Secondary

Our Academic Staff members are at the very heart of our School. It is their enthusiasm and commitment in providing learning to our students that inspires our high standards and continued success.

HeadStart’s over 90 specialist teachers have British, Australian, US or similar internationally recognised qualifications which include Bachelor and Master Degrees and Doctorates. They bring with them a wealth of current experience from their home countries and from other international schools. Teachers in Foundation and Primary School are supported by a team of qualified teaching assistants.

The dedication and commitment of our Operational Staff in supporting the day-to-day running of HeadStart ensures that our students receive the very best in learning and extra-curricular activities.


‘Throughout the school, teachers’ subject knowledge and understanding of how students learn are strong. Relationships between students and teachers are positive. The ratio of qualified teachers to students, especially in the early years and lower primary classes, is high. ‘Deputy’ teachers, who are fully qualified teachers in their home countries, support class teachers. Due to their expertise, they make a significant difference to the rates of progress that students make. Teachers know students well and assess them accurately. This enables teachers to plan work that matches the ability of individual students and caters well for their varying needs.’ Education Development Trust (EDT) Accreditation Report, June 2017

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David Pollicutt

Head of English and Humanities
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My name is David and I am new to 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.

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Ashley Paice

English and Humanities
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My name Ashley and I will be teaching English across KS3-KS4 at HeadStart International School. I have been teaching English for five years in a variety of different contexts. I graduated from the University of Manchester with a B.A in English Language and then embarked on a life-changing adventure to teach English in Krabi. After three years, I returned to the U.K and went to Edge Hill University to gain my PGCE in Secondary English. Soon after completing my course, I gained my first teaching post in St. Helens, where I stayed for two years teaching both English and Drama. I believe that the most important asset of a teacher is to inspire students and ultimately provide them with opportunities that will inevitably lead to doors being opened for them in their future adult lives. As a teacher, I aim to inspire and enthuse my students in order to cultivate a lifelong love of learning; an ethos which clearly underpins the success at HeadStart. Furthermore, I strongly believe in the importance of bringing language and literature to life through the use of drama and a variety of fun and engaging activities within the classroom. Using active approaches helps aid students’ understanding by demystifying what initially can be something rather abstract. In my daily teaching practice, I endeavour to cultivate an autonomous learning environment whereby students have a greater degree of responsibility for their learning. Outside of the classroom, I can usually be found on one of the many sunny beaches on the island. I am also a keen runner and have scheduled three half-marathons already! Thailand is such a beautiful country and I can’t wait to explore more of it. I really am looking forward to starting my journey at HeadStart and providing students with an array of opportunities to flourish both in and outside of the classroom.

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Hayley Milner

English & Drama
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I am looking forward to continuing to work with staff and students at HeadStart from around the world with such a diverse range of cultures. My passion lies in drama and the performing arts, so I am extremely excited to be bringing drama into the curriculum at HeadStart. In Australia, I studied a Bachelor of Contemporary Theatre. I then completed my PGCE in Secondary English and Drama. This is now my tenth year teaching and in this time I have been Drama Co-ordinator and Literacy Leader in the Creative Arts. I enjoy writing plays and directing as well as acting as a dramaturg. Some of my highlights throughout my career have been working as an Assistant Director for Queensland Theatre Company; working as a dramaturg for Playwriting Australia’s National Script Workshop, being a guest director for Queensland University of Technology and having my own plays performed in venue’s throughout Queensland, Australia. Over my time teaching, I have developed an interest in student well-being. Last year, I completed a Master’s in Education in School Guidance Counselling and worked over the summer in an Australian school as a school Guidance Officer and Counsellor. Within the classroom, I aim to provide each child with a safe and supportive environment where they can feel comfortable to be themselves and develop social independence and collaboration. I encourage building resilience, courage and curiosity in learning whilst engaging students in a sympathetic, genuine and understanding manner. Outside of school, I enjoy scuba diving and tennis. I am a huge foodie and love to go to the different restaurants around Phuket and duck away for the weekend to Bangkok, Singapore or any other country close by for a dose of theatre, comedy, live music and culinary experiences. I hope to eat my way around the world.

