Weekly Update #13, 23 November, 2018
Dates for Your Diary
Upcoming events can be found on the calendar on the website School Life → Calendar but we have outlined upcoming events here for easy reference. For daily updates and news follow the HeadStart Facebook Page
|1-2 December||7:55am||DofE Bronze Practice Group 2||Meet at HeadStart|
|3-4 December||7:55am||DofE Bronze Adventurous Journey G1||Meet at HeadStart|
|05 December||All day||School closed for HM the King’s Birthday|
|7-9 December||All day||BKK Patana Swim Meet||BKK Patana|
|10-11 December||All day||Book Fair||Primary floor|
|11 December||6:00pm||‘A Night at the Movies’ CAPA show||Sports Hall|
|13 December||1:00pm||Christmas Classroom activities/Christmas Market|
|14 December||All day||Parent/Teacher Conferences (not a school day)||Classrooms|
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!
Term 2 Language Options Meeting Invitation
I would like to invite you to an information meeting on Thursday 29th November so that language options for Term 2 & 3 can be explained. This meeting is only relevant to parents who have children in Year 1-9.
In the meeting we will also give out copies of the language options for the rest of the year. We will follow up the meeting by sending home full details of languages options, an electronic copy of the form and a copy of the PowerPoint presentation that is used in the meeting. If you are unable to attend, all the information you need will be in the email sent out the same day. The language programme will be largely as described in the meeting earlier this term, although we will be able to go into a little more detail of the plans, teachers and levels of the courses.
The meeting will start at 08:15am in the Secondary Hall. If you are able to attend I look forward to seeing you there, if you are not able to come, you will have the information via email, and I will also be available at the Parent/Teacher Conferences (PTC) at the end of term in order to discuss the languages programme further.
Welcoming a New Head of Secondary
It is with great pleasure that I would like to announce that Richard Lukats, our current Director of Academics, will be taking over the role of Head of Secondary commencing in Term 2. I am sure many of you have already met Richard in one capacity or another, either through sport whilst he was Director of Sport, or in relation to options, exams and curriculum in his role as Director of Academics. Richard is a highly experienced school leader who has had a number of positions of responsibility within leadership teams at a range of schools in Asia and in England throughout his long career. The school board and I know that Richard will help drive forward the Secondary school and continue to make a positive impact on the successes of our students as well as continue to raise the bar that has been set by the outstanding results of our students over the past 3 years.
I will be continuing in the role of Headmaster, but will now be based on the ground floor and will be supporting teacher and students, and monitoring standards across the whole school as we bid to achieve a Gold rating from our next accreditation visit in 2020.
I am sure you will all congratulate Richard in his new role and he is looking forward to working even more closely with the Secondary students and parents than he already does.
I bid you all a pleasant end to this very long first term, and a well deserved and restful break over the Christmas vacation.
My name is James Hornby and I am very excited about the year ahead at HeadStart International School and my family’s new life in Thailand. I am from England and studied Geography at Loughborough University before completing my PGCE at St. Martin’s College in Ambleside, Cumbria. I taught at schools in Leicester and Yorkshire for 9 years before the opportunity arose to teach at an international school in Cairo, Egypt. During my 2 years living and teaching in Egypt, I explored the desert and also developed a passion for the underwater world through scuba diving; while in Phuket I intend to spend as much of my free time as possible underwater in the Andaman Sea. Before arriving in Thailand, my last teaching post was in Vietnam where I worked at a large international school in Saigon for 9 years. Experience has taught me that it is very important to understand that individuals learn in different ways, enjoy different things and achieve differently and at different rates. By providing a safe yet challenging learning environment where the children are not afraid to ‘have a go’ and make mistakes, we can ensure that the children thrive and develop as learners. From what I have seen so far, this is very much the case at HeadStart. Outside of the classroom, apart from spending as much time as possible underwater, I enjoy distance running and rugby, support Liverpool FC and love exploring new places with my wife Nguyen and daughter Jessica. I am really looking forward to finding out more about the wonderful people, places and of course food of Thailand.
