FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 124
Every week at Epsom College in Malaysia starts with our whole College assembly. These are important occasions where we consider important themes as a community.
Last week, our students and staff led a presentation about Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Chief Minister of Malaya and the declaration of Malaysian independence in 1957.
This week, Dr Simon Cooke led us in a reflection on the life and achievements of Queen Elizabeth II, on the day of her state funeral.
Later in the week we launched our series of Epsom Live Talks for 2022/23 with our very special guest Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, who was the Attorney General for Malaysia 2018 to 2020. Tan Sri Thomas generously shared his time and experiences to give a unique learning experience for our students.
Later in the term our students will meet with:
- H. E, Vanu Gopola Menon, Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia
- YM Datuk Muhammad Taufik Tengku Kamadjaja Aziz, President and Group CEO, Petronas
- Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, previous Minister of International Trade and Industry
These school events lead me to reflect on the theme of Leadership.
All teachers and many of our students are in specific leadership positions; positions of particular influence and responsibility – Prefects, House Roles, Academic Societies, School Council…
What does it take to be a good leader?
All of our Epsom Live Talk guests last year, and Tan Sri Thomas this week, spoke of the importance of integrity – the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles (Oxford Dictionary Definition). In other words, someone who can be trusted.
As a Physics teacher myself, I like the way Albert Einstein describes leadership:
Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.
Einstein’s words remind us that we are all leaders – we all influence others by our example.
Together we create the ‘culture’ of our school and community. An organisation’s culture can be described as – ‘the way we do things here’.
I know, first-hand, from the time I spend speaking with and listening to students, colleagues and parents in our Dining Hall, Library, Playground, corridors, classrooms, Grayling Centre, Houses, Sports Hall and grounds that the dominant ‘culture’ of our Epsom Community – the ‘way we do things here’ – is characterised by genuine friendliness, encouragement and kindness along with being engaged, ambitious and confident.
I believe this week’s Friday Flyer articles gives readers a sense of this special Epsom ethos – enjoy!
Special Events / Prefects
Hari Merdeka Independence Day 2022
Merdeka Day Assembly:
As a truly international school, we celebrate the diverse nature of our student body while remaining proud of our Malaysian context.
We aspire for our learners to be global citizens – responsible young adults who are aware of and understand the wider world and their place in it.
At Epsom we encourage our students to take an active role in their community and work with others to make our planet more peaceful, sustainable and fairer.
On the 12th of September 2022, we held a celebration of Malaysia Day / Independence Day via an Assembly in the theater organised by the MFL department. Those participating were from Year 7, Year 11, as well as 2 students from Year 12 group.
All of the students who participated are studying Malay in our native and non native classes. The aim of this assembly was to enlighten our college community on the importance and history of celebrating Malaysia day and Independence day for Malaysians.
The audience enjoyed a variety of performances by staff and students including the song “ Jalur Gemilang” and the song “ Warisan “ that was interpreted by Hitesh and Teja.
Events such as these are hugely beneficial to foster an open – minded and global mindset as we celebrate the many cultures of Malaysia and our school – Epsom.
Thanks to our MFL Head of Department, Miss Anna Macleod , for supporting our team!
Epsom Events this Week
There is no doubt that Epsom is a busy community as you can see! #wherelearningneverstops.
Here is a snapshot of recent events and initiatives:
Last week we celebrated Merdeka Day and this special service was led by our students and staff. It was an informative event full of energy and enthusiasm.
This week started on a more sombre note as that day saw the funeral of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Dr Cooke presented to us all on the life of the late Queen Elizabeth. As Patron of Epsom College, it was fitting that we reflect on her Majesty’s life of duty and service. She was an example to us all, a leader who embodied the methods and vision of our school.
Leadership is an important quality that cannot be underestimated. We have been most fortunate to have welcomed some very high profile senior leaders to Epsom to speak to our students as part of our Epsom Live Talks.
This week will welcome Tan Sri Tommy Thomas. Cebelle, Yr 13 will act as moderator and we cannot wait to welcome him to hear what he has to say about his career, his achievements and advice.
