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Samuel Chan Sun Mar 24, 2019
之前介紹過全球首個針對UKiset而設的暑期遊學班,收到很多家長及同學的查詢,大家尤其對於遊學班怎樣可以在短短一個暑假能令同學充份備戰UKiset,感到相當有興趣,所以我覺得非常有必要在此詳細講講。 UKiset是英國私立學校統一入學考試,...

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Study Article

【Oh!爸媽】一個UKiset暑期班 兩英名校校園開花

之前介紹過全球首個針對UKiset而設的暑期遊學班,收到很多家長及同學的查詢,大家尤其對於遊學班怎樣可以在短短一個暑假能令同學充份備戰UKiset,感到相當有興趣,所以我覺得非常有必要在此詳細講講。

UKiset是英國私立學校統一入學考試,得到二百多間私校承認其成績,當然值得同學嚴陣以待,不過值得一提再提的,是UKiset旨在要考大家的思考方法和學術潛能,而絕不是生剝死背的知識,香港好多同學備試時所犯的一大錯處,就是over-revise。

這暑期遊學班特別令我欣賞的地方,正正就是它能透過各種活潑有趣的活動,來培養參加者的思考靈活性、解難能力、創意及批判思維,從而達致令同學輕鬆而有效地備戰UKiset的目的。換言之,此暑期遊學班最能夠一矢中的之處,在於令同學增加考UKiset的自信。它的課程設計著重圍繞不同主題,讓同學在導師的細心指引督導下,就著全球一體化、氣候變化、世界文化,以致國際體育、超級英雄這些全球熱話,用英語進行深入探索研究,並在深入淺出、互動有趣的課堂上跟來自世界各地的其他同學進行交談、討論、發表和辯論,從而鼓勵大家克服語言障礙,並大膽think outside the box。同學一方面有機會一嚐入到大學獨立學習的方式,另一方面亦在實踐中操練表達能力及邏輯推理。這樣一來,特別對於平日填鴨式教育、慣於死背操卷的香港同學,就能學習到如何突破自己的comfort zone,為自己增加信心,發揮學術潛能。暑期遊學班完結時同學如果選擇應考UKiset,屆時面對這個包含作文,以及vocabulary, mathematics, non-verbal電腦作答的推理測試,肯定就能信心滿滿。

暑期遊學班向來的賣點,是寓學習於娛樂,這個UKiset暑期遊學班的fun factor,在每日精心安排的課外活動中可見一斑。由時裝表演到社際奥運會,好玩益智不在話下,同學從中要發揮團隊合作精神,增進友誼之餘,也促進英語溝通能力,總之暑假寶貴的光陰,一分鐘也沒有虛渡。此外,遊學班更會舉行大量day trip,帶同學拜訪英國各名城如倫敦、劍橋、牛津等,讓同學們自己來體會一下讀萬卷書不如行萬里路的真義。

這個由經驗豐富的Anglo Academy舉辦的UKiset暑期遊學班是全球首創,上課場地卻有兩個。位於Durham的貝勒城堡公學Barnard Castle School,與哈羅和伊頓這些名氣如雷貫耳的公校同屬「英國私校校長大會(HMC)」旗下。在這裡參加這個暑期遊學班,同學可以得到置身英國著名公校的寄宿體驗,為將來升學奠定基礎。

另一個場地,是貝爾蒙特學校Belmont Prep School。Belmont 去倫敦非常便捷,離著名古城Dorking更只是二十分鐘之距,校園在Surrey Hills群山圍抱中,學校建築古色古香,但設備卻相當先進完善,子女參加遊學班來到這裡,家長可以非常放心。

在Barnard Castle School舉行的暑期遊學班提供為期兩週的課程,而Belmont Prep School的課程則有兩星期及四星期的選擇。無論九至十七歲的同學決定報讀任何課程,都可選擇完成時應考UKiset,到時把新鮮滾熱辣學到的技能即時應用,在UKiset試場上自然就能得到最大的發揮。

【The Standard】Why Asia doesn't care about academia anymore

last year saw a new high in the number of international pupils studying at UK boarding schools, but recent observations suggest that increasing numbers of international students are school-hopping - that is, moving to a new school mid-way through their GCSEs or even while studying for A-Levels. 

