FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 135
Welcome to Term 2 and indeed to 2023!
Happy New Year Dear Reader!
Our first week back has been a short one. Our Boarding students returned on 3rd January and lessons resumed on 4th. Thus this edition of our Flyer may be a little depleted compared to usual but I wanted to take this opportunity to revisit the fun that was had at the end of term and to share our excitement at the start of the new one!
We were delighted to welcome over 50 new students to school at the start of term and we hope that they will be very happy here with us. It was wonderful to see our returning students so pleased to see each other after the term break!
At the end of term we enjoyed a Christmas Mingle. The Friends of Epsom came to school and set up stalls to sell snacks, bags, candles and other crafts as well as student artwork to raise funds to support our school community. Students and staff thoroughly enjoyed this event. We were also treated to musical entertainment from talented Epsom Musicians involved in the Epsom Christian Fellowship who sang Christmas Carols to help get us in the Christmas mood.
Later that evening we enjoyed our traditional Christmas Concert where we enjoyed music and dance. We also enjoyed a drama production written and produced by our very own students – Vash (Santa) had lost his Ho Ho Ho. Mrs Claus (Elie) did her best to help him get it back, ably assisted by her Elves. Thankfully by the end all was well!
After the concert it was time to enjoy our traditional Christmas Dinner. Our catering team delivered a superb meal – the food was delicious! We enjoyed more Carols sung by staff and students and then, as per Epsom tradition, we ended the night by singing ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. Each group (Staff / Sixth Form / Leadership Team / Boarding House/ Caterers) within school has to sing a line from the song as loudly as they can – the aim is to sing louder than any of the other groups. When singing your line you are expected to stand up and then to sit as soon as you are done – I will leave you to picture the scene but you can get a student’s perspective as you read Siha’s article on her first Epsom Christmas
We look forward to more fun this term – there are many events planned such as our trip to our sister school, Epsom UK, a trip to KL to visit the High Commission of Singapore there following our Epsom Live Talk from Mr Vanu Gopala Menon. Mr Vanu became the Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations on September 16, 2004, a position he held until August 2011. As an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Menon is the personal representative of the President of Singapore.
Last term was filled with so much joy, laughter and of course learning – both within and beyond the classroom. We look forward to more of the same in 2023…
So, to conclude, Happy New Year and Happy Reading!
Mr Matthew Brown,
A Message from Ms Orpwood
Happy New Year from Rosebery
At the time of going to press, we have been back a night and a morning, but what a night and a morning they’ve been. New girls aplenty, including seven from South Korea for the winter camp, and all our ‘old’ rosebuds now living (largely) harmoniously side by side. Buddies have been assigned, timetables have been printed (and reprinted), and everyone can now find the all-important dining hall. This afternoon, our collective attention will turn, for the first time, to House Drama: we’ve got the date, the theme, the line and the prop, thanks to our very own Mrs Calder, and it’s fair to say Rosebery is pretty darn excited about this highlight of the spring term calendar.
But today, early in January as we are and with the rain hammering nails, March 8 feels a little way away. Never fear! Because we have been making our New Year’s Resolutions. I thought I’d share a sample with you; perhaps you will be as struck as I was by their self-awareness. On reflection, I need to do rather better, because mine was to do Duolingo daily and so far I’ve missed four days. It’s January 4.
‘Do more things that will make me happier, even if those things are difficult’.
‘Work on my mental health and stop using negative words to describe myself’.
‘Work hard but give myself some time to chill and relax – enjoy school life’.
‘Finish my art portfolio well’.
‘Do pull-ups and drink enough water for the day’.
‘Wake up every day at 6am’.
And I’m going to add another, for Rosebery, for Epsom, for us all. To appreciate the preciousness of time, the fragility of peace, and the beauty of being loved. To be mindful of the fleeting nature of life – as Virgil puts it, ‘Optima dies, prima fugit’. The best days are indeed the first to flee. So by all means let’s be more self-disciplined, stronger, smarter… but only as a means to improving our lives and others’, and always alongside fun, frivolity and friendship. That’s what we’ll be doing in Rosebery, anyway.
Ms Kate Orpwood,
Housemistress, Rosebery House.