Reminder to be on Time for School
Please be reminded that the HeadStart school day starts at 8.00am. It is important for the children to be here before 8.00am as it gives them a chance to settle at the start of the day. They communicate with their peers and organise themselves for the day ahead. During morning registration, important messages are passed on by the Homeroom Teachers.
In Foundation structured play, social and interactive activities start from 8.00am. This is an important time of day for Foundation students so that they can comfortably say their goodbyes at the door, settle into class and develop play and social skills in a timely and positive manner.
At 8.00am in Primary the day usually starts with a Phonics lesson in Year 1 and 2 or a Guided Reading lesson for the older children. This is valuable learning time for the children. If children arrive late they are missing out on essential teacher input and may struggle to participate in the lesson effectively as a result.
In Secondary, students are required to have prepared themselves for the lessons ahead at their lockers and be ready to participate in Homeroom activities such as independent reading, house quiz and group discussions on current news topics.
We understand that from time to time there are issues beyond the control of parents and students, such as traffic incidents and extreme weather, that will result in late attendance. Please wherever possible inform us so that registers can be updated accordingly. If there are other issues that are causing children to be late for school then please let us know so that we are aware and can offer appropriate support for your child.
Christmas Market Invitation
Do you have something interesting that you would like to present to the HeadStart community? We would like to invite you, your friends or other businesses on the island to book a table or two for the 2018 Christmas Market which will take place on the 13th of December between 2:30-5:30pm.
Due to the amount of Christmas decor set up, there is a charge of 300 Baht for 1 table or 500 Baht for 2 tables. The event will take place in the Sports Hall where there will be a stage set up for performances and places for you to sit and relax and enjoy the atmosphere. There will also be a photo booth where Santa Clause will make an appearance. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of the excitement!
Parent Committee Notes
Please refer to the download for the full transcript of notes brought to the management’s attention as well as the answers provided.
From a young age music has been a very important part of my life. I have studied piano, clarinet and voice throughout my school career and completed a Bachelors of Music degree at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, completing my final dissertation on Music Education. I moved to London where I taught Primary Music for two years before moving onto the Langley Academy in Slough to become Head of Music for four years. During my time in London I also performed as a session musician in hotels and restaurants and performed and recorded in bands alongside musicians such as Keane and Mumford and Sons. I was also cowriter and music producer for a South African children’s Music Education Programme, Kiddibeat, which gives children from the age of 3 months until 6 years the opportunity to develop life skills through music. In 2009 my husband and I decided to move to Bangkok, Thailand in order to work and travel. It was there that I became Head of Music at Bromsgrove International School for 6 years before moving to Phuket with our two children, Jude and Chloe. I firmly believe that every child deserves the opportunity to experience the Arts, whether through Music, Dance, Drama or Art and Design, as it also helps them improve in other areas such as learning a new language and Math. I see education as holistic, where one subject compliments another.
A Night at the Movies Performance Invitation
On the 11th of December the CAPA Academy will present an Oscar winning performance. We will be performing scenes from movies such as Grease, High School Musical, Sing!, The Sound of Music, Star Wars, Hunger Games, Frozen, The Wizard of Oz and many more. The CAPA Academy consists of very talented students in Year 5 - 13. The students have been working very hard perfecting their singing, dancing and acting and the show promises to be one that cannot be missed. Save the date!
The show will take place in the Sports Hall on 11 December at 6:00pm sharp and end around 8:00pm with a short intermission in between.
We are pleased to announce that tickets for ‘A Night at the Movies’ will be available from the front office starting Wednesday, 28 November.
On offer are 2 free tickets per HeadStart family. Additional family members will be charged 200 Baht. Siblings under the age of 8 years old are welcome to sit in the front row without charge. Front row seats are limited to 30 so must be booked. Members of the general public will be charged 200 Baht per ticket.
For your information the Coffee shop will be open until 6.30pm after which there will be no provision for food or drink so please eat a meal before you arrive.
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.
