FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 122
It is lovely to welcome you back!
During the summer break I went to visit our sister school,Epsom College in the UK, and met with the incoming Headmistress, Mrs Emma Pattison for lunch. It was wonderful to touch base and discuss our purpose and vision together.
Both our schools are extremely proud of the achievements of our students in the external examinations.
IGCSE 70% of all grades A*/A
A Level 63% of all grades A*/A
Clearly school is about lessons and about preparing for exams but there is so much more to a great school than that…
As you will see as you read on, Epsom students benefit from a broad and holistic education delivered through academic lessons as well as our co-curricular and super curricular programmes.
This breadth of learning experiences enables our students to develop academically, personally and socially as they stretch and challenge themselves, stepping out of their comfort zones via presentations, public speaking or sports. Music or drama…
As teachers we set the mood for the learning environment and we want this to be aspirational, engaging and supportive because happy children learn best.
So…Welcome to the 2022/23 academic year and to this, the first Friday Flyer of the new academic year following the term break.
Speaking of welcomes…We were extremely excited to receive in excess of 140 new students at the beginning of the Term. This is a record number of New Year admissions and we are delighted to see the corridors and classrooms bustling with students both new and returning.
As you can imagine, the induction was a busy period and we were all extremely grateful to be able to start the new school year with’ face to face’ rather than online.
As part of the welcome address to new students we reflected on what makes Epsom special. The conclusion that we came to is that it is its people – the pupils, the teachers, administration / admissions / finance teams, the catering team, our guards and grounds staff.
We are Epsom.
We are our school.
We are what makes it a unique place to learn, work and live.
In our staff and student induction we were very clear that we adhere to a very clear principle that we ‘create the climate’ – we are all responsible for making our school what it is thus we must do our very best every day.
Nurture, Educate, Inspire
Our students, care, learn and aspire because our staff, nurture, educate and inspire.
We agree with the wisdom of Haim Ginott when he famously said:
“I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher I possess the tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.”
We, as staff, can expect our students to care, learn and aspire because we, as teachers, nurture, educate and inspire.
As adults, we all have memories of school, of our teachers – we especially remember how our teachers made us feel…
We also agree with Robert Fried:
“Of some of our teachers, we remember the foibles and mannerisms, of others their kindness and encouragement, or their fierce devotion to standards of work that we probably didn’t share at the time.
And of those we remember the most, we remember what they cared about and that they cared about us and the person we might become.
It is this quality of caring about ideas and values, this fascination with the potential for growth within people, this depth and fervour about doing things well and striving for excellence, that comes closest to what I mean in describing ‘passionate teaching’.”
We want all our students to enjoy their time with us at Epsom, to thrive, to excel and to look back fondly.
As you read on I hope that you have a flavour of what is on offer and of the ethos and culture of our very special school – Happy reading!
Mr Matthew Brown
Hello from Houses!
Rosebery: going green, one linen bag at a time…
By the time this is published, Epsom will have been back for two weeks. I think I speak for everyone when I say: what a two weeks! For me, they have been a whirlwind of registers, roll calls and remembered routines; late nights waiting for late flights; laundry bags, device tubs – a fetching on-trend sage – and moans about mess. Not very glamorous, huh? You may be wondering about the gap between the HMM position being the most coveted position at British boarding schools, and the reality of the daily grind. Why would you?, you ask.
The answer is as trite as it is true. For the girls. I just stopped typing because Sawa popped in to see me post-run. I voiced my envy – fresh from outdoor exercise, she exuded an energy sorely lacking in moi. And Woorin just asked permission to pop popcorn for tonight’s senior treat, a showing of old favourites like Modern Family to raise money for an anti-modern day slavery organisation. Last week we had no fewer than three early-September birthdays, for which Keira, Xin Ling and Pei Wen made chocolatey treats. That the brownie needed chiselling out if its tray just added to the laughter in the kitchen; as Mr Brown observed, brownies just get better with age. By exeat they might even be fudgy!
