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Chaofah Weekly3 months ago

Weekly Update #1, 25 August 2023

Diary#Dates for Your

Upcoming events can be found on the website under School Life → Calendar and are outlined here for easy reference. If you have questions or require further assistance please email [email protected]

Date Time Event Location
28 August 4.30-6.00 CAPA Sr and Jr practice sessions Drama studio
  2.15-4.15 ECA Fair for Outside Providers Atrium
  4.30-6.00 Academies begin  
29 August 8.15-9.15 Parent Meeting: Online Homework Platforms in Primary Secondary Hall
30 August 8.15-9.30 UPrep Talk 1: How do we Prepare Students for University? Secondary Hall
01 September 2.15-3.15 Foundation Parents: Tapestry Workshop Secondary Hall
  2.30-4.30 Friday Market Atrium

A warm welcome to all of the HeadStart community for the 2023-2024 academic year from our School Board Members

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HeadStart Cherngtalay - Now Open!

On Thursday 24th August 2023, we welcomed the families of our 160 children enrolled to our brand new Cherngtalay Campus for Parent Orientation Day. It was great to see such a wonderful turnout of both parents and children as we introduced our leadership and teaching teams, as well as offering the opportunity to explore the facilities of our new school. With introductions to our curriculum, daily classroom routines, language options and extra-curricular activities (ECAs), our enthusiastic team were on hand to provide insight, answer questions and get to know the new additions to our growing school community. We are so excited for the coming year and all of our team are ready to welcome you to our new campus! To keep up with news from our Cherngtalay campus, follow our Facebook page by clicking here!

Meeting Invites

Primary Parent Meeting on 29.08.23

h Primary homeroom teachers will start to allocate homework to Primary pupils in Week 3. I would like to invite you all to a meeting on Tuesday 29th August, in the Secondary Hall on 4th floor, from 8.15am. At the meeting members of my Primary team will share information with you regarding our Primary homework platforms for maths, reading, and spelling. We will explain why we use these platforms and also demonstrate to you how you can access these programmes at home. This meeting will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have regarding our omework strategy in Primary and the tools we use. The meeting will be presented in English, and members of the Thai Team will be in attendance to support. My team, and I look forward to welcoming you all then. -Mr Sam Khan, Head of Foundation and Primary

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Neil Roscoe

University Counsellor
[email protected]

I’m Neil Roscoe and I have taught Science and especially Biology for over 20 years. My degree is from the University of Leicester and I qualified to teach at the University of Sussex, in the UK. I most recently taught in an international School in Shanghai, China, before moving to Phuket and also in a number of private boarding schools, including Roedean, prior to that. I believe that every student has a number of talents or gifts (and this doesn’t necessarily mean being good at Maths). School is about finding what you really love to do, what gets you excited, and channeling these into a career or a way of earning a living, or perhaps even to change the World! This is why it is my pleasure to help HeadStart students into a suitable degree course to help hone these talents. If you are a sixth form student, I look forward to meeting you shortly and supporting you in your applications. When not teaching, I’m interested in travel and flying. I learned to fly small planes in the United States, which has brought many hours of fun. I also enjoy music and sometimes painting (watercolour), which can be a real source of relaxation. I look forward to another year at HeadStart and helping the students to find their niche in life. There are a number of crises the World is facing today, from climate change and habitat destruction, to war, poverty and global recession. HeadStart students will undoubtedly become some of the scientists, lawyers, economists and politicians we will need to find the solutions. We all have a part to play.

University Preparation (UPrep) Presentation on 30.08.23

Congratulations to the class of 2023, who received their A level results in the middle of August. All but one of the graduating class were able to attend their 1st choice university and some have decided to take a gap year. Interesting destinations include Alicia Martin who will read Philosophy at Leiden and Keira Brain, who achieved a full scholarship to study Business Management with Airbus! I’m sure the students would like to thank Sarah Gratton, who skillfully helped them into these courses. Mrs Gratton goes on to teach Psychology full time this year and will be replaced by me, Neil Roscoe. I believe every HeadStart student has a talent or gift which can be honed at University if they choose to go and I look forward to helping the new year 13 with their applications.

To this end, we will be holding a University Fair on the 25th September, in the evening, with over 30 international universities attending. All senior students will be invited, with workshops being held to assist you in your applications and course choices. There will be an opportunity to ask questions of the representatives - so a date to put in your diary.

