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Chaofah Weekly4 years ago

Weekly Update #5, 27 September, 2019

Dates for Your Diary

Upcoming events can be found on the website under School Life → Calendar and are also outlined here for easy reference.

For daily updates and news follow the HeadStart Facebook Page

Date Time Event Location
28 September 7:00am U9 to Over 15 PISAC Football UWCT
30 September 8:15am World Music Workshop for IGCSE students BISP
03 October 8:15am UPrep Drop in Session Coffee Shop
03 October 8:30am Positive Parenting Meeting Talk 2 TBA
03 October All day Vegetarian Festival In school
4-5 October 7:00am Thanyapura Super Sprint Thanyapura
04 October 10:30-11:30am Stay and Play ‘Teddy Bears Picnic (Early Years) Foundation playground
04 October 2:30-5:30 pm Friday Market Atrium
5-6 October All day DofE Silver Training  
05 October 7:00am-12:00pm PISAC U9 to O15 Football Events HSIS/
10 October 8:15am UPrep Talk Primary Hall
7-11 October All week P.E. Faculty Week TBA
14-21 October   Mid-term break  
21 October All day Staff INSET In school
23 October 8:00-9:00am Wai Kru Key Stage 2 & Secondary Sports Hall
24 October 8:00-9:00am Wai Kru Foundation & Key Stage 1 Sports Hall
24 October 8:15am UPrep Drop in session Coffee shop
24 October 8:30am Positive Parenting Meeting Primary Hall
26-27 October All day DofE Bronze Training (Group 1)  
30 October 3:00-6:15pm PISAC Primary/Secondary Cross Country BISP
31 October 8:15am UPrep Talk  
31 October All day Halloween Activities- ASPs cancelled See more details below

HeadStart Officially a BTEC & EdExcel Center

Last week, Mr Drew, Headmaster, and Kru Nee, School Director, attended the Plaque Presentation Ceremony in Bangkok. We are happy to report that HeadStart has been approved to deliver BTEC qualification and is now registered as an EdExcel center.

BTECs are career-focused qualifications taken by over one million learners every year and are recognised in more than 70 countries worldwide. We are proud to become the first BTEC centre in Phuket, along with 17 other centers throughout Thailand, the world’s preferred career-focused qualifications given by the UK’s largest awarding organisation.

TIMO Maths and Science Competitions

Here are the details about some upcoming Maths and Science competitions that are happening in Phuket. We have only just received this information as a school and are passing it onto parents in case it is something you may be interested in. HeadStart will not be entering school teams for the competition so if you want to enter your child please follow the guidance in the information provided below. The school will however provide a student preparation session for Science and Maths for secondary and primary school age students.

Once you have registered for a competition please email the following members of staff so they can organise the preparation session;

→ Secondary Maths [email protected]

→ Secondary Science [email protected]

→ Primary Maths [email protected]

→ Primary Science [email protected]

Good luck to those who are entering the competitions and please let us know how well your children do!

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Vegetarian Festival

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival (or Nine Emperor Gods Festival) will take place in Phuket from the 28th of September to the 7th of October this year. Traditionally it is observed during the ninth lunar month, and is one of the most auspicious events on the island. Read more about the Vegetarian Festival by clicking on this link On the 3rd of October we invite all interested students and staff to join in the local tradition of dressing in white and eating vegetarian food. Please note that this is optional and not a requirement. Vegetarian and regular lunch options will be provided.

Halloween 2019

We are happy to announce that this year we will be celebrating Halloween on 31st of October. Start preparing your spooky outfits…it’s gonna be a lot of fun!

Foundation, Primary students and teachers are invited to come to school in costume. During lunch time there will be a Halloween fashion show where students stand the chance to win a prize! Teachers and deputies will organise a period of fun activities that the children can engage in while Chef and the food service team will prepare a surprise Halloween themed lunch and snacks. Stay tuned for more details closer to the date.

The Secondary Halloween event is being organised by a group of Sixth Form students. They have a lot of exciting ideas and have been busy planning and preparing for a few weeks now. Secondary students are invited to come to school in costume although, if prefered, can change into their outfit just before the Halloween Disco which will take place in the Sports Hall starting at 5:00pm. See details in the poster below. Stay tuned for more details closer to the date.

Copy of Halloween Flyer Template Made with PosterMyWall

UPrep Talk: Standardised Testing

Last Thursday, Ms Gemma Caines gave a presentation on Standardised Testing. If you were not able to attend, click on this link to be able to access all of our meeting notes: UPrep Meeting Timetable and Meeting Information. Remember that you are welcome to drop in and speak with our UPrep team on 3rd of October starting at 8:15am in the coffee shop.

Annual Phuket Academic and Art Competition

Congratulations to our students for winning prizes at the annual Phuket Academic and Art Competition 2019 at Anuban Phuket school last week.

→ Team Modelling Clay: Naomi, Jacob and Saraphina from Year 1 won the Bronze prize.

→ Team Paper Collage: Gail, Napat and Puan from Year 1 won the Bronze prize.