A Message from Tiha, Head of College
On Tuesday, the 29th of November, 11 students from a Myanmar Learning Centre in Kepong visited Epsom College in Malaysia.
It is said that roughly 300,000 refugee children in Malaysia do not have access to education which prevents them from studying further into their subjects and topics they are interested in.
Thus, my project revolved around giving these children the opportunity to dive deeper into their interests and potentially discover new ones! Another goal of the project was to create connections between students and allow people to learn that someone should not be limited to their background; to connect and learn that people can still have a range of similarities despite the cultural difference or their backgrounds is a beneficial mindset for young students, and potentially for the adults at school as well, as education itself comes in many forms – whether it is within a classroom or by learning from your peers and the people around you.
Throughout the day we did various kinds of activities! After their arrival, we prepared an orientation with the students in order to learn more about each other. Students were split into smaller groups and had to work on a presentation answering various questions. These questions ranged from choosing only one food you would eat for the rest of your life to an embarrassing childhood memory. The students then joined art, drama, computer science, physics, and chemistry lessons where they participated in class activities and practicals.
Our last activity was a scavenger hunt throughout the school. We had to work together and complete challenges within a specific time. Such as posing like a band in the music room or taking a photo with Santa in the GC!
Lastly, we wrapped up the day with presents (no pun intended :D) from the prep school to the students. It was an amazing day where we were all able to gain a new friend. I was able to learn so much from the students and make everlasting memories. This event will truly be embedded in my mind and will be revisited multiple times in the future!
I sincerely hope that this becomes the first step into creating more of these events in the future. To allow students of all ages to dive deeper into their interests and perhaps find new ones. I believe that a high quality education shouldn’t be bought, but should be available to every child, no matter their background, family, or religion; allowing these students to benefit from the same privileges as my peers and I, is a step forward in the right direction to expand the delivery of a holistic education to students in Malaysia, and provide them the same opportunities.
A special thank you to all the Epsom community for giving a warm welcome to the students. To the Epsom students and staff involved, your continuous support and interest has allowed us to take one step forward towards a much better future and for that I am grateful from the bottom of my heart.
Head of College
A message from the Leadership Team
The poem INVICTUS, by William Ernest Henley, is one of my favourites – especially the last verse (I can also recommend the film of the same title!)
The poet, William Ernest Henley, suffered greatly and encountered many challenges from a young age, yet remained focused. His resilience is inspiring, indeed it is said that Nelson Mandela used to recite this poem daily during his long incarceration to maintain his focus and keep his spirits up.
As I look to the future, the message of this poem resonates with me and reminds me that the person who influences what happens in my life, above anyone else, is me.
At the start of the new year, I will encourage our students at Epsom to take full responsibility for their learning and achievement, to be proactive, to ask questions and to grasp every opportunity. I will encourage them to embrace challenges, to not fear making mistakes but rather to recognise them as the invaluable learning experiences that they represent. I will reiterate that learning is a joy and that education is a privilege – it is so much more than just about passing exams. We want our students at Epsom to embrace their learning journey, to be lifelong learners.
Our actions define us. If we are determined, resilient, ambitious and relentless in the pursuit of our personal and academic goals then we will improve.
Furthermore, as the saying goes, ‘ if you want to feel good, then do something good’. A sense of achievement, a sense of purpose, of having made a difference contributes to our self esteem and self confidence.
January marks the end of the university application cycle for many of our Year 13 students. At the end of the month, Year 12 students will embark upon their university application journey. Many students will be looking to make applications to some of the most prestigious universities globally. These students in particular should embrace the holistic education that Epsom offers. If they love their learning then this will come through in their applications and at interviews. If they embrace every opportunity – be it sport, music, drama, community outreach, leadership, academic societies – then they will enjoy personal growth and this will shine through as they write their personal statement or college essay, it will engage the Admissions Tutor and enable these students to set themselves apart.
So remember – You are the captain of your fate, you are the master of your soul. Make every day count.
Happy New Year!
Mrs Kate Carden-Brown
Director of Admissions and Higher Education.