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Thomas Webb

English
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I consider myself to be a passionate, dynamic and flexible teacher with a plethora of skills to offer. I gained a first class degree from Brighton University in English Language and Media in 2007. This explored the fundamental concepts and theories involved in understanding English language and contemporary media. I have worked hard to use these skills in the classroom, using a variety of media approaches to texts to make learning engaging, accessible and applicable to our modern world. After studying, I travelled to Kyoto, Japan to teach English as a second language in several primary and middle schools. Whilst there, I fell in love with teaching. I then taught in a middle school in a small village in South Korea before studying for a PGCE in Secondary English in Brighton. Since then, I’ve taught English and Drama at a large secondary comprehensive school in East Sussex, at an international school in central Tanzania and most recently led the high school curriculum for English, Drama and Media at an international school in Bucharest, Romania. I’ve always loved reading and have always enjoyed writing, both academically and creatively and this passion is apparent in all of my teaching practices. Whilst studying at secondary school, I had fantastically inspiring English teachers who evoked in me a passion for the subject. Subsequently, these teachers became role models causing me to aspire to inspire and convey my love of the subject with similar enthusiasm. I enjoy teaching the practical English skills needed for working life and am particularly interested in the creative, expressive aspects of English such as poetry, creative writing and public speaking. I view the opportunity to communicate my knowledge and enthusiasm for English to others as a privilege and am excited at the prospects and opportunities working at HeadStart International School holds. What's more, I truly believe that for young people to achieve their full potential, individually and in the community, they must be provided with enriching and varied activities to develop their social and personal skills and I have enjoyed assisting my students in becoming thoughtful, responsible citizens. I am looking forward to fully immersing myself into the life of the school.

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Rhys Carlson

Head of Maths Faculty
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Hello, my name is Rhys and I am so excited to be working at HeadStart Phuket. I am from Australia and originally studied at Swinburne University of Technology, in Melbourne, gaining a Bachelor of Technology majoring in Aviation. While completing this I also qualified as a private pilot. Following this I worked as the quality manager at a hospital based microbiology laboratory. While working in microbiology I decided to complete a bachelor of education, something I had wanted to do for many years. After this 2 year degree I qualified as a maths and science teacher. I began my teaching career in Australia working as a maths teacher in a number of different roles, before fulfilling my dream of working in the UK. I have been teaching in a school in the UK in Hertfordshire for the last 3.5 years with 3 of those as the deputy head of mathematics. After many years of teaching maths I have found that it is vitally important to build and nurture the confidence of students in the maths classroom. Confident students ask questions and take their own initiative when dealing with problems. Being able to develop the self-assurance of the students in my classroom is something I strive for on a daily basis. Outside of teaching, I am a huge Australian Rules Football fan. My wife and I never miss watching our favourite team the Geelong Cats play on the weekends. Another passion of mine is snowboarding, which I realise will be difficult to indulge while in Phuket. That being said, I can’t wait to explore the island and become part of the HeadStart community.

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Letitia Bekker

Maths Teacher
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My name is Letitia and I am from South Africa. I completed my degree in BSc Chemistry and PGCE at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. I have a passion for young people and through teaching I want to make a difference in students’ lives. I firmly believe in student oriented education where learners must be fully involved in their education and I am willing to go the extra mile for each learner. My teaching experience in South Africa included working at IMPAK as a part-time teacher while completing my studies after which I moved, as a full time teacher to Hoërskool Warmbad which is a parallel medium High school teaching Mathematics and Physical Science. Besides teaching I love to travel, scuba dive and to camp. In 2015 my husband and I decided to move to Thailand where I taught Primary Science at an English programme school in Rayong and in January 2016 I joined the Mathematics team at HeadStart International School. I am looking forward to continue working with staff and students from around the world and cannot wait to see what the new academic year holds.

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David Lamprell

Maths Teacher
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I was originally born in Konstanz, Germany and lived in Switzerland for the first seven years of my life, before moving to a small town near Leicester in the UK. I studied at the University of Warwick, where I completed a degree in English and German Literature. After graduating I worked in the city of London in sales for a software company, before training to become a Mathematics Teacher through the Teach First programme. Although the subject I now teach is very different to the one I studied at degree level, I have thoroughly enjoyed re-engaging the mathematical part of my brain, and take great pleasure in helping my students to crack tough problem solving questions. Nevertheless, I continue to maintain my passion for literature and the arts by reading widely. Outside of my academic hobbies I also play a lot of sport and am a keen fitness enthusiast. Before moving to Phuket, I played Rugby regularly on weekends. I continue to be an avid gym goer and have now taken up a number of other sports, including running, with the aim to take part in a marathon and ultra-marathon in the not too distant future. I have also immersed myself in a range of different water sports in Phuket, including stand-up paddle boarding, surfing and wakeboarding (my greatest achievement here to date was placing 8th in the beginner category at the Phuket wake park gravity wakeboarding competition). I also love to snorkel and SCUBA dive – I have become a PADI advanced diver in the time that I have lived here. As an adventurous cook, I have also picked up a range of new recipes and have improved my knowledge of the Thai cuisine – who knew that something so simple as mango and rice would make such a delicious combination?! Overall I have really enjoyed my time at HeadStart so far – to work with such a lovely group of staff and students is something that I am truly grateful for.

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Natasha Sethi

Maths/Science Teacher
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My name is Natasha and I was born in Phuket but have lived in America and Australia for 3 years each. I’ve obtained a BSc in Biology/Pre-Medicine from Juniata College, America and a Master’s degree of Secondary Teaching in Science and Middle Years (Maths and English) from Victoria University, Australia. In addition, I studied abroad in France while undertaking my bachelor’s degree. I speak 4 languages: English, Thai, Hindi and French. Prior to moving to Phuket, I was a Primary and a Secondary cover relief teacher in Melbourne for a year and a VCAL teacher at Victoria University. My teaching philosophy focuses on educating students to become global citizens where I encourage students to constructively apply what they have learnt in the classroom to the real world. I’m an active and adventurous person; I am passionate about Latin dancing and I love travelling. I also keep myself fit by playing tennis and volleyball. I enjoy a healthy lifestyle and I’m always looking for new recipes to experiment with; I’m excited to incorporate the fresh and exotic ingredients Phuket has to offer. My education experiences in various countries have shaped me into a diverse individual with an open mind; respecting and appreciating various perspectives. I’m looking forward to being part of the HeadStart community and to inspire young individuals to be lifelong learners.

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Timothy Davidson

Head of Faculty Science
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My name is Tim and the 2018/19 academic year will be my first at HeadStart International School. I was born and raised in the beautiful county of Cornwall; located in the southwestern tip of the UK. After sitting my A-levels at Cornwall College I was awarded a scholarship from Pilkington Optronics to study Physics at Reading University. Post University I entered research at the National Physical Laboratory researching the use of quantum dots to replace fluorescent tag molecules for medical diagnosis. However the life of a researcher often left me in need of human interaction and I decided to opt for a career change; studying a PGCE at the Institute of Education, in London. After my PGCE I took up my first full time teaching post in West London. I remained at this school for seven and a half years during which time I took on a variety of roles including Head of Physics, running the school’s science specialism and Learning Leader; a role which saw me helping to develop the teaching practice of my peers. I then took up my first International post in Prague where I have worked as both the Head of Physics and the Teaching and Learning coordinator over the past four years. My approach to teaching has been formed from educational research and personal experience. The key to creating lifelong learners to is to give the students ownership of their learning and ensure they are suitably challenged and engaged throughout their time in education. To do this I endeavour to create an environment that fosters deep learning and stimulates students’ curiosity. In Science we are blessed as we can not only apply the teaching strategies used in other faculties but we can also give the students the opportunity to carry out practical investigations. On top of this the key concepts they learn can then be seen/experienced in their everyday life. Outside of school I enjoy running, swimming and whiling away an evening with good company over dinner. This academic year is going to be a significant one in my life; as well as starting a new job in a new country I am also marrying my fiancée in the summer of 2019. A year for celebrating all round! I am excited about starting the next stage of my career at HeadStart International School and being given the opportunity to aid the students in exploring the rules that shape our Universe.

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David Millake

Science Teacher
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My name is David Millake and I was born in Cardiff, which is located in South Wales in the United Kingdom. After completing my A-levels, I started a degree in Biochemistry at the University of Wales. I enjoyed the molecular biology component of my degree course so much that I decided to do a PhD in, what was then, a new and developing area of biotechnology. I spent my research time cloning and sequencing DNA and I published the first human sequence of a cytoskeletal protein called alpha-actinin. After the successful completion of my doctorate, I decided to do a PGCE in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. I began my teaching career in England, working at two of the country’s leading independent schools: Brighton College and Oakham School. Having obtained sufficient teaching experience to teach internationally, I quickly left the United Kingdom and started my International teaching career in Kuwait, where I spent the next 17 years working as both a teacher and Head of Department of Chemistry. While in Kuwait, I married a Thai lady and we had a baby boy, Luke, and we have traveled together as a family since that time. We decided that it was time to leave Kuwait and move to the far east to be closer to our home in Rayong Thailand. I taught Chemistry at Dulwich College in Zhuhai, China and then moved to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam where I taught at the British International School. We wanted to stay in Thailand for some time so I moved to Bromsgrove International School in Bangkok. I am extremely pleased to now join HeadStart International School, and I will be joined by my 7 year old boy Luke who will start in Year 3 at the primary school. When I am not teaching Chemistry, I enjoy: traveling, music, art and politics.

