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Chaofah Weekly2 years ago

Weekly Update #31, 2 July 2021

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Dates for Your Diary

Upcoming events can be found on the website under School Life → Calendar and are outlined here for easy reference. For daily updates and news follow the HeadStart Facebook Page and YouTube channel.

Date Time Event Location
2 July   Summer Holidays  
20 August To be announced Parent Orientation To be announced
23 August 8.00 am First day of school  
Year 13 Graduation 2021
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Indu Bedi

Head of Senior School
[email protected]

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!

Dear Graduating Class of 2021,

Congratulations for reaching the end of your schooling at HeadStart, for the grades you are yet to receive, which I am confident will be just what you aimed for. I want to take this last opportunity to wish you farewell and to reiterate a few points I made in my speech to you on your graduation.

I am in awe of how you have navigated your way through a tumultuous year. You chose your attitude wisely this year. You chose to get on with life rather than wallow in what was wrong with it. Despite the difficulties you faced, whether personal, exam or COVID related you chose how to respond to these. You chose to exercise optimism. You maintained a sense of fun and your ability to give to each other. I am very proud of you for that. Whilst I would rather you hadn’t had to jump the hurdles you have this year. I also know that you have grown as a result of them. Over the course of the year, you have become young people with what is termed grit. This is, in truth, one key quality you need to succeed in life. Herein will lie your success in years to come. Remember too that in every adversity you encounter there will be a gift, a treasure of sorts. Look for it. Find it. This year you found the best treasure of all. Friendship. It has been wonderful; to watch your friendships grow and solidify. Hold on to this treasure. Whilst you have officially left HeadStart now, you know that you have not left empty handed. You have your friendships that will transcend space and time and they will go with you. The connections and memories you have made in school and in the Common Room over the last few years are the things that will make you smile in years to come.

The kindness, empathy and compassion which you showed each other through your school years, will have left their mark on you and this will be your blueprint of what community looks and feels like. A final word on success, when we think of success we think of grades, money and recognition. These are all tangible things our society puts a lot of value on but it isn’t necessarily what makes your life fulfilling or meaningful. Connecting with others, being part of a community and contributing to it are also critically important; so when you next go to measure your success, look around you and see just how many people you touch and how many people appreciate you and what you have given them. For that too will be your success. Hopefully, you worked that out for yourselves this year in the way you gave to each other and other members of your community.

It is the relationships I have formed with you which has made this role a fulfilling one for me this year. It has been an honour to hear your dreams and aspirations and play a part in planning how you will achieve these. I wish you strength (AKA grit) Year 13 as you begin your journey on uncharted waters with love and friendship to keep you company.

For a full album of the HeadStart Graduation 2021 Click HERE!

Graduation Group Photo

Our Graduate group of 36 students hailing from 15 different countries including: UK, Canada, America, France, Australia, Israel, Belgium, Russia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Korea, Japan, Ukraine, and Thailand is our largest ever graduating class. 35% of this cohort have attended HeadStart for more than 5 years; 2 students has been with us for 10 years.

In what has been a remarkable two year period in everybody’s lives our class of 2021 have truly set the bar high in terms of their future study aspirations. Whilst the world, Thailand, Phuket and therefore the school too has been challenged like at no other time before by the pandemic, these tenacious and resilient young people have managed to stay the course and prepare for their exams and submit an incredible number (87 to be exact) university applications with 12 still pending as we wait for the application windows to open in July 2021 in Australia, Korea, Germany, Luxembourg, Hungary, Belgium and Thailand.

As was the case last year, we know that every student who wishes to go to university next year, will do so. Students have applied to, and are holding offers from, 13 countries: UK, Norway, Netherlands, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, Canada, Scotland, Wales, Switzerland, Australia and Singapore.

Our students have applied for vast array of subjects including Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Law and Economics, PPLE (Politics, Philosophy, Law & Economics), Liberal Arts & Science, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, English and Music, Theatre Arts, Drama and Theatre Arts, Literary Studies, Psychology, Biology, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Business Management, Commerce, Politics, Political Science, Global Responsibility and Leadership, Media and Communication, Accounting & Finance, Business and Law, IT, Marketing, Communication Strategy & Ideation, Hospitality Management, Fashion & Business Management, Sports Studies, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Food Science and Biotechnology.

We also have a number of students who have chosen to take a gap year because of COVID 19 and they too have shown thought and maturity in making this decision; they too have been busy planning the pathways they intend to follow which include taking up internships, joining the military and plans to work for a year before returning to full time academia.

