FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 181

Headmaster's Welcome

We hope that you have enjoyed a productive week. You can see what has been on offer at Epsom since Monday HERE. Our students have enjoyed many activities to enrich their learning and to experience stretch and challenge. Activities have included Maths Week- where students have been required to apply their knowledge and understanding outside of the classroom via fun activities and competitions, presentations from our Academic Societies as well as sports and music.

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Recently, Sameer, Year 12 Propert, delivered a compelling assembly at Epsom on the significance of saying YES to opportunities that come one's way. His words resonated deeply with our school culture and ethos, emphasising the integral role that extracurricular experiences play in shaping individuals for holistic success academically, personally, and professionally. Indeed, the importance of embracing opportunities at school cannot be overstated.

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At Epsom, a commitment to offering diverse opportunities is fundamental to the holistic education that we provide. These wider opportunities facilitate the development of essential skills and attributes necessary for navigating the complexities of modern life. Sameer's own journey exemplifies this perfectly.

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When presented with the opportunity to participate in the school production of 'We Will Rock You,' a musical featuring iconic songs by Queen, Sameer confronted his fears head-on. Despite initial apprehensions about the challenges posed by the stage, he embraced the opportunity wholeheartedly. Cast in the lead role of Galileo Figaro, Sameer embarked on a transformative journey, one that demanded he step far outside his comfort zone. Having never sung before, he was required to attend vocal lessons and overcome his fear of failure in front of an audience.

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Central to Sameer's narrative was the notion that growth often lies beyond the boundaries of familiarity. His willingness to tackle the unfamiliar terrain of vocal performance epitomises the essence of embracing opportunities. Through dedication and perseverance, Sameer honed his singing abilities, transcending his initial limitations to deliver stellar performances that captivated the audience at every performance.

In reflecting on his own experience, Sameer drew parallels to leaders such as Steve Jobs, Marie Curie, Malala Yousafzai, and Oprah Winfrey. These individuals, he noted, exemplify the transformative power of embracing challenges and seizing opportunities. Their journeys underscore the importance of resilience, humility, and a willingness to confront adversity head-on.

Indeed, as educators tasked with nurturing the leaders and innovators of tomorrow, it is imperative that we instil in our students a mindset rooted in possibility. By encouraging them to say YES, to venture to the edge of their comfort zones, and to take flight, we empower them to realise their full potential.

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I closed the assembly by referencing one of my favourite poems by Christopher Logue to remind our students that growth and transformation often reside at the precipice of uncertainty. It is at this juncture that individuals discover the strength within themselves to soar to new heights, charting courses that redefine the boundaries of possibility.

So as Term 2 draws to a close, I look forward to the opportunities to come in Term 3 and encourage all our students to take a leap of faith and to say YES to as many of them as possible!

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

Mr Matthew Brown, Headmaster
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A Message from our Leadership Team, Mr Andrew Thompson

As a child I was a bit of a geek. As an adult, I am now a full geek. For example, last week on the evening of Thursday 14th March I was glued to the SpaceX Twitter feed watching the live stream of ‘Starship’s’ third test launch. I witnessed some breathtaking images;

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Starship shortly after takeoff.

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Starship’s 33 raptor engines in full boost mode.

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Images of Starship in orbit around Earth.

For someone who grew up absorbed in the fictional sci-fi universes of Star Trek and Star Wars, witnessing the advancement of the human race into an actual space faring civilization is a true joy. Elon Musk’s SpaceX company is hoping that the Starship will be able to carry US astronauts back to the Moon, establishing a lunar base and with the ultimate goal of colonising other planets in our solar system such as Mars. At Epsom, we encourage our students by telling them that the sky's the limit, but Elon Musk is going beyond that and aiming for the stars.

