12 Jan
Weekly6 days ago

Weekly Update 17, 12 Jan 2018

Dates for Your Diary

Upcoming events can be found on the HeadStart calendar on the website School Life → Calendar but we have outlined upcoming events for the month here for easy reference.

Date Time Event Location
15 January After School ASPs begin  
16 January 8:15 am Thai Parent Meeting Sixth Form Hall
20-21 January All day DoE Silver Group Practice Ao Yon Beach
24 January In school Student Council Meeting TBA by Mr barker
26 January 2:20-5:00 pm Friday Market Atrium
27 January 8:30-3:30 pm Inter School Thai Teacher Seminar TBA by Kru Nee

Welcome Back to School!

Dear Parents, students and staff,

We hope you have all had a safe and pleasant holiday season, travelling, seeing new places and most of all, spending quality time with those you love. We want to wish you all a very Happy New Year. We look forward to working together to make 2018 a successful and memorable year for all of our students and the HeadStart community.

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Announcements

School Expansion

Construction of the expansion of the school has been progressing well and we plan to open part of the new floor in April 2018 in time for Term 3. The expansion will enable us to accept new students, expand our dance and music programmes and will also give our Sixth Form students more room for studies and exams. The remainder of the additional facilities will be completed by August 2018.

Overview of facilities:

  • Additional Library

  • 3 dance rooms fitted out with wooden floors and mirrors

  • Dedicated Drama studio

  • 3 music/instrument practice rooms

  • 3 art rooms

  • 3 music classrooms

  • Meeting room and Performance Hall

  • Dedicated 6th Form study room


Car Park

We have received a number of suggestions from the Parent Committee as well as from some other parents of ways to improve our school car park. We are implementing a number of these suggestions starting this term and we hope that these will make the use of the car park more effective for all. New signage has been put up and we have also changed the direction of the traffic flow to make both lanes one way only. The first lane should be used as the drop off for all upper primary and secondary students while the second lane can be used to drop off foundation and lower primary students. Please see diagram below. Our Thai teachers will continue to assist the younger students to collect their bags and get out of their cars in the mornings. Please help us to make the use of the car park as effective as possible by doing the following:

  • Make sure your children have their shoes on before arriving at school

  • Make sure your child’s school bag is next to them in the car, not in the trunk

  • Kiss and Go – parents should not exit the vehicles when in the Drop Off Zone

  • Park considerately, follow car park signage and instructions given by parking attendants

We at HeadStart would like to congratulate Dr. Parimon Phaisamran on the occasion of her graduation with a Ph.D as Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration from the Western University in Bangkok.

New! House Themed/Water Proof/GPS School Bags

Introducing new House themed school bags as well as a water proof sturdy laptop bag. Both models feature an optional GPS tracker that can be fitted into the existing capsule. Purchasing the bags on offer is optional. For availability and prices please contact the school shop and our shop attendant, Khun Tuk, will be happy to assist you.

Food Service Update

This is an update on the school policy and standard for food service at HeadStart.

Snacks

HeadStart provides milk for all pupils during their morning break and a healthy snack during afternoon break. We would like to encourage parents to only send their children to school with healthy snack options. Snacks are quite often shared between friends and we don’t want to have pupils eating snacks at school that they aren’t allowed to eat from their own parents. Therefore, if a pupil brings unhealthy snacks, for example, candy, soda pops, chips/crisps or other such snacks with high sugar content to school the teacher will confiscate this.

Lunch

We believe that a healthy balanced diet is the foundation of a successful academic life. We therefore strive to serve natural, low-sugar-and-salt meals with the freshest possible local produce. Pupils are served milk in the morning break, lunch at midday followed by a healthy mid-afternoon snack. School lunches are compulsory for all pupils, unless there are special dietary requirements for medical, religious or cultural reasons that the school cannot provide. In such cases permission to bring their own lunches to school must be sought from the Head of School (please send a letter and any supporting documentation i.e. medical certificate). Page 19 When you register your child please specify their dietary requirements. Your child’s homeroom teacher will be overseeing lunch and can keep an eye on these requirements if necessary. A copy of the school’s lunch menu is available at the school’s website as well as in the school’s admissions office. Lunch always has a Western option, an Asian option and a Vegetarian option.

