Headmaster's Welcome

Happy Friday all and welcome to the weekend!

This morning the Prefects led our assembly and it was most impressive.

The range of opportunities that are available to our student community continues to grow and this is most exciting as we seek to provide our students with the most holistic education possible.

Today, the Academic Prefects presented on ECSA (read on to find out more!). This academic opportunity may seem uninteresting at first glance, however, this is not the case – the ability to summarise one’s research findings in poster form and then present in detail is a skill assessed at university and post graduation. I strongly encourage students to take advantage of this initiative.

Our Prefect Team have reached out to an animal sanctuary to arrange opportunities for our students who want to be involved in animal protection and welfare. There are opportunities to intern with NGOs, they have organised an interschool debate competition and this is only to mention what was discussed today! 

I am seriously impressed with the organisation skills, maturity, initiative and leadership of our Prefect Team. They are excellent role models to their juniors.

It was to my delight to read that our Admissions Prefects have chosen to write on what makes Epsom special – I do not doubt that, as you read on, you will gain insight into our community, culture and ethos. Epsom is indeed a special place in which to live and learn and I consider it my great privilege to be the Headmaster.

Happy Reading and Happy Friday!

PS – Epsom is a beautiful place in which to live and learn (the sunsets are stunning!) too as these pictures show!

Epsom's Specialities

What makes Epsom So Special?

With over 150 students recently joining our community Epsom has been vibrant with effervescence and vitality. As an international school, Epsom strives to provide the best schooling experience possible. But compared to the numerous international schools in Malaysia, what exactly makes Epsom so special?

First and foremost, student spirit.

The enthusiastic participation of students in organizing school events to immerse themselves in has helped ensure that all events in our new academic year so far have been nothing less than a success. 

The myriad opportunities given to students have all been welcomed with an immense degree of appreciation. From leadership roles to societies, there are plenty of choices for students to decide how they want to develop themselves. However, it is the readiness of students to try new things that enables them to stand out from the crowd.

Studying in a boarding school definitely shapes you as a person. It teaches you to be considerate, to have discipline, and to work well in a team. In Epsom, you get to grow with a large population of international students as well as local students from all over Malaysia, meaning students get to exchange cultural experiences and gain an understanding of global perspectives. While It is completely coherent for parents to worry that their child will feel lonely or homesick, Epsom provides top-notch pastoral care alongside their well-being prefects and comfort society. Not to mention the lifelong friendships that will develop and the memories that will follow, it is clear that the feeling of apprehension is dispensable.

Above all, everyone has a voice in Epsom. Even with the large population of students, each and everyone’s opinions are valued. Students are always welcome to talk to a prefect, a staff, or a member of the senior leadership team if they have any ideas, suggestions, or concerns. The support system Epsom provides is definitely one of the best there is. Teachers are happy to give guidance while students are still given the independence to determine their purpose and how they want to contribute to society. Whether it is regarding Academics, Arts, Sports, or Extracurriculars, Epsom is here to assist.

Epsom Alumni leave Epsom fulfilled and excited to explore the world, with Epsom holding a special place in their hearts. So while you are still studying in Epsom, I urge you to step out of your comfort zone and customize your Epsom experience to make the most out of it!

See you soon and enjoy your weekend!

The Admissions Prefects

Get a Whiteboard!

 by Jane Rouson Head of Prep

I am sure you have heard the terms ‘Resilience’ ‘Growth Mindset’ and ‘Bounce-back-ability’.  All of these things relate to keeping going, not giving up and working hard to reach a target

This is the ideal.  In a perfect world we would all keep on trying, never give up and ‘get there in the end’.

What is often missing from all of this however, is desire. Do we actually want to get there?  Do we care about the end result? If the answer to one or both of these questions is ‘no’, then there is no growth mindset and absolutely no bouncing back happening.

I would like you all to take as your role model the singer-songwriter, John Legend.

John Legend knew he wanted to be a singer and performer and someone who made a difference.

John was rejected from many, many record companies before someone eventually signed him (a company who had originally said ‘no’). For six years he kept on trying.

While John was getting constant knock backs, he decided to make one of his friends his manager, he needed support, advice and encouragement.