The UPrep parent talk programme resumes on Wednesday 30th August, with the introduction to Unifrog and continues fortnightly thereafter. The full programme can be found in the download below and the dates can be found on the school calendar. In the meantime, we welcome Ms Carolyn McKee to the 6th Form team, who can also assist if you have any career or university related questions, you will find us in the 6th Form Office. I look forward to meeting you. -Neil Roscoe ([email protected])

2023 Academic Results
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Timothy Davidson

Deputy Head of Secondary (Academic)
[email protected]

My name is Tim and I have been working at HeadStart International School since 2018. I was born and raised in the beautiful county of Cornwall; located in the southwestern tip of the UK. After sitting my A-levels at Cornwall College I was awarded a scholarship from Pilkington Optronics to study Physics at Reading University. Post University I entered research at the National Physical Laboratory researching the use of quantum dots to replace fluorescent tag molecules for medical diagnosis. However, the life of a researcher often left me in need of human interaction and I decided to opt for a career change; studying a PGCE at the Institute of Education, in London. After my PGCE I took up my first full time teaching post in West London. I remained at this school for seven and a half years during which time I took on a variety of roles including Head of Physics, running the school’s science specialism and Learning Leader; a role which saw me helping to develop the teaching practice of my peers. I then took up my first International post in Prague where I worked as both the Head of Physics and the Teaching and Learning Coordinator for four years. Post Prague I moved to Phuket where I took on the role of Head of Science at HeadStart. I then remained in this post until 2022 when I took on the role of Deputy Head of Secondary - Academics. My approach to teaching has been formed from educational research and personal experience. The key to creating lifelong learners to is to give the students ownership of their learning and ensure they are suitably challenged and engaged throughout their time in education. To do this I endeavor to create an environment that fosters deep learning and stimulates students’ curiosity. In the past this was an approach I used when teaching and which we developed in the Science faculty; a strategy that saw continued improvement in terms of student progress and attainment. In my new role I am now trying to promote this approach across the entire Secondary School. During my time at HeadStart we have seen the rise and fall of the COVID pandemic. Obviously this was a massive challenge to the learning of our students I have been impressed by the resilience and attitude they have shown; attributes that have led to continued increase in attainment across the school. I have no doubt that our current cohort is capable of continuing this improvement and I look forward to helping, and ensuring, that this prediction is proven to be true! I am excited about continuing my adventure at HeadStart International School and being given the opportunity to further aid the students in developing a love of learning.

Another academic year has passed, and with it, we are now fully back into the groove of conducting external examinations. Every year, there is a sense of nervousness on results day among students, parents, and teachers. So, how did the 2023 examinations go? Was it a time of celebration, or did people’s worst fears materialise? As always, at HeadStart, the students achieved a fantastic set of results. These results are a just reward for the tremendous effort and resilience the students have shown over the last few years.

Our IGCSE students obtained an incredible 40% A/A grades and achieved a 100% pass rate. The Year 13 BTEC students achieved a remarkable 27% distinction star (the highest possible grade at BTEC, equivalent to an A at A-level) and also achieved a 100% pass rate. Lastly, our A-level students attained 23% A*/A grades and a 98% pass rate. These are phenomenal results that once again set the bar very high for our new Year 11 and 13 students. However, I should also add that our Year 12s achieved 25% A grades in their AS levels. As this is the highest possible grade at AS level it seems they are gearing up to take on this challenge already!

Although these are fantastic results the true successes come from examining the individual stories behind each grade and seeing how students overcame their personal challenges to obtain results they did not believe were possible. Success like this is driven by the hard work of the students, supported by their parents, teachers, and the wider school community. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to offer thanks to all of you for your contributions, whether they were large or small. The banners on this page showcase some of the highest-achieving students of this academic year, but all of our students deserve praise for what they have achieved!

IGCSE ResultsAS A Level BTEC Results

This week we had a huge turn out for our CAPA HeadStars Academy. Well done to everyone who auditioned, we can not wait to start working towards our productions. CAPA Sr and CAPA Jr start on 28th August 1630-1800. Please follow us on Instagram to keep up to date with everything CAPA HeadStars.

English Literature News
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David Pollicutt

Head of English
[email protected]

My name is David and I joined HeadStart International School in 2018. I am from the UK and grew up in the large port city of Bristol. I studied English Literature at the University of East Anglia, and trained to teach at The Institute of Education in The University of London. I taught in East London for four years, before moving to teach for eight years as Head of English in Viet Nam and China. I am a firm believer in developing students to be natural enquirers, following the Sir Ken Robinson model of best preparing students to use transferable skills for the shifting landscapes of their futures. I seek to encourage an epistemological approach in my lessons, urging students to evaluate the efficacy of the information they consume and the validity of interpretations. I am passionate about literature and will often be chortling at David Lodge’s tragicomedy or swooning at Ian Mcewan’s literary sleight of hand. Outside of the classroom I am a keen student of Philosophy, Politics and Film. I am a particular fan of the intellect and charisma exuded by Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris and the late and much missed Christopher Hitchens. I have a terminal case of devotion to Tottenham Hostpsur Football Club; it teaches me patience and humility.

