Weekly Update #7, 5 October 2018
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
|5-6 October||All day||Thanyapura Super Sprint||Thanyapura|
|6-7 October||All day||DofE Silver Sailing Training Group 1||Phuket Yacht Club, Chalong|
|10 October||3:30pm||Year 7 PTC||Secondary Hall|
|8-12 October||All week||P.E. Faculty Week||In school|
|15-22 October||All week||Mid-term Break|
|22 October||All day||Teacher Training (INSET)||In school|
|23 October||8:00am||Students back in school|
|24 October||TBA||Wai Kru Ceremony for KS2 & Secondary||Sports Hall|
|25 October||TBA||Wai Kru Ceremony for EYFS & KS1||Sports Hall|
HeadStart: soon to be 80% Solar Powered!
The installation of our solar arrays is now complete and we will soon be switching to clean energy. Once up and running, our new system will generate about 800,000 Kilowatt hours of electricity per year. This means that the clean solar power generated by our system will be equal to avoiding emissions of 600,000 kilograms of Carbon Dioxide per year. This is the same as reducing the carbon emissions of 1,459,249 miles driven by passenger cars in one year or equal to the emissions of 65 family homes in one year. If you would like more information on how you can go solar contact the team at Phuket Solar by clicking HERE
Next Week Dress Code–Please Note
Next week there will be a lot of important events at school, therefore we ask for parent’s participation in helping your child to wear the appropriate clothing on the right day. Due to the fact that the Vegetarian Festival is unique to Phuket, we invite students and staff to wear white clothing for the onset of the festival. Students will learn about the Vegetarian Festival in Thai class and have access to multiple vegetarian options, along with the regular menu at lunch time. On Wednesday and Thursday, an array of physical activities have been organised for the students as it is P.E. Faculty Week with an exciting ‘World Cup’ theme. It is advisable for student to come in House shirts and P.E. kit shorts as they will be off timetable in order to engage in sports activities. Next Friday marks the two year anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej’s passing. The Thai department has prepared a ceremony of remembrance for the afternoon assembly. We require the students to dress in regular school uniform.
- Tuesday, 9 October–Optional dress in white for the Vegetarian Festival.
- Wednesday, 10 October–Foundation, Year 1-2, Secondary wear House shirts and P.E. shorts.
- Thursday, 11 October–Year 3-6 wear House shirts and P.E. shorts.
- Friday, 12 October–All students and staff dress in regular school uniform and bring P.E. kit in bag to change into.
Year 11 iGCSE Drama Presentation Invitation
Year 11 iGCSE Drama students will perform two pieces of their coursework on Thursday 11th October in the exam room at 5.30pm. These pieces will count towards at least 35% of their final grade. You will see monologues from classics such as Medea, Saint Joan and The Matchmaker and modern pieces taken from Bombshells, Blackrock and Frankenstein. They will also perform two group performances from Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party and Evan Placey’s Girls Like That. Please join us in the exam room to support our Drama students. By Ms Hayley Milner
Mr Richard Lukats is the Athletics Director at Headstart International School. Richard has over twenty years’ experience of working in schools both internationally and in the United Kingdom. He has been a senior school administrator (Athletics Director, Principal/Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher/Principal and Assistant Headteacher) for the past 18 years internationally and in the UK. He is a UK qualified teacher (Post Graduate of Education, PGCE) and holds the UK qualification to be a Headteacher (National Professional Qualification for Headship, NPQH). At Headstart International School, Richard is responsible for leading the overall strategic direction, operational effectiveness and administration of the school’s sports and activities programme, alongside managing the PE Department. He is passionate, about the role sport and physical activity plays in the development of young people and he is looking to further developing the already excellent programme that is on offer at Headstart. He is always looking at ways of working with all members of the Headstart Community to further enhance the opportunities for participation in physical activities for everyone.
