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Chaofah Weekly7 years ago

Weekly Update 5

Student Voice by Anastasia Emelianova, Year 12

The First Day of School

7:30 am… A loud squeal. A laugh. A collision.

The girls laughed, parting from their hug, as they took in one another’s changed appearance.

This feeling is hard to put into words. It is one of the most beautiful things about going to an International School. The friendships we form with people who maybe, cannot even fully speak our language, turn out to be the strongest bonds we form - withstanding separation, barriers and cultural differences. Friendships that start because of something as simple as that one time we were paired for a group project in class. Yet they last years upon years, because it’s so easy to feel lonely and frightened but we choose to prevail. We choose to love and spread love instead of hiding in our own corners, we choose to ignore the social construct and build a family out of nothing but a cluster of unfamiliar faces.

I was nervous that morning, that fantastic type of nervousness that sits at the bottom of your stomach when you approach something so exciting. I couldn’t even hear my own thoughts… Everyone found comfort in the corridors, trying desperately to talk over one another, unable to hide their delight. We tried to string together some words to at least attempt to sum up our entire summers. Everyone’s was different, some were travelling the world, some went home to fall in love with their traditions once again, some worked and others made beautiful art, that on that first day of school, they were so excited to show us.

We snatch each other’s schedules, cross-referencing them to our own. It’s loud and it’s demanding but this atmosphere couldn’t feel more like home.

Being this excited to be back to school isn’t judged, it isn’t uncool, it isn’t considered boring at all because there are different standards of cool here. Being so international, being so differently cultured and being so united - nevertheless we feel like we have traveled the word without having set foot in most of these countries. The diversity and the unity is what makes this a truly surreal place. I do not think I can truly explain this paradox in words.

When the first bell rings, the hallway begins to clear out to the soundtrack of laughter and the rattle of paper; I see the hopeful stares of our newest year 7’s, I stop and think to myself: “This school is like no other, they have truly inspired a love of learning”


Secrets to Raising Achieving and Happy Children Presentation Invitation

Join Alan Yip, #1 bestselling author of FUNtastic Parenting and go on a journey of self discovery and active engagement to uncover the Secrets to Raising Achieving and Happy Children. Presentation at HeadStart, scheduled for 8.00 - 9.30 am on October 4th. This power packed presentation by Alan Yip usually costs 100 SGD but is being offered to HeadStart parents for free. We have limited places available, so If you would like to attend, please register at the school office.

Raising happy children

Phonics Workshop Training for Parents by Khru Nee

Parents are invited to a meeting on Tuesday the 27th of September at 08.00 - 09.00 in the Secondary Hall located on the Secondary floor. The meeting will be presented in English and Thai. We will give a presentation on the introduction of how you can help your child with learning phonics. We will look at the different sounds in the alphabet and learn about blending and segmenting, two essential part in teaching children how to read and write.

Sale of Healthy/Organic Items on Fridays

HeadStart is looking to continue to promote healthy living through providing free fitness coaching and the use of the gym in the mornings and afternoons. We would now like to extend the education of healthy eating to students, parents and staff by offering a small variety of organic and healthy foods for sale in the atrium every Friday afternoon.

If you have a product that you would like to present to the HeadStart community please contact Miki in the front office or write to [email protected]. Please note that we will not accept bakery items containing white flour, sugar, or any other foods that do not have a direct health benefit.

Lowered Prices in the Cafe

Have you heard? As of last Monday, the prices on various items in the School Cafe have been lowered. These items include the homemade teas and juices as well as the sandwiches. This news has been well received by our students so far!

House Shirts Worn Every Friday

Despite the announcement at the beginning of the year to wear House shirts every Friday simplifying the process of remembering when to wear House shirts, some students are still forgetting. Please assist your child in remembering to wear their House shirt every Friday.

Updated Passports by the Admin team

Please inform the office if your child’s passport has been updated. A simple email with a scanned copy of your child’s new passport to [email protected] would be very helpful to the team responsible for keeping everyone’s papers updated.

