FRIDAY FLYER-Issue 98
I hope that you are well.
As you are aware, this week heralded the start of a new CMCO for certain areas (KL, Selangor and Putrajaya), and we certainly marked this news with a heavy heart. The updates from the government felt, initially, similar to previous official notifications and immediately one’s thoughts returned to the extremes of the ‘lockdown’ initiated in March 2020.
In fact, thankfully, when one ponders the present circumstances in Malaysia and the environs of ECiM, the current situation is entirely different to the one we experienced earlier in the year and that is the central theme of my message today. While Negeri Sembilan is currently spared the exigencies of the new CMCO, there are other notable changes to our collective mind-set since early 2020. Put simply, we are all much more digitally aware and comfortable in switching from ‘physical’ to ‘online’ learning, and this feature of educational provision will undoubtedly remain in place for the foreseeable future. Indeed, we gained an apt example of this last week with the online ‘Rubberhead’ talk by Professor A.C.Grayling, returning to the College (virtually) to deliver a mesmerising polemic on the importance of Humanities, and all related disciplines, in the modern world. Further to his complete command of the material, illustrating his status as one of the great UK academics, I was particularly struck by his deft handling of the online questions and our audience’s effortless engagement with his lecture. In this regard, whilst it is an area to continue to be proactive on, it is clear that we have moved on from certain trials and tribulations of online learning earlier in the year. Indeed, as we prioritise learning above all else, this is pivotal.
Similarly, whilst we must never be complacent or blasé in any regard, we all now comprehend the inherent medical procedures to follow with this virus, to ensure we are as precautionary and vigilant as possible. This does take, of course, perpetual reminders but the momentum on this has shifted in school life; we all understand, pupils too, the nature of the challenge and we remain determined to tackle this upfront. I remain extremely encouraged by our collegiate attitude to tackling this situation – we will adapt and overcome.
So, to all the Epsom community, in Malaysia and abroad, please be positive and we will continue to do all we can to ensure Epsom remains a safe and secure campus for your children. This has, of course, been a long half-term, with teaching starting on Tuesday 25th August, so I would also like to wish everyone a very restful forthcoming break. Keep safe and we look forward to resuming the very busy life of the school, online and on site, in early November.
With thanks and best wishes,
Dr Murray Tod
The girls have been incredibly busy recently with a lot of projects on the go in addition to their usual dedicated approach to their academic studies. It is a strange year with a lot of change and uncertainty but our House Prefect team are working hard to ensure a positive experience for boarding, day and online students, and to build House spirit. It was lovely to be able to present them with badges in recognition of their important role this week.
The first of these bonding activities was our Mid-Autumn and Chuseok Celebrations. For this we combined efforts with Rosebery House to have an evening celebration for the boarders. Girls from both Houses worked together to prepare excellent quality cultural presentations followed by fun activities, delicious food and a lantern walk. It was great to be able to continue this tradition despite the restrictions and all the students were incredibly mature in their considerations of health and safety for all aspects of the evening.
House competitions have begun with the Park Run last week being the first sporting challenge. Due to the SOP considerations, we had a team of 5 girls representing the House. Aisha did us proud with first place and although we didn’t win overall I was especially impressed by the girls who went out of their comfort zone to represent the House and try their best.
Finally, we have set up a new project this year in our Drop Everything And Read (or DEAR) time on Wednesday mornings. Our DEAR partnered reading scheme has given an opportunity for our year 11-13 girls to step up as leaders and role models to support younger girls developing their literacy skills and English. During the first week the pairs visited the College library (some of them were taken on a phone or computer screen by their partner) and selected a book together. Each week they now meet on Wednesday mornings to read their book together, taking turns to read aloud to each other. Our tutors take this opportunity to role-model the pleasure and benefits of reading at this time also and it is a wonderfully peaceful moment in the middle of our hectic weeks. It has also been great to see the bonds developing between the younger and older students as a result of their partnerships.
Ms Sophie Hill
Rosebery Celebrates Chuseok and Mid-Autumn Festivals
Rosebery is proud of its international links and so values the importance of celebrating all cultural festivals in any way we can. 1st October 2020 was the Mid-Autumn festival and Chuseok celebration, and both are important cultural festivals that our Korean and Chinese students celebrate with their families. To enable the girls to join in the festivities, Rosebery and Crawfurd (Crawbery) had their first joint celebration of the academic year. Our Korean students with the help of Miss Becky educated everyone on the history behind Chuseok, how the festival originated, what clothes they wear and they even showed us how to play some traditional games that they would play in Korea. We had a lot of fun trying out these games and competing to see who could be the best.
