FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 162
We hope you have enjoyed a productive week and are looking forward to the weekend.
There has been lots on at Epsom as you can see HERE and we are delighted with the sporting successes of our students! We are especially pleased that our Volleyball teams were victorious - even when up against teams from an actual volleyball academy!
Sports are integral to the holistic education that we seek to provide, our aim being to educate our students both academically and as future citizens who will be a force for good in society.
In a thought-provoking assembly led by our Deputy Headteacher Pastoral, Mrs. Kate Fowler, this week, the spotlight was firmly placed on the significance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ - Emotional Quotient) over traditional Intelligence Quotient (IQ).
Mrs. Fowler introduced us to an insightful book, setting the stage for a discussion that has never been more relevant in our digital age.
In today's fast-paced world, where information is at our fingertips thanks to technology and AI, our interpersonal skills and emotional acumen are all the more important as this cannot be replaced by machines. How we connect with others, our approach to challenges, our conflict resolution abilities, and our problem-solving strategies are the building blocks of our identity - and this is where our Emotional Quotient comes to the fore.
Mrs. Fowler commenced the assembly with a poignant video that underscored the importance of being observant and paying attention.
This video really emphasises the importance of being aware - did you see the bear?!
We were reminded that true connection begins with empathy and understanding. To further drive home her point, Mrs. Fowler presented a slide featuring four iconic personalities: Amal Clooney, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and the fictional Jedi Master, Yoda.
While each of these individuals is celebrated for their fame, success, and power, it was Bill Gates who admitted to working on his EQ despite having a remarkable IQ. His recognition that emotional intelligence was a potential weakness highlights the idea that one's ability to 'read the room,' respond effectively to others, and coexist harmoniously with them is pivotal.
As a boarding school, we expose our students to diverse social situations that help them cultivate their interpersonal skills and become active members of a community. This journey is not always without challenges, but it is undeniably essential. Learning to interpret nonverbal cues, discerning when to offer support, when to give someone space, when to use humour, and when to maintain silence are skills that may not come naturally to everyone. However, our school's ethos revolves around creating a supportive, caring, and nurturing environment where these skills can flourish.
Our ultimate goal is to mould well-rounded, considerate, polite, and confident individuals who are ready to embrace their roles in society and make a positive impact. We aim to nurture students who will be forces for good, understanding that emotional intelligence is the compass guiding them on their journey to becoming compassionate, empathetic leaders in a world that needs them more than ever.
In conclusion, as we prepare our children for the future, we should remain mindful that academic achievements alone are not enough. Equipping them with the tools of emotional intelligence is equally vital. Our commitment to fostering these skills ensures that our students will not only excel academically but also grow into compassionate, socially aware citizens who will make meaningful contributions to the world around them.
We hope that you enjoy the articles that follow and wish you all the very best for a lovely weekend.
Happy Reading and Happy Friday,
Mr Matthew Brown,
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A Message from Epsom Leadership Team, Mr Andrew Thompson, Head of Key Stage 4
‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt’- Attributed to US President Abraham Lincoln
‘Speech is silver, silence is golden’- Arabic proverb from the 9th century
As a massive US Politics and History nerd, I am a huge fan of Abraham Lincoln. I find his speeches and actions inspiring, be it ending slavery in the United States or fighting to save his divided nation. When it comes to the above quote, however, I believe he is completely and utterly wrong. In this article I explain how and why this matters to our students at Epsom.
Every teacher at Epsom knows their students well. We know which students are keen, enthusiastic and love to participate at every opportunity. We also know which students are more cautious, but with a bit of prompting will offer interesting ideas and suggestions. Unfortunately, we also know which students are likely to stay silent over the course of a whole lesson. This may be because they are shy, don’t fully understand what is being taught or simply don’t want to do anything which draws attention to themselves. These students may think the best approach is to listen diligently to the teacher, do what is required of them, produce good written responses and achieve success this way. Ultimately, it is these students who often struggle the most. Of course we want our students to listen to our instructions and advice, but often oracy is undervalued by students as a key means of achieving academic and life success.
