– SCHOOL FOR CHANGE –
“It demands your total concentration, energy and capabilities. In return it gives you the best friends you could ever wish for. More important than this, you get the opportunity to discover yourself.” According to Heidi Meyer, a former student of Atlantic College, that makes the college such a good place for education.
Atlantic College is the world’s first residential sixth form college and this week it is 25 years old. The college was founded at St. Donats Castle, in South Wales, by Kurt Hahn to promote peace and international understanding through education. Atlantic College students are from 70 countries. They study for the International Baccalaureate diploma.
This course was pioneered at the college during the early 1970’s and now, it is offered at more than 350 colleges across the world. Six subjects are studied and some British experts are considering it as a replacement for A-levels.
“It is rather like the proposed national curriculum,” said Jeff Neuss, the college’s head of chemistry. “Everyone has to study his or her native language, a modern foreign language, a humanities subject, a science and maths. As a result of this broad curriculum, all our students become intellectual adults while studying their own subjects.
Thus, we have scientists who can write essays, and art specialists who are numerate and competent in science.” Academic work is only one part of the college. It also wants to be part of the community. Therefore, k expects students to undertake community services that include sea rescue and running its 50-acre farm.
“We were the first co-ordinated beach and inshore rescue service in Britain and we developed the Atlantic class of inshore lifeboats now used as standard by the RNLI,” said Neuss. ‘We are officially responsible for safety along a 15-mile stretch of coastline. Our lifeboats have saved 150 lives.”
Every summer, the students run courses for physically and mentally handicapped young people. They visit London to teach English to Bangladeshi youngsters and run a Youth Training Scheme course for local teenagers. And the students maintain their own college buildings and classrooms. Atlantic College offers an unusually diverse educational experience, but how are students selected? ”
Academic ability and school recommendation are of course taken into consideration as in all colleges. However, applicants without the personal qualities of tolerance and a willingness to mix with others can’t possibly get into our college,” said Neuss. The fees are £6,400 a year, but scholarships ensure there is no discrimination on financial grounds.
Some countries, such as Norway, allocate funds to allow Ethiopian refugees to attend. The college gives its students a wide perspective on world affairs, said Monica Moreno, a Brazilian: “Immediately after you arrive, a learning process starts which makes you realise your own roots and carries an irresistible force for change and understanding of others.”
A. What do the following refer to?
1. ‘it’ (line 23):
2. ‘that’ (line 24):
4. ‘others’ (line 47): other
B. 1. According to Heidi Meyer, why is Atlantic College a good place for education?
2. What was the purpose of Kurt Hahn in starting the college?
3. What do students receive when they graduate from Atlantic College?
4. For the students of the college, what is the benefit of taking so many courses?
5. Write two kinds of social work that the students do during summer. a)
•6. What are the necessary qualities to become a student at Atlantic College?