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HeadStart Weekly Update #24, 22 March, 2019

Dates for Your Diary

Upcoming events can be found on the calendar on the website School Life → Calendar but we have outlined upcoming events here for easy reference. For daily updates and news follow the HeadStart Facebook Page

Date Time Event Location
23 March 9:00-12:00pm Saturday Thai Culture Club In school
24-25 March All day World Scholars Cup regional Round BKK
26 March 8:15am Thai Parents Meeting TBA
29 March All day Casual Clothes day for charity In school
29-30 March AM Thanyapura Swim Meet Thanyapura
1-5 April In class Primary Swim Galas Swimming pool
02 April 8:15am Thai Parents Meeting TBA
03 April 3:30-5:00pm Y12 & Y13 Parent Teacher Conferences (PTC)  
2-4 April 3:30-5:00pm Foundation/Primary Parent Teacher Conferences (PTC) Classrooms
04 April   Last day for all term 2 ASPs  
05 April During day Songkran Festivities TBA
08 April 2 weeks Songkran Holiday  

Year 12 & 13 Parent Teacher Conferences (PTC)

On Wednesday 3rd April 2019, from 3:30pm until 5:30pm, the Y12 & Y13 Parent Teacher Consultation will take place in the Secondary Hall. Year 12 & 13 students and parents should attend the consultation as this will be the last chance to talk to subjects teachers about the progress your son/daughter is making and most importantly what they need to do in a subject to improve, before their exams in May/June.

On Monday 25th March you will receive a follow up email inviting you to book appointments through your Engage Portal. We look forward to seeing you at the PTC.

U-Prep Talk

If you missed last week’s U-Prep Talk and would like to be able to look up information that Ms Caines presented, click on the download below. If you would like to catch up on any U-Prep talks that you missed, CLICK HERE and you will be brought to the U-Prep Programme of the Sixth Form tab on the website.

The next U-Prep Talk will take place on Thursday, 28th of March at 8:15am in the Dance and Drama studio on the 4th floor. Ms Caines will be speaking on the topic of ‘UK Special: Oxford/ Cambridge Medical Applications’.

Football camp website 01

Coach JR presents a football camp that will take place from the 8-11th of April for boys and girls ages 6 years and up. Each session will include technical development and other football related skills. Students should arrive at school at 8:45am for a 9:00 start. Parents can pick up their child at 12:00pm. The camp fee is 3.500 Baht per player. If you are interested in signing up please contact Head Coach J.R. by writing to [email protected]

Outbound Field Trip Meeting Invitation

I would like to invite the Year 7, 8, 9 parents to meet with the teachers who will be going on the Outbound Field trips that are timetabled between the 29th of April and 5th of May, 2019. This presentation will give you an opportunity to find out more about the trips and the types of activities the students will be participating in. These meetings will include information that has previously been sent via email but presents a good chance for you to meet the teachers participating. Following the meeting, a detailed email with more specific details such as flights, contact numbers and further details will be sent to all parents.

The meetings will take place in the Primary Hall on the second floor.

Please reply to Khun Sa to confirm your attendance to this meeting by writing to [email protected]

Year 7 8:15-8:45am Wednesday 27.03.19
Year 8 8:15-8:45am Thursday 28.03.19
Year 9 8:45-9:15am Thursday 28.03.19

Click HERE for news and pictures of last year’s trips.

Foundation Playground Reminder

Once again we would like to remind all parents who use the Foundation Playground after school to tidy up the toys at the end of the day. While we enjoy seeing our little ones playing on the equipment and enjoying an extended school day, many of our toys are being damaged and the playground is being left untidy on most days. Can I also remind families with older children, that they refrain from using the bikes and scooters, as our equipment is deigned only for children age 5 and under. We appreciate your consideration in this matter.

Appropriate Footwear

Please be reminded that Crocs are only suitable on swimming days and not for P.E. days. We recommend that your child wears sturdy trainers for sports and PE lessons to avoid any accidents or falls. On that note, we are also seeing more girls coming into school with Princess style slippers and sandals. Again these slip-on shoes are not suitable for school and may cause injury if worn when running.