The first thing John’s new manager did was take him over to her whiteboard and give him a marker.  

“Write down your dream,” she told him.

Mr Legend wrote, ‘Get a recording contract.’

“What else?” his manager asked.

‘Sell a million records’ 

‘Win a Grammy’

“Go bigger!”  

Both John and his manager were giddy with excitement by this stage.

John Legend then wrote down four letters.   


 These are the initials of the four most prestigious awards in US and world entertainment: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.  Only seventeen people have ever been awarded all four.  John Legend is one of them. Not only is he one of only 17, he was the youngest ever to do it and the first black man to achieve the accolade.

So we need to dream big.  Have those dreams in our mind so the rejection, bouncing back and constant need for resilience becomes a bit sweeter. 

What are you writing on your whiteboard?


Prep School 

What is Seesaw?

Seesaw is a digital app-based platform that allows students, teachers, and parents or guardians to complete and share classroom work. 

The student portfolio grows over time, allowing the children to carry it through their year at school and for parents, students and teachers to see progress before their eyes!

What do we use Seesaw for in the Prep School?

The prominent use for Seesaw in the prep school is creating a window into our classrooms for the parents.  At the moment, our teachers and learning assistants, share photographs and videos of moments of learning that show what has been happening, what has been learned and how the students are responding to life in the prep school. 

As the students become more familiar with the platform, we would like to see them suggesting their own posts.  Many students are already commenting on their class posts and congratulating their friends on becoming Star of the Week!

Seesaw is also used for homework and assignments for the students.  It is a really easy way for the children to see their task, read the instructions and submit their responses.  By using Seesaw, students can show what they know using various media, from photos and videos to drawings, text, links, and PDFs. This is all on the Seesaw platform, meaning it can be seen and appraised by teachers and shared with parents and guardians.

Finally, Seesaw is a very effective communication tool as it allows fast instant messaging between teachers and parents; teachers and students and if appropriate, students and students.

As all parties grow in familiarity and confidence with the platform, we will hopefully see the use of Seesaw develop into something which inspires the children, enhances the learning process and gives the parents a valuable insight into their child’s learning journey.

If you have any questions about Seesaw, please feel free to contact me or any of the Prep School teachers.

Jane Rouson

Head of Prep

How do Cats Always Land on their Feet?

I don’t know…

… but this week it is one of the questions that has me thinking about the benefits of a holistic education.

The reason for this consideration is that how cat’s fall is the topic chosen by Year 12 Soshi during our House assembly.  He discussed the presentation with me on Monday and then prepared and practised it by Wednesday for delivery on Friday.  I am reasonably confident that it is not a topic we would study in any of our regular academic classes and yet wouldn’t we like to know more about it?  Who knows where this curiosity might lead.

A young and successful Soshi in action in a picture in the Sports’ Hall

In some respects this highlights the benefits of a more holistic education system and for students to have the opportunities to explore learning in ways in addition to the traditional.  A trip to the mall, such as the one we did last Saturday, an inter-house volleyball tournament such as the one taking place this week, or a social invitational such as the one happening on Saturday evening in the boarding house, are all occasions offering personal development.

Furthermore, the leadership and social duties pupils undertake in Epsom not only benefit our community but are also rewarding and valuable for the individuals themselves.  Examples include the prefect roles, the heads of families and the language and subject ambassadors: in addition to these roles providing service to the staff and students, they offer management and other experience to the individuals.  These experiences will serve the students well throughout their lives.

So, how do cats always land on their feet?  Why not ask Soshi or another Granvillian to find out?

Mr Dean Jones,

Housemaster, Granville House

Hello Humanities!

It has been a really positive start to the academic year in the Humanities Department and it is wonderful to be back to face to face in the classroom at last. We have two new members of staff in the department in Mrs Avis Parker and Mrs Kate Fowler who are joining Dr Cooke , Mr Oliver Boyle and myself this year in what is a highly experienced and knowledgeable team.

