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Chaofah Weekly5 years ago

Weekly Update #8, 12 October 2018

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
15-22 October All week Mid-term Break  
22 October 9:00-12:00pm U13 Football Friendly vs Singapore School Football Pitch
22 October All day Teacher Training (INSET) In school
23 October 8:00am Students back in school  
24 October TBA Wai Kru Ceremony for KS2 & Secondary Sports Hall
25 October TBA Wai Kru Ceremony for EYFS & KS1 Sports Hall
31 October 4:30pm Secondary Halloween Movie Night Secondary Hall

Important Calendar Note:

Please note that the school is closed from 13-22 and reopens on 23rd of October. This is due to the fact that there is teacher INSET (In-Service Education and Training) day on Monday, 22 October.

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Adam Drew

[email protected]

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!

Academic Achievement

As we reach the end of the first term of the academic year, it is time to reflect on the many successes that have happened over the course of the last eight weeks. All of the achievements, no matter how large or small, are as a result of the synergy of our community, the students, the staff and you the parents.

In August 2018, HeadStart achieved its best ever results at IGCSE with 41% of all entries graded at A/A and 93% at A-C. These were based on nearly 350 IGCSE entries with average entries per student in excess of nine IGCSEs. Statistics are often presented differently by schools. Sometimes they are used to show patterns that are difficult for parents to understand, or are over simplified to improve the school’s image. The best way of looking at the statistics I present to you is to compare with the number of students we are achieving amazing things, taking their results and using them to move on to even greater things. Many of our sixth-form students are on course to achieve at least 3A* grades at A Level. They have opened the doors to the highest education establishments throughout the world. This year was the first year that students achieved four highest possible grades at AS Level which indicates that our sixth-form is going from strength to strength.

We have recently received news of individual students success in the Cambridge Learner Awards. For the second year running, no school on the island has achieved more Cambridge Learner Awards than HeadStart and this year, we have achieved three times as many awards as any other school on the island and in the whole of the south of Thailand. Only five schools in the whole of Thailand achieved more awards than HeadStart students. Those schools include Shrewsbury, Harrow and Bangkok Patana, all with extremely impressive track records. This is proof that we are now competing with some of the top schools in Thailand. I cannot begin to describe my pride in the achievement of our students which is the result of the dedication and inspirational teaching that our staff deliver on a daily basis and is also due to the support that parents give at home.

Let us look at the five students who achieved the six awards that we won this year:

Top in Thailand Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies Eve Marie Whittaker
Top in Thailand Cambridge IGCSE Physical Education Sasiporn Kiatmontri
Top in Thailand Cambridge International AS Level Business Paola Carmen Stoffel
High Achievement Cambridge International AS Level French language Maeva Mai-Huong Lubrani
High Achievement Cambridge IGCSE Foreign language Italian Filippo Gramaglia
High Achievement Cambridge IGCSE Foreign Language Spanish Eve Marie Whittaker

The former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, once said ‘there are three types of lies: lies, damned Lies and Statistics’. Whilst I can talk anyone to death about statistics and demonstrate how we are not just the best school in Phuket, but amongst the best in Thailand, students are not numbers, and it is not the HeadStart way to promote ourselves based solely on data. I encourage every member of our school community to look at the smiling children we have on our campus every day. I ask you to reflect on the opportunities they have throughout each school term: in sport, in the creative and performing arts and in our academic competitions. I implore you to talk to our motivated team of teachers and to talk about their passion for education and getting the very best out of your children. I ask our teachers to communicate and work with our parents to support our learners who I see on a daily basis trying their best to excel through perceived boundaries.

I used the word ‘synergy’ in my introduction; the combined effects of group of people are greater than their individual effects. Why do I think HeadStart is one of the best schools I have ever worked in? Why do I think we are on the road towards becoming the best school on the island and one of the best Thailand? The simple answer is synergy. The students can’t achieve these wonderful outcomes alone. The teachers can’t force students to do well in exams and parents can’t drag students kicking and screaming to exam success. But together we have synergy and with the synergy of the HeadStart community, we have achieved wonderful things in the last three years. We have become a school that people throughout Thailand, and beyond our borders know of and respect. Students have achieved results which will take them on amazing paths beyond HeadStart.

Everything that has been achieved so far is a result of the whole community. I look forward to continuing to work with you over the course of the years to come to continue to drive HeadStart onwards and upwards.

Have a great break, and I will see you all again on the 23rd of October.


