FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 94
As we draw towards the end of Term 3, it is time to pause, draw breath and reflect upon some quite remarkable times. All schools, and all walks of life, have needed to rapidly adapt to a new approach and largely online methodology, and there have been numerous challenges to overcome. I elaborate further on these issues in both my Leavers’ Speech and end of Term letter, however I would like to reiterate here, in this final Friday Flyer of the academic year, how proud we are of all our pupils. At times, it must have been hugely disorientating for the students, from Prep School age to Year 13, and they have been collectively steadfast in their determined and committed manner. The opportunity for extensive learning has continued throughout recent weeks and all involved, pupils / parents & of course teachers, deserve great praise for their diligence in these uncertain times.
Unusually for the final day of Term 3, a keen sense of anticipation is in the air, as I am already looking forward to returning for the start of Term 1 next academic year. We have no doubt that forthcoming weeks, over the summer break, will witness further easing of certain governmental restrictions, and we will update parents accordingly. Similarly, I will write to all parents, both Prep and Senior School, to keep them abreast of further news and staffing developments.
I should conclude this entry by noting my sincere thanks to all colleagues, and pupils, who have contributed to the Friday Flyer publication over the course of the year. We have aimed to make it a more informative, and accessible, review of our fortnightly pursuits at the College; we hope you have enjoyed reading it this year.
Thank you, as always, to all parents and guardians for your support, and I wish you all a most pleasant and restful break.
With very best wishes,
Dr Murray Tod
As this academic year draws to a close it is timely to reflect upon the challenges and opportunities we and our students have faced at this difficult time.
Across the world, many classrooms have been empty and yet, thanks to digital technology, our students have continued to ‘meet’ with their teachers and make good progress with their learning.
Does this mean that classrooms and school buildings are not necessary for effective learning?
In some ways, this is true. I have seen for myself that teachers can successfully support and challenge their pupils online and ensure that they are making good academic progress. The technology works so well. Indeed, this weekend, I watched the Epsom Edge YouTube videos showcasing the musical and acting talents of our pupils (and some teachers too!). This even included a full performance of Dracula. It was wonderful to see how the teachers and staff have created joint performances whilst being in different parts of the World. A fantastic achievement.
However, this period of online working and learning has also reminded us of how special it is to learn and create together. It is our relationships that bring richness to our lives: the special, life changing relationships between pupils and their teachers, the friendships that pupils build with each other, sometimes lasting a lifetime.
We may not realise it but we learn so much just by being in each others’ company.
Yes, part of our work as a school is to teach subject knowledge, and we have shown that this can be done remotely. However, we understand that when we are together as a school community, our pupils are also learning how to work and live with each other as well as for each other. This is what makes Epsom such a special community and why we are so looking forward to welcoming our pupils back to school and celebrating all the fun, friendships and learning that will be shared together.
I wish everybody a wonderful summer break.
Mr Matthew Brown
‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ and it certainly seems to have been the case in recent months. We have had to come up with innovative solutions to respond to the global lockdown. There has been a giant leap into the digital future with the real estate industry developing VR technologies to allow its consumers to virtually visit homes and apartments. Similarly, Ikea has an app that enables customers to use AR to see what furniture would look like in their house. Zoom and Google Meets are now commonplace and many parents just like our teachers and students have continued to work from home.
The global lockdown has presented an opportunity for personal growth. Our Year 11 & Year 13 students must have encountered feelings of ambivalence when they discovered their final examinations had been cancelled. However, many have taken the time to enrol on free online courses, explore potential career paths or research aspects of university life locally or overseas. Amongst the Netflix-ing and family game nights, it has also offered the chance to mend broken relationships and pick up new skills along the way as well.
