FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 172
At the start of this Term 2, and as we welcome over 40 new students to our Epsom family, I have been considering the importance of embracing a growth mindset as a New Year's Resolution alongside the power of learning from mistakes. While walking the school during the term break, a quote on Mr Garnett’s classroom wall (Mr Garnett teaches EAL) struck me. It said, ‘Do not let your mistakes define you, let them teach you.’
As we usher in the new year, it's customary for us to reflect on our lives and set resolutions. These resolutions often revolve around self-improvement and the elimination of undesirable habits. At Epsom, we applaud the commitment to personal growth, recognising it as a commendable journey. However, it's crucial to remember that amidst the pursuit of improvement, mistakes are an inevitable and invaluable part of the learning process.
Mistakes, far from being failures, are opportunities for growth and development. At Epsom, we believe that students should encounter challenges that push them beyond their limits. These challenges, initially daunting and seemingly insurmountable, become the catalysts for developing resilience and grit. The ability to overcome obstacles through hard work and determination is a skill that extends beyond the classroom, preparing students for success in the workplace and in their personal lives.
Our Epsom Learning Characteristics emphasize the development of essential skills that contribute to lifelong learning:
- Curiosity: Encouraging students to wonder, question, explore, and experiment fosters a proactive approach to learning.
- Resilience: The determination to persevere, recover, and practice is essential for facing challenges head-on and learning from mistakes.
- Creativity: Connecting ideas and visualizing different approaches to problem-solving are skills that stimulate innovative thinking.
- Reflectiveness: Evaluating situations and self-evaluating, especially in response to feedback, promotes continuous improvement and adaptability.
- Attention: Developing strong listening skills, concentration, and active participation in discussions are crucial aspects of effective learning.
- Collaboration: Being social, accepting, empathetic, and able to lead or follow in a team setting prepares students for collaborative success.
- Organisation: Planning and resourcefulness in completing tasks, including homework, contribute to effective time management and independent problem-solving.
- Thinking: Encouraging deduction, analysis, critique, and intuition cultivates a deeper understanding of complex concepts.
Renowned psychologist Carol Dweck underscores the importance of mindset in the learning process. Dweck identifies two mindsets: fixed and growth. Those with a growth mindset believe in continuous improvement and view challenges as opportunities to learn from mistakes, while those with a fixed mindset see their abilities as innate and unchangeable. Embracing a growth mindset aligns with our philosophy at Epsom, where we believe that the ability to reflect and learn from mistakes is more critical than innate intelligence, talent, or education.
The "Nurture, Educate, and Inspire" philosophy at Epsom emphasises a holistic education that prepares students for their future endeavours. The college strives to instil qualities such as resilience, curiosity, collaboration, and reflectiveness, fostering ambition and a love for learning. Our goal is to shape character, cultivate responsible citizenship, and ensure students make positive contributions locally and globally throughout their lives.
As we embark on this new year, let us not be defined by our mistakes but instead be inspired by them. Let us embrace the challenges that come our way, knowing that each obstacle is an opportunity for growth and learning. Together, as a community committed to continuous improvement, we can make this year one of resilience, growth, and success.
I wish you all every blessing for 2024 and am excited for the Term ahead.
Happy Reading and Happy Friday, and of course, Happy New Year!
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A Message from our Leadership Team, Mr Andrew Thompson, Head of Key Stage 4
It is hard to believe that we have reached the end of the first term already. 16 weeks have come and gone in the blink of an eye. After staff and students enjoyed a well deserved break, it is also important to remember one of the most important Epsom learning characteristics; reflectiveness. Before Christmas, I and the other Heads of Key Stage have had the pleasure of leading celebration assemblies to recognise the wonderful achievements of our students this term. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be too easy to pigeonhole past events and focus relentlessly on to what is coming next. Taking time to stop, pause and reflect is not only essential for academic success but your own wellbeing. For this Friday flyer, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on 23 global and school-based memories from 2023 and provide you with 24 reasons to look forward to 2024.
