24 Feb 2020
Weekly1 year ago

Weekly Update #23, 6 March 2020

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 You Tube channel. To join the Parent Community Facebook group click here!

Date Time Event Location
10-12 March All day Year 6 & 9 Checkpoint Mock Exams Exam room
11 March Cancelled Y12 & Y13 Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTC) Cancelled
13 March All day Casual Clothes Day for Charity  
13-14 March TBA 3 v 3 Basketball BISP
Covid-19 Update 7
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Adam Drew

Headmaster
[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!

Dear Parents,

This week has been significantly more settled with fewer announcements and directives received from the relevant government departments and a number of our staff beginning to return. We had three staff return on Monday, a further four on Friday and the remainder will be returning on Monday, 9th March. You will be pleased to know that effective Monday 9th of March, all programmes will resume and all classes will return to the normal teacher as it was before the mid-term break. These include:

  • All Academies
  • Free ASPs
  • Fee Paid ASPs

We must also inform you that contrary to information circulating on social media, the list of ‘High-Risk’ countries and regions remains the same and those that travel to or transit through these places still require a 14 day self-quarantine. These are: China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Macau, Iran, Italy, Singapore, France, Taiwan, Germany and Japan.

Additionally, effective immediately the following places have been categorised by the Ministry of Public Health as ‘Disease Infected Zones’ and are therefore considered higher risk: China (including the territories of Macau and Hong Kong), South Korea, Iran & Italy. Please refer to this website for more information: https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/index.php. More information about the impact of this announcement will be sent to parents once we receive further directives from the relevant government authorities.

We thank you once more for your understanding and cooperation with any requests we have made so far.

The following activities and events are cancelled or postponed:

  • Year 12 & 13 PTC - Ms Caines and Mr Lukats will be in touch regarding alternative arrangements
  • Term 2 UPrep Talks are postponed until Term 3
  • All Term 2 Tuesday parent meetings
  • International Day on the 27th of March
  • Songkran Festival on the last day of Term 2
  • Alternative arrangements will be made for the Year 9 Options meeting.

Two further points we must draw to your attention are that the school must follow the instructions from OPEC and the Ministry of Education below:

  • Postpone all activities arranged between schools
  • Postpone all activities which external parties

I thank you all for your patience at this time and look forward to welcoming you all back into school on my return on Monday.

Soccer Circus Continues this Saturday

Great news! soccer Circus is on from 10.30am tomorrow and the boys and girls football academies are due to return on Monday at the usual times. I look forward to seeing you there! Coach George TBs’ last day is on Tuesday, join us to wish him well at 4.30pm on Tuesday. -Coach Asa

What We Are Doing to be Sustainable

After meeting Jack from the Scholars of Sustenance, our Food Service Committee felt compelled to support the good work the foundation is doing. We have now committed to making food donations to the underprivileged in both private and government care facilities such as foster homes. If you would like to know more about the foundation, take a look at their website: https://www.scholarsofsustenance.org/

Did you know? HeadStart lunch food scraps are collected by a farmer and fed to pigs so that we don’t waste any food. Help us out and don’t mix your tissues in with the scraps! -Ms Miki Edouard

New! Language Announcements Forum

Good news! We have launched a new, user friendly way of communicating with our Russian and Chinese communities. Check out the options below. Simply download the app on your phone or computer, scan the code found below and you will begin to receive daily announcements when available.

Stand With Wuhan

A group of parents and students who have been proactively organising fundraisers for the Wuhan Tianyou Hospital, which is at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, visited HeadStart. We are proud to say that our community has rallied together and in just one day donated 20,425 THB! The outbreak of Coronavirus has affected everyone around the globe. At times like these we must stand together as a community and support each other. #StandWithWuhan

English and Humanities Faculty Week

After school, I held HeadStart’s first TED-style talk to encourage students to think about the different perceptions and assumptions we have when consuming texts. To help us with this multifaceted and sophisticated notion, I used a literary text of the highest canonical regard: Shrek. -Mr. David Pollicutt

Over 125 students from Years 7-12 worked with David Jacklin in workshops throughout the day which looked at producing component parts of storytelling, drawing on Mr. Jacklin’s own eclectic experiences in the Hollywood film industry. Students worked in small groups, then pitched him their ideas; it was truly a creative hothouse!

As part of English and Humanities Faculty Week we decided we’d like to expand the minds of some of our older students by presenting a series of “TED” style talks. The last one, bringing Faculty Week to close on Thursday, was on the very high brow theme of “History Hotties”. We explored some classical notions of Beauty and different philosophical concepts of Love, before applying these to people of the past to test whether we believed “Universal Beauty” existed or whether it was, as they say, “in the eye of the beholder.” After being introduced to biographical details about historical figures, along with their mug shots of course, we then decided if we could have found romance, friendship or perhaps just a fun flirtation in the past using an interactive poll. The top pick for potential romance was perhaps surprising, but there was lots of laughter - so hopefully tongues were firmly in cheeks. We hope students enjoyed all the talks and look forward to more in the future. -Ms Gemma Caines

Meanwhile, in ‘Just a Minute’, Mehar and Federico offered masterclasses in controlled verbosity. Nicholas Parsons would have been proud!

As part of the English and Humanities Faculty Week (and the brand new Phuket Humanities Club Competition between HeadStart and other schools on the island), some of our students went on a QR code scavenger hunt around the school to find out the amazing history of Phuket during World War 2.

Did you know

  • When Italy joined the war on the German side, two Italian cargo ships escaped the British near India and scuttled their ships in Ao Makham Bay in Phuket. The sailors stayed on in Phuket and, consequently, their half Thai-Italian descendants are still on the island today.