Along with this we also see a shift in our mind-sets regarding the 9–5 work schedule as well as conventional schooling practices. With the increased convenience of working from home a lot of people have realised that they can handle the same workload in a shorter time than the fixed 8 hours to which they were accustomed. On top of this students realise the value of independent learning and if exposed to other online teaching tools they can explore their passions at a very young age. Having this opportunity to slow life down could lead to some paradigm shifts in these traditional ideas as we move towards our ‘new normal’.
I don’t want to play down the magnitude of our recent hardships but a positive ‘ I can do this’ attitude can go a long way in dealing with the physical, emotional and psychological fatigue that has arisen from this pandemic. If we commit to our responsibilities and keep an optimistic approach we will be able to set ourselves on a path towards a better future. A nautical proverb that springs to mind in this context is, ‘a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor’.
Allow me to wish you all a productive summer!
Mr Stephen Ottewell
Deputy Head (Pastoral)
It has been a very unusual end of Term and these are not the circumstances in which I envisioned writing this end of year review. Carr House has just not been the same without the lively bustle of the boys. Nevertheless, I really must commend the boys for their efforts with online learning and the resilience they have shown to get through these challenging times.
The Carr House spirit has been stronger than ever this year. It has been a delight to see the teamwork and leadership on display in the different house competitions. The House Drama Competition was our most successful where we earned a respectable second place out of all the Houses and were awarded the ‘Best Script’. The House Music Competition was another memorable night with 40 mini Freddie Mercury’s on stage performing ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’. Duchan’s brave intro to our unison performance was a real highlight of the whole night. The boys have given their all on the sports field and have always played with passion and a will to win for the House. We have faced very tough competition from a talented Holman House who deservedly won the unofficial Junior Boys’ sports trophy! Nevertheless, this has only made Carr House even more determined to come back stronger next year where we will be once again competing with the Senior Boys’ Houses; we cannot wait for the challenge.
This time of year can be bittersweet as we say goodbye to students and staff. The Year 9s will be moving up to Propert and Granville Houses. They have been an excellent year group, setting high expectations for the younger boys and mentoring them through College life. Unfortunately, the pandemic has put paid to our traditional leavers paintballing trip but we will mark the end of their time in Carr House during our end of year assembly on the final day of the academic year. It is always difficult to say goodbye but the time is right for these young men to move on so they can flourish further as young men in the senior Houses.
We also say goodbye to a few key members of the Carr House team. Dr Gilkes will be returning to the UK to reunite his family after a long period teaching internationally. Dr Gilkes has been an excellent tutor and mentor to his Year 7s and I have been extremely impressed with the time and dedication he has put into this important role whilst simultaneously leading the Mathematics Department. Mr Daly will be stepping down from his role as Assistant Housemaster to concentrate on leading the Art and Design Department. As Assistant Housemaster Mr Daly has been an immense support to me. He has been devoted to the pastoral care of the Carr boys and has been a real champion for his tutees and the Carr boys generally. Mr Daly’s passion for rugby has been infectious and has inspired the Carr boys on the field. He will be sorely missed in this role but I know that he will not be able to stop himself from taking an interest in the progress of the boys. We also say goodbye to Ms Raudhah who has been Carr House Matron for the past three years. During this time Ms Raudhah has overseen the reorganisation of house laundry systems and has been a constant source of support to the boys during the daytimes. We wish her well for the future.
I also say goodbye after two years at the helm in Carr House. I can honestly say that it has been a privilege and a pleasure to oversee such a fun, lively and inspiring community. I will dearly miss all of the boys, who have made this experience such an enjoyable one. After 10 amazing years working in boarding schools it is time for me to leave roll calls and lights out behind, for now at least, and Kate, myself and the girls are very excited for our new adventure in Taiwan.
Thank you all for your support this academic year and I wish you a wonderful summer.