Active Learning in Year 7, 8 & 9
By Mr Richard Lukats, Academic Director
At HeadStart we are so proud of the many things that we do at school to enrich the experiences your children get on a daily basis. Active Learning is one particular programme that our Year 7, 8 & 9 Students are involved in that ‘inspires a love of learning’. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:10am to 9:10am, Year 7, 8 & 9 Students are involved in two Active Learning sessions and one Core Physical Education session. The idea behind these sessions are two fold;
1.) To give students a real desire to be engaged and active first thing in the morning. Research shows that students who are engaged in activities where they feel they have some degree of choice, in what and how they do it, are more motivated to learn and succeed. This also has a knock on effect for the rest of the day and their other lessons as research shows being active effects the way the brain works (neuro-science), in a positive way, for long periods after a person has been active.
2.) To give students an opportunity to engage in activities that they choose and where they can help shape the direction of their learning. This is important as it gives students an opportunity to exercise independence and take responsibility for their learning, thus students should feel more comfortable in taking risks with their learning and therefore make greater progress.
How does it work?
For the Academic Year 2018/19, students will be changing activity approximately every half term. Students are given a list of activities (examples below) that they choose from, some of which students have themselves have asked for. They then complete a slip on which they record their choices in priority order. The Active Learning Team then try to place students in the activities they have chosen. Most of the time a student will get their first choice but sometimes they may need to do their second or third choice. Students who do not get their first choice for one activity block will normally get their first choice for the next one. It is important to note that the choosing of the activities is done by the student and therefore teachers and parents do not place students in an activity.
Active Learning Options: Screen Printing, Sewing, Design & Technology, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Dance, Drama, Football and Fitness.
Active Learning is a great way for our students in Year 7, 8 & 9 to start the day three times a week, doing something they like without the pressure of formal assessment and where they choose the direction they want to take. If you would like to know more or have any questions please contact Ms Fabienne Mester, our Active Learning Coordinator, who will be happy to talk to you about the programme.
My name is James and I am now entering my fifth year working at HeadStart International School. I am from the UK and grew up in the southeast in a small town called Ashford. I studied at Nottingham Trent University, gaining a degree in Business and Computing for Sciences. I returned to University in 2010 to complete my PGCE in Secondary ICT. I remained in Nottingham and taught to a wide range of children from varying backgrounds and ethnicities in a successful inner city school for two years prior to my move to Thailand. I am a great believer in personal learning and in providing students with opportunities to flourish both inside and outside of the classroom. When students enter my classroom they are encouraged to explore the subject for themselves, using past experiences in the knowledge that they are in a secure learning environment. I believe passionately in getting to know the individual personality of my students and strive to allow them to express themselves in the most creative and innovative ways possible. I am also committed to creating a safe and challenging learning environment where all students are part of a positive-learning experience. I am looking forward to getting started this academic year at the school continuing in my role as deputy head of secondary and hope to build on the successes already present in the school and continue to develop an inclusive learning environment.
Secondary Students on Motorbikes
This is to remind those of you who had children of ‘driving age’ with us last year, and those who are new to the school, of the schools policy on students using motorized vehicles to come to school.
Students are permitted to come to school via their own transportation and park on the school premises provided they are of legal age and hold the appropriate document to ride / drive said vehicle. Students must follow the stated guidelines in the Secondary Parent and Student Handbook in order to retain this privilege.
Students are permitted to bring / use their own vehicle provided they have the following documentation as required by Thai law:
- A full Thai Driving Licence appropriate for the use of their vehicle
- Valid insurance and tax for said vehicle
- Appropriate safety equipment such as helmets for motorcycles.
It is the responsibility of you as parents to ensure that your child has all the necessary valid documentation and licences to use their vehicle to commute between their residence and school.
When students drive / ride their vehicle onto school premises, they must ensure they are courteous, driving / riding respectfully and safely and wearing the appropriate attire. If a student is found not to be following these instructions, they will no longer be permitted to park their vehicle on the school premises. This would need to be parked outside of the school gates at their own risk (as per the Parent and Student Handbook on the school website).
