Sajid, Wendy & Leah

Brandon, Ludo & Kyle

Thank you to Dennis Harter, Anthony Sheridan, and Candy Tang for coming along as chaperones, and to parent volunteers Sharon Wang, Shaila Ahmed, Rajiv Bawa, Mon Lor and Kim Ellison for helping out as debate adjudicators.

Thank you to the host schools, NIST and SISB, and to the tireless WSC staff for continuing to #spreadthepwaa in Bangkok! 

Tournament of Minds 2017

The Elementary Language Literature Team: Natcha, Kati, Alice, Charlie H, Charlie L, Roddy & Arshivard

The Elementary Language Literature Team: Natcha, Kati, Alice, Charlie H, Charlie L, Roddy & Arshivard

Last Sunday 26th February around 370 students and their teachers and parents descended on ISB for the annual Bangkok Tournament of Minds. Seventeen schools were represented, coming from all over Bangkok as well as Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh. It was a day full of teamwork, problem-solving, creativity and fun.

Tournament of Minds (TOM) is a creative, problem-solving program for multi-age teams of students from both elementary and secondary years. Students have spent six weeks working to solve a demanding, open-ended challenge from one of several disciplines – Language Literature, Engineering Math, or Social Science. On Tournament Day, the teams present their challenge solution in the form of a ten minute dramatic performance in front of an audience and a panel of judges. They are also required to participate in a previously unseen, on-the-spot Spontaneous Challenge. Teams are required to think quickly and creatively as they only have four minutes to come up with a unique response.

Teams are required to make all props and costumes themselves.

Teams are required to make all props and costumes themselves.

The aim of TOM is to enhance the potential of our young people by encouraging enterprise, developing diverse skills and time management and fostering the discipline to work collaboratively within a competitive environment. Tournament of Minds looks beyond academic achievement and understands that the pursuit of excellence knows no boundaries. Working in teams, effective problem-solving, thinking outside the square and the use of technology are values that are highly valued in the student or entrepreneur of tomorrow.

All of these skills were very much in evidence on Sunday as teams demonstrated the results of their hard work and commitment over the previous six weeks. The judges were privileged to witness some incredible performances featuring a cavalcade of characters including time-travelling aliens, a reindeer-eating Grinch, reckless archaeologists, a council of moons, and many familiar characters from books, movies, artworks and advertisements. Between presentations, the teams were engaged with completing the Tournament Trail – a series of fun tasks designed to encourage interaction and the forging of new friendships, such as finding a student from another school who can name all seven dwarves or explain the golden ratio. Despite the long day of competition, enthusiasm never wavered, as was clearly evident by the excitement during the award ceremony.

Secondary Social Science Team - Pleng, Poomin, Jayger, Aaron, Tim, Prang

Secondary Social Science Team: Pleng, Poomin, Jayger, Aaron, Tim, Prang

In the extremely competitive Primary Language Literature category, our ISB team worked extremely hard to take fifth place, while our Secondary Social Science team came second and as the highest ranked Thai team in their discipline, have qualified for the Australasian Pacific Finals of TOM to be held in Adelaide in October. Congratulations to both teams for the enormous amounts of energy, enthusiasm and persistence that went into these fantastic results.


Engineering Math Challenge: Going for Gold
In this challenge, the team were asked to design and build a simple testing device, which can quickly and accurately test, with as little operator assistance as possible, whether items conform to the Golden Ratio. The team were also asked to demonstrate an appreciation of the Golden Ratio and explain why the Lord High Council decreed that all parcels should be Golden Rectangles.

Language Literature Challenge: Guest Who?
Teams were asked to create a scenario in which a range of characters from at least four different genres came together to share a meal. They needed to explain how the gathering came to be and show how the conversation can reveal aspects of the characters’ personalities.

Social Sciences Challenge: Peas in a Pod
Archaeologists discover some kind of pod from an undetermined time in an unexplored area of Pompeii. The pod contains two items that look the same but are fundamentally different. Teams were asked to show how the pod was discovered, what the two items were and to explain the significance of the items to the group which buried them.