23 memories of 2023
- First day back to school House cross country and inter house football!
- Open AI released Chat GPT-4, providing students with an incredibly powerful tool to use for educational purposes.
- Visit of Sir Anthony Selden, head of Epsom College UK.
- OceanGate’s Titan submersible imploded during an expedition to the wreck of the Titanic.
- The creation of La Liga academy at ECiM.
- Participating in the International Mathematical Olympiad National Selection.
- Exceptional musical talent on display at the House Music contest.
- Three Year 11 students, Alesha, Hong Ming and Khai Zhe reached the global final of the World Scholar Cup, coming 43rd out of over 2700 schools who entered.
- Epsom Live talks, welcoming guests such as Jamalia Jamaludin
- Halloween and bonfire night, with some fantastically creative cost
- The wonderful Christmas Concert, showing the best of ECiM’s musical talent.
- Cinemas showing the two iconic movies of the year ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’.
- The KS4 debate competition, won by Granville
- The wonderful Deepavali celebration assembly, with some incredible dance moves on display from Year 13.
- Mental Health awareness dance on Granville Green in blazing hot sunshine.
- Students from KS3 and KS4 competed successfully in the U15 FOBISIA games in Thailand.
- India became only the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the Moon.
- U18 boys football team winning 10-0 v Tenby.
- The beautiful Sunset Serenade.
- The imminent opening of the ECiM golf academy.
- Donald Trump became the first US president to have his mugshot taken.
- A fantastic Art competition run on the theme of ‘perspective’.
- My arrival at ECiM!
I could continue to 230 things and beyond, but hopefully the above gives you a flavour of the range of activities which happen at ECiM. So what does the future hold?
24 things to look forward to in 2024
- Seeing your friends, houses and teachers again after a well deserved three week break.
- ‘We will rock you’ drama performance in term 2.
- The Paris Olympic Games during the summer.
- England winning the 2024 European football championship (maybe).
- ECiM festival in term 3.
- Hard work and academic success in iGCSE and A-Level exams come the summer!
- KS3 and KS4 students making choices about which subjects they wish to continue studying for iGCSE and A-Levels.
- More Epsom live talks, with a variety of interesting speakers such as David O’Regan.
- For our Year 13 students, travelling off to a range of universities around the world to begin the next stage of their educational journey.
- House hockey, badminton, chess and drama.
- Nusantara will become the new capital of Indonesia, replacing Jakarta.
- Celebrating Chinese New Year; the year of the Dragon.
- Subject themed weeks, such as science week in February.
- The US 2024 presidential election; will Donald Trump return as president or be put in a jail cell?
- More Mr Thompson meme-filled assemblies.
- World Environment and World Ocean day in June.
- Using the new ECiM golf academy to practise your driving/pitching skills.
- Seeing if Elon Musk can launch his superheavy starship without it blowing up.
- The continued advancement of AI and its impact on education and wider society.
- ECiM continuing to expand, with new students and new boarding houses.
- Using the start of the new year to pick up a new hobby, try a new activity or rediscover a lost passion.
- Looking back and knowing that you took advantage of every opportunity that came your way, with no regrets.
- Speech/celebration day in term 3, where we can again take the opportunity to reflect on all the wonderful things our students have achieved.
- The summer holidays!
I wish all our Epsom community the best for the year ahead.
