Frequently Asked Questions
What are the times of the school day?
School starts at 7.50am and there is playground supervision from 7.30am onwards. It is important that your child arrives on time to get a good start to the day as being late creates stress and tension that children find difficult to cope with.
Please do not drop your child off at school before 7.30am as there will not be any staff on duty to supervise the play areas and attend to any injuries or incidents that may occur.
The day finishes at 3.10pm. Occasionally school may finish early on the last day of term.
In Year 3 and 4 children walk to the front door where you may pick them up unless they go home by bus. Late pickup (after 3.30pm) may result in childcare fees unless there is an emergency and you have informed the front office.
What is the communication diary for?
We have a communication diary that comes home in your child’s bag every day. It contains:
A copy of the timetable, a reading record, information on the week’s events, notes between teacher and parents and login information for online homework.
What is week A and B?
Our timetable now runs on a 5 day cycle, except for library period which happens every other week. For 3I it is in week A and for 3G it is in week B. There is a notice at the front of primary about which week it currently is.
What will my child learn?
- English (or ELS - English Language Support)
- Reading - guided reading is organised by ability to better address your child’s needs and taught across the section.
- Mathematics - our curriculum is an adaptation of the Singapore Maths Curriculum
- Connected Learning - this incorporates our Science, History or Geography related units
- ICT - computing skills, graphic art and coding
- Art and Design Technology
- Thai languages and Thai culture
- PE and Swimming
- PSHE - Personal, Social and Health Education
- Spanish - for non Thai and non ELS children
- Music - theory and practice
What uniforms do we need to buy?
The uniform shop is located in the same office as the accountant. Make sure that each item is clearly labelled with your child’s name to avoid any loss.
Your child will need:
- a school uniform, which consists of a striped shirt and dark blue shorts for boys or a skort for girls.
- a PE kit, which consists of a light blue PE shirt and dark blue PE shorts.
- a House t-shirt for House activities and events that take place throughout the year. Your child will be placed into a House after confirmed admission to the school.
Additionally, though not sold in our uniform shop, your child will need:
- white socks and a sturdy pair of sport shoes for PE lessons and general playground play.
- a hat – hats are mandatory throughout primary school and Year 3/4 children are expected to wear the GIS sunhat.
- a black swimsuit that consists of a fitted suit for boys and a 1-piece suit for girls , goggles, flip flops, a swim cap for long hair
- and a water bottle as cups are not available at school to avoid the spread of germs.
More details can be found here
What does my child need to bring to school every day?
In Year 3 and 4, all students are expected to bring:
- a school bag
- stationery supplies (pencils, erasers, colour pencils or markers, etc.) to put in a pencil case
- their communication diary
- the school hat
- a healthy lunch if your child chooses not to eat at the canteen
How does the canteen work? What choices of food are available for lunch? How much do things cost?
From August 2016 school lunches are included in the tuition fees. All students from Y3 up will be able to choose whatever they want for lunch though it will still be monitored by teachers on duty. Daily options will include the following: a western dish or Continental dish, an Indian dish, a spicy Thai dish, a non-spicy Thai dish, a Live station that will offer Noodles, Korean Bibimbab, Japanese curry, etc. A daily vegetarian option will be included in one of those choices. The students will also have access to a salad/fruit bar that will offer fresh seasonal fruit.
The main dish will still be served by the canteen staff, however children will be able to refill their plate or try another dish if they are still hungry.
Each student is issued a student ID card. Food and drinks are purchased in the canteen using this card for snacks only if so they wish. Money can be taken to the cashier in the canteen; the cashier will swipe the card and add that amount of credit to the card.
To buy things, students hand their card to the canteen ladies on duty at the pay stations. Their card will be swiped and the correct amount will be deducted from the balance available. It is up to the students to keep track of how much money they have spent and how much is remaining on their card.
Further information regarding the choices available for lunch and the costs of individual items can be found here:
If you provide your child with a packed lunch, make sure that each meal is carefully balanced and avoid sugary treats. Healthy eating habits are strongly reinforced in Year 3 and 4.
What are the lunch rules?
At GIS, classroom teachers take their lunch with their students.
Students are expected to:
- Eat lunch with their year group in their assigned section
- Use polite table manners and language with their teacher and classmates
- Eat properly
- Eat a balanced meal
- Remain seated at their table until it is time to play, unless they are buying something or putting their dishes away
- Not play with any sports equipment or toys in the canteen
- Eat their main lunch meal before buying snacks from the canteen
- Drink only water, milk, 100% fruit juice or drinking yogurt with their lunch
What are the break time rules?
The playground is a place to HAVE FUN – BE FRIENDLY – CHOOSE WHAT YOU’D LIKE TO DO
It’s great, one of the best times of the day BUT there are some rules to keep us safe and happy while we’re having fun.
1. FOLLOW THE GOLDEN RULES
- Be kind – no bullying, hurting or being mean
- Be safe – no dangerous games, no playing out of bounds, use equipment safely
- Be polite – no swearing, ask to take turns
- Do the right thing – if there is a problem or argument, tell the truth about what happened, if you find something that doesn’t belong to you give it back or hand it in. Sometimes think before you speak as telling the truth can be hurtful as well.
- Take care of property – no breaking or damaging plants / playground equipment, graffiti or litter dropping
2. WEAR YOUR SUNHAT – protect your head and skin from the sun. Every break and every lunch.
3. PLAY OUTSIDE WHERE THERE IS A PERSON ON DUTY – you should only be in the primary building to go to the toilet or to get water. You need to remember your hat before you go out to play. You should NOT be in the classroom unless a teacher is with you.
- These are the places a teacher can see you in case you fall or have an accident: hardcourt, steps, field as far as the concrete steps.