University Application News and Success
University applications continue to be completed by our hardworking Year 13s, with offers coming in daily. At the moment students are awaiting results from the UK, USA and the Netherlands, with applications to Canada, Spain, Korea and other destinations in the pipeline. We are applying for an exciting array of courses, including medicine, law, international relations, psychology and even film production!
Special mention this week to Bomnuri Kim (Lisa), who received her final UK acceptance - making it a very impressive 5 offers out of 5. Lisa has gained admission to Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow, Bristol and University College London (UCL) to study Biological Sciences. This is great news for her as this year UCL has been ranked in the Top 10 universities in the world, above the likes of Princeton and Yale! Lisa has also been offered a prestigious International Leadership Scholarship worth £40,000 to enroll on a combined Bachelors/Masters programme at Glasgow University. The university offers only 20 such scholarships to all its international students, across all programmes, so it’s really exceptional that Lisa has been honoured with this award, particularly as the application window does not close for another 2 months. Congratulations to her and, of course, to her parents and teachers. If parents of students of any age would like to know more about university applications or how HeadStart supports its students on this exciting journey, they can make an appointment in the Sixth Form by emailing [email protected] at any time.
Thank you to everyone for getting involved in this term’s charity project. This week has seen one final push from teachers, students and parents, so a very big thank you to everyone who has donated bottles, supplied sacks of plastic and brought in Ecobricks. Our appeal will come to an end this week, which will allow a little extra time for Trash Hero to come in and carry out a final inspection before packing up and posting off. A very big thank you to the HeadStart community for making this appeal so successful. More information will follow next week with regards numbers and overall plastic weight saved from the oceans! Meanwhile, if you would like to continue with your Ecobricks at home, more information can be found on the Facebook page Ecobricks Phuket.
P.E. Department News
Last weekend our cheerleaders traveled to Bangkok for the 23rd Cheerleading Thailand Championships. The girls had load of fun and the Team Doubles came in 3rd place. Well done, girls!
Last week our U9 Boys, U11 Boys & Girls, U13 Boys, U13/15 Girls and Over 15 Boys all took part in the PISAC Football tournaments on Thursday, 15th and Friday, 16th. Here are the results:
- U11 Boys - 1st place
- O15 Boys - 2nd place (after a dramatic penalty shootout with BISP)
- U13 Boys - 2nd place
- U9 Boys - 3rd place
- U15 Girls - 3rd place
- U11 Girls - 4th place
- U13 Girls - 5th place
My name is Zak Brown. I’m from Bakersfield, California and started swimming at the age of 10. During High School, I helped lead our team to becoming league champions 4 years in a row. After High School, I attended Bakersfield College and continued swimming for Bakersfield Swim Club. During this time, I competed all over California as well as traveling to other states for national level competitions. After 2 years of junior college; I moved to Niagara Falls, New York and competed at Niagara University as a Division One Swimmer. During my stay at Niagara University, I was able to set three school relay records and I received a degree in marketing and logistics. I've enjoyed coaching swimming for over 9 years and have worked with athletes on all levels from beginners to Olympians. I feel very fortunate that swimming has given me the opportunity to meet incredible people from all over the world. Swimming is more than just a sport to me, it's become a lifestyle. The lessons learned through swimming stay with you your entire life. This is my second year with the HeadStart and I am really excited to work with the students to further develop their swimming abilities. Last season our Aqua Panthers hit best times and won the league championships. We have a lot of momentum building into this year and I am excited to lead the team into new heights!
Upcoming Swim Camp
Term break is quickly approaching and if you aren’t planning on leaving Phuket, the aquatics program has an opportunity for your child to join our Swim Camp or Swim Lessons! Many children at school NEED LESSONS. Please take advantage of this opportunity.
Classes will be organised for students from Preschool- Year 8. Each group will be divided into smaller segments with other students who are close to their ages as well as skill level. Lessons are 30 minutes each for four days. These programs will run December 17-20. The swim camp is designed to breakdown each specific stroke to help the individual learn proper technique and maximize efficiency. We will cover all four strokes, starts and turns throughout the camp. Each day will be geared towards a specific skill set and we will have games to help incorporate the learning.
