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 & Humanities
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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.

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Ashley Paice

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My name is Ashley and I joined HeadStart International School in 2018. I have been a teacher of English for around seven years and have taught English in several different schools around the UK as well as Krabi, Thailand. I studied English Language & Linguistics at The University of Manchester and completed my teacher training course at Edge Hill University in Liverpool, UK. I am extremely excited to be starting the new school year at HeadStart. I am very keen to hit the ground running and have lots of fantastic activities lined up for my new and existing classes. 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 enjoy exploring the island with my running trainers. I’m also well known for being a glutton for punishment, frequently setting my alarm for 2am in order to compete in the many racing competitions around Phuket. Thailand is such a beautiful country and I can’t wait to continue exploring more of it. I am truly looking forward to continuing my journey at HeadStart and providing students with opportunities to allow them to flourish both in and outside of the classroom. High School can be a tough time for some students, and if I can provide students with opportunities that will open doors for them in the future; it’s an amazing feeling.

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Niall Quinlan

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Mike Opaliski

Head of EAL & MFL
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My name is Mike and I was born and raised in Philadelphia, located on the east coast of the United States of America (USA). Prior to moving overseas in 2014, I spent over 15 years living in Seattle which is over 4,500km from where I grew up, and a world away with regards to the cultural differences between the east and west coasts of the USA. I am extremely passionate about education and have dedicated my entire career to the learning sciences field. 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. Prior to becoming a teacher I had a successful corporate education 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 KS3, KS4 and adult learners on multiple continents. As the Head of Faculty for English as an Additional Language (EAL) & Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) here at HeadStart International School, I support and help develop an amazing team of Chinese, French and Russian language teachers and also find time to teach IGCSE English as a Second Language to KS4 students. 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 will find me living an active and healthy lifestyle while enjoying one of the beautiful beaches on this island that I’ve called home for the past few years.

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Piwara Chumnum

University Placement Officer
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Rhys Carlson

Head of Mathematics and Commerce
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Hello, my name is Rhys and have been at HeadStart since 2018. I am from Australia and originally studied at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. There I gained 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 taught at a school in Hertfordshire for 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.

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Letitia Bekker

Maths/DofE Coordinator
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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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Natasha Sethi

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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 in 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. I joined HeadStart in 2018, teaching KS3 Mathematics and Science. 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 applying theoretical knowledge from 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 run the volleyball club at school. I enjoy a healthy lifestyle and I’m always looking for new recipes to experiment with, the fresh ingredients that Thailand has to offer make it even more exciting. 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 another academic year at HeadStart, where we evolve as a community to be lifelong learners.

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Sara Wilson

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My name is Sara and I am pleased to have joined the teaching staff at HeadStart in August 2019. I am from New Brunswick on the East Coast of Canada. I attended two universities in the Atlantic Provinces before fulfilling my dream of becoming a teacher. At Mount Allison University, I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Mathematics in 2010. I then obtained my Bachelor of Education degree at St Francis Xavier University in 2012. Thrilled to travel and to gain international teaching experience, I accepted a secondary mathematics teaching position in Colchester, UK in 2012. I enjoyed seven years of teaching a wide range of children from varying backgrounds and ethnicities in a multicultural secondary school. My passion for mathematics and learning brought me into teaching, but getting to work with brilliant young minds and personalities is what reenergizes me every year. I aim to cultivate real enthusiasm and appreciation of mathematics with my students through dynamic and methodical teaching practice. I hope to encourage a cooperative and supportive learning culture in my classroom, where we learn from mistakes and actively engage our minds in every facet of the subject. It is also a joy to see students having opportunities at HeadStart to become more well-rounded individuals, a process in which I would like to take an active role. Outside of the classroom I spend as much time as possible exploring, travelling and embracing new experiences. I have a particular fondness for water sports, but I will get into my cold weather gear to support my country’s ice hockey team whenever possible. I also try to balance my love of food with my love of health and wellbeing, so when I am not eating, I am trying to keep active in the gym or in the pool.

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Timothy Davidson

Head of Science
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My name is Tim and the 2019-2020 academic year will be my second 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 worked as both the Head of Physics and the Teaching and Learning Coordinator for four years. Post Prague I moved to Phuket where I took on the role of Head of Science at HeadStart. 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. Last year saw some excellent results in the science department but I am confident the 2019-2020 academic year will be even more successful. My confidence is driven by the fact that we have the added stability of maintaining our full team of teachers and we also have an extra years’ experience of teaching the Cambridge specifications. Plus of course a cohort of budding young scientists ready to explore the World around them! On a personal note this year is a very important one for me! I am happy to announce I will marry my fiancée on the 29th of December 2019. Sensationally I am not the only member of the HeadStart teaching staff who can make this claim… I am excited about continuing my adventure at HeadStart International School and being given the opportunity to further aid the students in exploring the rules that shape our Universe.

