05 Jan
Weekly10 months ago

Weekly Update #16, 28 January 2020

Dates for Your Diary

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

For daily updates and news follow the HeadStart Facebook Page and You Tube channel.

Date Time Event Location
02 February 8.15 am New Primary Parent Orientation Primary Hall
  9.15 am New Secondary Parent Orientation Primary Hall
03 February 3.30-5.00pm Year 11 Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTC) Secondary Hall
04 February 8.15 am UPrep Talk - Applying to the USA & Canada Secondary Hall
4-5 February All day DofE Bronze Adventurous Journey (Group 1)  
05 February 2.30-5.00 pm Friday Market Atrium
11 February See schedule Yearbook Photo Shoot Secondary Hall
15-18 February See schedule Yearbook Photoshoot Secondary Hall
22-26 February All day Year 12 & 13 Mock Exams In Class
23 February 8.40 am Foundation Sports Day Sports facilities
  1.00 pm Year 1 & 2 Sports Day Sports facilities
24 February 8.00 am Year 3 to 6 Sports Day Sports facilities
25 February 8.15 am Parents Committee Meeting Conference Meeting
  8.15 am UPrep Talk - ‘Show Me the Money’ Secondary Hall
26 February 8.00-11.30 am Year 7-11 Sports Day Sports facilities
  12.10-3.00 pm Year 7-13 Sports Day Sports facilities
05 March   School Closed -

An updated version of the 2020-2021 academic year calendar has been provided below.

JPEG 2020 2021 School Calendar
Meetings

New Primary/Secondary Parent Orientation Invitation

We would like to invite all of the new Primary and Secondary parents who have joined the school this term, to a Parent Orientation meeting which will take place in the Primary Hall, on Tuesday 2nd February. The Primary meeting will start at 8.15 am and the Secondary meeting will start at 9.15 am. These meetings will be an opportunity for our heads of school to share with you important information regarding HeadStart International school and a chance for us to introduce key members of the Pastoral Support Team. The meeting will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have regarding your child’s schooling at HeadStart International. The meeting will be supported by Kru Nee, our Thai Director, Khun Rung and Khun Mai. Kru Nee, Khun Rung and Khun Mai will be on hand to provide Thai, Chinese and Russian translation if required.

Parent Committee Meeting

The Parent Committee meeting is scheduled to be held in our school conference room at 8.15 am on Thursday, 25th February 2021. Please kindly email any points for discussion to the committee members by emailing [email protected] no later than Thursday, 18th February. If you would like to find out more about the roles and responsibilities of the Parent Committee, Visit our web page HERE

UPrep Talk 7

Welcome to this year’s UPrep Talk 7. The topic will be ‘Applying to the USA / Canada’. This session will be important details and information about how applications to the USA and Canada work. Meet us in the Secondary Hall (4th floor) on Thursday 4th February at 8:15 am. For your reference, the updated UPrep Talk programme is provided below as a download. Kru Gem, University Application Officer

Yearbook announcement Facebook and TV
Introducing New Members of the HeadStart Team!
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Daniel Portelli

Head of Maths & Computing
[email protected]

My name is Daniel Portelli and I joined Headstart in January 2021. I am from Kent in the UK and moved to Thailand with my wife in June 2019. After my BSc at the University of Kent, I went to work for the UK government on engineering projects, then afterwards did a PhD in mathematics – more specifically mathematical modelling which is basically developing new mathematics to create virtual environments that are representative of real-life as possible. Why? To put simply, every time to drop your phone and it doesn’t break, this is due to mathematical modelling. Rather than building 1000s upon 1000s of phones to test under thousands and thousands of different conditions which would cost so much time and money, it is cheaper and more efficient to simulate these tests on a computer. To do this, however, you need to create a reality that is almost as real as real life, which is extremely challenging, both mathematically and computationally and requires the combination of knowledge and skills of mathematics, physics, computing and engineering. It was during this time I had a conversation with a friend of mine who asked me why in schools did they not teach us the more fascinating, challenging and interesting aspects of mathematics. Why did we have to wait until university to get those rewards. I decided then and there that I would bring this to schools and the best way to do this was to become a teacher. I obtained a Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship from the Institute of Mathematics and did my teacher training PGCSE at Imperial College. After this, I taught GCSE and A-Level for several years at an international school in the UK, then moved to Bangkok as a Head of Department for another few years, before I joined Headstart as Head of Mathematics and Computing. I am very happy to be at Headstart and believe the school and the students to have huge potential. I see my role as helping all students of mathematics achieve not only the best they can academically but to fall in love with mathematics. Hopefully, even just by reading my profile, you have gained a bit of new insight into the nature of mathematics. In my free time, I like to go on walks, read, write, cook and spend time with my family – including my blind cat Beep-Boop. I am also a qualified public speaker from Toastmaster International.