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Charity Fundraising for The Good Shepherd Foundation

On the 29th of March we will have our termly fundraiser for The Good Shepherd Foundation. We aim to raise 120,000 Baht for the installation of clean drinking water stations and drainage systems as well as an new music room for the children. Thank you to the Head Boy, Head Girl, their deputies, the Prefect Team and School Council for organising everything. We hope everyone will enjoy spending some of their well-earned pocket money to help this worthy cause.

Here is how you can get involved:

  • Help your child find a colourful costume next Friday. Give them 50 Baht to donate in exchange for dressing up.

  • Send your child to school with pocket money to participate in games during break times and between 2:20-3:00pm. The Secondary student leaders will be running fun activities in the Atrium and Foundation area. Students can ‘Splat the Teacher’, ‘Beat the Goalie’ and more. Each activity will cost around 20 baht.

  • Book and Bear Donation: One of the many stalls in Primary will be the Book and Bear Stall. We are asking all children to donate one good condition book and soft toy to go on the stall, ready to be sold during the day. If you wish to take part and donate a book and a bear, please leave all donations on the table outside the school office. Many thanks for your support.

  • Charity Bake Sale: We are asking for donations of any sort of delicious baked goods - cakes / pastries or any other tasty treats. If you would like to make a contribution, all items can be brought into school in a sealed and named container and kept in classrooms until 2:00pm. We will be very grateful for any donated goodies, and also encourage students and parents to come and buy!

Foundation families are also welcome to join in the fun. Parents can collect their child at 2.20pm and enjoy some games and activities in the Foundation playground, also led by the student council.

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Mind, Body and Soul Presentation

A big thank you to all the parents who came along for the Mind, Body and Soul presentation this week. As parents it’s good to know we are doing many things right to support our children’s learning and development and in order to ensure our children are kept safe and secure in our ever growing digital world. One aspect that did generate a lot of discussion was e-safety and how to make sure our children know what to do if they see something online that upsets them. Firstly our children need to know that while the internet can be enjoyable and fun, there are sometimes things online that can be upsetting or scary. Children must tell an adult if there is anything they see or hear online that makes them feel worried, scared or sad. Some tips to keep your little ones safe.

1.) Explore together: Ask your child to show you their favourite websites and apps and what they do on them. Listen and show interest and encourage them to teach you the basics of the site or app.

2.) Initiate (and continue) conversations about online safety: Ask them if anything ever bothers or worries them while they’re online. You could use examples of events from the animations and ask if they’ve experienced anything similar. Reinforce the key message: if anything happens online which makes them feel worried, scared or sad, the best thing to do is talk to you or another adult who they trust.

3.) Help your child identify adults who can help: Help your child identify trusted adults from different areas of their life such as at home or at school.

4.) Be non-judgemental: Explain that you would never blame them for anything that might happen online, and you will always give them calm and loving support.

5.) Supervise your child while they’re online: Keep the devices your child uses in communal areas of the house such as in the living room or kitchen where an appropriate adult is able to supervise. It is not safe for 4-7 year olds to access the internet unsupervised in private spaces, such as alone in a bedroom or bathroom.

6.) Talk to your child about how their online actions can affect others: If your child is engaging with others online remind them to consider how someone else might feel before they post or share something. If they are considering sharing a photo or video of somebody else, they should always ask permission first.

7.) SafeSearch: The use of ‘SafeSearch’ is highly recommended for use with young children. Most web search engines will have a ‘SafeSearch’ function, which will allow you to limit the content your child is exposed to whilst online. Look out for the ‘Settings’ button on your web browser homepage (often shaped like a small cog). 8.) Parental controls: Make use of the parental controls available on your home broadband and any internet-enabled device in your home.

Eco Watch Week

Over 200 pencils pots designed and created, a giant trash fish and a lot of seed planting were just some of the activities going on during this week’s Eco Watch Week. Even through the gluing and sticking, any children visiting the tables were encouraged to talk about the impact of waste on the environment. Throughout the week, our children have been reminded of the 3 Rs - reduce waste, reuse resources and recycle materials. Whilst planting many seeds in our garden and around school we have shared information on the importance of plants and tress around the world. To mark the end of Eco Week, all teachers and homerooms were encouraged to take part in our very own Earth Hour and turn off all air con and lights for one hour.

