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Tuesday 01-Dec-2015
英國寄宿怪客之-翻牆。報紙。食頹飯

想當年我在英國讀書時,總有些行為或是習慣只有香港人才明白。化身IT專才翻牆上網、點名會中爭奪報紙、成為校園版Gordan Ramsay發揮廚藝創意,我們一一都做過。讓我們細數留英學生怪事…


 
駭客任務之終極翻牆

YouTube和Facebook是人類的好朋友,YouTube是歌曲的寶庫、Nostalgia的藏寶圖、失戀的最佳麻醉藥。Facebook則引領我們通往現代世界,靠在友誼、回憶的臂彎。而殘忍的學校卻最忌諱YouTube和Facebook之流的網頁,老是想要將其封鎖…


人所共知英國人玩科技像是瞎子摸象,一竅不通,奇怪地,當去到封鎖Twitter和Blogger等重大任務時,學校的IT人員有如電腦奇俠,竭力堵塞每一個讓學生自由上網的機會。


的確,身為教育家,我無法否認日夜上網對功課、學習壓力日多的學生有害而無益,但無法上網之痛實在難以忍受。所以我老是和IT職員鬥智鬥力,竭力繞過防火牆,呼吸自由的空氣。其中一招是用中文輸入法,因為學校較難監管使用其他語言的網站,當然,道高一尺,魔高一丈,我相信學校總會想到辦法再次封鎖。


有沒有其他方法?其實不然。如果你買Wi-Fi蛋,用iPhone做熱點的話,在連線非常一般的英國來說絕非首選。
 


完美的平衡:邊點名邊看報紙

學校每天都有幾個點名環節,其時,舍監和導師通常會宣布一些日常事項。和其他青少年一樣,每到點名時我都會磨拳擦掌找些事來分散這悶極的時間。


現在,我認為寄宿學校鼓勵學生閱讀報紙的方式是個絕妙的主意:點名環節一般都在公用休息室內,而房間裏提供了各種報紙,The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, 有時還有「學術味濃」的Daily Mirror。房間頓成了鬥獸場,男生們展開報紙爭奪戰,以最有趣的報章為目標-其實只是為了背頁的足球新聞。亦因如此,培養了我緊貼足球新聞的習慣,現在我每天也會登入SoccerNet和Sky Sports緊貼足球實況 。


話說回來,學校確實給了香港學生相當程度的自由,但他們也想知道香港學生的現況。所以這種方式正正取得平衡。
 


美男廚房-創意廚具篇

食物健康和安全在英國人眼中重要得像一種信仰,因此學校在食物安全方面有極高的標準。我從未在寄宿學校內見過電爐,微波爐已是底線了。我還記得我試過用三文治機來炒蛋和煎午餐肉,也試過用熱水壺來煮即食麵。有夠「陰公」-可味道也不錯耶!

 


老師也瘋狂

多數英國教師都很有個人風格而且有本笑話集在腦海,他們有種點到即止的感通,雖然有時會比較毒舌,但絕對有分寸,不會傷害到學生心靈。而我的兩個朋友, Ka Ching (Ka-ching) 和Hei Man (Hey Man)往往都是「受害者」。


老師在課堂上的幽默是熱情學習氣氛的動力,這樣能幫助一些比較害羞的香港學生融入新環境,走出自己的小小世界。當然,前提是老師拿捏得恰到好處而不至於弄巧成拙。
 

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#Hot Topic
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Education Experts

Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

...

Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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#School Analysis
Considering its reputation, Oundle School may not catch up to Eton, Wycombe Abbey and else top elite schools. However, Oundle’s academic performance is among the best in the United Kingdom. As a traditional top boarding school, Oundle pays huge attentions to student’s holistic development, by providing them diversified extra-curricular activities. In addition, Oundle still implements the House Dining System, which is rarely remaining among uk boarding schools. It is also one of the reasons why Hong Kong parents making a beeline for.
The ratio of teachers and students in Bromsgrove School is 1:8, which is lower than the average among uk boarding schools. In addition, according to my school visit experience, Bromsgrove has the best facilities, that it is undoubtedly one of the best three campuses in the UK. Besides, Bromsgrove spares no expense to provide students comfortable environment, it even invests on the nearby hotel and transfers it into dormitories. As a result, students can possess the “5-star enjoyment” on campus. To conclude, Bromsgrove is definitely a prospective and globalised uk boarding school.
Brighton College is Britain’s premier private school and one of the Hong Kong parents’ favourites. To understand a boarding school, despite of looking at its educational tenet, diversified extra-curricular activities and academics results, it is essential to observe the boldness of the principal. 10 years ago, after Mr. Richard Cairns taking up the duty of the Brighton College’s principal, the school ranking raises from the 150th to the top 20th. In addition to promoting educational reformation, Mr Cairns is such a good principal, that he still strives for maintaining students’ curiosity at the same time.
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