Children from the UK attend a strict school for a week. Two year 8 pupils from Swansea sign up for a week at one of South Korea's most prestigious schools.
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Today on Extreme School,
two Swansea boys who don't take education seriously...
School is a boring waste of time.
..sign up for a week at a high achieving South Korean school.
-Education is the key to success.
-With tough teachers...
-You must follow our rules.
-..and a clash of cultures.
Can they clean up their act at this Extreme School?
Come on, this is boring!
Do you think school is a waste of time?
Are you often in detention or sent out for talking?
If you've got the wrong reputation at school
then a week at one of the world's toughest schools
could be a big wake-up call.
Today I am at a school in the Welsh coastal town of Swansea.
I'm about to surprise two "boyos" who think that they can survive
an Extreme School.
13-year-old Brandon fools around in class
and regularly talks back to teachers.
I've had loads of detentions, I don't know how many.
I think school is a boring waste of time.
His trusty sidekick is 13-year-old Shane.
He doesn't see the point of homework,
is often lazy in lessons and loves to distract his mates.
I get in trouble for taking the mickey out of people,
throwing things around the class.
If I could get away with not going to school then I would.
Before I meet Brandon and Shane,
I need to gather the evidence for my Extreme School dossier.
-Do they talk a lot in class?
-Talk, chatter, giggle.
Just get involved in general buffoonery, as I like to call it.
-What are they like about homework?
-They don't believe in homework.
-Brandon even used the excuse, "My dog ate my homework."
-I don't have a dog.
-What's the worst thing that Shane has ever done?
I think that must be when he graffitied on a chair in ICT.
-How did you know it was him?
-He actually signed his name.
We mess around in class
because we don't really see the point in half the lessons.
This is definitely a case for Extreme School.
It's time for Brandon and Shane
to pack their bags and grab their passports.
I'm Susan Calman from Extreme School!
Hello, I'm looking for Brandon and Shane.
Hello, how are you?
BOTH: Good, thanks.
I have been in the school for most of the day
and I've been asking some questions about you.
It seems to me that you could both do with a spell
in an Extreme School, do you think you can handle it?
-I reckon I can.
Here's a taster of what's to come.
At this school, you will have to study 13 hours a day.
At this school, you must bow to your teachers.
No way, no way! No way.
At this school, you are expected to clean your own classroom every day.
The school you are going to is...
Daewon International Middle School in Seoul, South Korea!
-Do you know where South Korea is?
BOTH: In Korea?
Students who work hard at school will go far in life.
Come on, boys. Out you come.
Good luck, make sure you do the school proud. Bye-bye.
I'm hoping that they'll come back wiser and smarter.
And that they'll really knuckle down in school
and get their heads down and get on with their work.
I think the biggest challenge will be bowing to teachers
and cleaning the classrooms.
I don't really like cleaning and I don't really like teachers.
Brandon and Shane are flying over 5,000 miles across the globe
to Seoul, South Korea.
With a population of over 25 million people, this is a mega city.
The South Korean school system has a reputation for producing
some of the world's brightest students,
and the Daewon International Middle School is no exception.
At Daewon, we believe in working hard...
Area of this circle is 8x8 times Pi.
..and studying a lot.
The uncompromising Mr Kim pushes his pupils all the way.
30% of lessons are in English
and diligent students face a rigorous timetable.
And they're all driven to come top of the class.
Education is the key to success.
Five days as Daewon students could be
just what Brandon and Shane need to switch them on to education.
I can't believe we're actually in South Korea.
Will they grab the opportunity with both hands?
I can't understand the writing.
It looks like my little sister just scribbled a couple of lines.
I expected it to be dusty, dirty, hardly any skyscrapers.
But it's really nice.
For the next week, Brandon and Shane must follow the strict Daewon rules.
At this school, pupils must:
If they abide by these rules and pass an end-of-week challenge,
they'll graduate from Extreme School.
I'm feeling a bit nervous. But not too bad.
I'm most nervous about speaking Korean.
It's time to face Principal Ho and his right-hand man, Mr Kim.
Welcome to Daewon International School.
-My name is Brandon.
HE SPEAKS KOREAN
-Is this the first time you've been here?
Mr Kim will be Principal Ho's eyes and ears for the next week.
Brandon and Shane must convince him they are willing to knuckle down.
This is one of the most prestigious middle schools in Korea.
All students want to be something great.
They study hard from 8:30am until 9:30pm.
It's their normal schedule, almost every day.
Since this is Korea, you must follow our rules.
For example, if you put your hands in your pocket like that,
and talk to your seniors, that is very disrespectful.
