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Chaofah Weekly10 months ago

Weekly Update #30, 5 May 2023

Dates for Your Diary

Upcoming events can be found on the website under School Life → Calendar and are outlined here for easy reference. If you have questions or require further assistance please email [email protected]

Date Time Event Location
8-26 May   Year 1-6 GL Assessments In class
9 May 8.15am Year 10 Military Service Meeting Primary Hall
11 May 8.15am UPrep for Parents, by Parents: studying in the UK Dance & Drama Studio - 4th floor
13-14 May   PISAC - Running / Cross Country UWCT
16 May 8.15-9.15am Russian Speaking Parents Meeting TBA
23 May 8.15-9.15am Parent Meeting - Reception to Year 1 Transition Primary Hall
25 May 8.15-9.15am UPrep for Parents by Parents- Thai Universities Primary Hall
26 May 2.00-3.00pm Primary Student Council Meeting Conference Room
30 May 8.15-9.15am Mandarin Speaking Parents Meeting TBA
6 June 8.15-9.15am Parent Meeting: Y1 Language Options for Next Year Primary Hall
Meeting & Presentations

We were grateful for the visit of Naresh Idhewat from BrainFit Studio in Bangkok on Wednesday. Naresh came to run information and training sessions for parents of children in both Secondary and Primary. His visit was designed to help better understand the ways in which FastForward helps students with language acquisition from a cognitive and phonetic standpoint. Parents also had expert tips shared with them as to how they can better support their children’s learning and were even able to try out the programme themselves! FastForward, when used regularly, has been shown to significantly advance students’ reading abilities and our EAL students continue to derive great utility from the programme both at school and at home. I would like to thank Naresh for his time and expertise, Mrs. Davidson for organising the day and, of course, parents for attending the sessions. -Mr Pollicutt, Head of English & EAL

Russian Language Meeting on 16.05.23

Приглашаем вас на собрание русскоязычных родителей, которое состоится во вторник, 16 мая, с 8:20 до 9:20.

Встреча начнется с обсуждения темы «Переезд и жизнь в новой стране». Тема будет интересна тем семьям, которые только поступили в школу или недавно переехали на Пхукет. Участники дискуссии поделятся своим опытом и советами о том, как адаптироваться к жизни в новой стране.

После этого мы перейдем к вопросам и ответам. Вы можете задать вопросы о школе, внешкольных занятиях и других темах школьной жизни.

Пожалуйста, отправьте свои вопросы до встречи, чтобы мы могли ответить на них. Прилагаю ссылку на опросник

Ждем вас 16 мая.

С уважением, русскоговорящая команда школы HeadStart

University Offer News

Congratulations to Kieatdumrong Ruangrith (Karn) who has received offers from Chula, Thammasat and KMITL. Karn has been enrolled at HeadStart since 2020 and is an active member of the Science department, volunteering to support both teachers and students, showing what an amazing member of the community he has always been. He is also a Prefect and an avid baker (and the best brownie maker on the island!).

Congratulations to Peeniti Pongsa (Oak) who has received an offer to study at Thammasat University. Oak has been enrolled at HeadStart since 2019. He has supported numerous BTEC events in the school and wider community and is a member of Phuket Team, one the top Basketball teams in Thailand.

PE & Sports

Guest Speaker - Kyle Daniels

On Friday, 28th April the 13 year-and-older football, basketball, and swim academy students were invited to a high performance athletes talk by our guest speaker, Mr Kyle Daniels. Kyle concentrated on the CPR concept ‘Clarity’, ‘Playing’ the long game, and ‘Resilience’ in order to help them achieve success and reach their goals, not just in the sports, but in life in general. A big thank you to Kyle for taking the time to give this dynamic talk to the students! -Mr Carter, Athletics Director

Great work by the HeadStart Panthers U12 Boys who travelled to Success Academy for a friendly fixture. It was an exciting game for all involved. Special mention to Austin who scored a hattrick! Go Panthers! -Coach Rothwell

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Growing Garden

Year 1 have enjoyed exploring the gardening and have been harvesting tasty crops. They have planted some flowers and have been learning about how to maintain the garden. Well done to Caroline and Puth who received leadership award stickers for their wonderful enthusiasm and great collaboration. Year 2 had the fabulous opportunity to learn from Phuket Farmer, Damien Goget. He shared his expert knowledge about the worms which the children were fascinated about. The children even added worms to the seeds they had planted to help improve the soil quality. The children really enjoyed working with Damien and exploring the garden. -Ms Rebecca Ross, Deputy Head

Congratulations to Candy in Year 5, Jaiden and Karina in Year 4, Nida in Year 3, and Amy in Year 2 for being May’s library monitors.


