Headmaster's Welcome

Dear Readers,

A very warm welcome to Edition 140 of our Epsom Friday Flyer!

We have enjoyed another busy week, as you can see from this week’s Epsom Events and we have many exciting upcoming events to look forward to. These include Epsom Live Talks with prestigious guest speakers – such as Mr David Dufrenois Head of Global Account Management at Airbus and  Mr Tony Pua and YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir in the coming months. We also look forward to our upcoming House Drama and Epsom Edge events!

We are extremely grateful to our Governors who contribute extensively to supporting our Epsom Live Talk series. These talks offer invaluable opportunities to our students to meet and discuss in person with leaders of industry, politicians and specialists in their field. There is no doubt that these talks enrich our students’ learning experience and motivate them to aim high.

This week began with a whole school assembly led by the Epsom Humanities Society who have given presentations and arranged activities for their latest initiative – Epsom Psychology Week. In our assembly, we learned what Psychology is as well as some interesting facts that relate to this field of study. 

As it was Valentine’s Day this week, we enjoyed Valentine’s treats prepared by our Crawfurd Girls whose cookies and brownies were delicious!! This fun event raised funds for the Crawfurd House Charity namely the One Heart Foundation Malaysia.

Open Mic night was on Tuesday and we had great fun! 

Students showcased their musical talents. We would all like to say a big THANK YOU! to Mr Crann, Mr Azmi and Ms Calder for their work to make this happen! Each of the Boarding Houses threw themselves into the event and can be very proud!

On the theme of music, you will remember that we recently enjoyed our Sunset Serenade event:

Here are some pictures of the event

For those of you who were unable to attend please enjoy some of the performances via these videos.

Anna Ruth




Spring by Epsom’s Young Musicians

Last weekend there was a scheduled power outage and so it was decided that students should all leave the school site for Boarding House trips. 

Propert and Granville went to Sunway Lagoon.
Carr & Holman went to enjoy a day of Laser Tag in Putrajaya

Crawfurd and Rosebery went to X-Park in Seremban

Great fun was had by all – please see the House Instagram accounts for pictures and videos!

The time has come for our Prefect Team to pass on the baton to the incoming team. Interviews for the Head and Deputy of College have taken place and interviews for the other positions are in process –  we will update you very soon. 

At Epsom we are very keen to develop students’ soft skills and to provide them with every opportunity to have their voice heard and to make their mark. We received over 40 applications for Prefect positions – we were delighted to see that so many of our senior students want to take on additional responsibilities to help support our academic and pastoral teams.

We have to say that the calibre of the candidates is extremely impressive and testament to the preparation and hard work of the applicants who are all very keen to contribute to the culture and ethos of our school and help to make it the best possible environment in which to live and learn.

We hope that you enjoy the articles and pictures to follow – Happy Reading and Happy Friday!

Mr Matthew Brown,


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A Message from our Head of Prep School - Mrs Jane Rouson

1. Do Children Still Want to Read Classic Fiction?

As I was visiting Year 5 during their guided reading lesson this week, I was greeted by some very excited children, totally engaged and engrossed in the books they were reading.  I was pleased but a little surprised that the excitement was being caused by two of the books being studied in particular: the ‘classic’ texts Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.  

I was so impressed with the energy and enthusiasm that the teachers and TAs (Teaching Assistants) were getting from their students, that it made me think about whether we should prescribe these old favourites for the children in all classes.  

Mrs Whitney, our Prep School English Leader, had this to say about classic fiction:

“It is important for the students to be exposed to the highest quality texts possible and, as these books have stood the test of time, it goes to show that they contain wonderful stories, rich vocabulary and skilled character, plot and setting descriptions.”

In his book Reading Reconsidered, educator and author, Doug Lemov points out that there are five types of texts that children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence. These are complex, demand more from the reader than other types of books, and are known as the ‘Five Plagues of Reading’. They are Archaic Language, Nonlinear Time Sequence, Narratively Complex, Complexity of Story, Resistant Texts.  

