FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 117
So, here we are at the end of Term 2 and what a term it has been! We have seen so much activity from acts of charity to student-led webinars on Medicine, symposia on Crypto currency to a Holi festival initiated by our Crawfurd girls. This term has been, simply put, a joy!
This week had a STEM focus (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Mr Bevan, our STEM Coordinator, organised a STEM related fun filled week that saw students designing the farthest flying paper planes, bridges made from lollipop sticks and glue that could bear the heaviest load, calculating (not guessing) the number of sweets in the jar, a Quiz. (‘The Green Machine’ that is Carr House is elated as they beat Propert! – This will go down in Epsom History).
In addition we have enjoyed the following EPQ presentations from our Yr 12 students:
Monday: “Is Cryptocurrency Better Than Government Issued Currency?” with Zhi Yu
Tuesday: “Is the Keto diet an effective method to alleviate obesity?” with Marc
Wednesday: “What Impact Does Family Planning Have On Chinese Society?” with Linda
Thursday:”Does The Methodology Of The Transparency International CPI Table Justify Ranking The United Kingdom Above China On Addressing Corruption?” with Lynn
The calibre of the presentations was exceptional – I never leave a presentation without learning something new!
We were delighted to be able to hold the House Drama Competition this week. Covid has scuppered the plans to host so many of our annual events so it was wonderful for our students to showcase their own original drama pieces – written and directed by students. Each mini play had to last 15 minutes, had to contain the line ‘I laugh in the face of fear’, include a specific prop – namely popcorn – and be on the theme of ‘What Lies Beneath’. Some of the plays were comical, some philosophical and profound and all incredibly creative and I want to congratulate each and every student that contributed. There were prizes not only for the performance but for the script and poster as well which were designed by students in each House. In this way all students had the opportunity to showcase their talents. We look forward to future events.
Mid week we enjoyed a whole school social event that Mr Pye, our Head of Boarding, arranged. Each House had to organise and set up at least 2 carnival style stalls with simple games and competitions, this was followed by an open mic event where our musicians had the opportunity to perform – of course this included me on my guitar! I could not resist the opportunity and thoroughly enjoyed ‘jamming’ with Eugene on the bass, Kendra on drums, Elie, Diana, Teja and Keia on vocals.
Mr Matthew Brown
"Is India the next superpower?"
An Epsom Live Talk by Abdullah in Year 12.
Of the myriad topics I could choose from, I chose to explore whether India could be the next superpower as I felt that this topic may resonate with the truly international student community of our school. We have a vibrant super curricular programme at Epsom and our College’s Politics, Geography and Economics departments are very active so I thought that this topic would be of interest! My presentation facilitated discussions and engaged my peers in debate on the possibility of India’s potential to become a superpower. I hope it will continue to do so. I enjoyed researching Economics and taking Geopolitics into consideration. I would like to thank all the staff who provided me with the opportunity to conduct this talk.
What has been the impact of the global pandemic? What are its lessons for future generations?
The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to global society. National governments have had to protect citizens from the virus whilst maintaining economic activity. In response to the crisis, the global science community worked rapidly to produce a vaccine without which many more would have died. Communities across the globe have stepped up to provide welfare during lengthy lockdowns.
Young people were directly affected by the crisis. Schools around the world were closed, lockdowns placed young people in isolation with only immediate family for support. An entire generation missed the basic opportunities of classroom education and normal social activities for a time.
Galess is an organisation which seeks to promote global understanding and the effective resolution of global problems through an alliance of leading international schools. It designed the Tiltshift research competition to enable young people to share ideas and interact together on the impact of the global pandemic. A final version of the students’ activities will be presented to the United Nations General Secretary later in the year.
At Epsom, a team entered the Tiltshaft challenge – Mike Hong, Ryan Lai, Dhivashesahn Kularajah and Hirotsugu Takami. The challenge began with production of the video to share the experience of young people from different countries during the pandemic. The students were then asked to research topics relating to the crisis and produce a written report which they presented online to a jury panel on Saturday 12th March. This was a challenging task which involved careful planning and independent research.
These competitions and challenges represent a great opportunity for students at Epsom and I would encourage all students to participate to enrich their college experience.
Assistant Headteacher, Learning & CPD
Heads of College
As we approach the end of Term 2, the time has come for us to pass on the baton to the incoming team. It has been our great pleasure and privilege to act as the Heads of College. Facilitating Student Voice in Epsom to ensure the best school environment for everyone was our main objective.
A learning curve was definitely part of our Head of College journey. We have grown to understand the compassion, resilience and patience required to lead effectively. Maintaining an open mind and calm attitude has, without a doubt, helped tremendously and we have come to appreciate the power of effective communication.
During our time as Prefects, learning to balance our wide ranging responsibilities as Heads of College with our academic commitments has been challenging to say the least. However, it was most definitely worth all the time and effort.
We have both grown up in Epsom since Year 7 – we both joined at the tender age of 11 years old. We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to chair School Council meetings, manage the Prefect Team as they initiate projects, organise Parent Tours and wide ranging events such as the Eco Inter-House Competition. We hope to have left a mark on this very special place that has become our home from home.
