02 Sep 2019
Weekly5 months ago

Weekly Update #2, 6 September, 2019

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
7-8 September All day CAPA Academy weekend rehearsal TBA
10 September 8:30-9:30am Introduction to Foundation Meeting Secondary Hall
12 September All day “Are you OK?” day In school
12 September 8:15am Coffee With the Counsellors Secondary Hall
12 September 8:00am UPrep Meeting: How HeadStart Supports Applications Secondary Hall
13 September All day Roald Dahl: Year 7 Dress up  
16 September After school Free & Paid ASPs begin After school
17 September 8:30am Homework/Bug Club/Diagnostic Question Meeting Secondary Hall
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

Introduction to Foundation Meeting Invitation

We would like to invite you to attend a meeting on Tuesday 10th September in the Secondary Hall at 08:30-09:30. Ms Hannah, Deputy Head of Foundation will present an introduction to Foundation School and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). We will cover the framework, expectations, communication, information about how we wish to work with you as parents and offer an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have. We hope to see you there.

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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.

UPrep Meeting Invitation

The world of university applications never stands still so we are delighted to be starting our new UPrep programme on Thursday 12th September at 8:00am. Having got information from parents and students, we have a new programme that consists of favourite topics from last year, more information about key questions and some completely new sessions. The programme is available by clicking HERE.

Please note, to try and make these talks as useful and accessible as possible, we will be alternating our programme between formal scheduled presentations and informal drop ins in the school Cafe. Hopefully parents can plan their schedule and attend those talks which are most relevant to them, and can use the drop in sessions for those “unplanned” questions or specific queries that pop up.

The first session on Thursday, the 12th of September, will be talking about how HeadStart supports applications, and we will be launching the portal of our new online university and careers partner - Unifrog! This is a huge free resource for parents to use and helpful for young people of a variety of ages. Do come along and find out how you can use it and how it might benefit you and your child!

If you have any questions about the UPrep programme or would like to book an appointment please do contact Gemma Caines, Head of Sixth Form on [email protected] or Kru Gem, our University Placement Officer on [email protected] for more details.

Instrumental lessons

This year we will have the following individual instrumental lessons on offer for children from age 5: piano, voice, saxophone, clarinet, flute, drums and guitar (from age 7). For more information contact [email protected].

Coffee With the Counsellors Invitation

As part of R U OK? Day, we welcome all parents and carers to the HeadStart ‘Coffee with the Counsellors’ morning, to meet our school counsellors on Thursday September 12th 2019. Learn more about the student support service and how we can support students express their thoughts, talk through their actions and work through emotions.

HeadStart will offer a series of ‘Coffees with our Counsellors’ this year, where you will have an opportunity to meet with different members of the Student Support Team. Our first being a “Meet and Greet”, along with time for any questions you might have. We will tell you about our parenting courses, information about where to find resources and hear about activities in student services.

The meeting provides parents with a safe and welcoming setting to ask questions and provide ideas about parenting topics, student emotional well-being and issues a student may take home with them.

  • Location: Drama/Dance Studio on the 4th Floor
  • Foundation and Primary Parents: 8.15am - 8.45am
  • Secondary Parents: 9.10am - 9.40am

Lost and Found Reminder and Policy

Here’s a reminder to regularly check the Lost and Found cabinet in the Nurse’s office for items that your child may have left behind. At the moment there is a large number of unlabeled HeadStart water bottles waiting to be collected. Often, if an item is labeled, the nurses on duty will help to find the owner of the item so make an effort this weekend to label all of your belongings. You should also be aware that items not collected by Monday are given to charity. So don’t delay, check for lost items right away!

