Nicola is a mother of four daughters. With the eldest three daughters studying at Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong (Lucy in Year 7, Lily in Year 5 and Leah in Year 2). So why did Nicola choose Wycombe as the place to be for her daughters？
My daughters went to local schools prior to switching to Wycombe Abbey. I felt they never quite fit into the traditional local school culture, in which the children were relentlessly measured by academic results. I felt my children were being deprived of a proper childhood, and I decided it was not how my children will be brought up.
The Importance of Chinese Culture
Choosing schools is no easy task.
There are many international schools in Hong Kong, but I felt most of them are very much geared towards educating expatriates. As for local students studying there, the risks of them losing touch with their own language, culture and heritage are real.
I want my children to be brought up with a western-style education without losing sense of their background. It is very important for my children to retain their Chinese, so they can become an effective bridge that connects the East and the West.
I’ve found that Wycombe Abbey was able to provide this environment for my children.
The critical determining factor for choosing Wycombe Abbey is their emphasis on the importance of learning Chinese. Chinese is taught daily, with 7 lessons of Chinese per week. This is incredibly helpful in my children’s development to be fluently bilingual.
Children are full of life now
I am no “Tiger Mom”, but I do care about my children’s learning environment, and their mental and social well-being. I care about whether my children can distinguish what is right from wrong, and how to become the best version of themselves.
The biggest change I have observed since my children joined this school is their liveliness and motivation to be in class every day. I can see the spirit in their eyes.
In their previous schools, I have seen how Lily and Leah sat at their desks seemingly listening to teachers, but I had no idea how much they really learned. Now, Lily often shares with me all the new things she has learned at school. The depth of her knowledge far exceeds my expectations for a Year 5 student. Her attitude and approach towards learning has totally changed, for the better.
For Leah, she used to be quite timid and was afraid to try new things. Now, she will happily attempt challenges knowing full well she will make mistakes. I think she is beginning to enjoy the process as well.
Such significant changes cannot be brought about without the school’s pro-active and positive style of education. Teachers won’t decide top down what is right or wrong, but rather encourage the children to come to conclusions on their own. Such an open and low-pressure environment is truly valuable and refreshing!
As for our eldest daughter Lucy, she was doing okay at her previous local school, but since we have plans to send her to UK for boarding school from Y9 (age 13), we wanted Lucy to switch to a UK curriculum school earlier, and get herself familiarised with the UK style of teaching and learning. We felt Wycombe Abbey was the closest thing to a UK prep school, without actually needing to go to the UK, and hopefully the school can also help her secure offers from our preferred schools.
My husband and I are really satisfied at how Wycombe Abbey is preparing Lucy since she joined last year, and we must also thank the school for helping Lucy secure an offer from our first choice, Rugby School!
Rugby is a public school, one of the nine prestigious schools investigated by the Clarendon Commission of 1861-64. The game of Rugby football owes its name to the school. In 1823, William Webb Ellis, a student of the school at that time, invented the sport and named it after the school. Today, Rugby School is recognized as one of the top senior schools in the UK for boys and girls.
The Headmaster is a real educator
I have met and conversed with many headmasters in the past. My impression was that some can really talk the talk, mesmerising parents with pupil statistics, academic accolades, competitive achievements and marketing terminologies.
I didn’t see this in Mr. Tuckett. He did not use numbers and statistics to describe the school, but shared his views on pupils’ personalities, interests and his education philosophy which focused on each child’s individuality.
Reflecting on the above, the school’s end of term reports include two types of grades; one reflecting the level of academic knowledge, the other on the pupil’s effort. Both are of equal importance and are closely related. Pupils understand that the more effort they put in, the better their results will be.
Learning in this environment, I think my children will develop self-respect, confidence, and an opportunity to reach their potential, maybe even inspiring others to do the same.
Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong opened in September 2019. With the mother school in the UK, and sister schools in Changzhou, Hangzhou and Nanjing, I think it provides good progression options for families who are considering sending their children abroad for further schooling. Their teaching staff is full of energy and this energy transcends onto my children, filling them with a childhood full of “L”ife. I will definitely recommend my friends to come visit Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong to find out more.