01 Mar
Weekly9 months ago

Weekly Update #21, 1 March, 2019

A warm welcome back to school from our Thai teachers and management!

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
4-8 March 1 week Yearbook Photo Shoot In school
8 March 2:30-5:00pm Friday Market Atrium
11-15 March All week Year 6 & 9 Mock Checkpoint Exams In class
13 March 3:30pm Year 9 IGCSE Options/Parent Teacher conferences TBA
14 March TBA PISAC Primary Athletics Sports facilities
18-22 March All week Eco Watch Week In school
21 March Afternoon PISAC Secondary Athletics TBA
23 March 9:00-12:00pm Saturday Thai Culture Club In school
29 March All day Casual Clothes day for charity In school

Please see the download provided below for a summary of important news from school for Thai parents.

Invitation to take Parent Survey

We would like to invite you to complete the Parent Survey for the 2018-2019 academic year. As with last year, we are using an online programme called Survey Monkey. The format is user friendly and can be completed in a short amount of time. The survey can be completed using a PC, tablet or smart phone.

Thank you for taking the time to fill in the survey. Your feedback is always useful in addressing the students needs and making improvements where necessary. Thank you for your valued input and continued support of our programmes at HeadStart International School.

CLICK HERE for English Survey

CLICK HERE for Thai Survey


Year 11 Sixth Form Subject Fair

We will be holding a Y11 Sixth Form Subject Fair on Friday 8th March, from 1:30pm to 2:45pm, in the Secondary Hall.

This is an opportunity for parents and students to talk to teachers about ‘A’ Level subjects we offer at HeadStart to study in Y12 & Y13. At the fair you will be able to get information and guidance about the different subjects and have a chance to talk to our ‘A’ Level teachers and current Sixth Form Students about what to expect!

Parents, I hope that you will be able to join your son/daughter for this fair and help them make informed decisions about their subject choices for Sixth Form Study.


Next week’s UPrep Talk “Applying to the UK & Europe” on 7 March, 2019

Important details and information about how applications to the UK and other European destinations work, including: timelines, logistics and admission requirements as well as useful resources. This should be useful for families considering UK or popular HeadStart European destinations such as Netherlands and Germany.

And for those of you who missed last week’s presentation, the downloads provided below outline what was presented in English and Thai.


Yearbook Photo Shoot

It’s that exciting time of the year again! Our 2017-2018 Yearbook photo shoot will take place between the 4-11th of March and we need you to help us make it a reality. The production of the Yearbook is a tremendously detailed and time consuming task but one that our team takes on with excitement! We aim to have the books published and distributed to HeadStart families late June, 2019. More information to follow…

We would like to ask for your cooperation in helping us take beautiful photos by making sure your child is neatly groomed, is wearing a clean regular uniform (if they have P.E. they can bring their kit to change into) and most importantly is in school. Children who miss the allocated time for their class photo will unfortunately miss being in the photo all together while individual shots can be taken at a later date. A timetable of the photo shoot can be found in the download below.

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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.

Rope Pyramid

Many of you may have seen the fantastic new piece of equipment that has been installed in our Primary Playground over the holiday- our new rope pyramid. The children are really excited about it, and those children who have already had a chance to play on it have really enjoyed it.

The equipment is called the Tayplay Active 6000 Pyramid, and is a very high quality piece of imported equipment, from Scotland, which can be used by children from 3 years old and above. More information on the Rope Pyramid can be found here: http://www.tayplay.com/active-6000

Underneath the Pyramid we have installed a very impressive ‘safety bed’ called a ProGame shock pad. This ProGame shock pad has been developed by a German company called Trocellen. The pad underneath the Rope Pyramid is over 30mm thick and provides more protection than required.The school deliberately purchased the best quality safety pad, with extra thickness, to make sure that pupils were safe if they should fall. More information regarding the safety mat can be found here: http://progame-shockpads.com/playgrounds/

As with all things, safety is our main priority. We have taken a number of steps to make sure that our pupils enjoy the new equipment and stay safe:

We have added extra staff to the Playground Duty Rota for break times. The duty staff will monitor how the children are using the equipment and ensure that the number of children on the Pyramid at any one time stays within the recommended safe amount. Before school from 7.40am until 8.00am the playground is quieter and as a result we only need two adults on duty at this time.

