FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 103
As many of you reading this will know, my family and I left Malaysia for a short while to work elsewhere. Our departure made us reflect on what we were leaving behind and really demonstrated to us what a special place Epsom College in Malaysia is. It forced us to reflect on our core values, our principles and our purpose.
Malaysia is a beautiful country with sunshine every day. Its diverse, vibrant culture is enchanting and its people could not have made us more welcome. It is inclusive, cosmopolitan, international and friendly. We consider it our home and are delighted to be back where we feel we belong. Epsom’s ethos and the vision of its founders resonate with ours and for this reason I am delighted to have been afforded this opportunity to lead this special school.
Living away, as I said, made us reflect on the fact that, while we are all different – we come from different countries with different cultures, foods, dress, languages – we also share many important similarities – we all want the best for our children – we want them to have the best possible chance at the best possible future. We aspire for them to be inquirers who question and are not easily led, knowledgeable communicators, principled and kind, open-minded, balanced and well prepared for the future. We want our children to be able to enter any room with confidence – confident in their ability, in their knowledge and self.
Education is, as the saying goes, the greatest tool we have to change the world. My parents wanted better for me, they struggled to make sure that I had access to the best possible education. This has opened doors and opportunities of which my parents could never have dreamt.
To be afforded the opportunity to lead this wonderful school and its team of committed and talented staff is both a great privilege as well as a serious responsibility. There will, no doubt, be challenges – especially with Covid-19 and the ongoing restrictions. However, thanks to education we have developed effective vaccines in record time. The end of the pandemic may be in sight and better times ahead.
I am committed to building on the excellent work of Dr Tod, every one of us, as I said wants the best for our children. As Headmaster, I am committed to making Epsom the best that it can be for our children.
Mr Matthew Brown
January brings the start of the new calendar year and our students return to the College re-energised and aspiring to stick to their New Year’s resolutions of working harder and studying more! However, our Year 11 and Year 13 students also know that the New Year brings the promise of trial examinations (and real science examinations for most of Year 13).
These trial exams are an opportunity for our students to test what they know and how they are progressing in all their subjects as well as practising how to conduct themselves during the official examinations in the summer. The introduction of the MCO on 13th January resulted in the dates of the Year 11 trial exams being moved back by a week to ensure all students were fully prepared and that no student was at a disadvantage. COVID-19 meant this year brought the additional challenges of online students sitting trial exams. The majority of our students sat their exams in the Examination Hall as normal, conducting themselves faultlessly during the stressful two weeks of exams. At the same time, a small number of students appeared on Google Meets to complete their exams online. Some students were attending from as far away as Indonesia, Japan and Morocco. These students tackled their exams with the resilience that we have now come to expect from Epsom students.
Equally impressive were the Year 13 science students who sat their IAL modular exams at the beginning of January. With the announcement of UK based exams being cancelled these may be the only official exams these students sit this year but yet again our students rose to the challenge and performed very well in their exams, they will now have to wait patiently until March for their results.
All in all, our students performed admirably during the trial and real exams. There were some late-night study sessions, final cramming of notes and some mentally tired students by the last exam, however, the Year 11 and Year 13 students will be stronger and better prepared because of this experience.
Mr James Brewer
Deputy Head (Academic)
Mathematics Competition Time
Epsom College in Malaysia has adapted to online learning and we are looking to further enhance the learning experience of students studying mathematics.
The College was already prepared for online learning with three digital learning platforms: Myimaths, Integral Maths and Pearson Active Learn. Myimaths allows students to have access to online lessons 24 hours a day, also students can search the site for any topic and choose to learn whatever they need. The Integral Maths platform allows the A-level students to access extra materials beyond their textbooks online and provides additional practice work for students to try.
In previous years Epsom students have sat tests for international mathematics competitions such as Kangaroo Math Competition (KMO) . The MCO and Covid-19 SoPs prevent us from having all students on site in classrooms at the moment. Epsom is now looking at online mathematics competitions. Competitions allow students to expand their knowledge and the breadth of their understanding of mathematics, particularly in the aspect of applying mathematics to new and novel scenarios. To begin with, the first competition will be in-house, exemplar work. The goal is to create an explanation of any concept, with particular attention to original use of colour, drawing, visuals and non-standard setting out that enhances understanding.
Epsom continues to explore innovative ways to enhance and optimise the learning experience of our students.
Mr Simon Hose
Head of Mathematics
Explore Beyond the Curriculum at A-Level with the EPQ
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) allows students, with appropriate supervision, to choose an area of interest and carry out a plan, complete research and an essay, as well as deliver a presentation to a non-specialist audience. Throughout the project, students apply a range of organisational skills and strategies in order to meet agreed objectives. The EPQ is a great opportunity for students to build essential skills that may be referenced in their university application. This includes solving problems, making decisions, thinking critically, creatively and flexibly while achieving planned outcomes.
At Epsom, students benefit from highly personalised weekly tutor sessions in small groups. Additionally, this term, as Head of EPQ, I met with each student for extra support sessions. This was a great opportunity for students to share their progress and enquire further about aspects of their research and the completion of the project. In all sessions, our students receive guidance, as well as access to resources such as electronic academic articles or ebooks for them to continue developing their project.
