23 Nov 2021
Weekly7 months ago

Weekly Update #9, 26 November 2021

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 YouTube channel.

Date Time Event Location
01 December 8.15-9.15am Mandarin Speaking Parents Meeting Secondary Hall
02 December 8.15-9.15am EAL Parent Workshop Secondary ICT 3
06 December   Closed for Father’s Day  
07 December 8.15-9.15am Primary Parents Meeting: Assessment, Grading & Reporting  
7-9 December   Book Fair (By [email protected]) Primary floor
08 December 3.00-4.30 pm Year 11 BTEC Presentation & Subject Fair Sports Hall
09 December 8.15-9.15am EAL Parent Workshop Secondary ICT 3
14 December 8.30-10.00am Preschool Christmas Stay & Play Foundation building
15 December 8.30-10.00am Early Years Christmas Stay & Play Foundation building
16 December 8.30-10.00am Reception Christmas Stay and Play Foundation building
17 December TBA Parent/Teacher Conferences  
20 Dec - 4 Jan   School Holidays  
Meetings

Mandarin Speaking Parents Meeting (1 December)

We would like to invite Mandarin-speaking parents for a meeting on Wednesday 1st December in the Secondary Hall on the 4th floor at 8.15 - 9.15am. There will be a presentation about the curriculum and questions about the Mandarin language program will be addressed. The meeting will be presented in Mandarin and members of Senior Management will be in attendance. If you have points or questions which you would like to have addressed at this meeting, please email your points to our Mandarin Language Coordinator at [email protected].

EAL Parent Workshop (2 December)

The EAL (English as an Additional Language) Parent Workshops are an opportunity for parents to get the most out of HeadStart’s Fast ForWord programme, and to help their children succeed in completing their assignments at home. This workshop will provide parents with tools and resources to motivate and inspire their children outside of school hours. Our experienced EAL team will teach parents how to use the program and troubleshoot any issues that may arise when completing assignments at home. We will explain how to interpret the monthly reports of your child’s progress, and describe ways in which you can assist your child to overcome any issues they may have. Additional resources and tools will also be provided to assist with helping your child acquire the English language when they are not in school. The workshops will take place on the 2nd and 9th of December at 8.15am in the Secondary Hall on the 4th floor.

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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.

Summary of Russian Parents Meeting

Curriculum and Assessment in Primary

Thank you to everyone that attended our parent meeting for Russian speaking parents on Tuesday morning this week. The presentation is available in the download below. The purpose of the meeting was to share with you details regarding our HeadStart Curriculum in Primary, and some information regarding our assessments. I would like to assure all parents that HeadStart International remains a fully Cambridge international school. Our Secondary iGCSE and A Level syllabus and examinations, continue to be examined and assessed by Cambridge International. The curriculum we follow throughout the school ensures that our pupils are very well placed to have a successful iGCSE and A level experience. Our results demonstrate this.

The GL Assessments that we use to assess the attainment of our pupils are recognised and respected worldwide. These assessments also provide us is very valuable information regarding where we need to work harder to support your children and to ensure that they all continue to make progress and achieve to the high academic standards we have set in our Primary School. Please do take time to look over the presentation in the download below, and if you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact me. I am more than happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.

Road Safety Education & Announcements
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Matthew Sillett

Deputy Head of Secondary (Pastoral)
[email protected]

I grew up in Southampton, England and moved to Canterbury to obtain my degree from the University of Kent. My teaching career began in Thailand, in 2008. What I expected to be a year of fun and travel became a life long passion for both teaching and Thailand. On returning to the UK I began teaching at a secondary state school in Kent where I honed my classroom practice as a teacher of English, film and media. From there I accepted a teaching role in a private school, teaching film and media before being promoted to the senior leadership team as Assistant Headteacher for key stages 3 and 4, both pastoral and academic. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed this role, staff and students, Thailand was calling. So in 2016 I returned to Thailand, with my wife, to work at a top tier international school in Bangkok as Head of English as an additional language. Whole school pastoral and academic initiatives and leadership are where my passion lies and therefore, when the opportunity arose, I moved to another international school in the city as Head of Secondary. During my tenure I worked with my team to improve academic outcomes and restructure the pastoral model to ensure all young people were able to achieve their potential in a safe and embracing environment. Whilst at the school I introduced the BTEC from KS3 through to KS5 and worked with the Ministry of Education on a High School Diploma to ensure all students gained entry to further education and training. I also developed the community service ethos within the school, focusing on my own passion for environmentalism and social responsibility. Over the past few years (my wife would say decades) I have been completing my PhD in media ecology with a focus on South East Asian literature. This period of study has transformed my understanding of human cognition and communication. I will have also completed my NPQH in 2021, an internationally recognised qualification for senior leaders in education. With two young children, moving to Phuket was an important next step and to be able to enjoy the great outdoors every day is a significant change from life in Bangkok! I am very fortunate to have found a school like HeadStart that holds the same values and educational approach as my own; embracing differences, encouraging creativity and creating well rounded individuals. Working with young people and supporting them as they navigate the path to adulthood is an honour that I don't take lightly. The school years should be a time of happiness and development, both academically and pastorally and I look forward to being a part of that journey.

