03 May
Weekly26 days ago

Weekly Update #25, 6 May 2022

Upcoming events can be found on the website under School Life → Calendar and are outlined here for easy reference. If you have questions or require further assistance please email [email protected]

Date Time Event Who for? Location
21 April - 10 June Timetable External Exams (IGCSE, AS & A Level)    
10 May 8.15am Russian Speaking Parents Meeting Parents TBA
12 May 8.15am UPrep Talk 8: Applying to US & Canada All interested parents Secondary Hall
14 May 9.00-12.00pm Saturday Thai Culture Club Thai national students  
17 May 8.15am Mandarin Speaking Parents Meeting Parents TBA
  8.15am Introduction of Military Service Programme Year 10 students/parents  
19 May 8.15am UPrep Talk 9:Applying to Australia & Asia All interested parents Secondary Hall
23 May - 2 June   Year 1 to 9 GL Progress Assessments Year 1 - 9 Classes
26 May 8.15am UPrep Talk 10: Show Me the Money All interested parents Secondary Hall
Announcements from the Headmaster
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Adam Drew

Headmaster
[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!

With three weeks of term already completed, I am pleased to report that activities are back up and running fully, lots of sports fixtures have either been held or are planned for in the coming weeks, and we are now looking forward to things like the CAPA show, graduation events, school prom and end of year awards ceremonies.

ATK Testing and Covid Cases

In the past three weeks, there have been just five reported cases of Covid since the term began, and currently only one active case in the whole school. As a result of the limited number of cases, we have moved to random ATK testing across the school from Year 1 and above, and therefore, you only need to complete the ATK declaration form if you have been emailed to let you know that your child has been selected for a test. We continue to test all Foundation students at this time.

Students Leaving at the End of the Term

At the end of the school year we will say goodbye to a number of families who will be moving on to other schools and other countries. Whilst it is always sad to see members of our community move on, we wish all those who are moving on to new adventures elsewhere in the world the best of success. We hope their experience at HeadStart has prepared these students well for the next phase of their education and their futures. We currently have waiting lists in a number of year groups for August 2022 and we continue to receive enquiries on a daily basis from parents wishing to enrol their children.

Our policy for refunding Endowment Fees requires parents to have informed us of their intention to withdraw their child by 31st May. We ask that those families who have already made the decision to leave HeadStart at the end of this term, please inform us as soon as possible, and no later than 31st May. This will ensure that parents are able to receive the refund of the Endowment fee and will allow us to offer places to students who are currently on our waiting lists. Please contact [email protected] or see Khun Nuk in our admin office who will be able to assist with this.

Finally, with students commencing IGCSE and A Level examinations this week, we wish all students in Year 11-13 the best of success in their studies and examinations.

I hope you enjoy a pleasant weekend and we look forward to seeing you all on Monday.


UPrep Talk

If you weren’t able to make it to the UPrep talk on the 5th of May where Ms Bedi spoke on the topic of ‘Applying to the UK & Europe’ the meetings are provided in the download below. Our next UPrep talk will be on Thursday, 12 May at 8.15am in the Secondary Hall on the topic of ‘Applying to US & Canada’. As always, if you need further information and would like to contact our UPrep team, email [email protected].

For parents & students who are interested in going to the UK to study, you may wish to attend the Virtual UK University Fair on 17th May from 18.00 - 21.00, with 75 UK universities that would love to meet students and families. Click HERE to view what is available.

The event will begin with a Study in the UK Presentation (live streamed) from 18.00 - 19.00, followed by breakout rooms from 19.00 - 21.00. Each university’s breakout room link is listed on the attached invite. Attendees can just ‘show up’; no one is obligated to sign up or provide any contact information. And the event is completely free.

Foundation Phonics Workshop

On Tuesday 3rd May parents from Early Years and Reception were given a presentation with the topic phonics, reading and writing. Parents were informed of the way in which we teach in Foundation and given some top tips on how to support their children at home:

  • Read stories and factual books with your children
  • Don’t just focus on the writing, look at and talk about the pictures to support children’s comprehension
  • Ask children questions about what they think might happen in the story
  • Model reading, if children see you read, they will want to read to!
  • Give children the opportunity to write; shopping lists, labels, birthday cards
  • Don’t focus on the ‘perfect product’ celebrate all marks children make!
  • Talk about text in the environment; menus, signs, labels in supermarkets
  • Ask your child’s teacher how to correctly make sounds in the phonics programme if you are not sure

More information can be found in the presentation download below!

Focus on Social & Emotional Learning - Mental Health Week
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Indu Bedi

Deputy Head of Secondary (Sixth Form)
[email protected]

