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Chaofah Weekly1 year ago

Weekly Update #32, 1 July 2022

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End of Year Message from Headmaster

With the world beginning to return to normality and children back in school taking part in a full range of activities, it would be easy to forget just how difficult this year has been. In spite of the disruptions with the ‘Sandbox’ and nearly two terms without large gatherings, events, parties and celebrations; once again the resilience of our community has shone through.

For the first time since 2019, students completed exams in person and on site, and I know the pressure that this brings. When you read this, the exams will have concluded and all that is left is the wait to see those results. This year saw four of our students receive ‘Top in Thailand’ awards in a diverse range of subjects including Mathematics, IT, History and Music. A return to allowing large events, enabled the Footie-a-Thon and Swim-a-Thons to be the most successful they have ever been raising nearly a quarter of a million baht for the Ocean’s for All Foundation.

We have held a number of residential trips for students in Year 6 to 9, and in Years 10 & 12 have recently completed their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. The Year 13s enjoyed a meaningful send off during their graduation ceremony, students and parents of award winners were invited in to school to celebrate their children’s accomplishments and of course, there was the fantastic production of of Aida. The end of the school has been full of excitement, with a return to the hectic yet rewarding celebrations of our students’ achievements.

As I close, I would like to thank all our community once again for remaining positive and supportive throughout these last two years. Without the support you have given your children and the way you have helped them through, what at times, has been incredibly difficult, they would not achieve the success that they continue to do on a daily basis. I wish you all the very best for the summer, and look forward to returning in August to start another successful school year. -Mr Adam Drew, Headmaster


Come pick up your family copy of the 2021-2022 HeadStart Yearbook on Friday afternoon, 1 July atrium starting at 1.00pm. The Yearbook will be available for collection from the front office during the summer holiday and also available on our website: https://headstartphuket.com/school/school-yearbook. Additional copies can be purchased from the office at 300 Baht per book.

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A Message to the Graduating class of 2022
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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!

We are extremely proud of the graduating class of 2022. Every graduating group is special. This year however our dear graduates are a particularly special group because they are otherwise known as the babies of HeadStart. Nearly half of you have been with HeadStart since Year 1. Nine of you have been with the school since you were 3 years old. Whether part of the old guard or not, what a fine specimen of young people you have become and what an ambitious group of students! You have submitted approximately 144 applications between you and some are still going. You have secured excellent offers from some of the top universities in the world including Psychology at Cambridge (#2) and Political Science at Science Po (#2). We have many students going to Thai universities, including Prince of Songkla in Phuket and top universities in Bangkok to study Medicine at King Mongkut Institute of Technology, others will study Pharmacy, Business, Politics, food related courses at Chula, Mahidol, Thammasat, Dusit Thani College, Bangkok. So many of you will join Russell Group and other well established universities in the UK such as Bath, York, Manchester, University of Greenwich, Royal Holloway, Sheffield Hallam, Buckinghamshire new University and the best universities in the Netherlands: UVA, Maastricht, Twente, Groningen, Radboud, Utrecht, Amsterdam Fashion Academy, Wittenborg. In Europe The University of NY Prague, and Atelier De Sevre in Paris. And Temple in the US, what an awesome list!

Your achievements are to be applauded especially because your success has come at a remarkable time in our lives, a time when world events and the pandemic have continued to cause chaos. Just like your predecessors however, you have set the bar high and whilst the globe continued to reel from the fallout of COVID 19 and world conflict, you have been able to keep your eye on the prize and showed your resilience, adaptability and determination.

You have grown with the school and we might even say, the school has grown with you. You have left your mark in setting high standards, be it in running community events, performing or academics. In the Sixth Form, you operated as a family, cheering each other, sharing meals, teaching each other, playing Chess, UNO, chewing the cud on the best films & tunes of all time. The cheers that rose from your group were symbolic of the love you share and that you have a zest for life which is truly contagious.

Thank you for touching my heart, for keeping me young, for sharing your successes, for the hugs, the smiles, for sharing your dreams and donuts with me. I have had the pleasure of connecting with each of you over the course of the last two years. It has been wonderful to get to know you all. Thank you especially to Nutcha and Calvin for heading up the leadership. Thank you to Esther, Gemma, Anya, Sara and Sophie our Heads of committee. You all went beyond your roles on a daily basis as you sought to make this school even better and model kindness and empathy. I will genuinely miss you.

