25 Jun
Weekly25 days ago

Weekly Update #36, 28 June, 2019

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 August 2:00-3:00pm Exam Results Day Sixth Form Study Room
23 August TBA Parent Orientation Day Sports Hall/Classrooms
26 August   First Day of School  
05 September   World Scholars Cup Global Round Manila
06 September 2:30-5:00pm Friday Market Atrium

Dear HeadStart Community,

Thank you for another wonderful and productive school year. To the parents, thank you for your support from home, your meaningful suggestions and for your participation in school events. To our teaching staff, this unique learning experience would not be possible without your passion for excellence and commitment to inspiring a love of learning and to our students, thank you for all your hard work throughout the school year. Your teachers and parents are proud of you!

Best wishes to our Reception students who are moving to Primary, to our Year 6s who will be moving on to Secondary and our Year 13s who have graduated from HeadStart and will now experience adult life and move onto the next step of their educational journey. We will miss each one of you and welcome you to come back and visit.

Wishing everyone a wonderful summer holiday and looking forward to welcoming you back for Parent Orientation on the 23rd of August!

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Gemma Caines

Head of Sixth Form
[email protected]

My name is Gemma and this will be my first year at HeadStart. I am from the UK and grew up in the seaside town of Southport in the North West of England. I did my undergraduate degree in History at Cambridge University and then returned to the seaside to do my Masters at Sussex University. After that I worked in Colombo, Sri Lanka as a history teacher for 2 years, where I had my first Sixth Form tutor group. When I returned to the UK I spent three years as an educational project manager, working for The Sutton Trust. I realised that I missed my time in schools and so decided to go back to the classroom. I then worked at St Paul's Girls' School, a highly academic independent school in London, for 8 years. I had a busy time there, teaching History, working as Higher Education Co-ordinator and eventually becoming Assistant Head of Senior School. After deciding to go back to international teaching, I worked at Harrow International School Beijing as Head of Sixth Form as well as teaching History and History of Art. My last 5 years have been spent at The British School Kathmandu in charge of the Sixth Form and Safeguarding. I love working with Sixth Formers - it's such an exciting and dynamic time for students. However, I know it can also be stressful, for them and their families. I'm looking forward to helping develop the support networks that can make HeadStart students' final years in school positive and help them move on successfully to the next phase of their life, whatever their ambitions. I'm also looking forward to swapping mountains for the sea again!


Graduation 2019

The end of the school year is always a bittersweet moment, combining the excitement of the approaching holidays with the sadness of leaving friends, teachers and classmates behind. This is most true for those in their final year of school who, as young men and women, are well and truly ready to make the leap into adult life but perhaps feel some trepidation about what lies ahead as they leave school and home for their next adventure.

It was thus with enthusiastic affection but more than one tearful eye that HeadStart waved goodbye to the Class of 2019 on June 24th. They are a diverse bunch, full of unique individuals and talents. 16 very different nationalities are represented, a veritable league of nations where Brits play football alongside Koreans, Venezuelans plan science experiments with Americans, and Thai students learn history alongside Lithuanians.

More impressive than their different passports, to someone having worked in international schools for many years, is the sheer variety of academic interests represented in the university courses our graduates are set on pursuing.

There is much to celebrate in the fact that almost a third of our students are destined for Top 50 Global Universities (according to QS University Rankings) or that a quarter received offers of significant financial aid to contribute towards the cost of their studies. But most important of all is that each and every student has left school with a clear plan and every student who submitted a university application has been placed on the course of their choice.

And what a diverse set of choices they have made. Students have done particularly well in STEM fields, going off to study Medicine, Biological Sciences, Aeronautical Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology, Chiropractic and Computer Science. Unsurprisingly, given our location, students have also shown an interest in commerce and hospitality, and are holding offers to study Hospitality Management, International Business Management and even Agribusiness. That does not mean that creativity is on the sideline. HeadStart graduates will soon be embarking on degree courses in Fashion Design, Art, Literature and even Film Production. Social Sciences have also been strong this year, with students successfully applying for Law, Politics and even the prestigious PPLE (Philosophy, Politics, Law and Economics.) Their destinations are equally far-flung: the UK, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Spain, USA - to name just a few. It’s so rewarding working with high achieving young people with such a wide range of ambitions and, we wish them the very best of luck as they embark on these courses.