And also, when you see your teachers in the corridor or anywhere,
then you must bow. And also, you have to say hello.
We say in Korean, annyeonghaseyo.
That's the way you should do it. So, can you?
That's the way to do it. These are the books you are going to study.
-You're going to have a lot of fun.
My timetable is pretty full.
In my normal school in Wales, I have to do six hours.
In South Korea, we have to do 13 hours of school.
I'm gutted to be honest.
To behave like a South Korean school pupil, they must look like one.
Are you being serious?
Daewon students see it as an honour to wear their uniform.
Jumpers! You're going to look like a grandma.
Give me a pair of skinny jeans and some trainers any day.
I'm not wearing these for a week.
I reckon we look like a pair of old men, to be honest.
Great. Get your hands...
Very good. You look fabulous.
You are now one of us. You can't go home now. You have to live here.
It's a joke!
Brandon and Shane need to wise up pretty quickly.
It's straight into a gruelling day of lessons and studying.
We're just about to go into our first lesson.
It is an English lesson, so... We're quite good at English.
All students at Daewon are required to write a personal
mission statement outlining their future ambitions.
This is the definition of an ambition.
In order to realise your ambitions, you need to have goals
and you need to have a plan.
You have one minute to finish your personal mission statement.
I am a 14-year-old girl who is looking for a dream
like a man searching for water in the desert.
My goal is to be a world-wide fashion designer.
My main goal in my career is to be an application developer.
A few days ago I did an experiment, extracting DNA from broccoli
and it was really interesting. I decided to study biology.
I'm 13 years old and my ambition is to be a photographer.
I'm 13 years old and my ambition is to be a lorry driver.
I think they have different ambitions
because they were brought up different, in a different country.
I think they will succeed more than the British.
Brandon and Shane, no disrespect to photographers and lorry drivers,
but personally I think their ambitions were not ambitious enough.
The boy's ambitions haven't got Mr Kim's approval.
But what about their grasp of grammar?
-What is the subject of this sentence?
And next, what is a verb?
Something in a sentence, like, "car".
A verb describes an action.
A car is driven, by the subject, I.
A shaky start, but how will the Korean students fare?
-Number one, the subject is?
-What is a big venue?
The other students seem like they know more English than us
when we're English. It's a bit shaming and embarrassing.
I live in the UK and they live in South Korea
and they know more than me.
One more thing. Tomorrow, third period,
we're going to have a test.
If I'm perfectly honest,
I don't think Brandon and Shane will be able to make it.
But we'll see. We will see.
It's time for a bit of brain fuel.
Daewon students eat their three meals a day at school.
I am quite hungry, but I am a bit fussy with my food.
I'm not looking forward to eating all this.
Back home, Brandon and Shane's school serves familiar pizza,
chips, hotdogs and burgers for lunch.
Their first taste of Korean cuisine is rice with tomato sauce,
fried beef dumplings, pickled cabbage, and miso soup.
That looks like water. That's disgusting.
That just looks like pasty, but with vinegar on it.
I don't know what that is and that muffin just looks hangin'.
I'll eat the rice, but I don't think I'm going to try anything else.
There aren't any knives and forks and the boys are new to chopsticks.
They'll be lucky if they manage to eat anything.
I'm not very good at using chopsticks,
but I'll have to learn if I'm eating here every day.
The Daewon school day is never-ending.
Next on the timetable is a traditional Korean lesson.
The big part of our South Korean culture
is self discipline and respect.
Kumdo is a modern martial art meaning "way of the sword",
and has been taught in Korean schools since 1927.
It teaches students to focus and also increases confidence.
OK, boys. Your challenge is to learn three traditional Kumdo moves.
It's quite cool, but it's quite scary at the same time. All the shouting.
-Like, "Aah! Aah!"
You have learned a big part of our culture.
So I think it's our turn to learn about yours.
So I'd like you to prepare a ten-minute long
presentation about Wales for this Friday.
For their final challenge, the boys must deliver an entertaining
and informative presentation on Wales
in front of their high-achieving classmates.
-So, you think you can do that?
-We can do that, can't we?
Brandon rarely does homework, but the studious Daewon pupils
have had a powerful effect on him already.
I want to do really well in my test, because I want to show the Korean
students and teachers that I can work and I can be better than them.
But Brandon's partner in crime back home
isn't yet buying into the Korean school ethos.
I don't see the point of me having good marks in the test
because I'm only here for a week
and they're not going to do anything if I get bad marks.
At Daewon, each new day begins with a bit of elbow grease.
The belief is a clean working environment
means more disciplined students.
I don't think we should be doing the cleaning.
I think they should have cleaners.
