FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 128
Welcome to this week’s edition of our Epsom Friday Flyer!
We have had a wonderful week and a great end to the first half term of the new academic year…
Mrs Fowler, our Acting Deputy Headteacher, Pastoral started the week with an assembly on the international nature of our school community and the many advantages and opportunities that this brings.
By virtue of the fact that we have so many different nationalities, cultures and languages within our student, and, indeed, staff body, we develop on so many levels without even realising it! We become more open minded, more tolerant, we learn more languages, appreciate different foods and tastes and generally become more global in our perspective. In this way the very nature of our school contributes to shaping the future ready global citizens that we aspire for all of our students to become.
Speaking of different languages – last weekend Epsom hosted a Mandarin debate competition. Cebelle in Yr 12 ably assisted by our Liaison Officer, Mr Goh, conceived and arranged this special event that saw our team take on Garden International School. The quality of the debate was very high and saw each team win 1 round.
Our Mandarin Department is to be congratulated along with Cadence, who this year has won a High Achievement Award from Cambridge exam board for her outstanding performance in Chinese at A-level. Very well done Cadence and xie xie to Ms Peng and her team for their hard work in assisting and supporting Cadence!
Later in the week we held Pink Day that saw all our staff and students dress in pink for school to raise awareness of, and funds to combat, cancer.
The event of the year – House Choral – was this week! What a wonderful event this was – we all thoroughly enjoyed watching the performances that our students had prepared and are extremely grateful to our House Staff as well as Mrs Tamlyn Calder and Mr Crann for their support of our students. We would also like to shout out to Alif and the student Tech Team who have spent hours over the past few weeks assisting their fellow students in the theatre during practice sessions.
The EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) is offered to our Sixth Form students as part of their curriculum and this week we enjoyed the following presentations from Yr 13 students:
‘Could stem cell therapy ever cure autoimmune diseases, rather than acting merely as a treatment?’ by Jing Xean
‘Is hypnotherapy ever a viable anaesthetic for surgery?’ by Khai Yue
‘Why is Internet Celebrity Marketing (in China) so effective with teenagers and how has it led to irrationality and bounded rationality?’ by Cebelle
‘How did Mark Rothko unlock the emotional power of colour and how does this validate abstract art?’ by Sutri
I always enjoy these presentations and come away having learnt something new every time!
Of course this week is Deepavali and we are hosting an event to celebrate and all staff are invited – this includes our security team, catering and cleaning staff as well as administration and finance. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff who, in all that they do, enable Epsom to thrive.
So as you read on you will find out more about what has been happening this week and we look forward to sharing with you in our next edition.
Until then, Happy Reading and Happy Friday!
Mr Matthew, Brown
A Message from the Senior Leadership Team - Mr Phil Pedro
‘When you do nothing you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.’ Maya Angelou
It has been a busy half-term in our Sixth Form. Students have been engaged with the start of a new academic year, discovering new subjects and enjoying many Co Curricular Activities (CCAs).
Students have led CCAs this term making a positive contribution to the programme on offer and developing invaluable skills. A range of activities has been on offer, such as Engineering CCA, Leadership CCA and Science CCA. Our Sixth Form students have worked hard on their planning to deliver meaningful sessions to students in our community. All the sessions are supervised by our staff, which provides students a great opportunity to work as part of a team and implement their ideas independently.
Epsom Live Talks
Our culture is to have students at the centre of everything we do. Our Epsom Live Talks are no exception. Students carefully research and prepare questions for our guest speakers. They also use a range of ways to rehearse in order to be fully ready for the day. This term Epsom had the privilege to welcome, amongst its notable guests: Mr Tommy Thomas, a former Attorney General of Malaysia and one of our country’s most famous lawyers and Mr Vanu, a Singaporean diplomat in Malaysia. This term our students are looking forward to meeting and being inspired by more prominent personalities who shape the future of Malaysia and the global economy.