School Coffee Shop

The coffee shop is open to parents until 9.30 am and after 2.30 pm. The coffee shop has a snack section which is available to secondary students during the school day and available to all students after school hours. The student snack section includes healthy options made by our kitchen staff as well as other general snack options which students can choose from. The coffee shop uses a cashless system. This gives parents the option of whether or not they want to allow their child access to what is available in the coffee shop.

The Food Service Committee

The Food Committee at HeadStart is a group of people who represent HeadStart’s community: pupils, teachers, parents and professionals. They meet once at the end of each school term to discuss any important questions, suggestions or complaints. They make recommendations together with the Head Chef, about the lunch menu and quality of food service, as well as make suggestions to the Senior Management Team. To contact the Food Service Committee, you can email [email protected]

Healthy Eating and Living Boost

You may have noticed that the coffee shop has had a boost in health awareness signage. Various members of the HeadStart community have agreed to contribute their advice for healthy living in order to inspire our youth to make good decisions regarding life style and diet. Although we cannot dictate what the students eat, we can educate them regarding issues such as the dangers of eating too much sugar, junk food and so on.

Within the next few weeks we plan to label each item sold (in the student’s section of the coffee shop) with what ingredients are used and an approximate count of how much sugar is in the recipe so that students can make decisions on what combinations to purchase for snacks.

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Foundation News and Announcements

By Ms Fiona Scott, Deputy Head of Foundation

A warm welcome back and a Happy New Year to all our families. It has been lovely to welcome back our Foundation students this week and see them return to school with smiles on their faces. They have settled back into school with ease and enjoyed a very busy first week back.

This term is set to be a bumper packed term full of exciting trips, events and activities. Please regularly check your emails and the Parent Portal for home - school communication.

Drop Off and Pick Up

Although our Foundation gates close at 8.30am, we do encourage parents to get their child into school as close to 8.00am as possible. During this time, children enjoy playing with their friends and joining in with the activities set up and prepared for by the class teachers. As parents we may not realise, but arriving late to school can cause anxiety and stress in children. To avoid the children feeling rushed, late or unsettled, please try and get them into school before 8.30am.

A gentle reminder that the school day finishes at 2.20pm. School routines are often hard to get back into after a long holiday and some of our little ones have been feeling tired after school, please try and be on time to pick them up to avoid any upset.

Enrichment

If your child is in Early Years or Reception and taking part in the Enrichment Hour, please allow them to take part for the full hour so they can fully enjoy and complete the activities. Enrichment ends at 3.20pm.

Children’s Day / Kidzoona Jungceylon

This Saturday Thailand celebrates National Children’s Day. Our good friends at Kidzoona in Patong have delivered some more free vouchers. The vouchers will be coming home in your child’s bag. Please let me know if you cannot use the vouchers and wish to return them to school, or if you did not receive one. The vouchers can be used from now and will expire at the end of February, so families have plenty of time to enjoy the play facilities at Jungceylon. What ever you may be doing this weekend, I wish you all a very Happy Children’s Day for Saturday.

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Primary News and Announcements

By Mr Andrew Whittaker, Head of Foundation and Primary

Dear Parents

Happy New Year to you all, I trust you and your families had a most enjoyable holiday, wherever in the world you were fortunate enough to be.

It has been good to speak to so many of you and of course to our Primary pupils to hear so much about the wonderful Christmas they have all enjoyed and it has been interesting to hear some of their New Year’s resolutions. Mr Khan, in our assembly this week, talked to Primary about resolutions people can make for New Year; so you may well be asked by your own children what resolutions you have chosen for yourself this year!