Housemaster of Carr House
It is that time of year where we say goodbye to our upper sixth cohort. It is always a bittersweet experience as there is a mixture of pride and excitement for their futures whilst feeling sad to see them go and knowing the House is going to miss them. Hayeon has been a strong and caring Head of House this year and guided the girls through some real highs and lows. It has been a pleasure to see how she has progressed over the four years she has been in Crawfurd. She has been most ably assisted by her Deputy Head of House, Jennah, who has steered the House to our highest House Drama scores so far and proved an excellent role model to other students. Chanel has grown up in Crawfurd as one of our founding students and we will miss her patient mentoring of other students and her determined and competitive leadership. Alea has also been with us for all of Crawfurd’s life so far and this year she has juggled ably her Head of College role with the time she gives to her House and the other girls look up to her. Jing Yee joined us at the start of Lower Sixth and her leadership of our House service committee has guided younger students to an increased involvement in fundraising and awareness raising. Mei’s kindness and generosity have made an impact on the House that has been most notable through her contribution to our baking activities in House.
With a smile as mysterious as the Mona Lisa, Maya’s grace and elegance has been a wonderful influence in Crawfurd and her leadership of the House international committee has resulted in some inspirational projects. Jeanne has brought an energy to the House that we will greatly miss; from her contribution to House Choral preparations to her workout routines. Finally Yong Qi, voted our ‘Auntie’ of the year. Yong Qi has taken on an impressive maternal role with the younger girls in her family group keeping them inline and helping them when they are struggling. All of this cohort have been inspiring mentors to the younger girls and have led Crawfurd in an inspirational way this year. We wish them the best for their exciting futures.
Despite the unique nature of this year, there have been some memorable moments. Our biggest achievement as a House this year has to be the House Choral. The Part Song has always been a near miss for us and something that the girls who really pride themselves on so to have finally won it this year created absolute euphoria in the House. There are two other events that make me particularly proud of the girls this year. The first of these is the brownie and ice pop sales for charity on Valentine’s Day which saw every single girl involved in working together towards a selfless goal. The second is hosting the girls’ International Women’s Day in which the girls planned and led an event that provided a social opportunity whilst raising awareness on important issues.
Our final Term has been online but we have continued with a sense of House spirit and social engagement. Our House assemblies have explored topical issues including the Black Lives Matter movement and ensuing discussions of privilege and cultural respect. In the last few weeks of Term we have started some end of Term socials. At the time of writing, Years 10 and 12 have successfully escaped from the Mainstage Mayhem online escape room and Years 7,8 and 9 managed a Harry Potter and a Minecraft escape room to celebrate successfully completing their End of Year assessments. In the final week of Term we celebrated the Year 11 and 13 cohorts with online social events before our Big Family Group Quiz Night on the last night of term.
It has certainly been an eventful and unusual year but the Crawfurd girls never fail to impress me with their ability to pull together as a group.
Housemistress of Crawfurd House
Granville House Review
Much of the world’s media suggests that the year 2020 should be written off, or the reset button pushed. However, that’s far from the feeling I get when I look back at this academic year in Granville House.
Our Year 13s have all had an excellent year and put so much work into their studies, the school community and also their options post Epsom. I am really excited and hope the younger boys are inspired by the different directions the Year 13s are heading in. Afiq, Redza, Yugendran, Husin, Kheng Hon, Solomon and Wei Xian, we wish you all the best and know you have exciting futures ahead at some of the top Universities in the World including the UK, USA, Japan and Malaysia. These boys, especially the House prefects, have led the House this year through the highs and lows and acted as great role models to the rest of the boys, organising their family groups, leading House assemblies and oozing the House values of hard work, good manners, selflessness and respect.
There have been a lot of near misses in House sport this year and I can promise you we were about to turn a corner with House athletics and cricket, but the school closure from Covid-19 put an end to that. 2019-2020 will be a year of second place finishes in all sports. However, there was a lot of team spirit shown and we usually competed extremely well against Propert, often taking the initiative but our lack of numbers and depth let us down in all of the events. A big part of next year will be participation in numbers and, perhaps, a little more planning and tactical play. There was so much individual talent shown by the boys; the challenge now is getting it to gel together a little more. All teams got a lot of enjoyment out of the competitions and it was great to see the little gems of skill and the excitement when it did all come together for a goal, try or basket.