Our Academic Societies offer a wealth of opportunities to our students to develop their leadership skills. This week was BSE (Business Studies and Economics) focus week.
Our focus weeks are a new initiative that enable students to delve in detail into their areas of interest.
Molly from Year 12, who is simultaneously a representative for both the BSE and Comfort Society, led a talk that touched on important but unspoken things within the workplace on all levels—from educational to executive settings – her title was: Emotional Wellbeing in The Workplace.
Other events this week included: The Instant Happiness Cafe,
a whole school Kahoot Quiz on Business and Economics, Xinling in Yr 12 spoke to us on ‘The Extent to which Journalism Prioritises Business’, we also heard from Woorin & Everest who explored ‘Ethics in Business’. The BSE Soc shared Alumni Videos from Ex-Epsomians that are currently studying Economics in prestigious universities in the UK. In these videos Youchong and Aliff share their experiences of applying into universities and give tips on choosing the best universities. Shin spoke on ‘Learning Economics from the Nobel Prize’ and Ann Yi, representing the Violet Soc, discussed whether ‘Girlbossing is Ethical’ in her talk.
Keen to share their interest in medicine and Chemistry, Chantelle and Jeng Xin presented on: ‘Chemotherapy: How it Affects the Body’.
Imperial College London came to deliver an in person visit to those considering making an application.
At Epsom we recognise the value of education and this is something that we do not take for granted. We were delighted to support the initiative of Epsom Spelling Bee – organised by our lovely Service, Social, and Academic Prefects. All donations received will be given to MyKasih, a non-profit organisation in Malaysia that helps impoverished families and students.
So, yes, we are a busy community!! This is because we are committed to our success and believe that education is the greatest gift we can give!
Epsom Excursions Rock!!
Thanks to covid, we will never again take school trips for granted!!
Crawfurd and Rosebery girls paired up last Saturday, donning their life jackets ready for fun at the WaterPark at Tandem Hills!
Gymnastic prowess was observed as some of our girls showed off their diving skills!!
We look forward to many more trips where we will make precious memories to treasure with our friends and teachers!
Have a great week ahead!
We are the Example
At Epsom College in Malaysia, Carr House is the only House that does not have any students from Key Stage 4 or Key Stage 5, we are known as “the Junior House”.
When pondering this at the beginning of the new academic year, I decided that I needed to make sure that Carr boys never feel like they are ‘less than’ because of the fact that they are all juniors.
In order to start this process I held an assembly to explain to our boys that they are the example. I used a quote that explains that no one should ever look down on you because you are young but rather to always set an example. After this assembly, the phrase “We are the example” has been adopted by all and we constantly remind ourselves, as Carr House, that we are the example.
By saying that we are the example, we encourage each other to wear our uniform with pride, respect others with both our words and our actions, approach all House competitions with enthusiasm and hard work and to have the confidence to try new things – always to enter into a situation determined to be the example.
Recently Umair designed a t-shirt for Carr House. He has placed the Epsom College in Malaysia badge on the front and on the back of the shirt the Carr House logo and the words “WE ARE THE EXAMPLE”. Both his design and the positive responses from the Carr boys to his design have shown me that Carr boys do know and believe that they are, indeed, the example.
Rayyan has been passionate about arranging a charity fundraiser therefore we will be working on the printing of these shirts and all the money raised will be donated to his fundraiser.
Carr boys, you are the example!
