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Chaofah Weekly10 months ago

Weekly Update #33, 26 May 2023

Dates for Your Diary

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
27 May 9.00am-12.00pm Saturday Thai Culture Club  
30 May 8.15-9.15am Mandarin Speaking Parents Meeting Primary Hall
6 June 8.15-9.15am Parent Meeting: Y1 Language Options for Next Year Primary Hall
7 June 8.30-9.30am Our world - Stay and Play (Foundation) Foundation Building
8 June 8.30-10.00am Parent Committee Meeting Conference Room
9 June   Years 11-13 Post Exam Activity Day  
10 June 2.00-4.00pm Dance Recital Sports Hall
12 June   CAPA Dress Up Day  
Upcoming Events

Rolling in the Deep - Dance Recital

Immerse yourself in the captivating tale of the Titanic’s historic maiden voyage. From the moment it embarks from Southampton to its fateful encounter with an iceberg, and ultimately succumbing to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, this extraordinary journey comes alive. Each class embodies a unique character, weaving together a tapestry of narratives that breathe new life into the past. We extend a warm invitation to all, young and old, to partake in the enchantment of music and dance at our highly anticipated annual Dance Recital on 10 June from 2.00-4.00pm. Tickets now on sale HERE!

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More CAPA News

Well done to everyone who auditioned for The Wizard of Oz, our Senior CAPA production for next year. We saw some spectacular talent and, once again, have chosen to double cast to allow more opportunities for our amazing students to showcase their talents. Cast 1 found here! and Cast 2 found here!

Meetings & Presentations

Mandarin Speaking Parents Meeting on 30.05.23

We cordially invite all Mandarin-speaking parents to attend the Parent Meeting for Term 3 on Tuesday, May 30 from 8:15 - 9:15 am in the Primary Hall. The meeting will be divided into two parts:

  • Parents and student representatives will discuss and share their experiences and knowledge on adapting to an international school, resolving cultural conflicts, and other related issues.
  • The management team will address questions based on the results of the survey.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting. Best wishes! -Language Department

UPrep by Parents, for Parents - Studying in the Netherlands

On Thursday 25th May we held our second UPrep For Parents by Parents session.

Two of our parents came in to share their experiences of sending their child to a university in the Netherlands. We were so lucky to have them come and tell us about the specifics of transitioning and moving to the Netherlands. They talked about what is entailed in the application and selection process, how to secure housing, the cost of living, the process of registering in a municipality, their children getting part time work, how the universities support the move and managing wellbeing, physical and mental. This was a popular session attended by many parents. Thank you to our two parents, Jazon Edouard and Quoc- Tan Vu-Guerin for coming in to talk about the experiences of their children and theirs as parents too.

There’s a lot entailed in moving abroad for our students and the parents who either go with them or stay here and support from afar. Such sessions help us all become aware of the details we need to know in order to make the transition to a new country as smooth as possible. The Netherlands was one of our top destinations last year and continues to be a popular choice for our students when applying to university. We hope the session was helpful and everyone was able to take away a few pearls of wisdom! -Ms Sarah Gratton, University Counsellor and Ms Indu Bedi, Head of Sixth Form

Live Webinar: Understanding UK University Fee Status on 14.06.23

For those considering the UK as a university destination for their child, there is a webinar on ‘Understanding Home Fees’ on Wednesday 14th June at 8pm Bangkok time (2pm BST). We hope that this webinar will be useful to families. Those who have children in Secondary school (as well as Sixth Form) are encouraged to attend. -Ms Sarah Gratoon, University Counsellor

University Offers

Congratulations to Giacomo Solaroli, who is planning on studying Civil Engineering and has been accepted to study at the University of Twente. Giacomo has been enrolled at HeadStart since 2015. He is an active member of the HeadStart community and wider Phuket community. He is a Senior Prefect responsible for student wellbeing, he has volunteered for Bodhi Dog Shelter and supported other community projects such as Phuket Has Been Good To Us, and is also a CAPA HeadStar!

