FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 81 - Epsom College in Malaysia

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FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 81

Merit Scholarship Award

The opening College Assemblies of this Term have focused on extolling the core Epsom values, for example ‘Good Manners’ and ‘Selflessness’, in tandem with stressing themes pertinent to all pupil endeavour, such as embracing opportunity and aspiration. This week’s Assembly, on Tuesday 10th September, commended the virtue of achievement, most notably in celebrating the success of our current Year 12 pupils who attained such excellent IGCSE results in August. For our highest achieving pupils, those with exceptional performances at IGCSE, the College has introduced the new Merit Scholarship Award and it was wonderful to witness Mr Brown welcome these pupils to the stage, with their prestigious certificates presented by the Headmaster.

In his preface to the award ceremony, Dr Tod highlighted the qualities that demarcate top scholars from their peers, including attributes like overt inquisitiveness and outstanding motivation. However, he also accentuated his desire for all pupils to strive to raise their levels of attainment. Indeed, drawing upon the work of Tony Little (former Headmaster of Eton), the significance of a strong and all pervasive school culture in raising pupil performance was emphasised, noting the direct  correlation between greater levels of pupil independence and rising academic results. The College’s new band of Merit Scholars have all illustrated marked academic independence, seizing the opportunity the examinations presented, and it was also delightful to welcome a number of their parents to the school to share in their success.

In the Headmaster’s concluding comments, he returned to the adage of one’s mindset and the requirement of offering sheer, unadulterated grit and determination to fully achieve the academic outcomes desired. It is this quality of ‘Hard Work’, another core Epsom value, that remains the truest determinant of academic performance and it was fitting to close the Assembly with further reflections on the diligent streak that all our scholars possess in abundance. As Dr Tod highlighted, our Merit Scholarship pupils have now set the template for others to follow: they are a credit to the College, their families and themselves.

Dr Murray Tod
Headmaster


Langkawi Trip

Just before the fire alarm went off in the early hours of Friday 6th September for a fire drill, seven Upper Sixth geographers boarded the minibus and headed for KLIA2, ready for the annual trip to Langkawi to complete the fieldwork for their A-level coursework, which is worth 20% of their final grade in the summer.

Each student had to design their own project before departure, with no student able to study the same question, although group work to collect the data is allowed.

The first stop once the plane had landed was the Oriental Village for a ride up the SkyCab to Langkawi’s famous SkyBridge. With a number of the students focusing on the impact of tourism on Langkawi, it was important to visit Langkawi’s most visited destination and talk to some tourists. Apart from one student who had to bravely battle through her vertigo, everyone else enjoyed the impressive views over the rainforest and down to Pantai Kok and Langkawi Lagoon.

After that, it was down to Pantai Cenang where the bulk of the fieldwork was to be undertaken, investigating land-use, traffic and pedestrian flows, environmental quality surveys, and interviewing both locals and tourists.

The next day, the group headed up to Kilim GeoForest Park to go on a typical Mangroves Tour, visiting the fish farm, bat cave, crocodile cave and eagle watching. However, the most important element of the tour was the talk given by the guide as we travelled through the mangroves, as well as watching how other boatmen and guides behave, with some still feeding the eagles and monkeys, and others even throwing plastic and cigarettes into the water.

On the way back, it was time to look at the natural processes and how Langkawi is trying to protect itself from those processes. These were conducted at Tanjung Rhu, Black Sands Beach and then the beach within Langkawi Lagoon by the airport. The group were rather taken aback when it was time to do some good old fashioned British fieldwork in the rain at Tanjung Rhu. With no thunder and lightning, it was safe to get out and conduct beach profiles, even if it was rather unorthodox for the students who initially cowered in the minibus, bemused by what was being expected of them. By the end of the trip, this seemed to have become one of the highlights for some.

For the last few years, LADA have been extremely generous with their time by agreeing to meet with our Geography students, give them a presentation on Langkawi Geopark and then answer the students’ questions. This year, we were in for a special treat. In November, the Langkawi Geopark Discovery Centre will be open to the general public. However, we were invited to be the trial visitors and to have a guided tour around the brand spanking new centre, where the students were able to interview various members of staff who were clearly very proud of what had been built and excited for its opening.

The next stop was Kuah, which offered a contrast to Pantai Cenang. Therefore, to allow a comparison, similar methods were conducted here, with more land-use surveys, traffic and pedestrian counts, environmental quality surveys and interviews.

On the final day, it was all about ensuring that every student had as much data as they could possibly gather and that they could go home, safe in the knowledge that they were ready to start analysing their data and seeing whether their hypotheses about the island were right. No-one in Pantai Cenang was left alone as our students were everywhere and asking everybody who passed them or who were unlucky enough to be sat down at a cafe and so unable to run away: some people even got interviewed by multiple students.

