Headmaster's Welcome

Welcome to Issue 155 of our Epsom Friday Flyer! Time has flown by and this marks the penultimate edition of our Flyer, with only 1 remaining before the term break and the end of this academic year.

We have enjoyed another busy week at Epsom College as you can see from our Epsom Events - LINK. Students have engaged with a wealth of activities both in and beyond the classroom and, as always, it has been my pleasure to meet with students to discuss what they have been up to throughout the day - especially during evening mealtimes. Indeed, one of the aspects that I value most about working in our boarding school is the opportunity to really get to know our students - their motivations, achievements, ambitions and of course to discuss their challenges and how to overcome them. Such conversations often take place over an evening meal in our dining hall!

A recent theme under consideration has been that of leadership. This seemed appropriate given that many of our students either already occupy positions of leadership - they may lead an Academic Society, have positions as Head of House, Prefect and more. As I discussed in my assembly, leadership can refer to being a father or mother - the head of a family, an aunty or uncle, a coach or a mentor, it need not necessarily involve an application process or a professional title. That said, given the calibre of our students, there is no doubt that many of them will go on to occupy positions of authority in the future.

We discussed why people want to take up leadership positions:

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Some reasons may not be good ones - fame, money and power are not the best motivation for leadership. As we have seen so many times in the case of political leaders or people of influence, as Lord Acton stated, ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Power comes with responsibility and those in positions of power must be mindful of this:

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We considered how to become a leader:

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As well as how to handle the pressures that come with leadership:

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A strong sense of moral purpose, alongside a clear vision are very important:

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As those of you who follow global political events will no doubt be aware, many nations are in dire need of good leadership and the loss of trust in and respect for leaders - notably in the field of politics - is presenting enormous challenges. With this in mind, I encouraged our students to reflect on what constitutes a good leader.

This short video on Trust versus Performance really piqued my interest. The presenter undertook research into the qualities of good leadership. Performance (which we can take to mean academic performance in the context of school) and Trust (what kind of a person you are - your levels of commitment, dedication, care, reliability, integrity, your sense of moral purpose) are considered very important in leaders. As a society, we value performance and have well established systems in place to measure it. Employers can scrutinise candidates’ resumes and check their exam performance to identify academic ability. However, Trust - our personal attributes - are unmeasured.

To date, many leaders have been appointed based solely on their performance. Yet, a high performer with low trust ( dishonest, cynical, with selfish motivations) risks being a destructive influence. According to research, high trust and low performance is preferable to high performance and low trust. Those with high trust will work hard to master the tasks at hand, to ensure that the team’s needs are met and that the team is valued and well led.

Of course, the ideal leader offers both high trust and high performance - this is the optimal combination. The key message here is that one’s soft skills and ability to create and maintain constructive relationships are vital - this is something that we, at Epsom, emphasise to our students.

We closed our assembly discussion by thinking about how important our values are. Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard. As students look to the future, while exam performance is, of course, extremely important, they should not neglect the development of their soft skills. The world is crying out for good leaders - men and women who bring people together and inspire them to meet the challenges that we face effectively, with honour, integrity and clarity.

For those of you who are parents to Year 11 and 12 students, please encourage them to read over the term break. As Shang Jing, Year 12 Granville, reminded us this week in his presentation on the Reading Challenge that he has launched, not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers (President Harry S. Truman). Reading widely and critically is vital as students prepare for university. Mrs Carden-Brown has emailed all Year 11 and 12 students with suggested term break reading.

I hope that you enjoy the articles to follow - Happy Reading and Happy Friday!

Best wishes,
Mr Matthew Brown,

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A Message from our Leadership Team - Mrs Carden Brown

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Our Year 12 students are busy preparing their university applications and as they do, I encourage them to READ…Any student looking to submit an application to a competitive university should read widely and critically - fiction and nonfiction are equally important.

Students who do not read put themselves at a disadvantage.

Reading should become a daily habit for students of all ages and should not be replaced by podcasts or YouTube videos…Why?

The pursuit of knowledge is one of the primary reasons to embrace reading. Unlike short videos or podcasts, books provide in-depth insights and wisdom. Books offer the opportunity to delve deep into a subject, absorb information. As Roald Dahl once remarked, "If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books." Whatever you desire to learn, books are your gateway to knowledge.