Often, at this time of year, I look to publicly share students’ successes in English Language and Literature in their external examinations. I am particularly pleased this August, as not only were there many wonderful exam results yet again but also the start of the new academic year bears witness to the largest ever cohort of new A Level students in Year 12. However, rather than forcing you to read more of my clunky ruminations, I thought that the students’ successes and experiences of English would be best expressed in their own words. Therefore, please enjoy the reflections of Roy Caspi from last year’s A Level class and Krittat Phaisamran, who studied IGCSE English Language and IGCSE Literature between 2021-23. -Mr. Pollicutt, Head of English & EAL

Two years ago I embarked on my journey with A level English Literature. During the first year, poems by Owen Sheers and novels like Ian McEwan’s Atonement were initially a struggle. Advancing from an IGCSE level of literature to AS Level- with its greater rigour and sophistication- was difficult, but nevertheless enjoyable and worth the commitment. A key feature of A level Literature which was vital in my improvement throughout these two years was the use of the assessment tool VIMAs, where through practising timed essays and getting detailed feedback and model essays from Ms. Tuppen and Mr. Pollicutt, I noticed a marked improvement in my writing and analytical abilities.

Despite this sounding rather prosaic (if you’ll forgive the pun), learning literature naturally required engagement and class discussions, which kept each class dynamic and entertaining. Although my writing skills improved in Year 12, I still barely scraped a B grade in my AS grade at the end of Year 12. However, as Year 13 came around I decided to make a change and aim for a higher grade. Through seminar style debates and discussions in class, I began developing my own opinions and evaluating the critical views of others, thus developing the depth of my analysis of Literature. In particular, discussing Dracula last year in class and the former Victorian views on gender, class and sexuality was not only enlightening, but also key to my academic success this year. With focused effort, aided by the unstinting support of both Ms. Tuppen and Mr. Pollicutt, I was able to exceed my expectations and achieve an A grade at the end of Year 13. (Here, Roy is being modest- he achieved an average of 96% in his Year 13 exam- Mr. Pollicutt)

It has also been wonderful having such a caring relationship with the two teachers on the course; it has been stimulating and refreshing to have had my voice both listened to and challenged and to engage in adult discussions about psychology, politics and philosophy. I now am better placed to understand how these disciplines are all interconnected. I particularly appreciated how Mr. Pollicutt would take time to listen to me and suggest wider reading- Marcus Aurelius definitely helped me adopt a stoic attitude during my exams! Results aside, throughout these two years I can say I greatly enjoyed my time in class. The process of studying diverse texts and extracting deeper meaning and understanding authorial purposes behind pieces of literature has allowed me to broaden my world-view, and hopefully, become a kinder and more informed member of society. -Roy Caspi, class of 2023

“I don’t know, but not English”- would be the likely response had someone asked my younger self what they would be choosing for A-Level. English, especially Literature, has always been, and still is, a mystery. There’s no clear-cut, black-and-white answers like in Maths, and no tangible linear progress like in the sciences, instead it’s subjective, abstract and creative. I hated that. I wanted predictability, a guaranteed A* if I worked a set amount of hours. It doesn’t help that the reputation is that it is boring, and outdated- analysing works made by people who are long dead and times long gone. But the course wasn’t anything like that. I found relevancy in these ‘antiquated’ works, resonated with its core message despite the writer and I having nothing alike, and dare I say, actually enjoyed some of it (real shocker 😱 even I didn’t couldn’t believe it). The classes were filled with “humour”, as Mr Pollicutt calls it, in reality it was just Mr. Pollicutt violating* everyone, but it was all in good fun and I am really glad I got to experience it. Another key takeaway is that Literature is not just Literature. It gives you so much more, it gives you objective ways to analyse and decipher text. It tells you how to articulate your thoughts and write it in a sleek and elegant way. It forces you to think critically, to find meaning in things that aren’t obvious on first-read, and it challenges you to go another mile, and look deeper. These skills give one a unique edge over the purely STEM-focused students and its applications extend well beyond analysing works of long dead authors. Literature may be daunting and scary at first (I mean it still is), but if I can do it, you can do it. Good luck! *not literally- its a gen z slang. -Krittat Phaisamran, Year 12

House News

On Wednesday, all of our new and existing teaching staff participated in our first House Competition this year. They competed in Yukigassen (a dodgeball game) and also board games such as chess, uno, cup stacking, and darts. The points are listed below. Well done Teachers! -Miss Norman

  • 1st (50 points) = Yellow Cheetahs
  • 2nd (30 points) = Blue Tigers
  • 3rd (20 points) = Green Dragons
  • 4th (10 points) = Red Phoenixes
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