Despite being awesome and cool, what can this story teach our students at Epsom? According to SpaceX’s own objectives, the third test flight was an enormous success. For example;

  • All its engines worked
  • The Superheavy reusable rocket booster separated from the spaceship and re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere
  • The Starship completed its first reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere, gaining valuable data for future tests

BUT, the below also happened;

  • The Starship was destroyed when it reentered the atmosphere
  • The rocket booster crashed into the ocean as its reentry boosters didn’t work properly

In summary, SpaceX spent approximately $100 million dollars for a spaceship that blew up and a rocket that crashed. A huge waste of time and money then? Absolutely not. Look what happened during the first test of the Starship in April 2023;

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Despite (just about) making it off the launchpad, the Starship exploded a mere four minutes after. The SpaceX commentators at the time described this as the now famous term ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly’. In other words, a complete and unplanned failure. Despite this, the company gained an enormous amount of data and were able to launch a more successful second test flight in November 2023. In this test, the booster successfully separated from the ship, but then blew up. The Starship continued for another 8 minutes before setting on fire and being lost. This means in the space (get it?!) of just under a year, SpaceX have advanced from a rocket that blows up in four minutes to one that has entered space and attempted reentry. By any measure, this is truly astounding progress. Imagine what they will have accomplished in another year's time? Who knows, maybe in only a few years time SpaceX will actually be landing astronauts on Mars.

But what has this got to do with our students at Epsom? SpaceX’s testing motto is ‘move fast and break things’. They are not afraid of failure, indeed they seek to push themselves so hard that failure becomes inevitable. Elon Musk said that he prefers ‘fail fast and fix problems’. I can think of no better advice to our students at Epsom than this, especially those in Year 11 and 13 who are facing exams in the near future. Failure is a natural and inevitable part of life. Rather than shy away from this, you need to embrace it. Learn from your mistakes. Take steps to avoid the same thing from happening again next time. Follow the advice of your own Elon Musk’s (your teachers) and you can achieve things that you never thought were possible. If SpaceX can get their spaceship to go from exploding to orbiting Earth within a year, imagine what you can do with your exam grades if you really put your mind to it?

Preparing for exams is like embarking on a journey through space. Each subject or topic is a distant celestial body, with its own unique characteristics and challenges. Just as astronauts meticulously plan their route, students must chart their study schedule, navigating through the vast expanse of knowledge. Just like the vacuum of space, the exam room can feel daunting and isolating. However, with thorough preparation and mental fortitude, students can propel themselves through the gravitational pull of uncertainty, aiming for the stars of success. And just as a spacecraft requires fuel to reach its destination, students require dedication and perseverance to achieve their academic goals, overcoming obstacles and pushing through the atmosphere of doubt to reach the cosmos of accomplishment.

To finish my SpaceX and Epsom theme, I would like our students to;

‘Shoot for the moon, aim for the stars’

What does this mean? Set your goals HIGH. Shoot for the moon, just like SpaceX. If you miss it, you will still fall among the stars and you will definitely be in a better place than you were before.

Andrew Thompson, Head of Key Stage 4

An end of term update from Rosebery

With swelling numbers and only 25 minutes a fortnight, House Assembly became a challenge for all the houses this year. How to make it meaningful is always uppermost in my mind and, as the spring term swings to a close with Rosebery’s traditional Easter chocolate hunt, I’m happy with the recipe we’ve created.

Getting-to-know-you games have featured heavily. We’ve used the dance studio to form enormous concentric circles, constantly moving clockwise so as to have a new partner with whom to discuss the questions I posed. Where is your favourite place in the world? What is your worst habit? Who would be your dream dinner party guest? It was a pleasure, listening to the laughter and seeing old friends enter into the spirit of things with as much gusto as the new faces. Delight was also found in a jam jar full of the girls’ names, randomly paired for a similar bonding activity.

One especially mischievous assembly was when we played ‘two truths one lie’. I couldn’t possibly divulge here what mine were; suffice to say they were about a summer in Japan. Mrs Tamlyn Calder, Rosebery’s wonderful Year 8 tutor, and Ms Shanthi Pillay, Rosebery’s star in the firmament, shared some stories of their own to show the Rosebuds the way: you may well be able to imagine the rest.

