Events

Practical Experience and the Importance of Showcasing

August 4th, 2016

Practical Experience and the Importance of Showcasing

When I was at school, we used to have an annual Commemoration Day to remember our founding headmasters. It was also a time for parents to go around the different departments and to see what their kids were up to over the past year.

 

As a budding scientist, I was naturally glued to the Science Department. Each year we would host a number of shows demonstrating our prowess, from the burning jelly baby experiment, to starting a fire with water. You name it, we did it.

 

Clearly, we were not just messing around, but to demonstrate to parents and prospective students what our school was capable of doing in these science shows. Throughout the UK, you will find schools of all shapes and sizes holding these kinds of open days, with universities holding similar shows at their open days as well.

 

I can still remember visiting the Chemistry Department at the University of Bristol, and attending a science show in their brand new lecture theatre. The lecturer was demonstrating the power of air pressure with a sardine can, and suddenly the set up blew up! The sardine can shot like a rocket, and was lodged in the ceiling of the lecture theatre, where it remains to this day.

 

At Norton House, there is nothing near as dangerous, though our students still have a fun time learning through experience. What better way is there to showcase our proud achievements over the year than to hold an open day of our own? At the end of our Summer Odyssey Programme, there will be an open day to display all the work our students have made throughout the year. We will also have a fun and hands-on science show for all to enjoy.

 

Come experience the Norton House Open Day on 21 August from 12pm – 3pm, where you can see our student works and also our science show titled “The Magic of Science”. To register, please call 2972 2698 or visit www.nh.edu.hk for more information.

 

How can you use your practical skills outside of the classroom? Click here to find out!

 

Aaron-Lau
Dr. Aaron Lau is a PhD Graduate from Oxford University in chemistry, and is an integral part of the Admission Coaching Team here at Norton House. Dr. Lau also tutors our talented students in the areas of mathematics, science, and social humanities.

Am I Suitable for Oxford University?

June 28th, 2016

Oxford University, the second best university in the world, the best university in the UK in 2016, a university that many students dream to gain admission into. Of the 18,000 students who apply for an undergraduate place, Oxford has given offers to just over 3,200 of them. Some of the most competitive courses choose 1 in over 14 applicants.

 

Actually, if you just look at pure statistics, you often notice that the admission rates for some of the Oxbridge courses are actually higher than courses from other universities. This is because many students are deterred from applying to Oxbridge due to its high standards. This begs the question “how do I know if I stand a chance?”

 

The answer to that question is really straight forward. Through hard work and dedication, students can all have a shot at the best university in the world. Though the numbers may appear daunting, with sufficient support and assistance, all our talented students will no doubt be heads and shoulders above the rest of the competition.

 

The hurdles that a student faces before even setting foot in Oxford for an interview are simply mind-boggling. From excellent academic results, to an impeccable personal statement, to top of the class admission test results. Each step of the way more and more students get eliminated from the selection process.

 

Who better to ask than current and past students from Oxford? With the first hand experiences of the application process, there is no one better to share their personal experiences on Oxbridge applications.

 

From subject and college choices to the interview process, members of the Oxford University Hong Kong Society (OUHKS) will offer an insight into the mysterious, and often misunderstood world of Oxbridge applications.

 

The OUHKS Oxbridge Admissions Talk for High Achieving Students will be held on 10 July at 2pm. Those interested please email [email protected] or call 2972 2698 to register.

 

Is it true that you need more than grades to get into Oxbridge universities? Check out this article!

 

Aaron-Lau
Dr. Aaron Lau is a PhD Graduate from Oxford University in chemistry, and is an integral part of the Admission Coaching Team here at Norton House. Dr. Lau also tutors our talented students in the areas of mathematics, science, and social humanities.

Hong Kong’s Most Exclusive Study Clinic

June 23rd, 2016

Studying at university can be a daunting challenge. Especially for top universities like Oxford and Cambridge, it can at times feel more like you are self-studying than being taught the highest level knowledge.

 

For that, there are times when you may feel lost while trying to study for exams, or conducting research for a particular tutorial sheet. The method I found most useful was to have a study buddy to work with. Not only does that encourage me to do my work, but it also offers me the opportunity to bounce ideas and to refine my views.

 

However, it is often a challenge to find a study buddy who is of the same level of intellectual performance. Of course, I am not saying others are academically inferior to myself, far from it, I am suggesting that it could be a challenge to find a study buddy who is on the same wavelength as me.

