FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 108
Epsom – Where Learning Never Stops
It is with immense pride that I write this entry for our school’s Friday Flyer. Our students’ engagement, resilience, proactivity and relentless pursuit of excellence never ceases to amaze me and I am excited to be able to take this opportunity to share with you some of the most recent initiatives and achievements that have taken place at Epsom.
Despite the sustained period of online learning, our students have maintained their close relationships and have collaborated on a range of projects. In this way they have continued to demonstrate their scholarship, commitment to their learning and will have picked up many transferable skills along the way.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition represents the world’s oldest international writing competition for schools, proudly delivered by the Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. Two of our students – Cadence Ong (Yr 13) and Ashley Lim (Yr 12) took the initiative and submitted essays on the theme of “Life After Covid-19”. There were over 25,000 submissions from across the commonwealth countries. The results were issued today and we are delighted to announce that Cadence achieved Gold and Ashley won the Silver Award. I attach Cadence’s entry here for you all to enjoy. We extend our warmest congratulations to them both!
As you know our students enjoy an established and vibrant super curricular programme wherein they take their learning beyond the curriculum and engage with their academic interests independently. Epsom boasts a wealth of Academic Societies and it is most pleasing that our students have continued to collaborate on their shared academic interests during the holidays. I would particularly like to draw to your attention The Medical Review whose committee worked over the summer to produce the second issue of their journal that you can enjoy here – I am sure that you will be impressed!
We were delighted this week to see Sora Narita, in Year 11, launch our Environmental Society and Taranie Shanker, in Year 13, is initiating our Eco School Committee. We encourage all our students to get involved to better understand how we can tackle the threat of climate change and contribute towards greater sustainability. Citizenship and care for the environment are qualities that we seek to develop in our student body and we are grateful to Taranie and Sora for captaining this cause at Epsom this year.
The Epsom College Science Award
Paul Ong in collaboration with Cadence Ong (they are affectionately known as ‘The Ongs” at school!) conceived and launched the ECSA – The Epsom College Science Award. Please do take some time to look at the details – I am sure you will agree that this is a most impressive initiative! At the time of writing the ECSA has received over 45 applications from 6 countries – 10 of these applications are from students at our sister school, Epsom College UK. We are extremely grateful to all of our students who have worked, and continue to work, tirelessly to enrich our school community in so many ways. They are excellent role models for our younger students.
All these activities enrich the student experience and add breadth and depth to the learning that takes place. Mr Pedro, as incoming Head of Sixth Form, has launched the Epsom Live series whereby captains of industry and high profile sector leaders come and engage with our students. This week we welcomed Dato’ Seri Kallimulllah, who began his career in journalism in 1979 and moved on to the corporate sector in 1995. He has gained vast corporate experience, having held key positions in various Malaysian listed corporations. This seminar represented an invaluable opportunity for our students who were able to ask questions and interact readily with this fascinating presentation. We are extremely grateful to Dato’ Seri Kallimulllah and are looking forward to welcoming Mr Gareth Lim, a Cambridge Economics graduate and the CEO of Plato Capital Limited and ECM Libra Group Berhad. As part of the Oxbridge Mentorship Programme at Epsom, he leads a network of Oxford and Cambridge graduates who advise Epsom Sixth Form students on successful Oxbridge applications and interview preparation.
Sports and Competitions
To be able to concentrate and maintain a healthy mind we must maintain a healthy body – and we are sure that Aisha and Sotaro must be very fit and healthy! Warmest congratulations to them this week – they have competed in the AIMS (Association of International Malaysian Schools) Olympics. Aisha is top of the 14 to 15 year old category with 174 jumps in a minute for the jump rope event and Sotaro is second in his age category for speed bounce. Excellent news!
We are delighted that Nanako Dobashi is embedding Sports into our academic enrichment programme through her society that she launched this week. Please encourage your son/daughter to get involved as she is currently recruiting her Board of Directors.
You have no doubt seen Adrianna Prewa – whose golfing is going from strength to strength – and will represent Negeri Sembilan in the upcoming National Championships.
Similarly, congratulations to Darshinie Shanker, a very talented young chess player who has recently won the Negeri Sembilan championship in her age group and will be going through to the Nationals.
From Epsom to America Pathway
Mindful of the fact that students who are targeting the USA need to plan ahead (ideally from Years 8-9 onwards) we are launching our American Pathway. There will be opportunities to research colleges to see what is the best fit for the individual student, sessions on essay writing and SAT preparation as well as opportunities to build a pupil portfolio to stand out. If your son or daughter is interested in studying in the USA then please do reach out to let us know.