My name is Daniel Portelli and I joined Headstart in January 2021. I am from Kent in the UK and moved to Thailand with my wife in June 2019.

After my BSc at the University of Kent, I went to work for the UK government on engineering projects, then afterwards did a PhD in mathematics – more specifically mathematical modelling which is basically developing new mathematics to create virtual environments that are representative of real-life as possible. Why? To put simply, every time to drop your phone and it doesn’t break, this is due to mathematical modelling. Rather than building 1000s upon 1000s of phones to test under thousands and thousands of different conditions which would cost so much time and money, it is cheaper and more efficient to simulate these tests on a computer. To do this, however, you need to create a reality that is almost as real as real life, which is extremely challenging, both mathematically and computationally and requires the combination of knowledge and skills of mathematics, physics, computing and engineering.

It was during this time I had a conversation with a friend of mine who asked me why in schools did they not teach us the more fascinating, challenging and interesting aspects of mathematics. Why did we have to wait until university to get that rewards. I decided then and there that I would bring this to schools and the best way to do this was to become a teacher. I obtained a Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship from the Institute of Mathematics and did my teacher training PGCSE at Imperial College. After this, I taught GCSE and A-Level for several years at an international school in the UK, then moved to Bangkok as a Head of Department for another few years, before I joined Headstart as Head of Mathematics and Computing.

I am very happy to be at Headstart and believe the school and the students to have huge potential. I see my role as helping all students of mathematics achieve not only the best they can academically, but to fall in love with mathematics. Hopefully even just by reading my profile, you have gained a bit of new insight into the nature of mathematics.

In my free time, I like to go on walks, read, write, cook and spend time with my family – including my blind cat Beep-Boop. I am also a qualified public speaker from Toastmaster International.


My name is Suzannne and I joined Headstart in January 2021. I am from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. My love for Mathematics started when I was young. I loved numbers, problem-solving, family board games and solving logic riddles. This led me to study at Delft University of Technology where I gained a Master of Science in Information Technology specializing in Artificial Intelligence. During the first 21 years of my career, I used my numerical and problem-solving skills while working in finance for banks and consumer goods companies in Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.

When friends and children of friends were struggling with mathematics, I always liked helping them to understand. This resulted in me wanting to become a mathematics teacher and I gained a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) from Sunderland University in the UK. I then taught mathematics in a large international school in Hong Kong for four years. I came to Phuket five years ago and have taught in international schools and doing extensive private tutoring and homeschooling. I enjoy maintaining a small website with suggestions for fun and interesting mathematics activities for families of mathematics learners and fellow teachers.

Based on the work of Jo Boaler, professor of mathematics education at Stanford University, I truly believe that everyone can learn and love mathematics and that the learning journey can be a journey of discovery, wonder, and interesting and relevant applications. To me, mathematics is a subject that involves a deep understanding of concepts, rather than memorization of procedures and formulas. Working through real-world applications, making connections and practising in relevant and enjoyable ways are all part of building conceptual understanding. I believe that when students are struggling, this is usually caused by gaps in understanding of more fundamental building blocks. Caring support to address these can lead to students becoming more confident and enjoying mathematics more.

I am happy to be working at Headstart as it not only offers a solid academics program but also great opportunities for students to develop themselves further in sports and the arts. I especially like the Duke of Edinburgh program (I have supported students in this program both in Hong Kong for hiking, and in Phuket for kayaking) and I like the environmental programs of the school such as the significant generation of power through solar panels and the growing of food in the roof garden.

In my free time, I love sailing, running, hiking, swimming and spending time with our two dogs.


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Sarah Dorman

Swim Coach
[email protected]

My name is Sarah Dorman and I am a 15-year veteran swim coach and lifeguarding/CPR/First Aid Instructor from The United States. Since the age of three I’ve loved being in the water, both recreationally and competitively. I began my competitive swimming career at the age of five and continued all the way through college, so I’m quite experienced in the process of learning and teaching every level of necessary swimming fundamentals. Through my love of swimming and desire to help others learn to enjoy the water, I began teaching in 2003 and was certified as a Water Safety Instructor in 2007 while working toward a bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh. I’ve held many different aquatic-based jobs, including Lifeguard, Swim Instructor, Masters Swim Coach and Aquatics Director, and have helped design and produce swimming programs for multiple US educational institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. I have taught students as young as 6-months old and have experience with every age and ability. I can never say no to helping someone learn how to swim. Since 2015, my passion for swimming has led me to teach around the world, coaching students in New Zealand, South Africa, Tanzania, and now in Thailand. Technique work is my speciality, as my training has always relied on developing very specific technical skills. My competition events include 100M Freestyle, 200M Freestyle, and 100M Butterfly, along with Medley and Freestyle relays. However, no matter what level the swimmer, I take a personal interest in all of my students’ progress and cater my classes to meet the needs of every student, not only to improve their swimming skills, but to encourage their love for the water as well.

