FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 157
We hope you have enjoyed spending time with your family during the term break. We have returned to school well rested and excited for the year ahead.
Even during the term break, Epsom has been a hive of activity. We have hosted a range of activities. These have included UTR Tennis Tournaments and Tennis and Golf Camps:
Our on-site driving range is coming along very well and the grass is starting to grow:
We also hosted the Epsom British Summer School where over 350 students from across Asia came to improve their English levels. They enjoyed formal lessons in the mornings and then fun activities in the afternoons where they were required to interact with each other through the medium of English. These activities included art and craft sessions, sports and water-based fun!
Most of our camp counselors were our very own Epsom students, and the feedback from parents on the care and support that they provided was consistently outstanding and is testament to their commitment to others - they are excellent ambassadors of our school.
2022/23: A Year of Inspiring and Memorable Events:
The previous school year concluded with a spectacular graduation ceremony for our Year 13 students.
We were delighted to host our esteemed Chair of Governors, Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes, as our guest speaker . His words of encouragement, motivation, and inspiration resonated deeply with our graduates who have now become ‘Old Epsomians’ ready to conquer new frontiers. The event also witnessed a heartwarming show of parental support, a testament to the strong bonds nurtured within our school community.
Throughout last year, Epsom hosted a diverse array of activities - from thought-provoking Epsom Live Talks featuring luminaries in politics, law, and industry, to culturally enriching and sports-centric events, musicals, and dramas - Aladdin was our school production of 2023.
Last year, the school term ended with a celebration of sports and the arts - with an outdoor concert on the last night. We shared this special evening with students and parents, and there was even a staff band!
During the summer break, students were most fortunate to be able to participate in Internships over the term break in a range of sectors, these included shadowing healthcare professionals, offering hands on care at a retirement home, shadowing lawyers and politicians as well as accounting placements and more. We are most fortunate to have access to internships thanks to our affiliation with the Tune Group as well as the support of our Governors and parents who support us with our internship programme.
Celebrating Academic Excellence:
We congratulate the Class of 2023 for their academic achievements. Epsom students once again secured coveted positions at some of the most renowned and prestigious universities in the UK and beyond - these include Imperial College, LSE, UCL, King’s College London, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of Hong Kong and the National University of Singapore (NUS). We were delighted that a number of our students secured full scholarships to study at university in recognition of their academic prowess coupled with their contributions to the community serving as their ticket to success.We are especially proud of the fact that an Epsomian was offered the Kuok Foundation Scholarship for the second consecutive year. This achievement underscores the caliber of students we nurture.
70% of our A-level students this year were awarded at grades A*, A, or B and 50% of students achieved at least two A-levels at the highest grades. Special mention goes to our top performers:
Zhi Yu Chua: A*, A*, A*, A*, A*
Sutri Ng: A*, A*, A*, A*, B
Ian George Cheng Ean Taye: A*, A*, A*, A*
Hui Dawn Ong: A*, A*, A, A
Siu Chen Cebelle Wong: A*, A*, A, A
Chantelle Xin-Yi Liew: A*, A, A, A
Ryan Lai Eng Lim: A*, A, A, A
Garrison Tan: A*, A, A, A
Jin Ren Tan: A*, A, A, A
Ammar Bin Anaz: A*, A, A, B
Yi Zheng Lim: A, A, A, A
Similarly, in Year 11, our IGCSE students have achieved impressive results, with half of their grades at A* or A, and over three-quarters at A*, A, or B. Mathematics emerged as a forte, with over 75% of grades at A* or A, and a staggering 95% achieving the same in Further Mathematics.
The journey of the high achievers is all the more inspiring when we consider their linguistic background. Some of our top performers joined our school with limited English proficiency, a fact that magnifies their top level accomplishments. Their success is a testimony to their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to excel.
A Growing Community
At the start of the week, we were delighted to welcome over 130 new students to Epsom. This growth is mirrored in our teaching staff as well, with over 20 new, carefully selected teachers joining our team. They were most impressive in the interviews and we look forward to working with them.