Cultural celebration is always at the heart of our community. In Epsom, students are fortunate to be exposed to many different cultures, languages and traditions which we embrace and celebrate. Deepavali was no exception and was a great opportunity for our students to turn the Sixth Form Centre into a bright, colourful space to welcome the start of the Deepavali festival.
Our Sixth Form Prefect Teams have been extremely busy with a plethora of projects touching on various key aspects of our school life: Academics, Social, Well-being, International, Service and Community. Most recently our Well-being Prefects have worked on two projects. One of them is a buddy system to allow senior students to help younger years adapt to new subjects and facilitate their transition into a new course and sometimes a new school environment. This week, prefects are also organising thank you cards for all our teachers to show the students’ appreciation for everyone’s hard work and to reinforce our community spirit.
Extended Project Qualification
This month students will continue to present thought-provoking topics on various subjects that they have researched as part of their EPQ (Extended Qualification Project) project: Engineering, Psychology, History… These independent projects help students boost their confidence in completing academic research and will be of benefit to their university application as an additional qualification.
Oxbridge and Top University support
Our students have benefitted from plenty of university support with representatives and professors from several top universities visiting Epsom to provide general advice on university applications or more detailed advice on applications to specific courses. These events have taken place on a daily basis and are tailored to fit all our students’ needs.
Our Sixth Form is a busy inclusive space, led and shaped by our students. Every Sixth Former has a role to play, whether they are a prefect or integral supporter of all the activities on offer. The Sixth Form represents a vibrant place where students may gather to share ideas, work as a team or just do some quiet independent study. The welcoming nature and atmosphere of our Sixth Form ensures all students are equally valued. We love the spirit of community we have, and the fact that students and staff care about each other’s well-being and success.
Mr Phil Pedro, Assistant Headteacher
A Message from Crawfurd House
As we approach half term I can honestly say that it has been an absolute privilege to meet the students of Crawfurd House. They have embraced the busy school routine, developed great relationships with their tutors, made new friends and overcome daily challenges.
For many it is their first time living away from home and they are all blossoming into independent young women. They have enjoyed getting to know their roommates and the photos attached show recent fun times at the Games night and at the senior Inter House Volleyball event.
One of the most gratifying aspects of running Crawfurd House is working with students of a mix of ages from 9 to 18 years. I enjoy seeing the tolerance of the older students, the excitement and youthful energy the juniors bring on a daily (hourly basis!) and the empathy shown by those in the middle!
This week it has been inspiring to see the leadership team assisting during prep time with the younger students, watching the impact that a 6th form student had as they helped a year 7 to rearrange their room and sharing a fun card game with the full boarders to round off a busy week.
Building house spirit over the first half term will culminate in the house song performance next week. All of the tutors are very much looking forward to this event and we wish the Creative Art leadership team lots of luck and support with their production.
Mrs Helen Miller, Housemistress, Crawfurd House.
Propert House - A Sporting Week
A Sporting Week in Propert!
It has been another busy and fruitful week in Propert House.
The boys have been busy learning the music and the lyrics for the house song and Garrison has led a number of singing practices in house. Bryan and Leighton are busy arranging the rest of the musical items to be performed on the night. There has been a change of song and it is now sounding good although there is a long way to go!
Last week also saw our first Open Mic and a number of Propert students were involved in performing. Well done to Everest for his contribution!
Last Saturday saw a whole boarding Trip to the IOI mall which is now the biggest mall in Malaysia. A number of students took the opportunity to go ice skating and Mr Carroll impressed the boys by sliding gracefully off the ice. Lots of the boys enjoyed the shops and the restaurants!
This week also included the house volleyball competition and the Propert teams had been practicing hard over the last two weeks. The competition saw the Junior team win two sets to nil after being 24-21 down in the second game, the team recovered to win 26-24. The senior boys team also played very well and they won their match, two sets to nil. The first game was convincing, 25-10 and then a hard fought second game saw Propert come out as victors, 25-23. Well done to all who took part, it really was a great occasion.
