10 May
Weekly5 months ago

Weekly Update #29, 10 May, 2019

Meet the Team!

Say hello to Ms Candice Smithie who works in the Foundation department. Ms Smithie has been working with children for the past 8 years and has truly found a passion for teaching young children.

‘I specialised in Early childhood development because I enjoy learning from children as they learn from me as well.’

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

Date Time Event Location
13-17 May All week Creative & Performing Arts Faculty Week -
13-17 May All week Primary Exam prep week In class
14 May 8:15am Thai Parents Meeting Secondary Hall
18 May 8:30-12:00pm Saturday Thai Culture Club -
20-24 May All week Primary, Year 7, 8, 9 Exams -
27-28 May All day Mid-term break -

Exam Scopes

Students wishing to revise for upcoming exams can now easily access Exam Scopes on the website by clicking on the links below. Exam timetables can also be found in each Year group folder.

Primary Exam Scopes

Secondary Exam Scopes


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!

Welcome to The Greatest Show on Earth! Over 150 students from CAPA and the Dance Academy are preparing a fantastic circus themed evening with a magic mix of Hip Hop, Contemporary, Jazz dancers, cheerleaders, aerial artists and singers. Come to enjoy a variety of famous musical scenes from ‘Cats’ and the ‘Greatest Showman’. It’s going to be a bumpy ride to the other side!!!

  • 4:30–Circus activities in the atrium
  • 6:15–Performance Hall doors open
  • 6:30–Show begins!

Tickets go on sale in the front office on the 15th of May at 8:00am. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime chance!


Creative and Performing Arts Faculty Week

Today CAPA Faculty week kicked off with a bang as Phuket Magic wowed the audience of Reception - Year 10 students in with a magic show today in assembly. We have a fun-filled week ahead of us including performances in the atrium every morning, students performing at lunch time, an Art exhibition and sensory room. Enter our photography competition by contacting Ms Gill at [email protected]. On Wednesday to Friday there will also be a DJ competition in the dining hall. Winners will DJ at the Prom!

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Sontana Baci

School Director
[email protected]

My name is Sontana Baci. I come from Songkhla, the deep south of Thailand. I joined HeadStart International School in 2010. I hold a bachelor of Thai Language Education degree as well as a Master degree in Educational Management. HeadStart International School welcomes all international students and Thais. With over 33 nationalities represented in the student body, you will soon feel the mixture of our international progamme as well as the appreciation that we are living in Thailand. We strongly believe that HeadStart is a ‘family’ school, where our youngest and oldest students study and live happily side by side. Our favourable pupil-teacher ratio means that each child is an individual and receives the needed academic and social support. HeadStart International School is a recognized Cambridge International Examinations centre and all students sit the IGCSE examinations here in May/June and November sessions. The Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international curriculum for 14-16 year olds, leading to globally recognized and valued Cambridge IGCSE qualifications. Students who have completed Year 11 with 5 passes at least at grade C, receives a certificate that is the equivalent to M.6 in Thailand This will enable them entrance into many international university programmes in Thailand. I am very proud to be associated with HeadStart and I am delighted at the many achievements of our students.


Ro Dor Training for Year 10 Students

By Thai law male citizens under the age of 21 are required to do military service. HeadStart has been organising this programme for our Thai students in the past 8 years in order to give our students the opportunity to experience the Thai Military Service programme. This will also exempt them from full compulsory Military Service at the age of 21. This week, we have been informed by the Military Service Commander that the schedule for military service training application for academic year 2019 will take place within this month.

I would like to invite parents and students in Year 10 to a short presentation about the implications of the regulations of Military Service for the 2019 academic year. The meeting will take place on Tuesday 14th May, 2019 between 8.15 – 9.15 am in the Dance and Drama Room on the 4th floor. The meeting will be presented in English and Thai.

Meeting agenda:

  • Rules and Regulations
  • Application date
  • Physical test
  • Hair Style and uniform
  • Training course
  • Benefits for students
  • Expenses
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James Hornby

Deputy Head of Foundation and Primary
[email protected]

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.