Our Lower Sixth is rather special this year, filled as it is with girls like the aforementioned bakers, multi talented but oh so humble. In August, they celebrated a bumper crop of stellar GCSE grades that we will celebrate as a house. Head of House Tiffany’s love of dance will play a part, along with party games and pizza. Our outgoing much-missed Upper Sixth will, in the next couple of weeks, spread themselves far and wide across the globe (well, London, given the splendid success of Roseberians bound for LSE, UCL and Imperial). Canada and Cambridge will also be welcoming our girls, who set the bar high for our new Upper Sixth. Thankfully, their commitment to Epsom’s societies and social life is as impressive as their academic ambition, so the college and house remain in safe hands.
House Football was a fine example of this last Thursday. Despite bemoaning Ms Shanthi’s and my dearth of ball skills – sorry, girls – the junior and senior teams equipped themselves admirably against an uber-athletic Crawfurd. Women’s football is a thread woven through Rosebery this year, with Chloe (Kelly) one of the names of our refreshed families. The instantly iconic image of her after the England team’s win at the UEFA Euros 2022 will hopefully inspire our own lionesses. And while the world of sport has also given us Serena (who needs no surname, such is her stature on and off the tennis court), Roseberians will also be researching remarkable women in law, science, journalism, politics and activism.
One of them is Dr Rose Mutiso, an engineer prioritising energy poverty in Africa and Asia. Aware that such deficits always affect the already vulnerable, Rosebery wanted to make its own small step towards a more ecologically equitable way of life. So we went plastic bag free, and how easy it was. Here’s how: I brought back linen bags from home, the girls did the same (we discussed it in the summer term) and, just like that, Mercato trips were transformed. Molly and Nanako even returned with the good news that Tealive has launched reusable ‘ecocups’ – proof, if it were needed, that positive change is always possible.
Crawfurd House welcomed 71 students for the start of the new school year.
Ms Miller and Ms Crann eagerly awaited their arrival and the students all enjoyed a busy and fun time during the induction period.
We created junior, inter and senior football teams and enjoyed some competitive matches against Rosebery. Together we also created a piece of art work to represent the inclusive and strong house spirit. Each student is represented in the piece and we look forward to seeing how much each member ‘grows’ as the year progresses.
Crawfurd House would also like to congratulate Anna Ruth (Yr ) who achieved Gold in the recent Euroasia Strings Competition 2022. She has now qualified for the finals on the 22nd October at Sunway University.
The life of Carr House is back and it feels like home again. New and familiar faces filled Carr House at the beginning of the term, all carrying a variety of emotions – nervous, excited, anxious – just to name a few.
Before the boys arrived I created a clock wall with the times from all the countries represented in the amazing diversity of Carr House. During the first week, it has been lovely to see the boys from all corners of the world come together as brothers. Helping each other tie their ties, encouraging each other when they feel home sick and playing games together in the corridors – moments that have made my heart very happy.
We have opened our library under the stairs and it has been lovely to see the boys lying on the bean bags reading and chilling with their friends. I hope this space becomes a well loved area in the house where many hours of reading take place.
The first week kicked off with the inter house football competition. Carr had 4 teams which played each other. The boys had lots of fun and got to know each other a little more during the practices and games. I reinforced the lessons learnt from the matches on Thursday morning in our first house assembly of the year which I based on “Life lessons we learn from the game of football.”
One of the lessons I spoke about was “ Sometimes You Have to Move Backwards to go Forwards”. I encouraged the Carr boys to reflect on the fact that the road to success is not always straight, that there are stages along the way where you have to move backwards, like in football, to move forward. Moving backwards should not be seen as a negative but a positive part of achieving your goal as you take time to reflect, refocus and replan your next move. I look forward to seeing many boys put this into action this year.
Speaking of success, we would like to celebrate the success of two of our Year 8 Carr boys in particular…
Yusi, entered two fencing competitions during the summer holidays. One on the competitions was state level epee (FTAFA Epee Challenge 2022) and the other competition was club level epee (Musketeers Fencing Challenge)
Yusi did really well in both competitions and received a silver medal for the state level competition and a gold medal for the club level competition.
