For families relocating from the UK it is important to have confidence that one’s children will have access to outstanding education. At Epsom College in Malaysia you will find a British education delivered to the very highest standards one would expect from such an established and prestigious institution.
Epsom College in Malaysia was opened in 2014 as a branch campus of Epsom College in Surrey. The driving inspiration behind the College is Tony Fernandes, an Old Epsomian himself. Tony is CEO of Air Asia, winners of the world’s Best Low Cost Airline award for several consecutive years. Tony is also Chairman of QPR FC in London. Despite these two high profile operations, Tony states openly that his proudest achievement is setting up Epsom College in Malaysia. One can see why! The College boasts a world class 50 acre campus, with outstanding facilities for teaching, sport, music, drama, the arts, science and boarding. We have an outstanding teaching faculty, comprised almost exclusively of UK trained, experienced and inspirational staff. We have talented, ambitious, humble pupils who relish the opportunities on offer, aspire to achieve academic success and yet are determined one day to put back into society at least as much as they have taken out. This selflessness and sense of service are cornerstones of the Epsom educational philosophy.
We are particularly pleased to report our first sets of public examination results. Typically new schools do not start with Sixth Forms. But Epsom is far from a typical new school. It is an indication of the ambition and confidence of the Board that they took the decision to open with a Sixth Form. And these Sixth Formers have exceeded expectations. At A Level in 2016 59% of grades were A* or A. By way of comparison Epsom College UK achieved 61% A* and A grades, which was a record. We confidently expect our results next year to be higher and to surpass the record achieved by our “big sister”. Our AS results in 2016 were 66% A and B grades and at GCSE 55% of grades were A* or A. Our first Upper Sixth students have gained places at many of the UK’s most prestigious Russell Group Universities, including LSE, UCL, Imperial, Exeter, Warwick, Manchester, Bath and Bristol.
Teaching at Epsom is inspiring, innovative, relevant and fun. Teachers are encouraged to develop their professional skills through collaboration across subject areas. We are continually looking for ways to improve and within this philosophy we actively promote independent learning amongst pupils. This is especially the case in the Sixth Form where our talented team of staff have introduced a unique programme, known as Horizons, which has three key strands, firstly university style lectures, delivered by a mix of our own staff, outside professionals and visiting university lecturers, secondly small tutorial groups where students are exposed to teaching environments inspired by the Oxbridge tutorial system, and thirdly our intern programme, whereby we have teamed up with some of Malaysia’s most successful CEOs across many disciplines to provide internship and mentoring opportunities for all our Sixth Form students. For students aspiring to the top universities around the world there is no better preparation than this cutting edge Sixth Form programme.
Boarding is an essential feature of the College. Around 80% of the senior school (Years 7 to 13) are either weekly or full boarders. Many of course come from across the ASEAN region and beyond, including China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong. But the majority are Malaysian students. Although Kuala Lumpur is only an hour away most of those whose parents live there have chosen to board, so compelling is the boarding story. We have 6 boarding houses, including 2 senior boys houses, 2 senior girls houses and 2 junior (Years 7, 8 & 9) houses. Each house has a Housemaster or Housemistress and an Assistant Housemaster of Assistant Housemistress. All of these staff live in a self-contained apartment attached to the House, so that parents can be assured of the highest standards of pastoral care 24 hours a day. Each House also has a matron or steward. Perhaps uniquely for British boarding schools we have female matrons in the girls houses and male stewards in the boys houses. Additionally all staff are attached to a House in the capacity of tutor. The overriding impression which one gains from visiting any of the Houses is that they are families, held together by a collective sense of purpose and identity, loyal to their aims and to their people, striving to support and encourage each other, working out their disagreements in a loving and safe environment. We guarantee to look after your children as if they were our own.
Education is not simply about getting good grades. We would never be so arrogant or complacent to assume that other schools cannot also deliver a good academic education. What we believe is unique to Epsom is the wider educational opportunity which we provide. All of our staff live on site, something that no other school in Malaysia can match. This makes our staff room a uniquely cohesive unit, but it also allows us to offer an unparalleled co-curricular programme. At lunchtime, after school and at weekends our staff are busy offering an impressive range of activities, including sports (22 of them), performing and creative arts, leadership and outdoor training, community service and charitable activities, science and technology, debating, philosophy, gardening, environmental projects, climbing, dance, yoga, cultural learning, language, film and media. What we aim to do is to open students’ eyes to the world, not necessarily by making them experts in any one field, but by showing them that trying something is, in itself, success. We encourage students to lead these activities, consistent with our aim to develop in all students a sense of responsibility, accountability and leadership. Oh, and by the way…..they also get great A Level results!
The College offers some unique programmes to cater for the diversity of students who wish to attend the College. There is an 18 month A Level programme which starts in January each year. This is in particular for those students in the Malaysian government education system which runs to November each year. Entry standards for this programme are demanding, typically 7 A*/A grades at GCSE. The curriculum is narrower than the two year programme, offering courses in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics and Politics. Our Academic English Programme is geared towards younger students, usually between 10 and 13 years of age, whose levels of English are not yet of the standard required for the mainstream curriculum. The Mother Tongue Programme caters for overseas students who require continued tuition in their own language.
The College embraces diversity. It is a wonderful thing to see students from so many cultural backgrounds mixing freely, learning from each other and enjoying the comradeship without any preconceived ideas. This is a key feature of our philosophy, most visibly embodied through our status as a Global Round Square School. Round Square is a worldwide organisation of schools which embrace a shared set of values, known as the IDEALS – Internationalism, Democracy, Environmental Stewardship, Adventure, Leadership and Service. Students get unique opportunities to attend conferences around the world, take part in exchange programmes and participate in amazing community and environmental residential projects in far flung parts of the globe. We are the only school in Malaysia to be a member of Round Square.
There really is nowhere like Epsom College in Malaysia. Our Chairman, Tony Fernandes, has challenged us to be the best school, not just in Malaysia, but in South East Asia. We are happy to accept this challenge, indeed we have already been shortlisted for the British International Schools awards in the category of ‘Best New British International School’.