Typically, students complete the EPQ A-level course in two years. However, at Epsom, some of our Year 12 students will be entered this year for the examination after just one year. We offer this option to students who have progressed enough with their project early on. This term, we also welcomed students from the Fast Track Programme who commenced their EPQ project as soon as they arrived. The 15-month long programme offers a personalised path including EPQ tutor and support sessions, as well as a buddy system, which allows students to benefit from the guidance and experience of older students.
This term, Year 13 students will complete their presentations in school with students from Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 invited to attend. There is a variety of stimulating topics from AI, technology and medicine to business, economics and culture that I’m sure students will find engaging and thought-provoking. For Year 11 and Year 10 this will give them an idea of the EPQ which is an option they can select at A-level and start working on at the end of Year 11. EPQ presentations will be a great opportunity to inspire our younger students and represent the culmination of Year 13 students’ hard work and is an integral part of the examination. Sessions will be streamed and all our viewers will be able to participate in a Q and A session with the main speaker in each one of the presentations.
Universities welcome the EPQ. Undertaking an EPQ demonstrates that students are able to conduct independent research, which is necessary for all students at university and helps to bridge the gap between A-level and degree-level study. Moreover, it demonstrates passion and self-discipline.
|"We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills and ease the transition from school/college to higher education."|
|"Where applicants have undertaken the Extended Project (EP), the University will not make this a condition for an offer (as the EP is not a compulsory element of post-16 study) but recognises that the EP will provide an applicant with the opportunity to develop research and academic skills relevant for study at Oxford. Candidates are encouraged to draw upon their experience of undertaking the project when writing their personal statement, particularly if the topic is allied to their chosen degree course."|
|"All applicants for our Humanities and Human and Social Sciences courses undertaking an EPQ will be made an alternative offer alongside our traditional offer. The alternative offer will be one grade reduced from our traditional offer in exchange for an A in the EPQ. For example, for History, whose traditional offer is AAB, we would make an alternative offer of ABBa.
"It is our hope that this will send out a clear message to students that we value the EPQ, and appreciate the hard work that goes into completing one. We have an increasingly compelling evidence base that students who did well at the EPQ settle in well to their undergraduate study at a research-intensive university like ours, and so are keen to see more of them in our lecture theatres and seminar rooms.”
|“The skills that students develop through the Extended Project are excellent preparation for university-level study. Students can refer to the Extended Project in their UCAS personal statements and at interview to demonstrate some of the qualities that universities are looking for. As a research-intensive university, The University of Manchester is very supportive of the skills the Extended Project encourages learners to develop. We have been involved in working with local schools and colleges since the Extended Project Qualification was first piloted".|
|"UCL welcomes the introduction of the Extended Project into the curriculum, recognising that it will develop many of the skills necessary for successful study at university. For students presenting A levels, UCL will be accepting a pass in the Extended Project as an alternative to the need to offer a pass in a fourth subject at AS level.”|
Mr Phil Pedro
Head of EPQ
History and Politics Department Update
It has again been a very busy, albeit unusual year, in the History and Politics Department at ECiM.
Sadly, due to the current Covid situation, we have not been able to have our usual classroom lessons but I have been very impressed with the efforts of our students online and the quality of the work that is being submitted has been generally excellent. Thankfully, many of our Year 11 and Year 13 students have been allowed physically back into the classroom recently and they have been working diligently on their coursework as well as (in the case of Year 11) preparing for their final exams in the summer.
There are many fascinating topics being explored by our pupils. The Year 12 Politics students have been able to observe another tumultuous year in British politics and have been working really hard looking at the UK constitution and Brexit. They also delivered an excellent assembly online on whether the voting age should be reduced to sixteen years old.
In the first term Year 8 History students studied the main events in 16th and 17th Century England and they thoroughly enjoyed exploring the stories of Henry VIII and Guy Fawkes. More recently we have been looking at the horrors of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and students produced some excellent slave stories that described the journey from Africa to the Americas. Later on this year we will be examining the impact of the Black Civil Rights movements in the 1950s and 1960s which is very topical with the current debates taking place over the BLM protests. Year 7 students have been studying the Middle Ages and using primary evidence to examine and interpret the differences in everyday life from today.
Year 9 History students have been studying events of the 20th Century and have been looking at the events of the First World War, the rise of the dictators and the main events of the Second World War. In November (when we at Epsom had a Remembrance Day assembly) the students were asked to produce a war trench diary from the perspective of a WW1 soldier. Some of these were produced to an amazing standard; full of detail and demonstrating understanding and empathy of what was a terrible event. A special mention must go to Mayday En and Park who produced fantastic pieces of written work. More recently Year 9 have been studying Life in Nazi Germany and every student had to pair up and deliver a presentation of their choice and I was impressed in the professional and confident way in which these were organised and delivered. In particular I was very pleased with the presentations given by Woorin, Ryoko, YiLai and Everest on “Woman in Nazi Germany.”
Overall it has been a very successful year so far in History and Politics and I would like to thank all the students for working so well and ensuring that online lessons have been fun and engaging. Keep up the good work!
Mr James Dale
Head of History and Politics
Chit Chats Learning Adventure!
Whilst most of the Prep School are being superstars with their online learning, our youngest students have been making the most of being allowed physically in school.
They have been making cherry blossoms to welcome in the Year of the Ox in Mandarin; sorting materials for PBL; packing healthy lunch boxes for PSHE; building words for English; making pancakes and even playing with ‘snow’!
Nothing is impossible with a big imagination and every day is a new adventure which is filled with learning to be savoured with friends.
Mrs Alice Stokes
Head of Prep