All Primary children have been introduced to the equipment and given a ‘tour’ by their Homeroom Teacher.

Safe use and rules for the rope pyramid have been explained by Homeroom Teachers so that every child has a clear understanding of how to use the equipment with the safety of themselves and others in mind. The safety rules include not bouncing or jumping up and down on the pyramid ropes, and not jumping off the pyramid.

We have also introduced a rota to limit the number of children who are climbing on the Pyramid at any one time. This rota will also mean that the smaller children can play safely without being dominated by the bigger, older children.

Year 1 & 2 on Monday
Year 3 on Tuesday
Year 4 on Wednesday
Year 5 on Thursday
Year 6 on Friday
  • Secondary children are not allowed to use the pyramid, or indeed the Primary Playground, at any time.

  • Children will be given reminders about drinking water, time in the sun, use of a hat and how to stay safe in the sun.

All of these rules will be explained again during assembly.

If the equipment is used correctly it is a challenging, but safe experience for the children and will develop their activity levels, risk management, as well as their confidence and awareness of safe play.

During the school day the children know that unless they are with a member of staff or staff are on duty in the playground they are not allowed to enter the Primary Playground. However, as you all know, after school, supervision is the responsibility of parents, or designated adults.

Please ensure that you are closely supervising your child if s/he is using the Primary Playground after school, or before 7.40am.

Here are some simple things you can do to ensure your child plays safely on our rope pyramid:

  • Always watch your child when they playing on the equipment

  • Stay close enough to the pyramid in case your child needs help in any way

  • Make sure your child is protected from the sun and drinks enough water

  • Do not let your child jump from the pyramid ropes

  • Make sure your child does not bounce on the pyramid ropes

*If you feel there are too many children on the rope pyramid then you might want to remove your child from the equipment

I am sure that you will all agree with me that our new rope pyramid is a fantastic addition to our Primary Playground. It has been great to watch the pupils getting excited and being active on this great new resource this week.

At HeadStart we are continuously looking at ways to make the school experience even more exciting and challenging for our pupils, and we will continue to look at ways to improve our playground provision in the months and years to come.


Foundation Department News

A warm welcome back to the second half of Term 2. From film crews to House challenges, the children have certainly enjoyed a fun filled week, full of smiles and laughter, great job Foundation. Stars of The Month and Weekly Awards

After School - Foundation Playground

Many of our families enjoy an extended school day and let the children play after school hours in the Foundation Playground. Please can I remind parents that whilst they are able to use the playground facilities, that they do tidy up when they leave. I would also remind the children to take care of our toys to avoid damage and breakages.Thank you for your support in this matter.

After School - Classrooms

Our children take a lot of pride in their classrooms and the work that they do, it is understandable that they want to share what they learn with their parents and siblings.Recently we have seen a number of families going into classrooms at the end of the school day to collect bags, PE kits etc. but staying a little longer to explore the activities that have been set up for the following day. We are asking all parents, to please be mindful that our teachers work very hard to set up their classrooms with fun and purposeful activities and resources for the following days learning. It can be very time consuming when resources and activities have been used or misplaced. Again, we appreciate your support in this matter.

Junk Appeal

Eco Week is coming up and the Primary Eco Team are sending out a Junk Appeal. Please you start collecting and bringing in toilet rolls, cardboard boxes, clear egg cartons, plastic cups / beakers, straws, bottle tops, string, pen lids - please make sure all items are clean and can be used for a large Eco Art project. Thank you in advance.

Stars of the Week

Early Years - Congratulations to Natalie, Rada, Phoenix, Michaela, Monet, Chloe, Punn, Noah, Sugar, Oscar and Ricky for working hard in all subjects.

Reception - A very big well done to - Mia, Harrison, Lucy, Gun, Alex, Lambor, Thamas, Naomi, Gail, Liliia, and Thep for having a fantastic attitude and putting in a huge effort in all subjects. Great job Foundation, we are very of all your efforts.


