Nurturing global leaders at Denla British School DBS With the Principal: Mr Mark McVeigh

by Expat Life

What is the ethos of DBS?

DBS is dedicated to the development of an inspiring and nurturing environment in which students fulfil their unique potential. The DBS motto ‘Always to Greater Things’ reflects the DBS commitment to continuous improvement, observed by the whole community; students, staff and parents.

Our vision is to Nurture Global Leaders through the 4 DBS Pillars:

1          An enhanced British curriculum

2          Academic excellence for all

3          Entrepreneurship and creative thinking

4          Community and global perspectives

The DBS vision is expressed in our core values: excellence, integrity, perseverance, respect, creativity, well-being, independence and leadership.

How do you measure the DBS success?

Having already successfully gained membership of CIS in February 2019, DBS had an excellent follow up CIS evaluation in February 2020.

DBS’s success relies on the support of the entire community – teachers, students and parents. We work with all of the school’s stakeholders to provide a school distinguished by academic excellence, co-curricular strength, creativity, global perspective and well-being. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on the lives of students, staff and parents, but the community has adapted impressively to the changing economic and social tapestry.

What are the academic pathways at DBS?

 Teachers’ knowledge of individual students, inside and outside the classroom, has been a notable strength at DBS. We focus on tailored programmes that reinforce the teacher-student relationship in order to meet the individual needs of the students best. We support the academically ambitious by the development of a scholarship enrichment programme, and we also cater for students who are talented in other areas, to develop their strengths.

The IGCSE and A level route serves DBS students well. Certain universities are better suited to individual students, depending on courses on offer and threshold grades required. Effective preparation includes attribute testing, staff training, university tours, and interview guidance.

Why is well-being so important at DBS?

Well-being for students is a focus at all levels, building upon the already strong reputation of DBS in this area. At DBS, we recognise the importance of equipping our students with the tools to cope with difficult situations in later life. A focus on mindfulness, yoga, gratitude, kindness and reflection is a vital part of the strategy to support our students throughout the school, and to help them to become resilient.

What about education outside the classroom?

Modern physical education programmes, including co-curricular activities, are incorporated into the curriculum to meet the needs and interests of all students. DBS regards sport as a vital means of instilling leadership, teamwork and communication skills.

It is widely recognised that the Performing Arts offer students key life skills, too. We already have a strong Music provision at DBS, and we are developing the provision of Drama, so that performance opportunities will increase across the school, with a goal being the effective use of the terrific future 668 seat auditorium.

We and our students are very fortunate, and we have a responsibility to give something back. So, we challenge them to reach out to sections of our community through service.

What do you look for in teachers?

DBS is committed to recruiting, developing, and retaining the finest individuals to teach and challenge our students. We look for at least two years’ teaching experience, a bachelor’s degree and a teaching qualification, usually from the UK. Most teachers are from the UK, except our Thai and Mandarin teachers.

We recruit people who believe in the DBS vision and will promote it. Teacher retention is good, and staff well-being is already seen as a strength at DBS. Continuing professional development is excellent, and is used to keep our teachers at the leading edge of educational theory.

How do you develop parental engagement?

The Friends of DBS committee is well established, and this group of parent representatives is a most useful communication conduit, and means of support for the school. Continuing regular communication with parents is vital, so that a meaningful partnership between home and school promotes the best education for the students.

The DBS community has a distinctive ethos that is strong in character and welcoming to all. We are known for our inclusivity and nurturing environment. Our signature events like Denla Fest, Loy Krathong and Chinese New Year are opportunities for the whole community to come together in celebration of creativity.

And what of the future?

This year, we will start the building of a state of the art auditorium, with other performance spaces and practice rooms, and a designated senior school, with more teaching spaces and a sixth form centre.

We are establishing DBS as one of the best schools in SE Asia, delivering first class education, and enriched by effective collaboration with all stakeholders. I hope that readers will consider joining the DBS community, to share in our unique and ambitious vision. If you would like to see the school in action, you would be most welcome at one of our Open Days!

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