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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6月30號
【SCMP Education Post:Study in the UK】A good boarding school has a caring staff and a whole-person approach to teaching

A recent lunchtime chat with Sarah Kerr-Dineen, the head of Oundle School in Northamptonshire, covered several pertinent issues relating to a British boarding-school education. It was a highly informative lunch, as Kerr-Dineen knows the independent school scene well. She spent 13 years at St Edward’s school, Oxford, as a boarding housemistress, and later became director of studies there. Before becoming head of Oundle School in August 2015, she was warden of Forest School, London. Her experience and her Oxbridge qualifications give Kerr-Dineen the right to be forthright and immodest in her views and demeanour. Nevertheless, we were all taken aback by her relaxed manner, her willingness to listen, and her genuine passion for nurturing future leaders.

 

One of the first points we discussed was the style of teaching in the UK. According to Kerr-Dineen, the “prevailing philosophy of teaching… is of discovery”, where children and teachers are both learners. Certainly, UK independent schools have largely moved away from the “teacher knows all” approach which characterised the exam-oriented curricular of yesteryear. Indeed, as Kerr-Dineen stated, we have moved away from “pouring knowledge into the child” and have started to teach children how to question, research, and comprehend, rather than engage in rote learning patterns.

 

The development of a global economy has caused the need for curriculum designers, teachers, and students to adapt their approaches. It’s now important for our children to be taught how to think critically and solve complex problems. British boarding schools are leading the way in moving beyond a narrow curriculum and outdated instructional methods, towards whole-child education, where the syllabus sets the foundations for challenge, expression, debate, and enjoyment.

 

Kerr-Dineen said that the independent school sector is distinguished by “everything else that goes on beyond the classroom”. There is an expectation that a child’s schooling will go beyond the academic to include sport, character development, involvement in the local community, and service activities.

 

As for the boarding itself, Kerr-Dineen mentioned two key words which typify children’s development throughout their teenage years: “independence” and “resilience”. The longer school day, and the fact that children from abroad must adapt to a new environment, suggests that they do eventually succeed in being independent and resilient. The extended day at boarding school helps, as it caters to the “social, personal, spiritual and academic development” of children. Finally, Kerr-Dineen noted that many children do have tremendous strength of character, as they are able to assimilate, juggle their duties and flourish with relative ease.

 

Kerr-Dineen neatly packaged the very essence of a British boarding education with the story of one boy from Hong Kong who attends Oundle School. Oundle has its own radio station and the boy has developed a passion for radio. He is known for “being very enthusiastic” and Kerr-Dineen says the key to success is a enthusiasm, enjoying the opportunity to flourish, and not being worried about failure or setbacks at the outset. The student is apparently, thoroughly determined to run the programme in the Sixth Form. Kerr-Dineen said that pupils who are similar to this boy settle quickly, as they become so absorbed by their busy school life, there is little time for homesickness.

 

Would such enthusiasm, resilience, independence and choice be possible without a strong support network of caring staff members? Kerr-Dineen places an emphasis on the strong pastoral care which exists at Oundle, and it is no coincidence that pupils flourish in such an environment. For instance, pupils have a tutor for the whole time at the school to oversee their academic progress and to look out for them “as people”. Moreover, teachers and tutors are very attached to their respective houses, and dine in them twice a week. The housemaster also sees children three times a day.

 

At our lunch, Kerr-Dineen defined some of the key characteristics of a British boarding education. How can a child be thousands of miles away from the safety of his or her own home, yet revel in a newly discovered passion? This would probably not happen without inspiring teachers, a curriculum which allows space for children to breathe, and a dedicated team of caring staff members.


Original Article: http://www.educationpost.com.hk/resources/education/160630-education-a-good-boarding-school-has-a-caring-staff-and-a-whole-person-approach-to-teaching

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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。
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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。
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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。
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#院校分析
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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