Never Stop Learning – Epsom Podcast
On a personal note it was my genuine pleasure to meet with Tharma Pillai last week as part of the Epsom Podcast Series. Tharma is a leading activist who recently achieved a historic change in law for Malysians aged 18 to 21 to have the right to vote. He is passionate about tackling social injustice and our conversation can be found HERE.
It is indeed true that we never stop learning and I myself have learned a great deal through these fascinating conversations. I do hope that you find them interesting too.
I would like to say how very excited we are to be able to welcome our students back to school and to face to face learning. Please rest assured that we will remain vigilant and observe strict SOPs according to the Ministry of Health guidelines. All our staff (teaching, catering, site and security) have been double vaccinated and double vaccination is a prerequisite for any visitor to the school. Our students, your son / daughter’s, wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us.
Mr Matthew Brown
I am excited by the fact that Crawfurd will not be silent for much longer. On Monday, we open our doors to pupils for face to face learning. I am definitely looking forward to meeting the girls in-person and to hearing the buzz and the excited chatter once again. We will be focusing on making sure the girls are settling in well and getting into a daily routine, while ensuring that they are comfortable and successfully getting on with their work.
We have had an exciting couple of weeks here at Crawfurd as not one, but two, of our very own Crawfurd girls have been crowned State Champions in their respective fields. Darshinie Shanker from Year 11, emerged as the Champion in the Girls Under-15 Category at the MSSNS (State-level) 2021 Online Chess Tournament held last weekend! As one can imagine , this was no easy feat for Darshinie as she had to beat 32 other players representing 8 districts in Negeri Sembilan. Darshinie will now represent Negeri Sembilan in the same category at the national-level schools MSSM 2021 Chess Tournament in November which will also be held online.
Age is no barrier for Year 7’s Adrianna Sim, who submitted a video of her golf skills for the MSSNS golf competition and was announced as the Champion for the Girls Under 12 Category.
Due to the current COVID situation, no golf competitions are allowed in the country and the 2-day golf competition was replaced by an online submission of their golf skills. The players had to submit a video of their golf skills which consist of putting, chipping, flop, juggling and driving. She will now go on to represent the state of Negeri Sembilan for the MSSM GOLF 2021.
Needless to say, we are all immensely proud of these two young ladies and I know they will inspire and encourage their fellow Crawfurdians to pursue their dreams too. Massive congratulations to them both!
These inspirational stories will set us all up nicely for the rest of the school year!
Ms Denu Sankey
“T’was the night before (the students return) and all through the house nothing was stirring, not even a mouse…”
The opposite is true in many of your homes as there must be a lot of final packing or rushing to get everything sorted so that your sons can come back and enjoy their time here at school and boarding.
We are rather excited to welcome the boys back to Propert House this weekend and are sure that the boys (and parents) will enjoy the change of pace and routine. A number of emails have been sent out about various things and I am sure that, even though this can at times feel overwhelming, in the end, the boys will be happy to be back and return to ‘normal’ as far as possible.
This week a number of our students have ensured that they have worked really hard and achieved a plethora of Academic Merits among themselves. In particular, I am pleased to see that the boys in Year 10 have accumulated the most in the House. Long may this continue!
We have also seen a lot of positive news in terms of various levels of the National Recovery Plan being lifted and this will allow us to explore more opportunities with the boys. I am to speak with all of them soon and discuss various options for events, socials as well as possible excursions.
The boys currently in the house have enjoyed somewhat of a more relaxed pace being so few, but with the anticipation of a full house in the near future, our seniors are making most of the facilities. We managed to capture photographs of 6th Formers Sena and Sohta playing some table tennis during their KS5 games period this week. Hopefully with more boys returning they could start a competitive ladder.
With the gym all prepared and ready, the BBQ (which some may not have seen as Mr Pye completed it towards the end last year) prepared for action, we look forward to a welcome-back feast on Saturday; something for those who have been vaccinated to look forward to! This weekend, Propert welcomes all the Boarding Houses to our BBQ area and a great afternoon/ evening of socializing and enjoying being back at school.
Mr Ian Schoeman
Epsom Art Department
As you can see from the outcomes of Epsom’s Art Department’s recent photography competition our students are very creative! Here are some beautiful shots that capture a moment in time – Enjoy!
We look forward to welcoming the students back so that we can support them as they develop their creative skills further – our Art Department is not the same without them!
