Christ College Brecon is celebrating its overseas sister school’s first birthday after its opening last year.
September 2018 saw the opening of King Henry VIII College Malaysia in Cyberjaya, 30 minutes from Kuala Lumpur and the overseas sister school to Christ College Brecon. One year on and the school is proving a positive addition to its local area and pupils in Malaysia.
King Henry VIII College is made up of pupils from 24 different nationalities with 76 of the 92 academic staff coming from the UK. The number of staff with links to Christ College Brecon has increased from 9 to 11 over the year with Former Christ College Brecon Deputy Head Simon Spencer relocating to take on the role of Founding, taking with him the Christ College Brecon ethos.
Throughout the year the school have celebrated their diverse population and a variety of cultures. Malaysia Day was celebrated in both the Primary and Senior schools as well as festivals including Chinese New Year, Deepvali, and Hari Raya. In keeping with the Welsh culture inherited from Christ College Brecon, King Henry VIII College held The Primary School Eisteddfod with traditional welsh artistic performances. International Day was held in December 2018 to celebrate the many nations and cultures that make up the school population.
The launch of an exchange programme with Christ College Brecon saw five year 10 pupils visiting King Henry VIII College whilst students from years 10 and 12 hosted Meikei High School students in Term 1 before visiting Japan themselves in Term 2.
King Henry VIII College’s first year has also seen a number of musical activities. In May the school welcomed world-famous violinist, Rachel Podger who delivered memorable masterclasses with students Carl Tew (year seven) and Sha Kah yan (year four). Rachel’s Daughter Carys has also now joined the school as a Gap Assistant from Christ College Brecon. On March 1, for St David’s Day, King Henry VIII College welcomed the choir from Christ College Brecon to sing with their own choir, songs included the King Henry VIII College Anthem.The school has also held their first sports day, hosted touch rugby teams from Wales, Scotland, South Africa, and New Zealand, and introduced the International Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme which included a camping trip to Hulu Langat in June.
Having not been deterred by their lack of auditorium the Early Years Christmas Show; ‘Oops-a-Daisy Angel’ took place as well as a portrayal of episodes from Christ College’s history in the senior production; ‘They Believe They Can’. Term three also welcomed the first King Henry VIII College’s school musical production; ‘Guys and Dolls’.
A Model United Nations has also been established within the school as well as their School Houses; Founders, School, Stewart, and Williams. Their first House Competition to compete for the House Plate saw School House victorious.
The first school year concluded with prize day with Professor Michael Davies as Guest of Honour and speaker.
Since it opened in September 2018, King Henry VIII College has welcomed 530 pupils which is expected to increase to 600 by January 2020. The first year has also seen the prep school fill up with the senior school filling at a rapid rate.
Following this success, Christ College Brecon hope to open more schools in partnership with King Henry VIII College. Initial plans are already in place for a prep school in Malacca, Malaysia, as the demand for British style education is expected to grow in the next 20 years as the population rises.
Mr Gareth Pearson, Head of Christ College Brecon, said: “We’re really pleased with how successful the first year has been for King Henry VIII College. Its great to see the ethos we’re so proud of being implemented across the pond in Cyberjaya and so many great activities taking place for the students. We’re very excited that pupils in Malaysia can live closer to home whilst still being given the opportunity to experience the culture and ethos we’ve developed here in Brecon.”.