Congratulations to Wenhan Zheng (Robin) who is planning on studying Mechanical Engineering and has received offers from Ulster University, the University of Liverpool, Cardiff University, University of York, Newcastle University and Eindhoven University of Technology. Robin has been enrolled at HeadStart since 2017, has played on the HeadStart basketball team and has volunteered on numerous beach cleans around Phuket.

Special Feature - HeadStart Families

We are fast approaching our one year HeadStart anniversary, as both HeadStart educators and HeadStart parents. This has been our first International School position and the first time we have worked together. In both cases we have enjoyed and benefited from the experience. Coming to work at HeadStart was more than just joining a great school with countless opportunities to draw upon our experiences to enhance the existing provision but also an opportunity to learn and grow as individuals and educators. Learning new systems, new ways of thinking, doing and being can be challenging, yet we have found in these potential challenges opportunities. With greater awareness has come greater action, assimilation and now opportunities to advocate for HeadStart and the community. For us, being part of the community, be it HeadStart, Phuket or Thailand, is an important part of being educators within an international context. We have sought to look for opportunities across this year to become part of these communities and to learn with and from them. In essence, through our pursuit of ‘inspiring a love of learning’ within others we have found new inspiration for our own learning from those we teach, from our experiences here in Phuket and from our own children.

Xav (6), Year 1, and Freya (4), Reception, have both thrived here at HeadStart. Back in the UK their schooling gave them access to a curriculum that was rigorous, that was robust yet was lacking in cultural awareness and lacking in broader opportunities. The highlight of one term was a trip to a library. We knew that the form of schooling we wanted for them both was one which would enable them to engage with a much broader and more holistic curriculum. A curriculum that gives them the academic foundation they need to develop mastery in foundational knowledge but also offers them countless opportunities to engage with different cultures, different ways of thinking and with facilities no school in the UK could offer as a ‘basic provision’. Within HeadStart we have found this. Through the provision of Mandarin and Thai both Xav and Freya have become our language teachers. Through access to Ballet, Science Club. HipHop, Gymnastics and Swimming, they have been able to pursue and develop new interests. Through daily interactions with the people that make up the HeadStart community they have developed a deeper understanding of what makes us different and what binds us as humans. For us this is central to their development and their growth. Within HeadStart we have found this. -Mr Robert Gratton, Head of Humanities and Mrs Sarah Gratton, University Counsellor

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Upcoming Foundation Events

Reception children showcased their knowledge of colours in Thai during last week’s assembly. They excitedly took part in a lucky draw picking a coloured ball and saying the colour of the ball in Thai!


The rain didn’t put Year 1 White off their gardening on Friday. They dug up some peanuts and started preparing them for eating and replanting. The class also searched for some ‘friends and foe’ of the garden and found out that there are actually quite a lot of animals that inhabit the garden. Some are not good for plant growth, but the children respect all the wildlife and find new homes for things like hungry caterpillars! -Ms Rebecca Ross, Deputy Head of Primary


VAP Science Scholars take part in Global Experiment

Students in our Secondary Science “Scholars Programme” led by Mrs Marsh have recently been investigating the use of recycled materials (old coins, and aluminium foil) to make batteries. This is part of a global event organised by the UK Royal Society of Chemistry. Students around the world have been tasked with finding out how feasible each country’s coins are for building “voltaic piles” (an early battery design by Alessandro Volta in the late 1700s). Our young scientists discovered that 2 baht coins, when used in a 10-cell stack, were capable of producing up to 10 Volts when used with sodium hydroxide as the electrolyte. Our data has been submitted to the RSC in the UK and now is part of the global data set. The students are continuing to investigate the system further through a series of interesting follow-up experiments. The Scholars programme in Science aims to develop high levels of critical thinking, an awareness of complex issues in Science such as ethics, and looks together at how the scientific community progresses through rigorous debate and challenge.

