FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 93
I hope that you are all well.
As my letter on Thursday 11th June referenced, it is pleasant to be able to report some positive news, with the slight easing of restrictions under the terms of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO). As this now allows interstate travel, I hope that some parents and pupils, resident in Malaysia, will now have the opportunity to gather belongings from school if they so wish. I would also like to reassure all overseas pupils that we will take good care of your possessions in the meantime and I know that individual HMMs will have written on this matter.
On a personal note, I also very much welcome the new terms of the RMCO, as I have not left campus since early March. Whilst there is, of course, an element of self-imposed hibernation in this circumstance, I am looking forward to visiting KL again and enjoying some of the delights of that great city once more.
Unfortunately, of course, international borders remain largely closed at present and I also noted this in my recent letter. We do hope for developments, and progress, on this matter before the start of Term 1 in late-August and we will certainly keep all parents informed on any specific updates.
Similarly, it remains a great disappointment that we have been unable to provide physical, onsite, lessons this Term; the Ministry of Education announcement on Wednesday 10th June, pertaining especially to our Years 11 & 13, unfortunately relates only to the very end of our academic term. However, we will strive to maintain the best online learning environment that we can, for Prep and Senior pupils, right through to the end of lessons on Thursday 25th June. As previously noted, Friday 26th June will comprise final House Assemblies and a College Assembly, all online (or pre-recorded) and further information on these events will be provided in due course. As for most educational institutes, certainly in Malaysia and the UK, it promises to be a strange end to the academic year, one that will be necessarily devoid of pupils and audiences, and the customary physical bonhomie that marks the occasion. Nevertheless, as I will remark and reflect upon in the final College Assembly and subsequent parental letter, there is much to be proud of and celebrated.
As always, thank you all for your support, patience and overriding concern in all College matters; it remains hugely appreciated.
With thanks and best wishes,
Dr Tod (Headmaster)
Epsom students have excelled this year in terms of their university offers. 2020 has seen our students continue to receive offers from some of the world’s most prestigious universities such as UC Berkeley and Stanford (with a full scholarship) in the USA and Cambridge, Imperial and LSE in the UK. In addition, this year pupils have looked east and the Universities of Tokyo and Waseda have been added to our destinations list.
2020 is the first time that an Epsom pupil will be represented at Stanford University in California. With an average selection rate of 4%, the university is one of the most selective globally. Students who wish to apply to the US must begin preparing early, ensuring that they have exposed themselves to a range of experiences and challenges beyond the classroom.
Similarly, 2020 is the first year that students have been accepted to top Japanese Universities. The Universities of Tokyo and Waseda are clearly among the highest ranking Higher Education establishments in Asia and competition for places is fierce. There is a rigorous selection process – including essays and an interview with a panel of academics. We are hugely proud and excited that Epsom will be represented in the 2020-2021 cohort.
Our range of super curricular activities, designed to stretch and challenge even the most able beyond the curriculum, is tailored to the individual and our Higher Education Team work closely with applicants to ensure personalised support throughout the application process. We connect our pupils with a subject specific mentor – someone who is currently studying or who has graduated from the university to which the pupil is applying where possible and this prepares pupils thoroughly for the interview stage and any admissions tests. We pride ourselves on knowing the pupils in our care and ensure the best possible provision at every stage of the application process.
Epsom students enjoy a vast array of interests and have submitted applications to pursue their chosen subject in a vast range of specialisms from Art to Business, Drama to Natural Sciences and across a range of universities. We are immensely proud of every one of our pupils’ achievements and wish them well as they embark upon the next stage of their educational journey.
Head of Higher Education
This term our students have been extremely busy creating some wonderful and original pieces of work. The online learning platform has provided us with as many opportunities as it has challenges and our amazing students have really worked hard.
Year 7 have been experimenting on a project based upon the work of a photographer going by the name of ‘Slinkachu’. The idea was for the students to miniaturise themselves in everyday situations. The results were as hilarious as they were creative:
Our fantastic Year 8 students have studied the work of Michael Craig Martin, a graphic artist who takes everyday objects and groups them in interesting compositions. We saw some excellent efforts from all students, who mastered several new skills along the way.
In preparation for IGCSE studies and to showcase our skills with fine art the Year 9 students completed a course on portraiture. We decided to use ourselves as subjects. Starting with the concept of taking the perfect selfie, we explored light sources, composition and tonal range. The results were extraordinary, as we might have expected.
Our Year 10 and Year 11 students have continued to work hard, producing some beautiful work for their IGCSE projects. Under JCQ guidelines we cannot sample the Year 11 work, but we can look at some of our very talented Year 10s. Some of this work was completed in hotel rooms under quarantine conditions!!!
Head of Art, Design & Technology
Quarantine has been a challenge for many across the world. Our pupils have adapted incredibly well to online learning and have proven how resilient they are when faced with adversity. It is important to maintain balance when spending most of the day indoors so KS3 were posed with the Happiness Challenge to boost their mood during quarantine.
Speaking of finding balance, there were yoga challenges, healthy snack-making challenges, crafts and even TikTok challenges to try; it was wonderful to see many of the pupils working alongside siblings and other family members when competing. As expected, the pupils took up these challenges with tenacity and competitive spirit.