Recently, Haneesha, Crawfurd House, participated in the Redtone 14th KL International Open Squash Championship 2022. Haneesha says that it was a well organised tournament by Redtone with participants from 15 countries. There were a total of 128 entries for Haneesha’s category (Girls Under 15). It is her final year to play under this category and we are delighted to share that Haneesha achieved 4th placing in the tournament.
Haneesha says: ‘Apart from that, I was also lucky to have met Malaysia’s new Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Hannah Yeoh during the tournament and we had a good chat regarding my training and achievements in squash as well as my education progress in EPSOM. It was an absolute honour to have met her as I look up to her.’
Haneesha also participated in the Oncocare Singapore Junior Open 2022 at Singapore on the 14th of December
Haneesha would like to take this opportunity to thank EPSOM and my teachers for allowing me to attend my training and for the encouragement and support in both my sports activities and studies.
Excellent Student Award
Shout Out to Sharvvind
Warmest congratulations to Sharvvind, Year 12 Granville who received the Excellent Student Award from the Penang State Government for SPM 2021 (Malaysian Certificate of Examination) on the 6th of Dec 2022.
National Cricket Tournament
Well done Aidan!
Warmest congratulations to Aidan, Year 12 Granville, for having been selected by the state for the upcoming national Under 19 Cricket Tournament which will be held from the 4th-11th of January. We wish Aidan all the very best with this tournament as it plays a vital role in the upcoming national team selections.
EAL at Epsom
‘Study harder. Regulate my bedtime routine. Read more.’
‘Drink more water. Call my family every day. Read more.’
Do exercise daily. Do more charitable activities. Read more.’
As we enter a new year with its associated new resolutions, it is good to hear how many people understand the benefits of reading and the importance of dedicating some time to it every day.
Reading not only improves cognitive function, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and readies the body for sleep, it also empowers empathy with other people. This is in addition to all of the wonderful knowledge and understanding gained through the written word.
Reading in a foreign language provides even greater benefits. In addition to enhancing the skills in that language it forces readers to use their initiative, figuring out the importance of an unknown item of vocabulary by studying the known words in the passage. Reading also helps the foreign-language reader develop a greater knowledge of their own mother tongue and discover wonderful new authors from around the world. It also provides a deeper understanding of other cultures giving essential reference points to aid linguistic understanding.
These are just a few of the reasons why EAL students in Epsom College in Malaysia are encouraged to read in English every day and why we have such a wonderful library at the beating heart of our school.
The beauty of learning a foreign language is often found in enjoying the material you are reading and choosing to spend time in the activity. Learning English has many challenges but motivation should not be one of them. So, let us all stick with our new year resolutions, read every day and build our language skills whilst understanding more about the world we live in..
Mr Dean Jones
EAL Teacher, HMM Granville House.
Secrets and Lies – A Young Writer’s Anthology
Congratulations to Annabel Elisha, Year 9, Crawfurd, whose short Story ‘Champ’ was published in Secrets and Lies – A Young Writers Anthology.
Secrets and Lies marks the entry of 20 young writers into the Malaysian literary world. The anthology features 20 short stories about secrets and lies in families and within friendships. This is the first publication for all the young writers, aged 12-14.
The writers weave intrigue, suspense and controversy into tales of illness, abuse and even murder. The launch was held at BookXcess in Tropicana Gardens Mall on Saturday December 17, 2022.
Secrets and Lies is the culmination of a seven-month writing programme conducted by writer/editor/trainer Brigitte Rozario. The 20 young writers took part in her Junior Writers Programme, held from January to July 2022.
Rozario praised the young writers, applauding them for their creativity and perseverance. “The writers struggled initially to come up with story ideas for the theme. Nonetheless, they pulled through and delivered stories about family, friends and the community. Some stories challenge us to think about how we treat others and our expectations of others. The junior writers did well to dig deep and flesh out the characters in their stories.”
Annabel’s submission ‘Champ’ is definitely worth reading – Annabel’s use of dialogue reinforces her story’s realism and a sense of time and place is created through her use of dialect and characterisation.
We are delighted to welcome Annabel to Epsom and Miss Kitchin is very excited to have Annabel join her Creative Writing CCA!