In such events, you as their parent will be contacted to inform you of this decision. If you have any questions about this please do not hesitate to contact the school office who will be able to assist with any inquiry.
Orchestra Invitation To Secondary Every Thursday from 4.30-6.00pm
Do you play an instrument and read music? Would you like to make music with other people? Then come to orchestra. We play a variety of styles and you can choose some of the songs that we work on. This half term we have been playing:
- The Cranberries, Zombie
- The Eagles, Hotel California
- Guns and Roses, Sweet Child of Mine
If you have any questions email Miss Holmes [email protected] or find me in Music Room 1. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Just to update parents and students that this year that we will not be celebrating Halloween in school. The reason for this is that we have decided to give a few of the regular events a break and focus on a few new events this year. More specifically, we would like to replace our Halloween dress up with a casual clothes day in term 1 for charity. News regarding this concept will be announced shortly. Although students may find this disappointing we would like to recommend Secondary students to look out for the fantastic Halloween party that will be organised at the Ice Arena in Boat Lagoon. You can find regular updates on their page regarding events by clicking on their Facebook page Ice Arena Facebook page or visit the Ice Arena Website Here!
Foundation Department News
Foundation Settling In Meetings
A big thank you to all the parents who popped in for our Settling In Meetings this week. It was lovely to see and chat to so many parents and hear so many positive comments about how happy the children are at school and enjoying all the lessons with their teachers.
Play and Learning
This week I have been going in to all the classes and have seen some fantastic activities, structured and free flow play in action and all of the children having so much fun while learning. Play really is serious stuff at this young age. It is a time to make sense of the world and put learning into practice. A big thank you to our Homeroom teachers who ensure their classrooms and lessons inspire a love of learning and play every day.
Our Foundation Playground is open and available for you to enjoy after school. However we do ask parents to keep a close eye on their children, supervise them at all times and make sure the toys are put away before you leave.
Thank you for your continued support; wishing all our families a super, restful weekend.
Stars of the Week
A big well done to Yasmin, Emelie, Gail, Lambor and Fynn for all their hard work this week and receiving the Star of the Week award. Also a big well done to Reception Blue who put on a mini presentation and sang a wonderful song, ‘Slippery Fish’ for their mums and dads in this week’s assembly.
My name is David Pollicutt and I joined HeadStart International School in 2018. I am from the UK and grew up in the large port city of Bristol. I studied English Literature at the University of East Anglia, and trained to teach at The Institute of Education in The University of London. I taught in East London for four years, before moving to teach for eight years as Head of English in Viet Nam and China. I am a firm believer in developing students to be natural enquirers, following the Sir Ken Robinson model of best preparing students to use transferable skills for the shifting landscapes of their futures. I seek to encourage an epistemological approach in my lessons, urging students to evaluate the efficacy of the information they consume and the validity of interpretations. I am passionate about literature and will often be chortling at David Lodge’s tragicomedy or swooning at Ian Mcewan’s literary sleight of hand. Outside of the classroom I am a keen student of Philosophy, Politics and Psychology. I am a particular fan of the intellect and charisma exuded by Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris and the late and much missed Christopher Hitchens. I have a terminal case of devotion to Tottenham Hotspsur Football Club; it teaches me patience and humility.
Children and Homework
The nagging, the battles, the lost sheets of paper. Do you dread homework as much as students?
Change your philosophy towards working at home; don’t think you Kant do it!
If you’re expecting tips and tricks from this article, I am afraid you will be disappointed. I am sure you know lots of things about the importance of clear work spaces, well-lit space, lots of plants, a clean work area, sharpened pencils and so on. This is not, primarily, what I will be talking about. There will be a little of that at end, but most of this, I assume that most of us as teachers, students and parents, will already know. Instead, I would like to share with you some of my views about homework and learning; views which are largely informed by empirical research.