Year 6 Residential trip to Panga, 2019

As part of the curriculum at HeadStart, the students take part in a range of offsite trips from an early age in order to broaden their awareness of the local area, their role and place in the community and to develop their own personal skills. These skills include an awareness of themselves, independence as well as their collaborative skills.

As Primary comes to an end for our Year 6 students, they take part in a residential experience off the island of Phuket in Phang-Nga. Designed to be a mixture of fun and challenge in just the right amounts, the children work in teams to undertake various challenges over the course of the trip. Whether that is setting up the camp, cleaning up or tackling the physical challenges that they are set, the level and type of challenge depends upon the individual and their previous experiences. They are all encouraged to step outside their comfort zone in a supportive environment whilst also having fun with their friends.

For many this is the first time that they have been away from home without their parents, which obviously brings its own challenges, for others the challenge may be sleeping in a tent surrounded by the noise of nature. Those that have a wider experience of residential trips are encouraged to take on a more supportive role within their groups. For all of the students the time away from technology means communication skills are utilised and is a very new experience for the majority! A clear aim is for both individuals and groups to see a positive impact on self and relationships as they start their journey through Secondary.

If you want to see an album of the Year 6s trips in the past click here!


Student Success at TIMO

These students took part in TIMO (Thailand International Mathematical Olympiad) and worked so hard to achieve success and make everyone at HeadStart so proud. Keep up the good work!

  • Teenueng Limpanapa Silver Award in Primary 4

  • Chutiwat Nadon Merit Award in Primary 4

  • Natt Kritchanarat Silver Award in Primary 5

  • Sarita Poudyel Bronze Award in Secondary L1


Did you know?

A group of HeadStart students have been working with Oceans For All Foundation to translate a book called ‘The Underwater Colours of Thailand’. Once complete, this book will be sold all around the country and is designed to raise awareness to restore balance in the ocean’s eco systems. World famous underwater photographers from National Geographics and BBC have contributed their work towards this because of their passion for preserving our oceans.


Sports Department News

Football News

Asa Sanderson, our new Head Football Coach, started working at HeadStart this week and the players were super excited to meet him. Coach Asa also met with the parents and players on Friday to introduce himself and set the expectations and vision for the future of the HeadStart Football Academy. Welcome to HeadStart Coach Asa!

Our Under 13 and Under 15 Girls teams hosted Kajonkiet on Thursday, 9th May.

The team worked very well together, staying compact as a group and attacking quickly when they won possession of the ball. The girls learnt some new principles of play and implemented these in the game very quickly. When taking on new ideas and new ways of playing, the opposition will always have chances to take advantage but, in the long term, the girls will be very well developed players.

The teamwork, leadership skills and positive attitude were a real pleasure to see. Whilst the girls were slightly disappointed not to win the game, they quickly recognised the opportunities to learn from the game. Miss Brelstaff would like to make a special mention about Sonya Ngarmseang for the fantastic leadership she demonstrated to support the U13s as assistant coach. She was hugely valuable, supporting the girls with their substitutions and coaching from the sidelines.

As the coaching team move forward, all the football teams will start to apply the same principles in training and the games therefore creating a ‘one team’ ethos. This will make the transition through the age groups smooth throughout the learners time at HeadStart. By Coach Asa

Under 13 final score HS 3 - 4 KIS

This Thursday saw the Under 15 girls team take on KIS. Due to exams and injuries we were only able to field 6 girls and so with only 1 substitute the match was physically very demanding for them. However, the girls demonstrated outstanding fitness and teamwork to keep battling right to the final whistle. The game ended 3 - 1 in favour of KIS. Despite the score line I was incredibly proud of the girls as they demonstrated many of the skills they had been working hard on in training and showed incredible grit and determination. By Ms Brelstaff

Under 15 final score HS 1 - 3 KIS

What’s Coming Up?

The PISAC Development Football League will take place on Saturday, 11th May. Come and support and join the action!

