Weekly Update #26, 9 April 2021
Wishing everyone a wonderful Songkran holiday! Stay safe and see you again in term 3!
|Dates for Your Diary|
|19 April||8.00 am||First day of Term 3||-|
|20-22 April||8.00 am -3.20 pm||Year 9 Checkpoint Exams||Secondary Hall|
|23, 26, 27 April||8.00 am - 3.20 pm||Secondary Science Fair||Secondary Hall|
|28 April||3.30 pm||Year 9 IGCSE Options Presentation and Subject Fair||Sports Hall|
|30 April||8.00 am - 3.20 pm||Last day of timetabled lessons for Y11/Y12/Y13|
|07 May||2.30 - 4.30 pm||Friday Market||Atrium|
|13 May||8.30 - 10.30 am||Parent Committee Meeting||Conference Room|
|17 & 24 May||10.00 - 11.00 am||New Early Years Parents & children ‘Stay and Play’||Foundation|
|18 & 25 May||10.00 - 11.00 am||New Preschool Parents & children ‘Stay & Play’||Foundation|
|24-27 May||All day||Year 7-9 Exams||Secondary Hall|
|27 & 28 May||2 days||Year 6 Residential Trip||TBA|
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to HeadStart International School, Phuket. My husband, Jazon Edouard, and I set out to provide the best possible educational opportunity for our five sons. Despite the many challenges of living abroad and raising a young family, we have succeeded in developing a thriving learning environment not only for our own children, but for the over 800 children who attend HeadStart school today. We attribute our success to careful planning and to our strong team of dedicated educators who, on a daily basis, strive to Inspire a love of learning.
I am very excited to announce that, after tallying up all of the donations for the student organised Casual Clothes Day, the Vintage Sale and the Swim Academy 12-Hour Relay, we are able to hand over 153,240 Baht to the scholars of Sustenance (SOS), a food rescue service here in Phuket that provides over 40,000 meals a month to those in need. I am particularly impressed with our student leadership team who went above and beyond to inspire the rest of the student body to get involved and donate to this worthy cause. If you weren’t already aware, as a school we are focussed on reducing waste and to this end, we support SOS on a weekly basis by offering good quality leftover food that is redistributed to those in need around the island. Besides that, all food scraps are collected in a large bin after lunch and fed to ducks at a nearby farm thus making sure nothing goes to waste!
“On behalf of the people who have received food from HeadStart, we would like to thank your students, the parents, teachers, staff and management for your donations for SOS Foundation. We promise to do our very best and work hard as everyone has trusted us to do. -Jack, Food Rescue Manager Phuket
“We have no words to describe this. Our hearts are full. We are more than grateful for this kind of support you are giving to Jack. Not only will this support Jack’s operational costs but it will also make it possible to provide many meals to many people. Thank you for continuously acknowledging our work, Jack’s work, in addressing food waste and hunger in Phuket and believing in our mission. Thank you for the wonderful support. Know that everyone who helped and made this happen is going to impact many lives during this global crisis. -James Leyson, Managing Director - Scholars of Sustenance Thailand
From SOS: In March 2021, HeadStart International School Phuket donated 318.17 KG of good quality surplus food to SOS Thailand. Your donations have allowed us to provide over 1,336.31 servings to those in need! Also, by reducing this amount of food waste, you have successfully saved 604.35 KG of GHG equivalent emissions (Co₂-e (kg)) or 53.96 days equivalent of electricity consumption of one household. For more on this check the GHG Calculator
University applications happen at different times throughout the year and here at HeadStart we are constantly supporting students through the process and then celebrating their successes as decisions come in. We are delighted to share our most recent successes: well done to Valentine Guillerey who will be studying Biological Science and has received offers from 5 universities and has chosen to study at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Also successful was Suphatchaya Phewgnam who will be studying medicine and has been successful in securing a place at Khon Khaen University. -Ms Indu Bedi, Head of Sixth Form
|Parent Committee Meeting Agenda and Responses from Management|
|Russian Language Club|
Thank you very much for your participation in last Friday’s Russian Language Club event! The event was hugely successful, and all of your energy and support is greatly appreciated. In addition to the abundant and appetizing food that was on offer, the live performances in the afternoon gave the entire school community insight into the beautiful music, dance and costumes of the region! Please click HERE to visit the school’s Facebook page where all of the photos from Friday’s Russian Language Club event have been posted.
