Weekly Update #1, 11 September 2021
Welcome Back to School
A warm welcome back to school to all of our HeadStart community! Whether online or in person, we hope that everyone is settling into the new school year. It was wonderful to see some of our students in school today and everyone at HeadStart is looking forward to the day when we can all come back to learning in person.
Preparation for the Sandbox Programme
The Housekeeping team worked hard over the last few days to ensure that all of the learning and play facilities in school are clean and disinfected in time for Preschool to Year 4 students to come in for onsite learning as part of the ‘School Sandbox’ programme.
The updated calendar for this academic year can be found on the website link Calendar and is also available as a download below.
|HeadStart Alumni News
Congratulations Evan on your fantastic Academic results! Good luck with your studies in Electrical Engineering in Singapore.
Evan, former student and Head Boy for the 2020-2021 academic year, had this to say about his time at HeadStart International School.
“Hello, I am Evan, one of the graduates of the Class of 2021. Being enrolled at HeadStart is by far the most memorable experience I’ve had in my life, hands down. I enrolled at HeadStart in 2017 and during those 4 years, I have gained so much knowledge, discipline and also encountered life-changing lessons. I had the opportunity to be the Head Boy of the school and this role brought me connections with other people. It also helped me acknowledge the importance of teamwork and leadership.
Teachers and staff have also made a huge contribution to my high school experience. It is because of them that I was able to manage stress and the heavy workload efficiently. Consequently, I have achieved successful academic results and I cannot thank HeadStart enough for this. If I had one phrase to say to HeadStart, it would definitely be THANK YOU ALL!”
|Spotlight on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Swadee ka and Hello. My name is Indu Bedi and I am a Deputy Headteacher and a teacher of English at HeadStart International school. Having previously worked at HeadStart as the Head of English and Humanities, I am familiar with many aspects of this dynamic and creative school. I am excited to return in my new role to oversee the Sixth Form and Staff Development and once again work with a determined team of professionals to make this a successful school where all students thrive personally and academically. I learnt my craft as a teacher in England where I taught for 16 years holding a variety of roles including Head of Faculty, Director of Learning and Teaching, Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher. I embarked on my international career 10 years ago with my family and have since taught in Malaysia and Thailand. I am a certified Teacher Trainer with a specialism and a passion for developing pedagogical approaches to support language acquisition. I have written and led training in England and abroad. I have also worked for Sunderland University (UK) in supporting and assessing teachers training internationally. I have a BA (Hons) in the Humanities, majoring in English Literature, a PGCE in teaching English with Drama, an MA in Cultural and Critical Studies and I have completed my National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in the UK. I have a genuine interest in how our pedagogical approaches in the classroom can be developed to enhance the learning of all students. As a teacher and leader, I am a strong believer in the growth mindset (Carol Dweck); I believe intelligence can be grown through using the right methods to teach and through developing student self-belief. I am also passionate about creating effective lifelong learners through making learning as transparent as possible so students know what steps to take to ensure their own success. With these key ingredients, choosing the right methods to teach, nurturing the growth mindset and making learning transparent, I believe all students achieve academic success and leave school with a belief in themselves. I also have a passion for teaching my subject, English, as I believe language and literature lie at the heart of individual empowerment. The study of language allows us to understand how language is used and how to use language effectively for our own purposes; this is central to one’s success in and beyond school. The study of literature, whilst contributing to improved language skills, also develops intelligence, imagination and the ability to view the world through different lenses. I am looking forward to working in partnership with the students, and their parents, in the Sixth Form to ensure they achieve academic success and they continue to enjoy their lives as students at the school. I am also looking forward to working with colleagues across the school to develop learning and teaching practice so we continue to inspire a love of learning amongst all of our students. Outside of school, I enjoy being a mum to my two young daughters, Anoushka and Taara Lily, reading (I have a particular interest in post-colonial literature and self-development books), spending time in nature, meditating and trying new recipes in my kitchen!
What do all parents want for their children? The stock answer is usually “To be happy”. Well, we all know there isn’t a magic bullet to ensure this so how do go about planning for this ultimate goal? What if we could teach children how to cultivate their own happiness? Is this even possible? Yes, is the short answer to this question. Not a magic bullet but the closest thing you’ll get to one. We understand that for our children to be “happy” they need more than good grades (we know we are good at this at HSI, our grades speak for themselves). They also need to learn how to navigate the inner world they experience constantly through using emotional intelligence (EQ) and that having EQ is as important as IQ as it enables us to know ourselves, choose how to respond to life and what it throws at us whilst also connecting with others.
We launched this movement beginning with the first of many planned professional development sessions for our staff; as educators we know that to teach something we need to understand it ourselves. We will also roll out an established “robust and evidence based” Self Science Curriculum to all of our students over the course of this year.
We believe this will empower our students to go out into the world as people who have secure knowledge of themselves, who can perceive and respond to their own and others’ emotions, who can make wise choices to, dare I say it, cultivate their own well being and happiness and choose how they will give back to society through connecting with others.
We hope you agree, developing our students’ EQ is as important as developing their IQ and that this will set them up for ‘happy’ and successful lives.
Watch this space for updates on the development of this very important new programme at HSI and the launch of further initiatives to share our learning and knowledge of SEL with the parent community.
|UPrep Talk 1 - How do we prepare students for University
On the 10th of September, Ms Indu Bedi, Head of Sixth Form, hosted our first UPrep talk of the year. This session’s topic was how HeadStart prepares students for the transition to University. Timelines and subject career choices were a point of discussion and statistics were shared with parents on how our 2021 graduates have done. An English version of the presentation is available in the download below.
Parents are invited to join our next UPrep talk which will be on the 20th of September at 8.15am in the Secondary Hall (4th floor). The topic will be Comparing Different University Systems and fees. If you have any questions related to University applications, contact our UPrep team by writing to Ms Indu Bedi [email protected] or Ms Peepo [email protected]
The BTEC Business students had experience of working in the real business world this week as they collaborated with a UK based IT Software company. The business had recently come up with new core values and needed advice as to whether an idea they had which would remind the workers of the values, as well as boosting employee motivation would work. The students spent time analysing the concept, marketing, branding and costs and gave their professional judgement which the business has taken on board. This real life experience links to the students first unit Business Decision Making. Well done year 13. I was super impressed with your professional critique of the business and the idea! -Ms Yardenna Jones