On Friday, Xin Ling told us about the ‘unsung heroes’ board at Epsom in the UK; today, I read that their Second Master, Mr Paul Williams, who was here in the autumn, has been shortlisted for Tatler’s Unsung Hero award - illustrious indeed! In Rosebery, we are doing the same of and for each other, and spent last House Assembly making life-affirming posters to go in our soon-to-be-refurbished Common Room. We wrote, we doodled, we designed, and through our expressive artistry celebrated the million and one ways that we are good to each other.

While we’re talking about the Common Room, Ms Carol, Rosebery’s irrepressible, irreplaceable matron, and I had fun yesterday choosing soft furnishings to complement our chairs and sofas when they are returned reupholstered at the end of April. Having opted for a muted neutral fabric, we wanted pops of gorgeous colour. I hope you agree that the combination we’ve gone for - cornflower, rose blossom and mustard - are going to look lovely.

And so, with volleyball, debating, and a poetry exhibition, the Rosebuds make their enriched, exhausted way to the final week of term. It’s a bittersweet countdown because we say goodbye to Ms Aishah, Year 12’s fiercely clever and committed tutor, though we wish her an uplifting Hajj. Our gorgeous ‘fast trackers’, Crystl, Aishu, and Jia Xin, also leave us, albeit only to move into the beautifully converted new boarding house with its sublime golf course sunrises - sigh… And we say ‘sayonara’ to our Yuka, whose inner beauty is surely the aspiration of us all.

Kate Orpwood, Housemistress - Rosebery House

Carr House Updates

In recent months, Carr has been bustling with many of our students participating in a variety of exciting activities.

It's always delightful to see students engaging in a variety of activities that help them develop and experience a wide range of things in different ways.

Wade, Caleb, Ethan, and Joshua showcased remarkable enthusiasm and determination while participating in the KL Tigers Rugby Tournament in KL.

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Nexus continues to demonstrate exceptional dedication to golf, achieving third place in the "1st leg SportsExcel Milo NSCMalaysian Junior Premier Elite 2024" Golf Tournament. We are incredibly proud of his accomplishment.

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Zaq and James traveled to Manila for the FOBISIA Golf Tournament, where they performed admirably and had a fantastic time. They expressed a strong desire to participate again in the future!

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Nexus, Jaden, Yusi, and Rayaan participated in The Oxford and Cambridge Debating Forum 2024. We are incredibly proud of the boys for embracing this challenge and performing very well!

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Kaelem participated in SPORTEXEL/MILO/MAS Swimming Circuit 2024 in Shah Alam and managed to renew his personal best timing for his 200m Free. Well done to Kaelem, we are so proud of him!

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Yoonseo demonstrated incredible dedication in her backstage role for the "We Will Rock You" performances. She devoted numerous hours to rehearsals and performances, and we are immensely proud of her commitment. We are delighted with the knowledge and experience she gained through this opportunity.

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As part of the School Culture Day, a culture day concert was held. It was heartening to see Qaid and Siwoo participate, delivering wonderful performances. Mrs. Perrang was greatly impressed by the dedication and professionalism exhibited by Seunghoo and Hyunwoo in their backstage roles.

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Cedric, An, Jake, Aqil, Kevin, Rish, and Yordan recently competed in a tennis tournament in Johor. The boys put forth their best efforts in every game and were exhausted afterward. We are incredibly proud of their results:

  • Jake - Boys 14 & Under (Finalist)
  • Aqil - Boys 16 & Under (Champion)
  • Jake /Gareth  - Finalist
  • Aqil /Adeeb - Finalist
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Yusi delivered a magnificent flute performance in the recent Music Instrumental competition and emerged as the winner in his category. What a remarkable achievement!

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This past weekend, Yoritaka and Yordan participated in the FOBISIA Volleyball tournament at Alice Smith. They exhibited remarkable grit and determination throughout the tournament, setting a positive example for Carr House.

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It's truly wonderful to have such a diverse range of activities to share and celebrate. The experiences and lessons the students have gained from these activities are truly invaluable.