Swadee ka and Hello. My name is Indu Bedi and I am a Deputy Headteacher and a teacher of English at HeadStart International school. Having previously worked at HeadStart as the Head of English and Humanities, I am familiar with many aspects of this dynamic and creative school. I am excited to return in my new role to oversee the Sixth Form and Staff Development and once again work with a determined team of professionals to make this a successful school where all students thrive personally and academically. I learnt my craft as a teacher in England where I taught for 16 years holding a variety of roles including Head of Faculty, Director of Learning and Teaching, Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher. I embarked on my international career 10 years ago with my family and have since taught in Malaysia and Thailand. I am a certified Teacher Trainer with a specialism and a passion for developing pedagogical approaches to support language acquisition. I have written and led training in England and abroad. I have also worked for Sunderland University (UK) in supporting and assessing teachers training internationally. I have a BA (Hons) in the Humanities, majoring in English Literature, a PGCE in teaching English with Drama, an MA in Cultural and Critical Studies and I have completed my National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in the UK. I have a genuine interest in how our pedagogical approaches in the classroom can be developed to enhance the learning of all students. As a teacher and leader, I am a strong believer in the growth mindset (Carol Dweck); I believe intelligence can be grown through using the right methods to teach and through developing student self-belief. I am also passionate about creating effective lifelong learners through making learning as transparent as possible so students know what steps to take to ensure their own success. With these key ingredients, choosing the right methods to teach, nurturing the growth mindset and making learning transparent, I believe all students achieve academic success and leave school with a belief in themselves. I also have a passion for teaching my subject, English, as I believe language and literature lie at the heart of individual empowerment. The study of language allows us to understand how language is used and how to use language effectively for our own purposes; this is central to one’s success in and beyond school. The study of literature, whilst contributing to improved language skills, also develops intelligence, imagination and the ability to view the world through different lenses. I am looking forward to working in partnership with the students, and their parents, in the Sixth Form to ensure they achieve academic success and they continue to enjoy their lives as students at the school. I am also looking forward to working with colleagues across the school to develop learning and teaching practice so we continue to inspire a love of learning amongst all of our students. Outside of school, I enjoy being a mum to my two young daughters, Anoushka and Taara Lily, reading (I have a particular interest in post-colonial literature and self-development books), spending time in nature, meditating and trying new recipes in my kitchen!

Over the last few weeks we have been exploring the theme of optimism to support us when we face adversities. We are not interested in ‘toxic positivity’, pretending our problems don’t exist or waiting for the problem to be fixed in some way. Instead, we have explored how learning to be optimistic helps us to see beyond the present crisis and look to the future with the knowledge that, in most cases, our problems do pass.

Students have been introduced to Dr. Martin Selgman’s 3 Bridges strategy (see picture below) which evaluates if a problem is permanent (forever), pervasive (impacting all aspects of our lives), personal (due to perceived failure in ourselves) OR, if in fact, any adverse situation is temporary (it will pass), isolated (only in one part of our life) and if it is possible, with effort, to do something about it. This is known as the PPP v TIE approach. Next time your son or daughter is facing a difficulty, whether it’s social, emotional or academic, why not try using this strategy and see if it helps put everything into perspective.

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We have also looked at creating emotional emergency kits when we do find ourselves in crisis. These kits, like the emergency kits we might have ready for a physical disaster are things we can have at the ready to help us in a crisis. In our emotional emergency kits instead of flare sticks which are used to signal distress we might signal distress by sending a close friend a message. Life throws us curve balls, currently many of our older students are sitting exams. We hope they have emotional emergency kits ready to support them. Whether it’s a hug from a family member, a walk outside, exercise, watching a funny film with a friend, sleeping to create space, it’s important to have a plan. Ask your children what they might put in their own emotional emergency kit.

Sports News

Swimming

The Aqua Panthers and Aqua Cubs have their first invitational swim meet at BISP May 28 & 29th! All swimmers enrolled in the Aqua Cubs are welcome to join, please contact Coach Brown if you want to sign up! Meet cost is 500 Baht. -Coach Brown

Dance

And… five, six, seven, DANCE! Just eight counts but so many steps from first tip toe walk to the magic of dance!

Our Early Years princesses are growing and learning in their Ballet classes. Creative movement, child-friendly music and dance will encourage social and motor development. Basic Ballet skills and terminology are introduced at this level as well as musicality, coordination, listening and following directions. Lots of imagery, props, little tunes that teach the fundamentals of dance. Our Black Ballet girls work to achieve technical excellence and master their skills at the barre. Once they truly fall in love with dance they transform their passion into art and grace. -Ms Anna, Ballet dance teacher

Touch Rugby

Touch Rugby ASP is growing rapidly in popularity with a great weekly turnout! Hopefully, soon we can have our very own tournament. Why not come along and join in? Everybody is welcome, from year 4 and up – come and have some fun and learn new skills! -Ms Niemand and Mr Marx

The 2nd Annual HeadStart Science Fair

The last two Friday’s witnessed the 2nd edition of the now famous HeadStart Science Fair. On Friday the 22nd of April the students in Year 7 presented their wonderful projects to their peers. The following Friday, Year 8 had their time in the spotlight. The Year 8 Science fair was visited by students across Secondary and was then open to the wider school community from 2.45pm onwards. The range of scientific inquiry shown by the students was amazing! The students were articulate when explaining their projects, and showed genuine curiosity in the achievements of their peers. During both events our school photographer was present and therefore we are able to include some images for you to peruse.

The scientific inquiry behind the projects started at the beginning of Term 2. The projects were designed so that the students completed the majority of their investigations at home, with just enough guidance from their teachers to keep them on track. As a result, the projects you see in the images are truly the creation of the students in Years 7 and 8.

If you did not manage to come and see the fair yourself in 2022; then mark your diaries for next year as I am sure it will also be a success!

Congratulations!

On behalf of everyone at HeadStart, CONGRATULATIONS to Mr Pollicutt, Head of English, on his marriage to Ms Sukonta Petkaew. We wish them many happy years to together!

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