Please sign up for either section, one form per participant HERE. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Welcome to Coach Carter’s Super Sports
The Super Sports camp is open for Boys & Girls aged 8-12 and will focus on physical activity that will be both co-operative and competitive. Students will participate in activities such as; Gladiator Ball, Dodge ball, Funky Football, Tug of War, Burnball, Capture the Flag, Granny’s Footsteps, Round Robin Badminton, Table Tennis and lots of Team Building. Most importantly, Super Sports will be loads of FUN! More details can be found in the poster below.
Hello, my name is Fiona Scott and I am very pleased to be joining HeadStart for another year. I am very much looking forward to a fun and exciting year ahead and working with a hard working school community who have high expectations and who are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning. Since graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2002, I have taught in a number of Primary schools across Scotland, England and Thailand. During my teaching career, I have taught all year groups in Key stage 1 and 2 as well as teaching across the Early Years. I have held a number of leadership roles, from subject coordinator to Head of Primary in a developing school in Bangkok. I believe that education encompasses developing the whole child; academically, socially and emotionally. Teaching should be fun and interesting as well as motivating and challenging; where all children can develop and thrive. As teachers, we need to ensure that all learning experiences are enriching and rewarding which promotes a lifelong love for learning. Through a creative curriculum approach; a happy and confident child, is a successful one. Since first moving to Thailand in 2006, my family and I are no strangers to the Thai culture and way of life. Both of my children were born in Thailand and are both very happy at HeadStart. They enjoy the range of learning experiences on offer and thrive in the After School Programmes on offer. As a family we all enjoy a range of activities from cycling to swimming to exploring and traveling around such a beautiful and diverse country. This year I will be based in Foundation and am looking forward to getting to know all the new families and supporting the children in their learning journey through HeadStart and beyond.
Foundation Department News
The Sweet Taste of Boredom
An unfortunate incident in our house this week led to a no TV or tablets punishment - where screens were switched off for a prolonged period of time. After the initial upset of tears, tantrums and screams of boredom, the children went storming off to their bedrooms to seek reflection and contemplation. After a very peaceful half an hour, I went to investigate the silence. To my surprise, one was sitting happily at her desk, creating and designing Christmas cards, whilst the other was fully engrossed in pretend play - where an old suitcase had been turned into a beach paradise, towels had been transformed into the ocean and an upside down plastic dolls chair had become the worlds biggest ice cream shop; with many dolls and teddies enjoying some very interesting flavours.
I smiled and marveled at my children’s ability to find alternative entertainment, through what was initially a very negative situation. This led me to thinking about how it is good for our children to get a taste of boredom. As parents, we have the best intentions to make our children instantly happy. We give in to their immediate demands; they are hungry we instantly feed them snacks, they are bored, we instantly give them a phone. However this instant gratification allows no room for learning and developing or even dealing with stressful situations. Surely if we want our children to wait, we have to teach them patience. If we want our children to make friends, we must teach them social skills. By giving in to instant demands, are we teaching our children, or denying them, the skills needed for dealing with minor stresses in later life?
Inspiring a love of Communication and Language
This week we added two new features in the Foundation corridor to help inspire a love of Communication and Language. We believe that with more writing media and resources, our young learners can communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings creatively, as well as develop their motor skills necessary for the mechanics of handwriting. It has been very pleasing to see how they have enjoyed the new writing walls this week.
A Day at the Movies
Friday’s ‘A Day at the Movies’ dress up was a whole lot of fun. Students and teachers made such a a great effort to look like they walked straight out of a movie set. Well done to the winners of the Secondary student and teacher costume competition. They have won free movie tickets as a reward for their efforts.
- Most creative student costume: Shane Walters, Year 10
- Which student wore it best: Giacomo Solaroli, Year 9
- Best student group: Alice in Wonderland, Kru May and Secondary students
- Most creative teacher costume: Ms Ayce Rico and Ms Airl Mindaro
- Best teacher group: Mr Long, Ms Williams, Ms Webb
Primary students engaged in a treasure hunt where they had to find 100 different movie titles hidden around the school. They also won House points if they were in costume and walked down the catwalk. It was great to see what everyone had prepared.
