Guy Steele-Bodger, the Admission Officer at Rugby School, had come to China for admission early this month. During the interview with BE, Mr Guy who has interviewed nearly a hundred Chinese students, talked about his impression of the applicants as well as his definition of a promising applicant.
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BE Education (BE): Which part of the quality did the Chinese students impress you most?
Guy Steele-Bodger(Guy): I met children who spoke very good English. I'm very impressed by their fluency. They speak very confidently. They have lots of accomplishments. They play music very well. They do lovely paintings. They are enthusiastic and they are bright children. They are really impressive young men and young women.
BE: Great, how do you define a promising Chinese applicant?
Guy: There are three things that I am looking for when I interview these children. I am looking for bright, academic potential, and particularly I'm looking for numeracy and literacy. So I like to get them to read something to me, and listen to how well they read and check their understanding of vocabulary and their ability to work out what a word means even if they don't know that word. And I also give them some little numeracy problems, just to see how easily they are at subtract, multiply, divide, just checking their numeracy skills. That's the first thing I look for.
The second thing I look for is a good range of hobbies, interests and the ability to talk with passion about their activity.
And thirdly I am looking for an independence that they are ready to be away from their parents to come to school in the England and to live with other children from England and across the world. They need to be resilient, ready to deal with difficulties on their own.
One of the things about the schools in England is that there's a very wide range of schools available for different types of children. And I've met lots of different types of children today, some of whom are very strong academically, and some of whom are not as strong academically. Some are interested in music or art. Some are very good at sport. There will be good schools for each of them to go to. The key thing they need is advice about where they should go.
BE: And I know that Rugby is the origin of rugby football. So the school put much emphasis on the sport, right?
Guy: I like children who enjoy sport. I don't mind if they are very good at sport. Sport is for enjoyment and pleasure. To enjoy running around and to enjoy the company of other boys and other girls when you play. That's the important thing.
BE: As Chinese parents might be worried that there would be too much time spent on sports, music, art or other extra-curricular activities and students' academic performance would be thus influenced. What's your opinion in this matter?
Guy: I believe that it is the quality of time not quantity of time that is important. What we need to do is to make sure children are really focused when they're working in their class. And then there's a plenty of time to do other activities. So it is the quality of the studying that is important not how many hours. I will satisfy that children who enjoy sport then they work hard as well. And if they enjoy their music they will work hard because they are enjoying and happy at school. The two can go together.
I think BE prepares the students very well and I think that they are encouraged to talk positively and present themselves very well. So I think BE is a very positive support for the students who I meet.
BE has maintained a close relationship with many admission officers in leading UK schools. From Jun. 30th to Jul. 8th, former admission officer of Eton College, William Rees, will be in China to reveal the admission rules of top senior schools in the UK.
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