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星期二 2019年8月27號

【The Standard】 Introducing Woodard Schools: Lancing, King's College Taunton and Ellesmere

Young learners deserve to flourish as human beings within nurturing communities. Such surroundings can be found at independent schools across Great Britain, but no more so than at Woodard Incorporated Schools where high quality education is provided to everyone in a Christian environment.

Before we look at the credentials and values of Woodard Schools, let me briefly pay homage to Nathaniel Woodard, the Church of England priest whose principles went on to inspire the founding of eleven schools and also The Woodard Corporation.

Woodard graduated from Oxford in 1840, though he was not especially an outstanding scholar.

However, his organizational skills and ability to attract funds helped to realize his vision for combining high-quality public school education with Anglican teaching - at a reasonable cost.

Woodard Schools share many defining characteristics, not least their desire to provide education to students of all faiths and of none. With the belief that each person is of sacred value, Woodard Schools encourage pupils to develop a moral framework and show commitment to advancing their moral character. As with many independent schools, a Woodard education is student-centred and holistic. Hong Kong parents can also be assured that pastoral care is of the highest order and provided with each student's personal circumstances firmly in mind.

Let us look at three Woodard Schools:

Lancing College

Lancing College educates boys and girls from 13 to 18. It is majestically situated high above The South Downs, one of the most stunning stretches of scenery in Great Britain, and just a few kilometers off the South Coast.The seaside town of Brighton is just 16 kilometers away.

Lancing stands out owing to its belief in a broad and balanced curriculum. This is reflected by the number of students who go on to art schools, drama colleges and music conservatoires.

The music school, in particular, thrives. Each week some 250 to 300 lessons take place, covering areas such as singing and composition, while visiting tutors add an extra dimension to the school's operations.

Exciting projects, such as The Malawi Expedition and the Lancing College Farm Project, ensure that students can really a make difference where it matters.

Overall, Lancing College has a more relaxed feel to it and very much encourages pupils to be themselves. Individuality and not being afraid to show off talents are part and parcel of life at Lancing.

King's College, Taunton

King's College is co-educational boarding and a day school for 13 to 18 year olds, situated in Taunton - the county town of Somerset.

King's Taunton provides a constant and steady stream of good results every year, though performance is not quite on a par with some of the more academic independent schools.

That said, King's award-winning design and technology department, as well as buzzing art, music and drama departments, offer opportunities to Hong Kong students who have a more creative streak.

Facilities are sound and continue to improve. King's has the finest concert hall in the town in its own chapel. It can hold up to 400 people.

The amphitheater is also a sight to behold and serves as a useful outdoor classroom and meeting space for pupils.

Sports are strong, while there is always a lot going on in an outdoors sense. The Ten Tors challenge for instance takes place every May and demands pupils to take part in an expedition over Dartmoor.

Key skills such as planning, endurance, teamwork and navigation are tested and honed.

Ellesmere College

Located in the market town of Ellesmere in rural northern Shropshire, Ellesmere College provides co-educational schooling for ages seven to 18.

With echoes of Oxford University in its buildings - neat precise quads and squares of grass - Ellesmere is an attractive, if somewhat formative introduction to the British independent school system.

Sidestepping the usual fury about GCSE results, the middle school does so much more for its pupils than prepare them for exams. Its Leadership and Entrepreneurship program is flourishing, as is the Academic Enrichment program which incorporates extension work in academic subjects as well as story writing competitions, to name but a few activities.

Co-curricular pursuits are varied and include expeditions around the globe and The Monduli Green Project in Tanzania, designed to improve for facilities for young children.

The inclusive approach which Woodard Schools take means that no student is left out and everyone is made to feel part of each school's community.

Samuel Chan is a director at Britannia StudyLink


1 寄宿百科 2 英國大學
3 談英國 4 赴英須知
5 赴英遊學 6 選校攻略
7 留英所得 8 親子關係
9 英名校大比拼 10 留英專家分享

陳思銘(Samuel Chan) 並非如一般外界人所認為的「富二代留學生」,家人數代都在流浮山經營海鮮買賣,父母學歷程度雖然不高,但努力工作賺錢把Samuel從小(9歲)就供養到英國寄宿學校格雷舍姆學院 (Gresham College)讀書,才能讓他早早就體會到英式教育優越全世界的原因。
Samuel Chan在留英之前亦都曾苦於在香港的教育體系中掙扎求存,但是香港朝令夕改的教育制度卻令他的成續止步不前,甚至感到老師也對自己失去興趣。直到接受英式教育後,他深深感受到兩地學制的差異:在英國,永遠是先發掘學生的興趣,再透過「興趣」作為推動其學習的原動力,釋放潛能。在英國,他獲得了使自己能夠表達自己並嘗試新事物的信心,最終以優秀的成續升讀英國頂尖的學府。
Samuel Chan留英長達15年,在諾定咸大學(University of Nottingham)獲得經濟學學士後,在華威大學(The University of Warwick)攻讀完政治經濟系碩士後回流香港。回流香港的Samuel鑑有感於香港教育制度無法充分釋放學生潛力,於是回流英國的他創辦了英識教育,以幫助更多有志留學英國的同學提供各類支援及顧問服務。
白手興手固然辛苦,但奮鬥數年英識教育終獲香港品牌發展局頒發「香港服務名牌」的升學教育中心,亦是同業首間獲此認證的品牌。後來,Samuel於2017年奪得「英國傑出校友獎」,該獎是英國文化協會及多家英國高等院校的共同構思,並由英國文化協舉辦,評選活動獲不少名人及王室人員支持及參與。可見,讓身為香港人的「陳思銘」的名字深深烙印在英國學術界傑出人仕的陳列櫃中。雖然事業受到肯定,但Samuel並不安於現狀,後來在2020年更創立Britannia Gateway 的學術培訓平台,提供更多元化的課程以幫助客戶適應英國課程。

論名氣,Oundle 未追得上 Eton、Wycombe Abbey 等頂級名校,但學校的學術成績在英國依然名列前茅。作為傳統名校,Oundle 非常重視全人發展,為學生提供多元課餘活動選擇。學校奉行英國碩果僅存的 House Dining System,或是令香港家長趨之若鶩的一大原因。
Bromsgrove 的師生比例是一比八,比一般的寄宿學校低。此外,綜合我曾到訪的學校,此校硬件設施之完善,可入選全英設備最佳的三大校園。校方不惜工本為學生提供舒適環境,甚至收購附近的酒店改建成宿舍,令宿生有名符其實的「五星級享受」。此校極具前瞻性,是國際化的英國宿校。
Brighton College 是英國首屈一指的私校,是香港家長最愛的寄宿學校之一。 看一間學校,除了教育宗旨、多元化活動、成績之外,更要看校長的魄力。十年前,校長 Mr. Richard Cairns 成為 Brighton College 校長後,把學校由全英國接近 150 名推至首 20 名。除了在教育方針上大力推動改革之外,也為了保持學生的求知慾而非常努力,是難得的好校長。
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英識教育陳思銘Samuel Chan X 滙豐銀行:海外理財貼士

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