This week, students have been focusing on road safety as part of our homeroom programme. This has included discussions on everyone doing their part for personal safety and we have also discussed accident rates here in Phuket. It has been very positive to see students discussing and sharing their experiences on this matter, as they are all in agreement on the importance of road safety in Phuket. Some students have disclosed they themselves do not always wear a seat belt or have friends who do not wear a helmet to school if arriving or leaving on a motorbike or scooter.

As a school, our primary focus is the safety of our students and community and so we ask that all of our families insist their children wear seat belts and helmets when coming to and from school. It has also been brought to my attention that some older students are being allowed to drive in the school car park before gaining a full drivers licence. As a school licensed by the Thai Ministry of Education, we must abide by, and enforce, the laws and conditions set out by the Kingdom of Thailand. We are responsible for ensuring the safety of our students and community whilst on our site and in our care. If this is the case, I must ask that no person - student or adult - should be driving onto the school site if they do not hold a full drivers licence. I thank the community for your support in this matter.

I would also like to thank those parents and families that were able to attend the presentation on Tuesday this week, it was wonderful to get some of our community together again. The presentation introduced the secondary pastoral team from year 7-11, outlined the role of the homeroom teacher, and gave an overview of our holistic approach to behaviour management. The presentation is provided below for your reference.

Upcoming Christmas Festivities
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HeadStart Alumni Stories
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Alex Pravin

Alex Pravin Studying Mechanical Engineering at Twente in Holland

“Hello everyone! My name is Alex. Some of you might remember me from HeadStart where I was enrolled for 5 years. I graduated in the summer of 2020 along with 15 other students, nearly half of which have gone to the Netherlands for university. My studies have taken me to a charming city called Enschede, on the east side of the Netherlands. I am now 19 years old and have started my second year of my Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Twente. The city is relatively small but it has an impressively large American style campus with lots of greenery and enough space for all the 11,000 students that attend.

In my first year, I was living in a student house with two students studying for their Master’s Degree. At the start of this academic year, I moved into an apartment with my two best friends that I met in the first year. We live conveniently close to the university, making it so much more practical for my studies and extra activities. I have learned on a variety of subjects such as how to understand current engineering projects around the world such as powerplants, vehicles and much more. My favourite part so far is to work in project groups to design products that are needed around the world. Apart from my studies, I still enjoy spending time with friends, doing lots of sports and also producing music. Wishing all of you in Phuket the best!”


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Hayeon Song

Hayeon Song studying System Biology at Yonsei University in South Korea

“Hello! It’s Hayeon here, one of the graduates from the Headstart Class of 2020. I am currently enrolled in System Biology at Yonsei University in South Korea. I took a half gap year after I graduated from HeadStart and now I am almost finished with my first year of university. I had many doubts about moving to Korea since I have been taught in English for most of my life and studying here means that I have to learn in Korean which I am not familiar with. Also, I lived in Thailand for most of my life therefore moving to Korea was a completely new transition for me.

Unfortunately, due to strict social distancing measures in Korea, all my classes took place on ZOOM. Despite being online, I still had countless opportunities to meet my new classmates, senior year colleagues and many professors from different courses. They were all helpful in giving me tips on how to adjust to university life. I had many opportunities to participate in school events, parties, projects with different universities and workshops. To be honest, juggling uni assignments, making new friends, and adapting to a new city is difficult but at the end of the day is all worth it!

