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KTJ Prepares Upper Sixth Form Students To Excel In Tertiary Education

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Aug 27, 2021
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Kolej Tuanku Ja'afar (KTJ) prepares Upper Sixth Form students with holistic education and guidance to ensure they excel at university and beyond.

Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ) is a launchpad for Upper Sixth students who will later go on to further their education in top universities around the globe. With over a thousand students representing 24 nationalities and under the guidance of quality educators, KTJ offers an enriching environment for learning, both in and out of the classroom.

KTJ provides an inspiring learning environment for a thousand students representing 24 nationalities.KTJ provides an inspiring environment for a thousand students representing 24 nationalities.

Offering the best university preparation is the goal, and KTJ does this by nurturing students with the values of an independent British school while injecting the vitality of Malaysian culture. KTJ students are continuously accepted into prominent universities across the United Kingdom, the United States, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and more.

KTJ is especially known for having many of its students receiving offers from two of the world’s leading universities, The University of Cambridge and The University of Oxford.  Data obtained by British newspaper, The Telegraph, indicated that KTJ has been ranked among the top 20 international schools in the world for receiving the highest number of Oxbridge offers over the past 3 years. 

“In order for university to be a meaningful and worthwhile experience, students need the right blend of academic and social skills. The hallmark of a KTJ graduate is an individual who possesses the knowledge and confidence to excel in any given situation, one who is unafraid to speak up and question orthodox opinion and is willing to take on new challenges” says Emma Davidson, KTJ’s new Head of Sixth Form; who begun her teaching career in Malaysia with the British Council and later joined KTJ as Head of Operations when it ventured as a primary school in 2013.

Nurturing these traits are done through various activities held throughout the school year. KTJ sixth formers receive invitations to attend sessions with politicians, corporate figures and academics as an opportunity to participate in discussions moderated by teachers, ranging from politics, philosophy, and physics to webathons on the US elections and Brexit. This also allows Upper Sixth Form students to listen, comment or ask questions, which serves as a gain in terms of exposure and confidence.

Student law enrichment talk from INTA in October 2019Student law enrichment talk from INTA in October 2019.

“Academic success is obviously our priority but vying for second place are a range of qualities that we develop through our extra-curricular activities (ECAs) and evening events, including confidence, commitment and curiosity, along with those all-important soft and transferable skills such as communication, teamwork or good reading and study habits,” says Emma. KTJ also equips students with vital skills that are sought in the working world such as leadership skills, critical thinking, active learning and problem-solving skills” says Emma who also teaches IELTS and EAL at KTJ, while having a hand in the Oxbridge support and enrichment for Upper Sixth students.

The school makes bold efforts in helping students navigate through their university application processes.  Among the key steps is ensuring students make smart decisions when it comes to choosing the right courses at appropriate universities. KTJ employs a team of university and career counsellors to guide students and encourage them to thoroughly research options that will reflect their interests and intended careers. 

This is then followed up with guidance on the required paperwork such as the UCAS application for universities in the UK and Common App for universities in the US. 

“Whether it is Oxford University, the University of Cambridge, London School of Economics or Imperial College London, our former students clearly have the confidence and skills to lead the way. We also have alumni representing the International Council of Malaysian Scholars and Associates (ICMS) while another recent leaver is about to become the Chairperson of the UK & Eire Council of Malaysian Students,” says Emma, a fellow Oxford alumna herself and the President of the Oxbridge Society in Malaysia. 

Nurturing students with non-conventional interests  

Besides academic excellence, the school also offers a solid platform for students to grow in the arts. One of KTJ’s defining characteristics is that every student is given the opportunity and the encouragement to play, sing or act in a supportive and non-judgmental environment. The result is that some KTJ students embark on a tertiary education in the creative field that includes music, drama, writing and others.

KTJ students are given the opportunity to participate in debates, competitions, and conferences.KTJ students are given the opportunity to participate in debates, competitions, and conferences.

The school has a dedicated music centre on its own waterside site and a 700-seater auditorium which hosts school plays, musicals, talent nights, quizzes, and live performances. Apart from excellent artistic facilities, students are given the opportunity to participate in debates, competitions, or conferences. KTJ has also encouraged students to gain exposure at the annual Penang LitFest, which offers writers, thinkers, and poets a safe space to express their creativity. 

Be it indoor wall-climbing, fencing, coding, philosophy or law, KTJ students can indulge in an ECA that interests them. There are over a hundred different ECAs available throughout the year on campus, all with the aim of preparing students to be prime candidates for university.

Helping students make the transition 

Irrespective of a student’s primary education background, KTJ thrives in helping students transition from being a local student to an international individual.

“A sizable number of our Sixth Formers join straight after SPM; this brings a fresh dynamic to life as an A Level student; it is one from which both IGCSE and SPM students benefit. In STEM subjects, SPM is a solid preparation for A Levels. And although critical thinking, questioning, and going beyond the syllabus might not automatically be associated with the Malaysian curriculum, we find that smart, motivated students adapt quickly and relish the intellectual freedom,” says Emma. 

KTJ's boarding sets students up for at University, by developing key skills such as independence, discipline and tolerance.KTJ's boarding sets students up for at University, by developing key skills such as independence, discipline and tolerance.

Moreover, as KTJ students adapt to boarding school life, they learn how to survive and flourish on their own. Serving as a half-way house between home and university, KTJ students come to terms with being away from home, making new friends and adjusting to higher academic expectations. 

KTJ students are given all the tools to grow as an individual, from unique ECAs to careful guidance of career counsellors and dynamic out of class activities. As such, it is of no surprise that every student turns into a qualified leader when they graduate from KTJ and enter the world’s best universities. 

To learn more about KTJ Sixth Form or to make an inquiry, visit their website.


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