In July 2023, the UK Labour Party leader (and potentially the next UK Prime Minister) Keir Starmer argued oracy lessons should be taught in schools. He described the ability to express yourself clearly and confidently as a vital life skill. As a History and Politics teacher, I found myself in complete agreement with this view. I judge the success of my lessons as much by the levels of oral contributions as that of the written answers produced. Remaining silent in one of my lessons is one of the worst things a student can do, as it shows me that they are unwilling or unable to engage with its content. My subject is based around debate, different interpretations and presenting an opinion. This is the foundation of so many crucial areas in life, be it defending a client in court, explaining to a patient why a particular course of medical treatment is in their best interests or haggling with a salesperson to get the best deal possible on a product. Put simply, a student who does not develop these skills in school is going to find themselves at a disadvantage in adulthood.
In my assembly based on the theme of ‘collaboration’, I showed KS3 and KS4 students a clip from the British TV show ‘Educating Yorkshire’. In this, Year 11 student Musharaf struggled to complete his English GCSE due to a severe stammer. Inspired by the film ‘The King’s Speech’ his teacher Mr Burton helped him find his voice by asking him to speak while listening to music. Musharaf went on to pass his GCSEs, graduated from university in the UK and now works as a professional public speaker. If he can do this, there is no reason why any student cannot develop and improve their oracy skills. Developing his oracy built Musharaf’s confidence and empowered him to find his own unique voice. This is what I want to see each of our students do at Epsom.
There are other more practical reasons why developing oracy is important for academic success. The human brain is able to process verbal information more efficiently than written language. For example, the average student could write about 40 words per minute. The same student could speak 140 words per minute. Being able to talk about a subject develops your communication skills, helps you develop your thoughts and means you can engage with others in a more meaningful way than through written communication. Oracy is also a key driver of social mobility. There is a clear link between deprived communities and poor oracy. Those who are able to communicate clearly will always perform better in job interviews, social situations and open more opportunities in life.
At Epsom, we want our students to become confident and active learners. We want them to take risks, be curious and participate fully in lessons and in extra-curricular activities. We want our students to be finding their own unique voice, just like Musharaf from Educating Yorkshire. We want this to take place in a respectful manner (speaking when only appropriate to do so), but if a student thinks they are going to be successful by keeping their lips sealed then I am afraid they could not be more wrong.
Abraham Lincoln may have been a great speaker and iconic historical figure, but he and the 9th century Arabs got this one wrong. I will finish with another quote which I think best shows why oracy underpins academic success;
‘Reading and writing float on a sea of talk’
Don’t understand what this means? Then talk about it with somebody and share your own ideas.
Mr Andrew Thompson
Head of Key Stage Four
History & Politics teacher
Carr House News
In recent assemblies, students have been encouraged to be curious, as curiosity is one of the Epsom Learning Characteristics. One of the things that students have been encouraged to be curious about is the other cultures and countries of their peers.
We at Carr wanted to encourage this curiosity and so we invited some Japanese teachers from a school in Cambodia to come and share their experiences with the Carr and Holman boys this week during tutor time.
In a previous Friday Flyer, I mentioned Masanao’s visit to a school in Cambodia, these teachers are from that same school, CIESF Leaders Academy school.
Masanao with our speakers Ms. Toyoshima and Ms. Kojima.
The presentation that the teachers gave was well received by all of the boys as they heard about Japan, Cambodia, Malaysia and various African countries in which these ladies have taught. The speakers encouraged the students with the quote from Nelson Mandela that says:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
The speakers, dressed in traditional Cambodian attire, shared their experiences of teaching at a school in Cambodia and about the vibrant Cambodian Culture.
Our Carr Cares Project will continue to support CIESF Leaders Academy school in Cambodia and I have proposed to the Carr students that we could possibly take a trip to the school and offer our time and skills to assist the school as a community outreach project.
Walt Disney said: “Curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”
We will continue to encourage curiosity at Carr in the hope of being led to many new paths and exciting discoveries.
Mrs Jenny Garnett
Housemistress Carr House
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Computer Science Department Updates
Computer Science is a challenging and often misunderstood subject. Contrary to popular belief that coding and programming has more to do with mathematics than any other field, one study shows that a programmer may well be more suited to studying languages! When a new activity or skill is mastered, several different regions of the brain get called to perform. Sometimes those regions grow in mass, for example video game players show a larger right posterior parietal cortex, which is associated with spatial attention and eye movements.