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Ellie Leamon

[email protected]

My name is Ellie Leamon and I am originally from South-East London in the UK. I studied Biology, Chemistry and PE at A-level and then went on to graduate with a Biology Degree from Sussex University. The main areas I studied during my degree were conservation, genetics and marine sciences for which I won an award as a result of my dissertation thesis for conservation and ecology. As a result of my love for field science, travelling and exploring new places and cultures I have always tried to work in different places around the world; working in Indonesia studying fish physiology for my dissertation, in Portugal studying sand dune ecology and most recently I worked in the Honduran rainforest as a schools co-ordinator teaching field survey techniques to A-level and college students from around the world. Shortly after finishing my degree I decided that I wanted to work with young people permanently and share my passion for science. The thought of potentially inspiring a new generation of scientists in these technological and scientifically advancing times being a very exciting prospect. I completed a school direct PGCE at St Mary’s University Twickenham and completed my NQT with my placement school, during which I was appointed SEN link for the science department as a result of my work with students with learning difficulties. I fully believe that every student is capable of achieving and exceeding expectations if given the motivation, encouragement and the specific tools they need as individuals. Science is crucial for young people to understand the way in which the world works around them and my primary aim as a teacher is to encourage children’s natural curiosity for this and create self-sufficient, confident students that have the knowledge and skills in which to engage with the interesting world that surrounds them. Outside of teaching I enjoy hiking, diving and photography. Last year I really enjoyed getting to know all of the talented HeadStart students and working as a part of the brilliant HeadStart team as well as living on beautiful Phuket. I look forward to continuing to work hard with the students and helping them to achieve everything they are capable of.

Biology Field Trip Meeting Invitation

This year Headstart is very excited to announce the fantastic opportunity to take part in a unique Biology field trip, studying the rainforests and coral reefs of Indonesia. This field trip is aimed at students from Year 10 to Year 13, who have a passion for the sciences, geography, wildlife or the environment. The trip starts with one week in the heart of the Indonesian Rainforest completing a jungle skills course and working with highly trained scientists to complete butterfly, reptile, mammal, bird and amphibian surveys. The second week takes us to pristine coral reefs where the students will gain their PADI dive qualification and take part in a reef ecology survey techniques course. In addition to this students will be facilitated by the scientists and Miss Leamon in completing their own independent research project, using the data they collect in the rainforest or at the marine site.

This experience is not one to be missed and in addition to the fantastic scientific skills to be gained it would look fantastic on university and job applications. If you are interested in joining the expedition then please come along to a meeting for parents and students on the 12th of September at 4:30pm in the Secondary Hall.

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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.

Maths Homework Programme–NEW!

This term, HeadStart Primary will be piloting an exciting new maths homework platform that we think will be an improvement on the MyiMaths platform that we have been using in the past. Diagnostic Questions is a homework and assessment tool that we feel is a much better fit for the maths curriculum we deliver at HeadStart Primary.

Your child’s Homeroom teacher will be sending you details of how you can create a Diagnostic Questions log in for your child. We have also created a video to help guide you through the easy steps it takes to create your child’s user name and password. Click HERE to watch the video tutorial.

We have decided that parents should create the pupil user names as the registration process requires an email address; which not all our pupils have due to their age. Once you have registered your child, you will be able to enter a class code which will give your child access to the maths homework that has been set by our Homeroom teachers. If you have problems with creating your child’s log in, or issues with accessing the Diagnostic Questions homework set for your child then please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Homeroom teacher.

Meeting Invitation: I will be hosting a parent meeting regarding homework, Bug Club and our Diagnostic Questions pilot, on Tuesday, 17th September at 8.30am in the Secondary Hall.

Year 7 Roald Dahl Dress Up Day

‘Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it’. (The Minpins, Roald Dahl)

Friday 13th September marks the annual Roald Dahl Day; a time to celebrate the British author who has enchanted children for decades with his beloved stories and unforgettable characters. As Year 7 are studying Dahl this term, they will joining in the festivities by partaking in a special Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed activity and some students will be performing extracts of his most famous works in assembly.

Next Friday at HeadStart, we invite all Year 7 to come to school dressed as their favourite Roald Dahl character and join us in celebrating this momentous literary figure.

Sports Department News

Academy News

On Monday, 2nd September the academy players and parents were invited to our first official pre-season academy meeting. During the presentation both head coaches talked about their sports and coaching backgrounds and set all their players and parents expectations for the coming year. Then everyone handed in their contracts to their coaches and they were officially welcomed into the academy. Any players who have yet to hand their contracts in must do so ASAP.