In life, the only character you truly have control over is your own. So, whatever life throws at you, as the Navajo song goes, know that there is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail so don’t compromise on your dreams. Now as you graduate I wish for you to always stay grateful, stay in love, stay hopeful.

Access high quality photos of the ceremony here!

𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐛𝐲𝐞 𝐍𝐮𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐚, 𝐂𝐚𝐥𝐯𝐢𝐧, 𝐑𝐞𝐞𝐜𝐞, 𝐇𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐲, 𝐃𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐚, 𝐀𝐧𝐲𝐚, 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐞, 𝐘𝐨𝐤, 𝐏𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐧, 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐞𝐧𝐠, 𝐁𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐞𝐲, 𝐁𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐨𝐧𝐠, 𝐈𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐬, 𝐎𝐦𝐬𝐢𝐧, 𝐊𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐮, 𝐉𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐉𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐨𝐨𝐦❗ 𝐖𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮❗ These fantastic students have been with HeadStart since Year 1. Nine of them have been with the school since they were 3 years old. They are now going on to universities all around the world and we are sure they will make wonderful contributions to the communities and people around them!

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Reception Graduation

On Friday 24th June, the Foundation team, children and parents gathered for a special graduation ceremony. It has been a wonderful year, the children in Reception have been very busy doing what they do best - learning and developing in a dedicated play based environment. We are very proud to be sending the children up to Primary school with excellent communication skills, the ability to share and make friends as well as the key knowledge needed in Literacy, Mathematics and Phonics to enable them to continue their academic journeys. The children are robust and resilient, and we are sure each and every child is going to go on to achieve the best of their own potential.

The Reception children have a big transition ahead as they make their way on up to Primary school. As Mr Khan said in his speech, the children may be moving ‘house’ but they are not moving ‘family’. The HeadStart community will support them with this change, and we wish them the very best of luck! Well done Reception children. -Ms Hannah Brown

Access high quality photos of the ceremony here!

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Year 6 Graduation

On Tuesday 28th June, the children of Year 6 gathered together in the Sports Hall to celebrate the end of their Primary education. Watched by their proud parents, family and friends, they were reminded of the amazing and sometimes challenging journey that they have been on for the last three years. As Mr Clarke quite rightly pointed out, the last uninterrupted year of their schooling was in Year 3 (that was in 2018!) - as if they had been transported to a different universe! But this year, this talented, energetic and fun-loving group have made the most of their learning experiences in school. None more so than 6 White who truly embraced their favourite novel, Kensuke’s Kingdom, by going wild during their ‘monkey school’ reading lessons in the Primary playground! And so it is that we bid farewell to this year’s Year 6 cohort, many of whom will move into our Secondary programme, while others head overseas. As Mr Pompilis said, “Your parents and teachers have high hopes for you; they believe in you and you are making them proud every day.” The Year 6 teaching team wishes the Year 6 cohort of 2021-22 all the very best on your learning journey ahead. -Mr Alex Bell

Access high quality photos of the ceremony here!

Secondary Awards
End of Year Sports Awards

Massive congratulations to all our sporting athletes who attended the annual HeadStart Sports Awards on Wednesday, 29th June. This was an opportunity for the HeadStart community to celebrate all the hard work, dedication and effort that not only our students have put in throughout the course of the year but also our wonderful team of dedicated, caring, and professional team of teachers and coaches. The students were treated to a ballroom style evening, with a 3 course meal, music and entertainment. Well done to all the worthy award winners and a massive thank you to Coach Shannon Moloney, our first external guest speaker and also our first (and most certainly not the last!) lady guest speaker. I wish you all to have a wonderful summer. -Mr Nick Carter, Director of Sport

Access high quality photos of the ceremony here!

Sports awards
Year 11 Visit to Soi Dog Foundation
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Benjamin Salmon

Head of Languages
[email protected]

My name is Ben Salmon and I have been working at HeadStart International School since 2016. I was born in Paris, France and grew up on the outskirts of the French capital not far from Versailles Castle. I hold an International Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Nottingham as well as a Master Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from BridgeTEFL. I started my teaching career in 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand and have also lived a year on the Canadian East coast before coming to Phuket. On top of my teaching qualifications, I also hold a Master’s Degree in International affairs. I have a true passion for teaching as well as learning new languages. I intend to continue using this passion to inspire my students. My classroom is always a positive environment where students are free to express themselves, through fun language activities and dynamic expression. I have had the chance to teach both Primary and Secondary schools, and really enjoy what each age group has to bring to the lessons. I am looking forward to make this new academic year an exciting and successful one. Outside of school, I am a very active person and enjoy working out several times per week. I also like to swim, play football and love going to the beach. My likes in music include jazz, pop, rock, electro, hip-hop, salsa and more…

