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Ed Fest 2019 | Diving into Exploring Education

08 Mar 2019

In 2019, Wellington College China will host its fourth annual Festival of Education, an event dedicated to continually advancing the exchange of important ideas and practices, while exploring the potential challenges and opportunities inherent in modern education. The festival, already considered a benchmark international event, continues to develop in scale and ambition.  This year, it offers five distinct strands for attendees to explore: Early Years explores the various options on offer for Early Years development strategies, including inquiry into the value of play, the importance of balance, and the need to develop the ‘whole child’ while at the same time appreciating the need to encourage an early ability to focus on assigned tasks. Wellbeing tackles the tough questions facing modern education, such as how a child can remain healthy and mentally balanced in environments where academic achievement is often measured in an unforgiving manner. Also, what can schools do to ensure that success in examinations is not achieved at the expense of a child’s wellbeing, self-worth, and happiness? A Developing Romance looks at the complex and ever-evolving relationship between British and Chinese models of education. This involves an exploration of the many ways in which the two countries can come together, learn from each other, and perhaps create a ‘third-way’. Exploring Education assesses current educational issues that are not covered by the festival’s other strands, including topics such as psychology, the built-environment of learning, and value of assessments. Multilingualism considers the benefits and disadvantages of bi- and multilingual schooling and seeks to understand their effects on children.

In 2017, over 500 people purchased tickets to attend the Festival of Education. This academic year, there are 2 types of tickets available:
  • One Day Festival tickets
  • Full Festival tickets

Book your tickets now!

 Diving into Exploring Education While each of the strands holds equal weight and importance at the Festival of Education 2019, and wellbeing is especially well-represented this year, it is worth drawing attention to the Exploring Education thread. This is represented by many really excellent speakers who will share their knowledge and expertise with audiences. Here is a selection of the highly influential thinkers who will be making presentations at the 2019 Festival of Education:


Quantum Leap: From Einstein’s curiosity to new quantum technologies

Prof. Jiawei Pan

Shanghai Professor Pan is an extremely eminent quantum physicist, especially well known for his work in the field of quantum entanglement. Due to his pioneering and ground-breaking contributions in multi-photon entanglement and quantum communication, he has received numerous prestigious prizes, such as the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was named by Nature journal as one of “10 people who mattered this year” in 2017, and by Time magazine as one of “Time’s 100 most influential people” in 2018. He is an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and The World Academy of Sciences and serves as vice president of the University of Science and Technology of China.

A writer’s education

Off the Wall: A riotous consideration of alternative forms of education

Ian Marchant

Shanghai | Hangzhou | Tianjin

Ian Peter Marchant is an English writer, broadcaster and performer born in Guildford, England.  He is best known for his non-fiction works — mainly travel writing and memoir — but he has also written two novels and several other books, as well as short stories and newspaper articles. His most recent book, A Hero for High Times, was one of The Times’ books of the year, and considered the role of counterculture in post-war Britain.

What do smart students need the most? How to challenge and support our most able learners (as teachers and parents), based on worldwide research and effective practice

Learning with Leonardo: What are the 7 key concepts that drove Da Vinci's thinking and how can we still use them to improve our own abilities, 500 years after his death?

Ian Warwick

Shanghai | Hangzhou | Tianjin

Ian Warwick founded LG&T (londongt.org) as part of the groundbreaking London Challenge, which has transformed education across the capital city since 2003. LG&T have directly worked with well over 4,000 schools and 11,000 teachers internationally and more than 150,000 educators worldwide have used their award- winning high challenge e-learning materials. He has worked directly with networks of schools and universities in many countries across Europe and Africa, as well as the Middle and Far East, working with them to develop tailored learning resources and courses. He is proud to be a Founding Trustee of Anno’s Africa.

Driving social and global mobility: How schools and their communities can lead the solution to the one of the biggest societal challenges of our times

Girls, girls, girls: The challenges girls face in the world, and how parents in particular can support them

Dr Helen Wright

Shanghai | Hangzhou

Dr Helen Wright has had an energetic career spanning 25 years to date in the UK and international education sector, including 13 years leading schools as head, combined with a number of national and international roles, including as vice chair of the UK Independent Schools’ Council. She chairs two national UK education charities and one strategic lifelong learning board in a global organization.

The conservatoire and the creative economy

The arts and disadvantage

Jeremy Newton


Jeremy studied modern languages at St John’s College, Cambridge and then joined Coopers & Lybrand, training and qualifying as a chartered accountant, later becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (FCA). He has had a wide-ranging career in senior management positions in the arts, starting as Chief Executive of the Eastern Arts Board and subsequently setting up and running the Arts Lottery Fund. In 2009, Jeremy became Chief Executive of the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts and then joined Guildhall in early 2018.

Sensory strategies for increased focus and concentration

Debbie Lee


Debbie Lee studied at Fu Jen Catholic University, graduating in 2014 with a B.S. in occupational therapy. She also earned her certification as a sensory integration therapist from the University of Southern California in the United States in 2016. As a professional paediatric occupational therapist and sensory integration specialist, Debbie works predominantly with preschool and primary-age children.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century: What can a best-seller teach us about education?

Dr Emmanuel Bonin


Dr Emmanuel Bonin holds a Doctorate of Education from the University of Southern California (USC), as well as Masters Degrees in history and in film from the University of Paris Sorbonne. After 12 years in California, he joined Shanghai American School in 2016 as Deputy Head of School. In his capacity, he is tasked with ensuring the coherence of an innovative program for 2,800 students on two pre K-12 campuses.

How and why we build schools: Present and future influences on the ways schools are constructed

Jim French


Jim French, FAIA, leads DLR Group's Global K-12 Studio and is one of the most respected K-12 designers in the United States. He has led the design of more than $1.5 billion-worth of educational facilities and has a thorough understanding of how kids learn. He has combined nearly three decades of exclusive education planning experience with award-winning design talent to elevate educational opportunities in communities acrosss the United States, including Houston, Joplin, Mo., Kansas City, Oak Ridge, Tenn., Omaha, and Seattle.