Welcome Back to School!

The 2019-2020 school year is off to a great start at many international schools. The headmasters are happy to have the returning families back and excited to welcome new faces.
Welcome Back to School!
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The teachers at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong welcome the students.

Exciting year for staff, students

A warm welcome to all our families. To our new families, we are delighted to have you with us and we hope you settle quickly into life at Dulwich and Shanghai.

As usual we have been busy over the holiday improving the college facilities ready for the new academic year.

If you have not had an opportunity to see the new renovations at DUCKS, please do feel free to take a look. DUCKS certainly looks different but it has maintained that warm, friendly feel.

Welcome Back to School!
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Caroline Taylor is head of college at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong.

The looks of wonderment as the children walked in the door for the first time were priceless. Weir Davis and her amazing team did a wonderful job in preparing the school.

We are of course welcoming new staff to the college as well. They are joining a great community that I feel fortunate to be part of.

Our new staff have had a couple of weeks to settle in and they have been keen to meet your children.

Exciting learning opportunities have been planned for the year ahead!

(The article is contributed by Caroline Taylor, head of college at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong.)

Authentic learning for an all-round success

What are the education outcomes we should all be seeking for our children? Here are some idea

1. Self-knowledge

One simple outcome of education should be that students know themselves — their strengths, their weaknesses, their talent, what makes them happy or sad and why. It sounds simple, but self-knowledge is not always easy to come by.

One of the more difficult assignments for our seniors, as they apply to college, is to write about themselves. They know what others want them to be, but they often struggle to speak with their own voice.

Research shows us that the connection between happiness and success is absolute. And enduring happiness grows out of self-knowledge.

2. Self-efficacy

Students need to acquire a strong belief in what they can accomplish, what they can create of themselves, and their power to transform their own lives and the lives of others. Self-efficacy, simply put, is the knowledge of what you are capable of, and the confidence to put it into action.

Self-efficacy does not just happen — it is not just a trait that one has or does not have. It is something that must be taught and nurtured. It involves transcending fear of failure, taking risks, embracing challenges.

A meaningful education provides these challenges as well as a supportive environment to pursue them. The outcome for the student is a true vision of who they dream to be and the zeal to chase that.

Welcome Back to School!
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Marcel Gauthier is head of school at Shanghai American School.

3. Commitment to global citizenship

Our world is interconnected — technologically, financially, politically, environmentally.

A necessary outcome of a strong education is a real commitment to global citizenship. Caring about the world, caring about integrity and compassion, committing to making the world a better place, both in one’s backyard and across borders.

We know that people who learn to care about more than themselves are also more fulfilled in life.

4. Dynamic learning skills

We know that students today will find themselves needing to adapt continually to a changing political landscape, an evolving workplace, ever-developing technologies, and multiple job shifts. To thrive in that world, they need a passion and a skill set for seeking out relevant knowledge, applying it in dynamic ways, and communicating it effectively to diverse audiences.

An important outcome of education is a complete toolkit for thriving in today’s world. For example, we often state that students need to “know” technology.

What’s truly relevant is the ability to use technology in creative ways, seeing its potential in multiple applications, adapting it, envisioning its future and planning for that vision.

These outcomes are ones that every student can achieve in some shape or form. They are also outcomes that, incidentally, good colleges are looking for, not to mention good companies.

What an appropriate irony that in order to get into college, students should focus less on getting into college and more on acquiring an authentic education. It is the latter that leads to success both in college and life. Isn’t this what we all want for our children?

(The article is contributed by Marcel Gauthier, head of school at Shanghai American School.)

Envisioning a great year for students, community

The 2019-2020 school year is off to a great start at Concordia International School Shanghai. We are extremely happy to have our returning families back with us this year, and we are excited to welcome many new faces to our school community.

Earlier this month faculty and staff received students and families on campus for our start-of-school orientations.

The events were lively, with parents having the chance to chat with teachers and other members of the community, while students collected schedules, explored classrooms and met new classmates.