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Patrick Brown

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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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David Millake

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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 travelled 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 the British International School in Ho Chi Minh City before finally touching down at Headstart International School in Phuket, Thailand. When I am not teaching Chemistry, I enjoy: traveling, music, art and politics.

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Christopher Brown

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My name is Chris and I am happy to be returning to HeadStart International School for my third year teaching science here. I grew up in North West England and completed my degree in Biochemistry at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, before doing my PGCE in Secondary Science at the University of Manchester. I continue to enjoy putting this experience to good use at HeadStart where I can share my passion for science with students from so many different backgrounds. 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 am able to combine my love of teaching with living in one of my favourite places in the world.

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Ellie Leamon

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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

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Hi, my name is Rich and I’ve been teaching History at HeadStart International School since 2015. 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, skills and historical concepts. 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 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 (also at HeadStart) an opportunity to grow up in the great outdoors.

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Dale Benham

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My name is Dale and I started working at HeadStart in 2019. I am from the United Kingdom and grew up in East Anglia in a small market town called St Ives in Cambridgeshire. I studied at the University of Glamorgan, now the University of South Wales, gaining a degree in Physical Geography. I completed my teacher training at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in 2009, earning a PGCE in Geography. I taught in Colchester which is located in the county of Essex. During this time I taught a wide range of children from varying backgrounds and ethnicities in a multicultural school. 6 of these years at this school were spent as a Head of Year to Years 8 to 11. I am passionate about Geography as a subject; I was inspired by my Geography teacher at school which led me on the path to become a teacher. I am enthusiastic and a great believer in providing exciting and interesting lessons to all of the students that I teach. I want them to become independent thinkers, gaining knowledge by learning through their mistakes and making marginal gains in everything they do. I am dedicated to creating a safe, fun and challenging learning environment where the students are at the center of a positive learning experience. Outside of the classroom I enjoy listening to an eclectic variety of music and watching sport (football and rugby in particular.) I can’t wait to get back into scuba diving and exploring new places and cultures on my new island home. I am looking forward to a positive year for our school and most importantly our students.

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Benjamin Salmon

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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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Ross Armstrong

ICT and Computing Coordinator
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My name is Ross I began working for HeadStart International School in August 2018, this year I will not only be a teacher, but also the school’s computing coordinator. Overall, this will be my fifth year of teaching Computer Science and IT. 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 make a positive impact with my new role at HeadStart, making my mark on an already thriving institution.

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Alicia Niemand

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My name is Alicia and I have been working at Headstart since October 2018. I am entering my seventh year of teaching meaning I am extremely well equipped for the exciting year ahead. I have taught in a variety of settings; including my home country of South Africa, the Middle East and other parts of Thailand. I studied to become a teacher at the University of Pretoria; gaining a Bachelor of Education degree. I then taught ICT in South Africa for two years before embarking on my international teaching career; where I have spent the past four years as both a homeroom, ICT and IB MYP Digital Design Teacher. I strive towards perfection for both myself and my students, working each day to ensure outstanding practice and outcomes. I am very passionate about my subject which means I have a breadth of knowledge to share and can do so in engaging and stimulating ways. I am a stimulating, eager and dedicated person with a natural ability to build rapport with students. My high quality approach ensures rapid progress and results. With a devoted outlook towards lessons; through differentiation, challenge, a happy and humorous approach, my teaching style has been positively welcomed by learners over the years. As well as being a passionate teacher, I am also very interested in sports. I love training in a range of physical activity; including weight-lifting, team sports, coaching and referring. With this, I have played provincial hockey for my country and also represented an established Emirates rugby team while living in Dubai. I look forward to continuing touch rugby with the staff and students this year. Overall, I am looking forward to the year ahead and I’m happy to be spending my time at HeadStart.

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Pornsuda Rattanasen

Thai Teacher
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Hello, my name is Pornsuda Rattanasen (Gen). I was born in Nongkai, Northeast of Thailand. After I finished high school I went to Buriram Rajabhat University and graduated with my Bachelor’s in English in 2009. My first teacher experience was in Darasamuth School, English programme in Phuket. I worked there for three years with Primary 2 as a class teacher, English and Thai teacher as well. I then worked at British International School Phuket as a Teacher Assistant with Year 2 for two and a half years. I also teach Thai to Russian students for private classes outside of school in my free time as I speak a little bit of Russian. It has been quite a challenge working in these different school systems. I have enjoyed all of the new things I have learnt. All these experiences have allowed me to develop my skills to be a good teacher and I can’t wait to implement what I’ve learnt in my own classroom, here at HeadStart. What I enjoy most about teaching is how the students can express themselves in Thai and understand conversation as well. To enhance this experience, I would source new materials for the lessons and I keep updated with the more recent communicative approaches. My method is mostly based on communication and also adding culture and language games for a more enjoyable learning environment. This will be my second academic year teaching at HeadStart International School. I’d like to thank you for this opportunity. This is a very good working experience in my life to be a Thai teacher in this fabulous school. In This academic year, I will be teaching 7 class levels start from Reception, Year 3, Year 5, Year 6 for primary and Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 for secondary. I am excited for the year’s adventures and will make sure I provide a positive and learning experience for all my students. Please contact me at: [email protected]

