Weekly Update #16, 17 December 2019
|Secondary End of Term One Highlights|
Mr Richard Lukats is the Athletics Director at Headstart International School. Richard has over twenty years’ experience of working in schools both internationally and in the United Kingdom. He has been a senior school administrator (Athletics Director, Principal/Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher/Principal and Assistant Headteacher) for the past 18 years internationally and in the UK. He is a UK qualified teacher (Post Graduate of Education, PGCE) and holds the UK qualification to be a Headteacher (National Professional Qualification for Headship, NPQH). At Headstart International School, Richard is responsible for leading the overall strategic direction, operational effectiveness and administration of the school’s sports and activities programme, alongside managing the PE Department. He is passionate, about the role sport and physical activity plays in the development of young people and he is looking to further developing the already excellent programme that is on offer at Headstart. He is always looking at ways of working with all members of the Headstart Community to further enhance the opportunities for participation in physical activities for everyone.
What an incredible Term One it has been in the Secondary School at HeadStart.
The year kicked off with the school celebrating our best ever results in Cambridge International Examinations with students across Year 9, 11, 12 &13 excelling in Checkpoint, IGCSE, AS and A Level exams, not only in terms of their attainment but also the progress students made through their respective time at HeadStart. We also had confirmation of the courses and Universities that last year’s Year 13 would be going onto to continue their educational journey, with students going onto study everything from Medicine to Agricultural Science at some of the top Universities around the world. Keeping on the theme of academics, August 2019 also saw our first group of students in Year 12 studying BTECs (Business Studies, Travel & Tourism and Sport). These students and courses have had a major impact on the school and the lives of those students taking them. Students who had doubted whether continuing in education after IGCSEs, have had a new lease of life and opened their eyes to the vast range of possibilities for them to continuing studying at college. The school has benefited from their entrepreneurial endeavours through their involvement in events and activities such as the Christmas Market. Look out for them in 2020 wearing their BTEC Shirts in school and around Phuket at various events.
HeadStart is not just about the learning in the classroom and the events and activities that our students have been involved in this year outside the classroom have been just as impactful in terms of their growth and development as learners and people. In PE & Sport there numerous achievements and fun to be had;
PE Faculty Week- This term students had lots of fun taking part in PE Faculty Week, the World Series of Burnball. They competed in their Houses for the overall Burnball title, as well as gaining extra points before school and at lunch time in additional striking and fielding activities. There were some brilliant skills on show from home run hitting, to amazing agility in high catching and great teamwork when fielding. A highlight of the week was students getting their own back on their teachers in the Sponge the Teacher competition. They couldn’t wait to get in line and aim for their teachers!
PISAC Events- HeadStart boys and girls have participated in the PISAC Development League throughout term one. The main focus of this league to give everyone an opportunity to play, learn and improve in football. HeadStart students represented the school excellently throughout the term, proving to be one of the strongest footballing schools in the island. A particular highlight was the Under 13 boys winning the end of term PISAC tournaments whilst all age groups played with style and passion throughout.
BISP Soccer 7s- The Under 13 boys were joined by the first female team to enter the tournament for HeadStart, the Under 15 girls. Both teams competed brilliantly against far larger schools from across South East Asia and beyond. The Under 13 boys were particularly impressive in reaching the quarter-finals of the ‘cup’ competition for the first time. Both teams drew praise from spectators for the hard work, determination and impressive passing game throughout the tournament. The unconditional support of all the parents was extremely helpful and very much appreciated by the players and staff.
Volleyball– HeadStart proved to dominant for the other schools on the island and once again won the PISAC Secondary Volleyball competition.
Swimming- The Aqua Panthers had a fantastic term 1! The team collectively have worked hard at dropping times this term and have had great successes at several of the meets including an awesome trip to the ISB International meet in Bangkok. I am really looking forward to watching the swimmers progress further and compete internationally in Malaysia and Singapore in 2020! Have a spectacular break! - Coach Brown.