- These are the places a teacher cannot see you: end of field, back of canteen, secondary corridors, secondary hardcourt, toilets, upstairs, covered walkway between primary and secondary (children should use the canteen path)
- For afternoon breaks children are only allowed to play in the playground and on the field. The library and the canteen are out of bounds.
- Eat and drink food in the canteen only.
Toys and personal belongings should be left at home where they won’t get lost or broken. Smartphones and smartwatches are not allowed in Primary. If you do bring a personal electronic device or phone to school keep it in your school bag or it will be kept by the teacher and handed out at the end of the school day. Teachers will not be responsible for any lost items.
What after school activities are offered?
For students in Year 4 and up (and sometimes in Year 3), there are after school sports for those who are interested in participating in our athletics programme. We offer after school football training and after school swim team training once per week. The dates of these sessions are announced at the beginning of each academic year. Students who attend the training sessions are considered to be part of those respective sports teams and will also participate in matches and meets against other schools, both at GIS and at other international schools in the area. They will be required to buy the school team sports kit.
What happens if my child is sick?
Please call the front office or email the class teacher if your child is ill and cannot come to school.
If your child falls ill during the school day, he or she will be sent to the sick bay and will be attended to by our school nurse. If your child has a fever or continues to feel worse, the school will contact a parent or guardian to collect your child from the sick bay.
If you child feels sick in the morning, please keep him home.
If your child or any member of the family is ill with a contagious disease i.e Hand Foot and Mouth disease, please keep your child at home and immediately inform the front office to help us monitor the situation and avoid the spreading of germs.
What happens if there’s an accident at school and my child needs immediate medical attention?
In the event of a more serious injury or illness that requires immediate attention, the school will call an ambulance to transport your child to hospital. The nurse will accompany the child if a parent or guardian is unable to get to school in time to meet the ambulance. The front office will call to let you know what has happened and will let you know which hospital your child has been taken to.
What should I do if my child won’t be coming to school?
If you know that your child will not be coming to school for a day or a more extended period of time, please inform the class teacher in advance by email or by writing a note in the communication book.
What if my child unable to participate in PE or swimming?
PE and swimming are part of our academic curriculum and are an important part of learning how to keep our bodies healthy. If your child cannot participate in either of these lessons for a medical reason, please send in a doctor’s note with your child so that we can accurately keep track of all medical issues and can plan for an alternate task during this time.
If you do not have a doctor’s note excluding your child from these lessons, he or she will be expected to participate. However, you are welcome to email the class teacher with other non-medical concerns that might arise and affect your child’s ability to participate in PE and/or Swimming.
Who are the teachers teaching my child?
The teachers responsible for educating your child are all highly qualified and dedicated professionals. Their photos and profiles can be found on the school website. You’ll also find their photos on a display wall outside the Primary Hall, along with some very accurate portraits of them drawn by the students!
What sort of homework is assigned and how often?
Homework can take many forms. Don’t be surprised if your child receives homework in the form of:
- traditional worksheets
- internet research
- sharing work and/or collecting feedback from family members
- online homework sites such as the Studyladder website
- observing and recording data
- completing unfinished work in their subject books
- creating a model or drawing a picture
- speaking with family members and/or friends and taking notes
And these are just some of the types of homework that teachers have been known to assign!
How often your child receives homework will depend highly on the teacher, the subject and on their own in-class work habits. If your child continually says that he or she has no homework and you are concerned that either none is being assigned or it is not being completed, feel free to contact your child’s teacher for more information about the assigned work.
Does my child really need to read every day?
YES!!! Reading is extremely important to young growing minds. It’s the best way to improve all-round academic skills; it builds vocabulary, general knowledge, awareness of language structure, imagination…. The list goes on and on, not to mention that the further up the school they go, the more reading there is - so they might as well get into the habit now.
When your child reads it is also important that you spare a few moments to listen to her and ask her questions. Reading comprehension is a key skill that needs to be developed and consolidated in Year 3 and 4.
What extra support is available to students?
Many of our students come from countries and families that do not use English as their native language. We have a strong and dedicated English Language Support (ELS) department who works closely with the children who need extra support to reach a level of English that allows them to participate in and access mainstream lessons. Whether your child requires this extra language support, or is ready to exit from it, is determined by our Head of Primary ELS.
We also have a Special Education Needs team that works (individually and in small groups) with children who need support in fully accessing lessons or meeting academic requirements for reasons other than not having English as their first language. These teachers work closely with the class teachers to create individualised education plans for the children and to ensure that they receive the strategies and support they require to perform to the best of their abilities in all their lessons.
Additionally, we also have two primary counsellors available for primary students. Mr Ken and Khun Renu both make time to speak to children who appear to be having difficulty of a non-academic nature.
How can I make an appointment to see my child’s teacher?
The best way to make an appointment to speak directly with your child’s teacher is to send an email directly to the teacher outlining what you’d like to discuss and what times you’re available. Teachers are generally available before and after school hours, but occasionally have commitments they cannot reschedule, so emailing in advance is always best.
When and how does my child access the library?
Every class goes to the library once per 6 day cycle during a reading lesson. Students are given the freedom to choose one of their books and are given guidance through a “Reading Bingo” sheet for the second one.
The library is also available to the students during morning and lunch breaks and after school. If children are misbehaving or behaving disrespectfully towards others, their library privileges outside of their regular class time may be suspended.
Can my child use a phone/ipad/tablet while at school?
Electronic devices are not permitted to be used during the school day unless it is a special requirement made by the teacher.
If your child brings their device to school, either to use on a school bus or to use after school has finished for the day, the teacher or school is not responsible for that device at any time during the day. If a student is caught using a device, it will be taken from them and handed in to the Head of Primary.