Coming into the House that had won both the Choral and Drama on their way to becoming overall House champions last year was a little daunting. However, the leadership, organisation and efforts of the boys was far from complacent. I was so impressed from the moment the prefects and House musicians took command from the go for the House Choral with auditions for the Part Song. What was even more impressive was the fact that all the boys trialled for this, I was expecting to have to coax and cajole but there was no need. The instrumental group deserve a special mention here winning the inaugural instrumental section of the Choral competition. The whole build up to and the actual event was a great experience and the boys really threw themselves into a winning performance of ‘it’s raining men’, unfortunately the judges didn’t agree.
House Drama was another event that really allowed leadership, teamwork and creativity to be demonstrated by so many of the boys. From Afiq writing and confidently performing in the ‘Male Witches’ to those supporting backstage, it again depicted so many of the Granville House values. The performances on the night were extremely entertaining; Leon’s narration, Kai and Dericks performance infiltrating the witch parliament and Yazarn in his blazing suit and all the others. The judges were clearly entertained, however, it wasn’t to be and another House trophy had to be returned.
House socials were also a feature of this year and all of these were really enjoyable. From the Boys’ BBQ to mark the end of ‘Movember’ and raising awareness of men’s health. We were then hosted by Crawfurd House with a fun evening of games and activities. Then, finally, hosting Rosebery and the boys reigniting Granville Entertains with some outstanding performances from individuals and groups from both Houses.
This final term has, indeed, been challenging for all and the character and strength shown by the boys (and all students in the College) has been commendable. They have shown so much adaptability and resilience to keep going until the end. I wish each and every one of them and their families, a well deserved rest and look forward to welcoming them back in August with our new batch of Granvillians moving into Year 10.
Mr John Foden
Housemaster of Granville House
They say that a year is a long time but it genuinely seems like only yesterday when my family and I arrived as tired and weary travellers soon to be met at the airport terminal by a cheerful Dr Tod in the early hours of the morning. I arrived ready to commence the challenge of building up a new boarding house called Holman with my team of Iman (matron), Mr Pedro (AHMM), Amir (Resident Tutor), and my extended tutor team.
It would not be long before we got stuck into the task of trying to bring life to the House through the addition of posters, televisions, pool tables, table-tennis tables and bean bags. However, it would not be until we added the fantastic group of boys that would make up the Holman House community for the 2019-20 academic year that the House felt complete.
Just a few weeks into the new term and we were thrown into the joy and excitement of the House Music competition. This was a fantastic opportunity for us all to bond and so it proved as we tirelessly practised our rendition of a Queen melody with the expert assistance of Mr Moore and my own tone-deaf contributions to the cause. The excitement of the big night soon became palpable and all of the boys produced a truly magical performance that will live long in my memory. We achieved 4th place against some of the much larger and far more experienced Houses and we proudly announced that Holman House had arrived! The boys felt an enormous sense of pride at their achievements and were delighted to be awarded with not only pizza for their efforts but also the realisation that with a little hard work and dedication we can achieve anything.
Sporting wise, the House were fortunate enough to be blessed with a wide array of talented sporting individuals and we made the most of this advantage to enjoy considerable success in House football, rugby, swimming, badminton and basketball. I have no doubt that had the remainder of the academic year continued in a normal manner, that we would have also enjoyed considerable success in the athletics and sports day events. Our enthusiasm for success was infectious but a sense of humility was also equally important, and the year was just as much about learning that it was the taking part that mattered and not just the winning. Indeed, this ethos enabled some of the younger members of the House to contribute positively to a wide array of events and to feel like a valued member of Team Holman.