Why is this happening, and what can agents and independent schools do to remedy the situation?

The UK independent school sector has undergone vast changes in the last decade. 

With a declining domestic market (due to fees having risen nearly 50 percent in the past 10 years), more and more families are opting for day, weekly or flexible boarding arrangements. 

This has driven competition between schools to recruit boarders to fierce levels, especially among schools in more remote areas. 

We only need to go as far as Cumbria to find an example of an established HMC boarding school that was recently forced to close. St Bees School, which has more than 400 years of history, shut its doors in 2015. It reopened last year after its new board of trustees formed a partnership with Shenzhen International. 

With this in mind, schools are developing big business strategies, opening satellite schools abroad, appointing commercially-minded heads and principals, allocating more budget to international travel and marketing, and so on. 

Registrars and marketing personnel have never been in such high demand. Often, however, when we need to make prompt decisions quickly, we can overlook important details.

Just over four years ago, I founded Britannia StudyLink. Today, we are one of Asia's largest student placement agencies, sending over 600 pupils to UK boarding schools every year, operating from five offices stationed in Hong Kong, Malaysia and China.

As much as I'd like to take credit for the development of the group, our growth actually owes more to the long-standing problem of how Hong Kong-based agencies recruit to UK boarding schools.

What's wrong with how agents recruit to UK schools? For many years, UK independent schools have been recruiting in Asia, predominantly through local agents. Previously, a lack of transparency around the provision of information enabled agents to implement transactional practices, for example by categorizing schools through tiers, and highlighting simple statistics like league table performances and international student ratios. 

Subsequently, schools have streamlined students on the basis of internal assessments, issuing recommendations based on academic merit.

Even in 2013, the year Britannia was founded, families in Hong Kong had to rely on MTR adverts for information about UK boarding schools. Gigantic Union Jacks would catch their eyes, giving agents the green light to advise them and choose a school for their children, in a manner not dissimilar to that of a commercial property agent.

The average cost of a UK boarding school place is 30,000 (HK$313,100) a year. At least in the UK, parents can find reliable information in the likes of Good Schools Guide, education columns in the papers, local village magazines, London's Independent Schools Show, headteachers' visits to feeder prep schools. 

Why is it, then, that in Hong Kong, we let our most valued consumer - the parent - send their children thousand of kilometers away from home to study based solely on statistics and rankings?

In the following weeks, we will go deeper about school-hopping and what agencies and schools can do about it.

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Successful Cases

Kandace Ying

2018/03/29 - 00:00

Ruthin School, located in a small town of Ruthin, far away from the city distraction, leading me to concentrate in academic. Frankly, I spend most of the time in studying, and prepare myself in every Saturday test. It is demanding especially not being the smartest student at school, meaning that I need to spend more of my leisure time I used to have to study. On the other hand, I have met a lot of friends and schoolmates and they are mostly come from the Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and most of them from China, which is also the largest proportion of students in the school community. During the weekends, I habitually go to Tesco after Saturday test and then eat dinner with friends in common room or in town. Most of the time, I visit the Chinese restaurants either getting takeaway or dine in. On Sundays, school usually organises school trips to Manchester, Liverpool and Chester. During half term, in the order of safety, we are not allowed to stay outside school unless we are staying in with our parents or guardians. Furthermore, we are not allowed to have relationships with opposite sex in the matter of negative influence in academic. Drinking alcohol in school is prohibited and student who is being caught in disobeying school rules will be expelled unless the principal is being generous and suspend student for week(s). Indeed, trying to break the school rules bring a huge consequences and at the mean time to ensure students obeying the school rules. To sum up, my overall experience in Ruthin School is pleasant and hope striving my best in A levels.

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