ISB Environmental Wilderness Campus - Uniquely Adventurous
It takes a lot to make a school great - it comes with hard work and a relentless determination to strive for excellence in academics, activities, and a strong sense of community.
All good schools will offer educational and recreational facilities and opportunities for students to excel, discover their interests and ignite a passion for learning. Truly great schools will do all that and much more - creating those unique extra touches that give students the best possible educational experience as well as lifelong happy memories of their time at school.
Let’s explore our uniquelyISB fact #2, all about our Environmental Wilderness Campus. ‘ISB is the only school in Thailand to open an inspirational Environmental Wilderness Campus (EWC) in Petchaburi Province providing adventure, scientific and sustainability education.’ On the face of it, having an Outdoor Education facility situated in a rural area of Thailand seems perfectly reasonable for a large international school, but would you be surprised to learn that the EWC is the only such facility in the whole of Thailand?
ISB strongly believes in education being more than limited to the four walls of a classroom. Our leadership team, through extensive research, developed an outdoor education program to integrate into the curriculum, which focuses on basic outdoor activity skills, social/emotional competencies, and character development as key focus areas. The location of the campus, in Petchaburi Province, feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city, sympathetically built into the environment and operated with the use of simple systems that allow us to preserve and enhance our environment and guard resources valuable to our own sustainability.
Environmental sustainability has never been so important and educating students of the realities of their impact on the environment and their role in protecting the world for the future. The EWC is a model of sustainability and the benchmark for such centers worldwide.
Director of Outdoor Education at ISB, Elliott Bowyer, says: “The mission of the EWC is to bring students into the outdoors and pose challenges in a real-world setting. The development of environmentally sustainable systems ensures that we are a lighthouse project for educating not only our community but also the communities that we impact in this area. As the guardians of this land, it is our responsibility to maintain and enhance the environment. To this end, our established wetlands and protected forest areas continue to attract wildlife back to this area, creating and re-establishing ecosystems that flourish.”
One of the highlights of Middle Schoolers years at ISB is the opportunity to undertake an Expedition as part of an assessed sequential curriculum in Outdoor Education at the EWC. The expedition is unique in the scenario-based challenges that it poses to students, challenging them to solve problems and to step out of their comfort zone in an atmosphere of safety and cooperation. Students reflect on their experiences and the learning that took place, and are challenged to transfer this learning to other parts of their life both now and for the future, identifying how each experience will serve them when faced with difficult or challenging situations. The program is guided by dedicated professional outdoor education teachers - the ‘Wild Panthers’ - who are certified to world industry standard.
The sky is the limit at the EWC
The EWC is also a destination for student and staff retreats and trips throughout the year - for example, the High School Astronomy Club appreciate the low levels of light pollution as they are able to stargaze and take photographs, the Science Department are able to access or create real life environmental scenarios for scientific research and study. The Campus is well equipped with a state of the art, fully stocked boat shed, cafeteria, multi-purpose recreational area, swimming pool and a campfire for roasting marshmallows at the end of a fulfilling day, along with the opportunity to create memories of adventure, teamwork and personal challenge - the kinds of experiences that build confidence to last a lifetime.