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Monday 19-Feb-2018

著名教育家Ken Robinsons說過,完成了一件工作,並不代表履行了一件工作。一個老師在某個課室內正在教書,但如果那個課室內的學生,根本沒有一個學到任何東西,這位老師也只是「完成」了教育的工作,而並沒有「履行」到這項職責。這便是finish和fulfill的分別。




創業初期。有位家長過來公司找我,劈頭第一句便是想她的兒子Nathan考入一家叫Oundle的寄宿學校。Oundle的國際學生比例只有13%,香港人佔的部份更少,亦因如此想考 Oundle的香港人更為多,成功率當然不高。Nathan中等成績,英文科六十幾分,仲要喺一間校方必然未聽過嘅屯門中學讀書,性格顯然內向。你真心覺得Oundle會收阿仔?我想咁問,「你覺得Nathan真的適合嗎?」我最後說。家長一鼓作氣hard sell囝仔,但當然我心知,報得Oundle嘅香港學生通常都係嚟自喇沙或漢基等傳統名校,而且成績有返咁上下,我心只想幫你慳返報名費。


我唔想judge a book by its cover,最後我們當然是嘗試了,結果亦一如預期無功而還。第二,第三年我們屢戰屢敗。踏入第四個學年,這位家長用殷切的眼神問:「可以再幫幫手嗎?」。於是我跟Oundle的招生主任Caitriona Redding打了一通電話,一如所料她說這位同學的校內成績實太普通,英國人最怕say no,她建議Nathan可試考當時名校新引用的入學試UKiset。這個叫做UKiset的英國統一入學試,由劍橋大學及杜倫大學編寫,Oundle看似比Nathan多一次機會,但預料結果應該差不遠,我向家長轉達Caitriona的提議。




最後多得Facebook大神,好友搭上搭介紹一位叫Simon Whitaker的英國人,劍橋大學英文系一級榮譽畢業,於是我半信半疑便把這消息及聯絡方法發了給那位家長。半年後,學生重考,成績出來後,我看了很多次這到底是否真的是他的成績單。短短日子,竟可化腐朽為神奇,我除了想親口說道謝外亦好奇想詢問這位英國人到底用了什麼方法。


「UKiset測試的是學生的潛質,不是考試技巧」他說。英國人說話就是這樣迂迴,咁即係點教?他沉思了一陣子,再說:「這個測試就是要分辨出well-trained和well-brained,如果他本身不聰明,根本考不出好成績。 」既然他可以行一個這樣的奇蹟,亦幫了我一大忙,讀者應該不介意賣一小廣告吧。


很多老師都做到pass on knowledge,但再高一個層次的教育就是要facilitate learning;套一句武俠片對白,facilitate learning就是幫你打通任督二脈。如此一位老師,確是買少見少。很久沒有跟這位神奇教師聯絡,近日卻再聽見他的名字。UKiset的官方代表跟我說,最近有位老師設計了一個UKiset課程,是全球第一和唯一一個獲得UKiset官方認可的課程。我問UKiset的代表,是誰設計的課程這麼厲害,可以獲得他們的認可?官方代表揮一揮手說:「講咗你都唔會識啦,佢叫Simon Whitaker。」


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#Hot Topic
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Education Experts

With an entrepreneurial spirit spreading across online, print and broadcast media, Samuel is an award-winning educational consultant and celebrated columnist.

As a leader in the field of education, he was honoured with the British Council’s Study UK Alumni Award and his most prestigious achievement to date includes the founding of Hong Kong’s premier educational brands - Britannia StudyLink, Anglo Belgravia and Ascent Prep.

In addition to streamlining the UK independent school application process for Hong Kong families and spearheading the first official UKiset-accredited educational centre in Hong Kong, Samuel has led his company, Britannia, to becoming one of Asia’s leading brands with diverse clients and distinguished institutions ranging from Radley College to HSBC Bank and Hong Kong Telecom.


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)

#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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