To Laramie Gagnidze for being an amazing facilitator for the Elementary team.

To all the volunteer judges for the day including (from ISB): Miguel Zambrano, Anthony Sheridan, Dennis Harter, Sarah Steward, Stephanie Costa, Karen Leung and Sonali.

To the student volunteers who went above and beyond to help the day run smoothly and to prepare a photo slideshow for the closing ceremony: Zwe, Sajid, Madison, Brandon, Shubha, Meg.

Thank you to the ISB admin team for their support, and a huge thank you to Khun Yok and the B&G team, ISB Security and Khun Pla for all their help and hard work.

Screenshot 2017-03-02 20.06.33

I Wrote a Novel! Now What?

November is over, and with it, the frantic writing challenge that is National Novel Writing Month. This year, over 150 elementary school students tackled the NaNoWriMo challenge, with most of them writing more than they’ve ever written before. Collectively, our elementary students wrote over half a million words during November!

Now that there are over half a million more words out there in the wild, it is time to tame those novels and take them from first draft to published masterpiece. Step-by-step publishing instructions were shared at a parent workshop this morning, and have also been given to students to bring home. Students can continue to get help in the Hub next semester with any aspect of the publishing process, but if you’d like to make a start over the break, the presentation from this morning is below.


ISB travels to Yale for the World Scholar’s Cup Tournament of Champions

1200 eager students gathering in historic halls of learning; crunchy fallen foliage drifting on an icy wind; multi-coloured and mutant alpacas roaming the streets of New Haven – this can all mean only one thing – it’s time for the World Scholar’s Cup Tournament of Champions at Yale University!

Having qualified through their superior performance at the Global Round in June, 11 ISB students travelled to New Haven in mid-November to compete at this prestigious culminating event of the World Scholar’s Cup season. They joined at least 1200 other students from around 40 countries to participate in this unparalleled festival of learning, making new friends and memories to last a lifetime along the way.

The competition theme of An Imperfect World could not have been more appropriate for this year, reflecting current events with dismal authenticity. All year students have been learning about and discussing topics such as fragile and failing states, the refugee crisis, crime and justice, disease and epidemiology, and the history of cheating, including in politics and in business. While the theme and subjects change every year, the prevailing motif is actually one of A Hopeful World. At each stage of the competition, seeing students of all races and religions come together to share their passion for learning about the world, gives tremendous hope for our future, despite the dark and divisive times we live in.

During the five day Tournament, students participated in the four competitive events that make up the World Scholar’s Cup – three rounds of team debate, with each debate taking place in a different Yale classroom; collaborative persuasive essay writing; an exhaustive multiple choice Scholar’s Challenge encompassing the six subject areas; and the multimedia Scholar’s Bowl where teams work together to respond to creative challenges related to the theme, including this year’s unique ‘Cheaters Round.’

However, while the academic events are the focus of the competition, it is the sense of community that truly makes these tournaments special. Here in Yale, students once again had the opportunity to participate in the whimsical Scholar’s Scavenge where a dozen students from a dozen different countries come together to form a new team (named for a different college) and set out to explore the beautiful Yale campus completing a series of light-hearted challenges. Singing to statues, patting a live alpaca, hugging a tree or debating a squirrel – it might raise an eyebrow of the bemused New Haven locals, but it’s all in an afternoon’s work for Scavenge teams. While the Scavenge is all about fun and friendship, one of our ISB students, Madison Mehta, was on this year’s winning Scavenge team representing the University of Virginia.


During an opening ceremony at Yale’s historic Battell Chapel which featured a mass mannequin challenge, students also heard invited Stanford and Yale professors give keynote speeches addressing issues such as bioethics and social justice. Later, they ate in Yale dining halls, attended a college panel with Yale students, and danced the night away at the Scholar’s Ball. During our trip we also had the opportunity to visit Boston where we toured Boston’s Freedom Trail, ate chowder and visited Harvard and MIT. We were even rewarded with a few snowflakes during our trip, adding to the sense of occasion.