Mrs Jenny Garnett, Housemistress - Carr House

Chinese Calligraphy Session

As part of our aims to build up our Epsom Art Community, we were delighted to host a parent - led Calligraphy workshop with our Year 10 Art pupils.

This was a great experience for our learners to discover more about the history of Calligraphy and its meaning. Pupils were also taught how to hold the calligraphy pen correctly and how to apply the ink with a rhythm. Tongxi, Year 10,  showed excellent leadership in this task as she taught her peers the skills she has learned herself since she was young.

We are very grateful for the workshop and Tongxi’s parents also generously donated a beautiful script to the art room as seen in the pictures.

Ms Gemma Marsden,
Head of Epsom Art Department.

Epsom Hosts Maths Week

Maths Week

Last week was Maths Week which sparked the celebration of all things mathematical! Joshua Chung, Year 12 Further Mathematician and President of the Mathematics Society, kicked off the week in style, delivering a thought-provoking whole school assembly about ‘Zero and Infinity’.

Josh carefully explained how when we divide by zero, the result is ‘infinity’ or ‘undefined’.

But, that in some ways, this can provide more questions than answers. For example, Josh posed the question “if 1 divided by 0 is infinity, and 2 divided by 0 is infinity, does this mean that 1=2?”. Clearly the idea that 1 = 2 breaks a fundamental law of mathematics, but Josh went on to explain that maths had been broken and ‘fixed’ many times before.

Josh used the example of the square root; previously only used for positive numbers, but after the introduction of the ‘imaginary numbers’, a whole new branch of mathematics was uncovered. In other words, mathematicians ‘fixed’ this inability to root negative numbers with the creation of ‘i’.

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Thus, Josh’s final thought was an inspiring one. Quoting William Blake, Josh argued that mathematicians' previous inability to square root negative numbers was unsatisfactory and limiting. Much in the same way as the current definition of infinity produces fierce debate. “What is now proved was once only imagined”; could one day an Epsomiam produce a more complete picture of what ‘infinity’ truly means?

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Alongside Joshua, Magdalene and Sameer (Year 12) also delivered fascinating lunchtime talks about areas of mathematics that interest them. ‘Proving things no-one asked for: The Pythagorean Theorem’ (Magdalene) and ‘The intersection of maths and humanities’ (Sameer). Josh presented a wonderful assembly to Year 9, 12 and 13 entitled, ‘How the allied forces used statistics to predict the number of German tanks in WW2’. This was an intriguing insight into how mathematicians were much more reliable than spies and the intelligence services in providing estimates about enemy resources. Josh’s TED talk style assembly brought the topic of ‘statistics’ to life for both students and staff!

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Meanwhile in lessons…

Students from Year 7 to Year 13 took part in the ‘Maths Week Shuttles’ in the Sports Hall. Students were divided into teams and had to solve challenging maths problems whilst sprinting across the sports hall to deliver their answers to their teammates.

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Elsewhere, there were more than 20 ‘Juicy’ Geometry problems pasted up on the windows outside the dining hall. The overall winner of the Juicy Geometry problems will be announced in Monday’s assembly!

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Inter-House Maths

Of course, maths week would not be complete without igniting the inter-house rivalry; with much coveted house points to be won in the race for the end of year House Cup. Each house put forward two students from every year group to participate in solving challenging maths problems in the Grayling Centre on Monday evening. The winners will be announced in next Monday’s assembly!

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Epsom Prep STEM Week in Pictures

Prefect Project -Public Speaking Competition

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As part of Jing Yan’s personal project as the Head of College, she hosted a Key Stage 5 Public Speaking Competition motivated by the benefits she gained from her experience with public speaking. She believes public speaking is a crucial skill for professional, personal and confidence development.

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Purpose of her personal project

All the speeches centered on the theme “Youth” - a topic relatable and relevant to the Key Stage 5 students

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9th of November: “Mastering Public Speaking” Workshop with Jing Yan

The final round of the competition took place on the 7th of March, during the Key Stage 5 Assembly.