Christmas saw the boys come together to celebrate the end of a long term with strong contributions from some of the pupils to the musical extravaganza that accompanied the festivities. The boys’ behaviour during the formal meal was exemplary and demonstrated a strong awareness of the importance of good manners, whilst also providing them with the opportunity of developing their social skills, as all of the houses were mixed. Friendship, fairness and fun probably summed up the evening and the House ethos rather well.
The House Drama competition provided the boys with yet another opportunity for them to step out of their comfort zone and to demonstrate their artistic flair. Having already showed that we were far more than just a sporting house, we set to work with the help of Mr Moore once again, in producing an historical comedy based along the lines of the BBC’s Horrible Histories. The results were mesmerizing and it provided individuals with the chance to showcase their talents in front of a large theatre audience. Rehearsals aside, the final performance was amazing. It had pace, timing, humour and audience engagement, and this from boys who otherwise would never have put themselves out there without the encouragement and support provided by the House team of Holman.
The boys can be rightly proud of their achievements throughout this academic year and should reflect back upon their own contributions to the development of a strong Holman House culture. As Housemaster, I have seen the boys grow in both strength and character and I shall look back upon this year with an enormous sense of pride. I wish everyone associated with the House during these past few tumultuous months the very best for the future and close this review with the words of the American grunge band Green Day who perhaps best summarise the future with the line from their hit song Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) and ‘another turning point, a fork stuck in the road’. The future for Holman House has indeed reached another fork in the road, but ultimately how we choose to handle this change will characterise us as individuals, and I for one can truly say that I did, indeed, have the time of my life.
Housemaster of Holman House
As we reach the end of the academic year it is time to reminisce.
Firstly, we can look back at our Year 13 leavers, thank them and wish them well. Kuzmic, Ben, George, Kit, Jean, Min, Ahad, Raiyan, Alif and Faisal shall be missed. Ben, George and Kit have been at ECiM since we opened and have literally grown up here. There are pictures around the site of them looking much younger! We have always asked these boys to be involved in House life and they will all be able to say they have done this. Ben, Kuzmic and Alif have been College Prefects, Kit has been front and centre in both drama and sport, whilst George, Raiyan and Ahad have been integral to many sporting teams. Faisal and Min have led House assemblies and supported Kuzmic in the House. Jean has literally helped everybody and has done as much prep for others as he actually did for himself! They have continued a strong tradition of involvement from Propert boys and we fully expect the next set of young men in the House to follow their lead.
The House competition has been somewhat curtailed this year by the pandemic . However, we did manage to complete most of the sport, drama and music. In sport we produced another excellent set of results winning football, rugby, badminton, basketball and swimming. It seems that the House Sport Trophy will be ‘coming home’ once again. As always the key has been full involvement by all of the boys and a highlight of these events has been seeing our ‘C’ and ‘D’ teams work so hard in the tournaments. A particular highlight was seeing Jihoon produce a body swerve in rugby before scoring a try in the corner; for a ‘big man’ he has great agility. In House Choral we produced an excellent Instrumental and Part Song; we came second in both, though felt we could certainly have placed first in either. In the full Choral we worked very hard and did our very best. However, a lack of movement, tone and singing ability cost us dearly! In House Drama we did an excellent musical pastiche on Horrible Histories; again we thought we could have come first, second, or even third. Alas, our humour and the judge’s sensibilities did not match; such is life and this is the lesson that these competitions teach us. We did make the crowd giggle (a lot!) and if the competition was based on pure crowd response we would still be celebrating our victory now.
Throughout the year we have tried to push the importance of our boys having a view on world events. As such each Saturday we have had an assembly led by our Sixth Form. Topics have included South Korean military service, the political situation in Hong Kong, The Rugby World Cup, “Time”, gender stereotypes in the media, “love” and Covid-19. Not only have the boys shown great communication skills, but there has been genuine interest in what has been delivered. This will be back next academic year. This will sit alongside other traditions we have; House Families, Christmas Karaoke and Family auditions for House Choral.
