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榮獲香港品牌發展局及英國文化協會認可的升學顧問中心,亦是每年《南華早報》及星島集團教育展的合作伙伴,為香港學生舉辦全港大型英國學校展覽。四年來,英識教育協助了過千名學生前往英國升學。

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星期四 2016年11月03號
【SCMP Education Post:親子關係】 Extraordinary CEO, extraordinary mum

This is the last column in a mini-series of write-ups focusing on the role of parents in their children’s education and life outside of school. This time, I refer to an intriguing interview with Managing Director of Million Group Holdings Limited, Anthea Lo, whose parenting philosophy certainly errs on the side of liberal whereby grades are not the be all and all ...

 

Anthea Lo is flying high. Having graduated with a master’s degree from The University of New South Wales back in the ‘90s, her career has gone from strength to strength. She is the Managing Director of Million Group Holdings and the proud owner of a popular hotel in the upmarket Hong Kong district of Mong Kok.

Yet, Anthea is not just an extraordinary CEO. She is also an extraordinary mother of two sons who mean the world to her. Extraordinary in the sense that her two sons are perhaps not your typical technology wizards as they are just as content to satisfy themselves with the wonders of nature, reading, museums and music.



 

Throughout this interview, Anthea’s sense of rationality, particularly in relation to balancing her children’s interests and time, touched me. Her elder son, Hamish, was not pushed into receiving extensive tutoring early on in his childhood and he was encouraged to reveal his own interests. Hamish loved piano and drawing, thus Anthea and her husband, a Rugby School alumni, took him to classes.

 

I think the point here is to let children become more autonomous in their decision-making. Once again, Hamish was the one to decide when to give up playing piano as he became eager to learn nunchucks. With skiing and diving two of Hamish’s other great passions, Anthea and I concurred that taking exams for extra-curricular activities to enhance a child’s portfolio should not be forced upon children. Children should be given room to breathe and enjoy what they want to - even if nunchucks may not impress a school’s admissions team as much as more traditional pursuits.

 

Anthea has enough on her plate with managing a group of people at work. Thus, the idea of being a “helicopter parent” as well would be exhausting. In Anthea’s words: “Many of my friends are overly anxious about their children’s academic results, they even set targets for their children to achieve as they progress with their study path.” For Anthea, though, raising children to have varied interests and enjoy them should be more of a priority. Hamish achieved 11 A*s at GCSE. He did not cram all hours of the day for these results so it begs the question - does less parental pressure from an early age reap long-term benefits for children?



 

A further discussion point was the cultivation of reading habits and the learning of Chinese from a young age. Anthea never forced her children to read English books, opting rather to place trust in her two sons’ schools to develop their interest in reading. Hamish and Hayman, Anthea’s younger son, both came to love reading, picking up books as they pleased. There were no strict patterns determined by their parents. Simply, Hamish loved reading Chinese books, especially Jin Yong novels, while Hayman currently likes reading English books.  

The fact that Hamish was reading Jin Yong novels in P4 is extraordinary but it also had knock-on effects in terms of influencing his parents’ decision to send him to the UK. Essentially, Anthea and her husband cleverly realised that they could sit back and relax when they sent Hamish abroad because they knew that that he had a strong command of Chinese already under his belt. As Anthea said: “my son’s Chinese language capability allowed us to let him study in the UK, without worrying that his mother language would be degraded.” Food for thought, clearly.

One final topic I would like to mention is school selection. For Anthea, it is all about matching a child’s characteristics with the school’s ethos. Realising that Hamish may not fit in well at the likes of Eton or Harrow, Anthea and her husband thought that he would “get along with students much better at Rugby”. Indeed, Rugby can offer a well-rounded education with perhaps less emphasis on academics.


 

Anthea had Hamish’s best interests at heart but there was never any pressure for him to go to the UK. Yet, she knew that exposure to a new culture and the broadening of his horizons would help him later in life. After a few years in the UK, Anthea talks eagerly about how much Hamish came out of his shell. From being “quite a quiet” boy, he blossomed into a talkative, happy teenager and certainly one of life’s go-getters.

 

Anthea’s parenting philosophy in a nutshell - consistency, encouragement, allowing room for development, freedom of choice and the idea that ‘it all comes naturally”. Words of wisdom from a very wise lady.

 

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#熱門話題
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
專家博客
英識教育創辦人及2017年英國傑出校友。九歲起接受英國教育,於華威大學政治經濟系碩士畢業,留英長達15年。現於香港各大報章撰寫教育專欄,分享對英國寄宿學校的專業見解及留學經驗。
...
英識首席顧問。曾留學英美,具豐富海外升學配對經驗。現於《星島日報》、《英文虎報》等撰寫教育專欄,耐心解答香港家長及同學升學疑難。
...
英識資深升學顧問。於各大本地媒體撰寫教育專欄超過25年,見解精闢獨到,為香港讀者(及DSE學生)提供各種海外升學竅門。
...
#院校分析
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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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