A great big THANK YOU to Afra and Fabrizia (HeadStart mums) for the many hours spent making the fantastic Hollywood photo booth for ‘A Day at the Movies’!
A full album of photos can be found on the HeadStart Facebook page and a video will be made available on the HeadStart You Tube channel next week.
This week, Early Years have been learning about ‘Under the Sea’. We have read the story of The Rainbow Fish, where we learned about the niceness of sharing, and have created our own rainbow fish by using celery to paint the fish gills! We have also learned about ‘floating’ and ‘sinking’ through putting different objects in the water and seeing if they stay on top of the water or go down to the bottom. We have learned that light objects often float, whereas heavy objects mostly sink. How interesting! We will end this week with our brilliant aquarium trip tomorrow, so stay tuned! By Ms Saki Shibuya
Reception students had a brilliant school trip to the Bird Park! They were so excited to see all of the colourful and unusual creatures. The children particularly enjoyed the bird show and watching the clever parrots solving puzzles and riding on miniature bicycles. It was a really fun day! By Ms Hannah Kuusik and Ms Candice Smithie
The children were really excited about the Hollywood dress up day and wrote short stories in Russian about their favourite film characters. By Ms Alina Platkova
Year 3 students used their knowledge of verbs, places and days of the week to write into their weekly diary. Well done Year 3 students for always trying your best! By Kru Sue
As Headstart were given a tour, they were lucky enough to be invited on air and explain what they favourite parts of being a student at the school were. Nicolas Pakin Roersch explained that he liked the new science labs and because of this would like to be a Scientist when he grows up, but if all else fails he would love to be a Radio DJ, much like the amused DJ, Jason Wilder. By Mr Ross Armstrong
As part of their ongoing development as critical thinkers, committed to arriving at truth based on enquiry and reason, Year 11s IGCSE English Literature students took part in Socratic seminars this week to explore layers of meaning in Gillian Clarke’s poetry. By Mr. Pollicutt, Head of English and Humanities.
Year 10 have started their end of term assessment this week. Using observational measuring techniques, they will complete a natural form inspired final piece for their current project. I can’t wait to see the final outcomes! By Ms Samantha Gill
My name is Nadine Brelstaff and I am originally from Somerset in the UK. I studied Sports Coaching at The University of Brighton and then went onto to complete my PGCE in Physical Education. During my time at University I had the incredible opportunity to volunteer for a cross-community reconciliation project in Israel and Jordan working with children from varying backgrounds and ethnicities. I also went on a two week placement to St Andrews International School in Bangkok. It was there that I discovered a love for teaching in Thailand and hoped that one day I would come back. After University, I worked in a large state school where I gained my NQT status and then a small special school for children with dyslexia and associated learning difficulties. In October 2017 my wish came true and I moved to Thailand to work at HeadStart International School. I regard PE as a powerful and influential subject from which pupils can learn far more than physical techniques. Consequently, my approach to teaching and learning is centred on the desire to help young people enjoy taking part in sport now and into their adult lives. I take pride in the fact that I am supporting students to make positive choices, leading to a healthy active lifestyle. Outside of teaching I enjoy running, diving and cycling. I am extremely excited by the opportunities that Phuket and the rest of South-East Asia holds for me to pursue theses passions. I am also looking forward to seeing the how the school develops over the next academic year and being part of that process.
Next Monday the Term 1 House Champions will be announced. Therefore, the results from this week are more important than ever, especially as the scores are so close. During their lunch times the students thoroughly enjoyed a new house activity called Table Wars. With just 2 goals separating 1st and 2nd the Yellow Cheetahs were elated to be named this weeks winners! The weigh your waste competition was also won by the Yellow Cheetahs. Could this mean the Yellow Cheetahs could come from 4th place last week to win this Term’s prize? We will have to wait and see!
The current totals will have the individual house points from the students added over the weekend and the winners announced during Flag raising on Monday morning.