Celebrating Global Excellence
Our very own students, Khai Zhe, Hong Ming, and Alesha from Year 11, have been actively participating in the Bangkok Global Round of the World Scholar's Cup. We are delighted to announce that on Wednesday they qualified for the Tournament of Champions in the USA. Overall Epsom finished 32nd in this global round. Special thanks to Mrs Dominique Perrang for all her support of the students to help them prepare.
So, dear reader, I hope that you enjoy your weekend, rest well and Happy Friday!
Mr Matthew Brown,
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Induction Day in Pictures - Welcoming our New Boarding Students
On August 27th, we kicked off the new school year with a warm welcome event. Boarding students, both new and returning, were greeted at Epsom from 11am by members of our Admissions Team, Senior Leadership as well as Sports Academy Coaches. Settling into their new boarding houses, students met classmates and Boarding House teams. An interactive Treasure Hunt across our campus aided newcomers in acclimating before classes, followed by a brunch that ran from 11am until 3pm. Parents were welcome to join in the Hunt and meal, before saying goodbye.
Back to School in Pictures
As of August 28th, day students returned to school and the academic year commenced, with boarding students settling in on the 27th. A brief pause before the morning break facilitated personal tutor meetings and orientations.
Impressively diverse, our Epsom student community represents 24 nationalities, now including our first student from Kazakhstan. It was wonderful to see our new students and new staff as well as our returning students and staff back in class sharing their interests and experiences over the term break.
We hope everyone has had a wonderful week and feels settled into school ready to take full advantage of all the opportunities to come.
A Message from the Leadership Team - Mrs Carden-Brown
As a seasoned Guidance Counsellor, I've witnessed countless students journey towards their dream of entering selective universities. Through the years, one factor has consistently emerged as a critical determinant of their success: the habit of reading. In a digital age where reading seems to be on the decline, its significance cannot be overstated, particularly for those aspiring to secure a spot in the most esteemed educational institutions. As the new year unfolds, I find it fitting to underscore the pivotal role of reading in shaping academic prowess and personal growth.
Reading is a catalyst for change. Nelson Mandela's proclamation that "education is the greatest tool that we have to change the world" encapsulates the profound impact of knowledge on human progress. At the heart of education lies the act of reading. It is through reading that we gain access to a wealth of information, perspectives, and insights that empower us to navigate the complexities of the world. Reading serves as a conduit for growth on multiple dimensions, spanning empathy, knowledge, and imagination.
Reading offers multifaceted benefits. At its core, reading enriches us on myriad levels. It fosters empathy by exposing us to diverse narratives and allowing us to walk in the shoes of others. Reading expands our knowledge base, enabling a deeper understanding of subjects and the attainment of conceptual clarity. But it doesn't stop there. The simple act of reading exercises our cognitive faculties, enhancing focus, memory, and brain connectivity. These cognitive benefits translate into improved communication skills, reduced stress, enhanced mental health, and even longevity.
One of the most compelling arguments for daily reading is its power to facilitate learning. Books offer a gateway to profound knowledge, far surpassing the fleeting content of videos or podcasts. Imagine the contrast between a comprehensive book penned by a 20-year productivity veteran and a brief YouTube video by an interested enthusiast. The former provides a deeper, more immersive understanding that can truly transform habits. Roald Dahl aptly captured this sentiment, affirming that a life well-lived requires traversing the pages of many books.
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body, as Joseph Addison eloquently expressed. Scientific research confirms that reading engages intricate neural networks and strengthens them with regular practice. These networks become more robust, fostering improved cognitive capabilities. A study examining brain activity while reading revealed that brain connectivity surges during reading and persists even after the activity, attesting to the enduring benefits of this practice.
In a world of incessant distractions, the ability to focus is an invaluable skill. Cal Newport's concept of "deep work" underscores the importance of concentrated attention for productivity and fulfilment. Reading trains us to focus on one task at a time, a skill essential for mastering intricate subjects and producing meaningful outcomes efficiently. As our engagement with books demands our full presence, we gradually cultivate the ability to immerse ourselves in deep, meaningful work.
Reading enhances memory and recall. Whether delving into non-fiction or immersing ourselves in novels, we absorb copious information about characters, plots, and environments. This process creates new synapses and reinforces existing ones, amplifying our memory capacity. Regular reading enhances our capacity to retain information and retrieve memories effectively, a skill indispensable in academic pursuits.
