FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 115
Welcome to another issue of Epsom’s Friday Flyer!
In this edition you will read about how we welcomed in the Year of the Tiger, our new English Mandarin Immersion Programme (EMIP) in our Prep School, university application successes and gain insight into Music Therapy – a fascinating topic that the Science Society chose to present on this week.
It has been wonderful to experience the Chinese New Year Festivities with our students and you can have more detail on the highlights as you read through our Epsom Monthly Magazine (LINK) another completely student-led initiative!
I hope that you all enjoyed some precious family time over the Chinese New Year break – it is so important to take time to appreciate all that we have and to reflect on life’s blessings in the form of our family and friends.
I consider myself blessed to work in such a beautiful country with such a fascinating and diverse culture – celebrating this diversity is a key tenet of the holistic education that we seek to provide at Epsom. It is integral to preparing our students to take up their place as global citizens and to make a positive impact as future leaders – lawyers, engineers, business people, policy makers.
To see more of beautiful Malaysia and to be able to appreciate the culture I took advantage of the break to take a cycling trip with Mr Wooler and Mr Pedro and am now familiar with Langkawi Perlis, Kedah and Alor Setar – where we met with one of our students, Kai in Yr 12, whose pride in his hometown is a pleasure to behold! We cycled over 200 miles and it was fabulous! The countryside, the nature, the people that we met along the way – we made memories to cherish forever.
Kampung Sungai Baru, Kedah
Dr Mahathir Mural, Alor Setar
Returning to the Chinese New Year celebration I would like to extend special thanks to our Mandarin department for their hard work in putting together such a wonderful week of activities – from Chinese Calligraphy to Chinese zither recitals, face changing spectacles and traditional dance. Again we gained an insight into and an appreciation for Chinese culture and heritage and for this we are most grateful – read on to find out more HERE!
As we look forward to the half term ahead, I wish you health and happiness. Let us all continue to count our blessings and look forward with hope as we welcome in the Year of the Tiger.
Mr Matthew Brown
University Applications at Epsom 2022.
Those of you reading this, who have known me for some time, will doubtless have heard me say on countless occasions that it is my pleasure and privilege to work as the Guidance Counselor at Epsom! I especially appreciate the network that grows as part of the process, meaning that students I have worked with over the years, who go on to study at university, help me to support their juniors / the next batch of applicants and ‘give back.’ This is very special.
Years ago a student named Mohsen joined my French class in Year 8, and he shared with me his dream to gain a place at Cambrige to read Natural Sciences. We worked together and he did indeed go on to achieve a place at his dream destination and has since completed his PhD there. I learned this morning, just before writing this submission, that Mohsen will be the supervisor to Drexel’s friend for the coming term (Drexel graduated from Epsom in 2021 and went to Cambridge to read Natural Science’s). Mohsen has helped me to support students with their applications for many years now, and I introduced him to Drexel when he began his application process. Now Mohsen and Drexel are both part of our support network, and so the cycle continues.
I have worked as Guidance Counselor for over 25 years in various schools yet I still get excited for students as they make their applications, and it is wonderful to learn of their successes!
With this in mind I would like to share with you some of this year’s highlights. Gaining a place at university is more competitive than ever for this year’s Year 13 due to the fact that many students, who graduated in 2021 and who already have their grades, decided to take a gap year because of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. This means that there are many more applicants for 2022 entry.
This year, as always at Epsom, students have submitted applications to universities all over the world including the UK, USA, Hong Kong, Japan and Canada. There will be applications to Australia too later, but students have to wait until they have achieved their grades to be able to submit an application.
Most applications to date have been to the UK and we are delighted that nearly all of our applicants already hold offers. These include offers from some of the most prestigious universities globally including Cambridge, Imperial, Warwick and many other Russell Group Universities.
Applicants to the USA have had interviews with UCLA, UC Berkeley and MIT and we are eagerly waiting to hear back – fingers crossed! One of the applicants to Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is most fortunate to have been offered a full scholarship!