At the Debate Showcase, eight of the top speakers from the Tournament were invited on stage to demonstrate the art of passionate persuasion in front of the assembled students. Amidst much excitement, ISB’s own Sasha Wertime was invited to be one of this year’s speakers, performing with courage and confidence on the timely topic of patriotism.

In a glittering award ceremony on our final night, held in the hallowed Woolsey Hall which usually plays host to Yale graduations, ISB’s team of 11 students collectively received a total of 54 medals, across all the different events, including team debate medals for all four of our teams. This was ISB’s most successful Tournament of Champions yet, but as we made our way back to our hotel, accompanied by the festive sound of jingling gold and silver medals, we all understood that the true measure of this experience is in the friendships forged, the memories made, and the horizons expanded. In this, all of our students are champions, working to mend the cracks in our Imperfect World, one tournament and one friendship at a time.


A Student Perspective – Yunice Kim (ISB’s Top School Scholar, Junior Division)

“My World Scholar’s Cup journey in the past year has been an incredible experience that changed me both as a scholar and a person. Academically, it allowed me to explore areas that I had never been interested in before. My debating and writing improved dramatically, as did my collaboration skills. I met so many strangers, many of whom soon blossomed into precious friends. Simply put, it allowed me to be a nerd, be proud of being a nerd, meet other nerds, and fall in love with alpacas. I was able to open my eyes to an incredible society of students that really do care about our world. It felt like home.

“Tournament of Champions was something extraordinary altogether. I fell in love with the Yale campus as soon as I arrived at New Haven. The autumn leaves and the crisp air, along with the knowledge that I was about to have one of the best experiences of my life, wouldn’t let my heart stop thumping. I probably learned more about myself and the world within this single week than I have my entire middle school years. Although cliche-sounding, ToC is an experience that simply cannot be put into words. I am so lucky and honored to have been on this journey with some of the best people I’ve ever met. The week flew by without my realization, but every moment was memorable. It’s something that I will look back at 20 years from now and still remember as one of the most impactful events in my life.”

The Teams

Brandon Lin, Sajid Farook and Zwe Latt did especially well in the Scholar’s Bowl and were our highest ranked team overall.

Brandon Lin, Sajid Farook and Zwe Latt did especially well in the Scholar’s Bowl and were our highest ranked team overall.

Troy Chensri and Ben Phipathananunth teamed up with a student from Sherbourne Qatar to compete in the Senior Division, winning medals in the Team Debate event.

Troy Chensri and Ben Phipathananunth teamed up with a student from Sherbourne Qatar to compete in the Senior Division, winning medals in the Team Debate event.











Yunice Kim, Vishnu Susheer and Tommy Real were our highest scoring team in the Scholar's Challenge.

Yunice Kim, Vishnu Susheer and Tommy Real were our highest scoring team in the Scholar’s Challenge.

Sasha Wertime, Shubha Narayan and Madison Mehta took out ISB’s highest honours in Team Debate.

Sasha Wertime, Shubha Narayan and Madison Mehta took out ISB’s highest honours in Team Debate.

Thank you to all the students for being such an awesome group to travel with, and to Miguel Zambrano for co-chaperoning this amazing trip.

Thank you to all the students for being such an awesome group to travel with, and to Miguel Zambrano for co-chaperoning this amazing trip.











To see more photos of this incredible trip, click the image below:

WSC Tournament of Champions @ Yale 2016

Getting Started with NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo will start as always on 1st November and this year they have a brand new website for us to explore. Read on for information on how to create an account on the new site, how to set your word count goal and how to get started. Remember you can always come to the Hub (ES) or the library (MS) to get help with any of these steps.

Step 1 – Create an account on the Young Writers Program Website

Go to


Click on SIGN UP






Enter your date of birth and click NEXT

Enter your date of birth and click NEXT









Complete the sign up information

Complete the sign up information

Choose your Username – it needs to be unique and you cannot have spaces. I suggest you use:


The email address is optional. You can leave it blank if you like.