Parent Committee Meeting

On Thursday, 1st of November, we will hold our first Parent Committee meeting for the 2018-2019 academic year. We would like to invite parents to send in your points to the committee members by writing to [email protected]. If you would like to know more about the roles and responsibilities of the Parent Committee please visit the website or click HERE

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Key Stage 2 Pen Licenses

By Ms Annie Cusworth, English Subject Leader

At HeadStart Primary we value all aspects of Literacy and one element of this is teaching children the importance of having fluent, legible and joined handwriting. All year groups use the Nelson Handwriting scheme of work from Oxford University Press in which letter formation and joins are introduced progressively from Year 1 to Year 6.

By the time pupils reach Year 4, they will have learnt the majority of joins needed for fluent, joined handwriting and from that point on pupils have the opportunity to earn their ‘Pen Licence’. This means they can write in ballpoint pen in all lessons, excluding Mathematics.

To earn their Pen Licence pupils will complete an assessment to check they can join all their writing correctly while maintaining the correct letter formation, with correct ascenders and descenders and with all letters the correct size and orientation. They will also have to consistently demonstrate they can do this in all their written work over a period of time. When a pupil can demonstrate this, they will be awarded with a certificate and will be allowed to use a pen in class.

Thank you for your continued support with your child’s learning.


Secondary Halloween Movie Night

The Head Boy and Girl as well as the deputies are organising a special Halloween movie night for Secondary students on 31 October between 4:30-7:00pm. There will be 2 cinemas: one hall for Years 7-9 and another hall designated for the Year 10-13 students. Students can dress up and win a surprise gift!

Contact the Head Boy and Girl and deputies for to buy early bird tickets or for more information and to buy tickets.

Admin Fundraising

The Admin team have been raising awareness and support for the Andaman Heart Center at Vachira Hospital. They have designed some cool HeadStart fitness shirts for the community. The Admin ladies will be wearing the shirts during the Phukethon that is coming up on the 11 November. They have sold over 40 shirts but would like you to know that you can order a shirt or get involved until 26 October. Contact the Admin team in the front office for more info!

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Eco Bricks Update

Our Ecobricks project has certainly been having a positive impact on our families. I have had some fantastic support from not only our school families, but also from the community and businesses around the island who are also supporting the project. Please keep up the good work.

This week the Primary Eco Club started to count up and weigh the bricks and at a rough count we have 300 Ecobricks. We hope to get around 1,000 bricks by the end of term 1, so please continue to wash your plastic, fill your bottles and make Ecobricks! It really is an eye opener of how much plastic we use when we start to think carefully about recycling and reducing our plastic waste.

Just as a reminder the bottles do need to be packed solidly. Each brick needs to weigh around 400 - 500 grams. We have had some bottles appear at school which will need topping up with plastic before they can be sent and used for The Bamboo School project.

A message from Phuket’s Trash Heroes:

“Remember to stuff the bottles tightly or we cannot ship them for the construction project.”

  • No squeezable air pockets.
  • Mark your name.
  • Mark the date when you finished it.
  • Mark the estimated or exact weight.

Awesome informative wall, this made us so happy!!

Trash Hero Thailand

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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]

Sports Department News

Volleyball Matches

On Tuesday our HeadStart Volleyball team played their first games against an older, more experienced UWCT team. Tension was high, as were the nerves, because the HeadStart team didn’t know what to expect from the games. However, I’m delighted to announce that HeadStart won all 6 of the games played! Thanks to Miss Sethi for Coaching the team to a resounding success! UWCT will come to HeadStart for the return match on Tuesday 30th October from 4.30-6.00pm and everyone is welcome to come and watch in the Sports Hall.

Football News

22 October–Under 13 Boys

As a special one-off we are inviting the U13 Boys to a Football match Monday 22 October at HeadStart. We will be playing the Hougan Secondary school Singapore. Lunch will be provided for participants. Kick-off time: 9.30 am. Finish: 12.00 pm

Players: Chayapol Ngernanek, Pun Chaokiskha, Theo Hulot, Nicolas Baltes, Krittat Phaisamran, Trin Tengamnuay, Lukas Fisher, Vivek Khanal, Jamie Udomritkul, Yucheng Qiang (Alex) Samy Emmenegge, Leo White, Marcel Pluecken

26 October–Under 9 & U11 Boys

Football for the U9 and U11s vs BIS. Venue: HeadStart. Kick-off time: 3.30pm. Finish: 4.30 pm

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Upcoming Cheerleading Competition

The HeadStart Cheerleading competition team will participate in the 23rd ‘Cheerleading Thailand Championship 2018’ registered under the ICU organisation (International Cheer Union) at Seacon Square in Bangkok on November 17-18th. The girls were lucky to have a coaching workshop with coach Box, a high level athlete from the Cheer Association of Thailand.