 

This study buddy must have a flexible mind, wealth of knowledge, and a powerful base for you to work on. With a professional team of academics and scholars from Oxford and Cambridge, Norton House is proud to offer a study clinic for all students who are looking to advance their studies to a new level.

 

Students often get confused with new ideas if they are not properly explained to them by teachers. Having been students in the not so distant past, our tutors at Norton House fully understand the struggles that students face every day. Our tutors always strive to provide the best support to our students, so they may be heads and shoulders above the rest. With the goal of whole person development and accelerated learning in mind, the Study Clinic will help students realise their dreams of academic excellence.

 

Run by Oxbridge scholars, the Norton House Study Clinic will be launched on 11th July. For further details, please refer to our website www.nh.edu.hk or call 2972-2698.

 

How can you use your time productively during the summer? Dr. Lau explains how!

 

Aaron-Lau
Dr. Aaron Lau is a PhD Graduate from Oxford University in chemistry, and is an integral part of the Admission Coaching Team here at Norton House. Dr. Lau also tutors our talented students in the areas of mathematics, science, and social humanities.

Teaching Outside of the Classroom

June 13th, 2016

Back in the day when I was still at school (which wasn’t that long ago, I promise), we had to choose a few subjects that we were not particularly strong at for GCSE. For those less academically inclined, it may even be a struggle to choose 4 subjects to do at A-Level.

However, the name of the game was (and still is) to get as high a grade as you could possibly achieve in order to gain admission into the university of your choice. As a result, some students were forced to do subjects that were not advantageous to such strategic academic planning.

Fortunately, they are not left to their own devices in school. Whereas HK students would go to tutorials and drill for exams, schools in the UK offer in-house support by school teachers known as a study clinic.

In a study clinic, teachers would sit in the staff room, and students would be free to visit them for any questions they may have. There may also be extra seminars in a particular topic if a number of students struggle in said topic.

As a responsible school, teachers are expected to teach their students until they understand the topic, and understand it well. Students should not have to rely on tutorials in order to get by at school.

Here at Norton House, we strive to pick up the slack. If students need help, but cannot get it elsewhere, Norton House will provide support to all those who need it. Norton House is proud to announce the launch of a free Study Clinic for all students, whether they are our existing student or not. Norton House believes that everyone should have access to a high quality premium education, and so we would like to give back to the community by offering this free Study Clinic for all students. Students are free to contact us online (through our Facebook, website, WhatsApp, and E-mail), and even come to our centre and seek assistance with their academic work, or simply a friendly chat. Whatever the situation, Norton House is here for you.

Run by Oxbridge scholars, the Norton House Study Clinic will be launched on 11 July 2016. For further details, please call 2972-2698.

 

Want to know the importance of practical experience and showcasing? Check out this article!

 

Josephine-Tsoi
Josephine Tsoi is a Cambridge graduate, and head of the Admission Coaching Team here at Norton House Education. She also tutors our talented students in the fields of science and mathematics.

Summer for Students – Use The Time Wisely

May 17th, 2016

As a student, there is nothing more to look forward to than the summer holidays. The two months were pure joy and relaxation. It was even better after I got into Oxford, where summer did not end until the middle of October! But is it really a time of total relaxation? Whilst there were no classes at school, there were certainly plenty of other activities to keep me occupied throughout the summer.
 
Since I was 9, my parents sent me away to summer camps. First it was to Switzerland, then the UK, and finally Beijing (not in the same year of course). These experiences gave me ample preparation for when I would eventually apply to boarding schools. The logic behind such a decision was so a new environment did not frighten me, and the culture shock would be dampened by the weeks away in a foreign country.
 
There were also Outward Bound and leadership camps that I went on when I was in Hong Kong. These were fun ways of training one’s independence, leadership skills, and teamwork; they were also perfect to remove one from the cosy greenhouse that is their home, and to take some controlled risks. Only by through going through these courses had I learnt to deal with difficulties in life, and they had undoubtedly prepared me for the future.
 
However, the summer period cannot be all fun and no work. Apart from going away for weeks at a time to find thrill in jumping off a pier, it was equally important for me to spend my summer preparing for the year ahead. As there were obviously no classes, it was the best chance to consolidate everything I had learnt in the previous year. The summer holiday also served as a chance to get ahead by simply studying ahead.
 
