Oxford-bound Hong Kong student Daniel Yeung chats about his experience joining a private tutoring group with BartyED during his IB Diploma studies. Plus, we find out about why he took a gap year as a cooking apprentice – and how IB tutoring helped him with exam preparation and to successfully apply for Oxford.
When did you start at BartyED?
The beginning of the 2020-21 academic year. I had just entered the IB Diploma and wanted to develop my reading comprehension and writing for my HL subjects: Literature, History and Global Politics.
I knew about BartyED and IB tutoring because the managing director Jerome tutored my older brother’s best friend. I’d also heard he was no longer taking on new students. Fortunately, a school friend who already worked with Jerome suggested I join her in a group class. During the final year of school, I did more one-to-one work with different members of the team for exam preparation and revising for the finals.
Tell us a bit about a typical private tutoring session
A typical 90-minute session for an English literature group class would usually begin with a piece of unseen reading material, a poem or prose extract. From there, we would have to interpret the authorial purpose and substantiate our own arguments. This essentially conforms to IB Paper 1.
To begin with, Jerome spent a lot of time instructing us how to write concisely and precisely, and helping us develop more sophisticated analyses. As our skills improved, he provided fewer hints and would expect us to return the following week with an essay in hand. True to form, Jerome would then proceed to unpick any phrase, sentence or argument that was incoherent or unsound. Although it might sound antagonistic, BartyED’s approach couldn’t be more different; the tutors have a genuine respect for their students and are interested in their intellectual development, tailoring lesson time to individual needs and exam preparation styles.
It’s exciting that you’re going to Oxford! What will you be studying?
Yes, it still feels quite surreal! I’ll be studying History at Corpus Christi College. I’m super excited to engage with students from around the world and learn from leading scholars. I’m very grateful for the chance to study at a place as inspiring as Oxford.
You’ve been on a one-year break after school; is it something you’d recommend to other students?
I think a gap year, especially in Hong Kong, is severely underrated; you get to leave behind the confines of school, better orient yourself in society and think about how to engage with the world as an adult.
I’ve been fortunate to pursue my love of cooking in my gap year; I’ve been working as a junior commis chef at Amber, one of Hong Kong’s leading fine-dining restaurants. I’m indebted to Richard Ekkebus and his amazing team for this eye-opening and inspiring yearlong journey.
What do you want to do in the future?
To study the craft of the historian and learn the craft of the cook.
A word from the BartyED team
It was a delight to support Daniel with private tutoring during his IB Diploma. We started to run group classes during the disruption of COVID-19 as we felt our IB Diploma students were missing out on important development during protracted periods of online schooling. Our Socratic format for these classes is much more similar to university-level instruction, and particularly the Oxford tutorial system for undergraduates.
Daniel and his peers responded very well to this. Daniel brings all the qualities admirable in a student: genuine interest in his subjects, persistence and intellectual panache. The whole team now knows much more about the role of the Chinese diaspora in the evolution of Thai cuisine thanks to his excellent Extended Essay on the subject! We hope he has the opportunity to further such research at Oxford and can’t wait to see all that he achieves.
For more information on IB tutoring and exam preparation, contact BartyED at firstname.lastname@example.org or 2882 1017.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.