The Sixth Form Politics students have recently been able to observe another tumultuous turn of events in British politics which we are able to discuss in class as part of the course. From the constitutional changes and traditions as a result in the changing of a monarch as well as the inglorious departure of Boris Johnson and the questionable elevation of Liz Truss these are certainly interesting times. With talk of an upcoming General Election in Malaysia being imminent and ever-changing issues in global politics I am sure that our students will have many other real-life case studies over the next year that they will be able to explain and analyse. The Sixth Form History students as well have been able to use recent events as useful historical context as we are studying Modern British History 1951-2007 which follows the all the events from the coronation of Elizabeth II through to the premiership of Tony Blair. The troubling events in the Ukraine are also helping students understand the longstanding issues in the region which is helpful when they are studying the A Level course on Russia 1855-1964.

After outstanding results in the GCSE summer examinations students are continuing to work well in Geography. Both KS4 and 5 students are focussing primarily on Physical Geography with a particular focus on coasts and erosional feature and rivers and hydrological processes whereas in KS3 there is more a focus on Human Geography studying tourism and Year 8 History lessons students are learning about the main events of sixteenth and seventeenth century England and they thoroughly enjoyed finding out about the stories of Henry VIII and Queen Mary I .Year 7 students have been focussing on basic historical skills such as chronology and developing their use of primary sources as evidence. Year 9 History students have been studying events of the Twentieth Century and have been looking initially at the events of the First World and students are producing of a war trench diary from the perspective of a WW1 soldier. Some of these were produced to an excellent standard; full of detail and demonstrating understanding and empathy of what was a terrible event.

Please note that in November there will be a Humanities Week. This will include an assembly on Remembrance as well a range of different activities and talks throughout the week which will be led by staff as well as the always enthusiastic members of the Humanities Society.

James Dale
Head of Humanities

Epsom Student and Staff v Pangolin Cricket Club

2nd October 2022

An enthusiastic Epsom Student and Staff team hosted the wiley Pangolin CC who travelled from Kuala Lumpur to play in a friendly fixture to mark the beginning of the academic year and the resumption of a friendly fixture predating the Covid-19 pandemic.

With rain overnight, conditions were initially damp underfoot as we won the toss and elected to field first on a grassy pitch with the weather and a good pace attack in our favour. Faruq Sha and Mr. Ali opened the bowling keeping a tight line and length limiting the Pangolin batters to measly singles in the early skirmishes, thanks to an eager band of Epsom fielders. Emphatic run outs came from Miss Ng and Mr Calder who both acted calmly under pressure to give the home side their first two wickets. Whilst Miss Back and Mr Miller managed to extract turn from the pitch, Mr Sankey and Mr Calder impressed with the ball as runs were hard to come by. Mr Ali struck after the drinks break with an LBW and Miss Ng took a wicket in her first ever over removing the opposition’s top scorer. Pangolin crept over the century mark and ended their inning on 113 for 7 from 30 overs.

Pangolin’s bowlers were incredibly accurate to begin the Epsom innings as Mr Sankey, Jai Sangaran and Afiq Amir were removed early on. Miss Back, with 3 diligent runs from her 27 balls and Mr Ali steadied the ship, the latter striking the only 4 in the game as well as a towering 6 over the pavilion departed for 14. Hopes rested on Mr Miller (21) and Mr Calder (10) to take Epsom over line but the promising partnership didn’t deliver as Miller was left stumped trying to force the pace. Mr Baloyo offered stern resistance and Miss Madeley struck firm blows, but the home side’s resistance ended with 6 overs to go on 86. We showed great team spirit and improved in confidence as the game developed. Player of the match was Miss Madeley who brilliantly kept wicket for 30 overs in steaming hot conditions. 

Pangolin CC – 113 for 7 (30 overs)

Epsom S&S – 86 All Out (24 overs)

What do our students have to say about the match?

“It has been over two years since I played cricket matches in school. This game was really fun because we got to play with the teachers and people from outside. All of them are very friendly and are willing to help us if we make any mistakes during the game. I managed to bowl for two overs and I got one wicket thanks to Mr Calder’s catch. When I was batting, I faced a tricky spinner, and he got me out after two overs. Overall, it was a tiring but enjoyable match.” 