 At the end of the public holiday, we returned with some very tired students, with three falling asleep in Langkawi airport while we waited for the delayed flight. Overall though, it was an extremely successful trip and the students worked extremely hard. However, now the real work begins…

Mr Jon Barker
Assistant Head (Sixth Form)


House Football

Saturday 7th September saw the first of many House sporting events for the senior school; House football. This event is always a huge occasion in the sporting calendar and this year was no exception. In fact with the new addition of Holman House to the Year 7-8 and Year 9-10 categories, extra spice and competition has been added to the tournament.

As always, the tournament was played in the right way with excellent attitude, teamwork and commitment displayed by every House at all age groups. It was fantastic to see pupils representing their House and wearing their House colours with pride. There was some excellent skill on display too and food for thought for coaches regarding Phuket squads, which are to be confirmed in the upcoming weeks.

The event was superb preparation for Term 1 football fixtures and a brilliant spectacle as always. Overall results were as follows:

Girls:

• Rosebery 1st

• Crawfurd 2nd

 

Boys:

• Propert 1st

• Carr & Holman joint 2nd

• Granville 4th

Mr Daniel Jeffries
Director of Sport


Propert House

We have arrived at that point of the year that heralds preparation for the House Choral Competition. Our Head of House said that we would win this year in his opening address to the House; this has been a goal for 6 consecutive years. To be honest, after our first practice, it seems quite far away. When we teach goal setting, the acronym SMART is often used, signifying achievable / attainable / realistic. We are aiming high, but for those of you who have seen the Propert HMM in the flesh there is a reason he is not a basketball player. Somethings remain unattainable. That is not to say there will not be value in the process, there absolutely is, even if we do come last (6th sounds better).

This year we are at a disadvantage – the girls’ Houses, (I have yet to hear any of the girls in ECiM not be able to sing), are now centred in two important Houses. A concentrated pool of talent who sing for fun. Good luck Propert. We also have two Junior boys Houses – one judge described them as cute last year. The worse the singing, the more votes they get.

However, that is not to say we will not give it our best effort, as we always do. We have narrowed it down to 4 songs for the Unison, but we have a limited choice. The criteria includes: not many notes, not too high, not too complicated, not too slow, not too wordy, not weird, nothing I like, nothing deemed uncool. There is not much left.

The House families will be performing on Friday and at that point we will have a House vote to choose one song. From then on we will be all in, for better, or for worse.

We also have a part song – we are good at this and have won twice. It essentially means we have 8 boys pretending to be Justin Bieber. We, as you can imagine, are good at that.

There is one change – the solo has gone. We praise this initiative. In its place there is a group instrumental. It was deemed that the solo did not incorporate enough of the House and therefore the instrumental suits us as we have most of the jazz band – expect some funkified number that suits Propert’s self imposed style rules.

Mr Ian Squires
Propert Housemaster/Assistant Head (Boarding)


Rosebery House

The girls of Rosebery have had a few weeks to find their feet and make the House their own. They have taken time to personalise their rooms and after their Sunday trips to places like IKEA, My Town and IOI Putrajaya mall, they have ensured sufficient stocks of personal items and snacks to see them through the next few weeks. The family groups have taken on the task of baking birthday cakes for their fellow family members this year and so far we have had two, successful, edible cakes which I am counting as a huge success.

Our first House competition was House football and I am glad to report back that we managed to win overall for KS3 and KS5, however, narrowly missed out on the KS4 match. This win did not happen without hard work, communication, dedication to training sessions and determination to win. Up and coming: Crawfurd and Rosebery are having their first joint event on Friday 13th September to celebrate Chuseok and Mid Autumn. The girls will listen to some presentations delivered by students regarding the two festivals before going for a lantern walk around the College.

The evening will end with some mooncake and a little social time, photos will follow in our weekly update. Finally, preparations are well underway for the House Choral Competition. The girls are working hard in their free time to ensure they put on a spectacular show on 11th October, and we do hope to see you all there to support Rosebery.

Ms Jenny Mitchell
Rosebery Housemistress


Crawfurd House

It has been a whirlwind beginning to the term in Crawfurd as we adjust to our transition of being a year 7 to 13 House. Our first House football event was extremely busy, as we dashed between three different age groups representing the House. I was extremely proud of the team spirit and mutual support on display between all teams and although we were not victorious overall, there were some excellent achievements and all matches were very close.

After the football, we celebrated with our first Crawfurd House Party where the girls chose to chill out with pizza, pampering and Pitch Perfect on the big screen.

This was quite a big contrast to our recycled fashion challenge earlier in the term which was much more manic! On the evening of Friday 13 September we are joining up with Rosebery for the first girls’ social of the year to share different cultures, as we celebrate both Mid-Autumn and Chuseok festivals.

My favourite moments of the term so far however do not come from any of these big events. They come from the numerous times I discover the girls supporting each other. From helping with academic studies, to how to change bed covers or even escorting someone they are worried about to the nurse, all the girls have demonstrated their kindness and consideration in a most impressive way already. I am tremendously excited to see what else they can achieve this year.

Mrs Sophie Hill
Crawfurd Housemistress