Year 2 have been reading the Paddington stories! This week, we followed instructions on how to make marmalade sandwiches. We then ate our delicious marmalade sandwiches at the teddy bears picnic! -Ms Megan Meck

Year 3 have been enjoying reading ‘Ottoline and the Yellow Cat’ a story about the mysterious disappearance of lap dogs. This week, we read the chapter where the hero of our story, Ottoline, heads out in disguise to solve the case. Today, we created our own disguises which we will use as a stimulus for our writing. Do you recognise any of these strange characters?! -Ms Donna Wintersgill

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IGCSE Art Course Level Work

Year 11 have officially completed their Art iGCSE’s this term! Congratulations to all of the iGCSE students, you should be so proud of yourselves! Here’s a flash back to a few of the pieces they sent off to Cambridge last week.

Art A Level Course Work

Year 12 and Year 13 have completed their Art A Level coursework submissions and Art exams this term! A huge congratulations! Here’s a flashback to a few of the pieces they sent off to Cambridge last week. They should be feeling very proud of themselves!

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Year 7 Art

This term 7 are starting a new project in Art, which is all about creepy crawleys. They’ll be experimenting with pencil, ink, paint and digital art to explore the theme of repetition. This week, they started with some warm ups, using extra long pencils to practice hand eye co-ordination (and that not everything needs to be perfect), and drawing using continuous line (no pens off the page). A fabulous start to a term of experimenting. -Ms Kerrie Nacey Photo album on display on the HeadStart Facebook page

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Robert Gratton

Head of Humanities
[email protected]

I am an experienced educationalist with over two decades working as a teacher, school leader, teacher trainer and researcher with the UCL Institute of Education. A History graduate, with PGCE in Secondary Education, a Masters in Guiding Effective Learning, and with a decade spent investigating the nature of Collaboration, I have been fortunate to work across numerous innovative and forward thinking projects within education internationally. This has included leading Curriculum development within Sweden, establishing new schools such as the UCL Academy and co-founding a centre for education in the outdoors focusing on wellbeing, creativity and sustainability in Wales. I am an advocate for the human centred approach to individual, societal and global sustainable practice. My passion for the Humanities is derived from a belief that we can utilise an education through the Humanities subjects to empower learners to become critical, compassionate and collaborative global citizens. To become life-long, life-wide learners and to become better prepared for an unknown future. To HeadStart I bring this commitment, this drive and this ambition to use the Humanities to transform the lives of each and every learner. My second year here at HeadStart will see a reinvigoration of the Humanities and a renewed drive to ensuring every learner activates their capacity to become a fully active and internationally aware learner.

“Sometimes, you have to step outside of the person you've been and remember the person you were meant to be. The person you want to be. The person you are.” - H.G. Wells

Humanities Faculty Week

Humanities Faculty week was a great showcase of the thinking we have been encouraging across the Humanities this academic year. It was great to see the community engaging with the Past, identifying their geographical route into Phuket. This opened up some great conversations with Primary learners; push, pull factors and geographical map skills. Also an engagement with the Future sharing thoughts on where we would like to go as a community and society. For us the Humanities is a bridge between the Past, Present and Future which is fundamental in enabling us all to recognise our place and role within our shared world; agency. The role we can play was championed across the week through our Home Room Thunks (discussion topics with no answer), through the display of Year 9 History work where they applied their History skills of causation to solving problems facing Phuket and through our Model United Nations showcase debate centered upon Sea Turtles vs Jellyfish in the fight against ocean plastic.

The week culminated in a fun dress up where we saw a huge range of Humanities inspired costumes. From a walking Eiffel Tower to a trio of Psychology inspired ‘Pavlovs Dogs’, from Mr Benhams Long Shore Drift costume to Mrs Grattons Super Ego. Costumes were indicative of some great thinking by learners. Friday also saw the finals of our HeadStart Sustainability Challenge in which our 4 Year 9 finalists presented their arguments and solutions based upon issues of sustainability. Presentations were judged by the panel for Validity, Viability and Communication. Our winning pair were Arianna and Taisiia with their proposal to increase bee populations here in Phuket.

Next year’s Faculty week will be even bigger and will be a fantastic showcase for our new Curriculum approach within the Humanities, ‘An education for international awareness’.

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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.

English Department

A colleague once said to me, ‘I don’t spend the whole lesson just reading with students.’ Well, sometimes I do actually. In The Lord of the Rings, Legolas says ‘Not idly do the leaves of Lorien fall’ and it is also ‘not idly’ that I dedicate lessons to reading. In a different context, Jacques Derrida said ‘il n’ya pas de hors-texte’ but there is truth in this quote when considering the purity of thought and utility that can be derived from reading and the ensuing guided academic discussion of meanings. It is, to my mind, the best kind of preparation for a socratic ‘examined’ life and the explorative, seminar based style of learning present in many universities. And it’s not just me. Students themselves, in their feedback given, have opined a liking for this approach.

