VERSO is not just another international school in Thailand. This school has one of the most unique learning concepts in which students are given the opportunity to develop their human potential and build a powerful set of future-ready skills. It is a pioneering, innovative and design-driven school that prepares students for the dynamic evolving landscape their future will bring, by equipping them with future-ready skills and a creative, problem-solving mindset. At VERSO, children are given opportunities to develop themselves to be agile, adaptive, and creative.
According to Cameron Fox, Founding Head of VERSO International School, a fundamental transformation in the global education system and the way future generations study now will help unleash the post-pandemic future. Cameron recently spoke at the Bangkok Post’s International Forum 2021 under the topic “Unleashing the Future: A Glimpse into 2022 and Beyond,” where he shared that for the past 10 years or so, the momentum around transforming traditional school models across the world has grown. The fundamental argument is that conventional schools are outdated and they consistently fail to inspire young people.
Cameron has worked in international education for over 25 years and has been a part of the VERSO project since the beginning.
How did it all begin
Cameron had the vision to build a game-changing school in Bangkok, one of the world’s most competitive education markets. He had a concept of designing a new international school that educates students for a world that is changing quicker than it has ever been before in human history. VERSO engaged IDEO, one of the world’s leading design and innovation organizations based in San Francisco, to envision what such a school of the future could and should look like. IDEO is famous for its ability to create a positive impact through design. They are known across the world for pioneering design thinking and finding creative solutions for their clients through their human-centered design methodology.
Cameron visited more than 25 innovative schools in the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand as part of their trailblazing work with their team. In the process of developing the school, he also got feedback from students and their parents on how to improve the learning experience. Furthermore, he took a deep dive into education by listening to what people in Bangkok, specifically, wanted and needed. With that information, VERSO could see the possibilities of what a school of the future could be like.
Unique benefits students can acquire at Verso
VERSO follows a US curriculum aligned to the New York State Learning Standards and has redesigned it into VERSO’s own Future Ready curriculum. The school delivers a comprehensive, robust, and challenging academic curriculum from Early Years to Grade 12, focusing on the development and application of skills and knowledge that students need to thrive in this increasingly disrupted and unpredictable future. Learning at VERSO is interdisciplinary, project-based, and personalised.
At VERSO, students are taught to act and think like designers. The learning environments, curriculum, pedagogy, and rituals have all been purposefully developed with the human-centered approach of design thinking in mind, which has become embedded in the teaching and part of the school’s DNA. This is something that no other international school has and what makes VERSO an international school unlike any other.
The school is built on three simple beliefs, supporting students to develop a strong sense of personal and cultural identity; providing opportunities where they can actively connect with the world around them, and having the confidence to lead their own journey and follow any path they choose.
VERSO’s approach to teachings allows students to go deeper rather than merely covering the basics of traditional topics. The human-centered design process that was used in developing this school is what makes it so unique. This process sets VERSO apart from any other international school in the world.
At VERSO, the teachers are intentionally called “learning designers”. They are passionate, highly-qualified international educators hired for their experiences working in progressive educational models worldwide. They work collaboratively in Design Teams, using their diverse talents and skills to create and deliver high impact projects and deep learning experiences for students.
Students may be put in a learning environment with three learning designers where one is a musician, one is a former restaurateur and one is a scientist. You can imagine the types of projects or ideas that could result from bringing together experts from diverse professions.
Preparing students for the 21st-century workforce
VERSO opened in 2020, right in the middle of the worldwide pandemic, ironically highlighting the growing importance and need for students to develop the skills and mindsets to effectively navigate a profoundly unpredictable future. It has become imperative now, more than ever, for students to become well-rounded young adults who are able to solve problems quickly and creatively. In short, to be prepared for all kinds of future possibilities.
The importance of networking is another point that VERSO emphasizes. This is because it is such an important skill in today’s corporate environment. Cameron shared the importance of connecting the learning at school to the outside world.
“It’s about finding new pathways and building opportunities for students to see how the work we do in school is relevant for their future. We want our students to see learning as meaningful, purposeful and how their work at school can be applied to the real world,” he explained.
To summarise, VERSO provides students with a school created for the future in a world where our concept of learning is evolving, new career pathways are emerging, and the world of work is changing.
Students will be equipped with skills that will enable them to go out and confidently meet local people to develop meaningful connections. They will have the opportunity to connect with entrepreneurs, organizations, startups, and established businesses. This enables them to grow with the community in which they are located.
Empowering young people with these skills and opportunities can be a transformative experience for them and VERSO hopes that its future graduates will continue looking for unique ways to make a difference, be lifelong learners who are imaginative and enterprising, and be the change agents of the future.
For more information on VERSO International School Bangkok, click HERE. VERSO is currently accepting applications for the VERSO Scholarship Program for students in Grades 5-11. Deadline is 4 March 2022. For more information, please visit www.verso.ac.th/scholarship