As Phuket has become more cosmopolitan and grown in population, education on the island has kept apace. Below is a list of preschools, schools, and universities now operating with English-language curriculums on the island.
Bilingual Preschool and International Nurseries
ABC Nursery-International Childcare Centre
A British-owned and managed pre-school, ABC accepts children from 18 months to six years for nursery activities, and run Pre-K classes as well as K1, K2 and K3 levels. They provide lots of creative activities for students such as sing-songs, yoga, and creative artwork. The team consists of three qualified British teachers, each with an assistant, two qualified Thai teachers, a catering team of three and its two British owners.
- Location: 59/5 Soi Anna, Sai Yuan Road, T. Rawai
- Tel: +81 (0) 89-9711813
Buds Phuket Nursery and Preschool
Buds Phuket Nursery and Preschool was a pioneer in bilingual preschool facilities on the island. Buds accepts students between the ages of 18 months and seven years. Class sizes are limited to 12 children per class.
- Location: 5/3 Chao Fa Road, Moo 1, T. Chalong (Near Lumpooon Secondhand Store.)
- Tel: Tel: +66 (0) 76-282232 or +66 (0) 87-2785511
Cravens International Nursery Preschool
Youngsters can enjoy fun learning experiences including social, physical and art skills at Cravens through prepared activities. Cravens is aimed at children from the ages of 18 months to six years.
- Location: 48/5 Moo 10, Soi Jaofa 47 T. Chalong. Turn left at the first 7/11 after HomePro Village, coming from Chalong Circle, Cravens is located about 300m up the soi on the left-hand side.
- Tel: +66 (0) 76 383150
Gecko Nursery School
Gecko aims to inspire and empower children while also teaching the importance of respecting and valuing the community in which they live, including the environment. They provide a fun and safe learning environment with small class sizes and extensive use of the outdoors in a carefully prepared playground. Involvement of parents and the local community are also highly valued. The school was founded by a British/Australian couple and has an international staff of qualified teachers.
- Location: 117/4 Baan Reang Road, Moo 3, Thalang
- Tel: +66 (0)85 477 2491
Smiley Kidz Nursery School
Smiley Kidz, founded in 2007, is an international nursery, childcare centre, preschool and kindergarten. In their own words: “Our teachers and staff are committed to working within each child's comfort zone to ensure optimal social, emotional and educational results.” Smiley Kidz is located on Kwang Road, connecting the two Chaofa Roads (East and West), roughly halfway between Central Festival Department Store and Chalong.
- Location: 10/28 Moo 3 Jonthong Thani Village, Chaofa Road, Wichit
- Tel: +81 (0) 84-8470732
International Schools: Primary and Secondary Schools
British International School
The British International School (BIS) is an English medium, co-educational, day and boarding school, set within an extensive purpose-built campus. The 39-acre campus houses world-class facilities which enable students to excel at sports, performance arts as well as in their academic studies.
The school was established in 1996 and is home to some 850 students from 18 months to 18 years of age. The student population has over 36 different nationalities represented and is divided into two educational sections; the Primary and Secondary School.
The school’s curriculum is based on the English GCSE and IGCSE programmes which prepare students for entry to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB Diploma), an international university entrance qualification, recognised by higher educational institutions in over 100 countries.
- Location: 59 Moo 2, Thepkrasattri Rd., Koh Kaew (the road leading to the school is diagonally opposite Royal Phuket Marina)
- Tel: +66 (0)76-238711-20
HeadStart International School Phuket
HeadStart International School Phuket offers the British National Curriculum in a global context for students from preschool through to secondary-level. The school welcomes students from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds and values diversity as a key component of the curriculum.
All core subjects are taught in English and students take Thai and Mandarin classes each week. The HeadStart curriculum focuses on developing ICT capability from Year 1 and prepares secondary-level students for the IGCSE exams in a variety of subjects. The campus is centrally located in Phuket and has an extensive playground and football pitch on the school grounds.
- Location: 41/6 Moo 5, Vichitsongkram Rd., T. Vichit, A. Muang Phuket 83000 (diagonally opposite Makro Self Service.)
- Tel: +66 (0)76-612876
Kajonkiet International School Phuket
Kajonkiet International School Phuket (KISP) is a new international school offering the British National Curriculum. Hidden away in a quiet area in Kathu, the 21-acre campus provides the facilities to create a fantastic learning environment. There are vast indoor and outdoor learning areas with first-class sports facilities, ICT and classroom resources.
KISP has an experienced and enthusiastic team of qualified practitioners and currently provides the Early Years Foundation Stage (pre-nursery, nursery and reception) and Key Stages 1 and 2.