Make sure you change the time zone to (GMT+7:00) Bangkok

Click NEXT

Set your password

Set your password

Choose your password. It needs to be at least 8 characters and something you will REMEMBER!

I suggest you use: isb12345 (your student number)

Type the password in twice

Choose two security questions to answer



Click to join the ISB Virtual Classroom

Click to join the ISB Virtual Classroom

You will need to enter the classroom code. Check that you are using the right one:




Middle School: NAXSCXBA

Check it’s the right one, then click JOIN CLASSROOM


Step 2: Edit your profile

nano-screenshot-7In the top right corner of the screen, click on your user name and then click on PROFILE AND SETTINGS.




Here you can add an avatar, complete a short bio and answer some questions about your favourite novels or authors or other things you like to do.

If you ever need to change your password or other details, you do that here too.


Step 3 – Start your novel and set your word count goal

Get back to the main page any time by clicking on the Viking helmet

Get back to the main page any time by clicking on the Viking helmet







On the main page, click on ‘Start your novel now.’


Write the title of your novel if you know it. Don’t worry, you can always change it later.

If you like, add a synopsis – that means a short description of what your novel is about.


VERY IMPORTANT – Set your word count goal. Remember our guidelines:

G3 – 3000 words

G4 – 4000 words

G5 – 5000 words

MS – 10,000 – 15,000 words


Step 4: Getting started

The new website includes a place for you to write your novel on the site. Here are detailed instructions for how to use the writing space. Make sure you are writing your novel in the chapters space. Anything you write in the purple notes space will not count towards your word count.

IMPORTANT: You still need to keep a backup of your novel in Google Docs. You can either:

Write your novel directly on the site, then copy and paste into a Google Doc every day, OR

Write your novel in a Google Doc, then copy and paste onto the website every day.

In the Virtual Classroom you will be able to track the progress of your friends and send each other messages of encouragement.

Start writing!



Koalas, Kiwis and Crocodiles: Tournament of Minds goes to the Gold Coast


The Gold Coast, in Australia’s Sunshine State of Queensland, is usually known for its fabulous beaches, thrilling theme parks and perfect weather. But over several days last week, it became host to 700 creative-thinking, teamwork-loving, badge-swapping students, there to compete in the Tournament of Minds Australasian Pacific Finals.

ISB was represented by middle school students Natalie Zhu, Addison Heinecke and Carole Lefeuvre, along with former ISB student Angus Drummond. They earned their place through their successful performance at the Bangkok Tournament in March. Another team member, Gabriel Espinoza-Diaz, was unfortunately unable to travel at the last minute due to illness, so the competing team was a little smaller than originally planned, making the event even more challenging for these intrepid travellers.

Despite being one of the youngest and least experienced teams in the secondary division, and definitely the smallest, the team rose to the challenge and produced an effective and well-executed performance during the competition, earning some very positive comments from the judges. Their creativity and tenacity was recognised with a well-deserved “Spirit of TOM” award at the closing ceremony.

The ISB team competed in the Language Literature division of the competition, which involved developing a creative ten minute performance in response to an open-ended challenge, in just three hours, as well as facing a five-minute spontaneous challenge requiring fast divergent thinking and excellent teamwork and communication skills. We travelled with two other teams also representing Team Thailand – a primary Engineering Maths team from St Andrews International School, Green Valley, and a secondary Social Science team from Headstart International School in Phuket. All three teams performed well and were fantastic ambassadors for Thailand.

Competition venues included Griffith University and Sea World, and the Final began in style at the Australian Outback Spectacular, which provided a dazzling display of Aussie cowboy skills, an impassioned appreciation of the Australian landscape, and some rousing bush ballads and country music.

Away from the competition, the team got up close and personal with some Australian wildlife, worked together to escape from a series of mind-bending mazes, took an amphibious vehicle out for a spin, shopped for souvenirs at a local craft market, and tested their nerves on the Sea World rollercoasters. They also got to know and bond with their fellow competitors through some feverish pin-swapping.





Congratulations to the whole team on their fantastic performance and a successful trip!

To see more photos of the trip, click on the image below:

TOM APF 2016







Remember, Remember, it’s almost November!