Reading is not just a source of information; it is exercise for the mind. Studies have shown that reading stimulates intricate neural networks in the brain. As we improve our reading skills, these networks grow stronger and more sophisticated. Research on the effects of reading novels has revealed that brain connectivity increases during reading and continues for days afterward. Just as physical exercise maintains the body's vitality, reading preserves and enhances our cognitive abilities. By embracing reading as a daily practice, we can keep our minds strong and healthy.

In today's world of constant distractions, the ability to concentrate and focus is a valuable skill. Reading helps us cultivate deep work—the ability to concentrate without distraction on demanding tasks. It allows us to immerse ourselves fully in the world of a novel or engage actively with the knowledge presented in non-fiction books. As Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work, emphasises, the skill of deep work is becoming increasingly rare in an era of multitasking and digital interruptions. By regularly reading books, we can train ourselves to focus on a single task and achieve better results in less time.

Reading books can significantly improve our memory. When reading non-fiction, we absorb vast amounts of knowledge on the subject at hand. Similarly, novels require us to remember intricate plotlines, character relationships, and story settings. This constant exercise in memory retention creates new synapses and reinforces existing ones. By reading every day, we enhance our ability to store and retrieve information effectively, leading to improved memory.

Last but certainly not least, books offer an unparalleled form of entertainment. As Stephen King eloquently puts it, "Books are a uniquely portable magic." The immersive worlds, captivating characters, and compelling narratives found within the pages of a book transport us to new realms of imagination. Whether you seek thrills, romance, adventure, or knowledge, books provide an enriching and enjoyable escape from reality.

So, this term break, if you are a student of any age, read! And parents please encourage this habit - it will pay dividends and reading is, of course, one of life’s greatest pleasures. If you do not enjoy reading, then you have not found the right book!

Very best wishes for the weekend,

Mrs Kate Carden-Brown

Carr House Updates

A couple of months ago Rayyan, one of our Carr boys, suggested that we have a day dedicated to Mental Health awareness. Rayyan’s vision was to break the stigmas that surround mental health and to allow our Epsom community to become more aware of Mental Health and how important it is for us to look after our own mental health and be aware of the mental health of those around us.

Rayyan together with his team arranged a presentation for our Key Stage 3&4 assembly where they explained their vision and advertised the lunch time sale they had arranged.

The charity of choice for this project was Green Ribbon Group ( and this is their aim as taken from their website:

The Green Ribbon Group is a platform that aims to empower stakeholders involved in raising mental health awareness through advocacy, fundraising and collaboration.”

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We were so thankful to all of our staff, students and parents that supported the sale which was a great success. It was lovely to see the Carr Prefects working together and all of the Carr students wearing their “We are the example” t-shirts. We sold delicious snacks, drinks as well as our Carr t-shirts and the lovely mental health awareness keyrings that Rayyan had designed.

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All of the money raised from this sale and the Carr stall at the upcoming Arts Festival will be donated to The Green Ribbon Group. We are very excited to have the Carr Parent/Sibling t-shirts ready to sell at the Art Festival Stall.

The “Carr Cares” initiative aims to encourage all Carr students to become more aware of the needs of the world around them. It allows the students to avoid only becoming focused on themselves and to spread the Carr love as wide as possible.

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I am very proud of all of the amazing Carr community that made this ‘Carr Cares’ project such a success.

I look forward to many more wonderful projects in the future.

Mrs Jennifer Garnett

Housemistress, Carr House

A Message from our Heads and Deputy Heads of College

We have achieved so much already and have so much more to look forward to!...

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We kickstarted our roles by proposing programmes that reflect students’ interests, interacting with the Friends of Epsom, assisting in the events arranged by our role models (namely the Prefect Team of 2022/23) and organising numerous events this term, including the Finance Week, Ocean Week, the Reading Book challenge, the Yr 11 Social, Epsom Live Talks, the Social Festival with Waterborne Games to name but a few!

Drawing on our own experiences, the Prefect Team of 2023/24 is confident and excited to implement our innovative and impactful personal projects. Through these projects we hope to fulfil our aim of ensuring the most holistic student experience as we think students should be able to learn, socialise, exercise and relish life in Epsom through the many activities on offer.