Mr Nikolai Lugovoi
Wendy Jones, Deputy Head (Academic)
I am delighted to join Epsom School this academic year, as Deputy Head (Academic). The school represents a fantastic community of highly experienced, committed and caring staff, and a delightful group of students from diverse nationalities. I oversee the academic programmes in the school, and am responsible for ensuring that we deliver the highest quality teaching and learning in order to facilitate the best academic outcomes for our students.
Our school priorities are focused upon providing unconditional high quality pastoral care, academic excellence and an ambitious, holistic curriculum. I want students to feel excited and inspired by their learning, and to challenge themselves to try new things in a safe and supportive environment. There is certainly plenty for them to get their teeth into. One of my favourites is the academic societies, which are student led communities that provide academic enrichment on a wide range of topics. I am pleased to see that students are coming forward regularly with new ideas, and I have been very impressed by the quality of discussion in these events.
An important part of inspiring pupil learning is the CCA programme. Not only can students participate in a wide range of activities, but they can also engage in a subject they enjoy through the more academic CCAs offered at Epsom. These aim to enrich their learning in a real world context, and create a spark that may result in a love of lifelong learning and the development of many essential transferable skills.
Last Friday we held our first online Parent Teacher Conference of the year. Turn out was excellent and I encourage you all to join, when you get the opportunity, so that you can hear first hand about your child’s progress and express any worries or concerns to our highly caring and experienced academic and House staff.
Ms Wendy Jones
Deputy Head (Academic)
International Literacy Day – 8th September 2021
What doors would be closed to you if you couldn’t read or write?
… What if you couldn’t read a message on Instagram or a recipe for nasi lemak or a poem or a sign saying ‘Beware!’ or the instructions on a medicine bottle? Imagine if you couldn’t write a love letter or a CV or were not able to read the questions in an iGCSE Maths paper?
UNESCO’s Institution for Statistics defines literacy as ‘the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts’. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.
Literacy is empowering. Literacy changes lives and provides hope for a better future.
To mark International Literacy Day on 8th September 2021, students in years 7, 8 and 9 produced posters celebrating literacy.
Congratulations to Haneesha Veerakumar for producing the winning poster.
And congratulations to Nur Atiqah Mohd Haaziq Pillay, Amelia Harvey and Rin Murakami, Ethan Senkey and Callista Lau for their runners-up posters.
Dr James Phillips
Head of English
Head of College
After a two months’ refreshing summer break, we have returned to a new academic year. All are excited to get back to the classroom, albeit online, commencing a fruitful year of growth. The students have been incredibly resilient through the last academic year, and we have no doubt that we will maintain our momentum this year in true Epsomian fashion.
As students of Epsom College ourselves, we were both beyond excited to hear the latest news regarding our approval to return to the school site. The big sports hall, as well as the even bigger fields, the different Houses and their traditions, the dining hall as well as the cosy auditorium. Not to mention our own dormitories, as well as the classrooms, we will walk to and from. We truly cannot wait!
To prepare, all the Houses have been gathering and getting to know each other, anticipating the time we can see each other face to face. In response, the students’ creativity has resulted in initiatives such as setting up an online forum to do prep work together and engage in discussion to replace the peer accompanied prep times we usually have physically in the boarding houses.
Not to mention, due to the covid situation for the past year, we, the students, used it as a chance to lead events and carry out different activities, especially the student-led academic societies which have provided ample opportunity for new students to feel welcomed and connected even via a screen during this virtual period.
Recently, the Language society was established. Chaired by Diana Lee and Naomi Khoo. The first session involved the sharing of meaningful experiences about the relationship between culture and ourselves.
Apart from the aforementioned society, it is great to be able to witness societies established in the early stages still having the same drive and passion to influence the new generation of students in ECiM to get involved.
Some examples of different societies would be the Humanities Society, bringing together and discussing current affairs relevant to the different humanities subjects such as History, Economics, Politics and Geography. The Scienz Society as well, an old yet brilliant society, focuses on the three sciences and ventures into specific fields ranging from in vitro meat to the life of an octopus. A special mention to the Violet Society which ventures from the usual topics of academia and provides exposure to issues relating to equality.
It is safe to say that seeing these efforts flourish amidst this pandemic is most gratifying, especially when new students can still form strong bonds with their school community despite being physically distant.
Introducing the first term via online learning may have been different. Nevertheless, the students’ incredible involvement and resilience are much to be thankful for. We look forward to seeing everyone once school opens again.
Kirsten Teow & Manfred Wong
Head of College