28 Aug 2019
Weekly2 years ago

Weekly Update #1, 30 August, 2019

A warm welcome back to school from the HeadStart teaching staff. 2019-2020 academic year…HERE WE COME!

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
2 September 4:00-5:00pm Football/Swimming Academy Parent Meeting Sports Hall
5-11 September All day World Scholars team Travel Trip Manila, Philippines
7-8 September All day CAPA Academy weekend rehearsal TBA
12 September All day “Are you OK?” day In school
16 September After school Free & Paid ASPs begin After school
21 September 8:30am BISP Open - Swim Academy BISP
23 September 12:00pm Sixth Form University Fair BISP
28 September 9:00am Saturday Thai Culture Club TBA via email
28 September 7:00am U9 to Over 15 PISAC Football UWCT
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Jennifer Blackweir

Deputy Head of Secondary (Academic)
[email protected]

Academic Success

Again we celebrate another year of academic success for our examination students…

A Level (Year 13)

We are delighted to announce the outstanding A Level results achieved by our Year 13 students, who achieved a 97% pass rate across 11 different subjects. Special mention must be made of Bomnuri Kim, Natanicha Chaloemtoem (our Head Girl), Natalia Kotova and Marco de la Rosa (our Head Boy) who achieved A-A* grades in all of their A Level subjects.

AS Level (Year 12)

Our Year 12 students also achieved a 97% pass rate at AS Level, across 12 different subjects. Our highest performers this year were Ha-Yeon Song, Marc Baeuerle and Thanaphat Frederiksen, who each achieved the maximum possible outcome of A grades in all 4 of their AS subjects.

We are very proud of our Sixth Form students who worked extremely hard all year to achieve such great results.

IGCSE (Year 11)

HeadStart is pleased to report another outstanding set of examination results at IGCSE. This year, 90% of grades were A-C and 28% of all grades were A-A. Our top students, all of whom achieved 9 or more A*-A grades, were Elizaveta Stashevskaia, Charlie Suzuki and Hyunseung Lee. We are now delighted to commence the new academic year with 36 students enrolled in our Sixth Form to begin their A Level and BTEC courses. We look forward to seeing what you will achieve in the next 2 years!

Checkpoint (Years 6 and 9)

We also celebrate with 32 of our younger students for scoring 6.0 in at least one of their Checkpoint subjects – especially India Smuthkochorn and Natt Kritchanarat, who achieved perfect scores in all three subjects (Mathematics, English and Science). Overall, 89% of all scores were 3.0 or higher: “A sound understanding of the curriculum” 37% of all scores were 5.0 or higher: “An excellent understanding of the curriculum” 16% of all scores were 6.0 (The maximum score available)

Our warmest congratulations go out to all HeadStart students and teachers for the effort and hard work that was necessary to gain these fantastic results.

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Pailin Issalam

Head of Thai
[email protected]

My name is Pailin Issalam and my nickname is Dia. I attended Assumption University, where I achieved my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business. Graduating in 2009, I majored in English and gained additional credits in Hospitality and Tourism Management. As to achieve my professional development, I enrolled in Graduate Diploma Program in Teaching Profession at Phuket Rajabhat University, after which I have officially earned the teaching license from the Teachers’ Council of Thailand. In 2010, I applied for a position at HeadStart International School as an Assistant Teacher. I have since worked here for ten years. I not only worked as an Assistant Teacher, but I also gained the trust of the Thai Department and have been afforded the opportunity to teach Thai to non-native students. This has been a great experience that has allowed me to develop my knowledge and skills to become a better teacher. Furthermore, I have gained the trust of parents enabling me to become a private tutor of English and Thai to Foundation, Primary and Year 10 students. In 2014, I was promoted to the role of Thai Teacher teaching the Thai First Language, Thai Second language and Thai Foreigner language programme. I am grateful for this opportunity and am confident that it will give me a rewarding experience. I have made it my goal to strive to become the best teacher that I can be and will do my best to develop and encourage my students to speak, read and write in Thai, inspiring in them a love of Thai studies so that they can usefully apply their knowledge to all aspects of their lives. In 2018, I was promoted to the position of Head of Thai Department. I am very proud to be a member of the professional team of management at HeadStart. I look forward to the start of the new school year and to working productively with students, colleagues and parents. Please contact me at: [email protected]

Thai Etiquette Competition

On August 16th, HeadStart entered eight Thai students into the annual Thai Etiquette Competition at the Sapan Hin stadium: Napat and Gail in Year 1, Natcha in Year 3, Tete in Year 4, Jomnang in Year 6, Oskar in Year 7, Tangton and Pailin in Year 11. The event was organised by the Phuket Municipality Office. Over 300 students from schools on the island competed. HeadStart was the only international school to participate in the event and has won for the 4th year running. Certificates were awarded by Khun Somjai Suwansupana, the Mayor of Phuket town.

