Thanks to our coordinated efforts throughout nearly four years of meticulous preparation, Huili School Shanghai officially opens on 28th August 2018, fulfilling the earnest expectations of a great number of people. We warmly welcome every one of our founding members, who embrace the Huili dream for education and put a lot trust in us, to join the Huili family. Whether you are one of our pupils, parents or staff members, it is your presence that brings energy to what is otherwise simply a red brick building. Furthermore, it is the meaningful interaction between educators and pupils that gives life to an otherwise purely theoretical curriculum. We are confident that we can build a real partnership between the school and its parents and as a result create a strong community that will work collaboratively to provide a high-quality, world-leading education for all Huili pupils.
Early August saw a team of nearly 40 founding teachers start their induction at Huili. The Chinese staff enjoy an average of 11 years of working experience, with 79% of them having either worked as a curriculum leader of their teaching subject or possessing bilingual curriculum development experience. 67% of the expatriate staff come from the UK, while others are from the United States, Ireland, Australia and Portugal. More than half of the expatiate team have experience in teaching English as a second language. This highly selective team, imbued with the Huili Values of courage, respect, integrity, kindness and responsibility, will in the coming years support our pupils in exploring different areas of knowledge and help them develop into true Huili pupils, who are inspired, intellectual, independent, individual and inclusive.
The most exciting part about the opening of the school is seeing our founding pupils on the campus. Their happiness and eagerness to learn assure us that all our efforts have been worthwhile. Under the guidance of the teaching team, they are getting to know the school, their classmates and teachers. Grade 1 pupils had a chance to walk around the campus yesterday and now they are beginning to take ownership of their learning. Leaving the nursery life behind them, they now begin to handle the responsibilities of grade 1 pupils independently. Grade 2 to 5 pupils, who have already had some knowledge of school life, are exploring the new environment and adapting to all the changes set before them, while sharing their unique stories with each other. Grade 6 pupils, the eldest children admitted this year, are getting over the challenges during the transition period from primary to junior high school. They are young and energetic, holding both high expectations and ambitions for the coming learning journey. We sincerely wish for every pupil to become the best version of themselves during their time at Huili.
I remember we had our first “Meet the Master” session about two months ago at our sister school Wellington College International Shanghai. 97% families who had been invited to the session attended it and 112 parents gave up some of their time to complete a survey, the results of which give us valuable feedback about the school. We are thankful for the input of these parents and will adjust the way we involve and communicate with parents accordingly. After all, it is our shared goal to communicate in a timely manner.
Yesterday’s induction sessions have seen the new campus open its door to all of its founding families for the first time. During the sessions, Ms Maggie Zhou, the Deputy Head of Primary, shared some basic information about the Friends of Huili (FoH). We encourage all parents to contribute to this organisation in whichever way you find most appropriate, and together we will build one big, tightly-knit Huili community.
Before I end up this article, I would like to quote some frequently recurring words and phrases that parents used to describe Huili in the survey. In light of its “holistic educational ethos”, Huili School Shanghai has recruited a “professional” and “rigorous” team to provide an experience that “embraces the strengths of the Eastern and Western worlds”, while promoting the “wellbeing” of its pupils. Acting locally and thinking “globally”, Huili is “open-minded” and “inclusive” with “pastoral care” at the heart of its educational model. The opening ceremony of Huili School Shanghai has been scheduled for September 11th, which is going to be very exciting. Please keep checking our WeChat to discover more about it. Stella Zhou Principal