Mrs Jennifer Garnett – Housmistress, Carr House
Food, Glorious Food, and Giving the Gift of Language
There’s never a dull moment in a boarding house, especially one with 70 girls with grades to get and lives to lead. I’m often reminded that their pastimes and passions outside of Epsom are just as demanding as the college’s long days: whether it’s Kyra’s tennis, Darshinie’s chess or Adrianna’s golf, Rosebery girls believe that if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
Shanthi Pillay and our Rosebery Girls:
I am also of this opinion, as are Shanthi Pillay and Carol Peters, Rosebery’s AHMM and matron respectively. Last Wednesday saw what turned out to be our inaugural ‘sarnies and strawberries’ afternoon tea for the day girls which, inevitably and riotously, became the whole house. Shanthi, Carol and I spent a happy hour in the Rosebery kitchen, buttering bread, slicing cucumber, hulling strawberries; there was even a sprinkling of blueberries in the bowl, a little luxury we all love. But the piece de la resistance was the sandwich filling. No tired sliced cheese or ham for us: no no no. Instead, mashed avocado, tuna, freshly squeezed lemon, coriander and sea salt was slathered between slices and fallen on by famished juniors and seniors fresh from their CCA exertions. I think it surprised us all how something so simple, prepared with the finest ingredients and made with love, could achieve in an instant our aim all along, for the girls to bond.
The metaphor is obvious, but it serves to underscore other highlights in Rosebery’s autumn calendar. Tomorrow, we are celebrating the exceptional achievements of last year’s Year 11 in their first set of public exam results. As I said to parents yesterday, ‘with clutches of A*s and 9s, our girls are the cream of the global crop, but it is also how they carry their success, without an ounce of arrogance or entitlement, that makes us so inclined to throw a party in their honour’.
We will be kicking off with pizza-plus-fresh-toppings and traditional vanilla-ice-cream-in-a cone. Games and the creation of a piece of House Art will follow, and then a film. I am most grateful to Tiffany and Ellie for their input, and hope they enjoy the evening, too.
Much more is planned, but for this edition’s flavour of Rosebery life, I will stop talking about food (never easy) to tell you about our Language Ambassadors. Ryoko, Pei Wen, Nanako, Jing Yan and Jing Xean have volunteered to spend an hour a week with some of the younger Epsomians for whom English is a significant challenge. I think we have to have been there ourselves to appreciate how discombobulating an elementary grasp of another tongue can be: my GCSE Japanese deserted me when faced with a Tokyo launderette. It is a leap of faith to attempt to operate in another language, and all of us at Epsom salute their courage. But sometimes a little day-to-day support is more meaningful, so the girls’ help – with prep, or bag-packing, or socialising – will make a difference. If only I had had one of them, in 1998, in front of that washing machine.
Ms Kate Orpwood, Housmistress, Rosebery House.
Dr Cooke - Remembering Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Remembering Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The funeral of Elizabeth II was held in London on Monday. At Epsom College her life and legacy were remembered with a morning assembly in Senior and Preparatory School. During the Monday lunchtime, a brief memorial event was held in the Atrium to the Epsom college theater.
Queen Elizabeth II was the British Monarch for seventy years. During this extraordinary period of public service, she carried out her public functions consistently and diligently. She earnt the respect and appreciation of the United Kingdom which was clearly demonstrated during a 10 day period of public mourning. Queen Elizabeth also served as a national figurehead, leading Britain through celebration’s of national successes and through momentous global events, and moments of national tragedy.
Queen Elizabeth II not only served as the United Kingdom’s monarch, but also acted as Head of State in 14 other countries such as Australia and Canada, alongside her role as Head of Commonwealth to 56 countries. During this period she performed 172 state visits, meeting leading statesmen and public figures over a 70 year period.
We reflected on the noble character she demonstrated in her role and how even those with the United Kingdom and elsewhere came to respect her life of public service. During this period she became admired for her patience, humour, resilience and courage (during a reign untainted by personal scandal). Queen Elizabeth also earned widespread respect for the patience and decorum she showed when dealing with personal loss and family troubles. For these reasons, commentators observed that she was probably the ‘‘most famous woman in the world’.
Later in the day, a short memorial service was held, led by ex-Royal Navy servicewomen Ms. Madeley. It began with a eulogy to the Queen, followed by a performance of the British National Anthem by the Music Department and Year 7 student, Hui Hann Oh (playing violin). The staff and students who attended then held a minute’s silence to remember the Queen’s life.
Queen Elizabeth led a life of outstanding national service. Ms Madeley summed up the national feeling during her eulogy:
“There was nothing remote or distant about her own sense of dignity. Her smile, her wave, all made the point immediately and transcended words. It was a nobility that rested not on the splendid trappings of royalty, but on a sense of the nobility of service.”
