Weekly Update #6, 2 October 2020
|Dates for Your Diary|
Upcoming events can be found on the website under School Life → Calendar and are outlined here for easy reference.
To join the Parent Community Facebook group click here!
|06 October||8.30am||Preschool Settling In Meeting||Secondary Hall|
|09 October||8.15am||Children’s Nutrition Talk by Craig Burton|
|10 October||University Fair||BISP|
|07 October||3.30-5.00pm||Year 7 Parent/Teacher Consultation||TBA|
|12-19 October||All week||Mid-term break|
|20 October||8.15am||Parents Meeting: Introduction to Sixth Form||Secondary Hall|
|21 October||8.15am||Secondary Wai Kru||Sports Hall|
|22 October||8.15am||Primary Wai Kru||Sports Hall|
|23 October||8.15am||Foundation Wai Kru||Sports Hall|
|3.30pm||24 Hour Dive-a-thon OFA Book Launch||Swimming Pool|
|24-25 October||All day||DofE Bronze Training (Group 1)||Ao Yon Beach|
|27 October||8.15am||Parents Meeting: Introduction to BTEC||Secondary Hall|
|29 October||8:15am||Parent Committee Meeting||Conference Room|
|30 October||TBA||Halloween Activities||TBA|
|31 Oct - 1 Nov||All day||DofE Bronze Training (Group 2)||Ao Yon Beach|
Due to a recent announcement by the Thai government, Father’s Day (which is a national holiday) has now been moved to the 11th of December 2020. Please refer to the updated calendar below and on the website calendar tab HERE
Preschool Parent Meeting
In order to further develop the partnerships with parents that we acknowledge as being paramount in your child’s education, I would like to invite you to our parent settling in meeting on October 6th 2020 at 08:30-09:30 where Ms Charlotte, Kru Nee and I will answer any questions that you may have. To enable us to answer the questions that you have, please send them as an email to me at [email protected] by Friday 02 October so that we can be sure to cover everything during the meeting. I look forward to receiving your emails and seeing you all together once again. -Ms Hannah Brown
Students/Parents/Teacher Consultation on 7 October
On Wednesday the 7th of October, from 3:30 pm until 5:30 pm, the New Secondary Students, Parent Teacher Consultation will take place in the Secondary Hall, History Room, English 1 and English 3 Classroom. These can all be found on the 4th Floor. The PTC is for all new students to HeadStart Secondary School, which is all Year Seven students and anyone who has joined the school this term from Year 8 to 13. Students and parents should attend the consultation as this will be the first chance to talk to subject teachers in Secondary school about the progress your son/daughter is making and most importantly what students need to do in a subject to improve.
There is a signup process for these meetings through the Parent Portal. Meetings will last five minutes per subject teacher. Unlike primary PTCs, in Secondary school students will typically have nine or ten different teachers teaching them, hence the need for multiple short meetings. If for any reason you want to make a particular time to see a teacher, please email them in advance and they will endeavour to make a specific time to meet with you. -Secondary Management
UPrep Drop-In Session on 8 October
Inviting you to our UPrep Drop-In session scheduled next Thursday, 8 October at 8.15am in the Steps with Nakita Coffee Shop. This is a chance for you to ask questions and discuss anything you want to know about university programmes or applications. Grab your drink and join Kru Gem, our University Placement Officer.
If you missed last week’s UPrep Talk, you can find the downloadable version of the presentations below. Remember that you can write to our UPrep team anytime with questions or concerns at [email protected] and [email protected]
FREE Nutrition Talk on How to Get Your Kids to Eat More Healthy Food!
Inviting you to a FREE talk by our school’s Nutritional Advisor, Craig Burton, on the subject of “6 Key Nutrients to Boost your Child’s Learning and Development” and how to help them thrive followed by a Q & A session! The presentation will be on the 9th of October at 8.15 am in the Drama studio on the 4th floor. This talk will also feature the launch of Craig’s Nutrition programme for parents. More information can be found here Healthy Families Programme Please register for Craig’s talk by dropping him an email at [email protected] or by giving him a call at 0956320500. We look forward to many parents joining this great initiative.
Parent Committee Meeting on 29 October
The Parent Committee will be having its first meeting of the year on 29 October at 8.15am in the conference room. We would like to invite parents to send in points for discussion to the committee members by Monday, 26th October 2020. Please send in your points to [email protected]
We would like to encourage any parents who have not yet accessed the Parent Portal to do so. There are many advantages to checking the portal regularly. Below is a list of valuable information that you can find on the portal.
