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Chaofah Weekly5 years ago

Weekly Update #13, 23 November, 2018

Dates for Your Diary

Upcoming events can be found on the calendar on the website School Life → Calendar but we have outlined upcoming events here for easy reference. For daily updates and news follow the HeadStart Facebook Page

Date Time Event Location
1-2 December 7:55am DofE Bronze Practice Group 2 Meet at HeadStart
3-4 December 7:55am DofE Bronze Adventurous Journey G1 Meet at HeadStart
05 December All day School closed for HM the King’s Birthday  
7-9 December All day BKK Patana Swim Meet BKK Patana
10-11 December All day Book Fair Primary floor
11 December 6:00pm ‘A Night at the Movies’ CAPA show Sports Hall
13 December 1:00pm Christmas Classroom activities/Christmas Market  
14 December All day Parent/Teacher Conferences (not a school day) Classrooms
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Adam Drew

[email protected]

Since joining HeadStart International School in August 2014, I have been genuinely impressed by the hard work and commitment of all those involved in making HeadStart a place where students are inspired to have the ‘love of learning’ described in the school’s motto. The school community here is one of the best I have ever-worked with and the positive energy that this creates enables us to achieve so much together. Since our last inspection where the school was rated as a good with a number of outstanding features highlighted, I strongly believe that HeadStart International School is well on the way to becoming one of the best schools in Thailand, providing the highest standards in teaching and learning. As we prepare for the next phase where we hope to gain a solid ‘Outstanding’ rating, the next few years will be a truly exciting time for all those involved. Having had a successful Teaching career in the UK for a number of years and having worked in various different management positions, my wife Amy and I made the decision to move to Thailand in 2012 where I worked at an International School in Bangkok. The opportunity to make a real impact at HeadStart and to help shape the future successes of the school drew me to move to Phuket. On a personal level, I am a keen sportsman and have an interest in many sports both as a spectator or participant. A highlight for me was having a leadership position for Event Services at the London 2012 Olympic Games. I am also keen golfer and compete in many of the regular competitions held here in Phuket and further afield. My wife Amy is a teacher in the Foundation department having joined HeadStart shortly after I did. Since working at HeadStart we have become parents for the first time. Ted Drew was born in April 2018 and is excited to be joining pre-school in this academic year. I look forward to continuing to working with the inspired staff and students and the committed and supportive parents that make up the HeadStart. Together we will ensure that we continue to build on the existing successes of the school and make each academic year even more successful than the last. Please feel free to email me at any time to discuss your ideas on how we can do this together. I look forward to meeting you again as the year progresses!


Term 2 Language Options Meeting Invitation

I would like to invite you to an information meeting on Thursday 29th November so that language options for Term 2 & 3 can be explained. This meeting is only relevant to parents who have children in Year 1-9.

In the meeting we will also give out copies of the language options for the rest of the year. We will follow up the meeting by sending home full details of languages options, an electronic copy of the form and a copy of the PowerPoint presentation that is used in the meeting. If you are unable to attend, all the information you need will be in the email sent out the same day. The language programme will be largely as described in the meeting earlier this term, although we will be able to go into a little more detail of the plans, teachers and levels of the courses.

The meeting will start at 08:15am in the Secondary Hall. If you are able to attend I look forward to seeing you there, if you are not able to come, you will have the information via email, and I will also be available at the Parent/Teacher Conferences (PTC) at the end of term in order to discuss the languages programme further.

Welcoming a New Head of Secondary

It is with great pleasure that I would like to announce that Richard Lukats, our current Director of Academics, will be taking over the role of Head of Secondary commencing in Term 2. I am sure many of you have already met Richard in one capacity or another, either through sport whilst he was Director of Sport, or in relation to options, exams and curriculum in his role as Director of Academics. Richard is a highly experienced school leader who has had a number of positions of responsibility within leadership teams at a range of schools in Asia and in England throughout his long career. The school board and I know that Richard will help drive forward the Secondary school and continue to make a positive impact on the successes of our students as well as continue to raise the bar that has been set by the outstanding results of our students over the past 3 years.

I will be continuing in the role of Headmaster, but will now be based on the ground floor and will be supporting teacher and students, and monitoring standards across the whole school as we bid to achieve a Gold rating from our next accreditation visit in 2020.

I am sure you will all congratulate Richard in his new role and he is looking forward to working even more closely with the Secondary students and parents than he already does.

I bid you all a pleasant end to this very long first term, and a well deserved and restful break over the Christmas vacation.