Classic fiction often falls into one or several of these text types as they are complex beyond a lexical level and demand more from the reader than some modern books

Fostering a love of reading is obviously of high importance in our Prep School at Epsom so I decided to interview a selection of Year 5 students about the classic novels they are studying.

Keith and Natlene explained that they loved Alice in Wonderland because of its ‘crazy plot twists’ and ‘creative descriptions’. They went on to say that ‘at first it seems strange but ends up making perfect sense!’.

When I asked them about whether we should include older fiction in our curriculum they answered emphatically “Yes, as it teaches us new words, and we learn so much about the past”.

Qaim, Jordan, Jayden, Kartiga and Amy are reading The Wizard of Oz and they were very excited to discuss it with me. They explained that they love the characters, and the descriptions make them feel like they are actually in the book. They all agreed that they loved the fact the story is meandering and takes a long time to unfold, “it makes it even more interesting and exciting when something happens.”

This group also agreed that reading old books was important so that they could understand how life has changed over time.

When planning the English curriculum and selecting books, as well as these classics, Mrs Whitney and I also want to ensure that students feel represented in the books they are reading. Therefore we will be constantly reviewing the guided reading books and the model texts used in English lessons. We have a responsibility to ensure our children are reading books with accurate representation to help them to understand how we see the world, why we see the world the way we do and how we can be the changes that we want to see.

Throughout the week beginning 27th February, the Prep school are holding Book Week, where we will celebrate books as much as we can and promote #readingforpleasure.

As part of Book Week, on World Book Day on 2nd March, Epsom students and staff will be dressing up as famous book characters and I am really looking forward to seeing an array of different books represented – both classic and contemporary!

Happy reading!

Mrs Jane Rouson,

Head of Prep

2. Meet our Head of Prep

For those of you whose children are in our Prep School and who would like to meet with Mrs Jane Rouson to discuss any matters relating to the provision in Epsom Prep then you are most welcome to come for coffee and chat with Jane: 

Greetings from Granville House

“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” 

The above quote is by Warren Bennis, who is widely regarded as a pioneer in the contemporary field of leadership studies.  It is an interesting point: leaders are made rather than born; leadership skills are developed rather than inherent.  

It is widely acknowledged that boarding school is the perfect place to unlock potential, to enable the next generation to become successful and happy adults in all senses of those words. Leadership opportunities are for some undoubtedly an important element of this and, as we continue to go through the selection process for the Heads of School, Prefects and Heads of House in Epsom, leadership has certainly been our topic du jour.

Recently, our current Head of House Andy, current Deputy Head of House Nicholas, Granvillians and I have debated the topic of leadership and its defining qualities in establishing and conducting the recruitment process for the new House leadership team. Is the key component of effective leadership leading by example? Is it dedicating service to others? Is it possessing a particular skill or having a body of knowledge that is more impactful? Does an effective leader need to be popular? How should the qualities of selflessness, integrity, perseverance, collaboration, organisation, empathy, influence, commitment and responsibility be weighted?

Congratulations to all that have put their names forward for consideration and subsequently committed time and effort to the process of application. The fear of rejection and judgement is a real factor for many and housemates have all had the opportunity to voice their opinions and shine light on perceived weaknesses.

Success and failure are, perhaps unfortunately, all part of unlocking our individual potential. However, the result of this selection process, and the appointment of effective leaders is both fantastic for the individuals concerned and immeasurably beneficial to the community. 

Mr Dean Jones,

Housemaster, Granville House.

A Message from Epsom Service Prefects

Since our last update, we have organised successful fundraisers in support of Breast Cancer Awareness and Movember. As for now, we are continuing with our progress and working to complete our remaining projects.

In our weekly Eco Committee CCA sessions, we and our team have been working hard on several exciting projects. 

We’re proud to announce the launch of our Instagram account, where we are sharing educational and engaging content to raise awareness about pressing environmental issues and educate students on how they can live more sustainably at Epsom. 

Follow us @epsom_eco_committee!

Alongside that, we are proud to have taken a big step towards reducing Epsom’s carbon footprint by placing paper recycling baskets in every classroom! While recycling is among the last of the main 5R’s, we believe it is still important to educate everyone on the importance of having good waste management and of being mindful of our daily consumption of materials such as plastics and paper. 

