07 May
Weekly6 months ago

Weekly Update #30, 9 May 2020

HeadStart s Got Talent Website
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Erika Cramp

Director of Creative and Performing Arts
[email protected]

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.

Can you sing, dance, or play an instrument? Are you good at telling jokes, doing magic tricks or acting? Show us your incredible talent and stand a chance to win! Students, parents and teachers are all welcome to enter this year’s virtual HeadStart’s Got Talent competition.

We are very excited to announce that we have 4 celebrity judges this year:

  • Jesse Quin - bassist for the award winning English rock band Keane.
  • Amra-Faye Wright - Broadway actress famous for her role as Velma Kelly in Chicago.
  • Heinrich Kruse - professional drummer for Broadway shows such as Newsies, West Side Story and Beautiful - the Carole King Story.
  • James Drake - professional WWE wrestler from the UK.
  • Henry Cox who is the lead singer for the band Boston Manor.

If you are interested in taking part in this year’s competition email your video to Mrs Cramp at [email protected] by the 15th of May. Your entry should be no longer than 3 minutes and be good enough quality to be used in the final so spend time to get it right! Get practising and filming!


CAPA lessons in Key Stage 3

From Monday all students in Key Stage 3 will be attending their Music, Art and DT lessons as scheduled on their timetables. Students will take part in online Music, Art and DT lessons. In CAPA we aim to get the students to engage in creative tasks away from their computers.

House Captains recruitment Facebook Page
University Prep News
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Gemma Caines

Deputy Head of Secondary
[email protected]

I work mostly with the Secondary students at HeadStart, overseeing their general progress, personal development and wellbeing as well as dealing with individual pastoral or academic concerns. I’ve been teaching since 1997, which makes me feel very old, but working without students here at HeadStart 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 school is full of different challenges for students, some of them personal and some related to learning. I’m here to try and make each child’s learning journey as smooth as possible and to make sure that school is a place where they can really grow into their potential. 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 across the school with a fantastic Student Support team, and I also have specific responsibility for Child Protection and Safeguarding here at HeadStart. 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.

The HeadStart Class of 2020 are just coming to the end of this year’s cycle of university applications. This has involved a lot of hard work and perseverance on their part and we are very proud to report that they have had an excellent year, continuing our excellent record of securing places at some of the world’s leading universities.

This year over 1/3 of our offers have been given by a globally ranked Top 100 university, with 2/3 of our students having at least one Top 100 university offer in place. This is an outstanding achievement and recognition of the determination and academic prowess of HeadStart students.

Some high ranking offers include University College London, Bristol and Durham in the UK; Toronto, University of British Columbia and UC San Diego in the USA and Canada; and the Universities of Delft, Amsterdam and Utrecht in the Netherlands. Some members of the Class of 2019 were also busy with Post-A Level applications and have already started their studies at Universities like Queensland in Australia and Chulalongkorn here in Thailand.

Also really pleasing, as ever, are the wide range of courses our students will be continuing on to study. These include Computer Science, Psychology, Natural Sciences, Aerospace Engineering and Pre-Medical Sciences; as well Music Performance, International Business, Political Science and Economics. These successes are testament to the passion and ambition of our students, and we wish them all the very best of luck with whatever they move on to do next.


Online Virtual University Fair

Although things are slightly strange at the moment, our students should still be thinking about the future! With this in mind HeadStart has been working with one of our partners, Grok Global, on an ONLINE/VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY FAIR. This is happening this SATURDAY 9th May. Don’t forget that, in the current situation, it is unlikely that the university fairs we usually attend on the island will be happening so this is an excellent opportunity to still be able to interact with universities! This should be of particular interest for parents of children in Year 10 and above, and Year 11 and 12 students have been invited to attend.

The fair will be running LIVE for 8 hours straight, with more than 36 universities from the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Switzerland, Ireland, Hong Kong and Malaysia, broadcasting to students and parents through LIVE presentations, Q&As and workshops. Registration is required for access. Students / parents can also sign up for one-on-one meetings with universities after the main event.

Date and Time Saturday, May 9, 8:00am-5:00pm (Thai time) / 9:00 am-6:00pm (Malaysian time)
Venue Zoom Webinar
Registration To register click HERE

How It Works

Universities are divided into 5 groups depending on the country they are from. Students will be able to see the complete list of participating universities and fair schedule after they register. Students / parents can choose to attend the sessions they are interested in and are not required to sit through the entire event.

For students who choose to have one-on-one meetings when they register, an invitation will be sent via a platform called Concourse so students can follow the instructions to choose their meetings with universities and stay connected with them on Concourse.

