Weekly Update #28, 3 May, 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
|School closed for Coronation Day
|Thai Parents Meeting
|Year 6 parent meeting @ residential trip
|Football Academy Meeting with new Coach
|Creative & Performing Arts Faculty Week
|Primary Exam prep week
|Thai Parents Meeting
|Saturday Thai Culture Club
|Primary, Year 7, 8, 9 Tests and Assessments
Meet Ms Jody Leow who has been teaching Art to Primary and Secondary students at HeadStart for over 10 years! Ms Leow juggles a busy schedule teaching at school and being a mum of two. We are lucky to have Jody on our team and have greatly benefited from her passion for excellence.
Since joining HeadStart International School in August 2014, I have been genuinely impressed by the hard work and commitment of all those involved in making HeadStart a place where students are inspired to have the ‘love of learning’ described in the school’s motto. The school community here is one of the best I have ever-worked with and the positive energy that this creates enables us to achieve so much together. Since our last inspection where the school was rated as a good with a number of outstanding features highlighted, I strongly believe that HeadStart International School is well on the way to becoming one of the best schools in Thailand, providing the highest standards in teaching and learning. As we prepare for the next phase where we hope to gain a solid ‘Outstanding’ rating, the next few years will be a truly exciting time for all those involved. Having had a successful Teaching career in the UK for a number of years and having worked in various different management positions, my wife Amy and I made the decision to move to Thailand in 2012 where I worked at an International School in Bangkok. The opportunity to make a real impact at HeadStart and to help shape the future successes of the school drew me to move to Phuket. On a personal level, I am a keen sportsman and have an interest in many sports both as a spectator or participant. A highlight for me was having a leadership position for Event Services at the London 2012 Olympic Games. I am also keen golfer and compete in many of the regular competitions held here in Phuket and further afield. My wife Amy is a teacher in the Foundation department having joined HeadStart shortly after I did. Since working at HeadStart we have become parents for the first time. Ted Drew was born in April 2018 and is excited to be joining pre-school in this academic year. I look forward to continuing to working with the inspired staff and students and the committed and supportive parents that make up the HeadStart. Together we will ensure that we continue to build on the existing successes of the school and make each academic year even more successful than the last. Please feel free to email me at any time to discuss your ideas on how we can do this together. I look forward to meeting you again as the year progresses!
Dear Parents and Students,
I hope you all enjoyed a great Songkran break with your families and that your children are settled back into school for the final term of the academic year. As always, term 3 is filled with many events including two faculty weeks from English and Humanities and our Creative and Performing Arts faculty. We also have the Secondary out-bound field trips, Prom, dance show, and awards ceremony for Primary and Secondary, to name just a few.
As we come towards the end of another school year, many parents will be wondering which of our fantastic teachers will be staying with us for the next academic year and which of those teachers we will sadly be saying goodbye to.
One of the positive things this year is that around 90% of teaching staff will remain with us as well as almost all members of our management team including coordinators, Heads of Faculties, Deputy Heads and Heads of School. This means we can build on the stable foundations we have been putting into place ready for the new academic year.
For the next school year we will have two Foundation teachers moving on, Ms Hannah Kuusik and Ms Danielle Jones as well as two of our Primary teachers, Ms Charlotte Moulsher and Mrs Sophie Cunningham. We also say goodbye to Ms Fiona Scott who has been the Deputy Head of Foundation for the past four years. These five positions have already been filled with Ms Hannah Brown taking the role of Deputy Head of Foundation, bringing with her several years’ experience within Foundation departments both in the UK and Thailand. Additionally, Mrs Amy Drew returns from her maternity leave to re-join the Foundation team. The remaining positions have been filled with two teachers, one of whom is already working in Phuket and another recruited from the UK.
In Secondary, we say goodbye to Mr David Lamprell, Ms Rebecca Barker & Mr Ishmael Miah. These positions have also already been filled with an experienced teaching couple taking the posts of Maths and Geography teachers along with a Business teacher who joins the team with several years’ of experience in UK schools.
