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Britannia StudyLink (BSL) continues its campaign to welcome a diverse range of independent schools to its exhibitions in Hong Kong. With Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts (CSVPA) and The Mount School (York) in town for BSL’s British Boarding School Festival on February 11, let us consider what these fabulous schools can offer Hong Kong students …
Founded in 1985 as a specialist foundation school, Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts provides stimulating study programmes and pathways in Art & Design, Drama and Music. CSVPA is famed for honing the skills of extraordinarily talented individuals from around the globe, helping them to progress to renowned Art & Design schools, drama schools and elite music conservatoires. Over the years, CSVPA’s broad portfolio of course has expanded to include degree and pre-master’s programmes for both British and international students. A more recent addition is the School’s MA Art & Design course.
I do believe that Cambridge is an ideal city for young and creative Hong Kong students to reside in
There are nine main Art & Design pathways, including a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design, Art & Design Pre-Master’s and four Foundation Diploma programmes which are accredited by the University of the Arts London Awarding Body. There is an Extended Diploma in Art & Design which is also accredited. Other courses include a Music Foundation programme and a Drama Foundation actor training programme - a three-term intensive course.
Facilities at CSVPA are state-of-the-art. Three floors contain 15 studios, three music rooms and four drama studios, as well as countless other studios, photographic darkrooms and workshops. Each student has access to an individual workspace and the School is open twelve hours a day, seven days a week.
Prospects for CSVPA students are bright. The School has worked hard over the years to establish links with leading institutions, such as University of the Arts London and Kingston University. Those who complete the Music Foundation Programme may progress to the Royal Academy of Music or Royal Northern College of Music. Drama students may also gain places at RADA, LAMDA, LIPA and Bristol Old Vic. Other students have entered Parsons New York and Istituto Marangoni, Milan.
I do believe that Cambridge is an ideal city for young and creative Hong Kong students to reside in. Cambridge has a range of intriguing museums, one of the country’s finest contemporary art galleries (Kettle’s Yard) and Primavera - a showcase for British artist talent in ceramics, glass, furniture, metals and textiles.
All in all, when one considers the range of programmes CSVPA has to offer, its links with prestigious institutions and industry partners as well as the thriving arts and culture scene which Cambridge affords students, creative Hongkongers should be at least swayed to attend a CSVPA open day or audition.
The Mount School
The Mount School is a girls’ Quaker day and boarding school in York. The School’s roots go back to 1785 with the Founding of the Friends’ Girls’ School in Trinity Lane - a 15-minute walk from Mount’s current site. The School moved to the Mount in 1856.
A Mount School education can provide Hong Kong girls with the chance to become broad-minded and globally-focused adults. Indeed, the School has a Global Thinking programme which equips students to live and thrive in the modern world. Mount Girls relish opportunities to be involved with Amnesty International and The Prince’s Trust. However, what has really caught my eye is the PeaceJam Ambassador’s Programme, which concentrates specifically on ideas surrounding peace, violence, social justice and oppression. The curriculum, based on a combination of education, action and inspiration, emphasises the stories of Nobel Peace Prize winners and seeks to embolden girls to create and implement their own Global Call to Action Projects.
As part of PeaceJam, The Mount also runs a huge social justice project called ‘Lifebags for Greece’. The girls involved with the project will soon be travelling out to Greece to present rucksacks containing carefully selected essentials for refugees. The Lifebag appeal was covered by the BBC news and has become a firmly international project. Admirably, one of the project’s leaders is a former state school pupil who was initially very shy but has since come out of her shell.
With solid academic and boarding provision in place, Mount girls also live adventurously outside their houses and the classroom. Music and Drama are famously strong, as are Sports such as netball, hockey and cross country. International travel is also high on the agenda at the School.
Equally worthy of praise is The Mount’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Club which is held after-school. Girls take part in a range of challenges and competitions, listen to lectures by visiting scientists and create some very bizarre devices, for example, marshmallow-flinging catapults and Harry Potter-inspired potions. The star of the STEM show last year was a girl from Hong Kong who was extremely active promoting STEM activities amongst younger pupils. She has since entered The University of Hong Kong.
All in all, it is all about morals, character-building and laying the foundations for fabulous future lives at The Mount School. Hong Kong girls should feel right at home at this school and in the wonderful, historic city that is York.