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星期四 2016年6月16號

【SCMP Education Post:Study in the UK】School selection - Great divides

A crucial part of the school selection process is the need for an education consultant to hone in on a child’s personality and age and then make decisions about whether a particular location of a school, and its resulting ethos and traditions, would suit that child. A true British boarding experience can easily be found, but it must be one satisfies the background and nature of the child …


I cannot say that I look back on my time at Gresham’s School in rural Norfolk with particular regret. It is an excellent school with a co-curricular programme which oozes all perceptions of an “all-round education”. Gresham’s makes use of the surrounding natural beauty and the stunning North Norfolk coast. Of course, it was many moons ago when I started at Gresham’s at the age of nine and, throughout the selection process, my parents did not have the same level of assistance from experienced consultants as parents have today.


I have visited countless schools over the past four years and I am now better-placed to help Hong Kong families with pinpointing potential locations which may suit their child’s interests, personality and age. Despite my own background, I am not necessarily biased in favour of boarding schools which sit in charming rural surroundings. Indeed, several schools in London have truly opened up my eyes to the wondrous possibilities and amenities Hong Kong students have at their disposal. Moreover, I have seen how fairly withdrawn individuals somewhat quickly found their feet and became confident and happy Hong Kong students.


One school in London which has caught my eye is Dulwich College. Parents are advised to visit the site because it is difficult to believe how a school with such wonderful architecture and a truly rural character could possibly exist amidst busy roads and tube stations, while also being just 25 minutes from the centre of London. Dulwich can deliver in a sporting, artistic and academic sense, and given that pupils can have the best of a rural feel and the highlights of central London, it stands to be a solid choice for a child showing signs that he or she could truly develop a personality which may show signs of blossoming.


For 13+ entry, Hong Kong families could possibly give more thought to the idea of sending their child to a school in an urban area. As children will reach the age of 15 or 16 just a few years after enrolment, they may long for the excitement and social events held in the city, especially if they are used to living in Hong Kong. If London seems a daunting option for parents and children alike, there are always schools such as Loretto on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Similar to Dulwich, there is a leafy campus with a rural feel and extensive playing fields, yet the centre of Edinburgh can easily be reached within 25 minutes. In close proximity, there is the tranquillity of the River Esk and the Scottish coast, as well as some of Britain’s finest golf courses. All in all, Dulwich and Loretto are great schools for a compromise between the urban buzz and rural pleasantness.

Perhaps it is the outskirts of a city or a large town which fit Hong Kong students like a glove. Cheltenham, for instance, is quite a pleasant spa town and home to Cheltenham College. Its site is located on Cheltenham’s Bath Road, which can get busy, so there is a true urban feel to the school without the overwhelming big city feel. The town centre is only a ten-minute walk away, yet just a few miles south of the school, students will likely be treated to rambles in the glorious Cotswolds. It is of course difficult to compare London and Cheltenham as hubs of activity and entertainment, but the latter is one of many sound options for Hong Kong families.


Other schools located in large towns include Bedford School and Bournemouth Collegiate, in the bustling seaside town of Bournemouth. Again it is about pick and mix and having the best of both worlds, with the countryside, parks and busy city centres all within easy reach.


In terms of absolute rural tranquillity, schools such as Abbotsholme, which is located some distance from any city of note, offers an enrichment programme which includes horse riding, farming and conservation work. There is also Haberdasher’s Monmouth School for Girls whose semi-rural surroundings and outstanding views across the Wye Valley certainly act to relax pupils. It may be difficult for some children to know that they are miles away from any shopping centre to write home about. However, there seems to be less pressure, more of a feeling that learning comes naturally and fuller immersion in the British culture with less pupils attending from countries such as China.


The school selection process requires patience and a full appraisal of the advantages and disadvantages or rural, semi-rural, big city and town locations.

Original Article: http://www.educationpost.com.hk/resources/education/160616-education-school-selection-great-divides


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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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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