My tutor at university once said, “It is called a vacation, not a holiday. You vacate, you do not stop working.” He was generous enough to give us Christmas day off during our vacations, but would set us work to do every day otherwise. Although that may seem over the top, I for one completely agree with him. The holiday is not a time for us to slack and stagnate; on the contrary it should be a time for us to work even harder to ensure the forthcoming year can be as smooth as possible. My mother always commented that I never studied for tests and exams in primary and secondary school, what she did not see was me reading the textbooks a year, often two years, in advance, so there was no need to do any last minute revisions.
 
Exams are fast upon us, and so are the holidays. Use this chance to explore your interest, consolidate any previous work, and start on any future tasks. If you are applying for university, do not leave your personal statement to the last minute, or think that admission tests will prepare themselves. Only through hard work and ample preparation can you gain the most out of your summer holidays, and only by planning ahead can you realise your full potential.
 
The Norton House Summer Programme will run from 11 July to 22 August. The Programme includes Kindergarten Courses and University Admission Advice. Enrol online, call 2972 2698, or E-Mail [email protected] for more information.
 

Hong Kong’s most exclusive Study Clinic. Read more.

 

Aaron-Lau
Dr. Aaron Lau is a PhD Graduate from Oxford University in chemistry, and is an integral part of the Admission Coaching Team here at Norton House. Dr. Lau also tutors our talented students in the areas of mathematics, science, and social humanities.

Summer Productivity: Reality or Myth?

May 9th, 2016

Summer time – I know for a fact that the one thought running through a majority of student’s heads right now is “YES! It’s summer! Time to put the books away and relax….maybe I’ll come back to them a bit later”. Of course, we all know those books are left to collect dust until maybe one week before school starts (that is, if you’re feeling particularly “hard-working”, of course).

 

I hate to break it to you, but this kind of thinking won’t get you very far! Of course by all means, have fun and enjoy life, as these are the best times you’ll have before you enter the real world (trust me). With that being said, this does not mean I am an advocate for a summer routine that consists of studying, studying, and more studying. In fact, similar to adopting an all-work and no play schedule, an all-play and no work schedule is equally if not even more detrimental to your academic health.

 

The key? Find a perfect balance between work and play. Back in my early school years, I remember when summer used to consist of literally no studying whatsoever, but as I got older and things got more serious, I knew that had to change if I wanted to succeed.

 

Trust me when I say that I was in the same mindset as you – “summer is so long and I’ve been working so hard recently! I deserve a break”. While this all may be true, you have to look at the situation from a different perspective, then you might realise something: school is 7 – 9 hours long 5 days a week, you are forced to stay within a designated vicinity and attend all classes. During the summer, this is all up to YOU! A solid 3 hours of studying every day will do wonders for your revision, and you get to decide when that 3-hour window occurs.

 

Already from the looks of it, agreeing to a daily 3-hour organised and focused study session that occurs on your terms and within the comfort of your own home is already a win-win situation.

 

If anything, think of it as university preparation, and a key opportunity for you to show that you can manage your own time by yourself. Prove that free time will not eventually lead to your downfall. Treat yourself, but get your priorities in order and strive to achieve everything to the best of your abilities! Summer is an essential period for rest, reflection, recuperation, and knowledge.

 

The Norton House Summer Programme will run from 11 July to 22 August. The Programme includes Kindergarten Courses and University Admission Advice. Enrol online, call 2972 2698, or E-Mail [email protected] for more information.

 

Josephine-Tsoi
Josephine Tsoi is a Cambridge graduate, and head of the Admission Coaching Team here at Norton House Education. She also tutors our talented students in the fields of science and mathematics.

How Do You Know Your Child is Gifted?

April 19th, 2016

As an educator, one of the phrases I hear most when I meet with parents is “my son/daughter is gifted, he/she can…”. What they can do is irrelevant here, but whenever parents say that their child is gifted, it begs the question; how do you know that for certain?

 

I have once seen a report in the UK, where parents could, for a considerable sum of money, have their child tested and “proven” to have learning difficulties by a certified physician. Now you would ask me why would any parent want their child to “prove” they have a learning disability? It is so they can enjoy up to 25% extra time in exams. Whilst the extra time will definitely be a lifesaver for those who truly need it, it may be an unfair advantage for those who have just gone ahead and “proven” their learning disability.

