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星期四 2016年7月07號

【SCMP Education Post:Study in the UK】Long associated with rugby, English independent schools are turning to football

With the UEFA European Football Championship well underway, I put my football hat on, admired the silky skills on show in the matches, and let my mind wander back to England’s green and pleasant land, where beautifully situated independent schools are doing their bit to help get the English team back where it belongs...


You wouldn’t normally associate the term “middle class” with the English national team, as football is generally considered a working class sport. But there are signs that independent schools, which have ambitious students and excellent facilities, could supply England’s youth teams and senior team with talented individuals for years to come.


Let’s delve a little deeper into the history of English football to see how independent schools have influenced the development of the sport.


1. Matches between Westminster and Charterhouse commenced in 1863, making it the oldest annual fixture in the world. Public school boys’ teams, such as the Old Etonians and the Old Carthusians (former pupils of Charterhouse School), had a big influence on the development of the modern-day FA Cup with their enthusiastic participation in inter-school football matches.


2. Charles Alcock, an Old Harrovian, created the FA Cup, basing it on a knockout tournament that took place during his time at Harrow School. The first FA Cup final took place in 1872. Interestingly, the old boys of Eton and Charterhouse competed against each other in the 1881 FA Cup Final. The Old Carthusians won 3-0, which was a shocking result at the time.


3. Upper-class teams from the south didn’t have it their way after their successes in the early 1880s. London teams were reluctant to turn professional due to a deeply-held belief that sport should be recreational. So plucky northern teams began to dominate.


4. Moving forward to more modern times, there are signs that football has begun to flourish in independent schools. The wind of change started blowing in 2011, when around 30 players in Premier League and Football League clubs were privately educated. One of the most famous examples is Frank Lampard, who was educated at Brentwood School in Essex, a coeducational day and boarding school for children aged three to 18.


5. With world-class grass football fields and AstroTurf surfaces at their disposal, it comes as little surprise that independent schools now produce a much higher standard of football than ever before. One school of note to mention is Millfield, which has 11 full sizes pitches, and 19 coaches to help pupils maximise their skills. Along with a host of other independent schools, Millfield does not shy away from awarding scholarships to promising footballers. Tyrone Mings, who is currently at Premier League club AFC Bournemouth, enrolled on a two-year scholarship at Millfield, and is quoted as saying he “loved every minute of it”. The popularity of football, and a desire to drive up the standard of the game, has also pervaded prep schools. Crystal Palace Football Academy, for instance, has a special link with Hornsby House in Balham, South London.


6. The Royal Family, who are traditionally associated with rugby, have taken a keen interest in football in recent years. Former Eton pupils, Princes Harry and William, were spotted at Wembley supporting their respective teams, Arsenal and Aston Villa, at the 2015 FA Cup final. Other royals, such as Prince Andrew, a Norwich supporter, have mentioned their love of the beautiful game.


Irrespective of who supports which team, who gained a scholarship, and who attended which school, it is satisfying to know that children from all backgrounds are engaged in competitive sport, and have bright futures ahead of them if they make the grade at an academy. Additionally, independent schools like Charterhouse, Millfield, King’s College (Taunton), and Dulwich have started to place more emphasis on football. This is a significant transition, as rugby has always been the sport of public schools.


Of course, the financial opportunities football brings have not escaped the attention of the middle and upper classes. But many schools associated with rugby have shifted their attention to football because of the injury risks of the former. Patrick Bamford, who studied at Nottingham High School and showed promise as a Rugby Union player, instead chose to pursue a career in football. Bamford has made appearances for several reputable clubs such as Norwich and Crystal Palace.


With a host of independent schools willing to employ some of the best coaches, and spend huge sums on upgrading their football facilities, the only way for English football is up.

Original Article: http://www.educationpost.com.hk/resources/parents-guide/160719-overseas-education-qa-local-schools-vs-international-schools


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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