My name is Sarah Dorman and I am a 15-year veteran swim coach and lifeguarding/CPR/First Aid Instructor from The United States. Since the age of three I’ve loved being in the water, both recreationally and competitively. I began my competitive swimming career at the age of five and continued all the way through college, so I’m quite experienced in the process of learning and teaching every level of necessary swimming fundamentals.

Through my love of swimming and desire to help others learn to enjoy the water, I began teaching in 2003 and was certified as a Water Safety Instructor in 2007 while working toward a bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh. I’ve held many different aquatic-based jobs, including Lifeguard, Swim Instructor, Masters Swim Coach and Aquatics Director, and have helped design and produce swimming programs for multiple US educational institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

I have taught students as young as 6-months old and have experience with every age and ability. I can never say no to helping someone learn how to swim. Since 2015, my passion for swimming has led me to teach around the world, coaching students in New Zealand, South Africa, Tanzania, and now in Thailand.

Technique work is my speciality, as my training has always relied on developing very specific technical skills. My competition events include 100M Freestyle, 200M Freestyle, and 100M Butterfly, along with Medley and Freestyle relays. However, no matter what level the swimmer, I take a personal interest in all of my students’ progress and cater my classes to meet the needs of every student, not only to improve their swimming skills, but to encourage their love for the water as well.


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Joahna Bacsarsa

Year 4 Yellow
[email protected]

Hello Everyone! I’m Ms. Joahna Amor Bacsarsa. I grew up in the City of Golden Friendship Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education major in Special Education. I’m a Professional licensed teacher in the Philippines and lucky to have a license teaching in Thailand as well. Teaching is not an easy job because it needs heart and dedication. As a teacher, you are intended to inspire each student to learn and be curious in many ways because that is learning all about. And I am happy to keep inspiring students and create the best seeds of their learning with enthusiasm and creativity. As a famous quote says, Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. For many years I handled different levels of students and learned to love how they embrace and react towards new things differently. On the other hand, I do love Arts as my passion, to be exact, painting and sketching which I usually do during my leisure time. When I was young I saw those different colors as the most beautiful art ever and now I’m happy to share it with children and excited to teach to our baby soon when she grows up because art makes people relaxed, calm, and focused. As Dalai Lama says, the purpose of our lives is to be happy. Keep inspiring students, encourage them to learn in various ways and be lifelong learners with enthusiasm. Live, learn, love and be happy!!!

Hello Everyone! I’m Ms Joahna Amor Bacsarsa. I grew up in the City of Golden Friendship Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a major in Special Education. I’m a Professional licensed teacher in the Philippines and lucky to be licensed to teach in Thailand as well.

Teaching is not an easy job because it needs heart and dedication. As a teacher, you are intended to inspire each student to learn and be curious in many ways because that is learning all about. I am happy to keep inspiring students and create the best seeds of their learning with enthusiasm and creativity. As the famous quote says, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”.

For many years I was handling different levels of students and have learned to love how they embrace and react to new things. On the other hand, I do love Arts as my passion, to be exact, painting and sketching which I usually do during my leisure time. When I was young I saw different colours as the most beautiful art ever and now I’m happy to share it to children and excited to teach to our baby when she grows up because art makes people relaxed, calm and focused. As the Dalai Lama says, the purpose of our lives is to be happy. Keep inspiring students, encourage them to learn in various ways and be lifelong learners with enthusiasm. Live, Learn, Love and be Happy!!!

HeadStart Community Raises Over 82,000 Baht for Phuket Sunshine Village

Thanks to all of the hard work and effort on the part of our Secondary student leadership team as well as the kind generosity of the HeadStart community, we have been able to donate over 82,000 Baht to the Phuket Sunshine Village Foundation at the end of term 1. Thank you to all who helped make this possible!