We are very proud of our graduates this year. They have managed adversity with grace and have come through this year with very promising plans for their future.

Year 6 Transition Days

The transition from Primary to Secondary school is an important life transition that can affect children’s attainment and wellbeing in the longer term. At HeadStart, we recognise this and strive to make that transition a positive experience. Over the course of three days, our Year 6 students were able to access our Secondary school curriculum gaining some valuable experience in a varied and exciting timetable. At the end of the day the students got to meet some existing Year 7’s to ‘interview’ them about life in Secondary School and reflect on their experiences from the transition programme. -Ms Jamie Sadler

Year 6 Graduation Ceremony

Congratulations to all of our Year 6 students who have graduated from Primary and who will be moving up to Secondary at the start of the next academic year! Full album of the Year 6 Graduation can be found on the HeadStart Facebook page - Click here.

“I feel very proud of my Year 6 class today. You survived primary! Not only did you survive but you survived through a global pandemic in which all of us are living the lives today that will be in the history books of tomorrow. In your last 2 years of Primary education, you have had to face disruptions and challenges that no worldwide generation of children has ever had to deal with before. Despite all this, you carried on progressing, remained focused and showed huge resilience and courage every day. For this, you should be doubly proud of yourselves. When I look at you as a group I see children from different backgrounds, who have different nationalities, different personalities and some of you have even lived in different countries before Thailand, yet you are a strong, close-knit and united team. So as you embark on your next academic adventure whether it be in HeadStart or elsewhere, I would like to wish my class, and the whole of Year 6, the very best of luck for the future. I am in no doubt that you will all continue to be as successful next year as you have been this year.” -Ms sophie Cunningham

“Working as a Primary school teacher in an international school like HeadStart is special. It is a unique experience that is not afforded to all Primary school teachers. While many of my friends teaching in the UK will be saying a final farewell to their Year 6 cohorts as they send them on their way to a big old Secondary school down the road, probably only to bump into them from time to time at the supermarket or down the park, I will have the pleasure to see this wonderful group of children every day next year, and hopefully for years to come. I will be able to see them grow, mature, become even more wonderful human beings, just like their parents will. And I hope they won’t forget me - my door will always be open for a chat or to let me know how you are doing; to share with me the latest amazing thing you have learned or to tell me about your most recent achievement or even if things aren’t going that well”. -Mr Alex Bell

“It would be easy to say that you are all going to grow up to achieve great things but you are all already achieving greatness. If I was to list all your amazing awards and talents we would genuinely be here all day, so I will just name a few. One of you can build a computer from scratch. Another could teach your secondary biology teacher about dissecting organs. One of you could write a novel, and I would be gripped at every page. Another could open your own art gallery filled with your incredible work. One of you wins sporting awards at an unprecedented rate and I’m worried that your parents may need to get a bigger house just to fit them all in. Some of you danced and performed brilliantly on stage in front of a full audience. You have all come so far and I’m so proud of all of you. This is your day to flex so enjoy and treasure this moment. I’m shook that this year has come to end but you guys are going to slay this next step. You’re the GOAT homeroom, and I’m so proud of you and I’m going to miss you all very much.” -Mr Sean Clarke

Secondary End of Year Awards
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Richard Lukats

Head of Secondary
[email protected]

Mr Richard Lukats is the Athletics Director at Headstart International School. Richard has over twenty years’ experience of working in schools both internationally and in the United Kingdom. He has been a senior school administrator (Athletics Director, Principal/Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher/Principal and Assistant Headteacher) for the past 18 years internationally and in the UK. He is a UK qualified teacher (Post Graduate of Education, PGCE) and holds the UK qualification to be a Headteacher (National Professional Qualification for Headship, NPQH). At Headstart International School, Richard is responsible for leading the overall strategic direction, operational effectiveness and administration of the school’s sports and activities programme, alongside managing the PE Department. He is passionate, about the role sport and physical activity plays in the development of young people and he is looking to further developing the already excellent programme that is on offer at Headstart. He is always looking at ways of working with all members of the Headstart Community to further enhance the opportunities for participation in physical activities for everyone.

This year even more so than any other year we must take time to reflect on all of our achievements; some small some large but all of them remarkable and meaningful in their own way. Students who have received awards for outstanding effort or improvement, you are but the tip of the iceberg and represent all those other students who have toiled for hours to learn and improve, whether in school at home or online this year. What more can we ask of you or can you ask of yourself than to give a 100% commitment to whatever you do never giving up not excepting failure, having a positive mindset. Indeed as Thomas Eddison, the inventor of the light bulb once famously said about being positive - “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Award winners, you epitomize this attitude.