Within the P.E. department we say goodbye to Ms Nadine Brelstaff, Mr Sam Bushell and Ms Cardelle Dunne. These teachers will be moving on to locations ranging from New York, the Middle East and Myanmar. We have now recruited a total of four new P.E. staff to replace our leaving teachers in order to further support the extended provision of P.E. within HeadStart.
We wish all our leaving staff well on the next phase of their career and thank them all for the contributions they have made to the school in the time that they have been with us.
In addition to the staff described above to replace out-going teachers, we are also expanding our teaching staff further to bring in additional staff such as another EAL support teacher, an additional P.E. teacher, a school counsellor and another Business teacher to support the introduction of BTEC programmes in Year 12 & 13.
We are currently in the process of applying for Pearson EdExcel Centre status which will enable us to offer qualifications with another examination board alongside Cambridge. This will allow us to begin offering BTEC Level 3 qualifications for some of our learners who choose to take an alternative path to A Levels. Additionally it will enable all of our students to achieve the Extended Projected qualification. We hope that the additional options of being an EdExcel centre will offer a greater variety of choices for our learners.
This week we welcome a visit from our Education Development Trust consultant as we begin to gear up towards the accreditation visit in 2020 where the school aims to achieve the gold accreditation. As I mentioned in my letter at the start of term 2, achieving the gold accreditation will not be easy but I am sure that with the current achievements of our students, the support of you as parents, the quality of our teachers and the excellent programmes now available to our students, this is a target we will be able to reach.
To close this letter, I would like to wish all our students who have been studying hard over the last few weeks and months well in their upcoming examinations. Our Year 6 & 9s have just completed their Checkpoints while the Year 11 to 13 students are about embark on their Cambridge IGCSEs and A Levels. Students in all year groups will be beginning to work towards their end of year internal examinations in English, Mathematics and Science. I wish all these students the very best of success.
I hope the final term is rewarding and successful for you and your families and I look forward to seeing many of you at the end of year awards presentation and graduation as we celebrate the successes of this year.
My name is Sontana Baci. I come from Songkhla, the deep south of Thailand. I joined HeadStart International School in 2010. I hold a bachelor of Thai Language Education as well as a Master degree in Educational Management. HeadStart International School welcomes all international students and Thais. With over 40 nationalities represented in the student body, you will soon feel the mixture of our international progamme as well as the appreciation that we are living in Thailand. We strongly believe that HeadStart is a ‘family’ school, where our youngest and oldest students study and live happily side by side. Our favourable pupil-teacher ratio means that each child is an individual and receives the needed academic and social support. HeadStart International School is a recognized Cambridge International Examinations centre and all students sit the IGCSE examinations here in May/June and November sessions. The Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international curriculum for 14-16 year olds, leading to globally recognized and valued Cambridge IGCSE qualifications. Students who have completed Year 11 with 5 passes at least at grade C, receives a certificate that is the equivalent to M.6 in Thailand This will enable them entrance into many international university programmes in Thailand. I am very proud to be associated with HeadStart and I am delighted at the many achievements of our students.
Assembly in Honour of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn
As you may be aware, the Royal Coronation Ceremony of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn will be held from the 4-6th of May in Bangkok. HeadStart International School would like to celebrate this auspicious occasion by having an assembly for the Primary and Secondary school on Tuesday, 7th May 2019, from 8:00-8:30am on the astro pitch.
I would like to invite all Primary and Secondary students, teachers and parents to take part in this assembly together in order for us to show our respect to the new King of Thailand.
Teachers and parents are encouraged to wear yellow on the day but students should attend school in their regular school uniform.