Books wield unparalleled power in delivering engaging entertainment. As Stephen King noted, books are "uniquely portable magic." The exhilaration of being lost in a compelling story is an experience unlike any other. The ability to absorb oneself in a narrative, despite pressing biological needs, underscores the captivating allure of reading. With the current global challenges, reading offers a safe, affordable means of recreation that nurtures the mind and soul.
A less-discussed yet immensely vital benefit of reading is its capacity to nurture empathy. Long-term fiction readers develop a heightened "theory of mind," enabling them to better understand and empathise with others. Stories that delve into characters' emotions and inner worlds amplify our capacity to perceive others' feelings and viewpoints. This cultivation of empathy equips us with the invaluable skill of understanding and connecting with diverse individuals.
In a world perpetually evolving, one truth remains constant: the transformative power of reading. As students set their sights on selective universities, they embark on a path that demands intellectual rigour, creativity, and a multifaceted perspective. Reading stands as the compass guiding them towards these aspirations. As you turn the pages of books, you engage in a profound journey of growth, learning, and self-discovery. Remember, as Roald Dahl wisely advised, the more you read, the further you'll journey in life's extraordinary expedition.
Thank you for reading my ponderings and Happy Friday!
Best wishes for a lovely weekend,
Director of Admissions and Higher Education.
Epsom Art Updates
Hello Epsom Family, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Gemma Marsden and I am the new Head of Art at the school. We, as à Department, are excited to welcome all our artists back after their summer break!
Back to Business
I have been really impressed already this week to see the Year 13 and 12 settle down quickly to their creative spaces where it feels like they have never been away… already working hard on their portfolios, demonstrating excellent observational drawings as well as development of ideas for their final outcomes.
Pupils are taking inspiration from music, the environment, and their own personal journeys this summer to inspire their work, using a range of media through painting, drawing and sculpture.
We are very excited to see the direction in which their creative process will take them this term as they complete component 1 and 3 of their A Level Art course portfolios - come by the Art Studio and see for yourselves!
Warming up for a year of amazing artwork….
After a relaxing summer, Year 9 have been revistalising their drawing skills this week via a series of warm up drawing exercises looking closely at expressive and continuous lines - have you ever tried to draw an object without taking your pencils from the page? Well, Year 9 did a great job this week as it is not as easy as you may think. This is a great way to get back into drawing if you have not practiced the skill for a while.
Looking at Nature up close!
Year 10 have kick started their IGCSE Art course this week with primary research into their topic of Natural Forms, inspired by the photography of Karl Blossfeldt. Pupils worked in the Art Studio to photograph and draw close ups of shells that they will take forward and explore in a range of media and processes.
Year 8 have worked with precision and accuracy as they have created 3D forms in perspective, this represents a series of foundation lessons that will enhance their art portfolios throughout key stage 3.
Look out for our art competitions coming soon……..
Enjoy your weekend and best wishes for a Happy Friday,
Ms Gemma Marsden,
Head of Epsom Art Department
Epsom Design & Technology Department Update
Please allow me to introduce myself if I may; my name is Mr Brian Thorburn, and I am the new Design Technology (DT) teacher for the academic year 2023/24. It is my pleasure to be here teaching at Epsom College in Malaysia (ECiM).
Year 11 IGCSE DT students have started working towards their Pre-Mocks which will take place on the 15th September. During their Pre-Mocks students will sit Paper 1 (Product Design) and Paper 3 (Resistant Materials). After their Pre-Mocks students will then continue with the Project element of their course due for submission at the end of February 2024 for submission to Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) for External Moderation in April. Students will then concentrate on Exam Revision starting in March 2024 thus ensuring they are fully prepared for their Finals. I wish them every success during the next 9 months!
The DT Department has already welcomed in a new cohort of sixteen eager and enthusiastic Year 10 IGCSE students who will be embarking upon their own 2-year journey. It is my intention to ensure the present Year 11 DT students will be available to mentor and support the Year 10 students. Collaboration, Communication and Cooperation are important life skills which will be nurtured and developed within the Design Technology Department. Year 10 students will concentrate on the theory side of the course this year. Previously students made a lamp for their Final Project; however, the 2025 cohort will have an opportunity to design and make (within reason) a product of their client’s own choosing.
