WHEN Jacky Chow joined King’s Ely International (KEI) in Year 11 it was his first time studying in the UK and he spoke very limited English.

Twelve months later, Jacky had not only completed the one-year IGCSE programme at King’s Ely – which sees international students studying subjects in their non-native speaking language – but, as with the majority of pupils, he had also achieved excellent grades; two A*s and five As.

Jacky, 18, from Hong Kong, is now studying A Level Biology, Psychology and Maths in King’s Ely’s Sixth Form and hopes to go on to study a psychology degree at a Russell Group university in the UK.

But Jacky has achieved much more than academic success during his time at King’s.

He said: “My free time at King’s Ely is saturated with extra-curricular activities provided by the school – Big Thinking Club, acting masterclasses, Dance Club, speech and drama lessons, music lessons, music performances and international events, to name just some.

“I especially enjoy the acting masterclasses because every class has a new topic with external teachers, enabling us to learn and practise a diverse range of styles.”

This summer (2017), Jacky was one of four intrepid KEI students who completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Qualifying Expedition in the Peak District.

Starting near the village of Hathersage, the students spent four days independently traversing the wild country moorland of the Dark Peak to finish at Tintwhistle, just east of Manchester. Altogether, they walked a distance of over 60 kilometres and camped at three remote sites.

The expedition was held as part of the Ely Scheme at King’s, which aims to build important life skills that cannot always be taught in the classroom. While most independent schools have an outdoor pursuits programme, the Ely Scheme is both unique and central to the whole King’s Ely experience, as young people are given tangible opportunities to push themselves to achieve beyond anything they ever thought possible.

Jacky is also a School Prefect, a Deputy Head of his boarding house; Hereward Hall, and was recently awarded a Distinction in his Trinity Grade 7 Speech and Drama examination.

But as far as his successes are concerned, Jacky said: “One of my greatest achievements is the number of friends I have made by being at King’s.”

Jacky added: “My subject teachers are supportive and provide me with extra teaching time through support sessions. King’s also invites in speakers from other organisations to provide us with more information about deciding our future paths, such as university choices and UCAS applications. King’s makes me feel well-prepared for my future.”

This year, the A*-C pass rate for those studying the IGCSE programme at King’s was 97 per cent and 94 per cent of all international students achieved five or more A*-C grades. 83 per cent of grades were A*-B and 54 per cent were grades A*-A.

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