  • Just before the Japanese invaded, Australian Major Warren Parsons (who was a resident of Phuket) chartered a boat from the local Chinese population and saved 111 other foreigners in Thailand and Burma before taking them to Singapore.

  • HMS Vestal was the last British ship sunk in WII by a kamikaze pilot. In 2004 HMS Vestal was located by divers from a Phuket recreational dive company. She lies 72 meters down on a sandy bottom a mile off Cape Promthep. -Mr Richard Cramp


Pointless’ is a UK game show where contestants are challenged to come up with the most obscure answer. As part of the English and Humanities Faculty Week, students have been challenged in House teams to the challenge of geographical and historical versions of Pointless. In the Geography quiz the Yellow Cheetahs won with an impressively low score. -Mr. Dale Benham

Following Mr. Benham’s Geography round yesterday, today was the turn of Mr. Cramp and History to test the wits and knowledge of our students with the popular British game show ‘Pointless’. All questions used in the game are factual in nature, and are asked of a panel of 100 individuals in a pre-conducted public survey. The objective in this game is that contestants seek to find correct answers that were given by as few of the survey subjects as possible (“points”). If you are lucky to choose an answer with the least points given, or even zero points (Pointless), you win the round! Today, it was the turn of Green Dragon House to win! Well done to all those students who attended. -Mr Richard Cramp

In the era of Wikipedia, in which students have a world knowledge at their fingertips, the idea of deep learning can sometimes be overlooked. In English and Humanities Faculty Week, Mr. Quinlan has been running a competition which updates daily in which students have to find out the title and author of important books based on cover images, photographs of the authors themselves and extracts from the work. As you can see, students have been having a great time piecing together the clues! -Mr. Pollicutt, Head of English

The Grand Final of The Spelling Bee was a gargantuan tussle between Jake Snyders in Year 8 and Shayo Lapanurak in Year 7. Tricky, polysyllabic words were spelt with precision and confidence, leading to audible gasps and spontaneous applause from the gathered crowd. In the end, there was nothing to choose between them, as they tied at 5-5 after all words had been attempted. Well done to both winner and runner up- glittering prizes to follow! -Mr. Pollicutt, Head of English

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We finish Faculty Week still making connections. Year 12 again descended from their fourth floor eyrie to read to Preschool students, this time in the shape of Maksim and Regina. -Mr. Pollicutt, Head of English

Student News

In Year 1 Blue we are really enjoying our ‘Friends of Phuket’ topic. Today we learnt all about our Friends from Russia and Egypt. We tried some new food, made pyramids and even tried to write in Arabic. Next week we’ll be learning about our friends from China. Ms Lucie Bevins

Year 2 has been getting practical with their learning. After spending all week learning about 2D and 3D shapes, it was time for a challenge. All children demonstrated great understanding of 3D faces, edges and vertices. -Mr Michael Marx

Year 6 students had a great time with special guest speaker Mr. Chaya Thatwarakorn (Khun Tong), the owner of a financial company. Khun Tong came to speak to the students giving them tips on how to save money and spend money wisely. -By Kru Fon

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This week Miss Leamon’s science class have been pushed out of their comfort zone by studying some year 9 and year 10 GCSE level content. The students in this class are always so motivated and work so hard that at times Miss Leamon wonders if they find Year 8 a little bit easy! So they were put to the test doing some Displacement Reactions with Halogens to investigate their reactivity, and linked this to trends in their election arrangements. No surprises that they did fabulously and took the challenge in their stride. Definitely some future scientists in the making. Well Done!

Year 11, 12 and 13 Music students had a visit from renowned composer signed pianist, Peter Blake this week. He talked to the students about life in the music industry, composition techniques and performed some of his own compositions and arrangements. Watch him in action here! -Ms Erika Cramp, Director of Creative and Performing Arts

House News

This week, many points were scored during the English & Humanities Faculty week so look out for any changes in score next week, alongside any changes from the weekly quiz, weigh your waste results and the Secondary House Challenges - Ultimate Frisbee & Minute to Win It. Dodgeball continues in the Primary School and it is exciting to see students from Y1-Y6 participating and enjoying taking part together. Here are the current house points. -Ms Kirstie Melville

5 March
Effortless Running Promotion

The Water Hose Problem

Think of your bringing out your best performance as a plumbing problem. Like a water hose that is clogged up and doesn’t allow the water to flow as rapidly and forcefully as it can. If you turn on the faucet and you only see a little trickle of water running out, something is wrong, right?

For runners, that blockage is often the cardio-vascular system. They have not yet built the engine to allow the body to move at the desired pace. But this isn’t the only possible problem. If you do a bit of weekly volume, this is not your blockage. If you are doing your strength work together with the running sets, your muscles are able to endure the pace so that isn’t the blockage that is holding the flow of water back either.

Your blockage is your running economy.

You have the engine, you have the power but you don’t have the efficiency of the movement (yet). This is where the flow of water is impaired. It takes you too much energy to keep the body moving and the legs ticking over.

So let’s fix that problem!

The answer to this running economy problem is simple but not easy: drills. In order for your body to start functioning like the smooth, fast and effortless running machine it is by design, you need to focus on how you move. Enter the Effortless Running Essentials program. A 3-week program to re-wire the running pattern you currently hold in your brain. Drills are great for re-training the body how to run more efficiently and therefore faster.

The Effortless Running Essentials program distilled the key elements of an effortless running form from the East-African long-distance runners and added them into a structured, easy-to-follow, simple training plan that you can add into your weekly training plan. Take 10 to 15 minutes per session to work on running form before you start the set and before you know it, your old way of running will feel heavy and mechanical to you and the new way (thanks to the drills) will have your body moving like a gazelle, knocking seconds or even minutes off your time.

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