Feeling devastated, because I've never cleaned a classroom before
and I barely clean in my own house and this is just horrible.
-I cannot believe we are cleaning.
-Never do this in my school.
Will the now spotless classroom have a positive effect on Brandon
and Shane's first big test, English grammar?
Eyes only on your answer sheet.
Korean kids are continuously tested and extremely competitive.
Everyone wants to be top of the class.
But their attitude is not yet rubbing off on Shane.
So, pencils down.
I hope we do better than the Korean kids.
I don't think Shane done very well on his test,
because when I looked at his paper, there was not much ink on his paper.
It was so difficult because I didn't study and I didn't know what to do
so I was just writing down random answers and guessing.
Ripples of excitement spread as Mr Kim posts the results.
Brandon and Shane got two of the lowest scores.
I was expecting to do better because I did study last night.
I personally believe you have potential to be great.
So, if you apply yourself, if you try hard,
I think you will have a better result.
I'm still not going to do studying and homework
when I'm back in Swansea, because it's boring and I want to do
other things in my life, like go out with my friends and have a laugh.
Following their poor test scores, the boys need to get
back on track fast to have a chance of graduating from Extreme School.
We've been doing some things about India in class.
The biggest thing that I've noticed is that they
pay attention in class.
The Koreans don't mess around like we do in our school.
Come on, this is boring.
On top of 11 tough lessons a day, Brandon and Shane have to fit in
a seven kilometre trek to the summit of Mount Yongma.
OK, today we're going to climb to the top of the mountain.
Every Daewon student has to climb the 1,200ft mountain 60 times
before they leave.
The tough hike sparks Shane's determination.
I'm very tired, but there's no going back now.
I'm absolutely exhausted.
There's not another way to explain how tired I am.
I'm so chuffed that we made it up here.
But the week isn't all hard work and no play.
Korean pop dance is a subject both boys are interested in.
K-pop, as it's also known, has taken the world by storm
following Korean pop star Psy's hit song, Gangnam Style.
MUSIC: "Gangnam Style" by Psy.
This is way better than maths or English or science in school.
It's absolutely amazing.
Tomorrow, the boys will be representing their country
when they do a presentation on Wales.
Brandon's competitive streak has kicked in
and he's keen to impress his new classmates.
But he's on his own.
I've done all the work, you haven't really helped.
-I have helped.
-You haven't helped at all, really.
It's only a stupid project.
-How's it going?
-It's going all right.
-We wrote, like, a little script.
-Is that your writing...?
So, can you tell me about, just briefly,
about what you have thought?
-Yeah, first of all...
-Shane, why don't you tell me?
Er, what are we going to talk about?
-Well, you've read the script.
-Yeah, but I only read my parts.
Erm, we're going to talk about who we are. What does that say?
Honestly, I think Shane is just riding Brandon's coat-tail,
if you know what I mean?
What do you need to do in order to give a successful presentation?
-I don't know.
-You don't know?
Quite frankly, I expected more than this.
If you don't know what to do, you can ask me.
If you just sit there and, "I don't know",
that's not the right attitude to approach this, you know.
Since Brandon has done most of the work, Shane needs to really step up.
He needs to contribute more, he needs to put in more effort.
In our school, all the students try hard all the time
because they want to be the best.
Let's get working.
Shocked by Shane's poor work ethic,
Mr Kim has arranged a trip to one of Seoul's biggest gaming giants.
Will it be the inspiration he needs to change his attitude to school?
Hi, guys. My name is Yohan Kim. I'm the Managing Director of Crytek.
Crytek is the world's largest and finest
online and video game developer in the world.
-Do you like games?
-I love games.
So today I'm going to give you a chance to make your own game.
-You guys excited about making your own game?
-BOTH: Yeah, I can't wait.
But first, let's get some inspiration here, OK?
The video game industry worldwide is worth £40 billion.
When they're not studying,
gaming ranks as one of the top hobbies for South Korean kids.
I love video games, really. I love arcades, everything.
But I've just never made my own game.
You will be working with one of our top game developers.
You need to come up with a title and the game story for your own game.
Aim of the game is you start on one side of the island
and you've got to go to the other side,
but there's going to be obstacles and things in the way
and you have to drive around them to get to the helicopter.
That's very good. You should work on the name of your game.
What can we call it?
-Get To The Top.
-Yeah, Get To The Top.
-This is really cool.
Finally, Shane is taking work seriously
and leading with his own ideas.
I'd really love to make computer games when I'm older,
cos it's really fun and it's just amazing to see something like this.
Job done, but what does the big boss think?
The character in this game
is trying to get to the top of Mountain Brandon and Shane.
