FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 116
Welcome to issue 116 of our Friday Flyer!
I cannot believe that we are already nearly at the end of Term 2! It has been, as always, very busy at Epsom and this is how we like it! Our community is vibrant, motivated and engaged and it is our great pleasure to take this opportunity to share with you some of the events that have taken place. Notice my use of the word ‘some’ – there have been many more events, initiatives and activities than we could possibly cover in one issue!
In this edition you will read about the excellent charity work undertaken by our girls in Crawfurd House as well as gain insight into what our Senior Girls in Rosebery have been up to! Our Epsom Monthly magazine team have been busy preparing articles for our students and their families to enjoy – again I am so very impressed with their ability to plan and organise this magazine independently! Our Academic Societies have been busy presenting on issues from the war in Ukraine to ‘The Boundaries of Human Travel in Space’ (STEM Soc). Our Comfort Society has been considering the impact of Covid on mental health and the feelings of isolation that can ensue – these are important matters and we are grateful to have this platform, initiated by Molly and Kaith, to facilitate open discussion, enabling us, as a college community, to address and overcome these challenges in a caring and supportive way.
We are delighted to have welcomed many new students to our Prep School and Mr Armstrong tells us more about our younger students in his submission.
We feel so proud of the fact that all our senior / Yr13 students, who applied to university, have received offers to study at universities located all over the world including the UK, America, Canada and Hong Kong. Students this year have opted for a broad range of subjects including Medicine, Engineering, Law and Economics to name but a few. It is so exciting to be part of their learning journey and to be able to support them as they prepare for the next big step in their academic career.
Epsom is most fortunate to have connections with a range of sectors from Fintech to Law, Hotellerie and F&B to Medicine. Thanks to these connections we are able to offer Internships to our students and, as covid restrictions lift, we look forward to taking this forward to broaden our students’ experiences and engagement beyond the curriculum.
I am sure that you will have seen that our Tennis Academy, in partnership with Patrick Mouoratoglou, is well underway. Our current tennis courts are in the process of being resurfaced and work will soon commence on the new indoor and outdoor courts and tennis centre. Our Mouratoglou coaches will arrive soon and we look forward to welcoming talented student athletes from around the world to our tennis camps in April.
I hope you enjoy reading this edition of our Friday Flyer and wish you all the very best from Epsom – where learning never stops!
Mr Matthew Brown
Epsom Monthly Issue 05
Hey guys! It’s nice to meet y’all again 🙂
This issue I am not alone but with a group of lovely team members – I am so excited and proud to announce that the Epsom Magazine Society has been officially established!
Epsom Monthly is a magazine created by Epsomians for Epsomians – which means this society will be the best platform for you to express your enthusiasm in writing and develop various skills such as interviewing, editing, designing, organising, photographing and digital media skills.
Great news – Epsom Monthly Issue 05 is out! Since Y11 students are now choosing their A-Level subjects, we have included some advice from Y13 seniors which might be helpful to you – so if you are still undecided about your A-Level subjects, don’t hesitate to check out this issue!
Besides, you will get to know more about the medical school application support initiated by Hiro and Bernice. And, whether you know Arman or not, you will definitely not want to miss out on reading about his journey towards becoming a Youtuber as well!
Other great news – from this Feb issue onwards, we are going to include an “art corner” and a “monthly review” section in Epsom Monthly. If you are talented in the arts, this is your time to shine!
Kindly drop us an email if you would like your masterpiece (writing, artwork, etc.) to be featured in the school magazine.
Happy Reading !
Cadence Ong Jing Han
Founding President & Chief Editor
Epsom Magazine Society
Crawfurd Charity Fundraiser
Hello there! If you’re reading this, I hope you’ve had a good week thus far.
Crawfurd House values charitable acts of kindness. Wherever possible, we uphold empathy as a fundamental social responsibility and place it at the core of our ethos. Hence, I’m delighted to be telling you about this academic year’s annual Charity Fundraiser – a custom Crawfurd tradition!