Muhammad Afiq Amir Mohd Fauzi

“Last Sunday, I was invited to play for our college cricket match. I was very excited since it had been 2 years. We had a great team and especially Mr. Arafath and Mr. Miller who kept their passion and leadership roles on the field. I missed a great opportunity to get one of the runners out after he had hit the ball into the sky coming my direction. Many more games to come where I can surely get runners out. I loved one of Mr. Ryan’s bowls that was so calm and accurate. I truly enjoyed the match as it was not rivalry between the teams but encouragement. When I missed a shot and it hit my wicket the other team gave me an applaud for coming out to bat. I could have done better since I’m a batsman rather than a bowler. I also would say there was a 6 that was scored and it goes for my batsman of the day Mr. Arafath he was very confident when the ball was coming to him and BOOM out of the field onto the roof on the pavilion. I hope we can have many more of this fixture on a Sunday morning to mix and create bonds between staff and students.” 

Jairaj Naidu R. Sangaran ( Jai) 

“Actually it was an interesting game. It has been two years since I last played cricket. I tried my best and was still hoping to get better and better in the next game. We could actually win that game because everyone put in a good effort. I’m so excited to play the next game as soon as possible.”

Muhammad Faruq Sujad Sha

Epsom Live Talk -Vanu Gopala

An Epsom Live Talk  with Vanu Gopala

Epsom College was thankful for a visit by the High Commissioner of Singapore to Malaysia. Stationed in KL, he serves as an ambassador and is a vital link for communication to, and cooperation between, the two close states. 

In his visit to our school, he started off with a talk about the United Nations. Mr Gopala also served as the representative of Singapore to the UN. Talking about his time as ambassador, he mentioned the ‘arm twisting’ that occured behind closed doors between greater and lesser countries. An example was when Italy took the seat of Ghana to make sure they voted in favour of what Italy wanted—blackmail. While many already may be aware of the failings of the global institution, he helps shed light on the issues and how they disproportionately affect smaller states. His opinions on the UN were pragmatic in the sense that while it could be unrepresentative or simply problematic, it is better to be a part of the organisation due to the fact that they still have some voice or power, however small. 

Students had the opportunity to ask questions about whatever they could about diplomacy and politics. The military Junta in Burma was discussed with its effects on democracy and whether it should be considered legitimate or not. I asked why Singapore went from a backwater to the most developed country in Asia. To him the answer was simple—clamping down on corruption and having good leadership. Mr Gopala told us how Lee Kwan Yew was such a leader who sacked members of parliament for taking even small bribes. He was, through his well known pragmatic and ‘no-nonsense’ approach, able to lead his country to financial power. Perhaps Malaysia could benefit from such an approach.

ECSA Award

Greetings from the Academic Prefects team.

We hope that you are doing well in your social and academic life.

We would like to announce the launch of the Epsom College Science Award, ECSA. This is a competition designed for Key Stage (KS)  5 and Key Stage 4 students to develop their interest in scientific subjects further. This involves designing a poster and students are required to research a scientific discovery and create a poster to explain the scientific discovery.

Do not underestimate the power of the poster!! As our Headmaster, Mr Brown, explained to us recently, Post Graduates are increasingly required to summarise their research findings in poster form. 

This year, the focus is the ‘Future of Science’ and submission dates start on the 3rd of October and end on the 31st of October. We highly encourage all KS4 and KS5 students to participate in this event, as we believe that this would be tremendously helpful for students to discover their interests. Additionally, it would also be a bonus point to have on your personal statements. 

Please find the document attached to this email for more information about the Science Award.

If you are interested in joining this award, please fill up the registration form here. The poster submission will begin on 3rd October 2022 (Monday).

We look forward to receiving the creative posters designed by all of you! If you have any questions or enquiries, do not hesitate to contact any of us for further clarification 🙂

Best wishes for a Happy Friday!

The Academic Prefect Team

Immerse Essay Competition Success

The Core of Economics

Congratulations to Aisha in Yr 11 who is one of the Prize Winners for this year’s Immerse Essay Competition. Her title was: The Core of Economics

This was a record breaking competition that received thousands of entries from students attending leading schools all over the world. Each of the judges commented on the impressive quality and originality of essays that were received this year across all categories, and it was clear that our candidates had invested significant effort in researching and writing their essays.