Year 8 and 9 students started the year with an Introduction to Health & Safety (H&S) in the Workshop followed by an opportunity to create an information poster of their own design within a set time. Students will be taught the importance of meeting deadlines which is once again a very important life skill. During Term 1 students will complete five Mini Units (H&S, Sketching/Technical Drawing, Virtual Reality Robotics, SCRATCH Game Design and Computer Aided Design) before moving onto the main Units of Inquiry in Terms 2 and 3. Students will have an opportunity to take projects from conception to completion following a Design Cycle comprising four Criteria: Inquiring and analysing, Developing ideas, Creating the solution and Evaluating.
If you have any questions regarding the Design Technology programme at ECiM please do not hesitate to contact me: email@example.com
Enjoy your weekend and best wishes,
Mr Brian Thorburn,
Design and Technology Teacher.
My Voluntary Work During Term Break
During the summer holidays, I did a variety of things like helping out in my community's recycling programme, participating as a campaign worker in the state elections, and by far the most memorable thing I did was work at a Yayasan Chow Kit shelter for children at risk.
If I were to be honest, I would not have had the courage to step up to volunteer at the shelter. I was actually supposed to volunteer last year before coming to school at Epsom but I could not do it because I just didn’t have the courage, and if it was not for the experience gained in Epsom over the past year, I would have never, ever done it.
From the experience I gained from living as a boarder, talking and interacting with teachers and students of different ethnicities and cultures, I must say my worldview of social issues has changed drastically in a great way and that has helped me so much.
I started working as a volunteer at the shelter once a week from 8am until 7pm since the first week of the summer holidays. I was given menial labour like helping around the house, assisting the homeschool teacher, cleaning and organising tasks. I couldn’t believe my luck when, over the next few weeks during my time there, Auntie Bada, the house cook, taught me to make many dishes, like the traditional Malay peanut sauce for satay, chicken rendang, rasam and more. During my second week, I made burgers and fries for the whole house.
Eventually I grew enough in familiarity and confidence and I began teaching the children some simple arts and crafts, like paper-mache and crepe paper collages. I even learned to take care of a baby.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I had such a fun time hanging out with everybody. The two brothers there, whom I have known since my own time living at the shelter, finally received Malaysian citizenship after more than 10 years of applying and appealing. This was such a huge moment and we were all happy. I got really cool shirts for them to celebrate and we had a big party.
Volunteering at the shelter was incredible and I made some unforgettable memories this summer break. From my working experience at the shelter, I realised that the human spirit has the resilience to overcome trials and hurdles in life and still be able to be happy with very little possessions. This is a humbling thought for me personally, a great lesson I will carry with me.
Thank you to Datuk Dr Hartini Zainuin, Founder of Yayasan Chow Kit and CEO of Yayasan Chow Kit, Ms Ananti Raj.
I can’t wait to go back in December!
Epsom Reading Challenge
Greetings from the Academic Prefects team.
We hope that you had a fantastic summer break.
While we have received quite a number of submissions from the students for the Epsom Reading Challenge, we decided to extend the deadline for the submission from the 31st of August to the 30th of September. This is because we would like to give new students a chance to participate in this amazing challenge.
For more information, please refer to this document.
Thank you and we are looking forward to your submissions!
ECiM Academic Prefect 2023/2024
Learning Beyond the Curriculum
The Sixth Form is really excited to be attending an upcoming event at the Asia School of Business in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday 13th September. The event is titled "Human Learning in the Age of Machine Learning".
As you know, AI and large language models are rapidly changing the way we live and work. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize education, but they also raise important questions about the future of human learning.
This workshop will explore the challenges and opportunities of human learning in the age of machine learning. We will discuss the following topics:
- How can we ensure that AI is used to augment human learning, rather than replace it?
- What are the skills that humans will need to thrive in the age of AI?
- How can we design educational systems that are flexible and adaptable to the changing needs of the workforce?
The workshop will be led by Sanjay Sarma, MIT professor and new president of the Asia School of Business, and Dr. Sarma who is a renowned expert in AI and education and has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our world.