Student News

Reception Yellow were very excited to go on an adventure to the Phuket Rubber Plantation in Thalang. The children were able to learn about the process of rubber tapping to collect latex from the trees. There were really surprised to learn that the rubber in car tyres is made from materials harvested in the jungle! We enjoyed exploring the natural environment and the children made rubber squishy toys to take home as a souvenir. By Ms Hannah Kuusik

The Year 1 Yellow children did an awesome job at acting out our new class story this morning! They made little stick puppets and masks to retell the story, ‘Snow White and Seven Dwarves’. By Ms Charlotte Myers

Year 3 students in the ‘Thai as a Second Language’ class have been learning how to make sentences by using words from previous lessons. By Kru Bo

Year 5 students in the ‘Thai as a Second Language’ class have been learning how to make stories by using vocabulary that they have learned in previous lessons. By Kru Bo

Year 6 have enjoyed making models to demonstrate how we see things as part of their light and shadows revision unit. They created models using string to represent light and classroom objects. They then created their own mini-science YouTube clips for ‘The Light Learning Lab’. By Ms Sophie Webb

This week in Year 6 White the children have been learning about how light travels. Using string we demonstrated how we see light and how light travels in a straight line. By Mr Karl Long

At HeadStart we have a thriving art programme and some very skilled student artists. A big thank you to Sasha Miftakhova in Year 13 who painted this beautiful mural on the stairway. Sasha, who is an A* Art student hopes to inspire upcoming young artists in school to take up A Level Art.

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Gemma Caines

Head of Sixth Form
[email protected]

My name is Gemma and I work with the older students at HeadStart, helping them prepare for their university applications and get ready for A Levels and BTEC courses. I grew up by the seaside in the North West of England, so I enjoy Phuket life and always being close to the sea. I studied History at Cambridge University, before gaining my Masters from Sussex University. I’ve been teaching since 1997, which makes me feel very old, but working with Sixth Formers 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 selecting and going to university, especially in unfamiliar countries, is both exciting and nerve-wracking. I’m there to try and make the transition as smooth as possible. 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 with a fantastic team on Child Protection and Safeguarding here at school. 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.


Sixth Form Update

Year 12 and 13 have been working very hard this week sitting their mock examinations, well done to them all for conducting themselves calmly and professionally and good luck with the results! As a reminder about why it all matters, Year 13s continue to be motivated to meet the challenge of examinations by getting fantastic university offers.

Special mention this week to the following students for having their achievements recognised by universities around the world:

Our first acceptances from the Netherlands and Canada are in - well done to Andrea for being admitted to the highly competitive and prestigious PPLE (Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics) programme at Amsterdam, and to Maeva for her (very early!) admittance to York University to study Literature. Also congratulations to more UK applicants, including Jenny who has had her application for Business Management taken up very quickly by the universities of York, Birmingham and Lancaster, and to May who has been accepted to study Fashion Design at Manchester Metropolitan University on the basis of her personal statement alone. Lastly we wish the best of luck to our Head Boy, Marco, as he gets ready to attend his interview for Medicine at Imperial College London. We are very proud of all our students, their hard work and their diverse and impressive achievements.

For students and families interested in University study in Australia: next week, on Thursday 7th March, HeadStart will be attending the Australian Alumni Education Expo and Networking event at Novotel Phuket Phokeethra. Parents are welcome to attend independently - the event runs from 1:00 until 5:00pm, details and registration can be done using the link below although drop ins are welcome! Parents can contact Ms Caines if they would like to know more.

Registration https://goo.gl/forms/RsfpTACgsSlTo21v2

House News

On the 15th of February years 3, 4, 5 and 6 students took part in the one of the biggest House competitions of the year, Sports Day. In the weeks running up to the event, the children worked very hard in their PE lessons to develop their skills and refine their techniques to prepare for the different events. This year, the students started their day taking part in 5 traditional events which included the 100m or 60m sprint, shot put, javelin, long jump and the long distance run. Then after break, the students competed in ‘wacky races’ such as the space hopper relay and the hugely popular tug of war. All the children worked very hard to perform to their best and made the teachers very proud. It was a very close competition but it was the Yellow Cheetahs who scored the most points and became the 2019 Key Stage 2 Sport Day champions. Well done to everyone who took part and thank you to all the parents who came to support.

A full album of both days can be found on the HeadStart Facebook Page

Here are the current House Point totals:

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