A very big thank you to the Primary Eco Team for their hard work and dedication to help save the world! Although teaching children about what it means to be environmentally aware is important, it will have more of a lasting impact on them if parents were to lead by example and make some small changes to their daily lives. Small steps such as:

  • turning off and unplugging all electrical appliances when not in use
  • turning taps off when brushing teeth
  • taking reusable cloth bags to the supermarket when shopping
  • always refusing plastic bags and straws where possible

These things could all have a huge impact on our planet. If you haven’t done so already, please starting thinking about these little steps you can make to help save our planet.

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Nicholas Carter

Director of Sport
[email protected]

My name is Nick Carter and I am from Kent, in the UK. I came to Thailand in 2015, after 6 years of living and teaching P.E. in Stockholm, Sweden (where it snows for six months of the year!). So, it is fair to say that I was ready for a completely different climate change, as well as cultural change. My sporting background is very diverse. I grew up with a passion for playing football but, later, in my teens, I discovered baseball. I made my debut for the Great Britain national baseball squad at the age of 18 and played with the squad for the next 14 years. I also trained as a professional contemporary dancer and toured nationally and internationally for 7 years in numerous dance companies. Although I have many other sporting interests, I want to make it clear that P.E. teachers are not just whistle blowing, basketball bouncing individuals, as I released my first fictional novel (in June, 2015). However, participating in sport, physical activity, and leading a healthy lifestyle are very important to me, and I’ve enjoyed imparting my knowledge in teaching and coaching environments for over 20 years. I am delighted to be HeadStart’s Director of Sport and my fundamental aims are for our students to continue to experience a really diverse range of physical activities, all the while having loads of fun through being active. For example, HeadStart pupils will participate in the following sports activities in either curriculum time or in our fantastic After School Sports programme: Basketball, Netball, Football, Rugby, Athletics, Swimming, Badminton, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Softball, Rounders, Yoga, Dance, and Gymnastic activities (amongst others). If you have any questions, you can email me at – [email protected]

P.E. Department News

Basketball News

On Wednesday HeadStart hosted BISP for some Basketball fixtures. The U15 Girls played a solid game but were unable to contain the attacking nature of the BIS team. final score (HS) 18 - 25 (BISP) The boys, still relatively inexperienced team also struggled against BISP. The boys defended well but were just unable to capitalise on their scoring opportunities. Final score (HS) 09 - 26 (BISP)

Secondary PISAC Athletics

On Thursday, approximately 45 secondary HeadStart students competed in the annual PISAC Athletics event (hosted at BISP). For many, it was their first time competing in a PISAC event but the HeadStart athletes put on a number of solid performances and had a great afternoon. Well done Athletes. Here’s some notable results:

  • Sabrina (Year 8) coming 1st in the 1500m and Matvey (Year 8) coming 3rd in the 1500m
  • Liam Hockey (Year 6), who was so good that he stepped up to participate in the Secondary event, achieved two 1st place finishes.
  • Keira (Year 9) winning the Discus
  • Vincent (Year 11) winning the Long Jump

What’s Coming Up?


HeadStart host KIS for an U15 girls football match on Thursday next week. Kick off at 15.15pm. All welcome!


The HeadStart Volleyball squads will send two competitive teams and one social team to BISP’s annual ‘Smack Down’ Tournament on Saturday, 23rd March. The games run from 08.00am - 13.00pm and the team names are: Competitive Teams: 1.) Diggers 2.) Whackers. Social Team: Six pack

BSL Football Tournament News

Last week, Coach JR, Coach Chai and Mr. Carter traveled to Bangkok for the BSL tournament with 18 players. It was a busy three days for the students who participated in many games. It was an excellent experience for the boys of the football academy. They demonstrated very good physical and technical qualities. I am very proud of all our boys. Congratulations to the Under 11 team as they won the 4th place shield and to our Under 12 team were awarded the Winner’s Plate! A big thank you to all of the parents who show such fantastic support.

Student Success

At HeadStart we love to celebrate our student’s success in and out of school. A big shout out to Keira Brain (Year 9 Blue) as she played her last game of contact rugby for the U14 HKFC Girls Rugby team. Her rugby career with HKFC has expanded over 8 years, winning numerous medals, trophies and accolades. Keira has been fortunate enough to tour Thailand, Laos, with her final tour at the Global Arena Stadium, Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan.

