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The most important factors to consider when choosing a school

27 Mar 2018

Many factors influence parents’ decision in choosing a school for their children. I receive lots of enquiries from parents every year during admissions season and their questions are often centred on the following aspects:

  • Curriculum – Is the English curriculum difficult for Chinese pupils? How does Wellington ensure the development of Chinese language? How much teaching will be in English and how much in Chinese? How many subjects will my child study? How many teaching hours are devoted to each subject? Are there after-class activities, trips and expeditions available?
  • Teachers – What is the ratio of Chinese and English teachers? How much educational experience do Wellington’s teachers have?
  • University – Does Wellington’s curriculum give its pupils advantages when applying for universities overseas? Will the school provide guidance throughout the university application process? What are the university application results from previous years?
  • Others – How much is the tuition fee? How much are miscellaneous fees such as bus usage and uniform purchasing? How does Wellington’s admissions assessment process work?
These are all highly important considerations when choosing a school, and all of the appropriate information will be shared during our 'Meet the Master' sessions. However, I believe that the most important factor to consider should be whether the school shares the same vision and education ethos that you have for your child.

The overall vision and education ethos of a school sets the direction of its development and lays out the learning journey your child will be taking throughout the next few years. It greatly informs your child’s development as well as the level of parental involvement in their education. [bs_well size="md"]

Our Vision

Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai aspires to create a caring, bilingual community that develops well-rounded individuals with strong values and the skills to thrive within an ever-changing global society.[/bs_well] [bs_well size="md"]

Our educational ethos

Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai aims to provide holistic education. We set out to establish a strong understanding of the rich and deep heritage and culture of China and being Chinese, while creating an educational environment imbued with the Wellington Values of courage, respect, integrity, kindness and responsibility. We continually strive to help our pupils become Inspired, Intellectual, Independent, Individual and Inclusive, enabling them to embody the Wellington Identity while establishing the aptitudes and skills needed to be well-rounded pupils.[/bs_well]


Our educational ethos aims to develop the knowledge, self-confidence and skills in our pupils that will not only lead them to academic excellence but also set them on their journey as life-long learners. It is our commitment to nurturing the whole child that enables us to develop each pupil’s inherent potential in a personalised and balanced manner, allowing them to become intellectual, moral and resilient individuals. Pupils will be inspired to adopt a positive, confident and optimistic outlook towards life; strengthen their intellectual curiosity to become creative, critical thinkers and self-motivated learners; manage themselves to discover and realise their individual potential; establish the skills required to be independent yet collaborative; and develop a global mindset with respect for cultural and personal differences in order to become inclusive. These qualities underpin the Wellington model of holistic education. The Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai primary and secondary curriculum has been carefully crafted by educational specialists within Wellington supported by a wide range of Chinese and international experts, with the aim of enhancing the moral integrity and fostering the individual talents of each pupil. Based on the Shanghai Curriculum within a bilingual immersion environment, the curriculum has added high-quality teaching resources from abroad. It is combining the best practices of Eastern and Western educational theories, while also promoting diverse cultures. The curriculum is designed to fit the learning characteristics of pupils at different ages and take the advantages of modern technology and teaching strategies in order to develop the spirit of innovation, an ability to implement ideas and encourage personal wellbeing in our pupils. Emphasising the development of multiple aptitudes, our curriculum offers rich educational experiences that promote moral, personal, cognitive, physical, mental and artistic growth in all Wellingtonians.


When learning is inspiring and fulfilling, pupils are much more willing to take the initiative in determining the course of their educational journey; becoming self-aware and able to motivate and manage themselves. To achieve this outcome, we provide a wide range of learning experiences in an innovative and supportive environment to help fuel curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, allowing pupils to become critical thinkers with a greater love and respect for learning. At Wellington, Chinese and English staff work closely to provide deep learning experiences in every area and focus on the learning process of every pupil in an environment that is full of practising and learning opportunities. This inspires pupils to think and gain experience and knowledge, as well as grow into competent and positive individuals. Our education model helps pupils to build confidence, develop their own methods of studying, and discover their strengths and potential while becoming more independent and responsible in their learning.


We value every pupil as a unique individual and that is why we design our curriculum as pupil-centred, focusing on the learning habits, interests, strengths and existing skills of every pupil. All teaching staff are required to plan lessons based on current pupils’ characteristics and practise differentiation, allowing them to not only develop in a well-rounded manner but also discover and build unique strengths.

Bilingual immersion

Achieving a teaching goal using two languages within the amount of time usually given to just one language is difficult. This is why our curriculum strives to develop a strong educational foundation and equip pupils with study skills and strategies for life-long learning. All areas of learning: subjects, activities, themes and modules, are closely connected to help pupils develop well-structured cognition abilities. Learning will take place in a bilingual immersion environment in classes and after-class activities, as well as during off-campus trips and expeditions. 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. All our teachers 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. From grades 6 to 9, pupils’ exploration of each subject becomes much deeper and richer than the primary level, as they develop their language skills across all subject areas, building the technical and cultural language capabilities required to become fully bilingual. Our teaching builds not only a strong knowledge of Chinese language and culture, but also emphasises English language acquisition, which is enabled across multiple subjects and co-curricular activities, as well as dedicated English study sessions. When talking about what a successful bilingual immersion education looks like, Dr Terry Qian, one of the governors of Wellington College China, said: “A second language should be learned in the same way as we learn our native language and be equally valued at school. Languages are carriers of information and tools of acquiring knowledge. Being bilingual means not only using two languages but also understanding two cultures. An effective language immersion takes at the least six years in a country where you don’t speak the language”. In our first year of opening, we will recruit pupils from grade 1 to 6, giving our eldest pupils six years to immerse themselves in a bilingual environment before completing their journey at Wellington and leaving us with the aptitudes and international outlook needed to succeed in the modern, interconnected world. We value our relationship with parents, pupils and the wider community, as we believe that a strong partnership is beneficial and critical in creating a successful learning environment for our pupils while making them feel part of the Wellington family. We are looking forward to welcoming parents and children who share our educational ethos and vision to join us and start a unique education journey here at Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai.