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Interview with Radley College Admission Officers | Part I

Added on: 2017-08-07Share on :

A few months ago, Harry Hammond and Vanessa Hammond, who act as the Head of External Officers and the Head of Admissions at Radley College respectively, received a 30 minutes' interview with BE Education. During the interview, the two officers gave a comprehensive introduction of Radley College and answered quite a lot of questions that most Chinese parents are likely to be interested in.

A few months ago, Harry Hammond and Vanessa Hammond, who act as the Head of External Officers and the Head of Admissions at Radley College respectively, received a 30 minutes' interview with BE Education. During the interview, the two officers gave a comprehensive introduction of Radley College and answered quite a lot of questions that most Chinese parents are likely to be interested in.  

 

 

Click the link below to watch the video

 

 

  

 

https://v.qq.com/iframe/preview.html?vid=p0533nz7zy4&width=500&height=375&auto=0

 

 

 

 

 

BE: First, could you please introduce your school and how is it different from other schools in the UK?

 

 

 

Harry Hammond (Harry): Radley was founded in 1847. So it's relatively young. A lot of schools were founded in 16th century. We were given a lovely mansion house in the ground of Radley, which is about 4 miles from oxford. 

 

The school was founded by William Sewell. And the founding principal was to create an environment to inspire the boys, to create a school which is different. It's a very beautiful looking school. That is also one of the founding principles: to make it inspiring, to make it beautiful. It was run to start with a list of certain exams, very much like a school to prepare young man for Oxford. So a lot of the traditions come from the Oxford. So the boys wear gowns like Harry Potter. The teachers are called "dons", and other some of the words borrowed from Oxford, and various other traditions.

 

 

 

What makes it different? I think it does a lot of things in unique aspect from a full boarding school: in fantastic teaching, a lot of extra-curricular activities, and the unique aspect that the boys will be well looked after. I think if you speak to parents who have sons at Radley, and those that know about Radley, prep schools, headmaster and the like, would say what we do particular well is the pastoral care. We put a lot of emphasis on relationships, between pupils, and between pupils and staff. 

 

Almost you need in Radley I think it's coco, hot chocolate, which takes place in 9'o clock every night. And it's when the boys, after having a long day of lessons, sports and homework, they are in the boarding house, in the room with a member staff and other boys of all different age groups, just talking about things like current affairs, business at school. In that way, they get to know each other really well. 

 

 

 

Vanessa Hammond (Vanessa): Added to that, I want to reemphasize that there are very few schools now in the UK are full boarding. In other words, a lot of schools will be boarding but most of their pupils will go home at weekends, or they have a lot of day pupils. And Radley is very much a full boarding school. So it's very much full on weekends and have a whole programme of activities for them.

 

 

 

BE: Could you tell us about the location of the School and the unique advantage of its location?

 

 

Vanessa: We are just outside Oxford, ten minutes bus ride to Oxford. It's still close to London, so there's also a train station in Radley. It's about 45 minutes on the train from London. But it's being close to Oxford that makes it special, and the links that we can have with Oxford University. We have some teachers who are also dons of undergraduates at Oxford. We have close relationships with a lot of colleges and things that go on there. The boys are able to go in there for talks and interesting things. It is our major advantage.

 

 

 

The other thing about our location is that it's in the countryside. So you look out of the window, it's grass everywhere you look. And it's a campus school, so all the boys and indeed all the teachers all live in the same site. And that's quite special about our location.

 

 

 

BE: What's the percentage of international students and boarders?

 

 

Vanessa: Our new policy when we changed our admissions process really just started. So we came to China for the first time last year. So the best way to answer that question is to see how it's going to be in the future. So looking at our first year, which we call shells. We have about 12 percent international students. That is around the mark that we are aiming for now to go through the school. So our sixth form is the same because we could take these pupils into Sixth Form last year. So around 12 percent there and around 12 percent in the Shells and it will be next year, and very gradually the whole school will be about that amount.

 

 

 

Harry: Just to say about the international students, we are looking to a curriculum all over the world. So China is part of that process. The idea is predominantly traditional English but really have a good percentage of students coming from different countries. We've got students coming from 24 different countries in the school now, which is really amazing.  

