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Tuesday 02-May-2017
【The Standard:Boarding Insider】Inspirational innovator

Berkhamsted school, which is blessed with both swift access into London and the surrounding beauty of the Chiltern countryside, is based on four separate sites in the historic town of Berkhamsted in the county of Hertfordshire.

Berkhamsted is proud of its "diamond" structure that combines both single-sex and co-educational teaching. Girls and boys are taught together until the age of 11, while between the ages of 11 and 16 they attend separate schools. The sixth form is mixed sex.

Despite learning separately, seniors go on visits and academic trips together, while certain co-curricular activities, such as the combined cadet force, also merge boys and girls.

One of the school's main aims is to immerse pupils in a diverse co- curricular program.

Performing arts is one of its areas of excellence. An astounding array of music and drama productions take place throughout the year at a range of venues, including the Centenary Theatre, which is equipped to rival West End theaters in terms of capacity, staff and, of course, equipment.

Berkhamsted also prides itself on a positive ethos surrounding sport.

Not only are facilities - including six Eton Fives courts and a range of fitness- related units - state-of-the-art but the standard of instruction and coaching offered by external coaches and specialist teachers is also of a different class.

Another area is outdoor education. Pupils are eager to participate in trips to Snowdonia, complete an open water dive course and spend time in the Alps. They also learn basic bushcraft and camp overnight - which helps newbies to settle and feel part of the wider community quickly. The school provides the food while the pupils cook it themselves on fires they have built.

There is a clear sense that Hong Kong students could really come out of their shell at Berkhamsted by partaking in service - another of the school's core values. Pupils have an excellent track record of serving the local community and the soft skills honed by service need little mention.


Mabel Chan is a principal consultant at Britannia StudyLink. lucyqna

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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.


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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