Mr Grindlay, the new School Principal, initiated the sandbox proposal, which has been modelled on Thailand’s successful ‘Phuket Sandbox’ tourism scheme. “A beautiful campus is little without the buzz of its students. Arriving into this situation, with no end in sight, I wanted to explore every possible way to bring children back on site”. “The core principle of Phuket’s sandbox has been to allow Covid-free people into a safe, monitored environment that affords freedom within. Mr Grindlay saw the potential to emulate this at RST.
The journey from pitch to approval has involved a lot of hard work and planning. Mr Grindlay engaged the School’s leadership team to help form a meticulous and detailed sandbox proposal and RST worked closely with ISAT to lobby the Ministries of Education and Public Health. Assiduous requirements were set to push such a proposal through, but after several weeks of meetings, RST was granted permission to open a boarding bubble.
There are 258 international schools in the country and RST is one of five that has been granted permission to open a boarding bubble. However, it is one of the only schools to be able to offer face-to-face teaching within its boarding bubble. RST has a large 80-acre campus, within which its international teaching staff live; by sealing the community within a bubble, the School is able to invite students back as boarders in a safe environment that mitigates risk.