As part of the transition program, Y11 students and 5 teachers went for a guided visit to the Soi Dog Foundation in the North of the island. During this visit, students learned about the different missions that the foundation operates in order to rescue and treat injured, malnourished or sick cats and dogs. Some of the important facts that students learned that day:

  • Did you know that following the covid-19 pandemic, the number of dogs in their shelter went from around 800 to more than 1200? And cats went from around 200 to 400 residents. Indeed, during the pandemic, economic hardship made it hard for many on the island and resulted in an increase in the number of animals being abandoned by their families.

  • Did you know that it costs approximately 1,000,000 THB per month to run the shelter? Most of the donations that Soi Dog receives come from Thailand, the US, the UK, Australia and European countries.

  • Students also learned about the dog meat trade that continues to exist around parts of Thailand, even though a law was passed back in 2014 to ban the practice. Did you know that most of the dogs that are still illegally captured are being sent away to the Vietnamese dog meat trade? Cages transporting these animals are often cramped with a dozen dogs, all on top of each other. The dogs that are rescued often suffered injuries such as broken paws or other skin conditions.

After the tour, students were put into small groups and were all given a lovely pup to walk around their facilities. Dogs spend most of their days in closed areas so any chance they get to get out with a friendly human is a blessing to them. Students also got the chance to meet with one of the three founders of the foundation, John Dalley, which kindly did a Q/A for 20 minutes. John told us for example, that the Foundation does about 16,000 sterilisations per month around Thailand, which is the most for an animal organisation in the entire world. John also told us about the beginnings of Soi Dog, and how it started just after the Tsunami back in 2003. John mentioned that the international organisations and the presence of many veterinarians on the island during that time helped start the foundation and gave Soi Dog visibility abroad. That increased visibility drove many of the donations that the organisation is receiving until this day.

To finish the visit, our Y11s got a treat and went into the puppies and kittens sections of the shelter. There, they got to play with the very excited pups and the cuddly kittens. All students and teachers had a fantastic visit at Soi Dog, it was very hard to leave in the end, but those visits are great as they help create the much-needed awareness around the treatment of animals in South-East-Asia. Thank you to Soi Dog for allowing us to spend a morning with their teams. Please donate to the Soi Dog foundation and remember… Adopt, don’t shop!

BTEC Business Enterprise

The current BTEC Business students in year 12 collaborated with year 11 this week, selling delicious baked goods and refreshing fruit beverages to the Headstart community. I have never seen the queues so long and the stand so busy! They’ve built a reputation as successful business men and woman, with that entrepreneurial flare over the last couple of years. The students worked tirelessly over the last few weeks, carrying out market research, creating promotional materials and working on their marketing campaign. Following this was the purchasing and production of the goods, which went very smoothly. I was impressed with their teamwork, communication, time management and negotiating skills, all of which are a big part of the BTEC Business course in year 12 and 13. I look forward to welcoming our new BTEC Business students next academic year, for more amazing Business Enterprise which I’m sure will be just as successful as the one this week! –Miss Jones

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House News

Well done to the Red Phoenixes who celebrated their Term 2/3 House Winners prize with a Movie and Pizza party. Fun was had by all. Have a great summer everyone. -Mr Carter

Dance News

Our purple, blue and black ballet just took their end of the year examination on Thursday 30 June. All of them have done an incredible job of memorizing the exercises and routines. The children did a little performance for their parents at the end which they perform with such grace and beauty. We look forward to teaching them in the next academic year and wish that they all have a good holiday. - Coach Mina

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Social and Emotional Learning

Over the last few weeks, to round off on our Social and Emotional Learning curriculum we have been exploring how we can give to others. This is the foundation of growing empathy. Students wrote ‘Kindness Drops’ for each other and the Sixth Form as well as for their teachers; when we reflected on this we all realised showing kindness to others benefits them and us- both sides feel good as a result of ‘giving’. In Years 7-11 students wrote gratitude notes (or love bombs) for their teachers. This week we also explored giving to our wider community. To round off the year we explored the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (see below) and students explored what ‘we’ need to do at global, community and individual level. -Ms Indu Bedi

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