In the English and Humanities Faculty, as I am sure you will be aware from reading the weekly updates, students and teachers alike have been gloriously busy in term 1. When Mr Pollicutt was asked to pick out significant highlights, it was hard for him to know where to start, but this is what he had to say: “Suffice it to say, we have explored diverse and interesting concepts such as political satire in Year 11 Literature’s IGCSE study of Orwell’s 1984, a plethora of pieces in our Roald Dahl Week earlier this term and, at our core, we have underpinned things with outstanding, exploratory lessons across Geography, History and English. Let’s not forget to the extended opportunities for learning we offer in our Boosters and VAPs (World Scholar’s Cup, History Bee and Bowl and LAMDA). Well done to all students and my thanks to Mr. Benham, Mr Brady, Ms. Caines, Mr. Paice and Ms. Pegg. Roll on 2020, when of course, we have another first- The Literary and Cultural school trip to England!”
Term one also saw the launch of our extended Student Support Services with the introduction of our counselling service delivered by Ms Milner and Ms Costa which has been a big hit with students and parents judging by the number of students in and out of their offices and the turn out for the new parent support meetings. The team were heavily involved in the this year’s Anti Bullying Week with the focus of ‘Change Starts With Us.’ We used this opportunity to hear from our students about how we, as a community, can make an impact in seeing and dealing with bullying. This was launched through assemblies and in secondary students shared their persuasive writing stories focused around bullying. Across the school, students participated, through PSHE, in designing their perfect school focusing their ideas around making it a positive, safe and happy place for everyone. Students worked together to collate their ideas about what more can be done by the community to make a positive impact on bullying. They looked at different scenarios focusing on where appropriate intervention could take place to prevent escalation and shared their opinions and ideas with the Secondary Leadership Team. It is this student voice that is vital in helping the school continue to develop. As part of this week students and teachers alike joined together to wear their wackiest and oddest socks to celebrate how it’s great to be unique. It was great to hear students talking about the school environment and sharing what they believe can be done to continue to ensure we have a positive, happy and safe HeadStart community.
A couple of over events to look back on were Movemeber and the Secondary School Production FAME! Movemebr, led by Mr Pollicutt, saw a number of the male staff grow some weird and wonderful facial hair in order to highlight all aspects of men’s health such as testicular and prostate cancer. It was a great fun way to educate and highlight these issues and at the same time raise some money for charity.
This year’s Secondary school Production, FAME, was met with critical acclaim by both the audiences and critics, who were royally, entertained on both the Friday and Saturday night. This is testament to the hard work and dedication that the CAPA Staff and students put into the 14 or so weeks rehearsals and creative processes that go into making a show like this. It is one of the most inspiring things to see a group of young people (and teachers), trembling and looking daunted at the prospect of what lies ahead of them as they start the process of; learning lines, dance routines, songs and taking a black & white script and then turning it into a technicolour extravaganza with assured and confident performances. I cannot wait to see what 2020 has in stall for us!
On behalf of the whole of the Secondary Team, I would like to wish the HeadStart community a wonderful Christmas! Whether you are staying in the Pearl of the Andaman, heading overseas or traveling within Thailand, enjoy the holidays and time with families. Be safe and come back refreshed and excited for the amazing learning opportunities that 2020 has to offer at HeadStart.
Mr Richard Lukats, Head of Secondary
|Primary End of Term One Message|
I was born and grew up in London, England. If any of you are familiar with the sport of Rugby Union, I grew up very close to Twickenham Stadium! I graduated in History from the University of Teeside in 1992, and in 1999 completed my P.G.C.E. and have now been an educationalist for over 17 years. As well as my teaching experience, I have a total of 12 years of experience as a curriculum manager and school leader, having served as an Assistant Head, a Deputy Head and Head Teacher. In my most recent role, in the Middle East , I worked as a School Improvement Consultant. I am a passionate believer in the transformational nature of education and learning. I believe that children learn best when they enjoy their learning and feel secure when facing tasks that are stimulating and challenging. Pupils should feel valued in the classroom and feel confident that enthusiasm and good learning will be met with recognition and praise from the teacher and peers. As a school leader I am committed to the challenge of motivating the whole school community to help every individual pupil realise his or her talents, whilst at the same time ensuring that our pupils are empowered with the essential skills to be able to make a positive contribution in an increasingly globalised world of rapid change and innovation. I believe that schools where success is celebrated, and challenges faced head on in a professional culture of support, trust and honesty are schools that ensure the best possible outcomes for all its students. As a school leader I am committed to creating an empowering and enabling school culture with a powerful ethos of positivity and hard work.
Dear Foundation and Primary parents,
As our term draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and peaceful holiday with your family, and friends.
Once again it feels like the term has flown by, and it only seems like yesterday that my staff and I were welcoming existing HeadStart families, and new families, to the start of a new academic year.