Nexus has participated in the UUMISM SPORTEXCEL Junior Golf Tournament 2022 from 5-7 September. We are so proud of Nexus for the amazing effort he is putting into his golf. Well done to both boys!
I am so excited to have the life back in Carr and to see each Carr boy embrace what I shared with them: “Everyday is a chance to get better.”
Mr Baloyo trying out the new library under the stairs at Carr House
Our clock wall in Carr
We have to sometimes move backwards to move forwards
This week our Headmaster delivered a very interesting assembly about anxiety and its effects on individuals. In his speech, he discussed how anxiety and stress might be viewed negatively and how this viewpoint might in itself lead to unfavourable consequences and outcomes. He also countered how if anxiety and stress are viewed positively, they might actually be beneficial; these psychological factors might act as a spur for individuals to move forward, complete tasks and achieve success.
We could start by following the advice of the Headmaster and view any anxiety in a positive way: we could use it to focus our attention and get things done. The structures, staff and environment of the school are in place to help us meet our goals and support our efforts: let us make use of them. Let us take a healthy approach to school and full advantage of the wide range of study, social and exercise opportunities on offer. Finally, let us take personal responsibility for living our own happy, productive and successful lives. Paraphrasing those famous words of Henley, we are the masters of our fate, we are the captains of our souls.
Co-curricular activities (CCAs) are in full swing again this term, with many students trying new CCAs and challenging themselves to step beyond their comfort zone. The students work exceptionally hard during their academic lessons every day and boarders continue this effort during Prep time in the boarding houses each evening. Therefore, CCA offers a welcome relief for students; whether that is charging around the football pitch; exploring creativity in the arts; or developing skills of independent scholarship in the super-curricular CCAs.
British universities and global employers seek well-rounded young people with leadership, teamwork and interpersonal skills. Such skills are not cultivated through academic study alone, which is why our co-curricular activities are a valued and important part of the school day at Epsom.
The PE department, as ever, offers the students a diverse programme of sports CCAs, from Swimming to Frisbee, Hockey, Netball, Rugby, Golf and many more. In addition, work has already begun on the end-of-term festive show, led by the Music and Drama departments – so watch this space! In the kitchen, bakers and chefs are cooking up sweet and savoury treats alike.
This term also sees the introduction of 7 new student-led CCAs including Charity, Eco-Committee and Trading. Sixth Form students have curated these CCAs themselves and opened them up to the senior school for participation. The Eco-Committee will be looking to make the school greener and more sustainable, with a goal of achieving the ‘Green Flag Award’. A ‘Yearbook Team’ has also been assembled and will be working hard throughout the year, on something for every student to remember the 2022/2023 academic year at Epsom by.
Epsom's Academic Societies
At Epsom we seek to take our learning beyond the curriculum. We have a range of activities available via our Co-Curricular (CCA) Programme that runs daily after class. But, to take our learning further, to develop our scholarship, we offer a super curricular programme. The best thing about it is that it is student led.
At the start of this new academic year we have a total of 12 Academic Societies and they held a fair this week to showcase their vision and to recruit new members.
- ScienZ society
- Humanities Society
- BSE (Business & Economics)
- Music & Tech
- Medical Review
The Humanities Society are presenting on the topic of ‘ Utilitarianism and Schrodinger’s Cat’ this week.
The BSE soc are conducting market research ready to launch the first Instant Happiness Cafe of the academic year 2022/23 and the Comfort Society have been there to help new admissions to settle and reflect on how they feel and how to get the best out of the term ahead.
We are very excited to see what is in store for the coming weeks and encourage all our students to get involved!
Watch this space…
Medical Review Society
A warm welcome to those who are new to Epsom, and hello again to the familiar faces! We are the Medical Review Society. Here, we provide opportunities for students to further explore their interests in the various fields of Medicine.