Congratulations to the winning Propert junior team.
This week also saw the first football fixtures of the term and the Under 19 and Under 15 boys played against Oasis School. A large number of Propert boys were involved in both teams. The under 15 team played first and in a competitive game they ran out eventual winners, 10-2. Well done to Jack Dale who scored five goals and Luke Fowler with two goals.
The Under 19 team played in a competitive well fought game and took the lead through Tom Whitney in the first half. A few defensive errors let the opposition back into the game and the final score was 2-1 to Oasis. The boys are looking forward to a possible return fixture.
English at Epsom
English at Epsom
The English department welcomes two new members, Miss Alexandra Kitchen who comes to Epsom from the United Kingdom and Ms Yolanda McCord who joins Epsom from Kolej Yayasan UEM in Malaysia, by way of the USA. The department is fortunate to have a veteran member on its team, Mrs Kate Orpwood, who is also the HMM (Housemistress) of Rosebery House.
Term 1 in English classrooms has been filled with engaging lessons where the students are having fun while learning!
Year 7 pupils are reading the novel Holes by Louis Sachar and are also focusing on the theme of survival while reading articles such as “Africa’s Wild Dogs-A Survival Story,” by Jocelin Kagan and the short story, “To Build a Fire,” written by Jack London. The students have shared presentations providing their own thoughts of what survival means to them.
Years 8 and 9 are learning the importance of recognising and respecting cultural differences while incorporating descriptive essays and creative writing. The students have been analysing texts from Indian, Japanese and Chinese cultures and have been highly engaged in the unit. Year 9 students have learnt the format and characteristics of slam poetry. It was inspiring to see them create and perform a slam poem including the themes of diversity and cultural appreciation.
Year 10 students are reading the play An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley and studying the elements of drama such as stage directions, setting and characterization. The lessons in Year 10 are designed to prepare students for the English language and literature IGCSE in Year 11.
Year 11 language students are starting their coursework component. They have been working hard to make detailed and perceptive links between their set texts. Most recently, they have worked collaboratively in groups to present their findings to the class. Year 11 literature students are reading and analysing Shakespeare’s Macbeth along with reading and analysing poetry by various poets from different backgrounds. They are also editing their coursework in preparation for the final submission.
The students in Year 12 are working hard in preparation for AS exams and are studying King Lear, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and various poems by Robert Frost.
Lastly, the Year 13 students, who are almost to the finish line, are reading and analysing Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee for their coursework. They will sit for Paper 1of their A-level English exam in January 2023.
The English students are flourishing! One aim of the English teachers is to not only create enjoyable lessons for the students but also enhance their critical thinking as this soft skill is essential to excelling in English language and literature.
What exactly is critical thinking?
“Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualising, applying, analysing, synthesising, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by observation, experience, reflection, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”
Why do English students need good critical thinking skills?
Students need to be able to:
- interpret and analyse literature as well as speeches.
- evaluate textual evidence and use it to support assertions and arguments.
- analyse different interpretations, viewpoints and perspectives.
- reach conclusions based on reasoning.
- synthesise and organise ideas and concepts in a logical way in an essay.
The English department hopes everyone has a nice and restful mid-term break, and we look forward to a great start after the holiday!
Ms Yolanda McCord, Head of English.
Deepavali: An Essay By -Zhi Yi Year 8
As night fell in the city, the street was illuminated with thousands and thousands of oil lamps being lit one by one. The passersby stared at the oil lamps (diya / diyo / deya / deeya / dia / divaa / deepa / deepam / deep / deepak or saki) in awe at how it blended with the scenery. It was way better than the regular bright city lights, it really felt like the holy spirits were guiding the saints back to their homes. It also felt like they were being secretly protected from the evil spirits. That’s probably why the people of India felt that it was safe enough to leave their windows and doors open at night, it was probably because they thought that their god would protect them from any misfortune.
