Nikki Street has been part of Wellington College China since the opening of Wellington College International Shanghai in August 2014. She taught Year 1 at the International School for 2 years and is currently an EY3 English Teacher and the SCITT Co-ordinator at Huili Nursery Shanghai.
After completing a BA in International Relations and French at the University of Exeter, Nikki returned to Berkshire where she completed her Graduate Teacher Program with Reading University. Whilst teaching Year 3 in a large local primary school, Nikki shared her love of dance with her students, preparing groups for competitions and shows. It was during these experiences that she realised the importance of education outside of the classroom, when seeing quieter children come alive on stage.
She firmly believes that the key to a positive and enriching educational experience is the development of a child’s sense of self. Through promoting a child’s physical, emotional and social wellbeing and giving young children the freedom to explore and develop at their own pace, they are far more likely to become confident, inspired and resilient individuals – something that we want for all of the children in our care.
Jingwen was born and raised in Shanghai. She has more than 13 years’ experience teaching early years in both bilingual and international schools. Jingwen received her first degree from Shanghai Normal University in the field of education, then continued her studies at East China Normal University, receiving a bachelor degree in business management. After graduating from university, Jingwen began her career teaching in a local kindergarten and became very familiar with the Chinese local early years’ curriculum. She then went on to teach in a number of international and bilingual kindergartens and schools in Shanghai. Her work experiences helped her to better understand Western culture and to see the differences between the Western and Chinese cultures. Jingwen looks at ways to combine these two cultures when leading curriculum planning.
Just prior to joining Huili Nursery Shanghai, Jingwen worked at East China Normal University Affiliated Bilingual School Early Years as the early years’ Curriculum Co-ordinator, Lead Class Teacher and Acting Principal. During this time, she also finished her Principal course work and training, receiving her Principal Certification.
Outside of the classroom, Jingwen enjoys travelling and experiencing different cultures.
Sarah Peel is a Canadian early childhood music education specialist with a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Allison University and a Certificate in Teaching in Early Childhood Settings from the University of California Riverside. In 2006, she founded China’s first Kindermusik studio in Beijing, offering music and movement programmes for children, newborn to age seven, and their families. A lifelong musician, this opportunity to offer learning though music to young children quickly became her passion, and remains at the heart of her work.
Musically, Sarah is an experienced vocalist and expresses her love of music through singing with a band, playing hand percussion, practicing piano and teaching herself to play the guitar.
Sarah is a longtime advocate for the success of bilingual and multicultural children in schools. Her strong belief in bilingual education comes from her experiences as an adult learner of additional languages, and as the parent of a bilingual child.
Peihua Wang graduated with a Bachelor degree in Education Administration. She has worked in local and international schools in Shanghai for many years. Peihua was awarded “Employee of the Year” and received a teaching qualification certificate from a British International School’s Teacher Training Institute. Peihua was also a member of the founding team for the East China Normal University Affiliated Bilingual School in Shanghai.
Peihua loves different kinds of music and plays several instruments including piano and guzheng. She believes that music can bring magic to each unique child and she delights in hearing children express themselves through music, especially when they arrive in the morning singing! Peihua’s many years of teaching experience have taught her that love, patience, a sense of responsibility and moreover, a positive work attitude make for a good early years’ practitioner. Being a positive role model for her pupils not only helps foster good character by enriching their emotions, but also facilitates efficacy of education, making early years’ education more rewarding. Peihua is excited to share her approach to learning through music with pupils and parents.
Inês joined the team in 2019 whilst she was undertaking her QTS and immediately felt a sense of belonging with the nursery. Graduating with a Bachelor degree in sport, Inês has now been in teaching for nine years, three of which have been in China. Sports (particularly volleyball) and travel are her passions, and outside of work, she tries to do both as much as possible. Inês considers travelling as a great opportunity to learn about other cultures and expand her perspective of the world. She also spends some of her spare time reading and listening to music. When asked about her aspirations, Inês explained: “Professionally speaking, I hope to continue and develop my career as a teacher and make a difference to our pupils’ lives, helping as much as I can in their physical development as well as their individual personal growth.”
And here is something you won’t know about her – at age 14, Inês was a National Champion at volleyball (doubles).
