Graduation Ceremony 2022
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.