We are now in Year 6 and Propert continues to be a ‘home away from home’ for many boys and we now have an extended community of boys who have graduated. In fact this year we had the pleasure of meeting our Head of House from 2014/15 (Eizwan), and 2015/16 (Daniel) for dinner. They have graduated and are now back working in KL. They made us feel old, but also were a great reminder that the bonds forged in this House really do last.
Housemaster of Propert House
As we approach the last week of term it is time to look back at all we have accomplished this year and how much Rosebery has changed since September.
The Year 2019-2020 was the very first year where girls’ junior and senior Houses amalgamated. It was uncertain how this would go and as we set off on our journey with our eyes wide open we were prepared for some bumps in the road, but were ready and willing to deal with those as and when they appeared.
With the embedding of the little sister, big sister and auntie model each girl had a role to play from the beginning and with strong family groups each and every girl has felt supported and surrounded by family members of all ages. Venesse has successfully led an incredibly strong House prefect team whereby each person had their own responsibility and together they had the place running like clockwork. Rosebery showed how strong a House they really were this year when competing in House events. They showed that working together is what they do best and this came through when we won House football, basketball, touch rugby and swimming. In House Choral, the celebrations continued when we picked up 1st place in Unison and placed 2nd overall, an amazing achievement and really did showcase Rosebery’s togetherness as a House. The pièce de résistance was our House drama performance. The girls performed ‘The Dancing Plague’ to an exceptional standard and the judge commented on how the majority of the House were participating at one point on stage. A remarkable performance and thoroughly deserving of the 1st place, although, Propert are still feeling slightly robbed by our placing; there is always next year, Mr Squires!
It is this time of year that we also have to bid farewell to our wonderful Year 13s. Joie, Ayana, Yasmine, Jordan, Jihan, Miina, Balqis, Fernanda, Ragina, Theevya, Panxiqi and last but not least Venesse. These girls have grown in maturity, confidence and have shown such resilience in coping with the many changes Covid -19 has brought to the structure of how their exam results will be awarded. They have listened carefully to the advice that their teachers have given them and have taken every opportunity to do the best they can to produce excellent online work to support their grades. They rallied behind the other girls in the House to keep morale high, encouraging everyone to take part in online CCA activities to keep our House points going and I am incredibly grateful for all they have done to support myself and the other House staff over the course of the year. They have been exemplary role models both in their personal conduct and academics. They have been a complete pleasure to take care of and I will miss each and everyone of them dearly. It is time for them to fly high and seek new opportunities that await them. Hopefully, we have armed them with all the essential skills they will need to be successful and I wish them the very best of luck for the future.
Well done also to our Year 11 students who have also worked incredibly hard to build up their evidence to help with the awarding of their IGCSE exams. They have also shown maturity, confidence and strength to overcome the demands that Covid -19 has put upon them. I am incredibly proud of their achievements and I look forward to welcoming many of them back in September to the 6th Form where they will start their next journey to completing A-levels.
A year would not be complete without some reflections from our students and a few of them have very kindly sent me their best memories of Rosebery 2019-2020.
Venesse – Year 13 and Head of Rosebery
Rosebery has been like my second home for the past 4 years and I can’t believe my journey at Epsom is coming to an end. I am so grateful to have met lots of girls that have become my sisters and teachers that supported me along the way like my mums. This year, I was given the opportunity to be the Head of Rosebery and it has been the best experience of my life so far. I was able to get to know every single one of the girls in Rosebery, implement changes to make Rosebery a better house and be a role model for the younger girls. I would like to say thank you to Epsom for giving me an opportunity to be the person I am today, to all the teachers that have supported me along the way and every single girl in Rosebery that has made me feel so loved. I am going to miss Epsom so much especially Rosebery as the teachers and the girls are like my family. Rosebery will always be in my heart and we will all meet very soon as families will always be together. Take care and I wish everyone all the best. Rosebery on 3 – 1, 2, 3 Rosebery!