Dr Simon Cooke, Assistant Headteacher.
EAL - English as an Additional Language - at Epsom
Every day at Epsom we see students achieving success in our English-speaking environment, but sometimes we might not appreciate what an amazing accomplishment the progress made actually represents.
Our fine Epsomians, with English as a second, third or even fourth language, frequently focus their language-learning studies on grammar and topics that help them engage fruitfully with the curricula. For example, only today a student worked with me focusing on writing an essay in order to pass his IELTS exam – the skills he was honing will serve him well in the exam, in his subjects at Epsom, at college and even in his career.
However, what other benefits does learning a second language provide?
Socially, English is the lingua franca at Epsom and it allows pupils to make friends with other children and young adults from a wide range of language backgrounds – it helps them to work as part of a team; lead in the activities for which they hold a passionate interest, or; simply discuss a favourite game or book. It helps them to call for a pass in netball or offer suggestions in a study group.
In addition, learning a second language also has more measurable and perhaps useful benefits.
Did you know that bilingual children do better in standardised tests in maths, reading and vocabulary? These young people develop superior attention, mental flexibility and memory and are even better at formulating scientific hypotheses. These are all factors that are proven to lead to higher college attainment, improved employability and increased salary income.
Multilingual people even have an additional 0.05 cubic millimetres of grey matter in their brains!
Understanding the above, maybe we should appreciate and emulate those learners of English as an Additional Language even more: if we read, listen to a podcast or watch a favourite television show, perhaps we should do so in our second language. Then we could review what we have learned and try to talk or write about it using this language; after all, who wouldn’t like a bigger brain?
Mr Dean Jones, Housemaster, Granville House
Epsom - A place to nurture your academic interest
Upcoming Academic Enrichment Events 🙂
Epsom – A place to nurture your academic interest…
It has been three weeks since school started. Both teachers and students have been busy since the start of the year and there is no doubt that this applies to the Academic Prefects.
As the Academic Prefects at Epsom, our duty is to coordinate, assist with, and occasionally organise educational events at our school. Our aim is to improve the academic enrichment of our school from the point of view of our fellow students. We do this in close liaison with the academic school staff but from a student perspective. We also aim to help and support pupils via our project, which we will briefly mention later – so keep reading!
During the last academic year, we were immensely proud to say that our lovely Key Stage 4 Academic Prefects, Damon and Woorin, successfully organised a brain-racking and lively event – ‘The Last Epsomian Standing’ – a quiz night personalised for our Key Stage 4 students. This represented their very first initiative.
(The Last Epsomian Standing Quiz Event to facilitate revision of IGCSE topics covered before the IGCSE exams).
Our team also organised the first Epsom Academic Society Fair which was a massive success where both the societies and the students could engage, express and contribute their unique and exciting thoughts to the Epsom community.
Lots of activity at the Epsom Academic Society Fair
To kick-start the new academic year, we have planned a few academic enrichment activities for the students. The Academic Prefects will host two main upcoming events:
Firstly, the Epsom College Science Award (ECSA). This is a competition open for both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students to design a science-related poster. We are preparing the theme for the competition, and this will be announced soon. This competition will provide an excellent platform for students to explore and cultivate their interest in science, dig themselves into some profound research, and discover their vast potential and future career options with creativity, innovation and originality, specifically in science. For the students planning to apply for university, having this award in their personal statement will definitely be a plus for their university admissions.
We are pleased to announce our second event – Chinese Debate Week. We have invited The Garden International School (GIS) for a friendly match, and we are looking to collaborate with UNESCO. To students that enjoy debating or who are looking to improve their Mandarin skills, this is a good time for them to shine and unleash their inner debater.
Additionally, we are planning a “University-Challenge” styled competition and some educational field trips in the upcoming Term 2. We will have all the details announced soon. Thus, stay tuned for more information and be sure to get yourselves involved!
The Academic Prefects 2022/23