Lynn (Chen Lei) graduated from Shanghai Normal University with a degree in Preschool Education. She holds both nursery and primary school teaching certificates, as well as a TESOL certificate. Following graduation, she has been devoted to bilingual education, working for different bilingual settings, during which time she gained a lot experience in preparing children for grade 1 studies. In her previous role, she helped children in her class succeed in admissions interviews and join their dream primary schools.
Working as a Library Teacher at Huili Nursery Shanghai, Lynn enjoys reading with children as she likes to help them know more about the world and to hear the different opinions and ideas from children’s perspectives.
In her spare time, Lynn likes painting, dancing and travelling.
With over 20 years’ teaching experience, Angela has taught in local, bilingual and international settings and has won a number of awards for teaching. Most recently, Angela was a co-teacher and dual-language teaching co-ordinator at an international school in Shanghai. Having held this position for nine years, Angela joined the team here at Huili Nursery in the summer. Outside of work, Angela loves travelling, reading and shopping. When asked about her aspirations for the future Angela had one personal and one professional. Whilst travelling and spending more time with her family is a dream, Angela also hopes that she can, ‘keep working for Huili and use my knowledge with my team, to make the whole environment an inspiring and fascinating one’.
Lisa moved from the UK to Shanghai this summer to join the team here at the nursery. Lisa has described the experience thus far, ‘I arrived in Shanghai at the beginning of August this year, and although it is very different to Scotland, my experience so far has been wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing more of China during my holidays from nursery’. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Gaelic Language and Music and a PGCE and has been working in early years for five years. Her school in the UK was bilingual, operating in the languages of Gaelic and English, therefore Lisa is bilingual herself. Lisa is a keen fiddle player who played as part of a traditional Scottish ceilidh band. Lisa hopes to learn how to play the piano and her aspiration is ‘to be a teacher that children will always remember’.
Because of her interest in early childhood education, Jean took a six-month internship at an early years’ institution, during which time she had the opportunity to travel to both Hong Kong and South Korea to train in teaching creative arts to children and received her certificate and qualification in teaching South Korean creative art. Following her internship, Jean studied Chinese Language and Literature at Fudan University in order to gain a full understanding of both eastern and western cultures, bettering herself as an educator. Prior to joining Huili Nursery Shanghai, she worked as a class teacher at an American English institution, private & public kindergartens, and an international school. Jean has learned numerous teaching models and philosophies from her varied teaching experiences.
Jean loves children and the opportunity to work with them. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys DIY projects, movies and volunteering.
Vivian grew up in Shanghai and graduated from East China Normal University with a major in primary education and modern languages. She was voted “Excellent Teacher” of the Pu Dong New District area in 2004.
With more than 14 years’ experience teaching children aged nursery through year one at a Shanghai international school, Vivian has an in-depth knowledge of the EYFS curriculum. She also has a very good understanding of the importance of allowing children to follow their interests and scaffolding children’s learning.
Vivian aims for excellence in her teaching, using her abilities to motivate and inspire others, inject warmth into her teaching practice and create harmonious, challenging and rewarding environments for children. The thing she enjoys most is seeing how much progress children can make during such a short time.
Vivian has found pupils enjoy greater successes in learning when activities are delivered in highly creative ways. A highlight in her career is the publishing of her article, “How to find Creative Potential in Activity”. In this article, she highlights the need for teachers to plan for learning rather than teaching, and to value the many ways children can engage with new concepts in the classroom.
Vivian loves travelling with her family to experience different cultures.
Hannah Zhang was born and raised in Lingbi, Anhui Province. Hannah has lived in Shanghai for 18 years. After attending university she went on to teach, with over 13 years’ experience working in a British international school in Shanghai. She is a founding teacher at Huili Nursery Shanghai.
She believes that every child is uniquely different and that each child’s experience in the early years is very important. A secure, safe and happy childhood provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents. Learning should be carefully scaffolded, with an emphasis on activities that are fun, relevant and motivating for all pupils.
When she is not teaching, Hannah loves cooking and enjoys gardening, reading and listening to music.
Erica Ni is a qualified early childhood practitioner with a Master’s Degree in early childhood education from Monash University. She has taught in early years’ settings in both Shanghai and Australia and feels fortunate to have met so many experienced educators from different cultures; working with them helps her improve her teaching and learn varied approaches towards early years’ education.
She enjoys working with young children because she thinks early childhood education is about more than teaching that it is about being with these little human being – learning about them, respecting them, inspiring them, challenging them. She enjoys see children learning to take care of themselves and others.