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Secondary Department News

Last half term, Colin Gallagher from Prince of Songkla University has been leading an apprenticeship program for the Year 12 students in their PSHE sessions. The programmes aim was to teach students how to write a resume and to experience preparing for an interview. The interviewers for the various companies awarded the successful candidates with internships. A special thanks to the teachers who gave up their time to interview students, read through their documents and give them feedback. A special thanks to Colin Gallagher for coming in for the second year running to lead this program for us. I think I am able to speak for all students when I say that this has been an extremely valuable experience and it is good to end knowing that we all have a decent resume and personal statements up our sleeves for when we really begin applications for universities next year. -Article by Alisara Whitley and Photos by Esther Herbold

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Secondary English Department News

In the English Faculty, we have been working hard to ensure that students have active revision tasks between now and May, when the real things take place. To this end, we have provided a worksheet booklet and revision guide with targeted tasks on a week-by-week basis (attached). As parents, you are now able to support your child’s learning by asking to see what they have physically done by way of revision. Also, please see again the PowerPoint from the ‘how to revise’ PSHE session I gave to Year 11 last year. This contains important information about where, how, when and what to revise to make the process as effective as possible. -Mr. Pollicutt, Head of English

Before looking at future careers, as part of their PSHE programme on the wider world, Year 7 White have been exploring the type of persons they’d like to be when they become adults. This allows them to reflect and consider what values and beliefs are important to them. -Mr Pollicutt, 7W Homeroom Teacher

Sofia Fisher - When I grow up I want to have a loving and kind family, a big friend group that respect me and will be by my side during the rough times we go through. Continuing being healthy and doing sports as my hobby. I still want to have fun times with my brother and family. When I grow up I also want to encourage younger girls to be healthy and do whatever sport they want!

Yim Kitprasan - When I grow up I want to be respected by my family and friends for who I am and I want to have a big group of friends who will understand me and will be by my side in which I will show respect and relate to them and help them through any challenges. When I grow up I want to focus on being creative and inspiring people with what they want to do and most importantly I want to be healthy and strong. I want to encourage others and to tell them that they can do whatever they want and not be scared of other people or getting judged.

JieJie Limpanapa - When I get older I want to be respected by both my family and the world. I want to be respected for what I do and that I make sure that my opinions are heard. I don’t want to live like a rich person with a mansion, I just want to live my life in a place I find comfortable and cosy. I would also like to be popular among my co-workers and my childhood friends. I would like to be dependable, making sure that everyone can trust me in everything I do. Lastly, I would like to be able to pursue all of my dreams and be successful in both my life and career.

Primary Department News

Congratulations to our Primary Stars of the Week for the first week of term 2. Keep up the good work!

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We have had a wonderful start to term this week in Year 2! Last week we went on safari in the African Savannah; we made explorer hats and binoculars so that we were ready for our adventure and then recorded what we saw using tally charts. In the afternoon, we took a virtual reality tour and saw lions and elephants, they were so close to us it was amazing! We are now really excited to start our new topic all about animals! -Ms Donna Wintersgill

Thai Department News

During the holidays, a group of HeadStart students took part in the annual Thai Academic Competition. Congratulations to the following students for taking part and for winning prizes. Congratulations to Mona, Jie Jie, Shayo, Nae Nae, Krit, Tanya and Nutcha who will be representing Phuket to compete in the Regional round competition and a big thank you to our supportive parents for their support throughout the competitions last Term. For a full album of pictures and descriptions of what each student won, visit the HeadStart Facebook Page -Kru Nee, School Director

Eco HeadStart

Project Recycle

‘Project Recycle’ workshops, take place in a space with special equipment every Tuesday (for Primary) and Wednesday (for Secondary). Participants will learn a lot of interesting things about plastic. Where does plastic come from? How does it affect humans, animal and environmental life? We will learn how to prevent harm and how to properly dispose of plastic. In our workshops, we also make various amazing and useful things from plastic waste. Come and join this interesting and important after school 6-week programme! A lot of informative and interesting things await you.
-Ivan, ASP teacher and owner of Smart Gallery Phuket in Rawai

Rooftop Growing Garden

Thanks to the diligent care and follow up visits from the Phuket Farmers Club, our 1-year old Headstart food garden is a huge success! A great diversity of edible plants is growing such as coriander, mint, spinach, basil, chilli, cape gooseberry, winged beans, pumpkin, cucumber, banana, black pepper, chives, hibiscus, rocket, amaranth, eggplant, sugar cane, rosemary, dill, radish, rocket, morning glory, mulberry and so many flowers attracting “good insects”. The good news is that we will soon be able to welcome students to safely come and visit the growing garden and participate in activities that teach growing and a love of nature.

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