Having been appointed to our positions right before an intensive internal and external exam period we were launched into the deep end. However, thanks to the previous Prefects, who supported and guided us, showing us how to adapt to different types of work and how to manage our time, we survived! We cannot thank the previous Prefect Team enough and cannot describe the amount of effort they have put into helping us to become used to the workload and develop into the best Prefects we can.

From letting us join their meetings with Mr Pedro, our Head of Sixth Form, even before we took up our positions, to see how Prefect meetings work and offering us opportunities to voice our opinions, we were able to learn how to perform our roles in an efficient and effective way. We also want to thank Mr Pedro and Mr Brown for always being there to support our ideas and for trying to help us bring them to fruition. Mr Pedro especially works closely with us to make sure our personal projects work in an efficient manner and that we plan them in a way that is understandable and can be used again in the future so that they are not just a one time thing.

When we joined the previous Prefect Team’s meetings, we were surprised how organised and punctual they were. This motivated us and set the standard - we wanted to meet their expectations. As a Prefect, it can be challenging to balance studies and additional duties. We can’t simply let our Prefect roles take over our academics nor neglect our duties. Although this gives us pressure, we have so far managed to host numerous events and we have learnt so much!

We would like to show our greatest appreciation towards Mr Pedro, who has kindly organised and provided us opportunities to do internships at AirAsia and CVSKL (Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur). This will be highly beneficial for our fellow students in the sixth form. It will give them insight to be able to write more impactful personal statements. Besides that, this opportunity will allow students to gain experiences of real life working environments. This will enable pupils to find out whether the job they aspire to would indeed be suitable for them or not, as well as motivate them to chase their ambitions.

Recently, our School Council Team and Well-Being Prefects have been working collaboratively in order to make improvements based on the suggestions made by the students. They have so far managed to have a meeting with the Head of Food Management and conducted a survey for everyone in the school. Thanks to this, dining hall staff will be able to identify the students’ wants and fulfil their requests while maintaining nutritious meals.

Amongst the stress of exams, university prep and mocks, students are eagerly anticipating an unforgettable celebration of art, creativity, and community that will take place next week! Epsom is once again hosting our renowned Arts Festival (previously known as Epsom Edge), showcasing a wide array of captivating artworks, engaging activities, thrilling games, and delectable culinary delights. It promises to be a feast for the senses and everyone is looking forward to this vibrant and enriching event.

The heart of the festival lies in its bustling booths, where students will showcase their diverse interests – the best booth will be awarded a prize! Students have been working hard to prepare their booths to the best of their ability (not just for the prize) but for the benefit of the many visitors. In addition to the booths, there will also be food trucks located around the campus for everyone to purchase and indulge in various cuisines and beverages, keeping us fueled for all the activities that will be on offer. There will be performances to entertain: from instrumentals to singing and dancing - this is an event that you will not want to miss. Mark your calendars and join us for an unforgettable day of memories, laughter and art.

Best wishes from,

Elliot, Jing Yan, Youngmok and Alicia,

Heads and Deputy Heads of College.

Academic Prefect Updates

Last week, the Academic Prefects organised Finance Week, whereby a range of societies hosted lunchtime sessions exploring several interesting topics that interlink with aspects of business and economics.


The Comfort Society gave us insight into retail therapy with a focus on the question of whether financial problems that come with shopping overwhelm the emotional benefits. Molly (Y12) who was the host for this session, takes on both a scientific and empathetic approach to this particular topic.

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Although shopping as a way of comforting yourself does have positive effects, negative consequences such as the fostering of compulsive behaviour and the lingering sense of disappointment after an unsatisfactory purchase were highlighted.

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Some interesting takeaways from this session are the alternatives provided to retail therapy as well as how we can reflect on our shopping habits for a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Moreover, Molly also suggested that tracking your purchases and developing wise shopping skills make sure that you will not regret buying whatever products that you get your hands on.


Alis and Elliot (Y12) represent the Motorsports Society in stepping into macroeconomic territory with their presentation on how motorsports benefit the economy.

The hosts lay out the numbers regarding some of the biggest championships, including the Monaco Grand Prix, The Indy 500, and the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Some intriguing facts were also brought up, such as how the first F1 grand prix to take place in Las Vegas was in 1991, or the spectacle-worthy sight of the champion of the Indy 500 drowning themselves with milk - making both an educational and entertaining session for this Tuesday afternoon.