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Christopher Brown

Science Teacher
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My name is Chris and I am happy to be returning to HeadStart International School for my second year teaching science here. I grew up in North West England and completed my degree in Biochemistry at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Following a year teaching English and Science in Phuket I completed my PGCE in Secondary Science at the University of Manchester. I enjoyed teaching a truly comprehensive cohort of students from all backgrounds during my teaching experience in Manchester and am now delighted to be continuing my teaching career in Thailand. I feel that all young people have a natural curiosity and drive to understand the world around them, which makes teaching science a pleasure. I aim to keep this curiosity and excitement alive in my classroom and strive to make sure that my students see science as something interesting that they can relate to their own day to day lives. My science lessons allow students to explore ideas and discover answers for themselves as much as possible, giving them hands on experience of what it really means to be a scientist. I feel very lucky that I will be able to combine my love of teaching with living in one of my favourite places in the world.

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Patrick Brown

Science Teacher
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My name is Patrick Brown, I am from Rochester, Kent in England. I graduated with a BSc from The University of London. After working at Greenwich University for 18 years I completed a TEFL course in 1999 and then went on to a PGCE at Canterbury Christchurch University in 2006. I have worked for 8 years teaching science in the UK, 6 of them as Deputy Head of Science. I’m currently looking forward to my fourth year teaching at Headstart. I am also looking forward to helping pupils develop their skills in scientific enquiry and critical thinking, which I firmly believe help to enrich their overall experience in life and important decisions they will make in it. I am a keen cyclist and photographer and have put both these skills to good use on this beautiful island.

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Ellie Leamon

Science Teacher
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My name is Ellie Leamon and I am originally from South-East London in the UK. I studied Biology, Chemistry and PE at A-level and then went on to graduate with a Biology Degree from Sussex University. The main areas I studied during my degree were conservation, genetics and marine sciences for which I won an award as a result of my dissertation thesis for conservation and ecology. As a result of my love for field science, travelling and exploring new places and cultures I have always tried to work in different places around the world; working in Indonesia studying fish physiology for my dissertation, in Portugal studying sand dune ecology and most recently I worked in the Honduran rainforest as a schools co-ordinator teaching field survey techniques to A-level and college students from around the world. Shortly after finishing my degree I decided that I wanted to work with young people permanently and share my passion for science. The thought of potentially inspiring a new generation of scientists in these technological and scientifically advancing times being a very exciting prospect. I completed a school direct PGCE at St Mary’s University Twickenham and completed my NQT with my placement school, during which I was appointed SEN link for the science department as a result of my work with students with learning difficulties. I fully believe that every student is capable of achieving and exceeding expectations if given the motivation, encouragement and the specific tools they need as individuals. Science is crucial for young people to understand the way in which the world works around them and my primary aim as a teacher is to encourage children’s natural curiosity for this and create self-sufficient, confident students that have the knowledge and skills in which to engage with the interesting world that surrounds them. Outside of teaching I enjoy hiking, diving and photography. Last year I really enjoyed getting to know all of the talented HeadStart students and working as a part of the brilliant HeadStart team as well as living on beautiful Phuket. I look forward to continuing to work hard with the students and helping them to achieve everything they are capable of.

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Narumon Kunjun

Science Technician
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My name is Kanwara Kunjun or Bow. I graduated from Prince of Songkla University where I achieved a Bachelor of Science, I majored in Biotechnology. I was working as Science assistant during that time. After I graduated, I worked as a lecturer at The Biochemistry department at Taksin University for a year and I used to work as a science tutor for secondary students at Hatyaiwittayalai Somboon Kunkunya School. It has been a great opportunity to join Headstart International School in the position of Science Technician. Two years have passed since joining the team but I still have so much fun working in the school because of the lovely management team and students.

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Richard Cramp

History Teacher
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Hi, my name is Rich and I’ve been teaching History at HeadStart International School for three years. Previously, I was an English and History teacher at Bromsgrove International School in Bangkok. My experience as an English and History teacher in international schools, along with a strong EAL background, has given me the tools to effectively teach students of differing abilities from all over the world. I am also in a position to empathise with international school students, having been one myself (I spent my first 12 years in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan). As HeadStart’s History teacher, I will ensure that students not only access the History curriculum, but do so in a lively, engaged classroom that inspires a love of history while developing their knowledge and history skills, such as interpreting sources and presenting coherent arguments. My philosophy is that every student has a potential that must be nurtured and encouraged. I do this by trying to instil a sense of personal connection or relevance to the historical topic, which in turn ignites his or her curiosity and motivation. In an increasingly globalised world, it is essential that students understand, and connect, to the issues we currently face by understanding how they came to be in the first place. This, along with the skills they learn, they can become truly equipped for new and future challenges. Apart from teaching, other passions include environmental activism (I help organise Trash Hero Phuket’s beach cleans), music (listening and composing), travel and being a consistently disappointed Tottenham Hotspur fan. To be able to live near the coast and teach a subject I’m so passionate about is fantastic. My wife and I are enjoying teaching and living in Phuket, especially because the lifestyle here gives our two children an opportunity to grow up in the great outdoors.