As we host two Burmese girls, we strongly oppose the military coup that terrorises Myanmar today. They frequently give us updates to the circumstances that devastate their home – grizzly deaths, dehumanising treatment, and undermined democracy. Thus, it was blatant that this – the #SaveMyanmar Movement – should become our fundraiser’s purpose. With help from Kaith, we are now connected with two Myanmar-based not-for-profit, non-government organisations (NGOs) that our funds will go to as aid for Burmese citizens.
Liberate Myanmar is an organisation that has been established since the early stages of the Spring Revolution and prioritises aiding the People’s Defence Force (PDF) who risk their lives everyday to defend the vulnerable Burmese people. They also contribute to communities in dire need through the provision of essential necessities, personal security, and transportation. Karenni Humanitarian Team is a Kayah-based organisation, a state that is war-ridden with scores of internally displaced people (IDPs). Their main priority is to assist the people of Kayah State through supplying food, medicine and shelter among other things.
So far, we have executed two Valentines-related activities: a Bake Sale hosted by the Year 7s alongside an Anonymous Gifting Service selling carnations and candies by the Year 8s and 9s. We cannot wait to host our Music For Change event – a ‘Vocal Valentine’ concept by Kaith and Elie – which we unfortunately have had to postpone due to COVID-19 related safety concerns but watch this space! On the 17th of March we are going to host a Fun Run – a Year 10-organised initiative – accompanied with an Ice Lollies Sale by the Year 8s and 9s. This will be followed by an end-of-term Holiday Celebration – it has been a tiring half-term, and it’s what we Epsom Students deserve!
Before the end of Term 2, Shan Nie has organised a Mufti Day on Friday, April 1st to celebrate and spread the joy of the fun-filled last day of term (not forgetting April Fools too!). At the start of Term 3, the Year 10s have coordinated Bon Voyage: Kuala Lumpur, a guided tour event around our vibrant capital city between April 23rd and 24th. The main objective of this trip is to give the Epsom Community a chance to cultivate an intersectional outlook by learning about East-centric histories whilst experiencing holistic education outside of the classroom.
We have already received an unparalleled amount of love and support from the Epsom Community – we are deeply grateful for the welcoming response. For that, representing Crawfurd House, I thank you endlessly! We hope to see a lot of people getting involved in our future events to garner the highest amount of financial support for provision to the persecuted Burmese population.
P.S: Learn more about the #SaveMyanmar Movement on social media (Instagram, Twitter, etc.) or through this article on BBC News. A few other associations talking about the situation in Myanmar include Coupbellies, The Boys In Myanmar, Thet Mar Phyo, Listen Up Myanmar, and Burmese Revolution.
Co-Head of Crawfurd House
What a month is March! This morning in assembly I learnt all about Pi Day. The non-numerical me is still not quite convinced of its merits over Pie Day – now, there’s an opportunity for international collaboration and celebration if ever there were one. I am already dreaming of my steak-and-stilton pasty on our Cornish hols this summer.
Last Tuesday, meanwhile, was International Women’s Day. While we at Rosebery tried to gloss over the dreary inference that every other day is International Men’s Day, the appalling reality of many millions of lives blighted by misogyny makes 8 March a date that matters. We marked it with a special, slightly extended house assembly, and listened to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talking about the importance of feminism for us all. Always magnificent, managing to be funny and fierce, amused and angry, she is one of my dream dinner party guests (although I’d have to seat her far, far away from Marlon Brando.) The Violet Society is maintaining the momentum, sticking startling statistics on mugs ahead of a social event that aims to showcase southeast Asian women’s achievements. In all their discussions, this student-led forum interrogates tired excuses for the status quo and holds up new models for size: good on you, Xin Ling, Ann Yi, Jing Yan, Pei Wen and Sora.