The mid-Autumn festival was also celebrated in a similar fashion, and the girls from both Houses presented in a thoughtful and eloquent way to explain what Mid-Autumn means to them. They gave an action-packed detailed presentation that brought lots of colour and animation. The girls also shared some fun games whereby they had to try and move the most items using chopsticks in a set period of time; this was harder than you may think but tonnes of fun.
No evening could ever be complete without sampling some traditional cuisine, and the rice cakes and moon cakes were devoured in record time. The evening was brought to a close when the girls took part in a short lantern walk undercover (as it had just started to rain); this is a special memory to cherish.
Staying with the theme of Internationalism, Rosebery is fortunate to have not only Miss Becky (the Korean Liaison officer) but also Mrs Takamiya (the Japanese Liaison officer) as part of our staff. Mrs Takamiya has many skills but one that she truly excels in is her amazing talent at cooking Japanese food. On her duty weekend, she very kindly conducted a cookery lesson for both Crawfurd and Rosebery girls to demonstrate how to make Sushi. All students and House staff were thrilled to not only learn a new skill but also to get to eat what they made. Everyone had a fun-filled afternoon and left with full stomachs and big smiles on their faces having just learnt something new.
These experiences are what makes boarding at Epsom that little bit different from anywhere else. Rosebery House wishes you all a wonderful half-term Holiday break.
Ms Jenny Mitchell
Rubber Head Talk
In the last week, we have been highly fortunate to have hosted two Rubber Head Lectures. The first was attended by Naomi (Rosebery Lower 6th), who gives her opinion of what she experienced:
“Last Wednesday, Professor A.C. Grayling, whom our Sixth Form Centre is named after, returned to our school (virtually) to give a Rubber Head Talk on “Why We Should Study the Humanities?”. In his lecture, he highlighted the substantial importance of studying the humanities, with History, Literature and Philosophy as his main examples.
Professor Grayling explained the significance of educating ourselves in the humanities, as they help us understand what matters in human society, and even more crucially, guide us in questioning our known values, knowledge and reason. This is especially important in our modern world where there is particular emphasis on Sciences and Technology because we need to understand the world we live in to give us the tools to imagine the future. Professor Grayling also touched on a range of subjects, enlightening us on topics such as the Humanities vs. A.I.; the economy and trade as a country’s defence policy; and even issues on Brexit and democracy.
I personally very much enjoyed the lecture, and it served as reinforcement and motivation for me to study hard to pursue my own chosen career in the humanities.”
Timothy (Granville Upper 6th) offered the second student Rubber Head Lecture of the year, which was attended by Cyn Thea (Rosebery Upper 6th):
“This week Timothy presented his Rubberhead talk on “Probabilities and Uncertainty: A Dive into Computer Science, Physics and Maths”. The audience, largely consisting of Sixth Form students and teachers, were awestruck by the impressive talk which touched upon the industrial uses of random numbers to the randomness of quantum interactions.
One of the topics that I found particularly interesting was the ‘Law of Near Enough’ where he explained that it’s just part of human nature to regard events which are sufficiently similar to be identical. An example he gave was the Kennedy Lincoln Conspiracy Theory: both were assassinated; both killed on a Friday; and both in the presence of their wives. However, for every event with coincidences, there are also many differences. This is also an instance of the ‘Law of Selection’ where people cherry pick to make things as closely linked as they want after the event.
Timothy eloquently explained the concept of randomness while effortlessly linking mathematical laws to branches of philosophy and even to the recent pandemic. He ended the talk on a positive note reminding us of the 6.48 x10^14 opportunities for us to do something new everyday and to choose wisely as we are in control of shaping our future.
“Life can be random, you never know unless you try!””
Due to the limited capacity of the room for each talk, every Rubber Head lecture is now broadcast to all students around the school over Google Meet, and is recorded, so that they can be accessed via IGLE at a later date.
Mr Jon Barker
Assistant Head (Sixth Form)
A Dinner For The Boys
On Friday 9th October we had our annual gathering of the ‘boys’. The aim of this event is to allow the senior boys and junior boys the opportunity to mingle. Living here at ECiM is great, but there will be trials and tribulations. Who better to support our junior boys through this than the Year 13 pupils who have lived through this.
Talking, not a traditional strength of us men, was the focus of this evening. Screens were left at home, playing cards kept the conversation flowing and lots of old fashioned ‘chin wags’ could be overheard.