We would like to remind everyone that refusing and reducing should always come before recycling. To further our efforts, we are planning a litter-picking trip to a nearby beach to provide students in the Boarding Houses with first-hand experience of where their waste goes. We’ll soon be sharing more on this within our campaigning activities during the upcoming Eco Week. 

Keep a lookout for new recycling bins placed around Epsom by the end of the term and be sure to dispose of your waste the right way!

Our primary focus has been preparing for the upcoming Eco Week, scheduled for March 20th-25th, during which we aim to host a variety of engaging activities. These will include informative talks during assemblies, lunchtime presentations in collaboration with other Academic Societies, a paper recycling workshop with the prep school, and zero-waste selling events, all designed to inspire and educate our fellow students on the importance of sustainability and to encourage them to adopt eco-friendly practices. 

We firmly believe that by promoting awareness of environmental issues and empowering our peers with knowledge, we can create a more environmentally conscious community. 

In addition to our other responsibilities, we are involved in the selection process of the new Service Prefect team. As experienced Service Prefects, we understand, and are well placed to recognise, the qualities and values that a good Service Prefect should possess. We are looking for individuals who are enthusiastic, responsible, empathetic, and proactive in their approach. We believe that Service Prefects should have a passion for serving the school and should be able to work effectively with other students and staff. 

We look forward to working with the new Service Prefect team and to seeing the wonderful contributions they will bring to Epsom. 

Thank you for supporting us on this journey, and we hope to see you at our upcoming Eco Week!

Best wishes,

Sutri and Thaara –  the Service Prefect Duo!

Business - Learning from the best!

Business Workshop

Recently, Epsom’s Year 12 and Year 13 Business Studies students attended an online Business Workshop at the Grayling Centre. 

As many of us Year 12s and Year 13s have upcoming mocks and will sit for our real AS (Advanced Subsidiary) and A-level papers soon (eek!), we have been seeking out helpful resources and tips from our teachers and seniors. 

Fortunately, our lovely teacher, Ms Perrang, taught the outstanding student who achieved Top in The World for Business Studies at A-Level, Annabelle Khoo. Ms Perrang helped set up an online meeting with Annabelle to provide us with insight into her studying techniques and the subjects that she studied. 

Annabelle was kind enough to share her tips on how to score high marks, including how she structured her answers, specifically essay questions, tips on how to revise efficiently as well as how she managed her time during the examinations. Annabelle also allowed us to ask questions on any aspects of the AS and A-level papers that we were unsure about.

Through this opportunity, we gained more knowledge on recommended ways in which to tackle our upcoming papers. We will definitely take her advice on board and try out her strategies. 

Thank you to Annabelle Khoo and Ms Perrang!

  • Alis and Yi Shan (Year 12)

Epsom's Psychology Week

From the 13th to 17th of February, the Humanities Society hosted Psychology Week – a week dedicated to learning more and creating awareness about the different aspects of Psychology. 

Since this academic year is the first time ECiM is offering Psychology as an A Level, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to spread awareness and destigmatise issues surrounding the subject.

On the 13th of February, Teja gave a presentation on Parasocial Relationships. By definition, they are symbolic, one-sided social ties that individuals imagine having with media figures and celebrities. Over recent years, this topic has been more openly discussed and has become commonplace in anime and kpop fan communities. 

Among young adults, the idea is prevalent but also dangerous as problems such as obsession and ignorance towards the outside world may arise. Multiple social media and websites such as Wattpad, Twitter and Isekai Simulators can be blamed for these parasocial relationships as they ultimately encourage them. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, there is a hierarchy regarding belonging and love needs. You might say that these parasocial relationships leave us with unattainable crushes. 

There are 3 levels of parasocial relationships – entertainment-social, intense-personal and borderline-pathological. 