Congratulations to the following students:

  • Napat , in Year 1 won 1st place
  • Oskar, in Year 7 won 3rd place

A big thank you to Kru Way and Kru Yui for training and preparing these polite young students and the excellent effort they put in to making this project a great success. We are really proud of them all and very thankful for the support we had from this group of parents during the training and during the competition.

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Anisa Van der Laan

Founder/After School Activities Manager
[email protected]

ASP (After School Programmes) News

We run an outstanding range of over 160 After School Programmes (ASPs) for our Primary and Secondary students. Most ASPs are included in school fees and run from 3:30 - 4:20pm, Monday to Friday.

Primary and Secondary students can sign up to a maximum of four free ASPs per week. Parents may also register their child for additional fee paying classes. EAL (English as an Additional Language) students can sign up for a total of five free ASPs. Primary students ASPs are to be booked by parents. Secondary students can book on their own ASPs by logging into the Student Portal.

Please take a look at the school’s policy on the ASP programme by clicking on the After School Programmes Policy on the website..

Here is a step by step guide on how to book your child’s ASPs:

  1. Sign in to the parent Portal. For Parent Portal support email [email protected]

  2. Click on the tab that says ‘Book Activities’ under your child’s picture.

  3. Select what type of activity you would like to choose (Free or fee paying ASPs)

  4. Click on days of the week to view options available for your child.

  5. Click and drag your choices into the options box.

Dates Timeline of Events
1 September Preview ASP options on Parent Portal. Click on the box that says ‘Preview Activities’ under your child’s picture
7-11 September Book ASPs on the Parent Portal. Click on the box that says ‘Book Activities’ under your child’s picture
15 September Check Portal to find out what ASPs your child has been enroled in
16 September ASPs begin.

LAMDA Courses Now Available

We are very excited to announce that HeadStart is officially a LAMDA center! The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts examine over 100,000 students in 30 countries annually. It is one of the UK’s oldest and most respected awarding organisations. We will be offering classes in Communication (Public Speaking), Performing (Acting) and Musical Theater to students from Reception to Year 13. If you are interested in signing up please contact Ms Cramp by writing to [email protected]


Parent Portal (Engage)

If you are new to the Parent Portal, you may find it helpful to click HERE for a tutorial on how to create an account. There is also a ‘Commonly asked questions’ section that is extremely helpful to newcomers. If you still experience trouble with the portal, write to [email protected] and our team will be happy to assist.

Follow these three easy steps in order to download the Parent Portal (Engage) App on your phone.

  • Open Apple store or Google play and search for Engage School App (by Doublefirst)
  • Install the app.
  • Open the app and login using your school portal username and password (The School Code ID is 765876)
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Richard Cramp

Head of Humanities
[email protected]

Hi, my name is Rich and I have been teaching History at Headstart since 2015 and became Head of Humanities in 2020. My experience as an English and History teacher in international schools, along with a strong EAL background, has given me the tools to effectively teach students of differing abilities from all over the world. I am also in a position to empathise with international school students, having been one myself (I spent my first 12 years in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan). As a History teacher, I will ensure that students not only access the History curriculum, but do so in a lively, engaged classroom that inspires a love of history while developing the knowledge, skills and concepts needed to make sense of the world. Every student has a higher potential that must be unlocked, nurtured and encouraged continually. I do this by creating an active and engaged classroom culture where formative assessment is the nexus of their learning. Involving students in the learning process and nurturing a mind-set approach to their learning not only manifests excellent progress but, more importantly, creates happy and confident learners for life. Apart from teaching, other passions include music (listening and composing), travel, quoting Alan Partridge and being a consistently disappointed Tottenham Hotspur fan. To be able to live near the coast and teach a subject I’m so passionate about is fantastic. My wife and I are enjoying teaching and living in Phuket, especially because the lifestyle here gives our two children (also at HeadStart) an opportunity to grow up in the great outdoors.


Plant Trees by Searching the Internet

Staff and students at Headstart are planting trees by searching the internet! Sounds too good to be true? Read on. Ecosia is a fully legitimate internet search engine based in Berlin, Germany, that plants trees by donating 80% or more of its profits to nonprofit organizations that focus on reforestation. On average, 45 searches plants a tree. They estimate that they have, to date, planted 65 million trees since 2009.

Let’s Get Involved!

If all staff search an average of 5 searches a day that will plant 13 trees a day. Over the working year that equals about 2,405 trees from just staff. With students and parents too, we can increase that to 18,500 trees a year. 18,000 fully grown trees absorb roughly 410 tonnes of C02.