- Student details/parent details
- Parent/Teacher Conference (PTC) bookings
- Student homework/merits/sanctions
- Timetables and events
- Medical records/accident notifications and records
- Contact details of homeroom teachers
- School reports
- School fee invoices, payments and records
If you aren’t sure how to access the portal, look over the tutorial provided in this web link: https://headstartphuket.com/school-portal. Likewise, if you require assistance with your user name and password, or anything else, please write to [email protected] and our admin team will be happy to help you get organised.
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.
New Student Breakfasts
Our first half term is nearly over and it has flown by! Next week, the Student Support Team will be meeting with our new students to find out how their first half term at HeadStart has gone. Hopefully we will be able to find out lots of positive things as well as get useful information about how we can help new members of the HeadStart family feel welcome and settled into school.
Use of Devices
We know that many parents are concerned about screen time and use of electronic devices, so this is an opportunity to clarify our position in the Secondary School. We want to make good use of technology for learning purposes and therefore we do expect all students to bring a functioning laptop to school everyday. We also understand that many students will also make use of a mobile phone. However, we do also want students to socialise and interact with each other as well as do exercise and other activities during their free time. Therefore we discourage the use of laptops during breaks and lunchtime and students should be aware that if they do need to work during these times they should find an appropriate place (such as our lovely library) to do so. Mobile phones we have a blanket ban on throughout the school day unless authorised by a teacher as part of a learning activity. Students who need to use their phone in an emergency can, of course, ask a member of staff for permission.
Lastly, we ask students not to use ANY devices in the Cafe during the school day. This is to make this very busy space a pleasant place for all our community to use. Please have a discussion with your children about sensible use of devices. We understand that young people are very attached to their phones and laptops but hopefully they will understand why teachers may ask them to stop using them at certain times and in certain places, and that we will temporarily remove devices from students who do not comply with rules that are designed to make school a healthy and happy place to be. It would be very helpful if you could help us by reinforcing this expectation at home.
Developments in the Cafe
Last Friday the Secondary School had an assembly with Stacey from Steps. Steps are the organisation that now run our school Cafe and we are very pleased to be partnering with people who are doing such important work in our community. Students heard a bit more about how Steps support people with different abilities to develop life skills and gain useful work experience. They also heard about some of the rules that they need to follow in order to make the cafe run smoothly for all the people who use it and work there. Then on Monday some very diligent Student Council representatives made the great sacrifice of doing a food tasting so that they could give feedback to the Cafe staff. We thank them for this important service, it looks like it was a great hardship! Click on photos to expand
Exam Preparation- sleep!
The week beginning the 5th October sees students in English classes from Years 7 to 12 writing their summative assessment tasks during lesson times. These assessments represent a culmination of all the skills they have been working on over the course of their respective units this half term. More than ever then, it is vital that students are prepared and in the right state of mind to work effectively. Please support your child by ensuring they get enough sleep and ensuring that all that lovely acetylcholine is being released into their brains. For a reminder on the importance of sleep on the teenage brain, please take a look at the piece I wrote two years ago Here! -Mr David Pollicutt, Head of English
|Primary Department News|
Hello, my name is Emma Spencer. I joined HeadStart this year and have been made to feel very welcome thanks to the warm welcome everyone has given me. I am really enjoying working with Year 5 White. They are a fun, interesting and exuberant class. I’ve been teaching for sixteen years. I started my career in Rugby, Warwickshire teaching in a Junior School. During my eight years at the school, I developed my love for teaching English, Drama and Art. I led the subjects of English and Creative Curriculum and helped to redesign the non-core curriculum and bring in new assessment guidelines. In 2011, I decided I wanted a new challenge, so I moved to the British International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. At this school I enjoyed teaching children from over fifty nations, getting involved in the wider school community and led the subjects of Maths and English. I learnt so much during my time in Vietnam and thoroughly enjoyed the chaotic nature of the city, the kindness of the people and all of the delicious food. I traveled widely and explored my passions for scuba diving, cooking and travel photography during these trips. More recently I have just taken an extended trip through Central and South America. As a teacher, I aim to create a happy and caring environment, where my students can develop confidence, take risks, embrace mistakes as steps towards learning and appreciate the importance of kindness and determination. I believe that encouraging children to take an active role in their learning is central to encourage them to become life-long learners.