 

 

 

BE: So if an international student wants to apply to your school, how should he prepare?

 

 

Harry: Our admission testing process is in Year 6. So the boys are 10-11. In year 6, from about November to the end of March, they do an exam called an ISEB common pre-test. We've changed our admission process for a few reasons. One of them is to make Radley more accessible for international students. So they don't have to follow any particular curriculum to do that test. 

 

 

 

So they take test in Mathematics, in English, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning. And they almost certainly would have done verbal and non-verbal reasoning test, what we called cognitive assessment test. Obviously they do mathematics. Chinese students are at least 2 years of ahead of English students. 

 

English is more of a challenge for overseas students. Some of the words in the comprehension exercises could be quite difficult. But we understand that and we don't expect them to compete with the best English students for that. So we do say to Chinese students, if they want to do the UKiset exam, then they are very welcome to do that. It tells us they have a good competency of English, and that's all we require. So a lot of Chinese students come to England, and they go on to Sixth Form to do mathematics, physics, chemistry. And they are very good at it.

 

 

 

Vanessa: On top of the academics which Harry has covered, we give an half an hour interview. And in that we are looking for emotional intelligence, debating skills, a knowledge of the world around them. But very much for international students, we want to know that they are going to want to mix in with others, and be sociable, 

 

And to bring something to the school, which is why we want some international students that will challenge your views, and be prepared to do that, and to mix in with others at the same time. 

 

 

 

And another key thing I will be looking for: the parents, to be very understanding of the school, to come and visit the school, to be really interested in what we do there. Because it's a two way street. Having international student is really important that we have that triangle of teacher, parents, and students. And we want the parents to really understand Radley and choose it for all the right reasons.

 

Harry: Because any students starting at a new school is always challenging. It's always going to be ups and downs. And I think the key thing is that everyone works together to bring them right. We found in our experience with boys coming from China or from Australia, America, England itself. When they come to a new school, some will just fit in quite quickly, some will take longer. So we need to work through that process together so that they all fit in.

 

 

But I would say, predominantly, Radley is a happy school. It's a school in which boys feel like enormous legions and I think international students become part of that process. 

 

 

 

 

BE: What values does Radley promote?

 

 

Harry: The core of Radley is that when pupils leave Radley, they are not all the same when they come in, they come in very different. But when they leave, they are particularly good at getting along with people. That's what they learn: relationships. It's why most people in England send their son to Radley, because they know all Radleians, all boys at Radley and they really like them.   

 

 

 

BE Education is the only partner of Radley College in respect of the School's Chinese admission. Radley's 2016 admission activities in China were just organized by BE.

 

 

 

 

Profile of Radley College

 

 

 

Facts and Figures

Country: Britain

Founded in: 1847

Type of School: Boys' school

Nearest airport: 1 hour and 15 minutes from Heathrow Airport

Location: Oxfordshire

Age range: 13-18

Number of pupils: 690

Teacher to student ratio: 1:7

Percentage of boarders: 100%

Percentage of international students: 12%

Tuition and boarding fee: £35,490/academic year

School website: www.radley.org.uk

 

 

 

 

Curriculum and Destinations

 

 

 

Academic subjects

Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, History, Art, Classics, English, French, History of Art, Theology, Spanish, Physics, Politics, Design, Geography, Economics, Drama 

 

Sport

Football, Hockey, Tennis, Golf, Badminton, Rowing, Water Polo, Rugby

 

Art

Art is studies as a core subject in the first year at Radley. Art at A level include painting, mixed media, sculpture, ceramics, installation, printmaking, moving image and photography. 

 

Science

Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, etc.

 

Extra-curricular activities

There is a varied programme of available sports such as sailing, squash, as well as Music, Art and Drama. On Monday afternoons boys are involved in CCF, Duke of Edinburgh, Community Partnerships and there is a huge choice of different activities like adventurous activities. 

 

Destination Universities

University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Imperial College London, University of Bath, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Durham, The University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, Leeds University, York University, etc. 

 

 

 

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