Borderline pathological parasocial relationships are the most serious and harmful out of all. Fans with borderline pathological parasocial relationships have been known to undertake extreme acts such as stalking, attacking, mugging and even sending money to their ‘significant other’. A term for this in the kpop fan community is ‘sasaeng’ (사생) which is when a fan crosses the line and stalks their idol through methods such as paying for their phone number or sitting outside the idol’s dorm/apartment. In terms of parasocial relationship management, it is important to disconnect gradually from the idol while seeking to reconnect with the outside world, such as your friends and slowly foster daily interactions with others. 

  • Teja (Year 12 Roseberry)

Max and Nicklas presented on the Glamorisation of Mental Disorders. Since awareness of mental illnesses and disorders has become more prevalent, we have been given the opportunity to openly discuss and seek help far more easily compared to previous times. However, such discussion risks the glamorisation of mental disorders. Put simply, glamorisation of mental disorders is when mental disorders are perceived as attractive, fascinating or desirable diagnoses. As more people receive a diagnosis, others can feel left out and want to have a diagnosis (professionally or otherwise) to create a talking point for themselves. Disorders such as eating disorders have seen rising romanticisation and popularity in recent years. Social media such as Tiktok and Reddit have been blamed for the glorification of these disorders. 

Influencers may post about having a mental disorder for clickbait sake which diminishes the importance of finding help. Moreover, movies and television shows showcase how “enjoyable” having a mental disorder is – romanticisation. Influencers additionally encourage certain behaviours for example Kate Moss’ quote “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. Through this session, the Humanities Society emphasised the importance of not believing everything you read on the internet, especially regarding psychiatric disorders, as it represents a form of media illiteracy.

  • Max & Nicklas (Year 12 Granville) and Rachel (Year 12 Crawfurd)

In collaboration with the Scienz Society, Ke Ee and Leo gave a presentation on the Scientific Explanation of Depression. Depression is one of the most widely discussed mental disorders and it was interesting to understand how it occurs and its biological makeup. Depression is a widely known topic, discussed in the present time due to increased exposure and awareness of mental health. With that said, many people are informed of the social factors that cause depression, however, many are unaware of the biological factors of the disorder. 

Generally, there are four main biological factors that cause depression; genetics, biological changes, brain chemistry and hormones. As for genetics, depression is known to run in families as individuals who have first-degree relatives who are depressed usually also suffer from depression, and the reason behind this is due to a variation in the serotonin transporter gene. 

Serotonin transporters are responsible for transporting serotonin, also known as the “feel good” neurotransmitter, from the synapse to the presynaptic neuron, the reuptake of serotonin. Each individual has two copies of the gene, one from each parent, either could be a long or a short gene. 

Studies show that individuals with two long genes are less likely to be depressed, even with stressful life events, whilst individuals with two short genes are more likely to develop depression after experiencing distressing life events. 

Moving on to biological changes, two main parts of the brain were mentioned; the amygdala and the hippocampus. The amygdala is part of the limbic system responsible for our behavioural and emotional responses, hence the main purpose of the amygdala is to regulate and process negative emotions. However, if the individual’s amygdala is highly reactive and has high glucose activity, the ability of the amygdala to regulate negative emotions decreases; individuals are less likely to process negative emotions and hence develop depression. 

The hippocampus is in charge of controlling memory and emotions can be damaged when the individual experiences prolonged stress due to excess cortisol (a stress-regulating hormone). When damaged, its size decreases, resulting in a loss of grey matter volume. With less grey matter, cells and networks deteriorate leading to a loss of function in the hippocampus. Hence, the inability to control memory and more importantly, emotions. 

Personally, I was intrigued by this topic as I have an interest in biological/clinical psychology and hope to pursue a career in it. Furthermore, I believe that understanding the scientific aspects of depression is crucial in developing cures for those who suffer from the disorder. 

  • Ke Ee (Year 12 Crawfurd)

During our Key Stage 5 assembly, Rachel presented on how Asian society treats mental illness as a taboo. Relative to the western world, finding mental health services is harder and more expensive. This is explained by the lurking taboo of mental health and illness.