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Rebecca Barker

Geography Teacher
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My name is Rebecca Barker and I am a Geography teacher from the UK. I have a first class degree in Human Geography and am currently in the process of finishing a Master Degree from UCL. Education is my passion and I really enjoy being able to extend my own learning alongside teaching. I studied for my PGCE as part of an organisation called Teach First which works with schools in deprived areas of the UK. This really opened my eyes to some of the issues that young people face, and further strengthened my desire to work in education. I love my subject and am truly dedicated to helping students to learn how to navigate and understand the world. I am looking forward to returning to HeadStart after a fantastic summer traveling through Malaysia and Indonesia. Travel is a great passion of mine and I look forward to going on lots more adventures this year. As well as travel, I have many other passions; last year I took up diving and I now have my advanced qualification. I also love hiking climbing and hope to be able to make the most of all of the exciting landscapes here in Thailand! I am excited to share all of my experiences from the summer and get back to teaching the brilliant students at HeadStart!

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Benjamin Salmon

French Teacher
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My name is Benjamin Salmon and I am a French native speaker from Paris, France. This will be my third year teaching at HeadStart International School. Before coming to Phuket, I also lived and worked in Bangkok, Thailand as well as Halifax on the Canadian East coast. I hold a Master Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from BridgeTEFL, and I will be finishing my Post Graduate Certificate in Education with the University of Nottingham at the end of this year. In addition to my teaching background, I also hold a Master Degree in International Trade from the INSEEC Business School in Paris. I consider myself to be a very active person; I love travelling and practice a variety of sports from Football to Yoga. I have a true passion for teaching as well as learning new languages. I intend on using this passion to inspire my students. I am very excited to start this second year as the Secondary French teacher, and I look forward to collaborating with other teachers in Secondary, in order to help children developing their language learning and make their journey inside the school stimulating and fun. I have been in Phuket for about two years and I am looking forward to spend my third on this beautiful island that I call home. I really enjoy Thai culture and lifestyle, and I will continue to practice (and hopefully improve) my Thai speaking skills throughout the year. I feel very lucky to be part of the HeadStart community, and will make sure to make this year a fantastic one for our students, parents and staff.

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Honglian Wang

Mandarin Teacher
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NiHao! I am Honglian WANG and my English name is Aileen. I have been a Mandarin Chinese teacher since graduate school and have 11 years’ experience (6 years’ experience of teaching IGCSE) working in international schools and teaching students all through preschool, primary and secondary schools. I graduated from Tianjin Foreign Studies University in China with a Bachelor Degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. I am certificated in the Qualification for Senior International Chinese Language Teachers and completed the professional development course of Cambridge IGCSE Mandarin Chinese. It is a great pleasure for me to carry forward teaching of Chinese language and culture to HeadStart for the 7th year. It has been lovely to see the way in which the students’ skill and confidence has developed in Mandarin Chinese. I really enjoy working each day with all of our students from multi-cultural backgrounds and discussing various topics relevant to their study. I am always so happy when watching my students’ progress in the language. In my spare time, I like to read, listen to music and pet my cat. I am looking forward to see my students speaking beautiful Mandarin in the near future.

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Sam Bushell

P.E. Teacher
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My name is Sam Bushell and I am from South-East London, in the UK. This is my second year teaching at Headstart, having previously taught in London. I studied at the University of Brighton and graduated with a First Class Honours degree. I have worked at an International Sports Camp in America, where my role was an outdoor activities instructor, camp counsellor and sports coach. Throughout university I was involved with a charity called ‘Football4Peace’ in which their aim was to utilise sport and football to create social changes. I was trained with the ‘Football4Peace’ methodology and travelled to Gambia for two weeks of coaching local children, a challenging, but extremely rewarding experience. From my teaching experiences and studies, I believe that PE is a holistic subject, and that there is an activity for everyone to enjoy. I love sharing my expertise and knowledge with my students to enable them to lead healthy lifestyles. I thoroughly enjoyed my first year at HeadStart, and am looking forward to continuing to contribute to the department and school.

