Zi Tong joined WASHK as a Y7 student, together with younger brother, Zi Ang, in Y3. The siblings were previously studying at another school in Hong Kong, where their parents felt the children reached a stage for change.
Zi Tong & Zi Ang’s parents:
The previous school was very caring, and nurtured our children from a young age. It operated a very child centric curriculum, and since we have plans to send our children to the UK for boarding eventually, we felt it was time for them to switch to a UK curriculum school, where they would receive a more structured and disciplined education.
One of our relatives told us that Wycombe Abbey School had just recently opened in Hong Kong, we were curious, because we all know how great Wycombe Abbey School is in the UK, so we went for a visit to see if their sister school in Hong Kong was up to the same standard. The tour did not disappoint, and as a bonus it is a Co-Ed (we want our children to be attend the same school together until they are older). As a result, we decided to apply for both our children.
The assessment was smooth, and more importantly, stress free. WASHK did not require us to submit a “portfolio” for our children, and even informed us a meeting with parents was optional. We were both relieved and slightly concerned at the same time, we had some doubts on whether WASHK could really live up to its academically rigorous heritage, it felt so different from other academically renowned schools in Hong Kong. Nonetheless we felt it was the right move to make, and our children joined August 2020. The rest is history.
Zi Tong and Zi Ang were both excited about the fresh change, they liked their new teachers, and quite a few of them there were. Unlike their previous school, WASHK has 14 mandatory subjects taught by both class teachers, as well as specialist teachers. For Zi Ang that meant he was taught by nine teachers, and for Zi Tong, eleven! They were exposed to dozens of new opportunities and areas for discovery from day one, it was an eye-opening experience.
One day Zi Tong came home and said “It is inspiring to study at WASHK”. We knew exactly what she meant because soon after joining, we saw her discovering a lot of interest in learning that we believe she would not have discovered elsewhere. For example, Zi Tong likes iSTEAM, especially the coding part. She also enjoyed drawing and has done very well in Drama. To summarise, WASHK brought out a lot of latent interests in our children, the school helped Zi Tong discover her potential.
Mr. Haslam, Zi Tong’s class teacher last year: “In my teaching I aim to give students ownership of their study choices as part of their self-directed learning. Zi Tong took this opportunity to discover new interests as she dared herself to choose options she would not usually choose, and became a wiser learner because of it.”
Mr. Parr, Zi Tong’s class teacher this year: “Zi Tong also enjoys stretching her mental capabilities outside of lessons, and we’ve tried hard to accommodate that. Whatever we’ve thrown at her, whether it be extra word and number puzzles, higher ability book recommendations, or the opportunity to take part in schoolwide, local and even international academic competitions, Zi Tong has devoured it all.
I’m so pleased that Zi Tong will be staying within the Wycombe Abbey School family this year, as she moves to Wycombe Abbey UK for year 9.”
For Zi Ang, the change came in a slightly less dramatic fashion, maybe because he was a few years younger, but the biggest change for Zi Ang was that here, he actually wants to go to school! The credit must once again go to his teachers, in particular his class teacher Ms. Synders. She worked with other teachers and gave lots of consistent and encouraging words to Zi Ang, and guided him to find the love for learning here.
Ms. Synders on Zi Ang: “Zi Ang is a very capable student who is passionate about all things Greek, since arriving into my class he has formed meaningful relationship with others and enjoys working with others”
The school gives out “star of the week” certificates to students regularly, praising students for some outstanding results during the week. One time, Zi Ang came home proudly holding a “star improver” of the week certificate and told us how happy he was. This simple yet effective method propelled Zi Ang forward, it really turned his attitude towards school around.
We mentioned our initial doubt towards the academic standards at WASHK, especially after seeing so many friendly staff on campus. Having seen the work our children bring home from school, we knew this was an academically challenging school, but it is a school that succeeds in combining fun, passion in learning with academic rigour. In other words, a really balanced pedagogy.
The defining moment for Zi Tong was when she decided to take part in the “Who Inspires You? The Wycombe Abbey 125 Essay Competition” earlier this year. This is a Four Wycombe Abbey Schools competition with hundreds of entries, including Wycombe Abbey UK. Zi Tong came 3rd overall, we were really happy that Zi Tong achieved this result, but in a way even happier that she had the confidence, and dedication to go through this competition in the first place. We don’t think she could have produced such a piece of work without the structured and disciplined academic framework at WASHK.
We noticed Zi Ang also started to improve in his writing skills. Last year, with the encouragement of his class teacher Mrs. Harrison, he managed to write a poem about the book “Ironman” which he read. It was definitely the most impressive piece of writing we have seen coming from our seven-year-old!
Both of our children have completed two wonderful years at WASHK, and they will both be going to boarding schools in the UK; Wycombe Abbey for Zi Tong and Brockhurst for Zi Ang. Throughout the application process, the Headmaster really went out of his way and gave us valuable advice that ensured the children were well prepared for the entrance exams. His experience helped steer our family through the application journey, and his in-depth knowledge about the UK education system helped smoothen any bumps along the way. It was really heartwarming and we are grateful for Mr. Tuckett’s care on our children.
We would definitely recommend other families to join WASHK without any reservations.