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The Games Society advocates Aidan and Noh (Y12) as the hosts of a session about how e-sports affect the economy. Alongside showing the growth of the industry, they also discuss the intricacies of revenue generation, infrastructure development, as well as brand investment and sponsorships - providing a holistic view of the e-sport landscape.

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With the rapid expansion of this playing field, the hosts also emphasise how e-sports can continue to benefit the economy through regional development. A macroeconomic perspective highlights how regional policy needs to be reviewed in order to reduce disparities between countries, including investments to catalyse accessibility to the industry.

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The audience also learnt that Malaysia in particular is expected to experience 12.37% growth each year, meaning we would likely receive more incentives to both work in the industry and participate in many other related opportunities. 


Rachel and Darshinie (Y12) from the Kpop Society joins us for finance week with a succinct discussion on the mechanics of this industry and how it continues to captivate many audiences. From the music, the all-consuming fanservice, the marketing and merchandising - the hosts emphasise the marketing mix that has been making the genre increasingly mainstream around the globe.

There was also an illustration of the numbers generated from the industry, including sales and GDP contributions, not to mention the spill-over effects on the other parts of the South Korean entertainment industry - the audience was able to conceptualise the scale at which the industry has managed to affect the economy.

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The Maths Society gives us an introduction into the importance of maths in finance. Franco (Y12) starts off his session by explaining financial mathematics - the application of maths to solve financial problems and simplify economical problems.

One of the highlights of the session is dedicated to some components of financial mathematics, including algebra, calculus, optimisation theory, and hypothesis testing.

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To help the audience understand its utter importance, real-life applications are also explained in detail. Policy making, stock exchange and data analysis are just a few examples that demonstrate that sentiment. Benefits such as cutting costs, improving efficiency, and making forecasts are also prevalent in these applications. The technicality and informativeness of this presentation were very much appreciated.

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Business model competition result

The business model competition results have been released! Students from years 10-13 were invited to participate in a business model competition to help them learn more about what it takes to run a business and be creative. We are proud to announce that the winning group is the Three Traders composed of Shan Wei, Dadyo and Kelsie.

A Trip to Asia School of Business

On Wednesday, we organised a trip to the Asia School of Business (ASB), a premier business school established in 2015 by Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia) in collaboration with MIT Sloan. This trip was joined by 47 students and 4 teachers. When we arrived at the campus, we were first given a campus tour by the ASB staff. All of us were amazed by the advanced architecture. After that, we attended a talk led by Sanjay Sarma, the CEO, President and Dean of ASB. His sharings on how advanced technologies are changing the way we learn, work and live were inspiring and thought-provoking. Overall, this trip provided participants with a unique perspective on business education in Asia. We gained a lot of valuable insights into the future of business and entrepreneurship as well.

Best wishes for your weekend,

Ann Yi Ngai, Academic Prefect 2023-24

Epsom Reading Challenge

Greetings from the Academic Prefects team.

We hope that you are doing well.

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We would like to announce the launching of our very own Epsom Reading Challenge.

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This Reading Challenge will consist of two competitions, the Reading Note Design Competition for KS3 and the Book Review Competition for KS4 and 5.

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For the Reading Note Design Competition, students in KS3 and current Y6 will need to choose a book and design a short note to describe the book, including their favourite plot, interesting characters, graphics and a brief reflection. We accept submissions in different languages to encourage language learning and development.

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For the Book Review Competition, students in KS4 and 5 will be required to write a 500-word review on a book they found beneficial for their studies. The focus of this competition is on academic-focused reading and writing skills, Submissions will only be accepted in English.

If you are interested in joining this exciting challenge, please find the documents attached for more information. Please devote some time during the summer break to read some books and work on your reading notes/book review.

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Once you are done, please click the link below to submit your work:

 We look forward to receiving your fabulous and inspiring works! If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to contact any of us during the summer break. Don't worry too much that you will be disturbing our holiday. It is our responsibility and honour to assist you in your journey of reading and exploring new knowledge!

Best wishes,

Shang Jing and the Academic Prefect Team:)

Epsom Robotics Competition

Epsom was delighted to host a robotics competition this week for our Year 9 students. This represented an exciting event that enabled our students to showcase their skills in building and programming.