Still to come, we have World Book Day on 31 March, whereupon yours truly has been asked to speak to the prep school about what books mean to me. I remember Scout in Harper Lee’s masterpiece, for whom reading is akin to breathing, and Carol Ann Duffy’s belief that ‘we make prayers’ of poetry. Rosebery tries to do something along these lines every Wednesday, when we do, literally, drop everything and read. I am sure that, beforehand, the girls are thinking the same as me: ‘Read? What? Now?’ But then we do. Teja and Qiao Min and Keira bustle past with their books on the way to the Common Room; Jenny, Yee Lim and Chantelle take the stairs to a comfy corner. Fifteen precious minutes with the printed word: it’s never not going to be valuable, or worth fighting for.
Happily, the girls’ love of creativity has another outlet this month because – drum roll – on the last Tuesday of term, it’s House Drama! With dances to choreograph, lines to learn, costumes to design and just two weeks to go, things are reaching fever pitch. It’s fair to say that, were I in charge, my nerves (perhaps not only mine…) would be shredded, but Cata and Naomi remain calm. Sitting in on a rehearsal yesterday, I was struck by how the girls listen to each other. They respect each other. They get things done.
Talking of getting things done: Bernie has been wanting to go to the Meefah Animal Shelter for a long old time – for a would-be vet, too long. So it was that, last Saturday, we bumped our way down a muddy track, saw a kingfisher that made me think of the Headmaster, and provided lunch for an army of mosquitoes. They say that stepping out of our comfort zone is good for us. I don’t know about that, but it was a welcome reminder of quite how compassionate and altruistic we humans can be: the Rosebery daffie, yes, but also the founders. Struggling in a perfect storm of more dogs, fewer donations and rising costs, their stamina is remarkable.
Alas, ours left something to be desired: after Rajan kindly made a cold-drinks stop, there was not a peek out of any of us until Epsom.
Ms Kate Orpwood, HMM Rosebery House
In the Prep School, we are delighted to have welcomed many new students to our English Mandarin programme as well as our Key Stage 2 classes. It has been wonderful to get to know all of our new students and see them develop and progress – it is a pleasure and privilege to be a part of their learning journey.
One area of Epsom Prep school of which I am particularly proud is our Mathematics curriculum. We started our journey revolutionising our approach to teaching Mathematics three years ago. We introduced a Singapore-style approach to teaching the subject which has had a huge impact on our children’s learning and confidence. Every lesson begins with the teacher introducing a problem which is used to facilitate meaningful discussion and learning. This ensures all children’s brains are working hard and in what we call a ‘good struggle’ zone in their learning so that they can develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills. Our children then engage in discussion about how they should solve the problem, while the teacher directs their learning through differentiated questioning. Once the children have uncovered a variety of methods to solve the day’s problem, they consolidate their learning via a Mathematics journal, an activity designed for pupils to reflect on their learning by explaining the concept e.g explain the method and write a commentary on how to add fractions with different denominators. At this stage, the students are introduced to the textbook, and they can reflect on their recent learning by exploring the strategies in the book. You will hear our teachers ask: “Do the strategies in the book look anything like what we were just doing?”, “Who can spot their method?”, or “Is there a method here we have not yet discovered?”. Finally, the pupils move on to independent practice, where they answer a range of questions, which vary in challenge and develop pupils’ skills with number sense, decision making and visualisation. If you would like to find out more about our Maths — No Problem! Approach to teaching Mathematics, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Later this term, on Thursday March 31st, I am delighted to share with you that we will be celebrating World Book Day, which will involve a range of book-related activities. In particular, some of our Senior School teachers and prefects will be reading with all of our year groups. Furthermore, each class will explore a chosen book within their lessons as well as experience a talk from a Senior School teacher about their love for reading. We also look forward to seeing many parents at the Prep Musical showcase event on Thursday March 24th.
Acting Head of Epsom Prep School
Finding your solace in solitude
During the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, it is normal to feel discouraged, lonely and even depressed at times when we face uncertainty. What’s important is to be versatile and resilient. We know how difficult it is to socially distance ourselves from our friends in school, how frustrating and painful it can be when we cannot give them those much needed hugs, and how our loved ones may hide their expressions and thus their true feelings behind a mask.