Foundation, EY & Reception PE and Swimming lessons are well on their way. Here are some of the things they have been up to this week…

Football News

This week and the week commencing 9th September, boys and girls training will start at 3.30 and finish at 5.00pm (except on Fridays, 3.00 - 4.30). We welcome Coach Game and Coach Chai Fitness to the team as 2019 sees the introduction of a conditioning session added to the programme.

On Saturday 7th September, our under 9s team will play a fixture against Wattepnimit School, kicking off at 9.00am and finishing at 10.00am. Our under 11 boys will play an internal friendly. Both games are here at HeadStart.

Soccer Circus continues this Saturday and the Goalkeeping Academy starts on 21st September at 12.00pm.

Student News

Reception have had a great week learning how to form letters and numbers correctly. They have practiced mark making with new equipment and had fun talking and working with their friends. By Ms Candice and Ms Milly

Year 1 Russian students are having fun learning the letters. By Ms Alina Plakova

Year 2 students in the ‘Thai First Language’ class started their second week of lessons with reading words using the vowels ‘a’ (สระอา) and ‘i’ (สระอี). By Kru Way

For the past two weeks the year 7 cohort have been doing their Introductory Unit in Science, where they learn how to use the apparatus in science safely and plan and carry out their own investigations. All students have demonstrated their ability to be very sensible in the science lab and plan and execute their experiment safely, and too a high standard. Here the students asked the question of ‘Which heats up faster, salt water or fresh water”. The year 7 students have successfully passed the course and will be receiving certificates in their lessons next week. Well done year 7’s! Science Department

This week the year 10’s have been learning about the organelles of animal and plant cells and how to use the microscope in their Biology lessons. The students took samples of their own cheek cells using cotton buds and a methylene blue pigment, and using their new microscope skills, were able to locate their cells and identify the nucleus and the cell membrane. The Year 10’s have been working really hard and have gotten off to a brilliant start to the year. Keep it up! By Miss Leamon

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Kirstie Melville

[email protected]

Hello my name is Kirstie Melville and I am from Salisbury in the UK. I was fortunate enough to start my career as Head of Girls games at a prep school in Salisbury. I took on many other roles during this time including, House Co-coordinator and Boarding House assistant. I loved prep school life, but there was always something pulling me towards teaching internationally. After 9 years in the UK I felt ready to challenge myself further and took a position in the UAE teaching Junior PE followed by my current role as Junior PE teacher and House Co-coordinator in 2019. I love that PE allows students the opportunity to participate in a range of sports and I hold passion and enthusiasm for all popular sports. It is my belief that through sport, each pupil can be outstanding at something and successful on many different levels. Physical success is important, but I believe that through sport many lifelong lessons and values can be taught and this is something that is central to my teaching ethos in this subject. Outside of school Netball is my first love, but I also enjoy running and cycling. Taking part in these activities throughout my life has kept me healthy, motivated and positive and I am looking forward to sharing these passions with the students at HeadStart.

House News

The primary house activities have kicked off this week with students taking part in some novelty races. They’ve crawled , skipped, space hopped, leap frogged their way to scoring points for their houses. The Red Phoenixes were out in force and demonstrated the best participation in the races. The activities are at lunchtimes on Mondays (Y4-6) and Wednesdays (Y1-3).

The new House Captains are doing a fantastic job organising the students and encouraging others to come and join in. They are working hard on their producing their quizzes ready for the weekly house quiz to start next week.

Minimising food waste is very important here at HeadStart and we are continuing with our ‘Weigh your Waste’ competition on Fridays. The Blue Tigers have started the competition off in first place. Can they keep it up?!

Finally, a special request - If you have any empty Pringle pots that need recycling please bring them down to the PE office where they will be used for an exciting House Activity.

Here are the house point standings…Current House Points

Around the Island

We are so happy to announce that tickets to [email protected] are now available online at http://tiny.cc/tedxyouthmaikhao Only a limited number of tickets are available - so do yourself a favour and get one now!

The selected speakers at [email protected] an independently organised event derived from TED- will unveil to you talks that revolve around our theme of ‘Below the Surface’. We coexist in a chaotic yet elegant world, yet we take things for granted, without taking note of what happens around us in our rapidly innovative world. Join us in diving into the undiscovered and to explore the hidden parts of our society.

For more information go to our website: TEDx Mai Khao

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