The teams consisted of 4 to 5 participants and they started building and programming their robot during the allocated building time, following the judge's instructions. They were given 1 hour to construct, code, and test their robots. Once the time was up, no further test runs were permitted. Pre-programmed robots were strictly prohibited during the competition. The approved programming software included TETRIX® Ardublockly and Arduino IDE programming.

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Before the competition began, the robot and a laptop (limited to one per team) underwent inspection by the judges to ensure compliance with the rules. Once the quarantine period concluded, the First Trial began with a time allocation of 5 minutes. The Second Trial also had a time allocation of 5 minutes. Scoring was calculated at the end of the challenge or when the time expired. If two or more teams achieved the same time, the ranking was based on the total score and, if necessary, the least turning from the start to the final point.

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In the qualifying round, participants programmed their robots to race from the START to the FINISH line in a thrilling time-attack Drag Race. Each group was provided 60 minutes to build, modify, and program their drivetrain, fostering creativity and innovation. Basic drivetrain building instructions were provided, and teams were encouraged to optimize their drivetrains for speed. Gears and screwdrivers were supplied to aid in the modifications. The seven teams with the fastest times qualified for the Final Round.

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The Final Round showcased the top seven teams from the Qualifying Round in an exciting Maze Challenge. Teams programmed their robots to find the fastest route out of a complex maze. The use of sensors was highly recommended to navigate through the maze efficiently. Participants had 30 minutes to program their drivetrain, harnessing their creativity once again. The robot had to adhere to specific guidelines, including not damaging the walls or leaving any part of its body behind. Violations of these rules resulted in immediate disqualification. The maze map was revealed on the day of the competition, adding an element of surprise and challenge.

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Best wishes,

Epsom IT Team.

Epsom Mouratoglou Tennis Programme Updates

Dear Epsom Community Members,

It was our great pleasure to host Epsom Prep School for a Tennis Coaching Event on 17th June. 22 junior students had the opportunity to try out our superb facilities which are now fully complete. You can see from the cover photo of this week’s flyer how impressive our indoor facility is!

The students were consistently attentive, energetic and committed throughout the day! We genuinely enjoyed working with, and drawing motivation from, their energy and determination. Most importantly, as you will see from the photos of the day, great fun was had by all.

Mrs Rouson, our Head of Prep, reiterates that JOY is central to the culture and ethos that she seeks to foster in Epsom Prep School. We all experienced joy during the Prep School Tennis Taster event!

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Please follow us on Instagram to keep updated on the most recent MTP initiatives and events.

Have a wonderful weekend,

The MTP Coaching Team

Epsom PE Department Updates

Epsom Prep and Senior Swim Squads visited BISKL over 17th and 18th June to compete in the NAE Swim Meet. We joined teams from Kuwait and Dubai as well as local schools in KL.

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This was the first weekend event that swimmers at all levels have been a part of and it proved to be a valuable learning and development experience for all. Benjamin, Aidan, Sophie, Eugene, Kaelem and Jaden made up the senior squad. Nobu, James, Kimora, Oscar, Thomas, Zen, Nashton, and Titan, enthusiastically represented our prep school.

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On Saturday and Sunday, many senior swimmers received medals, particularly in the relay events. Sophie achieved an impressive haul of 1 gold and 6 silvers. Aidan secured 1 gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronzes, while Eugene earned 1 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronzes. Finally, Ben accomplished 1 gold, 2 silvers, and 2 bronzes. These medals were well-deserved rewards for their outstanding performances and dedication throughout the year.

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Although the junior swimmers did not bring home any medals this time, we could see their determination and potential. They have bright futures ahead. The team spirit between the seniors and juniors during the events was heartwarming, and we look forward to seeing these swimmers, and more, representing Epsom College in the future.

Best wishes for your weekend,

Mr Guthrie Miller,

Director of Sport.

Epsom Prep School Sports Festival

We hosted a Prep School Sports Festival last week and it was wonderful to see the students enjoying themselves (this is evident from the pictures!) while engaging with various sports activities!

Thanks to all the parents who came to support!