Here’s what some of them had to say about the Happiness Challenge:
“I enjoyed the Happiness Challenge because it made us stay active during the difficult lockdown. My favourite activity was cooking for my family because it helped me to learn how to cook fried eggs for the first time.” Alex Lee (Year 7)
“I liked the Happiness Challenge because it helped me stay happy and brought my family happiness too!” Kohaku Yoshida (Year 7)
“With the Happiness Challenge, I found all the activities fun and also interesting. And, they enabled me to start new hobbies and encouraged me to try something new everyday.” Darshinie Shanker (Year 9)
KS3 pupils were also challenged to make their own Rube-Goldberg machines. These machines are based on the cartoonist, Rube Goldberg, whose cartoons often featured overly complicated machines that could perform some of the most basic skills. As well as being something fun to sink their teeth into, these ‘inventions’ test creativity and practical skills as they should perform simple tasks based on ‘deviously complex’ systems. The turnout was overwhelming and it was fascinating to see how inventive our KS3 scientists were with their designs.
Jing Yan (Year 9) won the competition as hers featured the most intentionally convoluted contraptions. Well done, Jing Yan!
In the next few weeks, and throughout the summer, there will be a number of competitions to keep our KS3 pupils busy and find a sense of balance whilst they are at home. I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing their work.
Key Stage 3 Coordinator
This term KS4 students have adapted excellently to the online learning programme and demonstrated commitment and maturity throughout. Students have really taken to the online lessons and maintained their focus using new apps and working in different ways. It bears testament to their ability to improvise their learning with technology whilst maintaining the pace that the IGCSE courses demand. In Year 10, students are in the midst of their end of year examinations and are revising to ensure that they end the year in a strong position to begin the next academic year. Students have worked well in their revision and will continue to do so until their final examination on 15th June.
In Year 11, students deserve a special mention for their unwavering dedication and hard work exerted this term. Students have worked tirelessly in order to demonstrate their ability across all their subjects. Despite not being able to sit their examinations, our Year 11s have been able to prove to their teachers what they have learnt throughout their IGCSE courses. I would like to thank all Year 11 students on behalf of all staff here at ECiM for their determination in obtaining their best possible result. In our final half term, Year 11 students are studying a range of exciting new information, with many of them learning material that will prepare them for A-Level. The enthusiasm and enjoyment shown so far has been extremely encouraging and I would implore them to get the most out of this opportunity.
There are plenty of opportunities open to students looking for extra-curricular activity, with CCA and DuoLingo competitions to name but a few. Another exciting avenue of co-curriculum has opened up to all students in the form of the ‘Beanbag sessions’ led by Mr Harwood. In these sessions, students watch a documentary each week with a chance to share a discussion or debate. Last week students watched the documentary about an incredible story of a man on a tightrope. I’m hopeful that more KS4 students will sign up in the final fortnight of Term 3 and get involved in this too.
Key Stage 4 Coordinator
Well done to ECiM pupils of all age groups as they continue to remain active, fit and healthy during the MCO. Not only is this really important for their physical wellbeing but pupils will also benefit from improved concentration in their other subjects. We have also been focussing on mental wellbeing. Visit the sports department Twitter page (@SportsECiM) for a daily ‘happiness’ task from @actionhappiness to help keep positive and happy.
In the Prep School, pupils have been provided with a variety of exercises and fun activities to complete including a brilliant Harry Potter Yoga workout for KS1 and a tough whole body HIIT workout designed by Mr Jeffries.
As always pupils have been tasked with mastering two ‘PE Challenges’. This time it was the ‘Clapping and Catching’ challenge focusing on hand-eye coordination and the ‘Kick-Up’ challenge focusing on foot-eye coordination. These challenges are based on the core fundamental movement skills vital for physical education and areas we normally focus upon in lessons. A special well done to Sota (Year 6) for managing 10 claps in between his throw and catch – very impressive and a challenging target for the rest of the Prep school to work towards.
In the Senior School, KS3 pupils have been focussing on different types of training. Miss Masako put them through their paces with her ‘Gentle Flow’ Yoga workout. KS3 pupils enjoyed maneuvering their bodies into the various Yoga positions demonstrated by Miss Masako and then researched the history and benefits of Yoga which they compiled into a report.
KS3 also completed a tough cardio HIIT workout during their Games lesson. Pupils learnt how to calculate their maximum heart rates and what percentage of this heart rate they should be working at during different types of workouts to achieve the desired benefits.
Across the Senior School, pupils have been provided with numerous types of exercises to attempt (from yoga, to pilates, to upper-body HIIT workouts) in order to complete at least 100 minutes of good quality exercise each week. Pupils are then tasked with tracking this activity on a spreadsheet so staff can monitor their level of exercise and activity whilst away from the College.
For any further information regarding ‘at home’ workouts or health and fitness during MCO please feel free to contact Mr Jeffries at email@example.com.
Director of Sport
During this period of online learning, our Prep School children have still enjoyed an enriching curriculum with excellent specialist provision.
In Years 2 to 6, the children have daily Mandarin lessons in order to continue the progress that they made in speaking and listening this year. Mandarin teachers have provided personalised lessons through Google Meet and they have used Seesaw to give feedback on children’s calligraphy. The teachers have adopted a wide range of teaching strategies and technology within their lessons in order to keep the children engaged for the extended period of time.
Ms Townsend has offered French and Spanish after school CCAs online. Her child-centric approach lends itself easily to online teaching with lessons being academically rigorous whilst enjoyable. She has been thrilled with the children’s effort and response. Their pronunciation and vocabulary have continued to improve. Bahasa Melayu has also begun to be provided through online sessions.
One of ECiM’s strengths is its Performing Arts, both Music and Drama. The Music Department provides online lessons that enable the teachers to give feedback on the playing of instruments and knowledge of musical theory. The children in Years 3 to 6 all took an instrument home and have been practising consistently. As part of Drama online lessons, the children are set challenging tasks involving a range of dramatic skills. They upload their videos and provide feedback on their classmates’ work too.
The Prep School helps to broaden children’s horizons by providing such a wide range of learning opportunities. As children develop new skills and talents, their confidence and resilience develop in turn.
Head of Prep School