Here are the 14 cheerleaders that will be representing HeadStart: Year 4-8 students coached by Ms Lanna: Mika, Masha, Freja, Eva, Nina, Alisa, Kira, Yim, Emily, Isabelle, Yuna, Anica, Anastasia and Zoe.

They will present 4 routines:

  • 14 cheerleaders all team for “ The Super Junior Team Cheer Freestyle Pom”
  • 2 duo for “The Super Junior team Cheer Freestyle Pom Doubles”
  • 1 Team of 5 cheerleaders for “the Super Junior Group Stunt All Girl”

P.E. Faculty Week

We had our PE Faculty Week this week and the sporting focus, since it was the World Cup this year was, of course, Football! Take a look at our You Tube video of the event by clicking HERE

The week started with Primary & secondary Beat the Teacher events; keepie-uppie challenge, cross-bar challenge, beat-the-goalie, and nutmeg challenges. The events were well received and lots of students turned out to not only beat the teachers, but score points for their Houses. The overall winners, beating the teachers a massive 52 times, were the Red Phoenixes.

The Faculty week culminated in the HeadStart World Cup. It wasn’t a world cup per-say, but an opportunity for the students to compete in their Houses to see who was the football champions in their year groups, which would probably mean the ‘World’ to them!. Here’s the results -

  • Year 3 World Cup Winners = Green Dragons
  • Year 4 World Cup Winners = Yellow Cheetahs
  • Year 5 World Cup Winners = Blue Tigers
  • Year 6 World Cup Winners = Yellow Cheetahs
  • Year 7 World Cup Winners = Blue Tigers
  • Year 8 World Cup Winners = Blue Tigers
  • Year 9 World Cup Winners = Green Dragons
  • Year 10 World Cup Winners = Yellow Cheetahs
  • Year 11-13 Girls World Cup Winners = Yellow Cheetahs
  • Year 11-13 Boys World Cup Winners = Yellow Cheetahs

And, the House scoring the MOST goals over all, a total of 78 goals!) was the Yellow Cheetahs!

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Sam Khan

Head of Foundation and Primary
[email protected]

I was born and grew up in London, England. If any of you are familiar with the sport of Rugby Union, I grew up very close to Twickenham Stadium! I graduated in History from the University of Teeside in 1992, and in 1999 completed my P.G.C.E. and have now been an educationalist for over 17 years. As well as my teaching experience, I have a total of 12 years of experience as a curriculum manager and school leader, having served as an Assistant Head, a Deputy Head and Head Teacher. In my most recent role, in the Middle East , I worked as a School Improvement Consultant. I am a passionate believer in the transformational nature of education and learning. I believe that children learn best when they enjoy their learning and feel secure when facing tasks that are stimulating and challenging. Pupils should feel valued in the classroom and feel confident that enthusiasm and good learning will be met with recognition and praise from the teacher and peers. As a school leader I am committed to the challenge of motivating the whole school community to help every individual pupil realise his or her talents, whilst at the same time ensuring that our pupils are empowered with the essential skills to be able to make a positive contribution in an increasingly globalised world of rapid change and innovation. I believe that schools where success is celebrated, and challenges faced head on in a professional culture of support, trust and honesty are schools that ensure the best possible outcomes for all its students. As a school leader I am committed to creating an empowering and enabling school culture with a powerful ethos of positivity and hard work.

Primary Student Leadership

We have recently concluded our Primary School Council elections and selections for Primary Deputy Head Boy and Girl and Primary Head Boy and Girl. I am very pleased to announce to you that the following Primary students are now our representatives on the HeadStart Student Leadership body.

Head Girl Natt Kritchanarat (Natt) in Year 6 Yellow

Head Boy Federico Solaroli (Federico) in Year 6 Yellow

Deputy Head Girl Teenueng Limpanapa (Jie Jie) in Year 5 White

Deputy Head Boy Egor Kvitkin (Egor) in Year 5 Yellow

Student Council Abigail Sinclair (Year 4B), Vanessa Trocherie-Rey (Year 4 Yellow), Mason Holmes (Year 4 White), Roman Shishlov (Year 5 Blue), Megan Fenech (Year 5 Yellow), Yuna Cho (Year 5 White), Suyeon Lee (Year 6 Blue), Trirattanaporn Pittapan (Year 6 Yellow), Yejin Lee (Yeare 6 White)

Well done everybody! All the Primary Teachers and pupils, would like to wish you all well. I am confident that you will all do a great job, and carry out your responsibilities to the best of your abilities.