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Marvelous Music

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I was privileged to have performed with The Selangor Symphony Youth Orchestra (SSYO) in a full symphony orchestra performance with over 50 young musicians, led by 3 awesome conductors Maestro Eugene, Mustaqim and Tommy in both Ipoh and PJ this month.

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We performed an extensive programme that included works of Tchaikovsky, Offenbach, Dvorak, Grieg, Saint-Saëns, Leroy Anderson and Elgar.

My favourite part was when we surprised the audience in Ipoh by performing "Stand By Me" with Maestro Eugene performing solo on the clarinet. In the PJ concert, for the encore, we performed the P. Ramlee medley that was arranged by Maestro Mustaqim.

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I was also grateful that a few of my friends and families from Epsom came to support the young musicians and enjoyed the concert in PJ last weekend 💓

Muar is next on the 27th August!

Anna, Y7 Crawfurd

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Physics Department Independent Study Into Stokes Law

If you read last week’s issue of our Epsom Friday Flyer, then you will have seen the article on Stoke’s Law… Here is an example of some independent research undertaken by one of our A-level Physics students:

In this paper I, Mun Yau, would like to demonstrate the application of Stoke’s Law in a real world scenario. The scenario will look at one of the most terrifying threats to the allies in the second world war; U-boats or more generally submarines.


During the second world war U-boats were used extensively by the Third Reich to sink allied ships. These attacks were not limited to combat ships but also civilian ships such as the SS Athenia1; women and children were included among the many casualties from the unrestricted submarine warfare. The threat from German submarines was so large that Winston Churchill, then British Prime Minister once wrote that:“The only thing that really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril.”2


Imagine a World War II U-boat cruising below the tall imposing waves of the atlantic. The submarine would have to push against the water molecules in its way, which requires energy, energy that, for a World War II era U-boat, was supplied by batteries which were charged by a diesel engine. The energy would go into spinning a propeller at the back of the U-boat, generating forward thrust. Now a simple problem could be asked: How much energy does it take for a U-boat to move through the ocean?

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Figure 1 - Simplified drawing of a submarine underwater


The problem can be answered with some mathematical modelling and with the help of Stoke’s Law. However, to utilise Stoke’s Law, some assumptions must be made. While this helps reduce the complexity of the calculations, this will sway the results of our theoretical scenario away from the real world. Such concerns will be addressed later in the paper.

The assumptions made are as follows:

  •  The U-boat will be modelled as a sphere
  •  Ocean currents are ignored
  •  The U-boat is at constant velocity horizontally
  •  The U-boat is not surfacing or submerging
  •  The energy conversion from the diesel engine to the battery to the propeller is 100%
  •  The energy efficiency of the propeller is 100% (All the energy used to turn the propeller will be turned into thrust)

With the assumptions stated, we can now move on to solving the stated problem. Firstly, a force diagram could be drawn to visualise the forces involved. 

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Diagram 2 - force diagram

Diagram 2 shows the force diagram for the scenario. Note that the U-boat is modelled as a sphere (in the 2D diagram it is drawn as a circle) as stated in the assumptions. Since it is assumed that the U-boat is not surfacing or submerging, the weight of the submarine must be balanced with the upthrust of the submarine. It is also important to note that since the U-boat exhibits no velocity in the upwards or downwards direction, there is no drag force acting in either direction. Henceforth, for our purposes these two forces can be ignored.

Instead we place our focus on the thrust and drag forces. Based on our assumptions that the U-boat is at constant velocity horizontally, these two forces must also be equal. Thus to find one is to find the complement of the other.

A good observation to make is that the velocity of the vessel is not specified, hence we must expect to have a general formula where the velocity is a variable. This creates a function of velocity for the drag force which is considerably more useful to understand the situation as we can consider multiple velocities and infer accordingly.

Stoke’s Law

The place to start would be to figure out the force of drag acting on the vessel. From this we can obtain the thrust force exerted by the vessel to match the drag and from there obtain the energy requirements.

To determine the drag force, Stoke’s Law can be utilised. The equation describing Stoke’s Law is as follows:

𝐹𝑑 = 6πη𝑟𝑣
η = 𝑣𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑐𝑜𝑒𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑡
𝑟 = 𝑟𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑢𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑏𝑗𝑒𝑐𝑡
𝑣 = 𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑏𝑗𝑒𝑐𝑡

As shown above there are a few values to be determined before we can obtain the drag force; the viscosity coefficient and radius of the vessel (remember that velocity of the object is to be kept as a variable).

