Our new Huili school Shanghai has enjoyed great support from Shanghai’s municipal government, the Pudong district government and education bureau since the beginning of its preparation. We are very thankful for this, as well as the continued interest from many parents from the Wellington community. Currently, all work is progressing well and we are delighted to update you about the campus development, recruiting and admissions process.
Campus and teaching resources
The school’s electricity, appliances, interior decoration and greenery are almost ready. The outdoor sports area is scheduled to be completed in late June and all teaching equipment and furniture should be in place by the end of May. Natural stones and permeable pavers are used in the outdoor space, where tall and short plants are being carefully arranged, creating an eco-friendly and pleasant learning environment for all pupils. A gardening space, complete with footpath and a wooden area, is planned on the roof to offer a bigger space for socialising and relaxation. A DaiKin VRV air conditioning system and a central fresh air system that can efficiently reduce indoor PM 2.5 by 85% have been installed. Dedicated music classrooms with good acoustics, practice rooms, visual art rooms, design and technology workshops, various sports pitches and an indoor sports hall as well as a 6-lane, 25-metre swimming pool with an electronic timing system are being built to fully cater to and support artistic and physical education.
Furthermore, the abundant teaching resources that have been ordered from within China and overseas by our academic team will be delivered in June. Two libraries, specifically designed for primary and secondary pupils, will be filled with a mixture of more than 20,000 Chinese and English books and this figure will continue to grow annually. New librarians will join the team in June to start sorting the books and getting a fantastic reading space ready for the founding pupils. In light of the important role that information technology plays in modern educational provision, tablet computers will be provided for primary pupils and laptops for junior highs at a ratio of no less than 1:4, in addition to their access to the two computer rooms and one music technology room. All these purposeful resources and facilities combine to create a safe, comfortable and technologically-advanced environment that will allow effective learning and teaching to take place.
Our recruitment campaign began last September and we have now recruited all our teaching staff. Coming from a variety of cultural backgrounds, they have demonstrated the spirit of open-mindedness and great passion for bilingual education, as well as the commitment to Wellington educational ethos and vision. They will bring with them outstanding skills and valuable experience that comes with an average of 10 years’ teaching in schools. Most of them are in the prime of their working lives and 80% of the expat teachers are from the United Kingdom. Since last December, newly recruited members have started working on the school’s cultural environment, curriculum, preparations and teaching methods, wishing to ensure a solid foundation for a successful opening this August.
First open day sessions
On 14th and 15th April, our open day sessions attracted a total of nearly 1,000 families who are interested in grade 1 to 6 admissions. During these sessions, Joy Qiao, Chair of Governors and Founder of Huili school and Wellington College International Shanghai shared her intended purpose of setting up a bilingual school, which is, through combining the strength of Eastern and Western education, to offer Chinese parents an option that gives both the fish and the bear’s paw; where parents do not have to choose one over the other. She also shared her vision for the new school: to become the best of its kind in China and positively affect educational provision worldwide in the near future. This is a goal for every member of Huili School team to work on together.
Gerard MacMahon, Executive Master of Wellington College Shanghai, attended all these sessions and talked about the Wellington Values and Identity. The five values underpin our management and teaching practices while the Wellington Identity answers the question: ‘What is the finished product of an education at Wellington College?’ Our expectation for bilingual pupils is that, in addition to demonstrate academic excellence, they will develop as whole persons that have a deep sense of being Chinese and keep a global perspective to influence the world around them. The new school’s leadership team joined April’s sessions as well to introduce more detailed information about educational ethos, curriculum, teachers and facilities.
The atmosphere on the two opening days was warm and relaxed, with parents eagerly engaged and impressed by our strong founding team and commitment to providing high quality education. In Q&A sessions, parents enquired about the admissions process and discussed the opportunities and challenges facing a bilingual education model. They support our aim of enhancing the moral integrity and fostering the individual talents of each pupil and expressed great interest in knowing more about us.
Many of the parents’ questions were about how we design a unique bilingual curriculum, how we provide pastoral care, how we combine the best from Eastern and Western education into every day teaching, how we promote social, personal and emotional development and how leadership will be developed in the school. Answers to all of these questions and more will be shared later through a series of articles. Please keep a close eye on our WeChat and website to discover more about the future development of the Huili school Shanghai.