There is no doubt that the students who engaged with the super curricular programme benefited enormously and every interviewee came out feeling satisfied that they were well prepared. I am very grateful to those members of the Epsom Team who have assisted me in preparing students for interviews as well as to the external mentors (these include Alumni of Oxbrige and Ivy Leagues) who work with our students to support them as they make their preparations. Wider reading, engaging in academic discourse on subjects beyond the syllabus are vital.
Now that Year 13 have completed their applications, it is time for Year 12 to start to prepare. I have met with the students to provide an initial introduction and now we will begin the process in earnest. There is a personal statement workshop this week and every student is welcome to book a 1-2-1 meeting with me as often as they wish. I, along with Mr Pedro, Dr Cooke and Miss Aishah are here to assist with every step of the application process. We are very excited to welcome Ms Yolanda McCord to our team from September. Yolanda is a specialist in US applications and has extensive experience of supporting students make successful applications to elite universities.
We understand that the application process can be a source of confusion and stress for parents and, with this in mind, I will be hosting a webinar soon to explain the process to parents and for them to be able to ask any questions that they may have.
To conclude it is genuinely a pleasure and privilege to support the young people in our care.
Director of Admissions, Higher Education Assistant Headteacher
English - Mr Dean Jones
Monday’s Language Madness
Epsom College in Malaysia is a rich and diverse community with pupils and staff selected from a diverse range of countries.
We are a truly international school and we embrace and celebrate this diversity. While it provides us all with great benefits it can also present a number of challenges. One particular challenge is working and living in an English-language speaking environment.
Being immersed in English is a wonderful opportunity for all non-native speakers to master the language but English is a complex, difficult and sometimes totally irrational tongue. Unfortunately, we are not able to switch to Esperanto or another less troublesome language, so every week we publish and email Monday’s Language Madness for students and staff.
An example of Monday’s Language Madness is reproduced below:
Thank the Lord!
Gods and Emperors have added all sorts of complications to the English language. For example, let’s look at the days of the week:
Monday – named after the Moon, or Moon day.
Tuesday – named after the Viking God of War, or Tyr’s day.
Wednesday – named after the Viking Father of the Gods, or Odin’s day.
Thursday – named after the mighty God of Thunder, Thor.
Friday – named after Frigg, Thor’s mum, Odin’s wife and Goddess of Marriage, Prophecy, Clairvoyance and Motherhood.
Saturday – this one is the Roman God Saturn, known as Zeus in Greek Mythology.
Sunday – named after the Sun, or Sun day.
What about months of the year? An octagon has eight sides, an octopus has eight legs yet October is the 10th month; why does a decurion command 10 men? The decimal system works in tens yet December is the 12th month. This one is down to the Emperors – July and August were added to the calendar and named after two major figures of the ancient Roman world – Julius Caesar (‘I came, I saw, I made things difficult for language learners’) and Rome’s first Emperor, Augustus.
Now, before you think that none of this really applies to you, know that every time you say goodbye you are actually saying the shortened form of ‘God be with you.’.
The Monday’s Language Madness articles have proved to be so popular with students and staff that we have even made a series of posters to be placed around the school:
ENGLISH-MANDARIN IMMERSION PROGRAMME (EMIP)
We were delighted to launch Epsom’s English Mandarin Immersion Programme (EMIP) in January 2022! We were so excited to welcome children from so many different nationalities and backgrounds to our brand-new programme. The EMIP is unique as it offers equal-weighted, 50-50 delivery of the curriculum in both English and Mandarin, thus ensuring that learners rapidly develop language acquisition and fluency in both languages.
Students are given every opportunity to develop their language skills in English and Mandarin both in and outside class via our co curricular programme and we can already see significant progress in their confidence levels in their non native language. They have begun to converse and communicate with staff and their peers bilingually, confidently and have shown genuine interest in learning both languages. We take great pride when we see the children enjoying school and most importantly the learning process.