However, when it came to the graduation ceremony, what was most striking was not the individual successes but the community that these very different young people have forged together. There were speeches that thanked inspiring teachers, gratitude for the opportunities school had provided (sports, leadership, trips to New York, productions - all got honourable mentions) as different students spoke about their time with us. However, the word that was used most often by our leavers as they reminisced about their time at HeadStart was “family.” All of them acknowledged that things had not always been easy and that things like examinations and university applications on top of the usual personal challenges that inevitably arise meant that life had been stressful at times. All gratefully recognised the vital role that the teachers and friends school provided them with had played, and what they as individuals had each done, in supporting the group as a whole to be where they stood at that moment: successful and ready to move on to their next exciting chapter. It is that sense of “family” in its truest sense - a group of people who share values, support each other’s goals, respect and love each other despite their differences and are committed to each other - that the Class of 2019 most remembered about their time at school.

If they take this with them as they head off into the big wide world, we will be very proud of them indeed.

By Mrs Gemma Caines, Head of Sixth Form

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Sam Khan

Head of Foundation and Primary
[email protected]

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.


Primary Awards Ceremony

At HeadStart we know the importance that praising and recognising pupil effort and achievement plays in a pupil’s education, so we’ve developed many ways to encourage and praise our pupils. To those pupils who have not received awards, you should all know that every time your teacher awarded you a House Merit, a Star of the Week certificate, a Student of the Month certificate or every time a teacher just smiled or fist pumped or ‘high fived’, that is an award, a personal award just for you; for your efforts and hard work. And nothing makes your teacher happier than when you are all trying your best and learning.

And to the students who have received awards, today is truly a special day and we are all here to celebrate with you. Your teachers have singled you all out and want us all to be together to celebrate your personal achievement. Some of you have been recognised for your outstanding effort, some of you for your achievements in learning, others of you are being awarded for the improvements you have made this year.

Every HeadStart pupil should be proud of their achievements this year. I know that all of you have learned and grown over the course of the year, but this morning we do something that is truly positive – something that is quite unique to human beings. Today we come together to celebrate your success with you; our friends, our peers, our children and our pupils.

Our Year 6 graduation ceremony is our way of recognising and celebrating every one of you and your personal learning journey thus far. Learning IS a journey and it’s a journey that never truly ends, and for you all it now continues into Secondary.You have all learned, grown and developed so much in Primary and all of you will have moments to be proud of, whether they are academic, creative or sporting in nature. I know I speak for all the teachers here at HeadStart when I wish you the best of luck, as you all continue your school career at HeadStart Secondary.

By Mr Sam Khan, Head of Foundation and Primary

A full album inclusive of descriptions of what each student has won can be found on the HeadStart Facebook page. Click Here!

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Richard Lukats

Head of Secondary
[email protected]

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.


Secondary Awards Ceremony

Whether students have performed in school productions, competed in sporting and academic competitions or have contributed on a daily basis to the development of themselves and others, all HeadStart Secondary students have shown immense resilience and commitment this year in all aspects of school life. The students who received awards have done so as representatives of all Secondary students and as such we should all be proud of their recognition and they should be thankful for the support, help and guidance their fellow students, parents and teachers have given them this year for without which they may not quite have achieved as much success as they have this year.

I would like to share a poem with you as a way of some advice to help you be successful or continue to be successful in the future!!! I have chosen to share with you a poem by the early 20th Century Poet Edgar Albert Guest and it is called See it Through. The reason is because this poem is all about self-belief and resilience, vital qualities that you will all need in order to be successful in life.

See It Through

When you’re up against a trouble,

Meet it squarely, face to face;

Lift your chin and set your shoulders,

Plant your feet and take a brace.

When it’s vain to try to dodge it,

Do the best that you can do;

You may fail, but you may conquer,

See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you

And your future may seem grim,

But don’t let your nerve desert you;

Keep yourself in fighting trim.

If the worse is bound to happen,

Spite of all that you can do,

Running from it will not save you,

See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,

When with troubles you’re beset,

But remember you are facing

Just what other men have met.

You may fail, but fall still fighting;

Don’t give up, whate’er you do;

Eyes front, head high to the finish.

See it through!

By Mr Richard Lukats, Head of Secondary

A full album inclusive of descriptions of what each student has won can be found on the HeadStart Facebook page. Click Here!


HeadStart is Going Even Greener!

Take a look at the photos below to get an idea of the exciting new project we are working on here at school. When you return from your holidays there will be more trees and plants on school campus!

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