Friday’s event was an amazing way to introduce the entire school community to the culture and heritage from the region, but it’s just the beginning. Moving forward, we plan to host a Russian Language Club event every term in order to raise more awareness of the Russian speaking community at school and across Phuket. If you have any suggestions for future Russian Language Club events, please contact us because we would love to hear your ideas! -Sincerely, Dina, Tatiana, & Mike
|Saturday Thai Culture Club|
The Early Years, Reception and Year 1 students were excited to attend the Saturday Thai Culture Club before the Songkran Holiday. The students enjoyed learning about elephants through fun activities and making crafts. Meanwhile, the Year 2-6 students learned about food preservation and learned how to make a salted egg by themselves. All students were proud to bring their salted egg’s box home to show their parents. -Kru Dia, Head of Thai
This year’s Swim Galas have been quite competitive between houses, but more importantly, we were so pleased to see our students show up with big smiles on their faces, ready to show off their new skills for family and friends. We’d like to give a big THANK YOU to our teachers and supporting staff members that were able to make time to help organize and time our swimmers, and for cheering them on during every race! Each Year did such a fantastic job that they broke at least one individual school record! -Sarah Dorman
2021 New School Records!
|Event||Boys||Results & Year||Girls||Result and Year|
|15 Meter Kickboard||Tiger (Year 1)||17.10 (2021)|
|15 Meter Freestyle||Tiger (Year 1)||15.47 (2021)|
|15 Meter Kickboard||Marat (Year 2)||14.12 (2021)||Yasmin (Year 2)||14.97 (2021)|
|15 Meter Freestyle||Marat (Year 2)||13.00 (2021)||Yasmin (Year 2)||13.38 (2021)|
|15 Meter Freestyle||Pavel (Year 3)||10.50 (2021)|
|25 Meter Freestyle||Natalie Hallerman (Year 6)||15.26 (2021)|
|25 Meter Back||Natalie Hallerman (Year 6)||18.47 (2021)|
|25 Meter Breast||Tara Lukats (Year 6)||23.16 (2021)|
The Cheetahs are leading the race, with the Dragons hanging on to 2nd place with a 2-point lead in front of the Phoenixes. The Tigers trail in 4th place with 27 pts, but with Year 4 & 5 still up to compete, there is no doubt these numbers will change! More stats will be provided as soon as we can reschedule the final Gala events. OVERALL SCORES:
1st Place- Cheetahs (50 pts)
2nd Place- Dragons (44 pts)
3rd Place- Phoenixes (42 pts)
4th Place- Tigers (27 pts)
Stay and Play Dates
|Reception||Thursday 29th April - 10-11:15||Parent and Child DIY Sensory Play. Come and learn how to make sensory play items such as Playdough and Slime with your child.|
|Early Years||Friday 30th April - 10-11:15||Teddy Bears Picnic. Come along and join our Teddy Bear Picnic! Please bring a teddy, small amount of healthy snacks and a picnic blanket.|
|Preschool||Friday 30th April - 08:15-09:15||Pirate day! Come along and join in with our pirate themed activities!|
I work mostly with the Secondary students at HeadStart, overseeing their general progress, personal development and wellbeing as well as dealing with individual pastoral or academic concerns. I’ve been teaching since 1997, which makes me feel very old, but working without students here at HeadStart keeps me young and (I like to think) up to date with current trends! I’ve worked in a variety of countries in Asia - Sri Lanka, China, Nepal and now here in Thailand. I understand that school is full of different challenges for students, some of them personal and some related to learning. I’m here to try and make each child’s learning journey as smooth as possible and to make sure that school is a place where they can really grow into their potential. My door is always open, for students of all ages and their families, and I do invite whoever needs to come and talk to me. I also work across the school with a fantastic Student Support team, and I also have specific responsibility for Child Protection and Safeguarding here at HeadStart. I believe that children and young people can only thrive academically when they feel personally safe and happy. I’m hopeful we can help create a supportive environment that allows all children to succeed. whatever their goals and ambitions.
Year 7-9 Residential Trips
In the last weeks of Term 2 we took Year 7, 8 and 9 on much anticipated residential trips. We visited islands around Phuket and took part in snorkelling or scuba diving. We stayed overnight in a hotel and then followed up the next day with more activities like Dragon Boat racing, water polo and traditional Thai crafts. The students reached the end of their two days tired but happy and a great time was had by all. For most of them, they probably just saw the 2 days as a “fun” time where they got to hang out with their friends outside of school. However, one of the reasons HeadStart invested so much time, effort and resources into the running of these trips is that the benefits of experiences like these far outweigh the surface “fun” factor or even the learning that was done in the specific activities themselves.
Of course, we learned how to scuba dive, paddle board, race, make kites, paint batik etc. - but also much much more.