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Photo Credit to Aisha (Speaker) and Mr Vino (Photographer)

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Photo Credit to Sameer (Speaker) and Mr Vino (Photographer)

Our four finalists’ excellent speeches (full recordings and excerpts) can be found HERE

Video credit to Youngmok (Videographer aka Deputy Head of College)

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How the results are determined.

Special thanks to BSE Society and the College Store for sponsoring the prizes for the winners.

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Left to Right: Vincent (First Runner-up), Aisha (Champion), Sameer (Second Runner-up)

Great job to all the participants who prove themselves to be a more inspiring person than they were yesterday.

Huge congratulations to Aisha Azizul, Sameer Monn and Vincent Low for winning TOP 3 in the competition.

Written by: Jing Yan, Head of College

Debate Competition - Write Up by Hong Ming

On the 2nd of March 2024, I was delighted to attend the annual Oxbridge Debating Forum. It was open to students aged 13 and above, with 130 students from a wide variety of schools attending. The event kicked off with a plenary debate by honorable speakers from the Oxbridge Society of Malaysia, debating the motion “This House Believes that the climate crisis is not the preeminent crisis of our time.”

After that, the students broke out into 10 different groups, each consisting of around 10 people, to prepare for debates on subtopics of the main plenary motion. The subtopics covered a vast array of subjects including economics, politics, education, environment, and science & technology. I joined the economics group and was given the motion ‘This house believes that a new model of capitalism is needed to provide solutions to global problems’. Students were led by Oxbridge alumni to build and structure our arguments. One of our past live talk guests, Tony Pua, served as the alumni for my group, and we learned a lot under his guidance. Epsom students who were in my team included Jaden Tan and Hayley.

I volunteered to be one of the 3 speakers for my team and took on the role of the first speaker. It was the first time I debated in front of such an overwhelming audience. Naturally, I felt flustered, but I held my ground and lived in the moment, toughening out the pressure I felt. In the end, I felt more alive than ever as I acknowledged the fact that I had once again broken through my limits. It was a cascade of enlightenment and relief after the storm of terrors. After the debate, prizes were given out to the Top 3 First Time Debaters, Top 3 Best Speakers, Top 3 Best Impromptu Speakers, Top 3 Best Arguments, and Best Overall Team. I was fortunate enough to be voted as one of the best speakers, winning a certificate along with a 100 RM bookstore coupon.

The event concluded with 5 student debates on their respective themes, as well as 10 impromptu speeches, for which participants had only 5 minutes to prepare. It was a true test of grit as participants had to cook up a speech with such limited time and present it with confidence.

Overall, this event truly broadened my horizons and developed my experience holistically. I feel simply delighted to have been a part of this life-changing experience.

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Award ceremony

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Venue

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Students raising hands to give opinions for Oxbridge alumni’s

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Debate

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Oxbridge Alumni

Marvelous Music - Save the Date!

Get ready for a cinematic extravaganza! The Night at the Movies Concert series is back, and it's hitting a Theatre near you on Wednesday 27th March at 7pm.

Dress to impress and walk down the red carpet, mingling with the stars of Epsom. Indulge in popcorn and snacks (available outside the Theatre) and strike a pose in your glamorous gowns for a photo opportunity.

Experience the magic as you listen to your favorite film soundtracks and watch scenes on the big screen. This year, we're featuring music from blockbusters like The Incredibles, Barbie, Top Gun Maverick, Toy Story, Trolls, Pocahontas, and many more! The tunes will be performed by a variety of groups, including Studio Orchestra, Rock Bands, Choir, Staff, and The Epsom Chamber Orchestra.

Don't miss out on this unforgettable night of music and movies!

Computer Science News

There must always be ‘appropriate challenge’ in any lesson to ensure students make sustained and continual progress in their learning. Students in Year 9 have been developing their Python programming skills over the course of the year and many students are becoming quite adept in designing and creating complex algorithms. In teams, students are now putting their skills to the test by attempting the most complex and final question in the IGCSE computer science paper.