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Alexandra Holmes

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My name is Alex and I have been teaching at HeadStart International School since 2018. 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 worked 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, spending 10 years 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, going to Bali and Malaysia during the school holidays last year. I hope to explore some of the other countries in South East Asia, including Vietnam and Cambodia. Loving languages, I also intend to learn as much Thai as possible and this year I 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 began teaching Art and Design at Headstart International School in 2019. 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 worked at a small inner city secondary school in Rotherham 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. Since moving to Thailand I have also acquired a love of travelling but when not out exploring, I can usually be found watching the football as I am a huge Liverpool fan. I look forward to what the future has to offer at Headstart and am excited to continue building on the strong relationships I have acquired so far with students, staff and parents.

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Pailin Issalam

Head of 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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Hathaikan Korkimseng

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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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Phatcharaphorn Phermkaew

[email protected]

My name is Phatcharaphorn Phermkaew. I am originally from Phatthalung, the deep south of Thailand. I joined HeadStart International School in 2018 and I hold the position of a Thai teacher both Primary and Secondary at HeadStart International School. I hold a bachelor of Business Education degree (Teacher License) as well as a Master degree in Business Administration and now I'm doing a PhD in Educational Administration. I love studying and working. My previous jobs were in a variety of schools and this year will be my sixth year of teaching. I experienced teaching English for Thai kids, Thai for Thai kids and Thai for foreigners. Before I moved to Headstart International School, I worked at UWC Thailand 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 and also adding culture and language. My passion is continuously learn more about what I am teaching so I can be a better teacher. I always learn new things for developing myself and have worked hard to continually upgrade my teaching skills by attending additional training courses and workshops. Last year I gained Certificate of Teaching Thai language for foreigners. Lately I have just gained Certificate of Teaching Leadership and Performance Teaching 2019 and Teaching foreigner language by Active Learning Method. And at the moment I am joining Technology Promotion Association (Thailand-Japan) for training in Teaching Thai for foreigners. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the professional team of educators. I am extremely ready for teaching Thai as a second language in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 and teaching Thai as a foreigner in Year 2 and Year 6. Looking forward to provide a positive learning experience for students, parents and our team.

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Jody Leow

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I come from England and I have worked as a teacher in Phuket since 2001. I worked as an EAL teacher for 3 years and then as a foundation and preschool teacher for 3 years. I have been working as an Art teacher with Headstart since 2008 during which time I have enjoyed being part of the school’s expansion. I have always been passionate about art, I studied Fine Art at the University of Brighton in the UK during which time I spent six months studying at Alfred University in New York State. Although my main subject was painting, my studies included working with a wide variety of media including clay, printmaking and sculpture. I am dedicated to providing a classroom environment which is stimulating and inspiring to students, which encourages creative expression and allows students to explore and develop their ideas and learn about the work of different artists and cultures.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” --Pablo Picasso
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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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Charlie Crowther

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Suwadee krub, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Carl Crowther but I am known as Charlie. I was born 56 years ago in a small town just outside of Manchester in the north of England, provided with a fabulous choice of having TWO world famous teams to call ‘my team’. I view it as a great honour to be given an opportunity to live and work in the Land of Smiles and to be chosen to join HeadStart International School at this exciting time in the development and growth of the school. I studied a Law degree at Leeds University. After 15 years practicing Commercial and Insurance law as a solicitor in the City of London, I decided to retrain as a school teacher… and I have never regretted that decision. My last 6 years as a teacher was at a British Intentional school based in the U.K, [such things exist!] preparing international 6th form students for entry into U.K. Universities by teaching them Advanced Level Business and Economics. I was delighted to have the opportunity to introduce The Model United Nations to my previous school and I am looking forward to introducing “MUN” now to HeadStart. Out of school I am a follower of the two sports which, together with football, are ‘England’s gift to the world’: Rugby and cricket. In the days when I still had hair on my head I used to play both of these sports but I ‘hung up my boots’ a few years ago, but I still enjoy walking, cycling and travel. Welcome to my classroom where all contributions are welcomed, encouraged and valued and where I assure you, YOUR EFFORT will result in ACHIEVEMENT.