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Ross Armstrong

Computer Science/ICT Teacher
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My name is Ross and I will be beginning my first year working at HeadStart International School in August 2018, this will be my fourth year of teaching Computer Science and IT overall. I am from Bushey, just outside London, in the UK. I first studied Psychology at the University of Essex and in-between term time worked for a computer company as an Engineer. After two years I then decided that I wanted to become a teacher and commenced on a fulfilling journey by doing a Computing course at Reading University and, finally, my PGCE at UCL’s Institute of Education. I have experience in various types of schools and I have run school clubs such as CCF, which is a cadet force for both the Army and RAF. This included teaching (and learning myself!) a whole squadron how to sail, kayak, canoe and mountain bike – I also learnt how to pilot a small plane! I’m a firm believer that a student’s experience of school should extend beyond academic success. Being able to offer students extracurricular activities is an important process of growing up, making friends and understanding commitment within a team. I like to live an active lifestyle which I believe can be transferred into a classroom. One of the main reasons I went into teaching was to be able to visit cultures around the world and truly immerse myself in them; HeadStart has given me the opportunity to do this. I’m extremely excited to start at HeadStart and make my mark on an already thriving institution.

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Ishmael Miah

Business Studies Teacher
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My name is Ishmael and I am originally from North-West London in the UK. I studied Accounting and Finance at Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales. After completing my degree I realised that I wanted to work with young people and develop my passion for teaching. My first role in teaching was in 2012 when I worked with young French students teaching English as a second language at a summer camp in Shrewsbury in the UK. This was an amazing experience which natured my love for teaching. I then worked as a voluntary Mathematics teacher at an International school in South-West India, which I found to be extremely rewarding. I then worked as a teaching assistant at a secondary school in South London, these experiences ultimately prepared and motivated me to go on to study for my PGCE in Business Education at the Institute of Education – UCL in London. I have spent the past 3 years teaching Business Studies at an inner London secondary school in the UK. My experiences of teaching has also allowed me to work with young people from all backgrounds and walks of life. I am passionate and enthusiastic about my subject and wish to transfer this onto my students through my teaching. As well as support students in developing aspirations in pursuing future career paths linked to Business. Outside of teaching I enjoy travelling and exploring new cultures, keeping physically active whether that involves going to the gym or playing sports. I am certainly looking forward to trying out Muay Thai and the water sports on offer here in Phuket. I also enjoy cooking and being outdoors surrounded by nature. I am excited to be commencing my first year at HeadStart and am really looking forward to making a contribution to all aspects of school life.

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Alexandra Holmes

Music Teacher
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My name is Alex and this is my first year at Headstart International School. I am very excited to have the opportunity to be part of the team and look forward to sharing my passion for music with my students. I am from the UK, growing up in South Yorkshire in the north of England. Having spent some time working in the Netherlands and travelling in Asia in my twenties, I then returned to college to study music and completed my music degree at Leeds College of Music. I then began to work in schools in West Yorkshire as a peripatetic woodwind teacher before enrolling on a PGCE course at Leeds University in 2001. I have taught in several independent schools in West Yorkshire since then and for the last 10 years I have been teaching music at the Grammar School at Leeds, a leading independent school in the area. It is my belief that a teacher should inspire a love of learning in their students, encouraging in them a desire to seek out new information for themselves. I will be encouraging my pupils to explore the vast array of musical styles and genres available to them both inside and outside the classroom. I foster a supportive and nurturing environment in my lessons, where children are not afraid to try new things, stretch and challenge themselves, take risks or make mistakes. Music takes up a good deal of my time, but I also love to exercise, enjoying running and spending time in the gym. When I came to Thailand in 2009 to perform in the World Saxophone Congress at Mahidol University I took the opportunity to learn to scuba dive on Koh Tao. I am hoping to build my confidence with this during my time on Phuket. I love to travel and look forward to exploring some of the other countries in South East Asia during the school holidays. Loving languages, I also intend to learn as much Thai as possible and would like to learn to cook Thai food properly.

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Samantha Gill

Art and Design
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My name is Sam and I am extremely excited to begin my first year teaching Art and Design at HeadStart International School. I was born in a small town called Lytham St. Annes on the North West coast of England. In 2013 I began a Bachelor of Arts degree in Design at Leeds Beckett University where I also gained a place on a set design for live music and performance internship in Norway. I continued further study here in order to gain a PGCE in Art and Design secondary education where I experienced teaching in a wide variety of schools. On completing my degree, I have worked at a small inner city secondary school in Rotherham for the past two years and was positioned as acting head of department before I decided to move to Thailand. I pride myself in forming meaningful relationships with each of my pupils, in order to help them produce personal outcomes in art projects that send them on a creative journey that they are truly interested in. I am also hoping to use my previous skills in set design and theatrical make up to inspire more pupils to take part in the school productions. In my spare time I enjoy listening to all kinds of music and attending live music concerts. I am also a huge Liverpool Football Club fan so can often be found watching the game on a weekend. The next year is going to be a fantastic experience and I cannot wait to start creating some masterpieces with all of the HeadStart pupils.