My resolution is to finally use the bicycle I have in the shed at the bottom of the garden - to clean the dust off it and get out and about to help keep active!!!

Lessons have started in earnest here in Primary and Foundation and it is lovely to see how keen and eager all of our pupils have started this new term, and how our excellent teachers are already eagerly quenching their thirst for knowledge.

Events to make a note of for this term:

  • Maths Faculty Week

  • Foundation Sports Day

  • Primary Sports Day

  • English and Humanities Faculty Week

  • Dress as your Favourite Book Character

  • Super Stan school production

  • Checkpoint Mock Exams for Year 6

  • International Day

If I haven’t managed to speak to you personally since we have returned, then please do make a point of coming to me so I can wish you all the very best for 2018.

Enjoy the first weekend of Term 2, I know the teachers and pupils will be looking forward to the rest; these early mornings have been a bit of a shock to some after the long holiday!

Primary ECO ASP News

A big thank you to our families for bringing in cardboard rolls, cereal boxes and plastic bottles to donate to the Eco Club ASP. Last term, the Eco Art Group worked in small groups to make palm tress to add a bit of greenery to the Foundation corridor. It proved to be a tricky task at times but we had a lot of fun and the results are very pleasing. Well done to the Eco Club for their problem solving, team work and perseverance. This term our focus will be back in the garden, however, we will continue to collect cardboard rolls, boxes and plastic bottles. We have two black bins in the Foundation corridor, that are used to collect in card or plastic materials for recycling. By Ms Fiona Scott

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Secondary Department News and Announcements

By Ms Elizabeth Mason, Head of Secondary

This term we have the Mock examinations for Year 11 and 6th Form. Some students will also start the real exams in the practical subjects and will have already received there question papers. Year 9 will begin preparations for the Checkpoint exams including the Checkpoint mock exams. Year 7 and 8 will continue to develop critical thinking skills and be encouraged to extend their answers both verbally and in written form. Staff are reviewing and refining schemes of learning this month to ensure an engaging and exciting curriculum for all learners, especially at KS3 it is vital that students continue to learn new skills in an engaging way to prepare them for the content heavy examination years that follow.

Reading is a very important and an often lost skill. Please continue to encourage your child to read a book at home and bring it into school to read in the morning and at lunch times. Many of our students do this already but I would like to continue to encourage this practice.

Please note Year 11 Parents Teacher Conferences (PTC) have been moved from the 28 February to 7 February, 2018. This is an important meeting as we will be discussing your child’s mock exam results and will be passing on information about the upcoming exams. Please make time in your busy schedule to attend.

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Student In Action!

The children in Reception have started the new term full of energy and enthusiasm. We are so proud of their super learning this week and especially their awesome phonics work! The children enjoyed following instructions to make and eat a yummy jam sandwich! By Ms Hannah Kuusik

Year 1 Blue calculating addition number sentences to 20 using the concrete method of cubes. By Ms Nicola Fallows

This week Year 2 Blue have been learning about measures of length in their Maths lessons. They ended the week by drawing an outline of a child and then measuring different parts of their body. They needed to decide whether to measure in centimetres or metres and what equipment to use. By Mr Paul Williams

Year 6 used a string to create a model which helped them explain of how we see objects. By Ms Sophie Webb

Year 5 learnt about blending colours and mixing secondary and tertiary colours last term and this week they completed their flower painting in the style of Georgia O Keefe. By Ms Jody Leow

Year 6 have been learning about the artist Keith Haring and this week the students have been completing their paintings inspired by his work. By Ms Jody Leow

Year 8 have been developing their water colour painting skills. Inspired by natural organisms and the work of Ernst Haeckel students created imaginative life forms in water colour paint. By Ms Jody Leow