Those belonging to the older generation tend to consider mental illness a weakness or ‘phase’ we go through, much like periods of stress. They also take it as an insult to their parenting skills. There is minimal discussion between those in the younger and older generation of this topic. With that, many in the younger generation feel unable to pursue a career in the industry due to parental pressure and a lack of resources in Asia. The cost of pursuing a postgraduate degree is additionally expensive for those with a low socio-economic background in Asia. With that, the supply of services remains low whilst demand is increasing among the younger generation. The price of services is high all around Asia with a therapy session costing RM320 in the Philippines! Though there is still discussion among youth, there remains a large population in Asia who are unwilling to accept the idea – especially when it comes to their own children/grandchildren. 

  • Rachel (Year 12 Crawfurd)

Our president, Alicia, presented on Agency Theory in Contemporary Settings. Have you ever wondered why you do certain things, even if it’s against what you believe in? Like when your parents force you to take Kumon and Maths A level even though you’re secretly a raging musician? That can easily be explained by The Agency Theory discovered by Stanley Milgram. 

Agency Theory explores the concept of destructive obedience (as portrayed by the Nazis during the Holocaust). Through this conceptualisation, we can analyse the actions of those in the military, gangs, lawyers, who complete orders despite it going against their conscience – this is known as moral strain.

  • Alicia (YR12 Roseberry)

Following this was a presentation by Lana and Karishaa on the psychology behind cults. The topic piqued Lana’s interest due to her interest in crime and destructive cults, and Karishaa’s since it was such a new concept to her and unlike anything she had learnt about before. Cults are stereotypically negative, but new religious movements (NRMs) – an alternate term for cults – can be completely positive, and the sense of community and support that members gain from them can be highly beneficial to their well-being. The vast contrast between destructive cults and NRMs was explored in the presentation, and the psychological factors that come into play through leaders luring members in, and the members themselves choosing to join were all touched upon and explained. 

Last but not least was our screening of Criminal Minds on Thursday night for KS5! Criminal Minds is a show about an FBI unit known as the BAU (behavioural analysis unit); they utilise criminology and psychology to create a criminal profile to determine traits about an unsub (unknown subject) to narrow the suspect pool, and eventually apprehend the guilty party.

Physical Education at Epsom

Hockey is officially back at Epsom College in Malaysia. Girls in Key Stage 3 and 4 have been working hard during Games lessons to learn new skills and to play together, many for the very first time. On Tuesday 14th February, we hosted our first U16 Girls Hockey fixture of the year against KTJ. Playing a full 11 a side game was a challenging experience to begin with, but our girls began to get used to the space and speed that is needed to play on a full sized pitch. Rachel Calder did a great job in goal playing in goal, keeping a clean sheet and repelling several KTJ attacks. Epsom put together a number of drives in attack, but were unable to trouble the scorers. 

After 15 minutes, sadly, the lightning alarm triggered meaning that we had to retreat to the Sports Centre. At this point, KTJ could have easily headed back home, but whilst players were taking refreshments the weather cleared. Our weekly Hockey CCA was due to begin so we made the decision to have a joint training game, in order for everyone to have more exposure to the game. This was a tremendous success and it was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and excitement for hockey on display from all of the students involved.  

Boys in Key Stage 3 and 4 will now have the opportunity to take part in hockey in games during the second half of the remaining term. We are looking to have KTJ back on campus for boys in a few weeks time and are planning more events for girls later on this year.

A big thank you to Mrs Miller and Miss Madely for their continual encouragement and for maintaining a positive environment throughout the afternoon.

Mr Guthrie Miller,

Director of Sport.

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Squash Champ!

Go Jasveer!

Warmest congratulations to Jasveer, Year 7 Holman, who did extremely well in a recent state squash competition. Jasveer now ranks in the top 20 players for his age group in Malaysia.

We are delighted by his success that is testament to his hard work, commitment and determination.

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Crawfurd in Pictures

Our extremely talented Photographer, Vino, came to Crawfurd this week to take some photos for us to put up around our newly decorated Boarding House – as you will see he has captured the friendship, warmth, love and support that makes Crawfurd so special!

