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Comprehensive Focus on ‘University Pathways’

Comprehensive Focus on ‘University Pathways’ at Denla British School (DBS) with Mr James Lyng, Vice Principal

It is widely recognised that IGCSE and A Level exams at British curriculum schools are entry passports for the world & top universities. Denla British School (DBS) stresses its mission is to prepare students not only for IGCSE and A Level examinations, but also to be equipped to live a fulfilling and happy life at university. There are a number of points along these University Pathways to help pave the way for students, guided by Mr James Lyng, DBS Vice-Principal, who has more than 20 years of experience in IGCSE and A Level examinations, and university preparation.

Mr James Lyng has extensive experience as a teacher and a specialist in curriculum design. He emphasises that the Enhanced British Curriculum, the best practice of the UK’s independent schools, provides outstanding opportunities for students which are recognised worldwide. “Students graduating from the Enhanced British Curriculum with good A Level examination results may, on occasion, be exempt from certain first year courses of study at American Universities because their academic foundation is so strong. The Enhanced British Curriculum, encompassing IGCSE and A- Level is a passport to successful study at universities around the world, including the US, UK, Australia, Europe, and Canada.” Mr Lyng highlights 5 processes to illuminate the way to the world’s top universities:

  1. Year 9 is a very important stage in choosing a future career: DBS
    believes that every child has their own individual talents and abilities and we
    nurture and guide students to become global leaders in a unique way. The
    foundation for university entry begins with students in Year 9. Each teacher in each class must know the true identity of each student in order to encourage personal growth, they must be shown how to find their passion and where their talents lie. At DBS, we are proud that we know the students individually. We know what makes them thrive and what they are passionate about. We understand where they want to go in their education pathways. We can explain to parents what is best for each student. Year 9 students will receive an Informed Options Choice programme to help them choose which subjects to study for IGCSEs. Students and parents will discuss and consult with teachers and Heads of Department and take a careers’ assessment before making their final choices.
  2. Study intensively and search for your dream career: In Year 10, every student will start the IGCSE subjects that they have chosen, both core and optional subjects. If students are of Thai nationality, they must also take the Thai IGCSE. Once students have completed the IGCSE courses, they will take A Level courses, which require deeper study – this will begin in Year 12.
  3. Preparation for specific courses: One important measurement is the standard of English Language at B2 CEFR level, accepted by many universities around the world and the minimum standard required to access IGCSE Examinations; DBS students are fully prepared for this. For the main subject at university, students must be extremely knowledgeable. At DBS, we prepare additional specific preparation courses for students, which includes Oxbridge, BMAT and UKCAT Aptitude Tests; US ACTs and SATs; and specific tests for those who wish to study in the fields of engineering, law, and medicine. To stretch the most able and committed students at DBS, there is the Beacon Programme and a Mathematics Society. Also, Thai male students can attend The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) on Saturdays, so as not to affect their normal curriculum time.
  4. Holidays can be important times for internship: At DBS, career advice is very important, and we will encourage students to undertake real work experience in Y10 and Y12. The school will invite parents to participate in this matter to help find relevant and appropriate contacts for work experience, as these are important for university entrance. Work experience is very useful for students to understand the nature of the work they may want to do in the future.
  5. Preparation for university entrance examinations: Year 12 and Year 13 in the British Curriculum is called the ‘6th Form’. This is a period where preparation for university entrance intensifies. Students study individual A level subjects in depth, and they will write personal statements for university admission. At DBS, we will help the students to research universities, assist them with the application process, help them to prepare for aptitude tests, and arrange mock university interviews. The duty of DBS is to fully understand each student, develop their talents, and encourage them to become global citizens, leading to professional and personal success. Mr Lyng concludes: Einstein once said: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Mr Mark McVeigh, DBS Principal, says that DBS has launched several special programmes this year:

1) Beacon Core and Aspire, The Friends of Fibonacci and The Cartesian Society programmes, for the brightest and most engaged students to stretch them intellectually. Students are invited to join the programmes, based on their academic performance and attitude to their studies.

2) Comprehensive ESL programmes – to ensure that every DBS student is able to access the British curriculum, encouraging a good mastery of the English language for all.

3) An Accelerated Reader programme – to enable students to make excellent progress in their English language reading. Books are selected at an appropriate level for the individual, students answer questions to show that they have understood, and they can then move on to the next level at their own rate.

4) Y10 and IGCSEs plans – to ensure that the school has the right teaching team in place for the start of the IGCSEs, and that the curriculum reflects the necessary IGCSE course specifications.

5) Use of GL performance data – At DBS, there are assessments for English, Maths, and Science called GL Assessments to benchmark against global standards. The Progress Test Series (PT Series) assesses students’ comprehension of the core subjects to identify which students need extra support and which will rise to more challenging targets. Results from GL Assessments help teachers to accurately plan for each student’s academic excellence. In addition to a rigorous academic focus, DBS is determined to nurture students as global leaders with versatile skills. In this academic year, the Co- curricular Activity (CCA) programme will be enhanced in an Extended Day programme of an additional hour every day. DBS students will gain over 5 hours more study per week compared with other international schools.

Parents are not required to pay additional fees for the CCA courses. CCAs reflect the British independent school curriculum model. DBS will also introduce a Model United Nations programme, based on the procedures at the United Nations, giving students the opportunity to debate, discuss, analyse ideas, and present to large groups of people. This will help to instil global leadership skills in accordance with the school’s vision, “Nurturing Global eaders.”