U9 Boys/U11 Boys/Girls and U13 Boys PISAC Development Football League at BISP 08:00-10.00am
Under 15 girls PISAC Development Football League at HeadStart 08:00-9:15am
Over 15 Boys PISAC Development Football League at HeadStart 09:15-10:30am

Upcoming Girls Football Camp

Introducing a football camp for all girls ages 10-15 years old. The camp will take place on the 28th of May between 3:30-6:00pm at HeadStart and will focus on the players’ technical and tactical development. It will also include a small 2 sided tournament. Teams will consist of three or four players which will be selected by the coaches. The cost is 750 baht pp. If you want to participate contact the front office for registration and payment by the 24th of May.


Foundation Department News

Foundation ‘Catch Me Reading’ Photo Competition

This week we were very lucky to have Mr Pollicutt and Ms Cusworth in Foundation to judge our ‘Catch Me Reading’ photo competition. We do have winners and runners up from Early Years and Reception, however while we wait for Asia Books to deliver the prizes, we will have to wait one more week to find out who our lucky winners are. We will announce the winners in next week’s assembly.

A reading reminder - Not only does reading fuel learning and imagination but if you were to read just one book a day, every day, to your child; you will have read 1,895 books together by their 5th birthday. Help us to inspire a love of stories and books and read every day with your child!

Signing In and Out

Just a gentle reminder, please be sure to sign your child in and out of school each day. This simple routine does help us to locate a child before, during or after school if required. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Stars Of The Week

Last week our Stars of the Week for Early Years were Sugar, Mayya, Titan and Oscar who all worked incredibly hard and had a super week in class. Well Done Early Years! In Reception, congratulations to Arte, Jagger, Wansuk and Puan for putting in a huge effort in all their learning last week and receiving their awards for super progress. Well done Reception.

As part of our ‘Friends of Phuket’ topic we are celebrating some of the cultures and home countries of the children in our class. This week was Russia! We have an amazing time trying some delicious food from Mrs Marquass, and the children had fun trying on the clothes and listening to traditional Russian folk music. We can’t wait for China week next week! By Ms Lucie Bevins and Ms Charlotte Myers

The Year 8 First Language English students are studying complicated but fascinating allegorical tales of Africa, written by the Nobel Prize Winner Ngugi Wa Thong’o. To fully understand the intricacies of these short stories, this week they were working together in groups in order to learn about European colonialisation of the continent and African animist beliefs. This helped to develop their language skills by allowing them to present in different formats (speeches, presentation, tableaux and scripts). Great fun and lots of experiential learning! Make sure that if you’re in Years 7-10 you study and follow the Exam Scopes on the school website ready for the exams in the week beginning 20th May. By Mr David Pollicutt

Year 9 discovered their adventurous side last week in Khao Sok, the beautiful National Park in Surathani. On Wednesday morning, we set off from school at 8:30am and made our way to our accommodation on the lake. When we arrived we swam, played card games and had a delicious meal all together which was the perfect way to spend the evening after a long day in transit.

It was an early start on Thursday morning; the students enjoyed wildlife boat safaris on which we saw many hornbill birds and heard the loud calls of gibbons before the heat of the day. Following this we embarked upon an exhilarating hike through the famous Nam Ta Lu cave! Our local guides showed us the stunning cave formations and told us about the interesting animals and insects that we came across along the way. After a long and exciting day, everyone slept well in their floating bungalows ready for the next lot of adventures!

We woke to another beautiful day which was perfect for kayaking, swimming and games. The students learnt how to navigate a kayak effectively and did team building exercises before heading back to the raft house for a few hours of relaxing down time to escape the heat of the day.

The final morning of our trip saw the students competing in several different team competitions; they build cardboard boats, they did relay races and they demonstrated their diving skills in a creative diving competition. Suitably worn out, we then made our way back to the pier and onto the coach back to HeadStart with the entertainment of Mr Cramps ‘dad jokes’!

By Ms Rebecca Barker


House News

This week the students took part in a variety of House activities including Basketball, Ultimate Frisbee and Handball. There were many highly competitive games but the Green Dragons were named overall champions this week!

Charity Appeal

Join this event and be part of raising funds for a good cause! More news on joining a HeadStart team will be shared next week.

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