→ Sudoku Maths: Shayo Lapanurak from Year 7 won the Silver prize.

A big thank you to our Thai teachers, Kru Poy, Kru Cherry and Kru Fon and our Thai parents for their support throughout the competitions.

P.E. Department News

The Aqua Panthers had an amazing turnout over the weekend at the BISP Open. Our 20 swimmers competed in over 120 individual events and really made some waves! It was a great day overall and I am excited to see how our swimmers perform at our next meet, the Thanyapura Super Sprint on 5th & 6th of October! See you poolside! By Coach Brown

Swimming and Physical Education (P.E.)

At HeadStart, we encourage swimming from the earliest class. Living on an island, we believe that swimming is a life skill in which all children require. During rainy season, the PE department will decide if it is too cold to swim and will make alternative PE arrangements. However, throughout rainy season, please continue to dress or provide a swimsuit for your child on the scheduled day just in case. As swimming is part of our curriculum, it is expected that all children take part. If your child is too ill to swim, they should not be in school, or a medical certificate from the doctor needs to be provided to the Homeroom teacher. If a child is not swimming, the parent must inform the homeroom teacher via email as soon as possible.

P.E.Faculty Week 7th-11th October

This year PE Faculty Week is the World Series of Burnball. Students will take part in the Striking and Fielding game Speed Burnball in lessons and have a chance to show off their skills before school and at lunch in other activities too. More information to follow in assemblies and during homeroom. Time to start getting excited!


Last weekend the Soccer Circus had record numbers in attendance. The Number One Goalkeepers Academy also proved to be very popular and was a great success.

HeadStart Under 15s boys and girls teams played against KIS in the PISAC competition this week. The girls team learnt a lot on a difficult afternoon as they created a lot of chances but couldn’t get past the KIS goalkeeper whilst individual errors in defense proved to be decisive. The boys team were far stronger than the KIS boys and won comfortably. The boys must learn to pass the ball to each other more often if they are to make progress against more developed opponents. This weekend, the boys and girls teams will play in PISAC competitions where they will have the chance to show how well they have taken the key messages on board.

Upcoming PISAC Football Competition Info for 28 September

→ U9 and U11 going to UWCT. Be at school at 7:00am to take the school bus. 8:00am start and 10:00am finish.

→ U13 boys and girls teams playing at HeadStart. 7:30am start and a 10:30am finish.

→ Soccer Circus will be on from 10.30 on Saturday.


UWCT would like to extend a warm welcome to the Volleyball community and are hoping that we will join them for two upcoming UWCT ‘Set & Smash’ Jamborees on Friday 4th October and Friday 1st November from 4:00-6.00pm. They aim to promote and further develop opportunities for our players and teams to play and enjoy this wonderful sport. No cost involved, just come and play!

→ Friday 4th October and Friday 1st November from 4:00-6:00pm @ UWC Thailand

→ Format: 20-25 minute with 1st to win the set or highest score (Time Based)

→ Age groups: 15 & over allowing older students to play with adults while keeping it safe.

→ Open to: Students, parents & Staff.

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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.

Reading Matters

All teachers of English and Literature find themselves repeating ad nauseam the importance of reading for students. So much so, actually, and over such a long period of time, that often I personally feel like a stuck phonograph.

However, the point stands; reading matters.

At HeadStart, English teachers see students for four hours a week. In this time we work hard to prepare students with the skills they need to achieve in examinations, become fluent communicators and critical thinkers. It is one of the perverse ironies that we struggle to find time to engage in reading for pleasure with our students. In fact, studies have shown (and here at HeadStart, this seems reflected when I speak to my students) that students read less at the ages of 14 and 16 than they do at the end of their Primary Education.

This seems to be reflected in global Checkpoint trends and, indeed in HeadStart’s most recent results: can it be that students really regress by the time they get to the end of Year 9?! Of course regression does not take place but progress can slow and even plateau. So what can we do to arrest this?

In English lessons, we have made significant changes to our curriculum to be introduced after half term. All students in Years 7 to 9 will be reading a shared text during their once- weekly library lesson, the focus of which will be on developing their ability to identify implicit meanings and being able to comment on how a text uses language and structure for effect.

Through these activities, we hope to raise achievement and help better prepare students to become analytical readers. This process would be greatly aided if reading could be supported at home. Below are some tips, some of which I am sure many parents already do, some of which may seem blindingly obvious, but I think all are worth repeating as a reminder. If you don’t do this with your child and you’re able to, please consider starting to do so; I am sure you will see them benefit from it hugely. Happy reading!

‘Stay and Play’ Reception Messy Play

Reception hosted their first parents ‘stay and play’ session this week. Lots of fun was had by all, both big and small!

Here at HeadStart we recognise that Messy play is extremely important for a child’s development. Messy play provides children with an exciting sensory experience that inspires their curiosity and creativity. Messy activities encourage children to use materials in an imaginative way, contrasting colours, textures, shapes and materials. This type of play is not focused on producing a specific outcome, so it gives the children the freedom to explore lots of possibilities. This sense of free play helps to develop their self-confidence and self-esteem. Messy play enables the child to develop a sense of control, as there is no right or wrong way to play or create. Literacy and Mathematical skills are supported through the relation of messy play to the current theme, this child led activity allows children to continue to explore and understand what they have been learning in more structured activities throughout the week.

