Did you know that 2022-23 will see the first ever cohort of graduating students from Malvern College Hong Kong (MCHK)? We chat with three members of the Malvern HK community to discover how pupils are supported by scholarships, leadership and university counselling programmes to build a solid foundation for the IBDP, tertiary education and beyond.
Hear from the Head
Malvern’s Founding Headmaster DR ROBIN A LISTER welcomed the school’s first cohort of pupils in 2018.
What is Malvern’s overall approach to pupil wellbeing?
Good pastoral care is in Malvern’s blood, whether that is Malvern UK or Malvern HK. We’re focused on educating the whole child and that means taking seriously their emotional health as well as their academic progress.
What are some specific ways you offer support at MCHK in areas like scholarships and leadership?
There is always the debate as to whether leadership is something you are born with or whether it can be taught. Our stance is that it is both. Certainly, there are pupils who naturally demonstrate leadership qualities; others need this talent to be “brought out” through opportunity. Of course, not all pupils are cut out to be leaders – some can contribute other skill sets such as managing, organising and problem solving; each of these is as essential as leadership, and opportunities for their development are equally as important.
MCHK offers scholarships covering both academic and non-academic interests – sport, art, music, leadership and others – and there are opportunities at all age levels to demonstrate leadership skills; for example, as leader within a preparatory class, a House Group Leader, Library Leader and so on. Older pupils can become a Head or Deputy Head of House, a Sports group leader, a food committee representative, editor for a school magazine and more.
MCHK Leadership Programme
We also try to engage pupils with opportunities found within the leadership programme we are developing. There are plans to run this leadership programme in conjunction with Malvern UK and perhaps give pupils who participate an opportunity to take part in further leadership training in Malvern UK during the summer.
How do you help prepare pupils for the IBDP?
Good teaching remains the key. Unlike some other programmes, the IBDP approach is to teach skills as well as knowledge; this means that DP teaching focuses on active learning as much as knowledge transference. We should bear in mind that knowledge per se is something that is readily available online and likely to become even more accessible in future; the skill to make a judgement as to its reliability and its usefulness is an essential one to pass on. These skills form part of the IB Diploma Programme. Our pupils become accustomed to being critical learners and learners willing and able to analyse and use information for problem solving.
How do you prepare pupils for life after school?
Forming the backbone of a Malvern identity are the so-called Malvern Qualities – collaboration, risk-taking, ambition and resilience to name but four – which give our pupils a set of abilities, skills and attitudes that provide an excellent basis for their post-school life. We incorporate these qualities in our teaching, in Assemblies and House events, and, most importantly, in how we run the school.
As for university preparation, we have a tremendous university counsellor who advises pupils on a one-to-one basis. Our current Upper Sixth will be our first cohort leaving the school to go to university around the world, from here in Hong Kong to Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Australia and elsewhere, yet university preparation starts before the Sixth Form; our younger pupils take part in university information sessions and careers counselling before they begin the Diploma Programme. I’m pleased to say that a number of pupils also seek out my own advice, something I greatly enjoy.
Hear from a student Hongkonger
CHLOE YUEN is 16 years old and in Lower Sixth Form at Malvern.
What have you enjoyed most about your time at Malvern?
Being surrounded by such diverse peers with a vast number of interests and ambitions. I’ve also enjoyed being able to explore and blossom in so many areas of different subjects whether that be languages, sciences or the performing arts.
What’s your favourite subject and why?
My favourite subject is Biology – I’ve always enjoyed the subject, but our science teachers at Malvern make the lessons engaging and interactive. For myself, a hands-on experience is the most effective way of learning; we’ve done numerous experiments and activities, one of the most memorable of which for me was dissecting a pig’s heart.
What are some of the ways MCHK has helped you prepare for the DP?
The school has provided me with guidance on subject choices and decision making. Not only have the subject teachers been a great help, but the pupils in the higher year levels have also given their thoughts on different subjects.
And how has it helped in other areas?
In previous years, I was the Head of my House. I loved working alongside my Deputy Head to build a stronger community within the House. Having this experience both challenged me and helped me realise that leadership is one of my strong suits. In the coming two years, I hope to continue to demonstrate my leadership skills within the school community with my leadership scholarship. Alongside that, my drama scholarship has encouraged me to participate in various performances and CCAs.
What do you hope to do in the future?
I hope to study psychology and become a child developmental psychologist in the future. I want to particularly work in the field of developmental psychology because I want to help special needs children become better versions of themselves.
Hear from a Malvern member of staff
Australian KATRINA ENGLART has been in Hong Kong for five years and is the MYP Coordinator.
Tell us about the school’s approach to the wellbeing of pupils.
It’s a proactive and individualised approach. We utilise the vertical House structure, reflective of Malvern College UK and their boarding arrangements, with small tutor groups. Staff have dedicated time with their tutor groups and have regular one-on-one sessions with the pupils, while also checking in regularly with parents.
What are some of the support mechanisms in place for the IBDP?
Small class sizes, dedicated House Tutors and Personal Mentors help guide and support pupils in their studies and broader wellbeing. Our dedicated University Guidance Counsellor works one-on-one with Sixth Form pupils and parents.
Our final years of the IB Middle Years Programme are designed to prepare them for the Diploma Years with the MYP eAssessments giving valuable and research-based preparation for the IBDP.
What about preparing them for life after school?
MCHK has created a bespoke “Life Skills” curriculum throughout the Senior School. A spiralled curriculum, this is designed to combine elements of traditional PSHE (personal, social and health education) with areas identified as specific to our own community of pupils.
We also have a bespoke “Approaches to Learning” lesson that supports the development of a variety of lifelong learning skills which are also explicitly taught across all of our MYP subjects.
This article first appeared in the Autumn 2022 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.