Obviously, being a Prefect was about much more than wearing a badge, tie, and having a title. It was about being a role model and a leader, and also about encouraging others to be their own role models whilst learning many leadership skills along the way. It was also about leaving a mark and a legacy that we hope will be remembered for years to come. Along with that, it required a certain mindset.
This role was an adventure filled with many obstacles, and it was with a mindset that remained optimistic and solution-focused that we were able to solve issues that came our way. Finally, most importantly, we have worked with some incredible people. They have inspired us this past year more than any other because we got to see them in their element, helping to maintain and improve Epsom.
Thus, this is a bittersweet moment where we will hand down our responsibilities to a new set of appointed Prefects, in all of whom we have the utmost confidence. We wish them the best of luck and hope that they will enjoy this experience as much as we have.
Manfred Wong and Kirsten Teow,
Heads of College
International Trivia Competition - International Prefect
This quiz included fun facts from each continent and it was amazing to see that many students managed to give correct answers to most questions. It was most pleasing to see students who participated in this competition talking with their geography teacher and exploring more about the facts they found out on the night of the quiz. Although the pandemic continues to restrict travel, we hope this quiz offered a good opportunity for students to get to know more about the world and hopefully they will be more motivated to find out more about the unexplored world!! Many thanks to Mr Pedro for assisting in organising this event and massive congratulations to both Carr and Crawfurd Houses!
Key Stage 3 Leadership
Starting / resuming physical school can be an anxious time for children and it has been particularly challenging during the pandemic. Opportunities for students to visit Epsom and meet their teachers have been curtailed and they have lost out in so many ways. Studies have shown that, when pupils transition from primary to secondary school, there can be a dip in their levels of engagement with school and in their motivation to learn. This can have a significant impact on both their academic achievement and their wellbeing. Perhaps one of the reasons for this often-bumpy start, is that when pupils transition to secondary school, they are generally joining a much larger community, and so may struggle to find their place and feel the same sense of belonging that they enjoyed at primary school.
Taking on greater responsibilities in the Boarding Houses and at school through participation in social projects such as the Key Stage 3 (KS3) Leadership Initiatives can help to build student confidence and independence which represent an important part of pupils’ transition to secondary school and settling into KS3. Opportunities to plan and carry out leadership projects help to develop crucial organisational skills and contribute towards creating a positive mindset as students begin to understand that their actions can make a difference and that their voice is important. The invaluable role volunteering and social action projects can play in helping pupils to develop these positive character traits supports positive relationships both within, and beyond, a student’s peer group.
It is expected that through leadership opportunities, students will learn that organising an event, especially involving charity, is not solely focused on the amount of money raised or material goods. This opportunity represents a platform for students to realise that charity begins with kindness, compassion and empathy and initiating acts that provide support. We hope that our students will recognise the power of acts of kindness. For example, in the case of cancer patients, do they only require medical care, or do they need friends of the same age to spend time learning, singing, and playing together? As laughter is the best medicine and good company is a powerful remedy, the KS3 leaders will learn to recognise the power of acts of kindness within their community and initiate activities that will bring about change for a greater good.
Medic Mentor Webinar - Hiro
At Epsom, students are educated to prepare themselves for a bright future. Each student is given opportunities to get to know about the different pathways available post IGCSE and A-Level through a series of presentations by staff or specialists from outside such as MABECS.
I am now in Y13 and have already gone through the medical school application process. I understand that applying to medical school is extremely challenging due to the amount of work you are required to do. That is why I have started a weekly application support session just for Med School applicants. When I was in the process of applying, I struggled a lot because there were too many things that I did not know about. Now that I know pretty much everything a Med School applicant needs to know, Bernice who has also applied to medical school and I are passing that information onto Y12 Future Doctors!
In the first week, I did a presentation on the overall application process to UK medical schools as most of the students are planning to apply to the UK. One session is of course not enough for them so next week will be about the extra-curricular activities they should get involved in. This session will be led by Bernice. The reason why extra-curricular activities are essential is that getting A*s is just not enough for Medicine! To become strong candidates, students should participate in super curricular activities such as wider reading, sample lectures, essay competitions.
We are looking forward to our next session and will continue to support the ambitions of our peers!
Exploring the Universe Part 2: Boundaries of Human Travel in Space
Happy Friday everyone!
We, the ScienZ Society, are here to recap our most recent session – Exploring the Universe Part 2: Boundaries of Human Travel in Space – led by our official members, Andy and Ammar!
In this session, we went through three main areas: the limits of interactable space, space tourism and theoretical solutions to travel.
We started off with identifying the limits of interactable space where we talked about the theory of cosmic inflation – a powerful process where space started to expand in the early universe after the Big Bang, which was when the young universe was just a tiny bubble of energy that wasn’t uniform. Outside of the pocket of the gravitationally bonded local group, the expansion of the universe was relentless – it accelerated and this expansion shows that there is a cosmological horizon around us, which includes 94% of the galaxies, travelling faster, relative to us than the speed of light.