Parent Committee Meeting, 30 May
The Term 3 Parent Committee Meeting is scheduled to be held in our school conference room at 8.15am on Thursday, May 30th 2019. If you have points that you would like to be presented in the meeting, please email [email protected]. More details on the Parent Committee Roles and Responsibilities can be found by CLICKING HERE
Sharing Your Child’s Success with the HeadStart Community
At HeadStart, we like to celebrate our student’s success both in and outside of school! If your child has taken part in a competition or event that you would like to share with the HeadStart community, please send a blurb and good quality pictures to [email protected] and our news team will see if the content is suitable to post on the Facebook page and weekly update. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
English and Humanities Faculty Week Dress Up 4th of June
As part of English and Humanities week that will take place between 3-5th of June, we are asking the whole school to come dressed up as a famous Historical figure on Tuesday, 4th June. There will be prizes for best dressed, especially if you made the costume. Try not to buy one - that’s too easy! As part of the student’s Geography studies, the Year 9s will be organising a fundraiser to help those suffering in Mozambique from the worst storms in recorded history. Over a million people are currently homeless so please do take part and give a donation of at least 20 Baht each if you come in dressed.
The teachers are already raring to go! Check it out!
Ms Hayley Milner dressed as …as Jane Austen! A talented and very significant writer from the early 19th century.
Mr Adam Drew dressed as…Winston Churchill! A famous British Prime Minister who helped lead Europe to victory in WW2.
Sports Department News
I’m delighted to announce that Mr Asa Sanderson, our new Head Football Coach, will start working at HeadStart next Tuesday, 7th May. He has significant experience working in the UK with the youth academies of two Premiership Football clubs. He brings with him the skills and attributes that we would expect of an outstanding coach who can drive our youth football programme forward.
Coach Asa will be inviting the parents and players to a meeting with him on Friday, 10th May, details to follow.
In this meeting which will include details about his coaching ethos and methodologies, as well as upcoming Saturday practice sessions/fixtures and the future of HeadStart Academy Football, but most specifically, the inclusion of girls’ teams next year.
Over the weekend the Aqua Panthers headed up to BIS for their annual Flying Fish Invitational! There were 16 teams that participated and our swimmers worked really hard to make our school proud! We placed 6th overall and achieved some spectacular results.
Firstly, our swimmers broke 16 individual school records! Fantastic job to: Anton Solnyshko, Annabelle Prentice, Cameron Smith, Anna Meakin, Michael McLean, Natasha Chaloemtoem, and Shane Walters!
Special congratulations to Anton Solnyshko (Y3 Blue) and Cameron Smith (Y7 White)!
- Anton scored 116 points and received the 1st place high point award for the 8 and under age group! He placed placed 1st in 4 of his races and 2nd in 2!
- Cameron scored 94 points and placed 3rd in the 11-12 age group. Cameron placed 2nd in 3 of his races and 3rd in 3!
I am so pleased with the results and am looking forward to watching the continued development of the Aqua Panthers! Our final league meet will be June 1st at Thanyapura. See you poolside!
Catch Me Reading
We have had some entries for our photo competition, well done to all our children for taking part. Next week, Ms Cusworth, our Head of English for Primary will announce the winners. Good luck to all our readers!
The Preschool children have had lots of fun using their passports to travel to different countries around the world. This week we visited China, Vietnam and the Philippines. We made Chinese lucky cats, traditional Vietnamese hats called a nón lá and ‘Pastillas’ a milk candy from the Philippines. The children were very excited to join in with a volcano experiment! By Ms Danielle Jones
Early Years students are learning about parts of the body in their Thai class. By Kru Sue
We’ve had an absolutely wonderful day exploring all things Thailand as part of our ‘Around The World’ topic in Geography. The Thai children brought in amazing clothes and food for everyone to try. We also danced, made flags and filled out the first page in our ‘passports’. Super work everyone! Next stop, Russia! A full album can be found on the HeadStart Facebook PageBy Ms Charlotte Myers
Greetings! I am thrilled to introduce myself as a passionate educator at HeadStart. With a teaching journey spanning over a decade, I have been fostering the love for English language and literature since 2010. Originally hailing from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, my journey in international education commenced in 2015 and has taken me across continents, from Africa to Southern Europe, and the landscapes of Latin America. My teaching philosophy centres on fostering a dynamic and inclusive learning environment, where students are not only empowered with language skills but also encouraged to explore and express themselves creatively. I firmly believe that education extends beyond textbooks, and I am committed to nurturing critical thinking, effective communication, and a genuine appreciation for the power of words. Outside the classroom, I am an avid enthusiast of the beautiful game of football, watching my beloved Leeds United get beat on a weekly basis. Engaging in sports, such as football and rugby, not only keeps me active but also teaches valuable lessons of teamwork and determination. Aside from sports I enjoy the theatre and live music from a wide variety of genres. It is with great excitement that I embark on this new chapter of my teaching journey as a part of the HeadStart family. The school's commitment to holistic education and nurturing global citizens aligns perfectly with my values, and I am looking forward to contributing to the educational tapestry of this esteemed institution.