Taking the most used model of U-boat during World War II, the type VII U-boats as our standard, we can determine the radius of the cross-sectional area of the vessel. Since the cross-section of the vessel isn’t exactly circular (unlike modern submarines), an average of the height and beam (horizontal cross-sectional length) of the U-boat has been taken as the radius. The height and beam of a type VII U-boat is 9.6 and 6.2 metres respectively, giving us an average radius of 7.9 metres.3

The viscosity coefficient of seawater is not able to be determined directly as the radius of a World War II era U-boat. This is due to the viscosity of seawater being affected by factors such as salinity and temperature which depends on the geographic location of the liquid. To be as close to the real world scenario as possible, the paper will use salinity and temperature values of the Atlantic ocean, which is the primary theatre for U-boat deployment in the war.

Plotting the function will give us the graph below:

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Diagram 3 - Drag Force-Velocity graph


Now that the force of drag acting on the vessel has been determined, the energy required can also be determined. The equation used for this purpose is:

𝐸 = 𝐹𝑥
𝐸 = 𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑦
𝐹 = 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑐𝑒
𝑥 = 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡

The force as we have calculated earlier would be 0.421 newtons.

The range of this type of U-boat when submerged is 80 nautical miles3 which when converted to kilometres will be 148.16 km. Thus the energy stored in the U-boats batteries will be at the very least:

𝐸 = 0. 421(148. 16)(10 )
= 62. 4𝑘𝐽

Or, if we were looking for a more general formula:

(𝑥) = 421𝑥 (𝑗𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑒𝑠)
𝑒(𝑥) = 𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑦 𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑓𝑢𝑛𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡
𝑥 = 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 (𝑘𝑚)

Which shows that 421 joules are used per km of displacement.

Addressing assumptions

The figure that has been determined certainly does not show the realistic energy expenditure. In reality the drag force acting on the vessel would be higher as the vessel isn’t a perfect sphere travelling through a medium only consisting of laminar flow. Several other forces that do impact the vessel as drag are also not accounted for fully for the sake of simplicity. Such forces include 1. skin friction, 2. form drag, and 3. Interference drag. Further, a more accurate model such as the drag equation could have been used to increase the precision of the model (as a submarine is not a sphere) or the use of Navier-Stokes equations to model the water currents experienced by the vessel.

Friday Flyer

Nevertheless, this model is able to display one of the core concepts of fluid mechanics; the higher the velocity of an object, the higher the drag experienced by it, as shown by diagram 3.

Final Considerations – Efficiency

As an extra bit of realism, I would like to take down the assumption that the efficiency of energy transfer is 100%. As such, a greater amount of energy must be generated by the diesel engine of our type VII U-boat for the conversion into our calculated 62.4 kilojoules of energy.

The first thing to consider is the efficiency of the 2 supercharged 6-cylinder 4 stroke diesel engines used by the vessel.

The first diesel engine invented by Rudolf Diesel in 1897 had an efficiency of 26.2%.7 The current world’s most efficient diesel engine, the Wärtsilä 31SG, has an efficiency of 50%.Interpolating from these two figures, we can estimate that the engines used in the type VII U-boat is around 34.7%. With that, the amount of energy produced would be 179.8 kilojoules.

The energy produced would be stored in batteries before being used in electric generators to spin the U-boat’s propeller. Even though modern lithium-ion batteries have a near perfect efficiency (99%)9, U-boats use a less efficient lead-acid battery which at modern times is only able to achieve a maximum of 85% efficiency10. Giving the benefit of doubt and assuming that the battery efficiency of lead-acid batteries in the 1940s is identical to modern times, the initial energy needed would increase by another 31.8 kilojoules, making the initial energy needed 211.7 kilojoules.

Finally, we have to look at the efficiency of electric motors. Data on the efficiency of electric motors from the 1940s are not readily available. Thus we shall also give the benefit of doubt and assume that past electric motors have the same efficiency as their modern equivalent. Modern electric motors are usually 95% efficient.11 Finally bringing our initial energy needed to 223 kilojoules. 


Despite the efforts to model as close to real life conditions as possible, the model is still limited by the complexities of reality. As written in the “Addressing Assumptions” section, the model definitely has areas in which the realism can be improved.