Drexel and Rohan, Deputy Head of College and Head of Propert, shared their experiences of literally growing up in Carr; this included the highs, the relative lows and some sage advice about getting involved and living life to the fullest. The message was so much stronger having been delivered from the boys’ peers. The only barrier to the conversation was the great food the boys were consuming during the event!
Mr Ian Squires
Mental Health Month
October is Mental Health Awareness month. During this month, there is extra emphasis given to students regarding how to care for their mental health and how to provide them with simple techniques to control their emotions and improve their well-being.
This month we introduced some activities to benefit students and raise awareness on the opportunity to understand and manage their feelings, and guide themselves towards being happy and content with themselves.
In the Prep School, students were taught how to do ‘mindful breathing’ such as the “Breathing Colours” technique that can help them to become calm. Year 5 & 6 students were also taught about “The Power of Your Words”; emphasising that the words they use towards themselves or others will have an effect on their emotions, hence why they need to be careful and share positive words to encourage positive vibes and positive feelings.
In the Senior School, we did things slightly differently. Key Stage 3 had a “Poster Competition” and Key Stages 4 & 5 had presentations on how to keep a healthy mind and spot your friends in need. In addition, in Carr House, a morning talk was given on gaming addiction and the boys congregated in small groups to discuss and share their ideas and experiences.
Overall, our mental health awareness month at Epsom was not just about our counsellor and staff sharing tips for positivity, but most importantly allowing the students to participate in a range of activities, promoting a healthier positive environment.
Ms Pajan Kaur
Inter House Badminton and ParkRun
This weekend of 10th and 11th October saw the return of inter-house sports to ECiM, with a ParkRun on Friday afternoon and boys’ inter-house badminton on Saturday. Each house had to put 5 names forward for the Park Run in the various Key Stages. The staff also put out 2 very competitive sides. In the race itself, the overall winner Sean Doyle just pipped Finley Squires in a dramatic finish on the line. Mr Squires came in third, with Koutatsu Sui and Scott rounding up an impressive top five. In the girls’ race Aisha ran an impressive event beating Ms Hargreaves to second. Mrs. Takamiya came third and Tia Siddle fourth. Overall Propert KS5 came first, the Mens’ Staff team second and Carr A came third. Rosebery beat the Ladies’ staff team by a point, and Crawfurd came third.
The inter-house Badminton saw some very competitive matches, especially by the top seeds in the intermediate division amongst Carr, Propert and Granville, with the 3 matches in this seeding taking over 40 minutes each. Propert won the senior division fairly convincingly, while in the junior division Carr came first, Granville second and Propert third.
Mr Bob De Wet
Head of PE
Mr. Liam Moulton “Put Your Faith in Epsom”
This week we are delighted to introduce Mr Liam Moulton, our new member of the Economics and Business Studies department. As I was unfortunately unable to watch Mr. Moulton’s Rubberhead Talk on China, I was delighted to be able to talk to him directly about his personal experiences teaching there and how they compare to being in Malaysia, and more specifically, here in Epsom College. One of the things he learnt and wanted to advise the pupils on would be that it is vital that pupils do not listen to external academic advice. Instead, listen to your teachers and academic counsellors in school to ensure consistent advice. It is important to put your faith in Epsom.
To give you some background, Mr. Moulton lived in the tropical south of China in Foshan City during his gap year in 2006, teaching in a government primary school. He enjoyed it so much that he decided to not only take a second gap year but also stay until 2013, teaching in areas all over China. After living in Indonesia for 4 years until 2017, Mr. Moulton moved back to China and was actually still teaching online during China’s lockdown all the way from the UK. He believes that both China and Malaysia have done well when dealing with COVID-19 (something I do agree on), with neither of them being hesitant to shut down their countries, although China was more aggressive in their use of resources and manpower.
Mr. Moulton, as expected, loves both Business Studies and Economics equally, believing that they both equip students with very different yet important skills. Business is useful for students to apply their knowledge to real life situations and be able to apply their critical thinking skills. Furthermore, it helps with not only pupils’ English, but their ‘business English’ – which would be very beneficial for the adult world. On the other hand, Economics is a more analytical subject, allowing pupils to express theories through both words and diagrams. His aspirations for this year would be to “identify opportunities and strengths to exploit and prevent the fruition of any threats”. To look a little further, once COVID-19 passes, Mr. Moulton also intends to increase external competitions and ambitious enterprise schemes. This is something I am sure all the passionate Business and Economic students will be looking forward to. Without doubt, Mr. Moulton’s interesting background and eagerness to improve Epsom College, makes me very excited to see how much he achieves this year.
Head of College