Matthew Fahey, Elementary School Founding Principal
Currently studying, Doctor of Education, University of Southern Queensland
Master of Education in International School Administration, Endicott College
Master of Business Administration (with distinction), Heriot-Watt University
Bachelor of Commerce, Adelaide University

I am very proud of my 13 year history with RIS Minburi. I am excited to take this to a new involvement and join RIS Ratchapruek as the Founding Principal. Thailand and RIS are both very special for me as they are home for my family and myself. I stay in Thailand with my wife Suwanna and my three younger children. My eldest child Dianne, graduated from RIS  Minburi last year and is currently a student at Adelaide University. My next eldest Joshua, will continue his 12th grade at RIS Minburi this year. My youngest two, Keara in grade 3 and Kaden in PreK 4 will study at RIS Ratchapruek this year. The RIS Elementary program is dear to my heart as all four of my children have either completed or are currently studying in the program, giving them all an exceptional start in their educational journeys.

I am looking forward to playing my role in helping spread the RIS quality to the Ratchapruek area. This will be a very exciting and rewarding year for my staff, my teachers and myself. I look forward to all of the new students and families who now have the opportunity to join this community and also call RIS home.


Elementary School includes our youngest students, from PreK 2 through grade 5. These are especially crucial years for building a strong educational foundation. RIS Ratchapruek provides a rigorous academic program that integrates students’ social and emotional development. All of our elementary school teachers are highly qualified and certified within their specific subject areas. Many of our teachers have additional certifications in reading, language development, and learning support. But that is not what makes ES such a special place. it is the warm, caring environment that facilitates learning and builds character, preparing our students for middle school, high school, college, and life. We take pride in cultivating the student-centered learning environment we provide for our children.


RIS students are recognized for their strong academic achievement as well as their development as responsible and caring citizens. The rigorous ES curriculum has been developed from U.S. standards that RIS Ratchapruek has adopted schoolwide. Core subjects are based on the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) standards and taught by grade-level classroom teachers. We integrate Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop to provide a balanced literacy model. Science and math are inquiry-based courses, with a focus on critical thinking. These are all skills vital for success in the future. 

Across all grades, students have access to devices. They learn about safe ways to manage technology so teachers and students can use digital tools and resources in innovative and creative ways. In grades 1 and 2, each student has access to a class iPad. In grades 3–5, every RIS student has Chromebook.

Beyond the core subjects of math, reading, writing, science, and social studies, students get to experience and explore other interests and talents in specialist subjects—art, music, physical education, a second language, and values. Our students are also introduced to skills and concepts in health and wellness. All elementary students are required to take Thai language and literacy, and our non-Thai students also learn about Thai culture. Collectively, these subjects offer our ES students a well-rounded school experience. Beyond that, they also help our children learn how to be considerate world citizens who are aware of the importance of caring about other people and our environment.

Our students’ social and emotional well-being is further supported by the Second Step curriculum. Our teachers are skilled at adapting learning to individual student’s needs and meeting them where they are, developmentally. In all grades, we encourage students to make appropriate choices and to exercise their independence, which promotes autonomy and a sense of safety—all of which are essential in developing well-adjusted, happy children who can focus on their learning.

A Typical Day

Grades 1—5

Every day is a good day for learning and making friends in elementary school. Most days start with circle time. This community-building time allows students and teachers to address issues in the class or in the world and sometimes share lessons on health or community issues. From there, students move into core subject and specialist lessons. Each day has two blocks of reading and writing and an extended math period. Listening and speaking are integrated into each subject throughout the day. In the ES, we put a lot of emphasis on collaborative learning, so throughout the day students spend time working in small groups and on collaborative projects.