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Tuesday 15-Nov-2016
【The Standard:Boarding Insider】Dreaming of spires

"For personal reasons, I'd like my son, who is 12, to attend a school in the Oxford area. Which can you recommend?"

In terms of boarding schools, two stand out as possible choices: Abingdon and St Edward's, Oxford.

Abingdon is an all-boys' school located around 10 miles south of Oxford. The curriculum is generally traditional (GCSEs and A levels) although pre-U subjects are available.

With respect to A levels, it is interesting to note that Abingdon has gone completely linear and dropped AS levels which the school believes leads to more creative curriculum planning.

Unique to Abingdon is the term "The Other Half" which refers to the extracurricular side of school life. Over 100 activities are available, with budding film and music stars, actors and journalists benefiting.

Abingdon seems to genuinely care for its pupils. The provision of a six- year career guidance program, for instance, would seem to suggest it does.

Another interesting school is St Edward's, Oxford.

For children aged 13-18, St Edward's has the feel of a full boarding school and the number of overseas pupils is quite low. St Edward's is famous for offering an all-round broad education and the nurturing of academic skills, critical thinking, debating, communication and collaboration is emphasized.

The first year at the school (called the shell year) homes in on developing these key skills while unusual cultural pursuits, such as clay pigeon shooting, are also explored to break the ice with other pupils.

Hong Kong boys coming to the UK for the first time could quickly find their feet at St Edward's.

The county of Oxfordshire has a range of attractions and something for everyone, including boarding school pupils.

Animal attractions, delicious local produce, walks in the Cotswolds, boating opportunities and picture perfect villages are all part and parcel of Oxfordshire. The city of Oxford, of course, needs little mention - its charm goes up a notch every time I visit.

In a nutshell, you have two schools to read up on and possibly visit.

When your son turns 16, you may also wish to consider St Clare's Oxford (sixth form college), which has one of the longest running IB diploma programs in the world. The results speak for themselves. St Clare's is also non-selective. 


Mabel Chan is a principal consultant at Britannia StudyLink.

Picture: St. Edward's Oxford Twitter

Original article: 
http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=176283&fc=4

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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.

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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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