School Advisor Articles

Adrian Yeap: Thriving Through the Holistic Education at HELP International School

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Jun 21, 2024

HELP International School (HIS), established in 2014, has carved a niche for itself as a leading international school in Malaysia. The school prioritises holistic education, combining a blend of Western and Eastern values. Their motto, ‘Life in All Its Fullness,’ reflects their mission to empower students to excel academically and become well-rounded global citizens who can lead significant lives.

One such student who benefitted from such a comprehensive education was Adrian Yeap. “My experience at HIS was certainly a memorable one, an experience filled with ups and downs, but ultimately, an experience that I look back on fondly.”

A Warm Welcome and a Focus on Learning

Adrian’s experience at HIS paints a vivid picture of a vibrant and nurturing learning environment. Entering the school in year six, he initially faced the challenges of adapting to a new environment. However, the welcoming atmosphere fostered by friendly students and supportive teachers quickly put him at ease.

HIS’s focus on interactive learning resonated with Adrian. He thrived in classrooms that encouraged critical thinking and collaboration, often venturing beyond textbooks for engaging activities. The school's well-equipped facilities, from the multipurpose hall to the science labs and pitch, provided a platform for hands-on experiences that transcended traditional learning.

Beyond academics, HIS nurtured a sense of community. The diverse student body broadened Adrian’s perspective, instilling values of acceptance and open-mindedness that continue to shape him. Unlike traditional schools, HIS’s classrooms encouraged discourse on political and cultural issues, sparking a keen interest in the world around him. “If it was not for classes such as Global Perspectives, led by Mr. Alex, I doubt that I would be as aware of political and social issues that are present here in Malaysia and abroad.”

The school’s pastoral care system ensured that students’ well-being remained a priority. Dedicated staff provided guidance and established a nurturing environment where students felt safe and empowered to excel. Teachers weren’t just knowledgeable; they were passionate about their subjects and genuinely invested in each student’s success. Their approachability and commitment to personalised learning made a significant difference, offering tailored support that catered to individual needs and aspirations.

At HIS Food Technology class, Adrian and his peers had an opportunity to conduct conducted practical learning exercises.

Embracing a Diverse IGCSE Curriculum

For Adrian, HIS learning environment was vibrant and nurturing. Classrooms were dynamic spaces where interactive activities were the norm, promoting critical thinking and deep engagement with each subject.  What truly distinguished the school was the dedication of its teachers. They not only imparted knowledge but also ensured students had a thorough grasp of concepts through personalised attention. This created a collaborative atmosphere where students felt empowered to explore, question and grow.  

“HIS provided a holistic educational experience that not only enriched our understanding of subjects but also instilled a genuine passion for learning.”

For his IGCSE, Adrian tackled a well-rounded curriculum, excelling in core subjects like English (Language and Literature), Mathematics, Science and Malay. But his journey extended beyond the mandated courses.

Stepping outside his comfort zone, he found Food Technology surprisingly intellectually stimulating. However, his natural athleticism drew him towards Physical Education, where he enjoyed the blend of physical activity and scientific principles. His inherent curiosity about global affairs was further nurtured by Global Perspectives, a subject that resonated with his interest in international issues.

Despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which cancelled his IGCSE exams, Adrian remained content with his academic journey. His teachers’ support and guidance cultivated a love for learning, which resulted in predicted grades exceeding his expectations.

During his time at HIS, Adrian was quite active in school activities and societies.

Discovering Passions Through CCAs

Adrian thrived in the diverse and meticulously structured CCAs (Co-Curricular Activities) offered at HIS. From sports and arts to technology and community service, the extensive selection catered to every student’s passion. This abundance ensured Adrian could find activities that resonated with him, encouraging active participation and personal growth.

“I have been actively involved in the school’s football and basketball teams, where rigorous training sessions and competitive matches have honed my athletic skills significantly. These experiences have not only improved my physical fitness and sportsmanship but also instilled in me a strong sense of discipline and perseverance.”

Competing against other schools and clubs has further equipped him with the importance of dedication, strategic thinking and unwavering resilience in the face of challenges.

During his first two years at HIS (Year 6 and Year 7), Adrian served as a prefect, demonstrating his early leadership potential.  From Year 8 onwards, his focus shifted to sports, where he excelled as a member of the football, basketball, and athletics teams. He represented the school at prestigious tournaments like KLISS, KLSL and MSSD, testing his mettle against athletes from other British international schools in the Klang Valley area.

Beyond sports, Adrian developed his artistic side by joining the Cinematography Club from Years 10 to 11.  This club provided him with opportunities to showcase his photography and videography skills alongside fellow students through various events.

Pursuing CIMP at Sunway College

After HIS, Adrian chose to pursue the Canadian International Matriculation Programme (CIMP) at Sunway College. Unlike traditional A-Levels or IB programmes, CIMP’s focus on active learning and coursework resonated deeply with his desire for a practical, hands-on education. The diverse range of subjects he chose — business Leadership, English, World Issues, International Business Fundamentals, Kinesiology and Economics — offered a well-rounded foundation.

The shift to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges, but the emphasis on coursework, as opposed to exams, proved beneficial for Adrian’s learning style. The supportive and enthusiastic teachers further fueled his academic passion. “I enjoyed studying the CIMP programme. I had teachers who were extremely supportive and enthusiastic, which deeply encouraged me to do well in the subjects that I took.”

The result? Adrian graduated from CIMP with the Ontario Scholar Award, which is presented to students who achieve an average GPA of 80.00 or above. “This accomplishment is a testament to both my dedication and the unwavering support of my teachers. I invested significant time and effort into my studies, but it was the guidance, encouragement and expertise of my teachers that truly helped me excel.”

Adrian attended the 2021 CIMP prom at Sunway College. 

Currently at Monash, Adrian is majoring in strategic marketing and minoring in sustainable & responsible management.

The Impact of HIS on Adrian’s University Experience

Looking back, Adrian believes studying at an international school has been instrumental in shaping him into the adaptable and open-minded individual he is today.

His background at HELP International School significantly enriched his university experience. The multicultural environment fostered a sense of open-mindedness and adaptability, allowing him to seamlessly connect and collaborate with peers from different backgrounds. The robust academic foundation, coupled with an emphasis on critical thinking and independent learning, prepared him well for the challenges of university studies.

“One of the most significant benefits has been my ability to approach challenges from diverse perspectives, thinking outside the box to find creative solutions. Interacting with peers from various cultural backgrounds has broadened my worldview, allowing me to appreciate different customs, traditions and viewpoints.”

These experiences instilled in Adrian a deep appreciation for diversity, resilience and a willingness to embrace new experiences — qualities that will serve him well as he navigates an interconnected and diverse world.