I am therefore delighted to be able to inform you that our judges selected Aisha’s essay to receive a partial scholarship of 20% to take part in the Economics programme with Immerse Education in 2023. Congratulations on being recognised as one of the highest calibre of entries this year Aisha!

The Core of Economics – by Aisha Yr 11 

The academic definition of economics is plain: “the study of how people allocate scarce resources for production, distribution, and consumption, both individually and collectively” (1Adam Haynes, 2022). A definition may be a conclusive summary, but it alone cannot encapsulate the vast scope and complexities of economics. Hidden between the jargon is a simple lesson on how to make choices and dealing with its consequences.

     Economics is a tool for society to predict future turmoil and the possible plans of action. However it is important to remember economic solutions are merely choices with compromises, ergo solutions come with opportunity costs. As Thomas Sowell said, “There are no solutions, just trade-offs”. A key note of economics is that there is no definite right or wrong answer. A wrong could be a right and a right might as well be a wrong — depending on who holds the ballot. It is warped and configured by the society and ideas we believe in. 

     An example of this is the application of the Phillips curve which shows the inverse relationship between unemployment and inflation. During the 1950s and 60s this relationship held up well which led to policymakers using it to optimise the economy (2Tejvan Pettinger, 2019). However, during the 70s and 80s America not only struggled with high inflation rates at 12.3% but high unemployment as well at 7.2% in 1974 (3U.S bureau of labor statistics) which did not correlate with the Phillips curve. Now in the 21st century inflation rates have been relatively stable, despite the current temporary spike, while unemployment has been reduced. Some politicians such as the U.S. representative for New York’s 14th district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have questioned the level of unemployment the U.S. Federal Reserve is willing to tolerate to reduce inflation being too high (4C-Span, 2019). Even with the insurmountable data, the Fed continues to use the Phillips curve with their chairman Jerome Powell stating that it “continues to be meaningful for monetary policy”(5Jerome Powell, 2018). A good economy must be willing and able to improve their economic models. 

    The focus and tilt of economics also vary between societies. A developing country in Southeast Asia such as Malaysia has very different economic experiences and challenges from a developed one like in the United States. I experienced this first hand when I visited New York City recently. I noticed quickly the inherent economic inequality as great wealth exists side by side with poverty and homelessness. A free and capitalistic market like America means more prospects for prosperity at the top but a slower trickle for those at the bottom. Malaysia on the other hand is a developing country thus having less capital and resources to spread around with the government having more control over the economy. Even though the citizens are less prosperous on average, homelessness is not as prevalent as in advanced western economies. The choice of more freedom to pursue prosperity may have the cost of more inequality and each society will constantly struggle to find an acceptable balance.

     Economics is a tightrope act with decisions hanging perilously on its shoulders, problems being hurled at its way and in need of a different strategy every time to stay on that rope. It’s core calls for an economics model that avoids rigidity and learns to use remedial action to strive for local society relevance.


1 Haynes, A. “Economics Defined with Types, Indicators, and Systems”, Investopedia (2022), last accessed: 28th August 2022

2 Pettinger, T. , “Phillips Curve”, (2019), last accessed: 28th August 2022

3 AOC asks about that Phillips curve fairy tale, [online video], c-span, 10 July 2019,, last accessed: 28th August 2022

4 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Unemployment Rate”, 1948 to 2021, last accessed: 28th August 2022

5 Powell, J. H. (2018) “The Outlook for the U.S. Economy.” Speech given at the Economics Club of Chicago (April 6)., last accessed: 28th August 2022

Which key attributes make a protagonist likeable?

We also congratulate Alicia in Yr 12 for her Creative Writing piece entitled: Which key attributes make a protagonist likeable?

Here is her prize winning piece – enjoy!!

Creating a likeable protagonist is usually the priority for most authors: they’re integral to developing the plot, and expected to be exemplary role models. As consumers, we look for protagonists who breed admiration, envy, even if they slightly stray from morality; a redemption arc enables us to grow alongside them – just as we did with Zuko.