Sora – Year 9
This was my very first year to stay in the senior house, where I had no close friends and a year ahead of schedule. It goes without saying that I was so nervous and scared. My worries, however, have disappeared as time went by because the Rosebery girls were all awesome!
I have spent a lot of precious time with my family members and the best thing that happened to me this year was winning the House Choral Competition. It was also the first year for the College to open one house for both junior and senior girls. That must have taken a lot of planning and effort for Ms. Mitchell, Ms. Masako and all teachers and I think it has been all worth it. My deep thanks to your time and consideration for us. Now, it’s my turn to welcome new boarders in August and I can’t wait!
Have a wonderful summer break and I look forward to seeing many of you in August.
Housemistress of Rosebery House
We have come to the end of a very unusual year at Epsom Prep, where we were unable to hold some key events such as Sports Day, St. George’s Day and most importantly the water fight on the final day!
In addition to that, we did not have the opportunity to say goodbye to our Year 6 leavers in person. They are a fantastic group of children and a pleasure to teach. They were excellent role models for the other students. A number of them have been at ECiM since its first day and it will be strange to not have them in the Prep School next year. We wish all of the students the best of luck for Year 7!
The Prep School’s 2019/20 academic year was filled with highlights. We had fantastic Halloween, Deepavali, Chinese New Year and World Book Day celebrations. There were excellent performances by the children during the Prep Music Recitals and End of Term 1 plays. We were all very impressed by the KS2 squad’s achievements at the KTJ FOBISIA event. However, my own personal highlight was the Christmas festivities.
We had the annual ice skating trips, Christmas Fun Run, Christmas Lunch and Mingle. We also worked together to raise funds and donate gifts to the Zophei Nursery. The children had a great time at all events and there was a lot of parental involvement. I will never forget the look on Dr Tod’s face after Daniel had tricked him into putting space dust on his Christmas cookie! Of course, seeing Mr Rudduck running three laps as a Christmas Tree will always be a funny memory too.
The end of an academic year in international education often means that we need to say goodbye to staff. I would like to thank Ms Devinii, Mr Rudduck and Ms Slater for all of their great work and dedication throughout their time at Epsom Prep.
Sadly, I will also be saying farewell at the end of term in order to be reunited with my family. I have loved being Head of Prep and will treasure the many fond memories that I have of my time at ECiM. I am very grateful to have such a wonderful staff team and supportive group of parents. I have always been impressed by the children who display a positive attitude towards learning and are willing to take on new challenges.
Thank you all for your kind support over the last three years.
Mr Stephen McElhinney
Head of Prep School
The lockdown in Malaysia (and many other parts of the world) posed a challenge for our school community, as many of us have found ourselves indoors and without access to the wonderful facilities, which we are fortunate to have here at Epsom College in Malaysia. However, it is a credit to their enterprising, ‘get-up-and-go’ attitudes, that such difficult circumstances have not stopped ECiM students from staying active, keeping fit and getting creative.
The final online CCA Challenge of the year was ‘International Week’. In recent weeks, with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement reverberating globally, there has never been a better time to celebrate and be grateful for the wonderful diversity we have within our student body. The internationalism and the rich breadth of experience our students bring to College life enables the students to have a truly global perspective, which in turn allows them to develop values and opinions relevant to our modern, inter-connected world.
As part of the ‘International Week – Online CCA Challenge’, many students shared photos of their families in traditional clothing, celebrating national events. Others shared presentations in which they educated others about the culture and traditions of their country. It was wonderful to see so many students sharing fascinating insights into their backgrounds, and doing so with such passion and knowledge. The teachers got involved too…Mr Barker’s rendition of ‘Jerusalem’ (a traditional English Hymn), whilst wearing an England football shirt, was particularly rousing!