Some of our Homerooms reflected afterwards on what they had learned from the trip. Many of their ideas showed that what was staying with them were real lessons about independence. Taking seasickness medication once you start to feel sick is too late. Drinking loads of fizzy drinks before heading out to sea is not a good idea. If you don’t put on sunscreen regularly, you will end the day very pink. If you go to sleep late at night, you’ll be tired the next day and won’t be able to enjoy what you are doing as well as you might. If 3 of you have a room key and you all go outside at the same time each without it, you’ll have a long walk to reception to get back inside. And so on.
General social skills are also important - we were really impressed with how well our students behaved being in public places shared by other adults and families. They listened carefully to instructions on the boats and during the activities, understanding that this was necessary to enjoy themselves safely. They waited patiently when there were delays and took changes to plans with maturity, even when they were maybe disappointed. They looked after each other with kindness if someone was not feeling well or was nervous. They shared their food and personal spaces with each other and, whilst they did not always tidy up after themselves as nicely as we might like, they understood that they were there together as a team, not as individuals.
Most lovely for teachers on these trips is getting to see another side of students than we might not see in the classroom. Sharing their music, listening to their jokes, chatting to them about all sorts of nonsense, watching them change their mind about an activity because of nerves and then decide to try it after all: every minute spent with them helped us get to know each other and understand each other better. So, as parents, perhaps you enjoyed a night away from your children? I hope you appreciate it even more thinking about how much more than just fun their time was!
As you may know, A-Level English students have had regular milestone assessments over the course of this academic year. These ‘VIMAs’ are designed to best prepare students for their final examinations by not only recreating the controlled environment of the exams but also in the rigorous and dialogic marking they receive. I believe that all students have benefitted from the process and this is certainly supported by the data. One of the students who has made particularly impressive progress is Aleksandra Godzievskaya. Prior to her most recent (sixth) VIMA of the year for me, I had never awarded full marks for an A-Level essay. However, the sophistication of her analysis; structural cohesion and sustained discursive, critical style impressed me so much I was left with no choice. Hearty congratulations to her and I feel sure that students in both Years 12 and 13 can use what they’ve learnt from the VIMAs in their impending examinations! -Mr. Pollicutt Head of English
Last year, I posted about ‘The Wall Game’, an unapologetically cutthroat contest played in Year 10 Language and Literature, where students have to show mental acuity in order to answer differentiated questions about words: definitions, spellings, usage, and how to use them in context. Last week, this challenging but very popular game was partaken in once again. Students had come armed to the lesson having learnt all the words below in preparation for their study of Orwell’s 1984. Happily, the vast amount of the answers were correct. -Mr. Pollicutt Head of English
|Dance Academy News|
Five Headstart students participated in MACA’s Junior Aerial Championships last Sunday at BIS. Emma, Berta, Si Si, Anabel and Sophie worked extremely hard with Ms Irisha the last past weeks to be ready for this event and did so well. The competitors performed at quite high level in the Youth category and it’s with pride that we are happy to announce that Sophie and Anabel got the Bronze Medal with their exceptional duo. -Ms Fabienne Mester
|Promotions From Around the Island|
Steps with Theera Phuket would like to invite students (age 12+) to attend our Summer Programme from July to early August 2021. Steps with Theera Phuket is a UK accredited training centre based at Blue Tree Shopping complex in Cherngtalay. The centre is led and managed by Stacey Patterson, a trained Occupational Therapist who has a passion in facilitating young people to develop their independence in everyday life activities, find their purpose and empower them for the future.
The Summer programme will run over 5 weeks and families only need to sign up for a minimum of a full week at a time. We at Steps, encourage students to learn by doing, using practical activities. We use a plan, do and review framework with all tasks to allow for the development of critical thinking and self-evaluation skills. The programme is aimed to stimulate an interest and develop students/trainees life skills and vocational skills to promote self-confidence, independence and responsibility.
The cost of the summer course is 8500THB/week excluding lunch time meals and travel costs (if we go on an excursion). Activities and skills that may be included but not limited to:
Daily Life Skills
- Following of routines and schedules
- Social interaction and team work with peers
- Basic health and safety
- Planning and executing outings - in Blue Tree and in the local community
- Meal preparation and cooking
- Simple money handling and budgeting
Business Enterprise Skills
|Manufacturing||Creating eco-friendly products for waste (candles, soaps, paper, bags etc.) that they can give as presents or sell.|
|Entrepreneurship||Planning and preparing stock for events, how to use ICT to manage stock and create marketing flyers using different apps.|
|Public relations||How to present oneself and interact with the public with confidence.|
|Hospitality and catering||Baking and creating sustainable and healthy snacks.|
Over the Summer we will be looking into how to make different products from different recycled materials and try have 1-2 projects per week. The trainees will work through the full process of learning how to make the product, planning how they will make the product, making the product and then evaluating the end product. Trainees will also learn different life skills such as money handling, weighing/measuring, cooking/baking and navigating the community.