As the Festival of Lights continued through the buzzing crowd, some families were busy in their homes gathering together as one to celebrate the honor of Rama-Chandra (The seventh avatar, Incarnation of the God Vishnu.) In a particular household, the mother was telling her kids about the history where Rama had returned to his people after 14 years of exile. During that period of time, it was believed that he fought against the demons and the demon King Ravana. The children smiled in delight as they were proud of worshiping such a god while the mother beamed in joy as she continued to talk about the ancient history behind the great lord.
She began to think about how the Goddess of happiness and good fortune, Lakshmi, was also featured in the celebration. As her mother told the listeners about how it was also believed that she would roam the Earth during this specific day and enter the house if it was pure, clean and full of brightness. The children immediately got up from the couch and started to finish up the house chores. Well, it was true that the mother wanted the kids to help with the chores, but at the same time teach them the importance behind their culture.
At midnight, as soon as the clock struck ‘12’, fireworks shot up into the night sky with all sorts of colorful patterns. By now, the streets were crowded with people and roars of cheering could be heard from the crowd. Well, Deepavali really lived up to its meaning after all, the streets were filled with clusters of light and the people of India were happy. What more could they ask for…?
By Zhi Yi
Year 8, Creative Writing Club
Diwali: A Poem By Yusi Year 8
Diwali is here.
The sweet smell of flowers
The array of colours
Diwali is here
Firecrackers are heard
Candles are lit
Presents are given
We pray to the Gods
Diwali is here!
By Yusi- Year 8 Creative Wrifing CCA
Netball Champs – Go Girls!
Netball – Go Girls!!
Recently Epsom took on King Henry VIII school in Netball and we are delighted with the results!
Epsom played away, with the matches being held at King Henry VIII International School, on 11th October.
3 matches were played by the under and over 15 year olds and we are delighted to announce that our girls reigned victorious and won all their matches.
This represents a great start for our girls as they have not played in any fixtures for the past 2 years due to the pandemic!
This week saw Epsom turn out all pretty in pink!!
All students were invited to pay a small fee this week to be able to come to school dressed in their own (pink) clothes…Why pink? The answer is to remember those suffering with cancer, those who have been lost to this horrible illness and to raise funds to help research to find a cure.
While the reason for the event was a very serious one, great fun was had by all. We are very grateful to Sutri and Thaara for arranging this event and its associated activities which involved raising funds by charging students to have portraits sketched by our Epsom Artists onto pink sticky notes!
Mr Richardson getting his portrait done!
Tq Sutri and Thaara!
Crawfurd activities during the recent Public Holiday
Oden cooking and baking activities
I tried cooking Oden and making cakes with Miss Seti, who organised this activity for Crawfurd students on Monday, 10th October 2022. I was able to learn how to cook Oden and the Oden that we made ourselves was really delicious.
As a person who wanted to learn about new cultures from other countries and try traditional food, this activity was a good experience for me. Also, I baked cakes after that. I am a big fan of sweet foods so I really enjoyed this activity.
It was fun because I could bake cakes myself and eat them. It was a simple activity but also fun and truly enjoyable.
I would like to do these activities again sometime during another holiday!
Yunju (Y10 Crawfurd)
EuroAsia Strings Competition 2022
We will all be rooting for you Anna Ruth!
ScienZ Society_ Can We Eat Water?
Hello again everyone!
Just last Wednesday, we held our very first experimental session! We were delighted to explore the topic ‘Can we eat water?’ as a discussion along with a demonstration. Hosted by both our core and official members: Thaara, Jing Xean, Jing Ren, Jing Yan and Darshinie, we successfully made bubbles of water whilst raising awareness of environmental problems and the science behind these bubbles.