At Epsom, we foster a love of learning. Our classroom ethos and lesson delivery encourages investigation and collaboration across different subjects and activities in school and we seek to extend children’s learning experiences by engaging them in meaningful conversations about the activities they engage with at school and beyond. Pupil led, collaborative lessons with open questions and lively discussions, enable students to develop their own ideas and construct their own learning by expanding, clarifying, and developing their thinking. All our interactions with the children are constructive, supportive and seek to impart knowledge as well as skills that will prepare them to become lifelong learners.
Our dual-language immersion programme offers significant advantages as English and Mandarin are clearly global languages. There is no doubt that fluent, confident bilingualism in these languages will open doors for students’ future success as well as enable them to become truly global citizens. Research shows that bilingualism not only offers social and cultural advantages, but benefits linguistic and cognitive ability.
If any of you would like to know more about the EMIP then please reach out to our Admissions team on email@example.com.
Hi everyone! I hope you all have had a great CNY break! Following the publication of Epsom Magazine Issue 03 which has covered events that happened in term 1, my passion for journalism has driven me to continue with Epsom Monthly Issue 04 !
I am sure that many of you have been celebrating Chinese New Year but do you know what is the story behind the festival? Well, in this issue, you can explore The Legend of Nian! Besides, Y5 and Y6 students will be presenting to you their new year resolutions – I bet you will be curious about what a child would like to achieve in a brand new year, right? What’s more? If you are considering joining the Epsom big family, you will definitely not want to miss this Jan issue – check out the experience of a new student in Epsom and some advice from the A-Level fast track students!
Apart from some sneak peaks of Issue 04, I would like to share another piece of exciting news with all of you too. As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”, in order to cultivate interest in journalism in the students, as the chief editor of the school magazine, I was glad and proud to announce that Epsom Magazine Society has officially formed in ECiM.
I believe that this will be a great platform for the students to express their enthusiasm in writing and develop various skills such as interviewing, editing, designing, organising, photographing, digital media skills, etc.
Following the establishment of the Epsom Magazine Society, there will be members joining the team of creating the school magazine for the Feb issue. So stay tuned!
Cadence Ong Jing Han
Founding President & Chief Editor
Epsom Magazine Society
Music Therapy Session
We’re the ScienZ Society, and we’re a group of students who are shamelessly fascinated by the wonders of science and aim to inspire more people to become engrossed in its countless wonders!
Last week, one of our official members, Jing Yan, guided us through the magic of the science behind music therapy, where the language of music is used to communicate between therapists and clients, presenting a flexible way of helping the patient via the powerful medium that is music!
If you didn’t already know, music therapy can work for a wide range of ages and conditions. For example, it can benefit people with Alzheimer’s by improving their communication, it can also benefit infants by speeding up their language acquisition, adolescents by contributing to the process of identity formation, all the way up to adults, elderly/seniors and even victims of trauma.
In our most recent session, we focused a bit more on autism and how music therapy is utilised to benefit those suffering with autism. Autism presents symptoms such as repetitive behaviours, communication deficit, high pain tolerance and a lack of eye contact. Music can help put the patient at ease and improve their social, motor and communication skills, including self-reliance and self-determination! Music is a natural happy pill and has the ability to heal the wounds medicine cannot touch – it offers healing of one’s mental state and emotions and so music therapy can be impactful for almost anyone.
We all must be wondering how it works. Well, how does it work?
Since our heartbeat tends to follow the tempo of a song, a fast tempo can lead to a faster heartbeat while a slow tempo leads to a slower heartbeat. Music also lowers the level of cortisol (stress hormone), stimulates oxytocin (“love” hormone) and dopamine (feel good chemical). In general, music can improve mood, increase intelligence, productivity and much more, enabling you to become smarter, happier and healthier throughout all stages of your life.
Some may neglect to consider music therapy because of the misconceptions they may have of it, so to clear some up: No, you don’t need to have any musical ability in order to take music therapy & there isn’t a specific music style or a specific music genre that is considered to be more therapeutic than the others. However, like most things, there are still some downsides: lots of things have to be taken into account regarding the music: e.g. volume and instruments. If these are too loud, fast or chaotic it can overstimulate the patient.