Last year's participants were asked to complete the prompt, 'NaNoWriMo was...'

Last year’s participants were asked to complete the prompt, ‘NaNoWriMo was…’

November is fast approaching, and at ISB that means one thing – it’s almost time for NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a highly motivating writing event where the challenge is to write an entire ‘novel’ in the 30 days of November. Students set themselves a challenging word count target and then work hard all month to achieve it. It’s fast and furious, fun and fulfilling! You can read more about our previous experiences with NaNoWriMo herehere and here.

Classroom visits have just started in the elementary school to let students in grades three to five know about this exciting opportunity, and students who decide to take on this challenge will be able to sign up in the Hub during the week of October 17th to 21st. Students who sign up will bring home an information letter for parents and an activity book packed with engaging writing activities to help students write their best novel yet!

Middle school students who would like to participate can sign up via this link, which has been shared in the MS Student Announcements.

NaNoWriMo is for everyone – voracious writers and reluctant writers all have something to gain from participating in a challenge that is bigger than anything they’ve ever tackled before. The sense of achievement that students feel when they meet a goal they thought was out of reach, is extremely powerful.

screenshot-2016-10-04-10-58-32Student choice and voice is an integral part of NaNoWriMo. Students are free to write about whatever they choose. There are no expectations beyond the requirement that it be a work of fiction. Students are also free to write without fear of judgement. It is a strict requirement that ‘inner editors’ are locked away for the month so there is absolutely no worrying about spelling, grammar, or whether the story is actually any good. This ‘quantity not quality’ approach might sound counter-intuitive, but it actually has far-reaching benefits, including building writing fluency and stamina, developing risk-taking and creativity, and encouraging a growth mindset. Don’t tell the kids though – they’ll be too busy having fun!

If your child is participating in NaNoWriMo this year, you might like to come along to our‘NaNoWriMo for Parents Workshop’ in the ES MPR on 20th October from 7:45 to 8:45am. This will be an opportunity to ask questions, familiarise yourself with the NaNoWriMo experience, and learn how to best support your child at home throughout this project. All parents are welcome.

Coming Soon – Tournament of Minds

Registration will soon be open for ES After School Activities. One of those activities is Tournament of Minds, and although it runs on a different schedule to the rest of the activities, you still complete the sign-up and registration process in the same way.

What is Tournament of Minds?

Tournament of Minds (TOM) is a creative problem-solving program for teams of students from both elementary and secondary years. Students are required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges from one of the following disciplines:

  • Science TechnologyTOM 2016 Creative Thing
  • Engineering Maths
  • Language Literature
  • Social Sciences

TOM presents an opportunity for students with a passion for learning and problem-solving to demonstrate their creative skills and talents in an exciting, vibrant and public way.

TOM 2016 Wild ThinkersTOM was launched in Australia in 1987 and now has well-established programs throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. TOM has now been in Thailand for five years, growing more popular each year. The original Tournament of Minds program was based on the American program Odyssey of the Mind, so if you are familiar with that program, or its spin-off, Destination Imagination, then you will find TOM to be quite similar.

What would my child get out of TOM?

The aim of TOM is to enhance the potential of our youth by developing diverse skills, enterprise, time management and the discipline to work collaboratively within a competitive environment. Tournament of Minds’ objectives are:

  • to provide the stimulation of real, open-ended challenges
  • to develop creative problem-solving approaches and techniques
  • to foster cooperative learning and team work
  • to promote knowledge and appreciation of self and others
  • to encourage experimentation and risk-taking
  • to expand and reward creative and divergent thinking
  • to stimulate a spirit of inquiry and love of learning
  • to develop enterprise
  • to celebrate excellence.

What is involved in TOM?