The HKFC (Hong Kong Football Club) U14 Girls Rugby Team, are the first team outside of Japan to be invited to play at the Sanix Rugby 7’s Tournament; a great honour. 500+ players attended the event. The senior professional men, Munkata Sanix Blues, Division 1 Japan Rugby Team, held a 7’s training session on the Saturday. The HKFC U14 Girls Rugby, won the following two very competitive games. Keira has loved her rugby and has shown great respect for players on and off the pitch. She has always played with her heart on her sleeve and never missed a training session. Her rugby colleagues have always looked up to Keira!

Student News

The Preschool children are learning all about space this week and they have enjoyed making rockets with 3D shapes. They added to their models and the rockets then became castles and boats! By Ms Danielle Jones

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It has been another exciting week in Reception. The children have loved learning about dinosaurs! We have been practising using describing words to talk about different dinosaurs, investigating bones and fossils, experimenting with exploding volcanoes and have even made ‘wanted posters’ for the T-Rex that we caught on CCTV stomping through our classroom! In Maths the children have been comparing numbers and practising measuring the length and height of different dinosaurs. We have also been very crafty making fun dinosaur puppets, salt dough fossils and a rainbow stegosaurus collage. Miss Hannah and Miss Yien are so proud of the independent writing this week so do come and look at the children’s super work displayed on our window. By Ms Hannah Kuusik

The Year 1 Blue students made a potion, just like the wicked stepmother does in Snow White. We had a great time making it bubble and brew! We had to observe really closely so that we could write about what happened afterwards. We really are fantastic scientists! By Ms Lucie Bevins

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Children in Year 1 conducted a fun Science activity this week with our ‘I wonder…’ topic. They investigated how liquids mix - or don’t mix! By Ms Charlotte Myers

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In their EAL (English as an Additional Language) lesson, children in Year 1 learnt the names foods to help them at lunch times. Then we practised asking politely and using full sentences. The students then created their own food plate. By Ms Charlotte Myers

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This week in ‘Around the world’ club Year 2 were learning all about Israel. Omer very kindly brought in some pictures to show and told us a little bit about Israel. We then made our very own falafel. I would like to say a big thank you to Omer’s parents for providing the delicious pita bread and tahini sauce! By Ms Danielle Jones

Year 2 have been learning about traditional Thai culture. Parents came into school and taught us how to make yummy sweet traditional Thai dessert, Bua Loy. By Mr Michael Marx

Year 4 Russian students wrote poems and drew pictures to illustrate them. By Ms Alina Platkova

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Here are some pictures of the Year 4 completed art project. The children have spent many weeks working on the fantastic sketches of a river and they then created their own eco frames by rolling strips of used newspaper. I was so proud of their work and I think the finished pieces look amazing. By Ms Lucie Bevins

Year 5 had so much fun investigating oobleck (a non-Newtonian fluid) to see how it acts as a solid and a liquid! By Ms Charlotte Moulsher

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Computing Club taking it to the next level. We’ve learnt to make the classic Frogger game and now moving onto more complicated coding. Sometimes, one monitor just isn’t enough. By Mr Michael Marx

A big thank you to Chef Pornthep who took time out of his busy schedule to help teach the Year 8 students how to make carved fruits. By Kru Karn

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David Pollicutt

Head of English
[email protected]

My name is David 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 Film. 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 Hostpsur Football Club; it teaches me patience and humility.

Young Writers Awards

As you may know, HeadStart were represented in the national finals of the Neilson Hays Young Writers Awards in Bangkok last weekend. Jacen and Alicia were competing in Category D, Original picture books by 16 years and under (no more than 24 pages and 800 words); Liza was in Category E: Original short story by 18 years and under (no more than 1,500 words). Just to get this far was a stupendous achievement. Moreover, the girls all are still in the hunt to win the prize for each category’s overall winners- a cool 10,000 THB! Great work to our finalists, I know writing is not easy. After all, to quote Hemmingway, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Jacen Antognoli

Being able to participate in an event with Alicia such as the Neilson Hays competition - especially as a finalist - was an amazing experience. It was fun to meet authors from different places, and also get tips from them. From more of an artistic point of view, I too had gotten lots of resourceful ideas on how to make illustrations in a book look more appealing to a reader (which I am now using to my advantage). At first, I had cold feet. Though, when I started to warm up to everyone, it felt warm and welcoming. I highly recommend that if you want to become an author or illustrator in the near future, this is a great experience for anyone! Alicia and I are very grateful to have made it this far.