Headstart staff and students are currently being asked to use this as our default search engine and we’d like to extend the request to you! You can add Ecosia as an app on your phone or as a Chrome extension:

  1. Open the Ecosia Chrome Extension page HERE!

  2. Click on ‘Add to Chrome’.

  3. Click on Accept and then continue to Ecosia.

Search and save the world! Your search tally will appear in the top right hand corner.


Football Announcements

Girls and boys football academy sessions are on Wednesday and Friday from 3.30 to 5.00pm (all girls are welcome). All players to wear shin pads.

HeadStart are hosting a Goalkeepers workshop on 21st September, more details to be released shortly.

Attention all Secondary Girls

The Football Academy will be hosting open sessions on Wednesday and Friday next week from 3.30pm to 5.00pm. Please wear shin pads and bring water to the sessions!

Please note girls DO NOT HAVE TO: Be in the academy. Be able to attend every session. Have played football before.

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Zak Brown

Head Swim Coach
[email protected]

My name is Zak Brown. I’m from Bakersfield, California and started swimming at the age of 10. During High School, I helped lead our team to becoming league champions 4 years in a row. After High School, I attended Bakersfield College and continued swimming for Bakersfield Swim Club. During this time, I've competed all over California as well as traveling to other states for national level competitions. After 2 years of junior college; I moved to Niagara Falls, New York and competed at Niagara University as a Division One Swimmer. During my stay at Niagara University, I was able to set three school relay records and I received a degree in marketing and logistics. I've enjoyed coaching swimming for over 11 years and have worked with athletes on all levels from beginners to Olympians. I feel very fortunate that swimming has given me the opportunity to meet incredible people from all over the world. Swimming is more than just a sport to me, it's become a lifestyle. The lessons learned through swimming stay with you your entire life. This is my sixth year with HeadStart and I am really excited to work with the students to further develop their swimming abilities. Last season our Aqua Panthers hit best times and won the league championships. We have a lot of momentum building up to this year and I am excited to lead the team to new heights!

Swimming Academy News

Thank you everyone who came to the Aqua Panthers tryouts this week. Please give congratulations to the swimmers who made the trial team or official team if you see them. Please note that all swimmers must attend the parent/swimmer meeting on Monday at 16:00 in the Sports Hall.

Trial Period Swimmers:

Annie An, Liza Gudimova, Mark Zvarich, Maxim Vinogradov, Mika Caspi, Minkyu Song, Nadia Hauke, Nana Ismagilova, Nina Sonthayanawin, Oleg Gordzievskii, Platon Gudimov, Sasha Kazakova, Susanna Lee

New Official Aqua Panthers:

Champ Schmid, Colin Wanamakok, Erica Ilstam, India Smuthkochorn, Joshua Burton, Kyungkuk Kim


Student News

Early Years welcomed back 17 children who have graduated from Preschool to start Early Years this year, and also welcomed 23 children for whom it’s their first time going to school ever. The children have been very brave saying goodbye to their parents for the first time, and the parents have also been very brave too. They’ve had a lovely time exploring the great facilities, playing with new toys and showing off their skills, and are just starting to make the first new friendships that may last a lifetime. We are so happy to be spending time at school with you, learning all about you and your interests! By Miss Amy and Miss Saki

Reception Blue and Yellow had a fun and busy messy morning today. The children loved playing in the water with their friends in both classes. They fished for sounds out of the foamy water and experimented with mixing paint colours. They are settling so well into Reception! By Ms Candice and Ms Milly

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David Pollicutt

Head of English
[email protected]

My name is David Pollicutt 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 Psychology. 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 Hotspsur Football Club; it teaches me patience and humility.

World Scholars News

Next Thursday, Sabrina An, Yan Pintusov, Hannah Snyders, Matvey Zakharov, Valeriya Sirotinina will all be proudly representing HeadStart International School at the Global Round of the World Scholar’s Cup in Manila. Students will be pitting their wits against other international school students from all over the world. This week we went through final arrangements and preparations before we set off. The students are both excited and prepared and I’m sure you will all join me in wishing them luck. I would like to personally thank Ms. Hayley Milner in her hard work in coaching the students for this event and organising much of the trip.

I will be sending out emails in the coming days to parents of students who I think would particularly benefit from attending the World Scholar’s Cup After School Programme in the next academic year. If you would like to know more, please contact me by writing to [email protected].

This is Year One Yellow’s first trip to the library where they learned all about being quiet and respectful as the library is a place for quiet reading. They then got to choose their favourite book and spend some time immersed in the stories. By Ms Lauren Rose

A huge welcome to our new IGCSE art class. This week we have jumped right in at the deep end and began creating some detailed observational drawings of pineapples and dragonfruits. I can’t wait to see the final outcomes! By Ms Samantha Gill


Around the Island

Are you or your children interested in learning Spanish? Contact Mr Luis Endara for more information.

Spanish Lessons
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