TOM 2016 Smiley FaceMulti-aged teams of up to seven students are required to work together on a long term challenge for six weeks without direct assistance from teachers, parents or peers. They are encouraged to explore possibilities and experiment with ideas as they endeavour to produce their best possible solution. They develop a creative and original way to communicate this solution to others, working within predefined parameters such as limited materials, complex challenge criteria and the deadline of Tournament Day. Students present the product of their ideas – their challenge solution – within a dramatic performance to a panel of judges and an audience on Tournament Day. They have ten minutes in which to present and must do so within a 3 x 3 metre performance area. The teams must also participate in an unseen spontaneous challenge on tournament day. This challenge requires rapid interchange of ideas, the ability to think creatively and well-developed group cooperation skills.

At ISB our Tournament of Minds activities for Elementary School will start after the October break. We will then spend the remainder of the semester developing and practicing the skills necessary for success during the six-week challenge period. Teams will be formed and the challenges released when we return from the winter break. Teams will compete in the Bangkok Tournament, hosted by ISB, on Sunday 26th February 2017.

How can parents get involved?

TOM 2016 Taco Squad 2If your child is in a TOM team, you are not allowed to offer any assistance to them with the challenge. However, we will be looking for some parent volunteers to act as team coaches, and later on, we will need some volunteers to act as judges on Tournament Day.

Keep a look out for more TOM news later in the year, or contact me if you have any questions.

Please note: students will be expected to commit to this activity from late October to the beginning of March.


Watching the World Learn

Troy Chensri proudly carried the flag for Thailand at the Closing Ceremony

Troy Chensri proudly carried the flag for Thailand at the Closing Ceremony

Take one extremely rigorous academic competition, combine with the world’s most diverse family reunion, add liberal amounts of intercultural celebration and collaboration, and sprinkle with generous quantities of music, fun, whimsy and cuddly alpacas. Then add three and a half thousand students from every corner of the globe and you have all the ingredients for a World Scholar’s Cup Global Round!

At the end of June, twenty six ISB students joined 3400 others from more than 40 different countries for the annual Global Round of the World Scholar’s Cup. This year the Global Round was held right here in Bangkok and our students qualified to attend through their exemplary performance at the regional round in March.

Our Junior Division teams with their new team mates - the alpacas!

Our Junior Division teams with their new team mates – the alpacas!

A WSC Global Round defies description (although I try every year!). Only those who have experienced this ineffable event really understand just how magical it is. The theme of the competition this year was An Imperfect World, but the world would be a lot more perfect if it followed the same principles of friendly collaboration and competition that is embodied by WSC. Students come from every continent on Earth (except Antarctica!), but are united by the joy of learning, the thrill of challenging competition, and the passion of sharing and discovering different cultures. This community of scholars delights in its differences and celebrates its similarities, engaging with globally relevant topics that transcend geographic or cultural boundaries.

Throughout the week students participated in four competitive events –

Team Debate

Team Debate

team debate, collaborative writing, an exhaustive exam, and the Scholar’s Bowl. Along the way were social events, a Scholar’s Ball, debate showcases, scholar’s talent shows and the famous Scholar’s Scavenge – where students form new teams with a dozen new friends, each from a different school and country, and work together to complete a series of light-hearted challenges. At the Scholar’s Fair, delegations proudly displayed their cultural traditions and treats, sharing their hearts and heritage with the assembled community.

WSC is, first and foremost, a community of scholars. Every year, we come together at this festival of learning, reuniting with old friends and making new ones. Whether it’s completing Scavenge challenges, facing off in a debate, dancing the night away at the Ball or sharing a table at lunch, the opportunities for making new friends are endless. This year we were also delighted to reunite with some former Panthers who have moved on and now represent new schools and countries.

Opening Ceremony - Thai-Style!

Opening Ceremony – Thai-Style!

The week included tears of laughter and tears of joy, standing ovations and impassioned debate motions, ‘Chauncey rolls’ and a surprising lint roller, alpaca trading and chocolate tasting, flying drones and speeding tuk-tuks (both inside the auditorium!), along with plenty of fun and friendship, learning and growing.