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Simona Grumezea

Replacement Teacher
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My name is Simona and this is my first year at HeadStart International School. I have a bachelors’ degree and a masters’ degree, both in performing arts and eight years of stage acting experience with several lead roles. I have been teaching drama in English and Romanian for seven years in international schools and children’s theatres. My aim as a teacher is to always provide support for my students and assist them in developing their particular talents. Each student has their own individual strengths when it comes to learning and personal development and I believe that my role as a teacher is to inspire and motivate my students to enhance these strengths whilst also embrace challenge. Therefore, my main goal has been to help my students become independent, whilst also developing strong and communicative team working skills so that they can feel confident and free to make mistakes, learn and further their development. As an actress theatre is my first and biggest passion. However, in my free time I also enjoy reading, singing, traveling and dancing. I am really excited to be in Phuket and I am looking forward to exploring this beautiful island.

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Hathaikan Korkimseng

Thai Teacher
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I am Hathaikan Korkimseng, or Kru Kan. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Language for Development (English – Thai) from Prince of Songkla University. I have been a Thai teacher at Headstart International School for 4 years. This Academic Year, I am teaching Thai as a First Language Programme in Year 8 - 9 and co-teaching Thai IGCSE for Year 10 – 11 Students. As I have been teaching at HIS since it was the small school, I feel very delighted to see the school keeps growing with a number of students, the developing of academic results until being a well – known international school in Phuket Island. I believe the children are our future. Each and every child has the potential to make something unique and special to the world. As a Thai teacher, I believe that Thai subject is very essential to students as they needs to understand both language and culture which lead them to be able to succeed in living in the Thai society and in the world. Helping the students to develop their potential by believing in them as capable individuals, I will assist them in learning to communicate and understand the cross culture. They can express their own opinions and their own ideas. I have a vision for society where people learn to respect, accept, and embrace the differences between of them, as the core of what makes life so fascinating. Please contact me at: [email protected]

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Pailin Issalam

Head of Faculty Thai
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My name is Pailin Issalam and my nickname is Dia. I attended Assumption University, where I achieved my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business. Graduating in 2009, I majored in English and gained additional credits in Hospitality and Tourism Management. After graduation, I applied for a position at HeadStart International School as an Assistant Teacher. I have since worked here for almost nine years. During 2012, I not only worked as an Assistant Teacher, but I also gained the trust of the Thai Department and have been afforded the opportunity to teach Thai to non-native students. This has been a great experience that has allowed me to develop my knowledge and skills to become a better teacher. Furthermore, I have gained the trust of parents enabling me to become a private tutor of English and Thai to Foundation, Primary and Year 10 students. In 2014, I was promoted to the role of Thai Teacher teaching the Thai as a First Language, Thai as a second language and Thai as a foreigner language programme. I am grateful for this opportunity and am confident that it will give me a rewarding experience. I have made it my goal to strive to become the best teacher that I can be and will do my best to develop and encourage my students to speak, read and write in Thai, inspiring in them a love of Thai studies so that they can usefully apply their knowledge to all aspects of their lives. In 2018, I am currently promoted to the position of Head of Thai Department for this coming year. Last year I have been training to be the Thai Co-ordinator. That interest which has lead me to my current position. I am grateful for this new professional opportunity that I have been given by HeadStart International School and I am very proud to be a member of the professional team of management at HeadStart. I look forward to the start of the new school year and to working productively with students, colleagues and parents. Please contact me at: [email protected]

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Nidchapat Malarat

Thai Teacher
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My name is Nidchapad Malarat. My nickname is Bo. I graduated from the Prince of Songkhla University Phuket Campus where I achieved my Bachelor of Arts degree in Thai Studies International Program in 2013 and Master degree of Education (Curriculum and Instruction) M.Ed. After graduated, I applied for a position as a Teacher Assistant at British International School. I worked there for a year. I gained a lot of experiences. I then decided to get more experience by working as a full time teacher at Phuketwittayalai School. I started to teach social studies in Senior High school Level. I am working in this school for 3 years. In this academic year I will be teaching Thai as a second language in level Year 3 - 9. I appreciate the opportunity that I have been given by HeadStart International School. I have been able to have good time as I meet several native Thai students everyday which makes me very happy. I have the chance to develop my knowledge and skills to become more professional in my career. In addition, I have been trusted by parents, colleagues and students. This enables me to become more enthusiastic teacher. I'd like to thank you for the great opportunity. I am very proud to be a member of this professional team of educators at HeadStart International School. I look forward to working with staff, students and parents to achieve success. Please contact me at: [email protected]