A study was undertaken whereby programmers were placed in an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) chamber (which measures changes in blood flow that occur with brain activity, and can be used to look at what different parts of the brain do). While reading short blocks of code, programmers showed activation of specific areas in the brain which relate to language processing, attention and working memory.
So whilst students have been working hard this term on numbers conversions, algorithms and programming in computer science lessons, they have probably been developing their language skills at the same time! The study and application of high level programming languages such as Python is bound by the same structural ‘laws’ as learning a formal language such as Spanish or Mandarin. The syntax structure of how to write programming code challenges students in many ways and is not simply maths (although maths does help!).
Mr Richard Lord,
Head of Computer Science, DT and CPD.
Epsom Languages Society Updates
We hope you all are well and enjoying the last weeks before our half term break.
In conjunction with Language Week last week, the Language Society decided to hold a cultural quiz through the platform - Kahoot! hosted by Genki, Yr 11 Granville. Ryoma, the New Head of the Language Society, also prepared a short presentation about our society.
For our quiz, we prepared small prizes:
- First Place - merits + snacks
- Second Place - merits or snacks
- Third Place - merit or snack
This event was a wonderful opportunity to learn about different cultures and have a whale of a time while winning interesting prizes!
The Lang Gang
Epsom Mouratoglou Tennis Programme Updates
A good day to all Epsom Community Members!
The MTP Coaching Team has been preparing for an Asian Tennis Federation tournament trip that will take place on the 7th - 14th October 2023 held at Nonthaburi, Thailand.
In this tournament we will see players from all around the globe participating. It represents a fantastic opportunity to gain experience and exposure to our participating MTP players!
The MTP players that will take part in the ATF Tournament are:
- Jaehun - Year 9
- Rishvan - Year 9
- Riona - Year 7
- Eva - Year 6
We would like the community members to show support to our MTP players and wish them the best of luck and congratulate them for their absolute courage by taking part.
Stay tuned for further updates on our players!
Have a good weekend and see you soon!
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Epsom University Fair
Epsom students were able to meet and discuss their university aspirations with representatives from 12 different universities from the UK and USA this week.
Opportunities such as this are valuable to encourage students to look to the future and focus on their Higher Education Goals.
Epsom students gain entry to universities all over the world including some of the most prestigious such as Cambridge, Stanford and UCLA as well as universities in Asia such as HKU, Tsingua and NU Singapore - one of our students only this week was made an offer by Utrecht university in the Netherlands.
If you have any questions regarding university or higher education then please do not hesitate to reach out to our team in the Sixth Form 🙂
Epsom V Tenby Basketball
Epsom’s U15 girls had a fantastic game against Tenby EcoHill school last Friday. It was a pretty evenly matched game with Tenby taking the lead in the first quarter, however the Epsom team remained determined and with the support of their fellow students and coaches the girls managed to win the second quarter. Tenby managed to pull forward in the third quarter gaining a ten point lead but our Epsom girls managed to claw it back in the final quarter, managing to tie the game 30-30. Special mentions go to Yiro who was the top goal scorer for the Epsom team scoring an impressive 28 out of the 30 points. Other mentions go to Yunn Xynn and Rachel who played impressive defense, winning the ball back from the opposing team when they were down by ten points. A special thanks to the Tenby EcoHill team and Mr Nick Fowler for refereeing. Overall, all the girls played incredibly well for their first competitive game and strive for more success in the future.
Best wishes for the weekend!
Epsom PE Department.
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Our Golf Academy is growing as is the grass on our on site driving range!
We love to perform at Epsom - any opportunity to get up on stage and we will take it! Last week we enjoyed an Open Mic Night as part of our celebration of Languages Week. Students performed their favourite songs from their home countries and in their native languages - it was a wonderful evening and we thoroughly enjoyed it!
This week in assembly we celebrated the success of our volleyball teams who came out victorious in their matches last week - even against players representing an actual volleyball academy!
Very well done to the teams and a big shout out to our PE staff for organising this opportunity for our teams to showcase their skills!
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