Email [email protected] or [email protected] if you have any questions.

Make it Tasty! Stay at Home Challenge

Well done to all who sent in photos of all of the delicious food that you have cooked. We have enjoyed seeing how creative you have been. For next week’s challenge we will shift our focus on HeadStart’s Got Talent so read the information provided and get planning. But for now, let’s enjoy photos of these tasty treats! A full album of photos and videos can be found on the HeadStart Facebook Page-Click HERE! Click to expand

P.E. Department News

The Aqua Panthers have still been working hard while on their home learning journey! We give 3 workouts to the swimmers each week and those who are putting efforts into improving their physical fitness are getting stronger everyday! I miss seeing the swimmers each day, but having the opportunity to see their post workout photos is a nice reminder about how great they are! -Coach Zak Brown

This week the children in Year 3 were busy disguising themselves for some espionage, as inspired by their mystery novel - “Ottoline and the Yellow Cat”. They picked mysterious pseudonyms and chose their most inconspicuous outfits, with varying degrees of success! Would you be able to pick out these super-sleuths? -Mr Ian Jackson

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In Science this week, the children in Year 5 Blue were asked to make a model of a satellite as part of an ‘away from the screen’ activity. They could choose whether to make an edible satellite or one made out of junk materials but their success criteria stated that the model had to include a container, a power source, a communication device, scientific instruments and an orientation finder. The children’s efforts and use of imagination was ‘out of this world’ (haha)! Here are some of the amazing models that they made… -Miss Whitehead and Ms Emma Spencer

The Year 4-6 art students have continued to impress me with their skills and creativity. Students this week have had the option to create recycled sculptures or draw zentangle pattern designs. -Ms Jody Leow

This week Key Stage 3 created imaginative artwork in the style of artist Ben Heine, who combines drawing with photography. -Ms Jody Leow

English and Humanities Faculty News
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David Pollicutt

Head of English
[email protected]

My name is David Pollicutt and I joined HeadStart International School in 2018. I am from the UK and grew up in the large port city of Bristol. I studied English Literature at the University of East Anglia, and trained to teach at The Institute of Education in The University of London. I taught in East London for four years, before moving to teach for eight years as Head of English in Viet Nam and China. I am a firm believer in developing students to be natural enquirers, following the Sir Ken Robinson model of best preparing students to use transferable skills for the shifting landscapes of their futures. I seek to encourage an epistemological approach in my lessons, urging students to evaluate the efficacy of the information they consume and the validity of interpretations. I am passionate about literature and will often be chortling at David Lodge’s tragicomedy or swooning at Ian Mcewan’s literary sleight of hand. Outside of the classroom I am a keen student of Philosophy, Politics and Psychology. I am a particular fan of the intellect and charisma exuded by Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris and the late and much missed Christopher Hitchens. I have a terminal case of devotion to Tottenham Hotspsur Football Club; it teaches me patience and humility.

Ther saugh I first the derke ymaginyng

Of Felonye, and al the compassyng;

The crueel Ire, reed as any gleede;

The pykepurs, and eek the pale Drede;

The smylere with the knyf under the cloke;

Despite what you might think, not only is this English but it is in fact a sliver of ‘The Knight’s Tale’ but Geoffrey Chaucer, the next text which students will explore at A Level English Literature. The text is part of a 14th Century collection of 24 stories which run for over 17,000 lines and is written in Middle English. Why study such a seemingly impenetrable text, you might ask. Well, there is value in students undertaking such a challenge, not least in the confidence which I am sure they will derive from being able to infer and draw meaning from such a seemingly esoteric piece of writing.

Not only that but it is a window into a different world, surely one of the purposes which we as English Literature teachers are obliged to present to our learners. A world of courtly love and ethical dilemmas, the latter of which are still very much relevant in the 21st Century.

Finally, it is indicative of the high and rigorous intellectual standards which we set our students in the English and Humanities Faculty. Having said that, I am sure the class of 2019 are pleased that they dodged this particular bullet!

Year 11 English First language Podcasts

For the last official online assignment, First Language English students in Year 11, students made a podcast.

One of the pleasing things about being a teacher is one can expose students to one’s own whims and fancies, meaning that I was able to introduce students to the world of Kermode and Mayo- BBC journalists who are particular favourites of mine.

Mark Kermode, the film critic, is known for unleashing his full fury on films which he feels are poor. Students here were encouraged to select films which they were less than impressed with and use their own language choices to reveal the depths of their ire!

I think the results were tremendously successful and it only remains for me to wish them the best of luck in their imminent examinations, in which I am confident they will excel. They have been a tremendous class, a pleasure to teach and they deserve every success which comes their way.

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