Crawfurd Valentine’s Day Bake Sale

On the 14th of February, Valentine’s Day, Crawfurd hosted a fundraising event. This consisted of the distribution of three various types of cookies, brownies as well as roses to the entire school. The funds are going to be donated entirely to the “One Heart” charity. This charity did very much interest us at Crawfurd as it focuses on many programs for the homeless in Malaysia. It branches out to focus on education for children and young adults, a food program, a medical aid program to help the poor get diagnosed and, lastly, a micro grant program which helps families to start small scale businesses. They give small grants between RM 1000- RM 5000 to deserving families to enable them to embark on a business model.

Organised by Laekeisya and assisted by the majority of our Year 11s and 12s, the event was a resounding success. From Rachel and Layla assisting the baking team to produce close to 700 cookies to Ke Ee, Alis and Adriana wrapping flowers, our Crawfurd leadership team wouldn’t have been able to accomplish their achievements without the support of their fellow Crawfurdians. 

A huge thank you to Chaewon, Julia and Doyeon, we were able to bake enough cookies for nearly the entire school! Though the process was long and tiring, the joy of being able to bring other students happiness was unbeatable. Alongside, being able to have the opportunity to provide for the less fortunate this is something we will remember forever! Working together has definitely created a far closer bond between everyone involved, and taught us to appreciate each others’ hard work while also learning more about everyone. 

These opportunities to work with students from different year groups was also something special and rare. I hope more occasions like these arise in the future. Thank you to all the teachers who helped to supervise us and even help prepare the flowers and cookies! Additionally, thank you to everyone who supported us by buying from us this Valentine’s Day! Not only have you made your loved ones happy; you have also made someone receiving the money incredibly grateful as well!

Laekeisya, Year 12 Crawfurd.

Grand Finale - Game Development Competition

We are delighted to announce that Epsom’s Game Design team, led by Ammar and Andy (Year 13 Granville), have been selected as one of the top 10 finalists in the Penang Youth Development Corporation (PYDC) in collaboration with TARUC Penang Branch Computer Science Society, Big Domain and Magnus Games Studio digital talent hub. This is a Game Development Competition for all Malaysian students who are undergoing secondary to tertiary education with a pool prize of RM15,800.

Epsom’s team was selected from a total of 29 teams and succeeded against top institutions such as the Universiti Sains Malaysia and Taylor’s College. 

Andy and Ammar will travel to Penang for the finals on 25th March with Mr Jamie Bevan and we wish them all the very best!

A Message from Epsom English Department

Salam sejahtera everyone from us, the Languages Society!

We, the Languages Soc, have been busy recently running our British Sign Language CCA and are now ready to launch our next exciting initiative…

We cordially invite you all to visit our upcoming EPSOM X Language Society Multilingual Poetry Exhibit! The details to the exhibit are displayed below:

  • Title: EPSOM X Language Society Multilingual Poetry Exhibit
  • Date: 20th February 2023 – 20th March 2023 
  • Duration: One month (30 days)
  • Venue: The Grayling Centre
  • Featured Displays:
    • An Introduction to Poetic History & Theory
    • The Basics of Poetry Publication
    • GRAYLING GALLERY: A Collection of EPSOM Poetry by Students & Staff

The GRAYLING GALLERY offers the opportunity for students and staff to have their  poetic works in any language to be featured on display! 

Your poems can be in any language. The only requirement is that non-English poems must include an English translation. 

Below is the standard procedure to submitting your poems:

  1. REGISTER: Fill in the Google Form to inform us of your interest! It will help us keep track of total submissions.
  2. YOUR POEM: Submissions are best formatted as a PDF Document or as a PNG (for example, if you wrote your poem on Canva project)
  3. CONTACT: After submitting your poem to us, we will stay in touch with you to keep up-to-date on our progress with displaying your poem.
  4. PUBLICATION: Your poem will be on display in the GRAYLING GALLERY for the month-long exhibition!

We have included a small guide below for your perusal regarding submissions! It contains instructions and some FAQs that have arisen from some of you! 

If you are interested in registering yourself as a GRAYLING GALLERY Featured Poet, please fill in this Google Form: 

We can’t wait to see your poems! Have fun writing!

Kind wishes and Happy Friday All, 

– The Lang Gang

The Language Society @ ECiM.