Question: what do you enjoy most about English lessons?

  • Reading and analysing texts together
  • I really enjoyed learning about Great Expectations as it really taught me to look at books differently and understand that there is more to understand than only what’s told in the book.
  • I mostly enjoyed the parts in lessons when we would dive deep into discussion about the writing that we were studying as it offered my different perspectives from each student.
  • Class discussions with Mr Pollicut regardless of which topic because it is very entertaining, thus engaging.

In the current case of Year 9, what book could be more fascinating- and indeed more culturally relevant in our era- to read and discuss than Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby? So we ‘beat on’ in the English Faculty, using a variety of teaching approaches to inspire a love of learning.

International Film Competition

Last week, two of our Year 9 students, Shanbo (Tony) Zhang and Jiachen (Michael) Xu, were shortlisted for an international film competition. The boys spent time in their filmmaking active learning class learning the skills for film planning, production and editing. They created a short film, The Dream, to be entered in the Short-Shorts category; a film that lasts no longer than 60 seconds. After submitting their film to the Across Asia Youth Film Festival (AAYFF) they were soon shortlisted as finalists. Both Tony and Michael will now be representing HeadStart at our first international film competition, and will next week travel to Singapore for the screening of their film where it will be reviewed by a panel of judges. The awards will be given out on the evening of the Gala screening at the host school, Tangling Trust, Singapore. We are very proud of the two of them and will have our fingers crossed on May 11th. The event will be live streamed so the community will have the opportunity of watching from Phuket. We will share their final film shortly and we wish them the best of luck at the competition.

English Camp

It all started with an idea. A vision. A common goal, to find a way to give back to our community. Us students came together and pitched ideas, but then soon realised. We’re all international school students. We learn, play, and socialise in English- why not use this simple strength to provide an opportunity for the Thai students in this island’s community?

That’s how the camp was born-on the 1st and 2nd of April- 47 of us hosted the first-ever student-led English Camp, completely free of charge. Us and our HeadStart staff worked tirelessly to ensure that food, equipment and any further support was provided. We wanted to bring out laughter, joy and, most importantly, carry out Headstart’s mission of ‘inspiring a love learning’ to younger generations. We worked hard in planning, coordinating and teaching, though not without our own challenges, difficulties and setbacks, to ensure the best experience for the kids. At the camp’s closing ceremony we asked all 80 of them a question: did you enjoy it? The answer was a rapturous ‘YES’. With that, all the effort was well worth it. We had taken the first step to achieve our shared goal and we could not be prouder. Thank you to all the volunteers who sacrificed their hard-earned weekend:

  • Year 9: Prim, Aum, Yim, Alicia
  • Year 10: PanPan, Oum, Peemai, Susanna, Seungha
  • Year 11: Krit, Pear, Erica, Fura, Sabi, Rafael, Alex,Nick, Emma, Dylan, Theo, Leon, Xavier, Christina,, Jewelry, Putter, Alisa, Koko, Naomi, Daniel, Aommi, Zoe, Fredric, Liz, Mix, Ryan, Lucky, Paper, Kun, Kristina, Manta, Nicky, Cookie, Ardip
  • Year 12: Anzac, NaeNae, Noey

Teacher Volunteers: Miss Nguyen, Ms Bedi, Ms Wilson, Coach Paul, Kru Fon, and Kru Bee **Special thanks to: Kru Nee, Mr Jazon, Mr Drew, Mr Lukats, P Sand, Kru Toom, P Jajah, Kru Dia, Nurse Kaew and the students and staff of the 4 government schools for trusting and believing in us, without your support, this would not have been possible.

Written by Krit, Erica and Fura, Year 11 students.

Student Success Out of School

Congratulations to Juliette in Year 8 for coming second in the Oceans For All Student photography contest, sponsored by Blue Tree Phuket and Ocean Blue Tree, which aimed to raise awareness about the impact of plastic on our oceans. Juliette’s photo entry is on display at the Blue Tree Welcome Centre this week, along with the other top entries.

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Community Links - Scholars of Sustenance

Scholars of Sustenance Foundation Thailand is pleased to submit the Monthly Food Surplus Donation Report for April 2023 that we have collected and compiled for you. Thank you for making that impact on many lives, and on the environment. -Jack, Manager of SOS

Headstart International school HKT Apr 2023 pages to jpg 0001
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