However, the model boasts strengths in that it is simple and thus able to be understood by a wider audience. It is hoped that through reading this paper, young minds can be influenced into a deep curiosity towards the world and love for physics.

Also Ms Ruby if you’re reading this I hope you enjoyed 😀

Best wishes,

Mun Yau, Yea 12 Granville

Further reading


The Highs and Lows of the World Scholar's Cup

After 4 years, due to the pandemic, I was finally granted another opportunity to compete in this event. I heard Epsom was looking for teams to compete in the World Scholar’s Cup, and that they were hosting it right here in this school. The stars seem to have aligned this year. Despite our end of year examinations, we managed to succeed in the event.  This time, I stepped up as the leader of the team, which was the most rational choice due to me having the most experience. I taught our team everything I knew and when the awards were given out, our efforts paid off! We obtained a myriad of medals and had fun in the process.

Khai Zhe (262-A)

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The World Scholar’s Cup is undoubtedly the most prestigious event I have ever taken part in. In this competition, over 500 scholars from across Malaysia gathered in Epsom for the Kuala Lumpur Regional Rounds to fight for the slim chance of getting into the Global Rounds. Alesha, Khai Zhe, and I had extremely tight schedules which we had to cope with and we were short on time. We were forced to push ourselves through our perceived limits. We sharpened our skills for debate, honed our skills in essay writing, and studied the entire syllabus, all within 2 weeks whilst dealing with internal exams. Though it was no easy task, we still managed to overcome these difficulties and secure a spot in the next stage - the Global rounds in Bangkok. Overall, it was a wholesome experience collaborating with my team and we are committed to our success and determined to enter the terminal stage - The Tournament of Champions in Yale University.

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Hong Ming (262-B)

Initially, I was very nervous as it was my first time participating in the World Scholar's Cup, and not only that, we were the only team representing our school. But with the help of my teammates and our teacher, Ms Perrang, I was able to persevere through the competition, and I got a few medals! The experience itself was actually really fun, with silly skits from the organisers, and even doing strange activities like balancing alpacas on our heads. With that being said, I hope more Epsomnians join the competition in the future because it's good to challenge yourself and you will have lots of fun too!!

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Alesha (262-C)

To all students in all grades ranging EVEN from Year 6 to Year 13, DO NOT ever hesitate to join the competition! The WSC is built not only to address and study current affairs, but to also bring many participants - locally or from around the world - to come together as a united community. We are in an international school after all, am I right?

Best wishes,

Team 262!

Meet Our Staff

Hello! We are Angela and Yunn Xynn, Year 9 Crawfurd, and we would like to introduce you to our lovely Matron - Ms Parween.

The role of Matron is one that could be overlooked but it is so important! Our Matrons work very closely with our HMMs (Housemasters and Housemistresses) to ensure that our Boarding Houses (essentially our Epsom family home) runs smoothly and that we have everything we need to feel comfortable and secure.

Ms Parween makes sure the House is clean, orderly and generally well maintained. She makes sure our bed linen is fresh and that the environment is pleasant for us. Ms Parween is very caring - she is always there for us and alongside our HMM - she creates a home from home for us in Crawfurd.

We asked Ms Parween the questions below:

Why did you choose to come to work at Epsom?
I really appreciate the work culture here. It is a very diverse one. Epsom has a unique vision and also I enjoy the teamwork that enables me to complete my tasks successfully.

What is your greatest achievement?
I have become much more patient as a person.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I learn something new everyday from the girls in Crawfurd.

Did you always want to work at a school? Why?
Not really is the answer. It sort of just happened and I took this opportunity as a new challenge, one for me to develop new knowledge & skills.

What constitutes a good day for you?
A good day is when the girls & / or House staff share their experiences of the day or their knowledge - I like that.

Who do you admire and why?
Ms Kate Brown, she has a very charming & charismatic leadership quality

What is your ambition?
I am planning to continue my learning and gain more certification.

If you would like to learn more about our Epsom Staff then please visit our website: LINK

Happy Friday,

Angela and Yunn Xynn:)

So, Dear Reader,

Thank you for reading our Epsom Friday Flyer and we wish you all the very best for a restful weekend.

Happy Friday from us all at Epsom.


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