Mr Andrew Thompson, Head of Key Stage 4
Prep School Christmas Fun Run in Pictures
Showing Care for Others
This Christmas break, I was invited by a family friend to play the piano for a Christmas party at the NCSM (National Cancer Society Malaysia) Caritas Home Of Hope in Ipoh. NCSM Home of Hope is a residence for children with cancer who cannot afford accommodation while undergoing treatment at the nearby specialist hospital. The home has 7 rooms for children and their caregivers, and another 7 for female cancer patients. The center is run by a lovely lady, Ms. Mary James, a cancer survivor herself, and Ms. Louvely. Ms. Louvely explained that the children, including some babies, are at different stages of cancer and have various types, such as kidney, heart, and blood cancer. Cancer can originate almost anywhere in the human body, composed of trillions of cells. The children undergo chemotherapy at the nearby hospital, necessitating a small tube attached to their bodies for treatment. Ms. Mary and Ms. Louvely stressed the need to be careful when hugging the children and mentioned they strive to provide the best representation of a cozy home for them and their caregivers, offering facilities to cook but relying on public donations for food.
My purpose for the visit was to bring a little Christmas joy to the young children through music. I wanted to share my love of music with them, hoping that for a moment, they could forget their illness. Initially, I felt a bit sad seeing such young children facing serious health problems, but Ms. Mary explained the one rule in the home - there should never be any tears or sadness; only lots of laughter. These children don't seek pity; they want to be treated like normal children. Ms. Mary gave me a tip: the sadder you feel, the more you need to laugh with joy.
It felt like yesterday when I first started practicing Christmas carols for this event, but in reality, I began preparing in October with my teacher, Ms. CY, and practicing at home. I felt excited but also desperate to deliver a memorable performance, hoping to get some smiles and laughter. My family and I put together a Christmas carol book with the songs my sister Sofia and I were going to perform, allowing folks to sing along if they wanted to.
As I sat in the car, I pictured NCSM Home Of Hope in Ipoh, Perak, as a big house with lots of happy children, smiling or even laughing. As we got closer, tension built up in my fingers. I felt unprepared, but then I thought of the hard work I had put in to achieve something great. That calmed me down, but I still felt quite nervous, most likely due to stage fright (this was my first public concert)! Finally, we arrived at NCSM Home Of Hope and were greeted with smiles from Ms. Mary and her co-workers. I had an hour to practise before the concert to ensure my fingers and mind were ready. Soon enough, the show was on. As I sat at the piano, I calmed down, realising that it doesn't matter if I make mistakes; I was there to spread the joy of music and Christmas. I enjoyed the performance, and I believe the children did too, as many started singing along, forcing me to make some impromptu changes in the pace of the music.
I played a few carols: "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," "Jingle Bells," "Silent Night," "Deck the Halls," and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." I managed to slip in some "Pirates of the Caribbean" as well. My sister Sofia, from Prep Year 4, also played a song, "Angels We Have Heard on High," for the children and sang solo for the first part of "Rudolph."
Despite the challenges the children were facing, I was pleasantly surprised to see them laughing, smiling, and even playing with each other. I spoke with some children; most were shy initially, but afterward, they began to talk to me about their hobbies, what they like to do, and how they feel. But soon, it was showtime.
After the show, we had lunch, continued Christmas carolling, and enjoyed ourselves. Even the staff joined in for the Christmas carolling, and we had a great time. Afterward, we opened some party packs that my family and I made for all the children. My sister Sofia did some art and craft with some children. Then we spent the rest of the day playing with the children and teaching them some music on the piano. I left the cancer home with a different perspective on music. Music doesn't always need to be perfect; if it spreads love and joy, you will enjoy it. This was an amazing experience, and I will treasure it for the rest of my life. Moving forward, I would like to continue supporting the Caritas Home, help raise funds, and bring musical joy to them. I have volunteered to take on a junior ambassador role for NCSM, with my sister Sofia as my assistant. I am looking for other opportunities to support the amazing work being done by this home.
I would like to thank Mr. Crann and the music department for lending us a keyboard and Ms. CY for helping me with some of the music. My sister Sofia gave me her full support, and I was very impressed with her performance as well. I have included some photos below.
Luis, Year 7, Holman House.
Sofia's Visit to NCSM
Over the holidays, I visited Ipoh NCSM, which stands for the National Cancer Society Malaysia. It is a home for many children and adults with cancer who are undergoing treatment.