Someone who strays from predictability as they pursue their endeavours, is someone who makes a worthy, likeable protagonist. Such is Daenerys Targaryen, ‘The Mother of Dragons’ from Game of Thrones: an exiled, orphaned princess being sold by her brother for his own political agenda, and conditioned to conform to patriarchal mannerisms. However, after exposure to her arranged husband’s culture, she emerges as a determined, resilient and introspective queen. Daenerys’ development was undoubtedly instrumental to her rise in popularity, as well as her emotional intelligence when dealing with socio-political issues such as slavery, misogyny and carnage – she prioritized her constituents over her well-being; her vulnerability became her strength, in a landscape dominated by men, as she maintains her femininity alongside her political competence, enabling her to earn the respect (and loyalty) of her people. Her agency catalyses her to simultaneously become one of the most adored protagonists in the franchise, whilst also catalysing her psychological breakdown into villainy, embodying the mantra of House Targaryen: ‘Fire and Blood’.

Eren Jaeger – arguably the most well-written protagonist of our time, consumed with revenge, nuanced agency, and compassion. His non-hemogenic descent into machiavellianism enthralled us, as such a bombastic and caustic child grew up to be a fatalistic martyr, who commits genocide all for the sake of freedom. He blurs the lines between protagonist and antagonist, as he sacrifices his humanity to preserve his loved ones’, becoming what he believes to be a necessary evil, despite criticism; the unpredictability of his venture into villainy ironically makes him likeable: it’s complex to comprehend for some, but giving his upbringing, surroundings and world he’s in, it’s psychologically coherent that he becomes something he once despised, to protect his dream. With his limited lifespan, he obsesses over protecting his people and loved ones, even if that results in foreign carnage; Eren becomes paradoxical – the man who craves freedom is the least free. His worst fear is failing to protect their right to experience liberation. Whilst many would consider these unlikeable traits, Eren’s trauma of being born into a discriminated, imprisoned race (Eldyians), being vulnerable to cannibalistic titans, and becoming orphaned as a consequence (as well as seeing his own mother devoured with his own eyes), all make his development somewhat understandable; his commitment and determination to create a freedom he’s always dreamed of, yet will never get to indulge in, emphasises his lack of villainy if anything. We respect him, empathise with him, root for him, despite his sins.

To conclude, the attributes of a likeable protagonist should often make them complex, interdimensional; insert bouts of sarcastic banter, make them flawed so we can resonate and elucidate a kinship, just as Riordan did with Percy; enable them to be cunning and emotionally intelligent to supplement their agency – give them purpose, even if it’s immoral: we quickly realise that likeability correlates with magnetism: if the protagonist is lacking, we tend to gravitate towards side characters (and perhaps antagonists) such as Loki, Darcy or Cersei.


Bibliography Citation


(n.d). ‘Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones’, CharacTour [Web Document], Retrieved from accessed on 27 June 2022


(2019). ‘The Psychology of ‘Game of Thrones’: Daenerys Targaryen’, Fandom [Web Document], Retrieved from accessed on 27 June 2022


(n.d). ‘A Game of Thrones Character Daenerys StormBorn Targaryen’, SparkNotes [Web Document], Retrieved from accessed on 27 June 2022


(2021). ‘The Transformative Protagonist — A retrospective look at Eren Yeager’, Medium [Web Document], Retrieved from,life%2C%20home%2C%20and%20family. accessed on 27 June 2022


(2021). ‘Eren Yeager : Character Analysis’, Shark Attack [Web Document], Retrieved from accessed on 27 June 2022

Salut from the Scienz Soc

Happy Friday Everyone,

We hope you have had a great week!

Have you eaten water before? 

We’re not talking about ice, but eating water while it’s still liquid? If your answer was no, then you should have joined us for our Scinez session to find out more 🙂

On Wednesday we hosted our first experimental-based session and we wanted to start with something simple yet scientifically intriguing and fun – making edible water bubbles! 

Here are some resources that relate to the experiment that you may find of interest.

  1. How to Make an Edible Water Bottle – Easy Spherification Recipe for Making a Water Bubble –
  2. Scientists have created edible water –
  3. 22 Inventions That Are Saving The Earth –