What a week it has been on the Secondary Campus! Monday evening saw the Summer Concert with incredible solo and group performances and a musical programme covering Vivaldi, Beethoven and Gershwin, to name just a few. The passion and talent of our students shone through. Also on Monday, our Year 12 students gave their EPQ presentations which form the last part of their journey of researching, developing, writing and creating; with titles such as ‘If isolated, would babies develop their own language?’, ‘To what extent does the death penalty still have a place in twenty-first century society (England and Malaysia)?’, ‘An exploration of mental disorders through modern lyricism and poetry’ and ‘To what extent does the fashion industry idolise the body image and how does this affect school students in Malaysia?’.
On Tuesday, we held the annual MAD Show and we hope you didn’t ‘miss it and miss out’! This show was an opportunity to see the exceptional work of our GCSE and A Level students in Art, Digital Photography, Design Technology and Media. The standard of the students’ work is quite exceptional.
On Wednesday, nine prospective Head Students were put through their paces in interviews and group tasks during the final stage of the selection process for these important student leadership positions. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sammy, Kristin, Kiran and Gaetan for their fantastic work this year as our Head Students and watch this space for news of next year’s leadership team. Also, on Wednesday, our Junior Sports Awards dinner celebrated the teamwork and sporting excellence of our junior sportsmen and women.
Continuing with the theme of sports, the Summer Sports Festival was held on Thursday with students in Year 7 to 10 taking part in a variety of sports throughout the day: netball, touch, rounders and flipperball. A hot but enjoyable day was had by all.
As the exams draw to a close, with only a few remaining, we turn our sights excitedly to the much anticipated World of Work and Trips Week. This week, Mr Morris has written about the wonderful experiences in store for our students next week.
Have a lovely weekend and bon voyage to our students and staff next week!
Dr Sarah Howling
Principal - Secondary Campus
“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living” - Miriam Beard
Finally, after a year of careful planning and organising by our Trips Leaders, and much enthusiasm and excitement from our students and staff, Trips Week has arrived! This week of enriching educational visits has always been an annual highlight at Secondary Campus, providing our students with an incredible range of opportunities in which to acquire knowledge, develop skills, experience new cultures, give back to the community and forge deep, lasting bonds of friendship.
Truly, no other week at KLASS offers such a complete package of holistic education. Every trip we run is meticulously designed to allow our students to grow in all of our KLASS Learner Attributes, accelerating their progress towards becoming successful global citizens. Last year’s trips were no exception, pushing students beyond their limitations in some beautiful and wondrous locations. Sleeping in hammocks in the jungles of the stunning Kiulu Valley in Sabah, battling across the frozen glaciers of Iceland, or riding horses through the unforgiving deserts of Mongolia; Trips Week 2017 really raised the bar in terms of our provision of challenge and adventure.
Nevertheless, our fantastic trip leaders have utilised their incredible wealth of experience and with sheer passion and exceptional generosity of time Trips Week 2018 is set to exceed these lofty expectations. Year 7 will return to Gopeng for the third year running, a fresh batch of bright eyed 11 and 12 year olds ready to tackle the heights of Nomad’s notorious high ropes course, whilst Year 8 will travel to Juara Beach on Tioman Island to kayak and snorkel around the beautiful reefs. The Chiang Mai visit for Year 9 is our most popular trip and a staple of the Alice Smith Trips Week; there is so much to do that they have to leave a day early to pack it all in! Last year’s Year 10 were pioneers in our first ever trip to Ability Expeditions in Sabah. This trip really took our students out of their comfort zones and back to nature, with a particular highlight being a gruelling 24 hour trekking and camping experience within the virgin jungle covering the foothills of Mount Kinabalu. Forewarned is forearmed, as this year’s cohort prepare to experience life on the wild side! Meanwhile, our Sixth Form students return to Krabi (Year 12) and Sumatra (Year 13), for another year of exciting activities such as rock climbing, raft building and mangrove kayaking.
Of course, that is just our year group trips. Also on offer is a range of optional specialist trips for Years 9 to 13. Students who opt to travel to Pattaya and the Perhentian islands will gain internationally recognised certificates in sailing and diving, respectively. The Sailing and Diving trips run each year and often attract repeat ‘customers’, those who are enticed by the opportunity to rise through the ranks of competency and gain further levels of qualifications. By the end of next week some of our students will even have reached the highest tier of certification available on the trip, such as becoming a ‘skipper’ of their own vessel and thus being qualified to lead a small crew in sailing the open seas (cries of ‘Avast, me hearties!’ are entirely optional). In a similar vein, this year we are also offering an Eco-Surfing visit to Lombok. This trip is designed for beginner to intermediate surfers to develop skills in the sport, whilst also learning how to minimise their environmental impact and contributing to a large scale coral rehabilitation project on the island.
Curriculum visits are a staple of the range available each year, and 2018 sees a particularly wide offering. Thirty-four students will be heading to Berlin on a History and Culture trip. This fascinating trip will require, and further develop, significant emotional intelligence as students visit culturally and historically sensitive sites related to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and engage in workshops delivered by experts in their field.
We also see the return of the popular Mandarin trip, and this year students will be travelling to the Guangxi province to immerse themselves in the language and culture of the region. From dragon boat racing to traditional theatre and dance performances, this trip will leave students with some amazing memories.
In a collaboration between Media and Business Studies, a small group of students will travel to Bollywood to learn how Indian culture has influenced their popular media, as well as the way in which Indians conduct business and why the country is considered a ‘tiger’ economy. During the packed week of curriculum linked activities, participants will gain an insight into the fascinating but strenuous business of recycling in the slums, collaborate with graduate students on a media project, and even learn some famous Bollywood dance moves!
One of the most important and enjoyable aspects of our educational visits are the various community projects we undertake. Year 8 will resume the valuable waste management project began by Alice Smith students in 2014, and Year 10 will continue the outstanding reforestation project that began last year with the construction of a sapling nursery, by relocating strong saplings from the nursery and constructing an ‘education hub’ to raise awareness in both tourists and locals who visit Zip Borneo. Year 9 will, of course, continue the vast rural school development project we have been proud to contribute to over the last 8 years; this time we will be helping to construct a new dormitory to allow low-income students to board at the school, raising their standard of living and ensuring a continuous education. Our Sixth Form students will also be continuing the valuable school development work carried out last year.
We are also extremely proud and excited to be offering a trip to Laos that is entirely service learning based. Participating students and staff on this visit will be forgoing the stereotypical adventurous activities and committing to a week of hard graft. They will be completing the construction of a new dormitory for a rural school to increase provision of education in the area surrounding Luang Prabang. These students will be ambassadors in exemplifying community mindedness.
Whilst I have experienced Trips Week at Alice Smith for five years now (and was a trip leader for four of those years!), it is my first year in role as Enrichment Leader. I had some big shoes to fill in replacing the outstanding Ali Talbot, and the learning curve was a significant, but enjoyable, challenge. But what a wonderful experience! To refer back to Miriam Beard’s poignant quote at the the beginning of this article: the coordination of Trips Week has certainly created some ‘deep and permanent changes’ to the my own ideas of living, and I am wholly dedicated to the provision of invaluable ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities for learning outside of the classroom as part of the Alice Smith education.
Click here for this week's full issue - 22nd June 2018