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星期四 2016年12月01號

【SCMP Education Post:寄宿學校攻略】A thoroughly International Education at St Clare's Oxford

Sixteen-year-old Hongkongers seeking a world-class sixth form education in a vibrant multi-cultural environment need not look no further than St Clare’s Oxford. For this cosy college, unique is the name of the game with expertise in providing the IB Diploma, over 40 nationalities represented on the IB programme and an elegant location just a short walk from one of the most beautiful city centres in the world …

I get butterflies in my stomach when I approach certain boarding schools in my car. Not because of fright, but in sheer awe of the stunning grounds all around me and the imposing buildings I can make out in the distance. As I drive into Oxford through the northern suburb of Summertown, the feeling is the same because of the surprises this wonderful city constantly throws up. Then, I see students flock into St Clare’s on the Banbury Road and I think to myself how fortunate they are.

St Clare’s is a non-selective, co-educational, day and boarding, sixth form college. Famous for being the longest-serving provider of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in the UK (39 years), St Clare’s also runs a range of other courses, including a pre-IB course, General English summer courses and University Pathways programmes.

Founded in 1953 by Anne Dreydel and Pamela Morris, St Clare’s remains committed to advancing international education and understanding. Originally, the founders wished to create links between British and European students after the Second World War. Indeed, during the 50s, students came to Oxford from a host of Western European countries. Nowadays, there are upwards of 40 nationalities represented on the IB programme alone.

Over the years, St Clare’s has witnessed monumental growth. With increasing demand, the College campus has had to grow to allow for more teaching space and residential accommodation. More recent additions include an art studio and a beautifully designed Science and Mathematics building. Otherwise, the stunning large Victorian and Edwardian houses around the campus ensure that the College can blend the old with the new.

The area in which St Clare’s does come into its own then is IB. Only 13 other institutions worldwide have delivered IB programmes longer than St Clare’s. The College maintains that the qualification offers more breadth and depth than A Levels and that it gives students an advantage when applying to university. It also makes the point that schools offering A Levels do not tend to integrate sporting, cultural and volunteering activities within their sixth form curriculum whereas the IB leaves space for this possibility.

St Clare’s believes in a collective and supportive approach to ensure students enter their dream Higher Education institution. Learning never feels forced as, instead, the College seeks to nurture in its students a passion for learning to last a lifetime. It is admirable that St Clare’s is willing to, possibly, sacrifice its position in league tables as pass rates for A Levels are evidently easier to acquire. Quite simply, the College is firmly attached to its traditions and ethos and is successful at what it does.

In addition to the IB, St Clare’s also offers University Pathways programmes for students 17 and over. For University Foundation Courses, there are two streams: English with Business and English with International Affairs. Subject classes are taught by specialist academic instructors, many of whom lecture at The University of Oxford. Also on offer is a Liberal Arts Programmes which is accompanied by a packed programme of extra-curricular activities and trips.

Moving away from academics, let us briefly consider boarding at St Clare’s. Compared to some of Britain’s most traditional full boarding schools, boarding at the College certainly appears to be more relaxed - in a positive sense of course. Each house has a resident warden responsible for the care of students and upholding house rules. This is enough because the fifteen College houses accommodate as few as seven students.


Finally, a word about the city of Oxford. I must reiterate that not many cities give me that “buzz” when I enter the suburbs and descend upon the city centre. Oxford has it all - museums, parks, art galleries and, of course, university colleges. There is also punting on the river which offers a generally very peaceful and even rural experience.

Hong Kong families are encouraged to attend an Open Morning at St Clare’s to get a better idea of how successful the College is at preparing students for the IB and whatever may come after this course. Tours are given by current students so there will not be a better opportunity to get to the very heart of what this wonderful institution is all about.

Origianl ariticle: 


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。

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