Student Focus: Meet Year 10 Student Kevin Du

Written by: Andrea Griego, Student Support Coordinator

Kevin Du, who is in Year 10, the first year of the IGCSE Programme at Century Park Campus, has found his passion for language and music in and outside of the classroom. Kevin, a former EAL student, is now leading the YCIS Media team, but also finds time to play and build his own guitar. Although very busy, Kevin was gracious enough to share his story and passions with us.

So Kevin, when did you begin school at YCIS?
I came to YCIS in Year 6, when I was 10 years old.

I hear you were once an EAL student. Tell us more about your journey to English proficiency?
Before I was in YCIS, I spoke Chinese all the time, and very little English. When I came to YCIS in Year 6, I was a terrible English speaker, and I avoided talking to friends and teachers, because I was afraid I would embarrass myself. Learning a new language was not easy, and it took me over a year to move to the mainstream English class. Thankfully, I had really encouraging English teachers who were very patient with me. They taught me a lot over the course of Year 6. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert in English speaking now, but I’m definitely getting better.

What is YCIS media for those of us who don’t know?
YCIS Media is a team of students who provide the school with school news. Every Friday, we present a video to the school, going over events that happened during the week, as well as things to look forward to coming up. We often do interviews with students and teachers, take video footage from school events, and we always try to make our videos entertaining and connected with student life.

Wow Kevin, what a great accomplishment to lead this Media team. I hear you have another passion, music. How did you become interested in music?
I started playing the piano when I was 6 years old. I started learning the guitar in Year 6, and my music teacher taught me drums in recent years. I love playing music, I love listening to music, and the main reason for that is because when I’m stressed, it makes me more relaxed, and gets my mind off of homework and tests. I plug in my guitar and just play around with it. My music teachers introduced me to writing my own music, which is also loads of fun.

Your guitar seems to be very special to you. What was your inspiration for designing your own guitar?
Ever since I started playing the guitar, I got really into it, and I’ve been checking out different brands of guitars for years. It had always been my ambition to build my guitar. We had this DT project last year, where we could use bamboo to make anything we wanted, so I chose to build a guitar. I’m still working on it, but it’s definitely looking awesome.

Good luck with the completion of your guitar. Now for the most pressing question, tell us, what is your favorite thing about YCIS?
My favorite thing about YCIS, especially this campus, is that it is a very close community. I quite like this because you can know the people in your class better, and have more time with each of your friends. Each of us also receive more attention from the teachers, and we are provided with more opportunities in different parts of school life. For example, I am quite involved in the music department, and I am always given a chance to interact with music teachers, to play in a group ensemble, and to perform on stage when there is a concert.

Thanks for talking with us, but I have one final question: What is one thing that Primary YCIS students should know about Secondary?
So the one thing I want Primary students to know is that they shouldn’t be afraid of Secondary, because you start little by little, no one expects you to be an expert in Year 7. Secondary is a learning process. Just get as involved as you can, try your best in classes, and do the CCA’s that you enjoy.