This involves complex and advanced computational thinking which requires students to use arrays, selection statements, a bubble sort, nested count-controlled loops, and a mixture of conditional statements and variables. This is very challenging for students in Year 9 however they attempt it with resilience and commitment; it  puts them in an excellent position if they plan to continue on into Year 10 to study computer science for IGCSE. Here is an example of one group’s algorithm:

Year 9 Python Algorithm

mon = [1,5,6,2,7,8,2,3,5,6,1,2,3,4,6,7,6,2,3,43,1,2,4,65,78]
tue = [89,45,41,25,65,89,71,5,648,98,15,487,45,56,9,8,98,74,89,15,68,48,65,98]
wed = [1,2,5,6,54,2,76,8,1,23,5,6,7,87,8,5,6,5,6,53,45,4,3,5]
thu = [1,5,6,2,7,8,2,3,5,6,1,2,3,4,6,7,6,2,3,43,1,2,4,65,78]
fri = [89,45,41,25,65,89,71,5,648,98,15,487,45,56,9,8,98,74,89,15,68,48,65,98]
sat = [1,5,6,2,7,8,2,3,5,6,1,2,3,4,6,7,6,2,3,43,1,2,4,65,78]
sun = [1,2,5,6,54,2,76,8,1,23,5,6,7,87,8,5,6,5,6,53,45,4,3,5]
 
input_day = input ("Input your day(MON/TUE/WED/THU/FRI/SAT/SUN):")
if input_day == "MON" or "mon":
    day = mon
if input_day == "TUE" or "tue":
    day = tue
if input_day == "WED" or "wed":
    day = wed
if input_day == "THU" or "thu":
    day = thu
if input_day == "FRI" or "fri":
    day = fri
if input_day == "SAT" or "sat":
    day = sat
if input_day == "SUN" or "sun":
    day = sun
 
def bubblesort(day):
    for x in range(0,24):
        for y in range (0,23):
            if day [y] > day [y+1]:
                temp = day[y]
                day[y] = day[y+1]
                day[y+1] = temp
 
bubblesort(day)
max_temp = day[-1]
min_temp = day[0]
 
if day == mon:
    print ("Monday:")
if day == tue:
    print ("Tuesday:")
print ("Max temperature:", max_temp)
print ("Min temperature:",min_temp)
def average(day):
    return sum(day) / len(day)
 
average_temp = average(day)
print ("Average:", average_temp)
print ("Rounded average:", round (average_temp))

Business Studies and Economics Department News

Exploring Gacha Games with the Business & Economics Society

Everest and Rico, members of the Business Society, embarked on a journey to uncover the mystery behind Gacha Games. These addictive games are all about luck.

In their research, Everest and Rico found out how game developers grab players' attention. They use tricks like offering discounts, giving out random prizes, and creating different price levels to make players want to keep playing.

But why are Gacha Games so popular? They're easy to start playing, and you don't always need real money to enjoy them. Plus, they look really cool, with awesome characters and fantastic designs that draw players in.

One big surprise Everest and Rico discovered was how fast the Gacha Games market is growing. From making $452 million in 2022, it's expected to hit around $781.5 million by 2029! That's a massive jump in just a few years.

By understanding how game developers market them, why people enjoy playing them, and how big the market is becoming, they've given us a clear picture in their Sixth Form presentation of what makes these games so special and the business and marketing strategies behind it.

Everest and Rico's research journey teaches us that being curious and digging into topics can lead to exciting discoveries. Their investigation into Gacha Games not only helped them understand gaming and the business world better but also improved their skills in finding answers to tricky questions. This kind of dedication to learning shows universities that they're eager to explore and take on new challenges. Their research experience could make a big difference when they apply to universities. It shows that they're eager to explore new ideas and are ready to tackle challenging topics. Universities appreciate students who show initiative and a love for learning. Thank you Everest and Rico for sharing your research and for a great presentation making our school community more knowledgeable about this fascinating topic.

The Business & Economics Society

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Special Events - Prefects

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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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