Reminder to be on Time for School

Please be reminded that the HeadStart school day starts at 8.00am. It is important for the children to be here before 8.00am as it gives them a chance to settle at the start of the day. They communicate with their peers and organise themselves for the day ahead. During morning registration, important messages are passed on by the Homeroom Teachers.

In Foundation structured play, social and interactive activities start from 8.00am. This is an important time of day for Foundation students so that they can comfortably say their goodbyes at the door, settle into class and develop play and social skills in a timely and positive manner.

At 8.00am in Primary the day usually starts with a Phonics lesson in Year 1 and 2 or a Guided Reading lesson for the older children. This is valuable learning time for the children. If children arrive late they are missing out on essential teacher input and may struggle to participate in the lesson effectively as a result.

In Secondary, students are required to have prepared themselves for the lessons ahead at their lockers and be ready to participate in Homeroom activities such as independent reading, house quiz and group discussions on current news topics.

We understand that from time to time there are issues beyond the control of parents and students, such as traffic incidents and extreme weather, that will result in late attendance. Please wherever possible inform us so that registers can be updated accordingly. If there are other issues that are causing children to be late for school then please let us know so that we are aware and can offer appropriate support for your child.

Christmas Market Invitation

Do you have something interesting that you would like to present to the HeadStart community? We would like to invite you, your friends or other businesses on the island to book a table or two for the 2018 Christmas Market which will take place on the 13th of December between 2:30-5:30pm.

Due to the amount of Christmas decor set up, there is a charge of 300 Baht for 1 table or 500 Baht for 2 tables. The event will take place in the Sports Hall where there will be a stage set up for performances and places for you to sit and relax and enjoy the atmosphere. There will also be a photo booth where Santa Clause will make an appearance. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of the excitement!

Parent Committee Notes

Please refer to the download for the full transcript of notes brought to the management’s attention as well as the answers provided.

A Night at the Movies Performance Invitation

On the 11th of December the CAPA Academy will present an Oscar winning performance. We will be performing scenes from movies such as Grease, High School Musical, Sing!, The Sound of Music, Star Wars, Hunger Games, Frozen, The Wizard of Oz and many more. The CAPA Academy consists of very talented students in Year 5 - 13. The students have been working very hard perfecting their singing, dancing and acting and the show promises to be one that cannot be missed. Save the date!

The show will take place in the Sports Hall on 11 December at 6:00pm sharp and end around 8:00pm with a short intermission in between.

We are pleased to announce that tickets for ‘A Night at the Movies’ will be available from the front office starting Wednesday, 28 November.

On offer are 2 free tickets per HeadStart family. Additional family members will be charged 200 Baht. Siblings under the age of 8 years old are welcome to sit in the front row without charge. Front row seats are limited to 30 so must be booked. Members of the general public will be charged 200 Baht per ticket.

For your information the Coffee shop will be open until 6.30pm after which there will be no provision for food or drink so please eat a meal before you arrive.

Holly Wood Movies Poster

University Application News and Success

University applications continue to be completed by our hardworking Year 13s, with offers coming in daily. At the moment students are awaiting results from the UK, USA and the Netherlands, with applications to Canada, Spain, Korea and other destinations in the pipeline. We are applying for an exciting array of courses, including medicine, law, international relations, psychology and even film production!

Special mention this week to Bomnuri Kim (Lisa), who received her final UK acceptance - making it a very impressive 5 offers out of 5. Lisa has gained admission to Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow, Bristol and University College London (UCL) to study Biological Sciences. This is great news for her as this year UCL has been ranked in the Top 10 universities in the world, above the likes of Princeton and Yale! Lisa has also been offered a prestigious International Leadership Scholarship worth £40,000 to enroll on a combined Bachelors/Masters programme at Glasgow University. The university offers only 20 such scholarships to all its international students, across all programmes, so it’s really exceptional that Lisa has been honoured with this award, particularly as the application window does not close for another 2 months. Congratulations to her and, of course, to her parents and teachers. If parents of students of any age would like to know more about university applications or how HeadStart supports its students on this exciting journey, they can make an appointment in the Sixth Form by emailing [email protected] at any time.