“I love to see a child who makes a camera with lego blocks and then says: ‘I invented this special camera for blind people so they can take photos for others, too!’”
Hailing from Swansea in Wales, Luke has always had a keen passion in fitness and sport, especially rugby. Though after having brief periods with semi-professional and professional clubs, he decided to use his Bachelors in Primary Education from Trinity College Carmarthen to explore the world.
This is where the China chapter began and 8 years later he still resides in Shanghai. Luke has taught at international primary schools and international kindergartens but is immensely excited to begin teaching within the nursery at Huili.
Having been in many different learning settings he has gained a real appreciation for the development of the whole child. The impact that music, art, physical play and the role of the adults in the classroom is vitally important to how children develop an understanding of their surroundings. Luke sees the first years of a child’s education as the most influential that they will experience. How a child views their position in the world, the way they engage with their peers and continued enthusiasm for learning are all vitally important factors in becoming a successful and healthy member of society.
In his spare time Luke enjoys being fit and active, whilst also having a passion for watching live music. His personal goals for this year are to reach HSK Level 3 and to travel as much as possible.
Tracy He joins Huili Nursery Shanghai as an Early Years’ educator. Tracy comes from Shanghai and graduated from Shanghai Tongji University with a major in law. Following graduation, she has been involved in education. Tracy now has over 12 years’ experience teaching in several Shanghai international schools both at the kindergarten and primary level.
Working in education, particularly Early Years’ has taught Tracy how much responsibility and patience goes hand in hand with this position. As a mother of two preschool children, she loves children and teaching; understanding the importance of what young children need to grow and develop.
Outside of work Tracy likes spending time with her family, gardening, working out, travelling and chatting with friends.
From training, personal experience and exchanges with colleagues, Tracy has developed her teaching style and describes it as a strong combination of social, emotional and cognitive development whilst learning through play.
Tracey says, “As an Early Years’ practitioner, I will make the best of my expertise, taking care of every pupil, while giving them a secure and happy experience. With the support and cooperation of our parents, I believe our pupils are the brightest little stars at the starting line of their journey”.
Richard originates from the West Midlands in England, which has been the base of his career to date. His early career was dominated by roles in the area of sales. However, fourteen years ago he began his second career and undertook an educational journey, which culminated in becoming a primary school teacher.
After completing a film and media degree at Wolverhampton University, he then completed his Post Graduate Certificate of Education at Newman College of Higher Education. During his training, Richard gained experience teaching in Key Stage 2 and continued teaching this age group when he qualified.
Two years later, he had opportunity to experience teaching all year groups and it quickly became apparent to him just how passionate he had become for teaching Early Years. Richard understands the importance of how a child’s first few years in education create the foundation for their continued learning and he is committed to ensuring every child has the best start. Richard is dedicated to teaching creative and engaging lessons as well as guiding his pupils through their own individual learning journey.
Richard’s first overseas post came with joining Huili Nursery Shanghai in August 2017.
Outside of education, Richard enjoys spending quality time with his family, watching football with his young son and practising martial arts. He continues to maintain a passion for all aspects of film and is known amongst family and friends as an oracle for film genres past and present together with his love of amateur filmmaking.
Paula Zimmerman joined us this year from a well-known nursery in Shanghai. With a Bachelor degree in Law (LLB), TEFL and PGCE Paula has used her teaching skills over the last five years in Thailand, Hong Kong and most recently China. Paula explains, ‘My degree is in Law and I originally aspired to be an Attorney, but after a year teaching English in Thailand (on what was supposed to just be a gap year) I realised my potential as a teacher and I’ve never looked back’. Outside of work, Paula enjoys yoga, reading, travelling and exploring as much as possible. Travelling is a big passion of Paula’s and she feels that there are still so many places to visit in China and Asia. Her aspiration is to continue her teaching journey abroad and further her teaching qualifications. Paula hopes to be living in Shanghai for a long time to come and to support life in China, she is slowly but surely working on her Mandarin.
Carmen Chow joined us from an international school in Shanghai. Carmen moved from Toronto, Canada to Shanghai three years ago and has over 10 years’ experience in teaching young learners. Carmen holds a Bachelor Degree in Education and aspires to, ‘to inspire children to be lifelong learners, dream big and believe they can do anything possible in life!’ Outside of life at the nursery, Carmen has a passion for photography, travel and is developing her cooking and culinary skills. She has a twin sister who lives in Toronto and once spent a summer living and working with beautiful husky dogs in Rovaniemi, Finland, right on the Arctic Circle.