I am moving to a different University next year and I can’t wait to make new memories and have new opportunities! This year has been an amazing experience for me and I am looking forward to another exciting year! I miss Thai food so much! Please try to eat a lot of Thai foods before you leave Phuket…”

Loy Krathong Festivities

This year, Foundation children had the opportunity to join in the beautiful Thai tradition of Loy Krathong with their teachers and parents. It was lovely to see the children’s confidence as they performed a song that they learned in Thai class on stage in front of everyone. A big thank you to all of the parents for joining the assembly and for showing your support. -Kru Nee, School Director Full album of photos can be found on the HeadStart Facebook page.

It was such a joy to see students, staff and parents making and floating Krathongs together during Thai class. Parent’s involvement is a big part of our ethos and hopefully, we can organise more activities this academic year. -Kru Nee, School Director Full album of photos can be found on the HeadStart Facebook page.

PE & Sports

FootBall

Some of the Football Academy players met at Sarakul Stadium to watch Thailand League 3 Phuket Andaman FC vs Satun United. The game was cancelled at the last minute, however, the players still managed to watch a fun competitive internal match and meet the players on the pitch at full time. -Coach Stef

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Swimming

This past week, the Swim Academy began preparing for the first inter-squad swim meet of the season! Many new swimmers have never raced before, so we spent time building team spirit and getting them mentally prepared to race. We are excited to watch all the swimmers compete on Friday! -Coach Sarah Dorman

Swimmer of the week

Esme pushed her skills with the silver swimmers this week and was challenged with more intense swim sets. Even though they were more difficult, we were impressed at her determination to complete everything that was asked of her. We are really excited to see her skills continue to develop.-Coach Brown

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Spotlight on Social and Emotional Learning

This week all of KS3 enjoyed a different approach to their SEL lessons. Each year group came together for a Drama workshop that explored the 5 main emotions; fear, joy, anger, sadness and disgust. Students were tasked with creating tableaux of these emotions, communicating their feelings through facial expressions and body language. The students next task was to work in pairs to improvise scenes based on scenarios given. Each scenario required the students to explore the complexities of emotions and consider how these are communicated to others. The students were able to identify emotions seen in others and reflect on how they communicate to their peers and adults. Each year group worked incredibly hard with their peers to create thoughtful and insightful work. The students should be very proud of their work and commitment to learning. -Ms Alia Sillett

Secondary UKMT Senior Maths Challenge
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Jennifer Blackweir

Deputy Head of Secondary (Academic)
[email protected]

Congratulations to our Year 12 and Year 13 students who recently competed in the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge. Altogether we achieved 6 Bronze, 6 Silver Awards and 1 Gold Award. Special congratulations to the Year 13 Silver Award recipients:

• Chanattha Sinsawaiphol

• Natnicha Kalajuk

• Pichamon Delia Baltes

• Artem Kiselev

• Ayrton Vu-Guerin

Also receiving a Silver, and “Best in Year”: Kairui Zhang (Year 12). And our first ever Gold Award winner: Teethabhumi Tripatarasit (Year 13). Our most talented mathematics students in Years 7-11 will be invited to join VAPs in Term 2 to prepare for the Junior and Intermediate Challenges. Good luck everyone!

“This year UKMT was a fun and exciting experience despite the fact that I have already done one last year. This is because they introduce questions in a random format unlike test papers to try and throw people off. Unlike Cambridge tests, to solve UKMT questions, unconventional methods and math tricks are encouraged to be used to save time and make the questions easier rather than the standard methods. Overall, I had a great time.” Quote from Poom - our first Gold Award winner!

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BTEC News

BTEC Business made an outstanding contribution to World Children’s Day last Friday. They sourced ingredients, baked, iced and sold over 600 cupcakes to the whole school. They also provided a cupcake decoration activity for the primary students, collecting orders and pre-payments from 16 classes. Their level of effort and determination during the week planning and preparing, followed by assisting with the activity all day and after school on Friday was second to none. Well done BTEC Business! -Ms Yardenna Jones, BTEC Coordinator

Primary Newspaper Club

The members of the Primary Magazine Club have been hard at it over the past two weeks, researching and writing on a variety of topics that are current in school right now. Some of our journalists began by studying what bullying is, before taking part in the variety of activities that took place during anti-bullying week. Meanwhile, two of our members attended a number of Student Council meetings to witness first-hand what this important organisation does for our school and the community.-Mr Alex Bell

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