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BTEC Work Experience News
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Yardenna Jones

BTEC Coordinator
[email protected]

My name is Yardenna Jones and I joined HeadStart in 2019. I am from the UK and I grew up in South Wales. I have a BA Honours degree in Journalism which I studied at Southampton Solent University. After university I assisted in the set-up of a small business, a fashion retailer in Bournemouth. I also continued with my love of journalism and travel by becoming an assistant editor of a travel & lifestyle magazine. Educating others and working with young people had always been a passion of mine, and I was keen to further my lifelong learning as I believe this is important continue with personal growth and development. With this in mind I moved to London and studied a DTLLS (Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) with Business and Travel & Tourism being my subject specialisms because of my industry experience. In the UK I was working at Brooklands College in Surrey teaching Business and Travel & Tourism. More recently I have taught at Westminster Kingsway College in London an inner city school with children from varying backgrounds and ethnicities. I have now been teaching these subjects with awarding bodies BTEC, OCR City & Guilds and NCFE for 5 years and I am very experienced with the 14-19 age group. I love working with these ages- it's such an exciting and significant time for students. I’m very passionate about creating a positive learning environment and want to inspire my students to be independent and motivated during this crucial time of becoming a young adult. I am so excited to be continuing with the delivery and coordination of the BTEC programmes at HeadStart. For a learner It can be such a valuable experience and enjoyable way of achieving a qualification. Watching a student grow and learn an array of transferable and employability skills in a holistic environment is a wonderful experience for all involved. Outside of the classroom I practice mindfulness, yoga and I am passionate about spreading the importance of sustainable living. I have travelled much of South East Asia and look forward to more adventures this year as travel is a great passion of mine!

Our BTEC Students starterted their work experience placements last week, and have thrived so far working hard in these new environments. Alice Voigt and Ryan Pearce have been working hard at the premium 5-star luxury beachfront resort JW Marriott in Mai Khao. The work placement provides an opportunity to develop and enhance various skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management. These skills can be valuable in future educational pursuits at school and university and career opportunities. This first hand experience in luxury hospitality helps them understand the practical aspects of a job, the required qualifications, and the day-to-day responsibilities. Well done Ryan and Alice as you’ve had amazing feedback so far!

Next up we have PJ, Reem and Gregor who have been volunteering at the Wakepark in Kathu. This exposure to the working environment will hopefully assist in clarifying career goals and making decisions about future academic and professional choices. Having work experience, at this age will significantly boost their resume! It demonstrates initiative, responsibility, and a proactive attitude towards personal and professional development. By stepping out of their comfort zone and facing new challenges, they will develop resilience, adaptability, and a sense of accomplishment. This will positively impact their overall personal and professional development. Well done to PJ, Gregor and Reem!

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BTEC Guest Speaker

This week we had a guest speaker in to speak with our Year 10 Travel and Tourism students. Mr. James Galvez, from the World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations gave a presentation on careers in the travel and tourism industry and led some student activities on career planning. -Mr Samuel Kasim

Preparation for English Literature Exams

Supporting Year 13 students right until the end: a last minute 2 hour revision session was held on Thursday the day before their final Literature examination. -Mr Pollicutt, Head of English

Student News Outside of the Classroom

Congratulations to Natalie who has passed the qualifying round at the Phuket Games for Freestyle 400m, Freestyle 800m, Individual Medley 200m and Individual Medley 400m. She will be representing the Southern Region to compete in National Games in December 2023.

Promotions from Around the Island

New! Skin Care Line

My name is Emily Ann Grace Burton, and I am currently a student in Year 9 at HeadStart. Today I would like to introduce our skincare line: Skincare with Grace. Our mission is to provide high-quality natural skincare products for teenage girls. We understand the importance of maintaining healthy and glowing skin, especially during the teenage years when hormones can cause significant changes in the skin. We believe that natural ingredients are the best choice for your skin, as they work in harmony with your body and deliver the nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy. We’ll cover all the essential skincare products to keep your skin healthy, clear, and glowing:

  • Body Scrub
  • Body Moisturizer
  • Face Scrub
  • Face Cleanse
  • Exfoliating Face Mask
  • Face Cream

We are very happy to announce that our products will be available during the upcoming Friday Market, June 1, 2023. Please come and visit our stand – where we will offer a special discount for the HeadStart Community. To discover more about us and our products please go to Skincare with Grace

Looking forward to seeing you at the Friday Market!

PPT Headstart Skincare with Grace
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