Year 7 Outbound Field Trip News
Year 7 thoroughly enjoyed their school trip to the North of Thailand! The trip started with the students visiting Ayutthaya where they learnt about the the history of one of Ayutthaya’s most important temples, Wat Phra Si Sanphet. They had fun exploring the ruins and taking part in photography activity.
The students then embarked on their journey up Chao Phraya River. Over the two days on the barge, students learnt the importance of global sustainability in watershed environments and what measures can be taken to ensure a healthy ecosystem. They enjoyed taking part in a number of scientific experiences including looking at a number of aquatic macro invertebrates found in the river.
The barge trip also gave students the opportunity to work collaboratively in order to cook their own Thai meals, clean the barge and even provide the entertainment for the evening! Well done Year 7! A full album of the Year 7s trip can be found on the HeadStart Facebook Page
There was a mixture of sadness and celebration in the Sixth Form on Tuesday, the last day of formal lessons for Year 12 and 13. Creativity was the order of the day, with Year 12 decorating a heartfelt poster-card and cake for Year 13, wishing them the best of luck as they embark on their final A Level examinations. We wish them all the best for the next few weeks! By Ms Gemma Caines
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.
The 31st of April marked the last day of lessons for Year 11 and the last chance for First Language English students to demonstrate the depth of their understanding in how to approach different elements of the examination. Having practised past papers ad nauseam, peer assessed, self-assessed, edited and re-drafted, it was important for us teachers to see that students could now articulate in their own words what they needed to do in the exam and how they were going to do it.
Therefore, Mr. Paice and I merged the two classes and assembled the students into six groups, with three lots of two groups looking at one of each of the three questions. They prepared model answers, created success criteria and exam tips and, as a particular highlight, introduced a touch of levity by creating and delivering abstract skits which had to relate in some way to the three most important skills connected to their chosen question type.
This took them in divergent directions, culminating in performances featuring an emotional Sasha Ogay as a tearful Republican news anchor, Ben Caspi as a piano playing lothario and Max Shelestov as the object of Evan Lee’s affections. It was odd, yes, but creative and connected, even if a tad tangentially, to the skills which will be assessed. Good luck Year 11 in your FLE and Literature exams.
We will be here to help you up until the examinations themselves- don’t forget the weekend revision session with Mr. Paice on 4 May, 12:00- 15:00
Check out our speedy runners at Mr. Paice’s running ASP! Did you know that running is one of the most effective ways of improving cardiovascular health? Not only does it keep you in shape, but it helps improve physical and mental health.
Foundation have made a super start to term 3. Last week children in Reception took part in the monthly Fun House Challenges and competed in their teams to win points for their houses. A big well done to the Green and Yellow House for winning so many house points and coming in joint first place. A great start for our teams.
This week the primary students had the chance to take part in a Tug of War house competition. This was something that was requested by the student council so it was great for the students to see their suggestions in action. All the students were determined to help their house to try and win but it was the Blue Tigers who were named victorious.
The House quiz competition has also continued this term with the Green Dragons taking an early lead. This result has helped them to maintain there place on the top spot. With just 8 weeks of term left, will the Green Dragons be able to keep this up to win the end Term prize?!
By Ms Nadine Brelstaff