At HeadStart, we believe that drama has a strong and positive role to play in helping build confidence, creativity and communication skills. This week, Year 7 KS3 Drama classes have just begun their new unit on Character Masked Theatre, with our new Strangface masks. We have been working to establish the importance of clarity in non-verbal communication. All acting is done non-verbally….think of black and white silent movies. At the start of each lesson we warm up physically and mentally to make sure we are all happy and energised…which often means laughing a lot. For the next few weeks, students will build their confidence as actors through use of mask and devise their own stories using music, sound and most importantly non-verbal communication to find their own internal monologue and ‘voice’. By Ms Hayley Milner

World Scholars News

By Ms Hayley Milner

As 2018 begins, HeadStart enters its third year of participation in the World Scholar’s Cup. This is an amazing opportunity for students to meet like minded students within Thailand and all over the world. As we begin our preparations in debating, thinking outside the box and studying the syllabus of new topics on 2018’s new theme ‘An Entangled World’ - we would like to reflect on the achievements of last years scholars who will now become mentors for our new scholars.

At the end of last term, HeadStart took six dedicated and talented students across the world to New York City to compete as two separate teams in the senior division of the prestigious World Scholar’s Cup. Across the three Global Rounds held this year, 6,000 students from around the world participated (from over 50 countries), from which 2,000 students attended the Tournament of Champions.We had high hopes for our teams after dominating the regional and global rounds, as one junior team achieved top in Thailand in the Global Round, progressing to the Tournament of Champions alongside our senior team.

Our New York trip allowed students to experience the buzz, culture and excitement of the Big Apple with a visit to MOMA, American Museum of Natural History, The Statue of Liberty, viewing ‘The Lion King’ on Broadway, strolling through Central Park and paying our respects at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

After four nights in New York, it was time to participate in the Tournament of Champions, which took place at Yale University in New Haven USA from November 9-14th, in the heart of the lovely but very chilly New England autumn. The long hours of study, group work, debate preparation and year round dedication paid off as HeadStart excelled in the competition with the Opening Ceremony, Key Note Speakers, the Scholars Scavenge and the four main competitive events.Once the Senior Division competition events were completed, we were also able to take a day trip to Boston where we followed the Freedom Trail and learned about some of the significant historical events and figures during the Battle for Independence in Boston. Then it was on to two more Ivy League institutions for student tours. Our tours of MIT and Harvard allowed our students further insight into what life is like studying at some of the best Universities in the world.

Out of over 200 senior teams, the team of Hyerin Cho, Sean Byrne, Bomnuri Kim netted seventh place in debating overall and out of over 1250 individual scholars Marc Baeuerle, was awarded 5th place in the science challenge and a special mention to Hyerin Cho who came 39th out of the entire solo competition and her team with Sean Byrne and Bomnuri Kim placed 25th in the whole team competition. All our scholar’s worked incredibly hard, winning forty medals. Some other memorable mention of the competition included:

Elizaveta Stashevskaia: top 5% for individual debating, top 2% for Scholar’s Challenge – Special Area, top 16% as a Champion Scholar across all events.

Marc Baeuerle: top 1% for Scholar’s Challenge – Science.

Hyerin Cho: top 2% for Scholar’s Challenge – Special Area, top 3% - Writing Champion, top 6% for individual debating, top 3% as a Champion Scholar across all events

Enzo Couture: Top 16% Scholar’s Challenge – Literature

Sean Byrne: top 13% for individual debating, top 7% - Writing Champion

Bomnuri Kim: top 6% for individual debating,

Enzo Couture, Elizaveta Stashevskaia, Marc Baeuerle: top 9% as a team for Collaborative Challenge, top 20% Champion team Hyerin Cho, Sean Byrne, Bomnuri Kim - top 9% as a team for Collaborative Writing, Top 10% Champion Team.

Congratulations to the time and efforts of these past scholars as they now prepare for the next stages in their lives including IGCSE’s, A levels and for some, university. We now look forward to embarking on a new journey with our junior scholars of 2018.

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