Thank you to everyone for getting involved in this term’s charity project. This week has seen one final push from teachers, students and parents, so a very big thank you to everyone who has donated bottles, supplied sacks of plastic and brought in Ecobricks. Our appeal will come to an end this week, which will allow a little extra time for Trash Hero to come in and carry out a final inspection before packing up and posting off. A very big thank you to the HeadStart community for making this appeal so successful. More information will follow next week with regards numbers and overall plastic weight saved from the oceans! Meanwhile, if you would like to continue with your Ecobricks at home, more information can be found on the Facebook page Ecobricks Phuket.

P.E. Department News

Cheerleader News

Last weekend our cheerleaders traveled to Bangkok for the 23rd Cheerleading Thailand Championships. The girls had load of fun and the Team Doubles came in 3rd place. Well done, girls!

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Football News

Last week our U9 Boys, U11 Boys & Girls, U13 Boys, U13/15 Girls and Over 15 Boys all took part in the PISAC Football tournaments on Thursday, 15th and Friday, 16th. Here are the results:

  • U11 Boys - 1st place
  • O15 Boys - 2nd place (after a dramatic penalty shootout with BISP)
  • U13 Boys - 2nd place
  • U9 Boys - 3rd place
  • U15 Girls - 3rd place
  • U11 Girls - 4th place
  • U13 Girls - 5th place
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Zak Brown

Head Swim Coach
[email protected]

My name is Zak Brown, and I have a deep passion for swimming. I hail from Bakersfield, California, where I discovered my love for the sport at the age of 10. Throughout my high school years, I had the privilege of leading our team to four consecutive league championships, a testament to our hard work and dedication. After graduating, I pursued my swimming journey at Bakersfield College while representing the esteemed Bakersfield Swim Club. As a part of this club, I had the opportunity to compete in various competitions across California and even ventured to different states for national level meets. These experiences shaped me both as an athlete and as an individual. Seeking new challenges, I made the decision to move to Niagara Falls, New York. There, I continued my swimming career at Niagara University as a Division One Swimmer. During my time at Niagara, I achieved remarkable accomplishments, setting three school relay records and graduating with a degree in marketing and logistics. Swimming has not only shaped me as an athlete, but it has also shaped me as a person. For over 19 years, I have been teaching and coaching swimming, working with athletes of all levels, from beginners to aspiring Olympians. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience, enabling me to meet inspiring individuals from all corners of the globe. Swimming is more than just a sport to me - it has become a lifestyle. The invaluable lessons I have learned through swimming have stayed with me throughout my life. In 2016, I joined the HeadStart team, and it has been an amazing journey thus far. I am thrilled to continue working with the students, supporting and nurturing their swimming abilities. Together, as a cohesive team, we will strive for excellence in the pool this year, pushing ourselves to new heights.

Upcoming Swim Camp

Term break is quickly approaching and if you aren’t planning on leaving Phuket, the aquatics program has an opportunity for your child to join our Swim Camp or Swim Lessons! Many children at school NEED LESSONS. Please take advantage of this opportunity.

Classes will be organised for students from Preschool- Year 8. Each group will be divided into smaller segments with other students who are close to their ages as well as skill level. Lessons are 30 minutes each for four days. These programs will run December 17-20. The swim camp is designed to breakdown each specific stroke to help the individual learn proper technique and maximize efficiency. We will cover all four strokes, starts and turns throughout the camp. Each day will be geared towards a specific skill set and we will have games to help incorporate the learning.

Please sign up for either section, one form per participant HERE. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Swim Poster

Welcome to Coach Carter’s Super Sports

The Super Sports camp is open for Boys & Girls aged 8-12 and will focus on physical activity that will be both co-operative and competitive. Students will participate in activities such as; Gladiator Ball, Dodge ball, Funky Football, Tug of War, Burnball, Capture the Flag, Granny’s Footsteps, Round Robin Badminton, Table Tennis and lots of Team Building. Most importantly, Super Sports will be loads of FUN! More details can be found in the poster below.

Coach Carter s Super Sports 2019

Foundation Department News

The Sweet Taste of Boredom

An unfortunate incident in our house this week led to a no TV or tablets punishment - where screens were switched off for a prolonged period of time. After the initial upset of tears, tantrums and screams of boredom, the children went storming off to their bedrooms to seek reflection and contemplation. After a very peaceful half an hour, I went to investigate the silence. To my surprise, one was sitting happily at her desk, creating and designing Christmas cards, whilst the other was fully engrossed in pretend play - where an old suitcase had been turned into a beach paradise, towels had been transformed into the ocean and an upside down plastic dolls chair had become the worlds biggest ice cream shop; with many dolls and teddies enjoying some very interesting flavours.