Towards the end of our session, the point mentioned above also prompted an interesting question during our discussion time, “Why is the major key considered happy and why is minor sad?” We were all very curious about this since we’ve experienced it, but never really knew the answer. If you’re wondering the same now, the answer is: it’s another stereotype ingrained into us due to our experiences (people playing music with a major key during joyous events and vice versa) while in actuality many other factors, like the rhythms, can influence whether a song is happy or sad. In this scenario, let’s just focus on the progression of each major and minor key, both played at the same tempo and volume. You will notice, the major key sounds happy as it steadily goes up in thirds – it sounds stable. On the other hand, the minor key sounds unstable causing our brain to associate it with sadness. So it’s all just a trick of our brain!
Now that you are more aware of music therapy, what do you think of it? Would you consider or suggest it to anyone else if needed?
If you’d like to review this session or our previous ones, have a look at our society website as well as our Instagram page! You’ll be able to view our presentation slides and posters on our website, or you could take a look at the summary slides made by our core members on our Instagram. It would be great if you could support us by liking and sharing it with more people too!
To conclude, we would like to let you know that our next session will take place next Wednesday, 23rd of February 2022! This session will have more physics elements to it, hosted by two of our new official members – Ammar & Andy. They will be taking us through the steps of outer space. How does that sound? If you can, do join us! We would love to see you there!
We wish you an amazing weekend ahead!
The ScienZ Society.
Academic Prefects - ECSA 2021
The academic prefects organised Epsom College Science Award (ECSA) 2021, an international research-based competition to cultivate students’ passion for Science, Innovation and Technology.
We were delighted that professional judges accepted our invitation to judge the projects. For the Biology category, our judge was Dr. Ann Minchin, a graduate from the University College Dublin with BSc Hons 1st class in Botany and Biochemistry and later a PhD in Plant Physiology. She, too, used to be a teacher of Science and Biology in the University of Reading and then Ysgol Penglais School. For the Chemistry category, we have Dr. Wardsworth-Reay, Head of the Chemistry Department at Epsom College UK who graduated from the University of York and is a MChem and PhD holder. Judge for the Physics category was our very own Mr. Matthew Brown, Headmaster of our school who has 27 years of teaching experience in Physics and was an examiner for a UK national exam board for over 15 years. The time and effort of the judges spent on the judging process was greatly appreciated.
After a rigorous judging process, due to the high quality and well-researched projects submitted, on 10th of February, we were proud to announce the results for the competition (attached below). Winners were informed via email and a printable award certificate was issued. We will also be announcing the winners to the public on ECiM social media. (Instagram: @epsomschoolmy || Facebook: Epsom International School Malaysia)
Every participant who successfully completed the competition by submitting their research report and project display board will also receive a certificate of participation.
As mentioned earlier, the projects submitted will shortly be displayed on the ECSA webpage.
Once again, we would like to thank all participants for their excellent and innovative submissions and congratulations to the winners!
Cadence & Paul Ong
ECSA 2021 Results Announcement
Gold Award : Bio-008 Sherene Wei Yee, Song Lin, Wei Xuan (Chung Ling Private High School, Malaysia)
Silver Award : Bio-016 Daniel Glynne, Arthur Grondelle, Sebastiaan Noordewier (ECUK, United Kingdom)
Bronze Award : Bio-012 Yi Zheng (ECiM, Malaysia)
Gold Award : Chem-003 Chloe Lin, Yoong Ler, Wei Ji, Ying Xin (SMK Ave Maria Convent, Malaysia)
Silver Award : Chem-004 Chidewu (Christ Ministries High, Zimbabwe)
Bronze Award : Chem-011 Emmett, Emily (ECUK, United Kingdom)
Gold Award : Phys-007 Anabelle Yee (Eaton International School, Malaysia)
Silver Award : Phys-010 Euijune Lee (ECUK, United Kingdom)
Bronze Award : Phys-011 Amy Scerri and Paige Chamberlain (ECUK, United Kingdom)