However, despite their distance and mind blowing speed, we can still see these galaxies. The way we are able to see something is via light (every second of light that reaches us is actually from trillions of galaxies that have passed the horizon). So the observable universe is much larger than the universe with which we can actually interact. In our discussion, this concept then led back to a question from part 1: “Do you believe there may be other creatures or civilisations like our humanity in the observable universe?”. We concluded that, even though there may be other creatures/civilisations out there, it is impossible for us to reach out to them as they are not in our local galactic group.
Apart from that question, we also covered the Fermi Paradox: The Great Filter – a simple theory that states that a civilisation has to pass through lots of filters (e.g. natural disasters/climate change) in order to be made. The Earth is said to be still in the process of passing a filter, hence, at the very end, there might be a filter that destroys everything, including us – humans. No one wants to die off that quickly right? So, the solution we imagined to this was to colonise part of four own universe that is habitable for humans, thus we moved on to the topic of space tourism with the two existing methods (Suborbital Space Tourism and Orbital Space Tourism). A question was then brought up: “How exactly will space travelling help?”, we may wonder. Travelling to space requires enormous amounts of energy, however, if we are able to find a solution where we can harvest all the energy resources in the solar system for ourselves with new, advanced technologies, we will be able to build much more energy-efficient space crafts to explore outer space further.
We discussed whether there are any viable solutions to solve the problem of travelling outside the Earth to explore and colonise our solar system? One solution that we covered is a theory called “Dyson Sphere”, a megastructure that surrounds a whole star to capture its power output and basically give humanity unlimited energy. This might sound extreme, but with the amount of energy available in the solar system, we could create the infrastructure for all sorts of projects (e.g having colonies on other worlds and even travelling to other stars).
We also looked into terraforming planets with that unlimited amount of energy; this means manipulating planets’ atmospheres and other environmental characteristics so that the climate of that planet can become habitable for our life forms – such as Mars. To address the problems that are bound to come along the way, a solution we talked about was using the Dyson sphere again, along with giant mirrors to make the conditions of Mars more suitable – similar to Earth.
Towards the very end of our session, we considered several questions like ‘What if the huge amount of energy we harnessed from the Dyson Sphere led to our destruction rather than our benefit?’ and ‘Would we really have sufficient materials to build the Dyson Sphere? How will we actually build it?’ Since the Dyson Sphere doesn’t exist and is still a theory, it wasn’t possible for us to give out solid answers but we used our creativity to answer them. Overall, theories and assumptions are always part of astronomy and this session left us pondering what everything will look like in the future and how much we will really be able to achieve. Overall it was a very intriguing session!
If you’d like to review this session or any of 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.
As the exam months are coming, we wish you the best luck for your exams!
Hope to see you soon 🙂
The ScienZ Society
The Violet Society
On Monday the 21st of March, the Violet Society organised a collaboration with the BSE (Business Studies and Economics) Society as well as a charity social to commemorate Women’s History Month. With the help of many other members of Epsom, we are happy to say that the event was a great success!
For the past two weeks, the BSE Society has prepared handwritten notes with quotes and facts regarding Women’s History Month that they then attached to the coffee cups that contain the hot drinks prepared by their Instant Happiness Cafe. Anyone who purchased hot drinks could read the notes and the information written related to questions at the quiz during the subsequent social event.
During the night, there were activities such as beer pong, karaoke, as well as a Women in History Quiz, which was won by Keira from Year 11!
We were also fortunate enough to be sponsored by the BSE Society, so students were able to help themselves to plenty of snacks throughout the night.
We are delighted to announce that we have raised RM173 in total to donate to Women of Will – an organisation that provides disadvantaged women with an opportunity to lead self-sustainable communities through initiating small businesses.
This is one of the bigger steps that the Violet Society is taking to make ourselves prominent within the Epsom community, so we want to thank everyone who came to the social for supporting our efforts (and Mrs Brown for providing supervision!)
We, the Violet Society, look forward to organising more exciting and successful events in the future, so be sure to look out for further updates.
Have a great weekend!
The Violet Society
BSE Society Foundation
We are a student-led academic society focusing on Business and Economics at Epsom College in Malaysia. This term, one of our aims was to give back to the Epsom Community therefore we initiated the BSE Society Foundation where 20% of profits from our fundraising events are stored to fund other school events.
To date we’ve received three proposals from students and societies to request for funding and we were honored to accept. One of these proposals was a collaboration with the Violet Society on the Women’s History Month Programme. Fun facts of Women’s achievements in history were written on our beverages cups to celebrate and recognise women’s contributions!
Furthermore, during the social night on 21st of March that the Violet Society hosted, we sponsored a range of beverages and snacks for pupils to indulge in.
The BSE Society also offered beverages and snacks from the Instant Happiness Cafe to the outsourcing staff across the Epsom community. This included cleaners, security guards, maintenance crews and dining hall staff to ensure that their contribution to the school community is not overlooked nor taken for granted.
Ultimately, we promise to strive to give back to the school community in the future as we believe that we succeed by virtue of the contributions of others. #bethechange #neverstoplearning