On the first day of school, more than 1,320 students, along with families and teachers, began the year together at our opening assembly.

There were many new things to see and experience as families entered the school gates. Over the summer our campus underwent changes, resulting in some wonderful additions to our facilities — especially our outdoor learning spaces.

Welcome Back to School!
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Mary Scott is head of school at Concordia International School Shanghai. 

We’ve reimagined the outside recreation space for our middle school students and added a colorful, purpose-built play area for the early childhood classes.

In addition, we’ve added a garden space designed by 4th graders in collaboration with our kindergarten students. And in high school, we have a new open-air rooftop classroom that students themselves helped to envision. This is quite fitting, as “envision” happens to be the word of the year selected by our Class of 2020 students. With such an auspicious world to inspire, we can’t help but imagine all the wonderful possibilities that are in store for our students and our community during the 2019-2020 school year.

We already have several exciting events in store, including our first-ever homecoming celebration, complete with a spirit-driven pep rally and Phoenix Friday athletic event. And there are plenty more engaging community activities planned in the months to follow.

With all these exciting additions and the wonderful community events in mind, we at Concordia are surely “envisioning” another amazing year.

(The article is contributed by Mary Scott, head of school at Concordia International School Shanghai. )

Significant projects will have profound impact on students

On behalf of Yew Chung International School of Shanghai (YCIS Shanghai) senior leadership teams, we offer a very warm welcome to the YCIS Shanghai community for the 2019–2020 school year.

This past summer, we were thrilled to complete a number of significant projects that will have a profound impact on our students’ learning.

Our focus has been on the development of new open-plan learning spaces that best support a more collaborative, inquiry-based approach.

Unlike traditional classrooms, these more flexible spaces can be repurposed to suit different learning activities. We favor the learning community approach as it allows students and staff to share the area and the learning.

It facilitates the process of working together to find solutions to provocations that ask students to connect their learning and share their understanding with others.

Welcome Back to School!
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Don Collins (left) is co-principal of YCIS Shanghai, Puxi and Damien Hehir is co-principal of YCIS Shanghai, Pudong.

These learning communities provide our students with experiences that prepare them more effectively for further study and their future workplaces which will demand critical, collaborative thinkers who can engage in tasks with others to solve problems or suggest solutions.

Mere knowledge is no longer enough. Understanding and a capacity to be solution-focused in a productive manner in collaboration are essential skills that will be in demand.

At YCIS Puxi, we continue to focus on building the capacity of our students, parents, and staff to contribute to our learning community environment, sharing their expertise and passion across all three of YCIS Puxi’s locations.

It is the continued emphasis on highly effective teaching strategies and a collaborative approach by teachers that makes the learning so positive and powerful.

Our focus on facilities development will continue this year with significant work completed at YCIS Puxi Secondary on a fabulous open-plan creative design technologies wing.

For our younger students, our new building at YCIS Puxi Primary will open this semester, creating further learning community spaces that support our students and encourage them to be curious learners who think with both precision and flexibility.

And to provide our primary students with additional development opportunities beyond the classroom, our new sports field, basketball courts, and play equipment will add to the possibilities available to them.

At YCIS Pudong, as part of our “Pudong 21” vision and future planning, we have moved our Year 5 students to our Century Park campus as of this academic year.

These students will join our Year 6 students in our newly opened primary Learning Community wings.

A new IB Learning Community space has also been developed for our Year 12 and 13 students to create flexibility, be more student-centered, and to allow for enhanced student and teacher collaboration.

This promises to be another incredible year for the entire YCIS Shanghai community, and we can’t wait to get started!

On behalf of all faculty and staff, we welcome our students back on campus and look forward to providing them with wonderful learning experiences during the upcoming academic year.

(The article is contributed by Don Collins, co-principal of YCIS Shanghai, Puxi; and Damien Hehir, co-principal of YCIS Shanghai, Pudong.)

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