Samui Wining & Dining
Global Citizens
SCL International School’s motto of ‘Educating the mind, nurturing the soul’ is having a positive effect on its pupils.


SCL International School offers a home-from-home approach to its pupils, creating an environment which allows students to grow at their own pace, and achieve their own targets. On entering the school grounds, the first impression is of happy children. It’s an accepted fact that happy children learn better, and SCL has created a safe and secure learning environment.

        School Director, Emma Dyas, has lived in Thailand, and worked in education, for the last decade, and became a partner in SCL in 2005, not long after the school first opened. Emma lives on Samui with her husband and their three children; Ellora, Anya and Max – all of whom attend SCL – a testament to Emma’s faith in the school. She’s passionate about the school, as are the highly qualified teachers she’s personally selected. Emma explains, “I absolutely love how SCL has developed over the years. We have held fast to the original vision: to provide a safe and nurturing environment where children are free to express themselves, whilst receiving a high quality education. The children are exactly where they should be; at the centre of all our efforts. All the staff members we have here are amazing and I’m

absolutely confident in saying each and every one of them genuinely loves what they do. As the director of SCL I couldn’t feel happier that the vision we had all those years ago has become a reality. As a parent with her children in SCL, I feel lucky my children get to come to such a great school.”

        Recently, SCL was visited by Khun Wannasarn Worakit, from ONESQA (Office of National Education Standards and Quality Assessments), which is a Thailand-based assessment body. His four-day assessment visit thoroughly inspected every aspect of the school, and SCL impressed him on all levels. Khun Wannasarn highly commended Emma and her team on the school’s Thai language and culture department, mentioning that SCL focused more strongly on this than many other international schools he has visited.

         Rather than having their foreign learners living in a ‘bubble’ so to speak, SCL promotes Thai culture in order to develop students who are open-minded, broad-minded and accepting of others – creating ‘global citizens’, a buzzword in education. All too often, expat children aren’t exposed to the local culture and therefore don’t benefit as much as they could from the experience of living abroad.

          Emma explains that the ethos of the school is to provide a safe yet stimulating learning environment, following a UK based program, taught by well qualified and experienced staff, who enable all the children of SCL to fulfil their potential. They do this by providing a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, as well as opportunities for each child to be the best that they can be. Teachers see an individual child’s potential rather than their limits. They assist each child to become a self-sufficient decision maker, and promote inquisitive minds. The school places a strong emphasis and value on social and emotional development, and opens the channels between home and school life.

          Aside from the Thai department, another department that is highly commended at SCL is their EAL (English as an Additional Language) division. A team of nine teachers not only offer one-to-one lessons with pupils who are not native English speakers, but also offer in-class assistance, taking the pressure off the class teacher. This department has evolved from being only English support to general support for any children who need it in a particular subject, including mathematics. SCL incorporates target groups as well as individual plans for each child, and offers booster support programs – and best yet, there’s no additional charge for children in need of extra support.

          Because of the school’s assisted learning department, SCL has caught the attention of parents with special needs children, and the school now has several such pupils. This has led Emma to employ teachers for the assisted learning department who are trained to work with special needs children. Their goal is not only to fulfil the potential of these children, but also integrate them into the mainstream classroom situation. Emma is exceptionally proud of the school’s success in this, and they’ve seen children blossom within the program, reaching capabilities, which even their parents thought impossible.

          SCL and its pupils are committed to helping the local community and their current charity is a fund for the Nathon Hospital. The aim is to redecorate the maternity ward, so that new Samui arrivals are born into a bright and cheerful world. Funds raised have also been spent on new equipment as well as hot shower facilities for mums-to-be.

          The Student Council has set up its own business, and the initial capital was raised by selling tickets to a Halloween party, held at the school. This money bought equipment such as a juicer and a blender, to open a ‘Shake Shack’, selling fresh fruit shakes at the end of the school day to pupils and parents. Money made from the sale of shakes goes not only to maintaining the business, but all profits go to the hospital fund, and the children have raised 32,000 baht this year from the Shake Shack alone. Together with other fundraisers, the school has donated over 100,000 baht this year to the hospital. Another charity close to Emma’s heart and sponsored by the school is an orphanage in Burma, run by monks. So far, they’ve bought two laptop computers for them – now used by children who had never experienced technology before, with the aim of empowering them with not only knowledge, but also skills for future employment opportunities.

          Chatting to Emma, her passion for the school, education and the local Samui community is obvious. She expects no less from her teachers, and all are fully qualified and have had background checks under the Child Protection Act. Working conditions at SCL are great, according to the teachers, and a happy teacher means a happy child. And after all, isn’t that what we all want for our children, to be happy, healthy and welleducated?


 Rosanne Turner


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