Siha's First Christmas at Epsom
My First Epsom Christmas
My first Christmas in Epsom Malaysia was nothing like what I had back in my home country, Korea, but it was as spectacular as always. I was pretty excited to celebrate Christmas this year (even though I’m always excited) because this was my first time celebrating this event in a tropical country, and I was curious about how it was going to be… And to my surprise, everything went purr-fectly!
When I heard that we had a thing called “Secret Santa” I was curious about what this was. In the email that my senior, Tiffany sent to us all, I saw that we had to prepare gifts for someone in Rosebery (our Boarding House). Having little time, I didn’t prepare the most fabulous gift, but I hope that person likes it.
The day before we visited the Suria Mall in KL, we made our Christmas tree in Rosebery which went really well, and Ellie, who is from Crawfurd, helped decorate Rosebery’s Common Room. Thanks to everyone for their effort in decorating the Christmas tree.
On December 3rd, (I’m sorry if I don’t remember correctly:) Rosebery went to the Suria Mall which was REALLY big and had the biggest, prettiest Christmas tree I’ve ever seen, towering above us outside the mall. Most of the stores were branded… Channel, Gucci, Bulgari. Luckily, we found a Grocery Store where Dana bought chocolate coins and Gabriella bought Percy Pig, a super sour jelly I ate once. After the Grocery store, we browsed the shops and Dana bought ice cream in Baskin Robbins, then went to the cafe to check in with Ms Orpwood, our Housemistress, so that she would know that we were safe. Then, we went inside Toys r Us, where it wasn’t expensive and there were actually things that we could buy. For REAL. After our trip to the Toys r Us, we went to find a place to eat. All three of us hadn’t eaten lunch and we were starving. When I saw a Mexican Restaurant that said free food for kids, I suggested eating there, but seeing the long line, we immediately went down the escalator. (I still wonder if they really serve free food for kids?) Anyway, soon, Dana found a fast food restaurant named Texas Chicken, and we all decided to eat there. After eating, I suggested another trip to Toys R Us because I hadn’t bought anything for my friend Yoolim’s Get-Well gift. I was really sad that she couldn’t join our trip to the mall because she was unwell and we wanted to cheer her up. So we went there again and I bought a stuffed rabbit for her which she loved. After our second trip to Toys r Us, we went to the bookstore. The bookstore had a lot of books, but I found none of them interesting. Besides, the line to buy the books was really long and we still wanted to look around the mall. To cut a long story short, we enjoyed the trip to Suria Mall.
The next day, I went to Crawfurd as always to hang out with my bestie Hannon, but to my disappointment, she was busy packing her luggage, since she had a lot to pack, so she couldn’t join our trip to Mercato. Instead, I went with Chloe. We went to Mr. DIY and I bought friendship necklaces for Hannon and me, while Chloe bought a pack of four necklaces that cost 5 RM. Lucky her! Anyway, to cut another long story short, we went back with her to buy KFC and then made slime with Mia. As we finished, Hannon came over and we made Christmas Cookies.
On Tuesday, in Rosebery, we distributed our Secret Santa gifts which I enjoyed with my friends. Then on Wednesday, we had our Thanksgiving dinner which I enjoyed with my friends and the 6th formers and we discussed whether or not cats are the cutest. Some agreed and some didn’t. (Who agrees that cats are the cutest?)
On Thursday, the BIG night, we presented our Christmas performance where the Orchestra, including me, sang Negaraku and Carols and ‘It’s beginning to look like Christmas’, and ‘Santa Claus is coming to Town’. The choir sang, the band played and sang songs and we enjoyed our Christmas play about Santa Claus losing his HO HO HO (a REALLY big deal, no joking), and then Yr 7&8 sang ‘Santa Claus is coming to Town’ and ‘We are going on a Sleigh Ride’. Later, we had our Christmas dinner where the Prefects sang and performed, and the staff sang as well. Then we sang a song which was really confusing for me. I kept sitting down when I was supposed to stand, but lucky for me, Yuzuki kept telling me, so I managed to stand up at the right times.
In my opinion, Christmas in Epsom could not have been merrier without everyone working together to have a magical night that will last forever in my mind. Now that we are starting a new term, I hope you all have a Happy New Year!
Siha a.k.a Shasha Yr7 Rosebery