There have been many cases where stress during quarantine has become a problem. The initial stress may be negligible but it can be a powerful thing when accumulated. Stress can lead to feeling angry, sad or even numb. It causes changes in our appetite, energy and sleeping patterns, which makes us feel uninspired and depressed. As mentioned earlier, it is very natural for our body to react this way and to experience stress and anxiety during these hard times, but there’s nothing to worry about! In this article, we will guide you to cope with these emotions!
Firstly, you need to remember that what’s most important to you is yourself. If you want to help others, you need to put yourself first. So, take care of your body and mind. Take this period of time as an opportunity to unwind and strengthen your mental and physical health. Meditating and doing yoga can help regulate your blood and increase your metabolic rate, so even if you are stressed, your increased metabolism will burn your food into energy for your daily tasks.
Next, take breaks from social media. This method is useful not only for the period of the pandemic, but also for any time that you are required to deal with stress. It can be taxing on your brain to see all the different types of people online, including those going about their lives, and those who are going through the same situation as you are. It’s always healthy to limit your exposure to social platforms to give yourself time to reflect on yourself. Ask yourself: what have you done today? What do you like to do? What makes you happy? Who were you before and who are you now? How have you improved? Be grateful for the journey that has led you to where you are and that has developed you into who you are now.
Last but not least, communicate. Connect with your friends and family. Do not let the social distance prevent you from talking to them about your concerns and how you are feeling. It’s important to keep each other updated. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, or a person to talk to, the Comfort Society is always open for you. Always remember that, even if a lot of people are facing the same things as you, it does not make your feelings less valid or less important. Your feelings matter to us, they matter to you.
– The Comfort Society
Last week on Friday, March 11th, the Sports Society organized a Volleyball Competition, students against teachers.
This academic year started off with Covid-19 restrictions limiting movement and opportunities to engage with activities throughout the country and our school. It was very difficult for our society to organize any events in view of these many restrictions. As the volleyball competition was our first official event, we wanted to get people hooked on what we were doing. We wanted the match to be very inclusive yet engaging and fun to watch.
From the students’ team, there were 2 students from each House chosen from across the Houses. Koharu and Nanako from Rosebery, Sena and Nick from Propert, Koutatsu and Soshi from Granville, Gaia and Yoritaka from Carr, and Kaith and Haneesha from Crawfurd.
We think that the Most Valuable Player (MVP) from the students team was Gaia. He delivered spectacular serves yet incredible humility throughout the game, all while having fun. However, we would like to give credit to Koharu and Nanako for their spirit.
The teachers’ team was a fascinating one- thanks to the team players’ names! Mr Wooler wrote to the students that they should be ready to face: Matthew ‘Block and Awe’ Brown, Dayang ‘Queen of the Court’ Manggie, Oliver ‘On the’ Boyle, Leo ‘Blocker’ Baloyo, Arafath ‘Ace’ Ali, Ian ‘The Pyescraper’ Pye, Claudia ‘Good Golly Miss Volley’ Pinna, Bob ‘Towering Inferno’ De Wet, Stephen ‘The Wall’ Vethan, Dien ‘Notorious D.I.G’ Wooler!
We think from the teachers team, the MVP must be Mr. Arafath. His unexpected volleyball skills shocked so many people! Mr. Arafath had amazing serves and attacks, and he even ran after a ball that went flying way outside the court. We would like to give credit to Mr. Brown for his spirit, as he was cheering for both the students and teachers (both on and off the court).
A special mention to our referee, Aidan (Year 12), who was very fair and very referee-like, and the BSE Society who sold drinks and snacks to the spectators as well as offering free bananas to the participants!!
Thank you very much to the teachers and students who participated in the competition, as well as the staff and students who came to cheer and support. We would like to say a very special thank you to Mr. De Wet and Mr. Wooler for their support in organising this memorable event.
Please look forward to our future events, as we will be organizing similar events with different sports and different concepts.
– The Sports Society