Foundation News

Another busy week has passed in Foundation. As well as being immersed in play and learning the children took part in a fire drill. The children did a fantastic job when they heard the very loud alarms. They reacted calmly and walked quickly and quietly down to the football pitch, with no problems. Well done Foundation.

We ended our week with a super performance from Reception Yellow in our Stars of the Week assembly. The children treated their parents to a great song which they had been practicing this week. A big thank you to our parents for coming along and supporting the children.

As we close for our mid term break I would just like to wish all of our families and teachers a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. It has been an incredibly busy and fun filled half term and our little ones are every much looking forward to some family time. I look forward to seeing you all back in school on Tuesday 23rd October.

Student News

Well done to Ella, Jagger, Naomi, and Woojin for working extremely hard and receiving the Star of the Week award, we are proud of you efforts!

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This week in Early Years, we have continued our Healthy Me topic, with a focus on exercise! The children have had a busy week learning about why exercise is important, taking part in Active Maths and even competing in our Early Years Mini Olympics. We found out all about the games and races that usually happen in the Olympics and Paralympics, then went outside to take part! The children and teachers had a fantastic morning. We are very proud of the good teamwork and sportsmanship that the children showed. By Miss Saki & Miss Holly

Reception Blue started learning how to write basic sentences today focusing on finger spaces. We read a story about under the sea animals and then children then pretended they were divers and wrote about the different animals under the sea. By Ms Candice Smithie

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Reception blue did a floating and sinking experiment today. We predicted if the items would float or sink and then tested it out. The children enjoyed seeing if their predictions were correct. By Ms Candice Smithie

Here is year 1 blue enjoying some hot chocolate and a movie for our golden time on Friday. The children really enjoyed their treat after a week of hard work!

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Russian Class Updates

Year 1 enjoyed their big projects in Russian class this week. The students created a city and wrote the names of what is in the city while Year 6 students studied synonyms and opposites this week. Year 2 students are learning to write and read in Russian and Year 3 students are exploring syllables and stressed syllables. By Ms Alina Plaktova

Here are some pictures of Year 1 French lesson. We were revising colours and days of the week. By Mr Sam Scorey

The students in the Mandarin Culture Club are making Chinese style scroll paintings. They have written their names as well as poetry and then went to work decorating them so beautifully. By Ms Wei

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This week in ‘Around The World’ club Year 2 were learning all about the Philippines and we made our very own Pastillas which is a sweet milk based candy that is well known and loved by many people in the Philippines. By Miss Danielle

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This term Year 3 have been learning all about plants, developing understanding of life cycles, water transportation, seed dispersal, and conditions for growth. One of our favourite series of lessons has been an investigation into how growth is affected by a change of environmental conditions, making close observations and recording results over a long period of time. Here, the children of Year 3 White report their results as a vlog. We hope you enjoy! By Mr Ian Jackson

Year 3 Yellow visited the Botanic Gardens coinciding with our Science topic about plants. They enjoyed feeding the Koi and walking through the gardens to look at the different types of plants and herbs. By Ms Nicola Fallows

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Year 5 Maths ASP have been working incredibly hard on fractions! Very proud faces and a proud teacher. By Ms Charlotte Moulsher

Here are some more photos from Year 7-9 Active Learning. Pupils completed their bags! Matteo in Year 8 Blue made it for his little sister which I thought was sweet! *By Ms Samantha Gill**

This week Miss Leamon’s year 7 science class continue to learn about the human body in the Year 7 Medical School. This week they learnt about the joints and muscles. The students learnt how to stitch up cuts and looked at the mechanics of wing muscles using chicken wings. Finally the students learnt about the different doctors and chose which doctor they wanted to become specialised in - the popular choices being Sports Physiologist and Cardiologist. The students all done extremely well and have been awarded their medical certificates which they are very pleased with.

The Year 12 biology students are currently studying the cell membrane and modes of transport of substances in and out of cells. The students are building not only their knowledge but their practical skills in preparation for their practical exam they sit at the end of the year. So far the class are showing excellent planning and analysis skills and are improving week on week in their investigatory skills. This week the investigate the effect of solute concentration on cell membrane transport and osmosis in potatoes.

Year 9 English created their own poetry inspired board games today. They all enjoyed recapping poetic techniques in a fun and engaging way. By Mr Paice

Year 8 Set 1 have been working incredibly hard over a period of weeks to write their own Gothic Horror inspired stories. They were given the task of coming up with their own story line, writing at least five chapters and creating their own front covers and blurbs. I am looking forward to reading their masterpieces over the half term break. Well done Year 8! By Mr. Paice

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