Weekly Update #38, 30 June 2023
Wishing all of the HeadStart community a wonderful summer holiday!
Extra Curricular Activities for Next Year
Please note that ASPs will now be referred to as ECAs which is short for Extra Curricular Activities.
We are pleased to announce that next year there will be an impressive extra curricular programme for all HeadStart pupils, on both campuses. Moving forward, we will be extending an offer for students in Primary and Secondary to book three ‘HeadStart ECAs’ free of charge. A download of ECA options can be found below. In the meantime, enjoy your summer holidays! -Ms Anisa Van Der Laan, ECA Manager
|Year 13 Graduation 2023
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!
Last week we bid farewell to the graduates of 2023, a bittersweet moment filled with mixed emotions. As they prepare to embark on their next chapter, leaving behind the familiarity of school and home, a tinge of apprehension mixes with the excitement of new beginnings. These graduates, a remarkable group of 28 individuals, represent a diverse collective hailing from over 10 countries, embodying unity and transcending borders. Each one possesses unique qualities, talents, and interests, ranging from academic excellence to social activism, sportsmanship to artistic endeavors.
Their dedication and hard work have led them to secure remarkable opportunities for their future. Many have received offers from globally esteemed universities, including Manchester, Toronto, Bristol, and Sheffield, while others have chosen different paths such as apprenticeships or travelling the world. The range of disciplines they will pursue is as diverse as the places they will go, encompassing fields like Biomedicine, Psychology, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Philosophy, Engineering, and Business. Their achievements are a testament to their perseverance, with each student overcoming challenges and supporting one another throughout their journey.
An immense effort went into these accomplishments. Beyond the tangible list of achievements, these graduates have grown into determined, diligent, and resilient individuals. They have experienced failures, uncertainties, and moments of overwhelming pressure, yet they have also found strength in unity and support. As they enter the unknown, they are encouraged to hold onto the values of love, kindness, and compassion, understanding that success is not solely measured by intellect or achievement. As they embark on their future endeavors, the graduates are urged to discover their “why” or their purpose in life. Just as philosophers and visionaries have emphasized throughout history, finding a sense of worth, meaning, and purpose beyond external measures is crucial.
The graduates are reminded of the words of Dr. Stephen Hawking “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet.Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. While there is life there is hope. Seize the moment. Act now. Be determined. It can be done”.
Reception Graduation Ceremony
What an incredible Reception Graduation it has been this year! It was such an honour for myself, Homeroom teachers Ms Danielle Hughes, Ms Rachael Engle and Ms Charlotte Myers, as well as our deputy teachers, to be part of such a special day for our 46 Reception children graduating from Foundation to Year 1 next year! Every child has bloomed this year and have become amazing leaders in learning. The whole room was a buzz with proud families and teachers, it truly was an incredible morning. The whole Foundation department wishes all the children the best for Year 1! -Ms Natalie Walker, Deputy Head of Foundation
Primary Awards Ceremony & End of Year Message
The challenges of the last few years seem well and truly behind us, and this year has seen a return to normal for our children and our community as a whole. We continue to provide our pupils with a nurturing, supportive learning environment in which to learn and grow. Nowhere more can we see this than in our capacity as a whole school community to welcome many new pupils and families this year from around the world. Something of which we can all be proud - pupils and parents. Our Foundation and Primary teaching teams have gone above and beyond to create engaging, challenging lessons that have helped our pupils to continue to make significant progress in their academic and personal development. Through our revised Personal Development and International Awareness curriculum, as well as themed weeks such as Kindness Week, our pupils have learned the importance of thinking of others and working together to achieve a common goal. With our gardening initiative, all our pupils have learned to appreciate the value of hard work and patience and the care required in growing food and looking after our environment. Our improved After School Programs and dynamic CAPA, and PE faculties have once again offered an array of opportunities for our pupils to showcase their talents and develop new skills as well as encourage taking greater responsibility, becoming more resilient, being adaptable, and being resourceful. It is with great pleasure that we celebrate the achievements of our pupils this year. We are all proud to acknowledge their academic excellence, positive attitudes towards learning, and the progress they have made. -Mr Sam Khan, Head of Foundation and Primary
Year 6 Graduation Ceremony
This week, Primary teachers and management said farewell to our current cohort of wonderful Year 6 children as they officially graduated from our primary school, ready to embark on the next stage of their educational journey - secondary education. Our Year 6 Graduation Ceremony provided an opportunity for us all to celebrate these remarkable young people and all they have achieved during their education so far. The moving speeches delivered by their Year 6 teachers showed just how proud their teachers are of them and clearly demonstrated how hardworking, resilient, positive, and fun the next cohort of Year 7 students will be. The ceremony concluded with a song sung by all of our Year 6 pupils entitled, ‘We are the future, we are the now’. These soon-to-be secondary students certainly do have an incredibly bright future ahead of them and we can’t wait to see, hear and read about all that they will achieve and become over the coming years. -Ms Hark, Primary Deputy Head (Academic)
Secondary Awards Ceremony & End of Year Message
As we approach the end of another remarkable year at HeadStart, I am filled with immense pride and gratitude for the outstanding achievements and contributions of our talented students. Once again, our Secondary students have demonstrated their exceptional talent, creativity, and dedication across various aspects of school life. This year, we welcomed numerous new students into our HeadStart family, and I am thrilled to witness the warmth, kindness, and support that our existing students extended towards them. Our student leaders have played a significant role in creating an inclusive and supportive atmosphere throughout the school. From Prefects to Student Council members, committee heads to the deputy head and Head Boy and Girl, they have exemplified what it means to be emotionally intelligent and kind individuals. Their leadership in organising events such as the Halloween Party, School Prom, and Lunch Bunch activities will always be cherished memories.
