An alternative school is a school that provides another education paradigm that differs from mainstream education because mainstream education lacks the focus on the students’ development and growth as well as it cannot meet the individual needs of students according to their age group. Alternative schools use different education methods such as Buddhism, Montessori and Neo Humanist.

Tonkla school follows a learning approach that supports the natural development of learners in order to cultivate imagination and happiness for learning. This will enhance their capacity to understand themselves and formate their own self-learning practices as a habit. The school organizes learning programmes through playing, hands-on practicing, and also supports students individually in order to expand their imagination on the foundation of happiness.

Knowledge and academic competencies both are vital to learning process of students. Tonkla school organizes the learning activities according to the age and nature of learners by prioritizing student’s interests so that they are able to learn happily. With this process, students can explore and expand their interests with in-depth knowledge and a variety of complex skills. Our “Baan Chiang” Learning Module is a good example. 

Students explored simulated archaeological excavation sites by themselves, along with learning historical methods step by step. They learned how to measure the sites, recorded physical information of the sites using mathematical skills and presented what they learned in both Thai and English. These ensure students can understand a real-life phenomenon with the connected fields of knowledge and skills.

The school understands that students need to continue their education in secondary school according to their talents and interests, Tonkla school then provides Test-Taking Skill as a subject for students to get to know and practice standardized tests in P5-P6. Students will familiarize themselves with standardized tests available. 

The future that students are facing is uncertain and with excessive amounts of knowledge and information. What is more important than the quantity of knowledge and academic competencies is skills to research, examine, analyze and manage information which is part of the 4C curriculum that Tonkla equips students with these skills already from P1.

The School provides English language curriculum by prioritizing students’ confidence in using English. Therefore, we organize learning activities under the Whole Language approach which is similar to first language learning process. Students start from listening, repeating, creating one’s own words, reading and then writing. We design this learning process through playing, such as singing and doing activities that are fun, challenging and suitable for the nature of learners at their age, so that they are able to use English naturally. In the beginning, it is possible to have ungrammatical communication from them due to their effort to convey. The school then places importance and supports students to practice English as a communication tool rather than as theoretical knowledge. The usage of grammar is explained according to their age without affecting their confidence of expressing in English.In order to provide learners with language skills as students who use English in daily life, the school then organizes curriculum with 50% of English in learning time both in kindergarten and primary school through a variety of activities to make students communicate naturally such as listening, speaking, reading and writing using Phonics as a foundation for correct pronunciation and connecting vocabulary from the integration between Thai and English learning content. Also students will gain experiences by participating in ongoing activities provided by the school to encourage the use of English which will lead to the use in daily life. At Tonkla School, there is no English as a subject that has learning content translated back and forth between Thai and English so that students do not wait for Thai translation, instead they will try to understand and want to communicate. This is one of the foundations of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) which focuses on language learning and communication by using learning content as a lead.

In terms of learning content and knowledge according to the curriculum, alternative schools are also under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. Also they use the curriculum from the ministry, knowledge and skills provided to students therefore cover the curriculum as any other school system, only the timing of the curriculum at Tonkla is different.

In semester 2/2020, Tonkla students were able to plan, manage themselves and make an effort go to the secondary school as they desired as follow,

  • 6 students to Chiang Mai University Demonstration School
  • 5 students to Varee Chiang Mai School
  • 3 students to Dara Academy
  • 2 students to Regina Coeli College
  • 2 students to the Prince Royal’s College
  • 1 student to Wichai Wittaya English Program
  • 1 student pursues Informal Education

However, alternative schools not only consider learning content according to curriculum, but also focus on the approach of education that aims to achieve the balance of life so that students can have potential in learning, love to learn, understand and accept themselves, be able to live in any environment and can develop their life sustainably by using their education.

The PM 2.5 measure data of Tonkla School can be tracked from AirVisual. It is the same set of information as shown in the first page of the school website.

LevelNumber of Students: RoomNumber of Teachers
Pre-Kindergarten181 Homeroom Teacher
1 Teaching Assistant
Kindergarten 1-325-271 Thai Homeroom Teacher
1 Teaching Assistant
1 English Homeroom Teacher (K.3)
Primary School 1-630-321 Thai Homeroom Teacher
1 English Homeroom Teacher
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