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“7 Steps” to access the world’s top universities and best careers by a medical student from the University of Oxford.

DENLA BRITISH SCHOOL (DBS) announces its readiness on academic excellence, focusing on students’ educational foundation for the world’s top universities.

The key to achieving access to the world’s top universities is to plan in advance and prepare for it from a young age. Today, DENLA BRITISH SCHOOL (DBS) is planning the pathways to the world’s top universities so that students are aware and excited about their future, with a clear direction from their teachers. DBS students have been inspired by Mr Jamie McVeigh, a final-year student studying Medicine at the University of Oxford, England. He is also the son of Mr Mark McVeigh, DBS Principal, who has extensive experience from leading international schools in the UK and Asia. Jamie’s topic for his presentation was “An Educational Journey,” and it focused on clear and workable plans for future education, to pursue successful careers.

A person’s preferences can change
The DBS Principal told a story of Jamie when he growing up. When his son was 2 years old, his favourite toy was a plastic vacuum cleaner (!), when he was 5 years old it was a football, and when he was 11 years old it was a PlayStation. The point being that our preferences can change dramatically as we grow up. The important thing is to try new things to identify what we like doing. Jamie, for example, considered becoming a doctor because he enjoyed sciences and maths, and wanted to help people. He also saw the example of his mother being a nurse manager and was able to spend time at her hospital.

“Dream big, but start with small steps” – the beginning of success
Before students consider potential careers, they must discover which subjects and activities they like while studying in school. If we look back in history, we see many examples of smaller steps leading to mankind’s greatest achievements, such as man walking on the moon. There are many mistakes to learn from. Therefore, dream big, and reach that dream step-by-step.

7 steps to access the world’s top universities and best careers
Jamie shared the workable techniques he used to plan steps for reaching educational success.

  1. Think about what you want to do and don’t let anybody tell you that you cannot do it. DREAM BIG, but with small steps.
  2. Your next goal is important. You have to start focusing on small steps first to complete the jigsaw of success. To reach your dream careers, the first thing you must do is to study well, especially in the IGCSEs and A levels. IGCSEs provide the opportunity to see which subjects you like. You will also have a chance to study extra subjects. A Levels is when you study only subjects you are really interested in. If you already know what career you want to have when you grow up, you can choose to focus on the subjects that will develop you and support your dream career.
  3. Work experience of potential careers is important. Try to find an opportunity to experience your dream career so that you know whether you will love it. You can start by finding information about those careers by yourself and asking those who have directly experienced them. Study at university can be divided into 2 categories: vocational degrees and non-vocational degrees. Vocational degrees include medicine, pharmacy, law and teaching. Normally, vocational degree graduates will end up in a career of that subject. Non-vocational degrees include the humanities, arts, English and Maths. These non-vocational degrees don’t lead to particular careers.
  4. University application. The first thing you need to do is to choose your dream university, and decide which country you would like to study in. Learn about the university application process. What tests are required? Will there be an interview? You must be well-prepared. The school will help with this process every step of the way.
  5. University life. Jamie said that university life gives a great opportunity to develop academically. You will get to do research, reports, theses, and gain more knowledge to support your future careers. There are also wonderful co-curricular activities that can extend interests from school. It is also a time where you learn independently, which is different from school life. At school, teachers will always be there to help you, but at university, you will have to be very independent. Moreover, at university, you will have a chance to socialise more and to meet people from around the world. There are also examinations in university as same as in school, but in university, you will have to do projects along with studying for examinations too. Writing essays is a great way for you to learn in a broader and deeper way.
  6. Put yourself in the best position. Try to think about what you want to do, what you want to become and what are the things you like doing. Then, try to talk about it with your teachers, and also with your classmates to see what others want to do and what are they interested in.
  7. Learn from the journey. Please remember that the life journey is about learning from experiences and mistakes. Do the most you can do to enjoy school life.

“It is important to take a step-by-step but ambitious approach, starting with small goals and striving to fulfil your goals in the future,” Mr Jamie McVeigh concluded.

Choosing the right curriculum from the beginning is the first step to success.
DBS Principal explains that the curriculum is important and parents must plan their children’s education at an early age. The British international study programme is the most popular curriculum in the world. According to the International School Market Research and Trends, there are over 3,500 schools from around 10,000 schools worldwide (over 30%), that used the UK curriculum in 2018. The UK curriculum is delivered by two sectors in the UK: independent (also called public or private) schools, and state schools. The UK curriculum for independent schools is very intense and the strongest independent schools are considered the best schools in the UK.

DBS is one of very few international schools in Bangkok that are modelled on the UK independent school curriculum. Taught by experienced and 100% native English speakers (apart from in Thai and Mandarin), the UK independent school curriculum has many advantages, including the focus on personalised learning. This is a teaching method that concentrates on encouragement, and adapting the teaching method to each student, according to their skills and preferences. Approaches vary from specific teaching for each individual, to teaching in small groups, with teachers and their assistants supervising the entire process. Importantly, the school is not only known for its academic excellence, but also encourages a well-rounded education so that children can explore and discover their own talents. Eligibility for world-renowned universities, in the UK, US, or anywhere else in the world, requires good academic qualifications and life skills, such as leadership, teamwork and communication. These special talents can’t be cultivated overnight, but have to be developed from childhood. With an independent UK school curriculum, including an additional 1.5 hours of learning and teaching (also known as the Extended Day system), students at DBS study more than other international schools at no additional cost for the parents. Students’ time is filled with more than 40 subjects to choose from, which includes academics, robotics, music, sport, dance, cooking, and leadership courses. In this way, students can focus on their preferences and try new things, including the various clubs on offer, and the time to complete their homework and prepare for the next day’s lessons. This constitutes an important foundation to develop students to advance to world-class universities and to be successful in their careers.