I’d like to talk firstly about homework, if you type ‘homework’ into Google Images, this is the sort of thing you will find- these images are both genuine and ubiquitous in slightly varying forms:
Homework is something we all did it ourselves at school. And as such, too often the overriding view about it is that it is a chore. Tedious. A battle. It’s largely a solitary activity. Unfortunately, this is a too common and enduring view. Many parents have that view about homework as they had that same view themselves. However, things have changed and developed for the better. Nevertheless, the key overriding question remains from both students and parents: WHY? What is homework for? Is it to keep children occupied in evenings? Is it to deprive them of sleep? Is it punish children? Is it to give you (parents) free time? Clearly it’s not any of these things. Yet as a result of these questions, there remains this view is that homework is something which children try to get out of doing.
This is not how homework should be or how students should be viewing it. I am not saying that at HeadStart we have struck exactly the right balance yet, not by any means, but what we are aspiring to is the capacity to learn better in the future; to apply skills independently in different contexts which students have acquired in class; to learn to be resilient.
Indeed, what homework should be about is learning- and, when done properly, various studies have shown it to be HIGHLY effective. Professor John Hattie is an Australian academic who has produced a multi-variant meta analysis of the effectiveness of many practices in over a period of many years. The ‘common language effect’ (CLE) compares effects from different distributions. For homework a d= 0.29 effect translates into a 21% chance that homework will make a positive difference. Or, from two classes, 21 times out of a 100, using homework will be more effective. Hattie then says that terms such as ‘small, medium and large’ need to be used with caution in respect of effect size. He cites Cohen as suggesting with reason that 0.2 is small, 0.4 is medium and 0.6 is large and later argues himself that we need a hinge-point where d > 0.4 is needed for an effect to be above average and d > 0.6 to be considered excellent.
The studies show that the effect size for Secondary students it is d = 0.64! On this basis, homework for secondary students has an ‘excellent’ effect!
There is some variance on the research, but effective homework can have equivalent of 5 months extra progress on child’s schooling, measured on looking at students starting points and progress made in effective schools. So it’s worth doing and worth doing well. It’s worth having parents supporting our purposes. Effectively. Efficiently. And avoiding arguments home.
So from this, I would like to talk a little about learning; how can we learn as best as possible? No, as aforementioned, it’s not really about sharp pencils; it’s about two things: the affective and the cognitive.
Affective= emotions associated with learning.
Cognitive= learning itself and how the brain grows and learns and remembers.
These two things are how we as parents can help, and knowing about these can also help students help themselves, both now and at university. Affective- like any emotion, the affective response can be learnt, can be changed, can be heavily influenced by parents and can be embedded over time. Parents, you have a big influence on how homework perceived. One emotion associated with an unfamiliar situation is stress. It’s normal. It’s even healthy. An unfamiliar situation means learning. If it’s not unfamiliar, it’s not learning.
In a child’s brain- the pre-frontal cortex is still developing. This is the section which controls emotions. It doesn’t finish until the early 20s. However, what’s developing far more rapidly and hits peak in Secondary schooling is the amygdala- the ‘reptilian’ part of the mind, located deep inside the brain. It is growing so quickly during puberty it fires off all these emotions which the child cannot control. This is why the sort of temper tantrums you see in a 2 year old resurface at the age of 14 and last all the way up to the age of 18. It happens more in boys. The pre-frontal cortex, the section which manages emotions grows faster in girls than it does in boys.
Any of you involved in management or leadership roles or who are familiar with Daniel Goleman’s work on emotional intelligence will know this already: stressful, unfamiliar situations, not knowing what to do, will fire off this amygdala, flood the brain with cortisol and all sorts of stress hormones. This happens deliberately - the blood vessels are opened to increase oxygen so you can learn and you can know what to do. However, in children it THE AMYGDALA, IS OUT OF CONTROL!
So let me give you a scenario. Your child comes home after school, maybe they’ve done an ASP. They are tired. Hungry. Then you say, ‘right now you have to sit down and do your homework!’