First, my cousins and I arrived early so my brother and I could practice our piano songs while my mum, my cousins, and my aunt prepared. When the children arrived, it was showtime! I went first, stepping up towards the piano and sitting down. I could feel the tension in my fingers as I got ready to play. I performed only one song called 'Angels We Have Heard on High' calmly, but I was still nervous.
After me, it was my brother Luis's turn. After he played a few songs, there were some performances by the staff who work there. After that, all the kids, including Luis, my cousins, and I, played 'tag' and 'hide and seek.' Then we had lunch. A while after lunch, we received party bags. Emma and I did some painting that came in the party bag. After that, we went home.
While writing this, I was thinking if Epsom could donate some money to the cancer home.
By Sofia, Year 4.
Excellent EAL News
Dear Epsom students,
This is a message of congratulations! Read on and discover the names of those who have reached a new level in their English skills. Is it you? Is it your friend?
Join me in saying well done to all of these students today who have leveled up their English skills over the last term and have moved up to a higher class set in English.
- Muhammad Arif
- Justine Rhye
- Yuan Shao
- Chow Long
To all of you in this new year, in your quest for English mastery, consider the library a treasure trove of language resources. Dive into books, explore articles, and immerse yourself in language-rich environments. Equally important is maintaining a healthy body and routine, so sleep well by reading a book before bed.
Be brave in speaking English around school; each conversation is a stepping stone to fluency. Engage with your peers, join language clubs, and practice fearlessly. Remember, your efforts today sculpt the confident English speaker you'll become tomorrow.
Mr Kevin Hill
Head of English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Congratulations to Anna Ruth
who performed as part of the Swan Lake concert on 3rd December 2023 in KL.
A video of Anna Ruth’s spectacular violin solo can be enjoyed by clicking below video:
Anna Ruth says that she really enjoyed learning to play this difficult solo although the conductor only gave her 3 weeks to learn it 🙂 According to TwoSet Violin, it is one of the 10 most iconic violin solos in a symphonic repertoire
You can enjoy more photos in the SSYO's FB post
We look forward to more marvelous music from Anna Ruth in 2024!
My experience playing with the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra By Anna Ruth...
On the 13th of December 2023, I had the opportunity to perform in a 'Strings in Harmony' chamber concert with the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS, under the baton of Gerard Salonga. It was a fantastic experience for me to perform for the first time in this iconic and magnificent concert hall. I felt extremely blessed for this opportunity that came sooner than I expected! The concert was undoubtedly a resounding success, thanks to the audience's love and support.
As an ensemble, we presented Divertimento in D KV136 by Mozart, Serenade For Strings Op.48 by Tchaikovsky, Simple Symphony by Britten, and for the encore, a traditional Malaysian folk song called "Rasa Sayang."
This concert wouldn't have been possible without the intense preparation and hard work required during a 7-day MPO Reserve Intensive Training Program, held from the 6th to the 13th of December. Daily rehearsals, both in sectionals and tutti (as an orchestra), were demanding, especially considering my school commitments in the morning and the prolonged training sessions late into the night.
On the day of the concert, we had a quick run-through and a group photo session on stage. Despite the hectic schedule, I had a lot of fun performing with the other musicians. It felt like a whole new level, and learning the more challenging pieces gave me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I am grateful to my school teachers for their support during the time I missed
lessons to prepare for the concert. Also, I extend my thanks to my parents for their encouragement and for being with me on this journey since I was young, and of course, my violin tutor, who has been exceptionally supportive and patient.
Year 8, Crawfurd
Winter Camps at Epsom College in Malaysia
Our campus has been busy during the term break. Students have had the opportunity to receive professional coaching from our Sports Academies’ Coaches. There have been opportunities to train in Tennis and to participate in an onsite UTR Tournament, Golf Camps (our beautiful golf range is now complete) as well as Football. Thanks to our excellent facilities, even when the rain set in, it did not stop play…