It’s the question that all parents ask before their child leaves for university – is my child ready to fly the nest? The transition from high school is a pivotal one, and it can be quite jarring for some students. How to ensure your child is ready? For some insights into how schools can help, we asked the team at Marlborough College Malaysia to explain the features of its Sixth Form programme (Years 12 and 13, ages 16 to 18) for day school and boarding pupils.
Travel opportunities and uni tours.
“MCM Sixth Form students receive university guidance from counsellors (The Oxbridge Club) and by attending lunchtime talks from universities from around the world. Students can attend MCM’s Universities Fair with over 65 universities in attendance. As part of an annual exchange with Marlborough College UK, students travel to Wiltshire, England for a week of outdoor activities followed by a week of university tours and workshops. There are also two overseas trips to the US; one trip explores the premier universities and Ivy League schools on the East Coast, the other concentrates on the major West Coast universities between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Both trips include cultural visits, social events and visits to major corporate employer and governmental offices.”
Education beyond the books.
“University is, of course, about more than academics. It’s the first time that many students are living without daily guidance from Mum and Dad – though, this doesn’t apply to MCM boarders, who are typically more prepared for independent living. As such, leadership and social relationships are a central part of the programme.
MCM Sixth Form students serve as House captains, charity captains and heads of Sports, Music and Dance houses. They also lead sports competitions, plan major annual events (like school dances), manage school committees and drive community outreach programmes. As they prepare for their own transitions, Sixth Form students assist Year 8 pupils to adjust into MCM’s day houses (smaller communities within the school that promote communal relationships between year 9 to year 13 students). They also organise welcome afternoons for the younger peers, share lunches with them and provide assistance when needed.”
A taste of the university experience.
“Many aspects of the Sixth Form are student-organised (with guidance from the school) and students can join academic societies similar to uni. The Marlburian Committee is dedicated to discussing Sixth Form issues and organising social events, while the College Prefects act on behalf of the whole student body. There are also weekly assemblies that offer guidance and support tailored to the students as they progress through the programme.”
Interesting and challenging coursework.
“MCM students have access to a broad and less traditional range of classes. For example, Sixth Form pupils can take Sports and Health Science, Design Technology and Global Politics, to name a few. They are also tasked with completing an Extended Essay, where they research and write what is essentially an undergraduate dissertation.”
Writing for The New York Times, psychologist Mark McConville says teens transition into adults when a new personal responsibility develops in three key areas.
Ask yourself: “Does my child…”
#1 Medical/behavioural: Go to sleep and wake on their own? Procrastinate? Understand how to handle their own medical needs?
#2 Academic: Have the self-discipline to study? Manage their own schedule?
#3 Administrative : Know how to meet important deadlines? Make doctor’s appointments? Fill out forms? Grocery shop? Cook (even if a little)?
Marlborough is located in Iskandar Puteri, Malaysia, 10 minutes from the Singapore border. For further information visit marlboroughcollege.my.
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