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Phatcharaphorn Phermkaew

Thai Teacher
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Hello everyone. My name is Phatcharaphorn Pheremkaew. My nickname is Yui. I am an experienced teacher having taught for 5 years now. I have been teaching since 2013. My previous jobs have been in a variety of schools. I worked as teacher at Phuket Polytechnic College and HeadStart International School, A tutor teacher at Kru Jay International School and A private teacher. In 2016, I graduated from Phuket Rajabhat University where I achieved Bachelor of Education in Business Education (5 years). I also hold Teacher license. After graduation, I applied as an English teacher at Kru Jay International School, Phuket, teaching English for Thai kids and Thai language for foreigners. I also was an Administrative Assistant at British International School and PA to Secondary School at UWC Thailand. Now, I have come to understand both of academic and non-academic systems. This year, I have gained a Master degree in Business Administration. I learnt about management and how to manage my teaching successfully. I always keen to learn new things in order to develop myself and I have worked hard to continually upgrade my teaching skills by attending additional training courses and workshops. Lately, I obtained a certificate for Teaching Thai language for foreigners. My previous job was teaching as an Education Assistant. I taught Nursery to Grade 5, worked with homeroom teachers to set challenging goals for the students. My method is mostly based on communication, adding culture and language. My passion is to continuously learn more about what I am teaching so I can be a better teacher. This will be my first academic year teaching at HeadStart International School. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this professional team of educators. I am extremely ready for Thai teacher teaching Thai as a second language in Year 6, Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 and looking forward to provide a positive learning experience for students, parents and our team. Please contact me at: [email protected]

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Mike Opaliski

Head of EAL & MFL
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Hello, my name is Mike and I am from Philadelphia (aka the City of Brotherly Love), which is located on the east coast of the United States of America. Although I am a new addition to HeadStart International School, I am no stranger to Thailand. Having visited the country a few times on holiday, I decided to move to Phuket in March of 2016 to teach Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language and IGCSE Travel & Tourism at an international program on the island. I am extremely passionate about education and have dedicated my entire career to the learning sciences field. Prior to becoming a teacher I had a successful corporate career providing strategic direction for learning and development initiatives for some of the world’s largest technology companies. I have extensive experience designing, implementing and managing learning programs for KS4 and adult learners on multiple continents. In addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, I also hold a Master’s Degree in Education from Penn State University and earned a TESOL certificate a few years ago while I was in Cambodia and Vietnam. I am honoured to have the opportunity to be joining such an amazing school with extremely qualified teachers, and I look forward to developing personally and professionally through my interactions with them all. I really enjoy traveling and exploring new places and cultures and strongly believe the world is too big to stay in one place forever. Learning about different cultures continues to broaden my view of the world and helps me appreciate what I have even more. Outside of school you might find me enjoying one of the amazing beaches on the island or photographing a stunning sunset here in paradise.

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Dean Wells

Design and Technology
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My name is Dean Wells and I am from the UK. I grew up in Poole, Dorset but moved to Bristol to study a degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and then stayed there for 18 years. As a Production Engineer I worked on top engineering projects such as the Typhoon Eurofighter, underwater and flying Unmanned Automated Vehicles and setting up a company for Mitsubishi before eventually going back to university and studying for my PGCE to become a qualified Design and Technology teacher. I moved to Penang, Malaysia in 2013 to work at a new international school where my role was to design and overlook the building of the Design and Technology educational spaces as well as to set up and teach an exciting curriculum for Key Stage 3, Cambridge IGCSE to Key Stage 4 and Product Design A Level to Key Stage 5. I am now really looking forward to my new role at Headstart International school and to continue helping with the progression, positive energy and academic successes of the Creative Arts and DT subjects. I am committed to helping young people achieve their best and striving to ensure they have a happy and successful life. In the past I have also had some varied jobs that possibly reflect my personality and interests, I have taught corporate groups how to sail tall ships, had my own weekly radio show and been a sound engineer for London Westend shows such as Cats and Mary Poppins.

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Erika Cramp

Head of Creative Arts Faculty
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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.

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