Creative Arts Week: do you have something to offer? by Erika Cramp

We are currently organising our Creative and Performing Arts Week which will take place from 10 - 14 October. We would like to invite parents to take part. Last year we had Veronica and Tammy entertain us with their beautiful voices and striking stage personalities. Are you a performer or do you know someone who is? Can you offer an activity our students would enjoy? Have you got art work we can present in our exhibition? If you would like to get involved please email our Head of Creative and Performing Arts at [email protected].

World Scholar’s Cup Update by Ms Beanland and Mr Drew

This year is the first time that HeadStart has participated in the World Scholar’s Cup and we are immensely proud of all our students who have participated in the competition from the Regional Round in Bangkok to the Global Round, also in Bangkok this year and now finally, onto the prestigious Tournament of Champions at Yale University, USA.

On Tuesday, 15 November nine of our students will be jetting off to America to compete with students who are the “best of the best” in the world. The scholars are working hard to refine their debating skills, their essay writing skills and revising the syllabus content to ensure more top performances in the Scholar’s Challenge and Bowl. There is an atmosphere of nervous excitement and anticipation in our ASPs at the moment.

Clearly, a trip to the other side of the world is not an inexpensive undertaking. If there are any members of the HeadStart community who would be interested in sponsoring our students, we would be exceptionally pleased to hear from you.

We wish all the scholars well, in these final weeks of preparation and welcome all the new scholars who have joined the programme this year.

Update from the Food Service Committee by Anisa van der Laan

The Food Service Committee has updated all lunch buffet labels to include the correct icons depicting important information about what each dish contains. Now students with allergies, dietary choices or religious restrictions can clearly understand 9 main components of each dish. Please see the chart below.

Food Service Icons

New IGCSE Regulation Equivalence of Qualifications by Khru Nee

Please be informed that recently the Thai Ministry of Education announced some changes to the equivalence of qualifications from England to the upper secondary school levels (Matayom 6) in Thailand. The Thai version of this announcement is included as a download below. The English version, also presented as a download below has been contributed by Cambridge. If you would like to make an appointment to discuss your child’s plan for going to university in Thailand, please contact Khru Nee at [email protected] or Mr Drew at [email protected]

Language Day

HeadStart will celebrate Language Day on the 26th of September. Our Language department has organised many activities, videos, quizes and games for the students and staff to participate in. Pictures and news will follow in next week’s update.


HeadStart’s Got Talent News by Ms Erika Cramp

HeadStart’s got Talent 2016 is on the 14th of October. Auditions will be held from 3 - 7 October. Students can show off their talents, no matter what it is. Anything from basketball skills to fire dancing to rubik’s cube goes. Make sure you sign up with Mrs Cramp by the 3rd of October. This year prizes are provided by Hard Rock Cafe, Phuket FM Radio and Phuket Wake Park. Don’t miss out!

HeadStart s Got Talent Backdrop

Trash Hero Beach Clean Up by Richard Cramp

HeadStart proudly sponsored this Trash Hero Phuket beach clean at Surin Beach on Saturday. Over 30 HeadStart Duke of Edinburgh students attended the event with 20 other volunteers from all over the island to clean the beach. 15 bin bags were filled with trash that would have gone back into the ocean: that’s about 150 kgs of dangerous materials that can harm marine life. Well done to them all!

Foundation News

Preschool Having Fun in the Garden by Lisa Parsons

EY in the Garden by Nikki Bellis

Early Years Yellow have really enjoyed our topic “In the Garden”. The children have planted, watered and grown mung bean plants and also enjoyed planting seeds in the garden. They have also created plasticine worms, symmetrical butterflies, bottle top caterpillars and paper plate bees and lady birds!

This week we have had a another fantastic week in Foundation. Our Gardens and Minibeasts topics have continued with each class doing some wonderful work. It is lovely to see how well the children are doing and how much they enjoy their days at HeadStart. Please keep a look out on the school Facebook page for updated photos and news.


Our junk bin is filling up, thank you to everyone for the donations. We will put the items to good use. We will be working shortly with the primary Eco Club to make sensory items for the Foundation Garden, however we still need a few more items. If you have any old, scratched, no longer can be used CDs or DVDs, please send them into school.