Our students’ achievements extended beyond the classroom as well, with successful football and swimming trips to Bangkok and local competitions in Phuket in basketball, cross country, swimming, and football. Furthermore, we witnessed exceptional individual performances in tennis, golf, badminton, and martial arts. Our students’ remarkable talent and success were also mirrored in their academic pursuits. This year, HeadStart students excelled in their exams, with 14 students achieving the highest marks in Thailand. In an unprecedented achievement, one of our students even scored the highest marks in the world! Congratulations to all HeadStart Secondary students for making this year an unforgettable milestone in our school’s history.
As we reflect on the incredible journey we have shared this year, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our dedicated teachers, supportive parents, and, most importantly, our exceptional students. It is their unwavering commitment, passion, and hard work that continue to make HeadStart Secondary School a place of excellence and growth. I wish you all a restful and rejuvenating summer break. May the memories and achievements of this year inspire and propel us towards even greater heights in the coming academic year. -Mr Richard Lukats, Head of Secondary
|Sports Awards Ceremony
The PE & Sports team were delighted to have a packed out sports hall for this week’s Academy Sports Awards. It was a wonderful evening of well-dressed, sophisticated celebrations for our Tennis, Basketball, Football, and Swim programmes. A big thank you to all of our wonderful coaches who help to make the dreams come true, and we are already excited to push, motivate, and inspire our awesome students athletes next year! Wishing you all to have a wonderful summer holiday. -Mr Nick Carter, Director of Sport
|Post 16 Programme
Over the course of a two week transition programme as well as providing taster lessons for students we have run a number of workshops. Students have written their thoughts on some of these. Thank you to our parent community for being so willing to come in and share their knowledge and wisdom with us! We also want to thank our parent and wider community for being willing to provide work experience places for students and being supportive of this initiative. The students found the transition and work experience a valuable beginning to Sixth Form as they begin to transition into the beginnings of adult life. -Ms Indu Bedi, Head of Sixth Form
Paula Tschupp-Lambert came in to run a session titled Eat Sleep Move.
Paula started the session with an invitation to eat a lolly or a bunch of grapes. She later explained that choice played a big part in what we do to keep ourselves well. Did we choose a lolly or grapes to give us the boost in energy we were needing? Why? She also talked about wellness, an approach to taking care of our bodies and minds. It revolves around three fundamental pillars: movement, sleep, and food. Regular physical activity not only strengthens our bodies but also uplifts our mood, boosts energy levels, and reduces stress. Furthermore, sufficient sleep is vital for our overall well-being, as it rejuvenates our minds and allows our bodies to repair and recharge. Nourishing ourselves with wholesome, nutrient-rich foods provides the fuel our bodies need to function optimally, enhancing our immune system and promoting longevity. She also taught us a way to measure the nutritional value of different food we eat everyday (hand portion guide). By prioritising movement, sleep, and nutritious eating, we make the way for a balanced and fulfilling life brimming with vitality.
We were once again lucky to have Able Wanamacok come in to run a session on confidence. Here’s what some of our Year 11s had to say about this session.
In a recent confidence-building workshop organized for Year 11 students, Ablel Wanamakok who is an actress, speaker and influencer presented as a confidence coach and captivated the students with an empowering speech, taken from her performance on TedxYouth. The workshop featured a series of activities aimed at teaching the students how to embrace their vulnerabilities and rebuild their self-esteem. These valuable lessons will prove useful as they navigate into year 12 and further in their adult life. Additionally, the students engaged in exercises highlighting the importance of sharing kindness and practising self-acceptance. Able’s workshop undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the students. -Elizaveta Lebedeva (Lizzy) and Kristina Lashchenova
Year 11 & 12 Bonding Trip
As part of our transition programme the Year 11 and 12 students also enjoyed bonding together on our Relax and Refresh trip. We went to Blue Tree then spent a night in Panwa where we sang together and took part in team building. The Sixth Form Team and a Year 12s are looking forward to the Year 11s joining our Sixth Form family.
Ready, Steady, Cook!
As part of our transition programme we also gave our Year 11s a taste of our Ready Steady Cook programme which we run in Year 13 as part of UPrep. The aim of this particular unit is to teach students how to cook budget friendly and healthy food as they prepare to leave home and live independently. Our UPrep programme as well as supporting the application process also focuses on supporting students to transition into adult life and independent living. Ready Steady Cook is also a great way to bond and connect as can be seen in these photos. We all enjoyed making some delicious food and eating together. -Ms Indu Bedi, Head of Sixth Form
It is important to remember that serious academic pursuits continue right up until the end of the year, as seen in the Year 11 Literature transition lessons this week. Literature students at A Level need to have sharpened evaluative prowess; ‘I don’t knows’ and ‘I’m not sures’ don’t cut it. Therefore, as a baptism of fire to the course, students were presented with a piece of doggerel and also a poem by former Poet Laureate Philip Larkin. Their task was to ascertain, through analysis of structure, language and concept, which poem was which and explain how they reached their conclusions. I am delighted to see that 12 students have currently chosen to study A Level Literature, the largest cohort in HeadStart history for the subject and a testament to previous hard work by both students and the faculty. -Mr. Pollicutt, Head of English
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