Scarlett comes to Huili Nursery Shanghai with more than eleven years’ experience including teaching Mandarin in Year 1 for eight years and working as a Mandarin teacher and co-teacher in Reception for four years. Her background gives her not only a rich teaching experience but also strong classroom management skills. Scarlett has developed strategies to meet pupils’ needs and support their interests. She believes in giving her pupils space, respect and encouragement.
Scarlett is the mother of two boys. Together, they enjoy reading and exploring the outdoors. Scarlett also enjoys traveling and watching movies.
Being awarded Shanghai Excellent Graduate of the Year, Emma graduated from East China Normal University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Preschool Education. Since then, she has been teaching in Early Years. In her previous role, she had an opportunity to get involved in developing a textbook as part of The Twelfth Five-Year Plan series textbooks for National Pre-school Education. This book, namely The Professional Ethics of Nursery Teachers, later won the prize of High Quality Textbooks developed by universities based in Shanghai.
While working with children, Emma focuses on helping them build good habits from an early age because it has a more important and lasting impact on children than any cognitive skills. She believes that children are more likely to be influenced by parents than by the education they receive at nursery, therefore she strives to engage parents as partners in each child’s learning journey.
Emma has always been interested in all kinds of musical instruments. She likes going outdoors to enjoy the natural world and spending time with her children, making sweet and happy memories.
Steffen did his Bachelors degree at the Friedrich Schiller University of Leipzig/Germany in Chinese Science and Cultural Studies.
Graduating in 2009 he was offered the opportunity to work for the German Pavilion at the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai China.
After returning to Leipzig and Berlin respectively to continue studying for his Masters degree, Steffen found his way back to Shanghai to further study at the Tongji University.
Having worked in the events industry for the past 5 years, Steffen pursued a change of career by doing his QTS with the Institute of Learning, Wellington College China. He is very much looking forward to this new challenge and is eager to join the thriving and inspiring community of Huili professionals.
When Steffen is not busy studying or spending time with his family, you can find him in Crossfit Gyms around Shanghai.
Sarah received her teaching certificate and degree in language education from East China Normal University in 2007. She has varied and extensive experience in teaching language and communication within lower Primary and Early Years. Five of those years were spent in an international school in Shanghai as a Mandarin teacher in Early years. As part of her teaching role, Sarah was the Youth Chinese Testing (YCT) co-ordinator, responsible for organising YCT across the school. After many years considering a move to teaching in a bilingual environment, Sarah joined the Huili family in 2017.
Away from the setting, Sarah likes to spend quality time with her children and family and joins Zumba classes as much as she can.
Lynn has 13 years of teaching experience but has only just joined us here at Huili. Also a traveller, last summer she visited St Kilda, small cluster of islands in the Atlantic Ocean that constitute a world UNESCO heritage site. Lynn’s future aspirations focus on becoming the best educator she can be, as she hopes to, “Continue to learn and grow as an early years educator. I want to continue to read up on and implement best practice.”
Liam has been teaching in the UK for 5 years before his travels and career aspirations brought him here. Liam is a keen fitness enthusiast who plays badminton and does cross-fit regularly. He is also very much enjoying all of the culinary delights that Shanghai has to offer. Nicely settled into his life in China, he says: “I plan to stay in China for the foreseeable future. I may also look into applying to do a PhD on an area relating to sociolinguistics or speech and language development in EAL children.”
Bella holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Chinese Language and Literature, a certificate on teaching early childhood and a diploma in Early Childhood Education. A great enthusiast for traditional Chinese cultural pursuits, Bella enjoys painting reading and cooking in a classical style. She believes that the successful future development of children requires a solid example in the form of their teachers:
“I believe that teachers are important role models for children to learn from; the more playful, creative and aware the teacher, the richer the learning experience for the children, and the more hopeful the future will be for them.”
Jennifer started her career in 2011 by teaching English as a second language for two and a half years in Shanghai. After teaching in China for five years, she decided to return to England to further develop her best practice but felt the need to return to Shanghai in 2019 to pursue her passion for teaching abroad.
Another big passion of Jennifer’s is music, as she attends weekly drum lessons and hopes one day to be in a band. As for her teaching philosophy, she aspires to: “create an environment in which every child is safe, happy, included and inspired.”
