Sixth Form

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Gemma Caines

Head of Sixth Form
[email protected]

My name is Gemma and I work with the older students at HeadStart, helping them prepare for their university applications and get ready for A Levels and BTEC courses. I grew up by the seaside in the North West of England, so I enjoy Phuket life and always being close to the sea. I studied History at Cambridge University, before gaining my Masters from Sussex University. I’ve been teaching since 1997, which makes me feel very old, but working with Sixth Formers keeps me young and (I like to think) up to date with current trends! I’ve worked in a variety of countries in Asia - Sri Lanka, China, Nepal and now here in Thailand. I understand that selecting and going to university, especially in unfamiliar countries, is both exciting and nerve-wracking. I’m there to try and make the transition as smooth as possible. My door is always open, for students of all ages and their families, and I do invite whoever needs to come and talk to me. I also work with a fantastic team on Child Protection and Safeguarding here at school. I believe that children and young people can only thrive academically when they feel personally safe and happy. I’m hopeful we can help create a supportive environment that allows all children to succeed. whatever their goals and ambitions.

Students in the Sixth Form at HeadStart have fantastic opportunities and privileges that set them apart from the rest of the school. Our aim is to prepare students for their future life, including further study in universities around the world. The Sixth Form at HeadStart provides an environment where students receive direction, whilst being given opportunities for independence both through their studies and in their contributions to the school.

In their academics, we want to inspire our students to be curious, independent and motivated to gain a deep understanding of the subjects they choose. Students can choose to follow Cambridge Assessment International Examinations A Level courses or Pearson BTEC courses. These courses are recognised worldwide as college entry courses used to identify students suitable for university study.

Cambridge qualifications are recognised for admission by UK universities (including Oxford and Cambridge) as well as universities in the United States (Stanford and all Ivy League universities), Canada, European Union, Middle East, West Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in other countries. HeadStart Sixth Formers can choose up to 5 AS levels including mathematics, literature, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, business, history, geography, art, IT and music. In the final year of school students narrow their choices down to 3 or 4 subjects to complete the full A level.

HeadStart is always seeking to expand our academic programme and provide educational opportunities that suit our students as individuals. With this in mind, we have introduced Level 3 BTEC National qualifications to our academic programme. These offer students the opportunity to learn theory alongside real-life experience in courses that equip students with specialist knowledge, practical skills, and understanding to enable them to pursue a particular career path. Current courses on offer include business, travel & tourism, sport and digital media.

Unlike many other schools, HeadStart gives its Sixth Formers free choice of subjects, allowing students to create a personalised academic programme that best suits them. You can find out more about our courses here and read about our academic successes here. At all levels, all of our subjects and courses are taught by highly qualified subject specialists.

As well as academic success, what happens outside the classroom is of great importance to us. HeadStart provides a holistic education to produce well rounded young adults. In addition to their academic lessons, all Sixth Formers have free access to our sporting facilities and independent study time. All students in the Sixth Form also participate in the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. In addition, students are encouraged to take on leadership roles including being a student council member, being a Prefect or leading the school as Head Boy / Girl. Sixth Formers participate in HeadStart’s extensive enrichment programme and this provides an opportunity to develop personalities, leadership skills, community spirit, and self-confidence. There are abundant opportunities to participate or compete in music, drama, sport, service and other activities such as LAMDA courses, Model United Nations and World Scholars’ Cup.

Our key aim in the Sixth Form is to ready our students for life beyond school. This not only requires developing study skills and achieving academic results but also gaining independence and skills that will help them reach their aspirations beyond HeadStart. If you are in Phuket, please come and visit us by booking a tour. You will be able to meet some of our Sixth Formers and I’m sure you will be impressed with them and what we have to offer.

Thinking about joining HeadStart for Sixth Form Study?

HeadStart welcomes students who wish to join us for the Sixth Form and experience the Cambridge A level or Pearson BTEC curriculum. If you will have completed your IGCSEs by August 2020, then transferring to the A level or BTEC programme is straight forward. However, students do not need to have studied IGCSE to be able to join us and many other school programmes provide a solid foundation for Sixth Form study. Cambridge qualifications are the single most popular international qualification in the world, serving more than 10,000 schools in 160 countries, double that of the International Baccalaureate. BTEC qualifications are the second most common entry qualifications for universities in the UK and are increasingly recognised in countries worldwide, including Thailand. If you’d like to find out more about studying life at HeadStart, please do contact admissions who will be delighted to arrange a visit.

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