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Saturday 10-Feb-2018
【信報】St Bees 停辦後浴火重生

很多香港人認識St Bees School是因為知道它是戇豆先生Rowan Atkinson 的母校,Mr. Bean入紐卡素大學及牛津大學修讀電子工程前,便是畢業於這間知名男女寄宿學校。

 

St Bees School是位於英國北部Cumbria的老牌名校,建校於伊麗沙伯女皇一世年代,乃英國私校校長大會(HMC)的成員學校,可惜08年金融海嘯後,區內經濟轉差,學校一路艱苦經營,直至2015年學校被迫停辦,學校四百三十二年的歷史劃上句號。

 

現實殘酷但人間有情,其實由St Bees傳出可能停辦的消息開始,不少人為拯救這學校而奔走張羅,希望可以幫助它逃過永久關閉的命運。即使學校運作正式結束,有心人士仍然沒有放棄,透過不同渠道爭取學校重開,市民發起慈善活動去保衛這間學校,故即使學校停學了兩年多,其校園仍能保持得完整美麗,完全有賴社區人士不遺餘力的付出。對於Cumbria的居民來說,St Bees不止是一間曾經為作育英才貢獻良多的學校,它還是該鎭社區的一部分,地方歷史的一位見證,大家都不願意見到學校就此湮沒。

 

同鎭居民尚且如此依依不捨,曾經在St Bees 庇蔭下成長的校友更加痛心疾首,有舊生甚至發起環球行動,將救救St Bees的橫額在全世界地標如意大利羅馬鬥獸場、美國佛羅里達迪士尼樂園及杜拜的哈里發塔摩天大廈外展示,希望喚起關注。前學生Laurence Gribble 更加騎單車由St Bees起步,展開八個月艱辛的慈善旅程,一路來到香港會合St Bees的舊同學,希望可以為母校重開出一分力。社區人士和舊生能有錢出錢、有力出力地以行動來拯救,充分凸顯他們對這間學校的感情,也為St Bees是一間怎樣優異出色的學校,作了有力的側寫。

 

皇天不負有心人,各種努力下,校方正式宣布St Bees School的校門將於今年九月重開。學校得到一間名為Full Circle Education所注資,並請了名校Bromsgrove School高中的校長Jeremy Hallows出任新校長,2018年St Bees將如浴火的鳳凰歷史性地重生。

 

St Bees這間享負盛名的HMC學校當日執笠已令人側目,戲劇性地重開更叫人刮目相看,注入新生命後其前景如何,值得我們拭目以待。

 

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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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#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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