In the past academic year, we have created numerous informative materials such as podcasts, journals, presentations. This has enabled Epsom students to pick up research and journal writing skills, as well as boost their confidence through hosting events and presentations.
We have had the privilege of inviting a specialist, Dr Diana Mohd Shah, to give us more insight into organ transplantation and donation in Malaysia. Moreover, we aid students in their university application to medical schools by holding webinars and in-person sessions. In the past, a few members of the society introduced an Application Support for Medical School project. Every week, presentations would be given on different aspects of the application process, such as admissions test, medical ethics, interview tips, and etc.
Currently, we are still in the process of recruiting members. If you are interested, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your application, or scan the QR code below for a google form. Thank you, and we look forward to working with you this academic year.
With warmest regards,
The Medical Review Society 2022-2023.
Hello everyone, it’s Friday again!
Since the handing down of this Society from the founding members, the current team has been on quite a journey, actively organising and participating in many school events. Lots of discussion sessions, posters, meetings, and summaries were prepared and hosted on a weekly basis. Of course, this inevitably led to the development of unique perspectives regarding scientific affairs and a piqued further interest in and a burning passion for science. Although it’s (still) quite challenging for us, to manage a Society while keeping up with our own academics, we as Society members can agree that it is worth the hard work.
In our Society, we’ve incorporated all aspects of science from hot topics such as abortion to more creative, uncommon topics such as space travel and music therapy. Holding the majority of our Society’s sessions as discussions, we’ve managed to gather interesting thoughts and share our different perspectives with each other. This student-led Society offers a fantastic platform for us to share our enthusiasm. Not only students, but several teachers have taken part in our sessions, with their specific questions and supportive comments – it is great to have them join us!
You may wonder if there’s more coming up? YES, we’re happy to say – there will be many more intriguing events coming up in this half-term, varying from the collaboration with BSE and Comfort Society in their personalised subject week, to an experiment session which involves us making ‘Edible Water Bubbles’! Other than that, a KS3 Science Fair and a Live Talk with science professionals in the industry are also pending and in progress -we are extremely excited!
Although we have a few more sessions left, we will soon be handing the society down again to a new, exciting team of core members! The current core members (Jing Xean, Thaaranniyah, Elizabeth, Khai Yue, Keira and Darshinie) have enjoyed all that we’ve done within our time leading this Society, and we wish the same for the new ones too. Applications for new core members will be open until the 30th of September 2022, so if your interests and passions lie within science, we encourage you to take this opportunity to lead a student-led Society with a team.
We hope to see you there for the few remaining sessions, and a thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged us up until now 🙂
Have a good weekend!
The ScienZ Society
Here is the Comfort Crew!
Hello hello! We hope all of you are settling well in our lovely community! If you have been here before, we really missed you, and you must have heard of us sometime during the year. If you are new, let us introduce ourselves! We are the comfort crew brought to you by The Comfort Society. We are a group of Epsomians, just like you, who get together and try to produce as valuable work as we can. We come together to share ideas and think about what students might need to feel less lonely and out-of-place on campus, which is the last thing we, Epsomians, want fellow Epsomians to feel.
What do we do? Well, we hold presentations on topics, for example, on things that you find relevant to yourself but are not normally discussed or commonly talked about. We make sure you are not alone going through something because everyone is so different but it’s important to know that all of us go through the same thing at some point in our lives so there will always be someone who can understand you and we want to be that someone in your lives! We also collaborate with other student societies and spread more awareness on correlated topics. Last year, we had a collaboration with the Environment Society on “Climate Anxiety” during the Eco-week and it still stands as one of the most attended sessions that we have held.
Moreover, this year, our society has much more to offer to you! We are organising our Comfort Crowd Afterparty CCA (did you see what we did there?). Here we will be hosting different activities every Saturday such as baking, painting, embroidery, juice-making and many more while also talking about really common yet crucial topics such as peer pressure, manipulation among peers, gaslighting and gender. You also get to share your experiences (only if you want!) and talk about your interests or anything interesting you did that week!