This is Emily’s first year with our Huili Community. Emily brings with her fourteen years of experience teaching early years in a dual language setting. Emily graduated from East China Normal University with a BA Degree in Administrative Management. She has a wealth of experience building a nurturing environment where children can grow happily. Emily loves joining in children’s play, listening to their learning stories and is amazed by young pupils’ boundless imagination and creativity.
Emily enjoys music, art and swimming. She is the mum of a five-year-old boy who’s fascinated with Lego, cars and books about building things.
Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland, Joanne knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher. Coming from a family of teachers, she decided to join her love of sport and the influence she had from her family and pursue a career in teaching.
She completed a BA in Physical Education and Sport Science at St Mary’s University in the UK and then worked for a further 10 years in London. During these years she developed a deep understanding of the importance of physical education and play in the lives of young people. She also worked as a Sport Coordinator collaborating with a group of Infant, Junior and Primary schools and was responsible for raising standards of PE across a family of schools. In 2006 in PE, she was awarded Lead Practitioner status by Chartered London Teachers Association for her role in mentoring postgraduate student teachers.
In 2011, Joanne and her husband took up their first opportunity to work internationally and she hasn’t looked back since. During the last 7 years in Shanghai her family welcomed two daughters into their lives to make her family complete. She loves that her daughters grow up in this vibrant city as bilingual children.
Outside of school and sport she enjoys travelling with her family, exploring South east Asia. She also enjoy keeping fit and spending time with her family.
Chris was raised in the north east of England, in Kingston Upon Hull, where he lived and studied until deciding to read for a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science at Aberystwyth University. After finishing his studies, Chris joined the Humberside Police Force as a police constable. Chris spent ten years as a police officer working in various departments, and gained his qualifications as a detective.
In 2012, Chris and his wife took jobs at an international school in Shanghai and moved with their young daughter to Shanghai. During Chris’s three years there, he gained his teaching qualifications from the University of Nottingham, and discovered a passion for working in an early years setting. He then joined the teaching team at Huili Nursery Shanghai at the start of its first full year in August 2016.
Chris believes that the first few years are essential to achieving goals later in life. He is committed to providing his pupils with engaging learning activities to help them grow academically and emotionally.
In his spare time Chris loves spending time with his family and exploring Shanghai. Chris is a keen runner, which has given him and his family opportunities to travel to different parts of China.
Herming has been involved in the education industry for over a decade and has simple aspirations to be: “an amazing teacher at Huili Nursery.” Herming loves yoga, cooking, dogs and going on long hikes.
Katrina’s hometown is Zhejiang but for the past 15 years she has made Shanghai her home and joined Huili after 13 years in education. While she loves to cook, travel, dance and enjoy music, she is also a cat lover, even though her cat Bambi is a, “very naughty boy!” Alongside her career aspirations, Katrina aims to explore more of what the wider world has to offer: “I am very keen to travel to see more countries and absorb their culture. Food is also a great love of mine and I want to learn how to be a better baker!”
Katie joins us from England where she gained her BA in history from the University of Derby and her PGCEi from the University of Nottingham. Katie’s whole teaching career has taken place here in China, as she was in Changzhou for 3 years before making the move to Shanghai. As well as teaching in the classroom, Katie also teaches rugby and martial arts to adults as a fully qualified instructor, as she aims to keep developing her growing range of abilities and qualifications while enjoying her life in China.
After almost 7 years of teaching, Jenny has taken on the role of Elephant class teacher with great joy and enthusiasm, as she is always eager to help her pupils develop physically, mentally and emotionally as well as academically through their studies. A keen student of healthy diet and exercise regimens herself, Jenny believes that a healthy body is essential for maintaining a healthy mind. To keep herself openminded and receptive to new ideas, Jenny hopes to, “visit different country’s nursery setups in the future, so I can learn from the way they teach and organise themselves.”
Nicolle is already something of a world traveller, having moved to Spain at age 11 with her family where she learned to speak Spanish fluently. Nicolle has been in China for the past 3 of her 6 years of teaching, and says that she would love to, “immerse myself more in Chinese culture, travelling to towns and cities out of Shanghai, as well as improving my Chinese!”
As a teacher, Nicolle believes that there is always something new to learn and practise. As such, she is always on the lookout for opportunities to improve her teaching skills by attending as many professional development workshops as possible, while learning from fellow teachers and leaders.