- Location: Soi The Valley 1, Pra Phuket Keaw Road, Kathu, (not far from the Tesco Lotus junction on the way to Chalong)
- Tel: +66 (0)89 652 7599 (Thai & English) and +66 (0)82 425 0104 (English)
Phuket International Academy (PIA)
Phuket International Academy (PIA) is an articulated international school with boarding facilities, currently working towards becoming a United World College. It is fully authorised to offer all three International Baccalaureate programmes (The PYP Primary Years Programme, MYP Middle Years Programme and DP Diploma Years Programme). PIA welcomes students aged 18 months to 18 years old, and currently has a community of over 40 nationalities.
The school firmly believes in the importance of a 'Good heart, Balanced mind, Healthy body'. Emphasis is placed on experiential learning outside the classroom, and service learning. PIA's holistic approach to education includes embedding Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness into the curriculum. PIA is also a Thanyapura Not-For-Profit affiliate.
- Location: 115/15 Moo 7, Thepkasattri, Thalang (north east Phuket in the foothills of a national park, 10 minutes from the airport)
- Tel: +66 (0)76 336 076
QSI International School of Phuket
Quality Schools International (QSI) was founded in order to provide a quality education in the English language for expatriates’ children living in the international community. The school accepts students from nursery to grade 12 and follows an American curriculum. Locals who want their children to be educated in English are also accepted.
The school recognizes that most of the students might only be enrolled for only two or three years and have diverse educational backgrounds. QSI has 33 schools in 25 countries. In Phuket, the school has more than 100 students. Thai is taught both as a native and a non-native language.
- Location: Near Tesco Lotus junction in Phuket Town (the entrance to QSI is next to Wat Samkong on the Bypass Road.)
- Tel: +66 (0) 76-354077
Rawai Progressive International School (aka Montessori School)
Founded in 1998, the Rawai Progressive International School is a private school also known by many locals as the Montessori School because of their Montessori educational philosophy. The levels taught here are the Children's House Program (or kindergarten) for children aged three to six, lower elementary (ages six-nine), upper elementary (ages nine-12). Montessori is located in Rawai, next to Friendship Beach in the south of the island.
- Location: 14/1 M.5 Rawai, Viset Rd., Muang, Phuket
- Tel: +66 (0)76-289200, +66 (0)76-288281
Thai schools that offer English and Bilingual programmes
Darasamuth Phuket School
Darasamuth English Programme, part of the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, was formed during the academic year 2002/2003. The EP operates as a small ‘community’ within the grounds of Darasamuth Phuket School. The school also offers a Mini English Programme (MEP) and offers up-to-date teaching technologies and material and equipment, including a 25-metre swimming pool.
They seek to give the students the tools to think for themselves both inside and outside of the classroom setting, whilst maintaining a holistic, child-centred approach to learning. The EP follows the Thai Ministry of Education curriculum requirements in all subject areas, enriched with an additional EP syllabus, as well as field-trip activities outside of the school.
- Location: At the Central Festival Department Store’s intersections in Phuket Town (behind Homeworks.)
- Tel: +66 (0) 76-212392, +66 (0) 76-235183
Wittaya Sathid School
Also a private school owned and administered by Supaluck K-Methakul, Ph.D. a native of Phuket who is also known for her charity work with the Childwatch Phuket Formation. The English program at Wittaya Sathid is taught by native speakers and ranges from kindergarten level 1-3 (age three–five) and primary level 1-6 (age six–12.)
- Location: 9/2 Komaraphat Road, Phuket Town, near Wachira Hospital.
- Tel: +66 (0) 76-226028 - 30
Thai University offering English-and-Asian-Languages Programme
Prince of Songkla University (PSU), Phuket Campus
The PSU Phuket Campus was established in 1993 having sprung from the Phuket Community College (PCC) in Saphan Hin. It later moved to a much bigger site in Kathu. PSU Phuket Campus is very popular as it offers courses with a special emphasis on tourism, including a four-year English-curriculum degree course in hotel management. PSU also offers an International Business in China (IBC) programme and Chinese Studies (CNS). Both programmes use English as the medium of instruction. Chinese is the required second foreign language of the students in the programme.
In 2005 a new Bachelor of Arts Programme in Thai Studies, was introduced to Thai and international students. The course is designed to support the preservation of Thai culture.
- Location: 80 Moo 1 Vichitsongkram Road, Kathu (near Anuphas Golf Course.)
- Tel: +66 (0) 76-276200
Did You Know?
Education in Thailand is free if students enroll at government schools and is compulsory for children between the ages of six and 15. After the mandatory schooling time is completed, attendance rates tend to drop up to 50% and only a small percentage of students continue their education beyond secondary school.
However the attendance rate of Thai children at primary school is still very high. Likewise, the attendance rate of Thai school students is roughly 89%, higher than the world average of 79% while Thai highschool students have an attendance rate of 65%, compared to a worldwide average of 51%. Meanwhile, the 41% attendance rate of Thai college students is still considered acceptable when compared with worldwide averages. Children are officially required to receive six years of education, and the government has announced its intention to increase that number to nine years. The literacy rate in Thailand is 94% – higher than that of most other countries of Southeast Asia.