Suggestion Boxes

Thank you to all the parents who have posted suggestions into our Parents Suggestion Box which is placed in the Foundation Corridor, outside Early Years and Pre School. We have had a great response from parents informing us of what children enjoying doing at home. From Dinosaurs to cooking, and dance shows to football we as teachers can learn and find out a lot more about your child. We will use this information in the classroom, which will help us plan and prepare even more exciting learning opportunities in the near future. Please keep the information coming in. Just as a reminder that the suggestion box is a tool for parents to share the likes, interests and achievements of their children with the Foundation team.

Bringing the Class Teddy Bear Home

Each homeroom now has a class bear which will be coming home to children over the course of the year. Each bear will enjoy spending time with your child and joining in with any family fun. From trips to the supermarket, to sharing bedtime stories, please record any weekend activities you may do with the bear which will generate talking and sharing activities within the classroom. a full set of instructions in Thai and English will come home with the Bear.

Foundation Settling In Meetings Thursday 6th Oct 1- 3:00

All parents are welcome to join us for a settling in meeting on Thursday 6th October from 1.00pm. Homeroom teachers will be available for the afternoon for any parents wishing to drop in and discuss their child’s settling in progress can do so on this day. Parents are welcome to drop in between 1.00pm and 3pm. No formal appointments are structured for the afternoon, however, if you do wish to make an appointment, please email the homeroom teacher directly.

Rainy Season and Swimming

With the persistent rain upon us just now, a number of classes have been unable to swim. Please note that on swimming days, if it is to cold to swim, our PE teachers will provide an alternative activity. Please be reminded that if your child cannot swim due to a medical condition, please provide a medical certificate from the Doctor.

Sleeping and Bed Times

Term 1 is a very long and busy term of our younger students. They are active all day long and it is imperative that they get plenty of rest so they can enjoy the school days ahead. Secure bedtime routines and getting enough sleep, not only helps children rest from the days events but is also vital for growing bodies and developing brains. If children do not get enough sleep they may find learning difficult and could be reluctant to participate in class activities.

Party Friday Fri 30th Sept. Change of Times

This month’s birthdays are displayed on the main board at the entrance to Foundation. If you would like to communicate with parents from the same class to discuss cakes, treats, birthday hats or decorations please see the Homeroom teacher for Further details. Due to some lessons being rescheduled around the school, this has had a direct impact on the times we can now host the parties in Foundation. Please note the change of times;

Preschool and Early Years - Party times will now be 9.40 - 11:00 am Reception Party times will remain the same 8:15 - 9:40 am

Wishing you all an enjoyable weekend.

Primary News by Mr Whittaker

This week in Primary we saw the first of our Class Assemblies. Year 4 Blue presented a wonderful assembly as part of the ‘World’s Largest Lesson’ initiative that we have all been taking part in this week and which continues into next week. The assembly was based on sustainability with a focus on not wasting food; something we are all aware of as we have our House ‘Weigh Your Waste’ every Friday lunchtime.

In the Thai parents’ meeting for parents of pupils in Reception and Year 1 we presented to over 40 parents all about MyiMaths and BugClub, our online Maths and Reading schemes, as well as an introduction to our Parent Portal.

Next week in the Thai parents’ meeting we will be focusing on phonics, again, to the Reception and Year 1 parents, and we are looking forward to a large turn-out of parents to that as well.

It’s been very encouraging hearing so many positive comments from parents, new and old alike, concerning the smooth transition of the pupils into their new classes with their new teachers. The Year 1 parents have also had their settling-in meetings with their Homeroom teachers.

Please find attached to this Weekly Update a guide for parents regarding illness and sending children to school - this is in English and Thai.

I wish you all a super weekend with your families and look forward to seeing all the pupils and parents next week.

Secondary News by James Barker

Another busy week in secondary has come to an end with plenty of students now in the thick of topics and upcoming assessments. It was great to see our Year 10 students taking part in their first Duke of Edinburgh Award and Trash Hero beach clean up at Surin Beach this past weekend which I too was happy to be part of. I look forward to seeing more of our students involved in these community based projects.

Attendance and Punctuality

It is vitally important that students arrive to school and lessons on time. Lateness and absence not only impacts on student learning but also on information about upcoming events and valuable time within homerooms.