To start off, do you know how many disposable water bottles are purchased daily? Although disposable water bottles can be very convenient, that convenience comes at a very high cost to our health and our planet. Not only can these bottles have a highly negative impact on the environment, they also contain harmful chemicals such as BPA. Around 80% of plastic water bottles end up in landfill and it takes each bottle up to 1,000 years to decompose – this is terrible news for our planet earth!
Therefore, in our session, we mentioned Ooho! (a bite-sized blob of water) which was invented and introduced to the public by a start-up company named Skipping Rocks Lab. The idea was originally developed for molecular gastronomy by chef Ferran Adrià as part of his creation of a new type of cuisine that aims to, in his own words, “provide unexpected contrasts of flavour, temperature and texture” by using chemical techniques to produce unusual dishes. This bite-sized blob of water is surrounded by a membrane, and if you choose not to eat it, it is completely fine as the membrane is biodegradable – eradicating the use of plastic bottles.
For our demonstration, we decided to recreate what was seen in videos and blogs online. Alongside that, to keep it safe, we used our own apparatus since the apparatus in school might be contaminated with other chemicals from lab experiments – this was strongly recommended by our lab technicians too. Some materials we had to prepare were sodium alginate and calcium lactate (these help to form the edible membrane). The process is actually very simple. If you would like to have more detailed instructions and equipment, you can find them here: How to make edible water bottles!
The science behind it – How does it work?
Apart from the fun of making these edible bubbles, we enjoyed sharing the science behind the bubbles!
- Both sodium alginate and calcium lactate are the main components. A process called spherification takes place, where liquid gets held together within soft spherical capsules.
- Sodium alginate is a hydrocolloid (a substance that forms a gel in water) and calcium lactate has calcium ions (2+), which are attracted to the carboxylate group (COO-) of alginate, creating a gel membrane that encapsulates the water.
- The calcium ions from calcium lactate replace sodium atoms in the alginate and bind the molecules together. Unlike sodium, calcium has two positive charges. This lets it bond to two alginate chains at once, tangling them up.
- After two to five minutes, enough of the alginate molecules have polymerised together to form a stable skin and water will be encapsulated in its liquid form at the centre.
Our demonstration went really successfully, and we loved the audience participation. Everyone was curious and some couldn’t wait to get their hands on making their own edible water bubble, while others watched in awe. Although only a few of the bubbles remained intact by the end of the session, being able to raise awareness of the need to reduce the use of plastic bottles and having the opportunity to explain the science behind this experiment was very rewarding. We think we came across clearly and we hope that everyone enjoyed our presentation, and,at the same time, that they learned something new. Maybe one day, you will be able to buy a drink that comes with its own edible glass!
The ScienZ Society
Participants engaging and listening attentively to the explanation
The failed and successful bubbles we tested before the session VS The bubbles with the SunQuick flavour that we were able to make at last on the day!
A Message from the Wellbeing Prefects:
We are the Wellbeing Prefects for this academic year.
In Key Stage 5, we have Chantelle and Shin from Year 13, Elie and Nadirah from Year 11. Here are some projects that we have been working on to aid and support the school in terms of the student’s wellbeing.
Firstly, we have supported two induction days (Term 2: April, Term 3: September intake) for newly enrolled students. We welcomed them with a presentation regarding school rules and the fundamentals of boarding lives. A buddy system was arranged for the April intake, along with welcome letters to all new students. We have tried our best to respond to personal questions any new students had and hopefully, this personal touch helped them with their transition into their new school!
At the end of term 1A, we thought that it would be great to thank teachers for their support throughout the term therefore the Key Stage 5 prefects and Miss Macleod introduced the ‘Apple for the teacher’ to the school. This is a small appreciation event where students get to write their lovely little words of appreciation to teachers on apple-shaped post-it notes. The notes will then be collected and distributed to the teachers and we hope this will strengthen the bonds between teachers and students! We aim to host this small appreciation event at the end of every half-term.
There will definitely be more projects to come so please look forward to any future events that the wellbeing prefects organise!
Have a great week ahead,
Chantelle & Shin Yr 13