As we break up for the holidays, I hope that all our students (and staff!) will continue to keep their minds and bodies active, as they have done over the past few weeks in contributing to the online CCA Challenge. It would be fantastic to hear of students continuing to complete home workouts; climbing up and down stairs; painting; drawing;cooking; baking…doing whatever keeps you stimulated and motivated during these strange times!
Miss Olivia Archibald
Despite the bizarre nature of the end to this academic year, it is still the end of the academic year, and so, once again, it is time to say goodbye to the Upper Sixth.
As in previous years, we still tried to host them in a variety of events, even if it was not quite as initially planned. Last year, we hosted the first ever Prefects’ Dinner, a formal dinner to say goodbye to the Prefect team and to thank them for all of their hard work over the year. This, once again, did happen this year, but rather than doing so from the Granville Tower as the sun set, this time, we talked to each other over our beloved Google Meets, while eating our own respective dinners from the comfort of our own homes.
This year, we also combined a Staff Social with a Sixth Form Social, with Sixth Form students invited to the Final Quiz of the Year, again over Google Meets. Mr and Mrs Jeffries, Mr Rudduck and Miss Slater were the existing staff champions, but not only did they now have to face the likes of Miss Archibald and Mr Hopkin, but also some of the finest Sixth Formers were breathing down their necks. They did, in fact, only come second, but not to another staff team, rather to the Crawfurd team of Alea, Chanel, Jing Yee and Hayeon, who were serenaded at the end to a round of Karaoke with one of the quiz answers from the Music round. By this point everyone else had unsurprisingly run away.
Throughout this week, there were also Leavers’ events within houses, along with the continuing Enrichment Programme, offering a range of activities for students to ask questions and further develop their range of skills and understand of what to expect next year.
This morning meant a combination of Leavers’ Assembly and Speech Day, as we said goodbye for one last time. The prizes allowed us to celebrate the students’ triumphs over the last year, and there have been some marvellous successes from these students over the last twelve months. It might be cheesy, but they are all prizewinners in many ways, even if they did not get to hold a physical trophy. We are proud of the resilience that they have shown during these last few months and how they have continued to engage with teachers and their learning, even during these difficult and strange times.
Finally, tonight, we are hosting the students and house staff in the Leavers’ Dinner. Once again, it is not quite as we had envisaged, but we are trying to make up for a lack of both Leavers’ Dinner and Leavers’ Ball. In the build-up to the event, as part of the Enrichment Programme, cookery classes have offered students the opportunity to cook certain dishes, so that a significant proportion will be eating the same dishes together, as on the menu. We will, of course, be dressing up smartly for the event (even if it is only on our top halves!). Each course is interspersed with speeches from the Heads of Houses. In these speeches, they talk about the highs and lows over the years; they thank the support from their teachers and the residential staff in their respective houses; but they also thank each other for the support and guidance that they had given one other. This is concluded with words from Alea, as Head of College, and then a toast to them and their future achievements.
At the time of this going to print, these students are now Old Epsomians and join the Epsom College in Malaysia OE Club. The OE Club is ever-expanding with each year group that graduates and they remain permanently linked to the College and our community. We always enjoy it when our OEs come back to the College and when they join us for OE events, which we hope will also expand over the next twelve months and beyond, especially when we are allowed to meet up properly once again. It has been lovely to have a number of OEs “returning” over the last fortnight to meet Years 11, 12 and 13 students online to discuss university life.
Of course, we also say goodbye to Mrs Carden-Brown, who has been a key element of the Sixth Form in her two years here, during which she has seen two year groups through their university applications. Her assistance and encouragement will be much missed by the students. We wish her all the very best in her new role in Jeju.
As this cohort of students departs the College, we are fascinated to watch their progress. They have exciting futures ahead of them and we very much look forward to hearing all about their future successes.
Mr Jon Barker
Assistant Head (Sixth Form)