For students who are persistently late, attendance and punctuality reports are now in place to help monitor their arrival to school and lessons.

When students are absent through sickness and email should be sent to the homeroom teacher informing them of the reason.

Student Council

The Student council representatives from years 5 - 13 have been elected and we have the first student council meeting of this academic year on 29th September. Details of this meeting and the students involved will appear in next weeks update.


This week as part of their IGSE art work students in year 10 visited Baan Chinpracha in Phuket Town. This Sino-colonial house holds a number of interesting collections. Students made observational drawings and gained inspiration to support their classroom work.

Thai Department News

Early Years Thai Class by Kru Sue

It was all fun and fantastic in the playroom during our Thai classes this week as students enjoyed counting Thai numbers using the rainbow lines.

Year 1 Learning their Vowels

Always on a mission to create fun learning experiences for her students, this week Kru Eiw got her students to learn the ‘aa’ vowel by spelling the words and matching them to an array of cute pictures.

Year 4 Global Goals Presentation by Ms Kate Thongsen

Year 4 Blue did their assembly on the Global Goals and focused in particular on Goal Number Two - Zero Hunger. They discussed the importance of not wasting food, not just by eating everything on your plate, but also planning meals and saving left overs or turning them into compost. That way, we reduce the amount of habitats that are destroyed and decrease pollution from packaging, transport and waste in landfills. The children encouraged everyone to make shopping lists so that you buy only what you need, save left overs for later, make a compost bin from food scraps and to buy food from local markets. We hope everyone at HeadStart follows these guidelines!!

Sports and P.E. News

Hello all from a very damp and soggy P.E. and Sports faculty team! Despite the poor weather we have been having we have still managed to run the P.E. curriculum and the ASP Sports program without too much disruption. Thank you to all staff and indeed students for being so supportive in this. We have also had some fantastic sporting results from this weekend in the Swim academy as they took part in round 1 of the PISAC swim league at Thanyapura.

Swimming News

A great start for the Aquapanthers claiming second place in Round one of the PISAC swim league!

We took 52 Academy swimmers to Thanyapura last weekend to compete in the first big swim meet of the season: the short course PISAC swim league meet. We had some really fantastic performances and several personal bests set by our swimmers. This ensure we finished in second place overall after round one which is a great result and a great start for the team. Congratulations to all the swimmers and a big thank you to head swim coach Zak Brown and the swim coaching staff for organizing so well. We are all very proud of all our athletes who attended the meet this weekend. They swam their races and made a great difference for the team.

Here are the top point earners of the meet. Please note that swimmers who scored over 40 points are mentioned in this list. These points were scored within their age group.


Juno 68/ Innes 66.5/ Shane 60/ Andrew 55/ Peter 50/ Lewis 49/ Pooh 48/ Vova 47/ Max

47/ Nazar 45/ Kim 44/ Cameron 43/ Matvey 42


Yejin 53/ Lucy 51/ Anya 48/ Kwan 48/ Lisa 48/ Eve 47/ Emmie 46/ Sasha 44/ Regina 43/ Natasha 42

A huge shout out to both Juno and Yejin who scored the most points for the team! Everyone who competed had great swims and times. Our next competition is the weekend of October 29th in Thanyapura for a sprint challenge.

Football news

Training is progressing well in the academy teams in preparation for some big tournaments in October and November including the Phuket Soccer School U 10 and U 12 tournaments as well as the BISP soccer 7’s for all ages.

U9 and U11 Football Academy Training Changes

There will be a slight change to the structure of training for the U 9 and U 11 squads as Coach JR is introducing a mixed inter school team league for the Friday academy training session. This will start next week and coach JR will put U9 and U11 players in mixed equal teams to have a friendly football league every Friday. This should be great fun and a chance for all the players to join in a friendly league competition against each other.

Sports events coming up

1-2 October–Phuket Soccer School’s U10 and U12 Tournament at Thanyapura 8 October–PISAC Senior Boys Football v BISP at HeadStart

Tennis News

HeadStart now offers tennis lessons for students after school. This new programme has proven to be very popular. If you would like to get involved please contact Head tennis coach Darran Ferre by email: [email protected]

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