Our outstanding student award recipients, Head Boy and Head Girl, Community Shield, Duke of Edinborough recipients, you all model the best qualities we all seek in ourselves; to go that extra mile to support and help others to provide service to your community, to give. In fact, William Arthur Ward summed it up nicely “The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of life is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend and the beauty of life is to give.”

Subject Awards recipients you are young people who take risks with your learning and understand fully this quote from Tony Robbins - “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right.” You live and breathe this every day with your commitment to your learning and seeing every new experience as an exciting challenge or opportunity to learn.

Our Sports and CAPA recipients are the very essence of how we can all aspire to be: hard-working, risk-takers, literally getting up time after time after falling down repeatedly whilst learning a new dance for example. You know the secret to success as Confucius put it…“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

What all of you our awards recipients have discovered is that success does not happen overnight, in one exam or one event. No. Being successful is all about the journey, not the destination and when you’re on the journey, at home, in school, college, at work, or eventually, with your own family there will be challenges on the way; there will be awards and goals to achieve, there will be things to aim for and things to be proud of; things that you will fail at, mistakes you will make, money you will make and money you will lose. Friends you will gain and sadly friends you will lose but it’s about what is in here. That is important.

Full album of the Secondary Award Ceremony 2021 can be found on the HeadStart Facebook Page - Click Here.

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PE and Sports

On Tuesday, 29th June our student-athletes, their parents, and all of our PE and Coaching staff came together for our annual Sports Awards ceremony. Unfortunately, due to the Covid regulation that only permits up to 200 people to gather in the sports hall, we had to run the ceremony online (because we invited approximately 400 people to the event!). Even though the event was online, it was really interactive, with students receiving their awards virtually and they also had the opportunity to write their messages of thanks to their coaches in the chatbox; some even sent video messages that were played in the PowerPoint presentation. Thank you to all those who attended, it was a really fun celebration of all our sporting achievements this year. Hopefully, the video of the event will be posted on our Facebook page and YouTube Channel soon! I wish you to have a wonderful, relaxing summer break…but keep training! -Mr Nick Carter, Director of Sports

Sports Academy Awards 2021

| Dance Awards 2021 | Our end of year Dance Awards go to…

🏆 Emily Burton - Dancer of the Year

🏆 Nina Gaehler - Cheerleader of the Year

🏆 Chayanant Limsomboon - Hip Hop dancer of the Year

🏆 Sophie Callens - Aerial Performer of the Year

🏆 Lily Smith - Jazz Dancer of the Year


The warmest of congratulations to Ms Deborah Langcao, Year 6 Deputy Teacher, for achieving a Master Degree in Education.”I started my journey at HeadStart in 2018 and along with it, I also decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Education. Being in this institution for three years is indeed a great privilege and opportunity not only for my professional growth but as a person too. Working at HeadStart while studying has helped me so much as management, co-teachers, students and the school community, in general, are supportive and have provided an opportunity for me to gain knowledge and wisdom. Looking back at the process, this has only been possible because you have inspired me and given me a love of learning and for that, I will be forever grateful. Thank you, HeadStart!” -Ms Deborah Langcao

Thank You

On behalf of the Creative and Performing Arts department as well as the HeadStart management team, we wish to say a special ‘thank you’ to Fred (pictured below with the CAPA team) for the endless hours of work that she has put in to assisting the Dance Academy and school performances in the past two years. Fred is a parent volunteer who has always been willing to help with the sourcing and organising of costumes, helping students prepare their hair and make up for shows and being a fantastic member of the team. Not to mention cleaning up and storing costumes as well as the making of some of the most iconic props such as the cheetah and giraffes that were a wonderful addition to ‘The Circle of Life’ dance recital. It is accurate to say that without Fred’s hours of hard work, our school performances wouldn’t be nearly as outstanding as they have been. Thank you Fred and family for being such an integral part of the school. We will certainly miss you!

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Community Links

As a school, we have committed to donating surplus food to the communities around the island in need of support. Due to Covid, this need has grown exponentially which has made the need and our sense of urgency all the more apparent. In the last year we have joined with Scholars of Sustenance to support those in need. We are impressed with the great job they are doing and hope to be able to continue this successful partnership for years to come. As you can see from the letter below, the impact of our food donations has been well worth all of the effort that everyone has put in. -Miki Edouard, Charity Coordinator

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