There is a helicopter on the top,
so the aim is to get to the helicopter before the island sinks.
And if the time runs out, you will not survive.
And that's it.
I strongly believe that a great game has to have a storyline
and I think that you guys did a great job for that.
-BOTH: Thank you.
-I think we should hire you guys.
It's a great job, very impressive.
At the beginning of the week, the boys lacked real drive.
But has designing their own game fired up their ambition?
So do you guys want to have a fun job?
I don't want to waste my future and have a boring life.
-I want to have a fun job.
-Everybody here loves their job.
They have so much fun every day.
But in order to get there, it requires some hard work.
I think what you should do is stay in school
and focus on what you do and stop messing around
and learn as much as you can.
I think it was really good advice, because now I know that I need to
stop messing around and start working hard if I want the job I want.
If you want to have a fun job, like this, in a game company
in the future, then you have to work hard to get there.
If I stop messing around and pay attention,
I can get good grades and I can get a better job than a lorry driver,
which means more pay for me when I'm older.
In less than 24 hours, the boys must perform their final presentation
in front of their super bright classmates.
At last, Shane is getting his head down.
I do want the presentation to go well,
cos we can show Mr Kim that we have put a lot of effort in.
But will it be too little, too late?
It's Brandon and Shane's last day at the Daewon school.
For their final challenge, they're representing their country.
Can they do it proud?
I hope they can prove they have worked hard enough for this
and they have put a lot of effort in it.
Just go, "This is our presentation on Wales."
Yeah, and then if we mess up a little bit, just carry on.
We've worked really hard on this presentation. I hope it goes well.
The Korean pupils have a thirst for knowledge
and Mr Kim has very high expectations.
We both live in Wales, which is attached to England.
And we live in a little city called Swansea City.
We live in a place called Loughor.
Can any of you try saying that? Loughor.
We start school at 08.40am and finish school at 3pm.
The school meals are very different to your school meals.
This is our national flag. PUPILS: Oooh.
This is what we call a leek. It is a vegetable.
And this is a daffodil, which is a traditional flower in Wales.
-We have a very good football team in Wales.
Ki Sung-Yueng plays for our hometown, Swansea City.
He's one of our best midfielders that we've ever had at the club
and everybody loves Ki Sung-Yueng.
With Mr Kim and the class onside, the boys tackle the tough stuff.
Hwyl fawr. Can anyone try saying it? Hwyl fawr.
PUPILS: Hwyl fawr.
-That means goodbye in Welsh.
-Or you can just say da bo.
Thank you for listening.
-The presentation was awesome.
-It was fantastic.
That was actually more than what I expected.
Honestly, their presentation is a whole lot better
than any of your presentations so far.
I've seen some of you just come out here, read from your transcript,
but their presentation is something that you can learn from.
I was afraid that Brandon would be the one who'd do all the talking.
But Shane was good.
Shane was as good as Brandon. It was good, it was good. One more time.
Brandon and Shane were good, confident speakers.
Their presentation was very informative.
I am proud of myself, cos back at Swansea, I don't do much homework.
Well, I don't do any homework, really.
I'm feeling really happy for Shane, proud of him,
because I've never seen him do such good work.
The boys' Extreme School experience is over.
-Brandon and Shane are heading home.
-I've had an amazing time this week.
I think I might even miss this place a little bit.
Good job, guys.
I'm so proud of you. Best of luck to you.
This has definitely been one of the best experiences in my life.
Join us in our final episode to see
if they've done enough to graduate from Extreme School.
Next time - all eight kids are together for the first time ever.
To relive some of their finest moments on the big screen.
Ooh, look at them shoes.
And we return to all four schools to reveal if anyone made the grade.
Will it be an A* or an F for fail.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Two year 8 pupils from Swansea who are lazy in lessons, rarely do their homework and talk back to teachers sign up for a week at one of South Korea's most prestigious schools - Daewan International Middle School in Seoul. At this school, the pupils study 13 hours a day, bow to their teachers and never muck about in lessons.
It's a total culture shock for the Swansea lads Brandon and Shane. Will their first lesson - English - make them feel at home? When they get two of the lowest scores in their first test, Brandon is determined to buck his ideas up, but the Korean work ethic isn't yet rubbing off on Shane. Will traditional Korean lessons of Kumdo and K-pop encourage him to change his view on education?
At the end of the week, the boys must represent their country with a presentation about Wales. Brandon takes on the challenge, but Shane is still unwilling to put in the effort. Leading a group of younger pupils up the majestic Yong Ma mountain before undertaking a stint at one of the country's best gaming companies fires up Shane's enthusiasm and finally sees the boys working well together, but will it be too little too late?