You get a negative reaction.
The chemicals that flood the brain triggered by the amygdala, take about 20 minutes to leave. Therefore, there is absolutely no point if child has a bit of tantrum about homework saying ‘come on, settle down, get on with it’ You are appealing to their pre-frontal cortex, which, as we know is not yet developed and won’t be until mid-20s. You are fighting a losing battle so wait and calm down. So to help affective skills- 3 simple rules:
- Be positive
- Be interested (‘The Granny Cloud’- do not ‘hover’ over them)
- Give time for frustrations to work through.
Next week I will be discussing the cognitive in relation to learning, and how you can help your child establish good routines with this.
My name is Nick Carter and I am from Kent, in the UK. I came to Thailand in 2015, after 6 years of living and teaching P.E. in Stockholm, Sweden (where it snows for six months of the year!). So, it is fair to say that, I was ready for a completely different climate change, as well as cultural change. My sporting background is very diverse. I grew up with a passion for playing football, but later, in my teens, I discovered baseball. I made my debut for the Great Britain national baseball squad at the age of 18 and played with the squad for the next 14 years. I also trained as a professional contemporary dancer and toured nationally and internationally for 7 years in numerous dance companies. Although I have many other sporting interests, I want to make it clear that P.E. teachers are not just whistle blowing, basketball bouncing individuals, as I released my first fictional novel (in June, 2015). However, participating in sport, physical activity, and leading a healthy lifestyle are very important to me, and I’ve enjoyed imparting my knowledge in teaching and coaching environments for over 20 years. I am delighted to be HeadStart’s Director of Sport and my fundamental aims are for our students to continue to experience a really diverse range of physical activities, all the while having loads of fun through being active. For example, HeadStart pupils will participate in the following sports activities in either curriculum time or in our fantastic After School Sports programme -Basketball, Netball, Football, Rugby, Athletics, Swimming, Badminton, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Softball, Rounders, Yoga, Dance, and Gymnastic activities (amongst others). If you have any questions, you can email me at – [email protected]
Sports Department News
The PISAC Football Development league continued last Saturday, 29th, and once again, all coaches have expressed how well the teams are doing.
The Under 13/15 girls played at HeadStart, and this was my first opportunity to see the girls in action. Firstly, we had so many players that we made two teams. HeadStart 1 (the younger girls) played the first game against HeadStart 2 (slightly older girls) and it was a closely contested game, with good communication, specifically in defense. Special mention goes to Jing Jing, Sonya, Sarah, Tess and Anna-Mali, who played with the younger team on the day, due to them being a player short.
The Development League concludes this coming Saturday, October 6th at the following locations and times:
- U9 boys and girls: 8:30-10:30am @ Thanyapura
- U11 boys and girls: 8:30-10:30am @ Thanyapura
- U13 boys: 8:30-10:30am @ Kajonkiet
- U13 and 15 girls: 8:30-9:30am @ HeadStart
- O15 boys: 10:30-12:30pm @ Thanyapura
PISAC X-Country Race News
32 HeadStart students traveled to BISP on Tuesday to compete in the PISAC X-Country race. The course was between 1-3 miles depending on the students age. Mr Lamprell and Miss Leamon traveled with the team, not only to cheer the students on, but also because they wanted to compete in the Over 15 / Adults 3 mile race. I am delighted to announce that they both finished in 2nd place! It was a fantastic event and HeadStart were awarded 3rd place in the overall team event. Here’s some honourable mentions (top 3 finishers):
- Under 9 Boys–Nathee - 3rd Place
- Under 13 Girls–Eva - 2nd Place
- Under 15 Boys–Matvey - 2nd Place
- Under 15 Boys–Innes - 3rd Place
- Under 15 Girls–Gemma - 3rd Place
This weekend 57 of the Aqua Panthers are heading up to Thanyapura for their annual Super Sprint Invitational! Last year our team placed first overall and we are looking to repeat our success! Super Sprint consists of mainly short races (25’s and 50’s), so expect to see a lot of speed this weekend! This competition is also the last opportunity for our swimmers to qualify for the Bangkok Patana meet in December. Super Sprint starts at 8:00 Saturday and Sunday. See you poolside! By Head Coach Zak Brown
Mid-term Break Camps
Don’t forget that Coach Carter and Coach JR are running camps this half-term break (Monday 15th - Thursday 18th October). Details can be viewed in the posters and you can sign up for Coach Carter’s Super Sports HERE
It’s an important life skill to learn how to swim. Our coaches are working hard to make sure all of the students at HeadStart are confident and safe in the water. Please support this important aspect of learning and send your child to school with the proper gear even if it is raining.