Alicia Martin

The finalist workshop took place in Bangkok, inside the library that hosted the competition itself. Once there, we were giddy with nerves as loads of other artists and authors poured into the room. Eventually, we were seated with the other contestants in our category and had friendly conversations about our work. I was over the moon when I found that the author at our table listened to my concerns as a writer and provided me with excellent advice. I am proud to say I am able to write with much more ease after I applied his knowledge to my work. He even gave me some pointers on my style and what I should pursue in the future, as well as suggesting some books for me to read, which I am looking forward to enjoy very much!

Liza Stashevskaya

Last Saturday I attended the Neilson Hays finalist workshop in Bangkok. A month ago I submitted a short story, which followed this year’s theme ‘Journey’, to the Neilson Hays Young Writers Awards and was selected as a one of the five finalists out of 70 entries. Along with the other finalists we read and discussed each others stories, as well as gave each other feedback and points to improve on. We also received comments from an experienced writer. I received great feedback on my use of imagery. However, the group commented that my dialogue was unnatural, so I plan to work on this. The workshop took place in the Neilson Hays Library, a beautifully renovated colonial building, in the centre of Bangkok. We now have a month and a half to improve and edit our short stories and then resubmit them at the end of April.

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Congratulations to Pleng, Linda, Tin Tin, Dana and Karin all in Year 8 who competed in the 3rd Annual Culinary Competition QSI International School of Phuket and came in third place!

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Dean Wells

Design & Technology Coordinator
[email protected]

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.

Design & Technology

Design and technology pupils develop designing and making skills, learn about computing, engineering, CAD, CAM, robotics, materials and the possible use of future technologies in our communities. They also develop business critical skills in problem-solving, innovation and team-work.

The social, environmental and economic success of our countries can be led in large part by the competence of our scientists, engineers and innovators. As our world becomes more complex and globalisation makes us more integrated, success is defined by what you can do with your knowledge, how quickly we can gather and evaluate information and what innovative solutions we can create to solve our problems. These skills are what students learn whilst studying STEM based subjects such as Design and Technology.

James Dyson, describes: “Design and technology is a phenomenally important subject. Logical, creative and practical, it’s the only opportunity students have to apply what they learn in maths and science - directly preparing them for a career in engineering. Policy-makers must recognise design and technology’s significance for the economy and strive not just to preserve it – but to ensure it appeals to the brightest of young minds.”

A quote by Robert L. Peters who is a designer actively involved in design education. This quote puts the notion into context that design inadvertently shapes the future.

‘Design creates culture,

Culture shapes values

Values determine the future’

Below are pictures of the Year 11 D&T projects that they have been working on for their exams.

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History Bee & Bowl

On Saturday March 9th HeadStart’s History teachers hosted the 2019 International History Bee and Bowl regional round in Phuket. Of the schools invited to participate, British International School Phuket and United World College Thailand sent teams to compete in this prestigious Humanities based quiz competition. The Championships in June are held in Khao Lak and schools from all over Asia fly over to test their history knowledge. HeadStart entered two Key Stage Three teams and many of them also competed in the individual “Bee” competition. We are happy to announce that one team have qualified to compete in the championships! Also, two of the students did very well in the Bee competition against very tough competition, with Charles Callens in Year 8 winning 1st place, and Hyeung Sung Kim coming in 3rd place - they also make their way to the championships. Well done to them all and we hope to come back with a medal this June! By Mr Richard Cramp

House News

This week saw the launch of the new House Point reward system. To celebrate individuals’ achievements so far this year, many students have already been awarded with their Bronze badges and cafe vouchers. There is a fantastic buzz around school, with all students from year 1 through to year 13 talking about their achievements and how they are going to work hard to gain even more House points. I look forward to awarding many more students with their badges in the coming weeks. By MS Nadine Brelstaff

22 March
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