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Yardenna Jones

BTEC Coordinator
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My name is Yardenna Jones and I joined HeadStart in 2019. I am from the UK and I grew up in South Wales. I have a BA Honours degree in Journalism which I studied at Southampton Solent University. After university I assisted in the set-up of a small business, a fashion retailer in Bournemouth. I also continued with my love of journalism and travel by becoming an assistant editor of a travel & lifestyle magazine. Educating others and working with young people had always been a passion of mine, and I was keen to further my lifelong learning as I believe this is important continue with personal growth and development. With this in mind I moved to London and studied a DTLLS (Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) with Business and Travel & Tourism being my subject specialisms because of my industry experience. In the UK I was working at Brooklands College in Surrey teaching Business and Travel & Tourism. More recently I have taught at Westminster Kingsway College in London an inner city school with children from varying backgrounds and ethnicities. I have now been teaching these subjects with awarding bodies BTEC, OCR City & Guilds and NCFE for 5 years and I am very experienced with the 14-19 age group. I love working with these ages- it's such an exciting and significant time for students. I’m very passionate about creating a positive learning environment and want to inspire my students to be independent and motivated during this crucial time of becoming a young adult. I am so excited to be implementing the BTEC qualifications at HeadStart. For a learner It can be such a valuable experience and enjoyable way of achieving a qualification. Watching a student grow and learn an array of transferable and employability skills in a holistic environment is a wonderful experience for all involved. Outside of the classroom I practice mindfulness, yoga and I am passionate about spreading the importance of sustainable living. I have travelled much of South East Asia and look forward to more adventures this year as travel is a great passion of mine!

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Jamie Sadler

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My name is Jamie Sadler and I am originally from Bournemouth in the UK. I will be teaching Primary and Secondary Physical Education and I will also be teaching BTEC Sport. I graduated from Southampton Solent University with a BA in Sports Studies and then went onto to complete my PGCE in Secondary PE at the University of East London. I have mainly taught in London and spent the last 5 years teaching in a leading Independent school in Wimbledon. I have been lucky enough to have had many opportunities to travel to different parts of the world including South East Asia. The time I spent in Thailand provided me with some fantastic memories, I immediately warmed to the culture and knew one day I would return. There are so many positive effects that can come from playing sport, such as teamwork, friendships and leadership skills. As a specialist PE teacher, I aim to provide a stimulating and fun learning environment to ensure that every child experiences success and feels confident when playing sport. I am also looking forward to contributing to the wide-ranging extra-curricular programme on offer at the school, including the ever expanding Headstart football academy.

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George Woods

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My name is George Woods and I am from London in the UK. I studied Physical Education and Sport at the University of Greenwich, graduating with a First Class BA with Hons in 2017 and completed a PGCE in Physical Education the following year. My specialty sport is Rugby Union, back in the UK I played for a club in the national leagues, but I have a passion for many different sporting and physical activities, which makes teaching PE so enjoyable. I am keen sportsman; however, I feel it is important to show that there is more to PE than just sporting achievement. With this in mind, whilst carrying out my studies at university I won two awards from local organisations for my research into socio-economic factors related to the London 2012 Olympics. PE is a subject that has the ability to develop young people mentally and socially, as well as physically. I aim to carry this holistic approach to learning in my PE lessons and hope that this helps to encourage students to be involved in physical activity or sport regardless of ability, leading to healthy and active lifestyles.

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Natalie Smith

P.E. Coordinator
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My name is Natalie Smith and I am from Essex in the UK. I studied Physical Education at The University of Brighton and started the first four years of my career at a school in Essex. I have always had an interest in travelling and working abroad and have been fortunate enough to take part in voluntary work with the charity Football 4 Peace during my time at university and whilst working in the UK. I have delivered values-based coaching across a variety of sports and team building activities to young children for development and conflict resolution in England, Northern Ireland, The Gambia and South Korea, coinciding with training British and international coaches the charities methodology. These experiences along with a Camps International school expedition to Kenya in 2018, inspired me to come and work at an international school and so my journey here at HeadStart began in August 2019. I enjoy participating in a wide range of individual and team sporting activities. My main hobbies are rugby and netball, but I also enjoy hiking and after passing my open water PADI in the summer of 2018, I look forward to future diving opportunities in this beautiful part of the world. I believe that physical education has an important role within the school curriculum not only due to the physical benefits it offers, but also the social and emotional benefits it leads young people to develop, along with the positive impact on their academic success across the whole school curriculum. My ethos of physical education is that students should be able to experience a wide range of sport and physical activities to develop not only physical skills, but life skills to help them become well-rounded individuals who have the ability to reach their potential and gain the confidence to exceed expectations.

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