I smiled and marveled at my children’s ability to find alternative entertainment, through what was initially a very negative situation. This led me to thinking about how it is good for our children to get a taste of boredom. As parents, we have the best intentions to make our children instantly happy. We give in to their immediate demands; they are hungry we instantly feed them snacks, they are bored, we instantly give them a phone. However this instant gratification allows no room for learning and developing or even dealing with stressful situations. Surely if we want our children to wait, we have to teach them patience. If we want our children to make friends, we must teach them social skills. By giving in to instant demands, are we teaching our children, or denying them, the skills needed for dealing with minor stresses in later life?

Inspiring a love of Communication and Language

This week we added two new features in the Foundation corridor to help inspire a love of Communication and Language. We believe that with more writing media and resources, our young learners can communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings creatively, as well as develop their motor skills necessary for the mechanics of handwriting. It has been very pleasing to see how they have enjoyed the new writing walls this week.

A Day at the Movies

Friday’s ‘A Day at the Movies’ dress up was a whole lot of fun. Students and teachers made such a a great effort to look like they walked straight out of a movie set. Well done to the winners of the Secondary student and teacher costume competition. They have won free movie tickets as a reward for their efforts.

  • Most creative student costume: Shane Walters, Year 10
  • Which student wore it best: Giacomo Solaroli, Year 9
  • Best student group: Alice in Wonderland, Kru May and Secondary students
  • Most creative teacher costume: Ms Ayce Rico and Ms Airl Mindaro
  • Best teacher group: Mr Long, Ms Williams, Ms Webb

Primary students engaged in a treasure hunt where they had to find 100 different movie titles hidden around the school. They also won House points if they were in costume and walked down the catwalk. It was great to see what everyone had prepared.

A great big THANK YOU to Afra and Fabrizia (HeadStart mums) for the many hours spent making the fantastic Hollywood photo booth for ‘A Day at the Movies’!

A full album of photos can be found on the HeadStart Facebook page and a video will be made available on the HeadStart You Tube channel next week.

This week, Early Years have been learning about ‘Under the Sea’. We have read the story of The Rainbow Fish, where we learned about the niceness of sharing, and have created our own rainbow fish by using celery to paint the fish gills! We have also learned about ‘floating’ and ‘sinking’ through putting different objects in the water and seeing if they stay on top of the water or go down to the bottom. We have learned that light objects often float, whereas heavy objects mostly sink. How interesting! We will end this week with our brilliant aquarium trip tomorrow, so stay tuned! By Ms Saki Shibuya

Reception students had a brilliant school trip to the Bird Park! They were so excited to see all of the colourful and unusual creatures. The children particularly enjoyed the bird show and watching the clever parrots solving puzzles and riding on miniature bicycles. It was a really fun day! By Ms Hannah Kuusik and Ms Candice Smithie

The children were really excited about the Hollywood dress up day and wrote short stories in Russian about their favourite film characters. By Ms Alina Platkova

Year 3 students used their knowledge of verbs, places and days of the week to write into their weekly diary. Well done Year 3 students for always trying your best! By Kru Sue

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As Headstart were given a tour, they were lucky enough to be invited on air and explain what they favourite parts of being a student at the school were. Nicolas Pakin Roersch explained that he liked the new science labs and because of this would like to be a Scientist when he grows up, but if all else fails he would love to be a Radio DJ, much like the amused DJ, Jason Wilder. By Mr Ross Armstrong

As part of their ongoing development as critical thinkers, committed to arriving at truth based on enquiry and reason, Year 11s IGCSE English Literature students took part in Socratic seminars this week to explore layers of meaning in Gillian Clarke’s poetry. By Mr. Pollicutt, Head of English and Humanities.

Year 10 have started their end of term assessment this week. Using observational measuring techniques, they will complete a natural form inspired final piece for their current project. I can’t wait to see the final outcomes! By Ms Samantha Gill

House News

Next Monday the Term 1 House Champions will be announced. Therefore, the results from this week are more important than ever, especially as the scores are so close. During their lunch times the students thoroughly enjoyed a new house activity called Table Wars. With just 2 goals separating 1st and 2nd the Yellow Cheetahs were elated to be named this weeks winners! The weigh your waste competition was also won by the Yellow Cheetahs. Could this mean the Yellow Cheetahs could come from 4th place last week to win this Term’s prize? We will have to wait and see!

The current totals will have the individual house points from the students added over the weekend and the winners announced during Flag raising on Monday morning.

Nov 23
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