At HeadStart, we believe in the importance of all children having the chance to share their ideas. Our Student Council gives the opportunity for the students to make the school a more pleasant place to be. In the past, they have helped choose play equipment, given feedback on the weekly menus and voiced their opinions about how to improve their overall experience in school. At the beginning of the term, Abigail Sinclair and Mason Holmes our Head Girl and Boy spoke to the Primary children in assembly about the role of the Student Council representatives. Many children in from Year 3 to Year 6 put themselves forward to represent their classes. They each had to give a short speech in class and then the class held a ‘blind’ vote in order to choose the most suitable candidate for the role in each class.
On Tuesday Mr Clarke and myself, had the great pleasure of announcing the new Student Council Representatives for this year. These children have been chosen by their peers because of their excellent listening and leadership skills. The Year 5 children were also encouraged to apply for the vacant positions of Deputy Head Girl and Boy. In order to apply, they needed to write a letter to Mr Khan explaining their suitability for the role and their ideas for school development. Mr Khan then invited the strongest candidates for an interview lunch with him. After careful consideration, he chose Ivy Singh and Non Chumkaew to be our new Deputy Head Girl and Deputy Head Boy. Next week we will have our first Student Council meeting of the year. It will be a chance to get to know each other and to set our goals for the year ahead.
Today the children in Early Years have been celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival with some mooncakes. All the children learnt about the legend of the festival in China and were able to taste some of the traditional mooncakes. It is an important part of the EYFS to acknowledge different cultures and traditions. To teach the children about their community and the world around them. -Ms Keeley and Ms Suzi
Reception Messy Stay and Play
We would like to say a big thank you to all the parents that were able to join us this morning for our Reception Messy Stay and Play. Here at Headstart, we recognise the importance of play for children’s development. Messy play provides children with multi-sensory experiences that inspire creativity and imagination. This type of play does not have any set outcomes, it gives children the opportunity and freedom to explore with lots of possibilities, helping with their self-esteem and confidence. This type of play also enables the child to develop their sense of control as there is no right or wrong way to play. We had fun in the water play area making bubbles and seeing the water flow, painting and mixing colours. We measured and weighed ingredients to create playdough and the children’s favourite Slime! Inviting parents into school provides a great opportunity to create partnerships between parents and teachers and we are all really looking forward to the next parents Stay and Play for Halloween! -Ms Milly and Ms Hayley
|Secondary Department News|
Design and Technology News
This week some of our Year 10 students have made themselves a toolbox in their Design and Technology class. The skills that they have learnt and improved will help them with their IGCSE project and they also get to keep their toolbox so that they can start to collect some tools of their own. They used 2D Computer-Aided Design software to draw each part and then cut out the pieces using the Laser Cutter. They also used the school’s Vacuum Former machine and Strip Heater to shape the plastic dishes to hold screws and an acrylic lid for the compartment designed to hold drill bits. The students worked hard on this project and are rightly proud of the products they made. -Mr Dean Wells
English Department News
By the time they arrive in Year 9, students are used to writing linear narratives and most First Language English students can craft some good stories. In Year 9 Austen, however, students have been developing their narrative skills, by experimenting with non-linear narratives (cyclical and parallel), as well as narratives which play with temporal certitude and perspective. All of this work on narrative allows students to write more sophisticated texts in a way which is ultimately more verisimilitudinous. For this exercise, students were challenged with re-drafting Poe’s famous short story ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ but to explore it through the perspective of the pompous but hapless victim Fortunato, rather than the psychotic Montresor. If you’re a fan of dark tales of live entombment, read and enjoy these works in progress! -Mr. Pollicutt, Head of English
In Year 12 AS Literature, we are studying All My Sons, written by the acclaimed dramatist Arthur Miller. In this task, students hunted for “imagined statements” around the classroom and attributed them to the appropriate character from the play. Miller is a master of creating complex, ambiguous characters and the Year 12s must dig deep to analyse their perspectives, motives, and what they represent to the audience. -Ms Tuppen, English Literature AS
The first of this year’s Touch Rugby ASP began on Tuesday this week with Ms Niemand and myself. All students that attend have been given a team shirt that they can use for the ASP and any fixtures that we attend. If you’d like to join in it’s not too late, just contact Anisa Van der Laan in the front office or write to [email protected] for details. -Mr George Woods
|Around the Island|