The library monitors and helpers are helping to checked out the books, shelve books in correct locations and tidy book shelves. By Ms Mai, Librarian
The Pre-School children have really enjoyed the ‘Transport’ topic this week. They have had lots of fun driving the yellow school bus, mark making with the cars and matching the shapes on the shape train. They have done lots of wonderful arts and crafts and even cleaned the dirty cars at the car wash. I have lots more exciting activities planned for next week! By Ms Danielle Jones
Early Years Blue have had a fantastic week learning all about healthy eating. We have sorted healthy food from treat food, painted using fruits and vegetables outside and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The children really enjoyed The Very Hungry Caterpillar. So much so, that they wanted to pretend to be it! We acted out the story and retold it using picture cards. The teachers were very impressed with how well all the children remembered each part! By Ms Holly Strawbridge
Reception blue dived right into our under the sea theme. We are starting to recognise the teen numbers and we went on a number hunt to find numbers and then we fed them to the shark. If you see any of the numbers 11-20, please point them out and see if your children can recognise them. Check the HeadStart Facebook page for a cute video of the children performing a song for their mums and dads on their Friday assembly. By Ms Candice
Year 1 and 2 are learning to read and write in Russian. The students are also exploring different Russian cursive styles. By Ms Alina Platkova
This week we have started a new topic all about ‘Under the Sea’. The children have loved using our underwater themed role play area and pretending to go into the yellow submarine to look at all the colourful creatures! In Maths we have been practicing number recognition and adding two numbers together using fish and other sea creatures. In Literacy we read ‘The Rainbow Fish’ and ‘Sharing a Shell’ and we have made lots of beautiful crafts as well as drawing our favourite sea creatures and practicing the phrase ‘I like’. It has been ‘a whale of time’ in Reception yellow this week! By Ms Hannah Kuusik
In Year 1 we did a listening hunt! We made huge ears and went exploring to see what we could hear. By Ms Lucy Bevins
In Year 4 White, we finished decorating our Celtic torcs and our masterpieces are now proudly on display for all to see. By Ms Jen Rapkins
In Year 4 White, we used our researching skills to find out more about invertebrates. Working in small groups, we had different creatures to investigate and took notes ready to produce a factfile display. By Ms Jen Rapkins
Year 4 students had fun learning new words through the vocabulary hat. By Kru Pim
Year 6 students have been reviewing words with the vowel a (สระอา) through a fun bingo game. By Kru Dia
Here is some artwork by Sasha Miftakhova in Year 13. Amazing artist copy and development of the style from her own photographs! By Ms Samantha Gill
Continuing on from the healthy living theme, this week the student took part in different fitness challenges including skipping, sit-ups, the plank and frog jumps. This was very popular with the students, especially the plank challenge where Payut Ammatariyakul (Namo) from year 6 achieved a hugely impressive score of 10 minutes and 14 seconds. The current house point totals are:
Around the Island
Melbourne Cup 2018 Brunch
On Tuesday 6th November watch The Race That Stops A Nation at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort. From 9am to 2pm enjoy this elegant fundraiser with five hours of free flow food and beverages, The Pavilions Fashions on the Field, amazing prizes and much more.