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星期四 2016年12月22號

【SCMP Education Post:Boarding Insider】Westbourne students with sights set high

The quality and quantity of opportunities afforded to Hong Kong children at UK boarding schools continues to surpass all expectations. These are competitive times for top UK boarding schools and they are raising their game when it comes to readying pupils for the world of business and their future careers …


When Mr Nick Leiper, Director of Marketing and Admissions at Westbourne School, in Penarth, Wales, forwarded a story to me about the School’s Head Boy, Max Zhao, who was selected to attend an MBA taster course at one of the most famous graduate business schools in the world, INSEAD, I immediately beamed with pleasure.

Asian students are flourishing because British schools are helping to widen and enhance their pupils’ academic pursuits. Westbourne is one such school and it has strong links with INSEAD, which is based in Fontainebleau on the southern outskirts of Paris. INSEAD also has campuses in Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

My colleagues and I are hot on the heels of ambitious students from our neck of the woods. Children who have seemingly emancipated themselves from being tied down with our cramming system and blossomed into team players, leaders and creative entrepreneurs as a result of studying at top British independent schools.

Asian students are flourishing because British schools are helping to widen and enhance their pupils’ academic pursuits. Westbourne is one such school and it has strong links with INSEAD, which is based in Fontainebleau on the southern outskirts of Paris. INSEAD also has campuses in Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

Westbourne School’s Head Boy, Max Zhao

Max attended Summer@INSEAD, a programme established in 2015 which provides an opportunity for talented 15 to 17-year-olds to widen their academic pursuits and join forces with like-minded students from around the world. The intensive nature of the programme merges a world-class academic curriculum, visits to esteemed companies, talks with entrepreneurs and business leaders with a range of cultural and outdoor activities designed to develop students’ team building and critical thinking skills as well as their creativity.


The Summer@INSEAD programme runs for two weeks in the August holidays. Only 70 students worldwide and 5-10 from the UK are granted access to this chance of a lifetime. It is the case that Westbourne has forged strong links with INSEAD over the years and each year, top Westbourne IB1 students (Year 12) are able to apply for the programme. I must also point out that the programme is for family and friends of INSEAD alumni only.

Max himself admitted in an interview how the intense programme helped him to comprehend the importance of collaboration, trust and information in the business world. He also talked of the practical nature of the course where participants can apply their skills via “Your First Hundred Days”, a simulation in which four team members acquire a business and negotiate terms with supplier and distributors. Max assumed the role of the Sales and Marketing Director and transformed a century old family business into “an attractive modern company” with his teammates.


Readers and parents may wonder whether an MBA-style taster is worth the money when these teenagers still have many years ahead of them before entering the world of work. However, I think we need more schools like Westbourne to open a world of possibilities to our children. There is no harm in getting them acquainted with the essentials of the business world and to have engaging cross-cultural dialogue with like-minded people when they are 16 years old as young adulthood is just around the corner. After all, such programmes are not designed to make participants little business people but rather broad-minded individuals who can reflect on their experiences.


I have long argued that straight A grades do not meaning everything as we must not completely sacrifice children’s ability to make decisions and better choices as well as their capacity to negotiate, collaborate, set goals and solve problems for success in exams. Life and learning should not just be about the retention of factual knowledge but also the development of critical thinking skills and the honing of one’s creative capacities.


Overall, evidence is filtering through to me that students from our region are spreading their wings, enthusiastically collaborating with children around the world and showing how creative they can be. Shy children can blossom into confident entrepreneurs and this is the very essence of a British boarding education.


Westbourne School in Penarth, South Wales, is an independent day and boarding school, for ages 3 to 19, where students immerse themselves in a world-class academic education while exploring and pursuing their personal passions in the school’s welcoming and highly-engaged community. Around 70% of students are from the local area, complemented by high-calibre international students, 15% from Europe (10 countries) and 15% from Asia and Africa (7 countries). The school has a warm and highly supportive culture where every student receives personal, individually-tailored support from their teachers.

Samuel Chan is the Managing Director of Britannia StudyLink.

Original article:


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。

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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