 

The Peterhouse Mama Club is honoured to be able to invite Professor Albert Lee of the School of Public Health and Primary Care of the CUHK to host a talk in collaboration with Norton House Global Education Initiative, on the evening of 22nd April. As a man of science, I am a strong believer of evidence based data. Whilst all parents can say their child is gifted, there are certain ways in which science can prove it. As both a certified physician, and a lifelong educator, Prof. Lee is able to utilise science to demonstrate and discover a young mind’s true ability and potential.

 

Whilst I am certainly not gifted, with my tutors constantly commenting that I am as thick as two short planks, I would never have considered myself to be special in the first place. Having studied in Oxford for 8 years, I have seen my fair share of smart people. Although exams are a good indication of one’s smartness, I have seen some of the brightest people in Oxford performing very poorly in exams. How do we define “gifted”? Is it based on exam performance? debating skills? Or is it via logical thinking? Prof. Lee will offer an insight into how science can offer an answer to identify gifted children from the rest, and how maintaining your child’s health accelerates his or her gifted development. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and using state of the art brain scans, Prof. Lee will be able to recognise a bright mind, and provide professionally sound recommendations to help them reach new heights.

 

This exclusive Peterhouse Mama Club and Norton House Global Education Initiative event is in collaboration with the HEP Centre CUHK. This talk, revolving around identifying your child’s gifted potential, will be held on 22 April 2016 at 18:30 at Norton House (Causeway Bay). To RSVP, please call 3955-8043 (spaces are limited).

 

Aaron-Lau
Dr. Aaron Lau is a PhD Graduate from Oxford University in chemistry, and is an integral part of the Admission Coaching Team here at Norton House. Dr. Lau also tutors our talented students in the areas of mathematics, science, and social humanities.

Admission Into Oxford. . . An Impossible Feat?

April 14th, 2016

Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, the oldest English speaking university in the world. It is a dream for many, including myself, to be able to study at such a prestigious University. Luckily for me, I realised my dream when I was admitted to read Chemistry at University College; though for every person who got in, an average of 6 are rejected.
 
It is no secret that Oxford and Cambridge are amongst the toughest universities to gain admission to in the world, and their interviews are the world’s hardest without question. Even straight A students find themselves struggling in the unforgiving environment that comes with Oxbridge interviews. Oxford and Cambridge not only look for academic excellence, but also overall excellence. One must not only excel in exams or studies, but also in their ability to handle the unnerving environment with two world experts quizzing them on a subject they have hardly studied.
 
Although there are no shortcuts, there are certainly ways to make your path to Oxford less painful. It is with great privilege that my students get a chance to meet with Dr. Wing Lau, Senior Mechanical Engineer of the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford, to share advice with them about university choices and career prospects. Dr. Lau also offered guidance on how to tackle the daunting admission tests and interviews that the students will undoubtedly come to face with towards the end of the year.
 
Furthermore, in a partnership event with the Oxford University Hong Kong Society (OUHKS), a student-run society in Oxford for the welfare of pupils from Hong Kong, current undergraduates came to Norton House for a talk to share their experience regarding the Oxford application process and what it’s like to live in Oxford. Besides making fun of Cambridge, students get a chance to hear about Oxford from someone with first-hand experience, and how they overcame the many challenges to finally gain admission.
 
Being accepted into Oxford is one thing, staying in Oxford is another rather different story. There are termly tests called collections, where students are expected to perform to at least a 2.i standard in order to stay in the course. There are also end of term work sets, rather confusingly also called collections, that students are expected to work on continuously throughout any vacations. Then finally, there is a yearly review meeting with the Head of College, called, you guessed it, collections. These are used to identify the student’s weakness and, how they can rectify this in order to achieve better results.
 
I have a friend who graduated from Oxford, and is now reading medicine at CUHK. I asked him how the medicine course was going, and he said that it was relaxing compared to studying at Oxford. How tough must the courses at Oxford be in order for someone to say a medicine course is relaxing?!
 
The OUHKS has not only provided an insight into what work life is like at Oxford, they have also demonstrated that earning such an achievement is not that distinct unassailable dream that students once thought it was. With hard work, motivation, and determination, students can not only aim for the stars, but actually reach them.
 
There will be another OUHKS talk on the Oxbridge Application Process in July for high achieving students. Those interested please email [email protected] or call 2972 2698 to register, places will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis.

 

Aaron-Lau
Dr. Aaron Lau is a PhD Graduate from Oxford University in chemistry, and is an integral part of the Admission Coaching Team here at Norton House. Dr. Lau also tutors our talented students in the areas of mathematics, science, and social humanities.


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