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Meet our founding academic leadership team

20 Mar 2018

In October 2015, just as President Xi Jinping’s successful state visit to Britain marked a new “Golden Age” of Sino-British relations, New Bund, a division of Shanghai Lujiazui Group, and Wellington College signed a cooperation framework agreement to jointly develop the ‘New Bund Wellington College Bilingual Education Project’. The first phase of Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai was launched in February 2016 to meet the needs of children between the ages of 2-6 years. The second phase is to open in August 2018 and will extend Bilingual Shanghai into a bilingual school for students until grade 9. Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai’s curriculum is based on national and Shanghai curriculum and is delivered in the uniquely Wellington way to provide an exceptional bilingual education to Chinese families. Since 2015, the process of making the new bilingual school a reality has quickly progressed. The founding leadership team of Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai has been in post since August 2017 to prepare for the successful opening of the school. The time and resources that have been given to this experienced team reflects Wellington’s commitment to developing world-class education facilities across China and here in Shanghai.


We are delighted to introduce the leadership team of Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai.

Gerard MacMahon

Executive Master, Wellington College Shanghai

Gerard MacMahon was appointed as Executive Master for Wellington College Shanghai after one year as the Master of Wellington College International Shanghai. He will be leading both the International and Bilingual schools of Wellington College in Shanghai.

Prior to joining Wellington in January 2016, Gerard had been a school principal for 12 years in England and the Middle East. In 2004 he was appointed headteacher of Sheldon School in Chippenham, Wiltshire. In 2008, Sheldon was judged outstanding in all 38 inspection categories by Ofsted. He was made a National Leader of Education in 2010, and Sheldon was identified as one of the top 100 schools in England when becoming a Teaching School in 2011.

Gerard graduated in economics from the London School of Economics and trained as a teacher at UCL’s Institute of Education. He was the founding head of sixth form at Balcarras School, Cheltenham. He moved to Qatar in 2012 to be headmaster of Al Khor International School, one of the world’s largest international schools with over 4,000 students. In both 2016 and 2017, Gerard was named one of the ten most influential international school heads in China.

Stella Zhou

Principal, Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai

Stella Zhou joined Wellington College China in January 2017 as the Director of Academic Chinese, working together with a team of English teaching practitioners to develop the curriculum for Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai. In August 2017, she took on the position of Principal and led the preparation to set up the new school.

Prior to joining Wellington, Stella has enjoyed more than 10 years teaching experience in YCIS-Shanghai as a Chinese teacher and a class co-teacher, working closely with international teachers. In 2014, Stella was appointed as the founding Chinese principal of a bilingual school established by Yew Chung Education Foundation. Together with the expatriate principal, Stella led the founding academic team to explore and implement a bilingual curriculum for Chinese pupils.

Stella graduated from East China Normal University with a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and literature and a master’s degree in education. She is a passionate educator who is deeply aligned to the philosophy and ethos of Wellington College in providing a truly holistic education that also delivers excellent exam results. She hopes to bring all her experience to Wellington and is keen to establish a world class bilingual school in China, which will bring quality bilingual education for more Chinese families.

Paul Jackson-Read

Head of Primary, Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai

Born in Kingston-Upon Thames, England, Paul discovered a passion for teaching while working as an EFL teacher in Japan and returned to England to train as a primary school teacher at Birmingham City University, graduating in 1996. Paul secured his first deputy headship within eighteen months of qualifying as a teacher and attained the National Professional Qualification for Headship in 2007. He has successfully led improvement at three consecutive primary schools in the county of Worcestershire, United Kingdom.

Paul joined Great Malvern Primary School, Worcestershire in 2009, leading a successful period of change and development which saw the school move upwards from a ‘failing’ category to ‘good’. During his tenure, the school excelled at sport, securing a National Primary School Gold Level award. Paul also demonstrated his internationalism by forging links with schools in Tanzania, Japan and six schools across Europe.

Maggie Zhou

Deputy Head of Primary, Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai

Maggie Zhou graduated from East China Normal University with a BA and MA.

She has over 20 years’ experience in teaching and school management. Prior to joining Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai, Maggie worked in Shanghai as the Head of International Education Department of Shengda Garden Primary School. Her passion in exploring Eastern and Western cultures inspired her to develop the best bilingual curriculum for Chinese pupils by combining the strength of Chinese compulsory education and the concepts of collaboration and investigation promoted in Western education philosophies. She genuinely looks forward to working with the talented Wellington team of local and expatriate educators to establish a world-leading bilingual school in China.

Laura Ge

Head of Junior High, Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai

Laura graduated from Dalian University of Foreign Languages, majoring in English language and literature. Early in her teaching career, she taught English at Shandong University, one of the top universities in China. She was elected as the ‘Young Backbone Teacher' for her creative problem solving and tireless work ethic. She has been devoted to international education for over ten years.

Laura joined Yew Chung International School of Shanghai in 2008. Since then, she successfully held the posts of Chinese language teacher, Chinese studies subject leader and Chinese year group coordinator. In 2015 she worked as a founding member of the leadership team at Yew Wah International Education School, a bilingual sister school founded by Yew Chung Education Foundation. Laura was a key contributor in the process of setting up the primary and secondary curriculum and other managerial processes. Laura believes that the goal of education is to motivate pupils to be lifelong learners and help them become the very best young adults they can be.

Penny Mulholland

Assistant Head of Pastoral, Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai

Ms Penelope Mulholland will join the team in August 2018.

Penelope holds a B.Ed (Hons) degree, having graduated from Westminster College in Oxford in 1987. She began her teaching career in the north of England, teaching in a variety of school settings in both urban and rural areas. It was whilst working as a primary teacher that her interest in children’s wellbeing and additional needs began. Her international teaching career started in Qatar. She was part of a successful pastoral team and responsible for the creation and implementation of a Safeguarding Policy. For the past two years, Ms. Mulholland has been Head of Learning Support and Safeguarding Officer at NAIS Pudong.

Due to their combined experience and inherent strengths, we are confident that Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai’s founding team will undoubtedly make the school a great success. We are very much looking forward to meeting you during our upcoming Meet the Master’s event in April where we will be able to share our vision for the future of the college. We will outline exactly how we aim to support your children, allowing them to thrive and embrace their future at Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai.

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