It may sound very small, but there is no feeling as strong as being able to express what you like and discovering yourself out loud. We believe this is very important in our school where everyone is really busy and determined. This CCA will be a breather for you on your Saturdays after your hectic week! It takes place at 10-11 am so we encourage as many people to drop-in and enjoy.
There are also many events and activities to come from us (which will be kept a secret for now). Please look forward to seeing how collectively, we can make ourselves, our friends, our teachers and people around us feel better gradually.
Please visit our instagram page for updates on our events by searching our user @ecimcomfortsociety. If you are interested in participating and being a part of our society or having ideas of your own please sign up for our membership application that we have sent out to you through your emails. Our account is simply The Comfort Society and if you ever need someone to sit and listen to you, let us be the ears!
Stay Comfy Comfort Crowd!
Warm Welcome hugs,
The Comfort Crew
Sixth Form Sports Stars
Congratulations to Garrison in Yr 13 who was chosen as Captain of the Negeri Sembilan team in the 63rd National U18 MSSM Basketball Tournament.
Garrison played extremely well throughout the tournament and was top scorer for his team in every game. We are so proud of him!
Congratulations to Jaydn Yr 12 and Aidan Yr 13 who have been chosen to play at a National Squash Tournament in Borneo this week – we look forward to hearing of their achievements!
Nexus, Yr 8, placed 3rd out of 21 players in the boys U11-12 in the UUMISM- SPORTEXCEL Malaysian Junior Golf Tournament 2022 in Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club. He showed amazing fighting spirit with great sportsmanship and integrity throughout the tournament . Both Nexus’s parents and teachers are indeed proud of him for taking a step further, completely out of his comfort zone in his 2nd golf tournament.
Adrianna (Y8) Roseberry House has done exceptionally well for the Majlis Sukan Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM) / National Championship Golf competition which was held in Labuan from the 5th to 7th September 2022 where she represented the state of Negeri Sembilan.
Adrianna secured second placing falling short just 1 stroke from the winner out of 26 players from 13 states throughout Malaysia where she competed in the girls Under 12 category.
Adrianna has made the state of Negeri Sembilan proud indeed as this is the first time the state of Negeri Sembilan managed to achieve a Top 3 placing for the Girls Under 12 category in the history of MSSM.
FABULOUS FENCING WITH YUSI - YR 8
Hi, my name is Yusi, and I fence. Over the summer holidays, I participated in two fencing competitions, one state-level epee, and the other club-level epee. But before I start, you are probably wondering, what is epee? And more importantly, what is fencing? Well, fencing is a sport where two fencers use sticks/swords to poke the other person. When one of the fencers gets the point (you get a point when you get hit), they have to stop and go back to their starting position. There are three types of swords: foil, epee, and sabre. Foil is a type of sword in which you can only get a point by poking. Sabre is that sabre can be used to poke and slash. It is the fastest sword, meaning that you need to move very quickly. Epee is a sword type similar to foil, but double points also count. That is the sword type that I used to get my medals.
I started fencing when I first came to Malaysia 4 years ago, I was going swimming, and my father said I looked like a fencer in my swimsuit, so we found a fencing school, and I started learning foil with my brother. I liked this sport really much, because it’s just really fun to have a poking competition with someone. From then on, I trained every sunday, and I gradually got better and better, until my coach told me that I could join an epee competition in July 2022, so I was very excited, and hastily began training for the competition. When I went to the competition, I didn’t think that I would even make it to the quarter finals. I had a bad start in the pools, with only 2 wins out of 6. I made it to the elimination rounds ranked 17th. My first match was against rank 18, and I defeated him easily. But then my next match was against rank 1. I wasn’t worried, as I had only started training about a month ago, so it wouldn’t be that bad if I lost. After a long and tiring match, I surprised myself by winning 4-3. I was very happy, and won the rest of the matches all the way up to the finals, I met up with a tall fencer, and ended up losing. But I wasn’t sad, as it was an extremely fun (and tiring) day.