Inviting our parents into school provides opportunity to create excellent partnerships with parents whereby all adults involved with the children can work as a team to provide the best possible start in life. We would like to thank all the parents for their involvement and for really getting messy with the children. The children haven’t stopped talking about how much fun they had ‘splashing their parents’!

Foundation Stars of the Week

Well done to Tigger, Ayla, Ryo and Perwah from Early Years Class. Well done to Michaela, Julie, Punn, Vivien and Tyoma from Reception class. By Ms Hannah Brown

Here are some pictures of the Year 1 students completing a Science experiment. I challenged them to make ‘bubbles and fizz’ by using the ingredients on the table. They had no instructions! They had an amazing time exploring and learning. By Ms Lucy Bevins

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Yardenna Jones

BTEC Coordinator
[email protected]

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 continuing with the delivery and coordination of the BTEC programmes 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!

This week pupils from year 7 to 9 were thrown in at the deep end and began to practice their public speaking skills as part of the new LAMDA qualification. After interviewing each other about their home towns and hobbies, each took it in turn to present a short speech about their partner. It was exciting to see their current ability and confidence as well as enabling the group to learn more about each other’s interests. I look forward to the coming weeks and to see the students grow into outstanding orators! By Miss Samantha Gill

BTEC Student News

BTEC Travel & Tourism visited the PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustainable Tourism) 2019 event this week. The Hilton Arcadia Resort and Spa hosted the innovative event, bringing together the hotel industry and its stakeholders to discuss environmental sustainability. The year 12 BTEC students networked with industry experts, attended a plastic reduction workshop and learnt all about sustainability products and services available. They will be sharing this important information with HeadStart through an exciting project in the near future!

BTEC Business students visited Soi Dog Charity this week. They have been learning about different types of businesses, their purpose and structure. Soi Dog improves the welfare of dogs and cats in Asia and are actively working towards ending the dog meat trade. The BTEC students were lucky enough to receive a tour of the business with a representative providing them with lots of useful information and they even got to play with the puppies. Some of the students have already planned to pay another visit and volunteer at the charity by walking the dogs! By Ms Yardenna Jones

Introducing Our Newly Appointed Head Boy and Girl and Deputies

The last few weeks have been politically charged here at HeadStart, with elections for School Council representatives, Prefect applications and Deputy Head Girl and Boy interviews taking place. During a Secondary assembly we announced all our student leaders and we were delighted that more students than ever had put themselves forward for positions of leadership. This speaks of the generosity of spirit, the commitment to positive change making and, not least, a fair amount of bravery on the part of our students. Student Leadership at HeadStart is led by our Head Girl and Boy, supported by their Deputies. Here they introduce themselves and tell us a bit about what they hope to achieve during their time in office:

Julianna Mester (Head Girl)

Being Deputy Head Girl last year was an incredible experience and I was able to learn so much from our former Head Boy and Head Girl. As this year’s Head Girl I hope to encourage students to get more involved in activities and events, to excel in their studies and to grow as human beings. I cannot wait for the events we have lined up for this year and the student leadership team has already begun to organise them. Hope everyone has a great school year!

Vasco de Graaff (Head Boy)

This year I am looking forward to being a key part of student leadership at HeadStart. I strongly believe that students should be able to express their opinions and push for the changes they want to see in school. This is able to happen through our student leadership team that we are constantly trying to improve and become more efficient at addressing student concerns. We want to get students more involved with all the activities we have planned. Hope everyone has a great start to the year!

Evan Lee (Deputy Head Boy)

Hello, My name is Evan. I’m 16 years old and currently studying in year 12. Although I am Korean, I have lived in Thailand for my entire life. I have only been in HeadStart for 2 years. However, I’m very pleased to be contributing to our community as Deputy Head Boy this year. I will try my best to help the students and school by presenting myself as a great role model for my peers. As the HeadStart community continues to develop, I hope we can encourage more students to take part in activities and events this year.

Lucy Mester (Deputy Head Girl)

Hello, I’m Lucy from year 12. I’m half Australian and half French and I’m HeadStart’s 2019-2020 Deputy Head Girl. I’ve been at the school for over 7 years and have seen the school grow into what it is today. I’m excited to work with the students, parents and teachers to continue to create a safe and fun learning environment. I hope I can make a positive impact on the HeadStart community and help the progression of the school.

House News

The week started with the points being extremely close. The Red Phoenixes were only 2 points ahead of the Blue Tigers. Scores were tight between the 2 houses after the weekly house quiz - only 1 point between them! But after Y7&8 Tug of War and the Weigh you waste results the Red Phoenixes are now starting to pull away. The Yellow Cheetahs, Green Dragons and Blue Tigers can all make a comeback if they reduce their waste, complete the weekly quiz and participate in all primary lunch time activities!

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Around the Island

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