PRIMARY CURRICULUM

“Our curriculum is unique. We have created a truly bilingual model that values Chinese and British traditions and principles equally. We have taken the best from both educational systems and produced our new, vibrant and rich curriculum where children will experience their learning equally in Chinese and English. Our exciting curriculum is delivered through various themes that help pupils link together subjects and learning in a meaningful way. Critical thinking, reasoning and questioning form major elements in our approach to learning, all of which will ensure pupils are prepared for transitioning to junior high school and beyond.”

Paul Jackson-Read, Head of Primary

Primary Curriculum

Experience tells us that learning is at its most successful when it is relevant, meaningful and enjoyable. This is particularly important in a bilingual setting where pupils must enjoy the challenge of working in both languages and understand the inherent value of this process. Our Primary school teaches children from grades 1 to 5, delivering an education built on the Chinese national curriculum, but supported by the inclusion of the most appropriate international educational resources and best practice. This approach provides pupils with an integrated education experience, emphasising the importance of Chinese history and culture while cultivating a sense of international citizenship.

During their Primary school years, we strive to develop pupils’ Chinese and English language abilities. Our Chinese and Western co-teaching approach creates a truly immersive bilingual learning environment for the pupils. Our teachers, both Chinese and international, work closely together to ensure a balanced development in both languages, and more importantly, to master the delivery of multi-subject bilingual learning. By doing so, we can maximise the learning outcome of each pupil and lay a solid foundation for their future academic and professional lives.

We aim to make Primary school as relevant and enjoyable as possible through subject-based and theme-based learning. By linking what they learn in school with real life situations, we help pupils gain a more comprehensive understanding of the world around them. Teachers and pupils work together to solve real problems, enhancing pupils’ critical and creative thinking skills at every opportunity. By embedding the Huili values and identities from the outset of their school career, our curriculum helps the children in our care form healthy, positive and moral characteristics and ensures a smooth transition to Junior High life.

PE is a focus learning area with three sessions and two additional activities planned every week, with swimming as a compulsory subject for our Primary pupils. The intention is not only to build a strong body and to stimulate a variety of interests, but also to develop a spirit of collaboration and competition, increasing pupils’ adaptability to the natural and social world. The college maintains state-of-art sports facilities, including a 25-metre swimming pool, and a team of experienced PE teachers and swimming coaches to support the provision of our exemplary PE curriculum.
The arts are highly valued at Huili. Comprising visual arts, design and technology, music and performing arts, our arts curriculum is designed to give pupils the opportunity to develop creative and imaginative thinking and expression, as well as hands-on skills, in order to discover their artistic potential. We believe that these capabilities and skills, attained via rich artistic experiences during their early life, are transferable to all other leaning areas. In addition to visual art and music, pupils starting from grade 1 also learn performing arts. Design and technology is offered to grade 4 and older pupils.

We use the textbooks developed by the Ministry of Education for all local schools, alongside selected teaching materials; for example, resources about hard-tipped pen calligraphy, brush calligraphy, comprehensive learning and classic literature. This approach is designed to ensure that our pupils have the same level of native language proficiency as their peers and even some of their elders from any non-bilingual setting.

With respect to general patterns of learning, we plan our curriculum in a holistic manner, linking school learning with real life while also encouraging the positive influences of traditional Chinese culture and virtuous qualities. Our desire is not only to help pupils develop effective learning habits and fine Chinese attainment but also to improve their skills of independent and investigative learning, building a solid foundation to improve in other subjects as well.

We have taken the English national curriculum and blended it with the Shanghai government’s requirements to produce a bespoke and world-class curriculum tailored to the needs of our children. It is designed to develop fluent readers, writers and speakers of English in a truly bilingual setting. We are well aware that securing their children a place in an English-speaking university is the goal for the majority of our families and our curriculum reflects this desire.

Our English teachers are all native English speakers, who mostly come from the United Kingdom, and are very experienced in delivering English language learning. This starts with phonics in the early stages and continues right through to the proficient and fluent levels. Our aim is to ensure that every pupil becomes a truly bilingual lifelong learner, equipped with the linguistic skills and cultural grounding to appreciate and understand both Chinese and English comprehensively.

Bilingual mathematics curriculum at Huili is a combination of two distinctly different sets of thinking patterns and practices. Our team of experienced teachers carefully combine the respective strengths of the Eastern and Western curriculums while considering the skills and language proficiencies of our pupils, resulting in an integrated teaching plan. Teaching is closely linked to other subjects and areas of pupils’ personal development. Pupils acquire solid mathematics skills and knowledge, while improving their ability to think, analyse, implement, and innovate.
Co-taught by Chinese and English staff, our theme-based curriculum covers topics of cultural and natural sciences. Learning through various themes enables our pupils to discover facts about various subjects, connections between different subjects, and their links with the real world. Each theme is reinforced and emphasised through cross-subject learning links wherever possible.

This curriculum is delivered by our Chinese staff members, as the intention is to enhance our pupils’ knowledge of Chinese culture, local customs and traditional values, encouraging them to become moral and mentally healthy individuals. Our aim is to instill these positive values and character traits in our pupils right at the beginning of their learning journey, so that they can fully absorb their importance and maintain them throughout their lives.

Our teaching team supplements this moral development with appropriate elements of the Western-based character education ethos. The ultimate aim of this process is to help our pupils understand the global society that they are part of, adapt themselves to it and engage positively with it.

Taught by Chinese bilingual staff, natural science is explored through inspiring experiences designed to stimulate strong interests and curiosities in natural phenomena and develop a scientific logic-based attitude towards the wider world. Pupils learn basic facts about natural science and gain investigative skills via first-hand experiences and observation exercises, with an emphasis on solving relevant, real life problems.
It is important we equip our pupils with the requisite skills to engage with a constantly evolving digital world. Our curriculum is designed to meet and overcome this challenge. Children attending Huili School Shanghai learn a wide range of highly relevant ICT skills that will form the foundation of their ability to successfully utilise digital technologies. The school has invested in new and advanced ICT hardware and software to ensure the children have access to the best equipment.