I am sure that you will all agree with me that it has been another dynamic term, with much going on. Of all the activities and events that we have organised, I am especially proud of the initiatives we have put into place to encourage you; the parents to work with us to help our wonderful HeadStart children to realise their unique potential, to nurture and grow their talents and interests. Messy Play, Stay and Play , Teddy Bear Picnics, Positive Parenting Workshops and Foundation and Primary Parent Meetings, to name but a few.
I would like to personally thank you all for placing your trust in us; for supporting us and giving us the opportunity to play our part of your child’s amazing journey through education. I know I speak for all the staff at HeadStart when I write that nothing makes us happier than seeing your children continue to learn and develop; socially, emotionally and academically. As parents you are the most influential educators in your children’s lives, and when we all work together ; your children have the best possible chance to enjoy and achieve.
I hope, like me, you are all looking forward to 2020 with great anticipation. I would like to thank all the members of the school community for your continued support.
See you all in the New Year.
All best wishes, Sam Khan and the Foundation and Primary Team
|Foundation End of Term Message|
Hello, My name is Hannah Brown. I joined HeadStart in August 2019 as the Deputy Head of Foundation school. I have lived in Phuket since March 2018 having previously worked as both a teacher and a member of the management team at another international school. On leaving secondary school I was very aware of the career path I should take. Whilst studying I worked in various early years provisions as an Early Childhood Educator before completing my degree education in Early Childhood Education at the University of Plymouth, UK. I was part of the management team for a large group of early years settings in England. Throughout my early career, I focused my research and professional development around special educational needs, speech and language development and children learning English as a second language, which put me at a great advantage when it came to moving to this beautiful island. I am very happy to be leading a team of dedicated and creative EYFS teachers in order to give your children the best possible education experience in their early childhood. I believe that for children to achieve, discover their talents and become resilient young people they must feel safe and secure both in their personal and home lives. As teachers and education providers, our role stretches further than what subjects we can teach them but rather educate and support the development of the ‘whole child’. Taking a holistic approach we are able to focus on the personal, social and emotional needs of children whilst supporting their cognitive and physical ability. Children spend much of their childhood studying and preparing for exams, it is my mission to ensure that every child we enroll at HeadStart looks back on their early years with fun and happy memories, knowing that they were given the opportunity to grow and explore in an interesting and diverse environment. When I’m not at school I like to explore the beautiful places Thailand has to offer, spend time with friends, swim in the ocean and eat lots of delicious food! I look forward to meeting new children and parents this year. Good luck to all for the academic year!
Firstly, I would like to thank you all for your support during the first term of the 2019-2020 school year. It is clear to see that the children have settled into school life and feel confident in their surroundings.
We have seen the launch of Positive Parenting Talks thanks to our fantastic counselling team, Parent Stay and Play sessions have been enjoyed by all and a real sense of community has been built and can be felt by teachers, parents and children alike.
Throughout the term the teachers have been tracking and documenting your child’s development. Each child has made progress this term, from becoming confident, independent individuals, successfully writing their names for the first time to even learning to read tricky words in Reception!
When I walk through Foundation, it is clear that the children are happy, engaged and acquiring new skills. Through the wonderful topic based planning, the children have successfully immersed themselves into play-based learning activities which has given each child the ability to learn at their own developmental stage.
Throughout the remainder of this school year, we plan to further strengthen the relationships we have been building, continue to develop the already fantastic provision we have, including the garden; which will become a firm part of the learning environment.
We say goodbye to Ms Candice Smithie who has been a valued member of the HeadStart Teaching team, and welcome Ms Keeley Ruddock who we are confident will join us full of new ideas from her experiences of delivering the EYFS curriculum in England.
As Christmas approaches, I would like to wish you all a wonderful holiday with your families. Remember, every day provides your child with an opportunity to learn and develop. Let the children play and explore this Christmas, and teach them about the importance of spending quality time with their families.
Wishing you all the best,
Hannah Brown, Deputy Head of Foundation
|Welcoming the Festive Season at HeadStart!|
|Santa and Elves Visit Foundation Children|
|Christmas Lunch with Santa and His Elves|
|Foundation Christmas Sing Along|
Thank you for coming along to our Foundation Christmas Sing Along on Friday morning. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we all did!
|Year 7-9 Christmas Activity Morning|