Despite this being the first season of WSC for many of the students in our team, this was our most successful Global Round ever. Our 26 students brought home a combined total of 128 medals, representing many months of committed preparation, hard work and effort. Our Junior team of Reika, Yunice and Vishnu were the top-scoring team from Thailand, placed 6th overall in the extremely competitive S.E. Asian region, and were the overall 11th placed Champion Team – a huge accomplishment in a field of over 600 teams of the world’s best and brightest scholars. Yunice was also our school’s top scoring scholar in the Junior Division, while Colin took that honour in the Senior Division. Four of our Junior teams and both of our Senior teams qualified to participate in the Tournament of Champions at Yale University in November.

There are just far too many achievements to list here, so please check out this link for a complete list of ISB’s awards, and have a look at the Flickr album below to see more photos of our incredible week.

Sincere congratulations to all of our ISB students.

I’ll leave the last word to the students. Here’s what some of our ISB students had to say about their experience with WSC earlier this year:

“Personally, World Scholar’s Cup wasn’t as much of an exciting academic experience as it was a startling realization of how far my inspirations could propel my capabilities. Overall, I would recommend participating in World Scholar’s Cup to everyone that has the opportunity, because at the end of the competition, what really matters is one’s growth as an individual, as a teammate, and their number of alpacas.”

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“World Scholar’s Cup was a unique experience for all of us. It could challenge you and push you to your limits, and let you be proud of yourself even though you may have gotten a bad score or not have passed to the global rounds. Our experience was one full of fun, laughter, and learning.”

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“World Scholar’s Cup, so far, has been one of the best events of my 8th grade year and will undoubtedly be an activity I take part in in the future. It has given me a new outlook on academics and has improved my overall ability as a student with its wide curriculum of activities and subjects. The World Scholar’s Cup’s welcoming attitude and abundance of “pwaa’s” has made it not only a learning experience, but an exciting experience.”

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“Being in WSC was an experience I will never forget ever in my life. I learned tons of life lessons during the competition, which I will keep with me forever. During the debate, we kept not winning and we were sad and frustrated. But we kept trying until we won the last debate! I learned to keep trying again and again and then I will succeed. Also, during the Scholar’s Bowl, I learned to trust my teammates. WSC has taught me lots of new skills in life, and I have experienced something that most kids haven’t, and I am grateful for that.”


“Being in WSC this semester was an amazing and a once in a lifetime experience. You learn and take so much with you, and you’ll never forget it. Going to a different school, competing in debates, a bowl, writing, doing everything for a prize, a medal, an alpaca, when the real prize was the joy and happiness and triumph I experienced. You study hard, then you play even harder, and when that’s done, you’ll feel like the champion you are, and like the monster inside you is gone. Yes, the anxiety is inevitable, but remember that it only lasts so long. No matter what, you’ll have the time of your life.”


Reika Herman, Vishnu Susheer, Yunice Kim

Yunice Kim, Reika Herman, Vishnu Susheer

Earth Mokkamakkul, David Qian, Jingmin Wang

Earth Mokkamakkul, David Qian, Jingmin Wang

Brandon Lin, Sajid Farook, Caden Lin

Brandon Lin, Sajid Farook, Caden Lin

Anna Phetsomphou, Pleng Kruesopon, Carole Lefeuvre

Anna Phetsomphou, Pleng Kruesopon, Carole Lefeuvre

Zwe Latt, Tommy Real, Nevaan Bawa

Zwe Latt, Tommy Real, Nevaan Bawa

Madison Mehta, Shubha Narayan, Sasha Wertime

Madison Mehta, Shubha Narayan, Sasha Wertime

Sohee Yim, Nina Choophungart, Nadia Choophungart

Sohee Yim, Nina Choophungart, Nadia Choophungart

Troy Chensri, Colin Vanelli, Jing Wongsrinoppakun

Troy Chensri, Colin Vanelli, Jing Wongsrinoppakun

Binvant Broca & Ben Phipathananunth with their team mate, Thomas Savage from Bromsgrove

Binvant Broca & Ben Phipathananunth with their team mate, Thomas Savage from Bromsgrove

THANK YOU to Khun Joom and Conor Duffy for helping out with chaperoning our delightful team.

Click below for more photos… WSC Global Round 2016