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Setting a long-term education plan for children

23 Oct 2020

As the summer holidays continue, the Huili campus remains quiet after the unusually short second semester. It is widely acknowledged that ‘still water runs deep’, hence, it is difficult for us to keep calm when we look back at the past, somewhat different academic year. The academic year 2019-2020 was Huili School, Shanghai’s second year of operation since its founding in 2018. With the number of pupils and teachers doubled, every corner of our campus was filled with vigour and vitality. We witnessed the construction of the High School building on the opposite side of the current campus. In the face of the pandemic, the Huili community demonstrated its ability to trust and coordinate with others, which helped it to overcome the challenges presented during the recent difficulties. These experiences made us reflect on our original intentions relating to running the school and we continue to modify our responses to educational changes as they are presented to us.. Wellington College China also noted remarkable achievements this academic year. Due to its commitment to providing excellent holistic education over the past ten years, nearly 40% of 2020 graduates have already received offers from universities ranked among the top 10 in the world. The group will embark on its second decade of development in a strong position. 1 Founding of the school Thanks to the concerted efforts of its staff, Huili School Shanghai gained a high reputation in the education circle soon after its founding. In the upcoming third academic year, the number of pupils and teachers will nearly reach its full capacity. Within such a context, we plan to increase the number of upper primary classes and have thus received many parents’ inquiries. As we still have few remaining places for upper primary pupils, we are looking forward to engaging with like-minded parents to help their child’s development. If you would like to know more about the process of school transfer, please feel free to send your enquiries to our email or submit your questions through the registration link at the end of the article. Our staff from the admissions office will contact you as soon as possible. Email: admissions.hss@huilieducation.cn Since its founding, Wellington College China has been dedicated to integrating the best of Western and Eastern educational practices and philosophies. Through our own practices and observation of the Chinese educational field, we discover that quality bilingual education is much needed in China.

The rapid growth of the Chinese economy fuels the need for high-quality education and propels the education industry to develop at an unprecedented rate. Huili bilingual education integrates a global vision and aims to meet the needs of pupils while preparing them for the future. Wellington College China’s vision is also to promote local educational demand and create a first-tier learning community for Chinese families seeking excellent education. The founding team of Huili school was formed long before the opening of the school. They designed the holistic educational framework fufilling the 12-year schooling system assisted by theplatforms and advantages of Wellington College China. Huili school inherits the 150-year old of educational tradition of Wellington College UK, which is one of the most respected schools in the region, pioneering, innovating and transforming education for pupils. Meticulous preparation was made before the founding of the Huili school. Since its opening, it has been running smoothly, particularly in the face of the pandemic. In light of its lineage with the Wellington brand, Huili School Shanghai should not necessarily be regarded as a new school.   2 The curriculum framework Huili school adheres to the educational vision of “cultivating talent through virtue, kindness and integrity” while following the Chinese national curriculum to pass on Chinese culture and build pupils’ sense of belonging to the nation. The curriculum framework, which represents a marriage of the essence of West and East, lays a solid foundation for pupils’ academic development.

CHINESE The process of learning this advantageous curriculum enables Huili pupils to get an in-depth understanding and absorption of the cultural tenets of both Chinese literature and the Chinese language. They gain a sense of responsibility to pass on our traditional culture during the process of learning and begin to take on the role of ‘cultural messenger’ in a variety of settings. MATHS The bilingual mathematics curriculum at Huili emphasises the cultivation of pupils’ systematic thinking skills through a method of modelling to visualise abstract questions. This helps pupils to discover the link between daily life and mathematics, thus they can organise their thoughts quickly to solve complex problems. ENGLISH English is not an independent subject at Huili because it serves as a learning tool for pupils after they have a command of basic knowledge of various subjects. The acquisition of English is integrated into every subject and it becomes a popular language in our immersive learning environment.

Nowadays, even young children begin to learn knowledge through specialised teaching. Nevertheless, Huili school insists on putting general education and liberal education at the core. Compared with simply telling pupils “what you need to think about”, general education can gradually inspire pupils to understand this world, solve problems with critical thinking and finally gain their self-cognition. In the process of pursuing truth, they will build on their independent personality and know what kind of people they want to become. The general and literal education allows pupils to embark on a path of continuous study. In this constantly changing world, pupils who have the ability of adaption and knowledge transfer are able to step into a wider world. The concept of this curriculum framework is embedded into our academic structure through the hard work and constant deliberation of our founding team along with staff of Wellington College China and the Huili Institute of Learning. Two years after opening, our teaching of this purposefully designed curriculum proves that Huili is fulfilling its commitment to providing high-quality education.   3 A unifying community Although Huili school only has a two-year history, thanks to thorough preparation at the earlier stage and more than ten years of operational experience of Wellington College China, its daily operation runs smoothly. To our delight, nearly all our excellent founding teachers decided to stay with us after their two-year contract. We truly believe that our lively and enthusiastic pupils, together with their always supportive parents, united in our caring community, are reasons why we can retain these dedicated teachers. Affected by the pandemic, all the classroom teaching was moved online, and distance learning enjoyed a rapid development when it broke the barrier of the physical location. Learning at home for a few months posed great challenges for teaching and learning, and the relationship between teachers and pupils as well as the cooperation between the school and families. Never before have schools encountered such problems, which prompt schools to ponder on the value of their existence.

The same educational philosophy of the school and home united us, helping us to come through the adversities brought by the pandemic. We took advantage of the bond of our community and established a new type of home-school partnership via the internet. This consensus can be achieved because we have similar educational philosophies. When we restore our connection offline, we are sure that we can promote each other and gain mutual benefits. The Huili community is the most outstanding accomplishment of Huili school over the past two years. For us, the campus is no longer a physical site, rather a spiritual stabiliser for us. It is in such a favourable atmosphere that we know how the relationships between teachers and pupils and between the school and home affect our education in a positive manner.   4 Preparing for the future Huili School Shanghai continually aims to prepare pupils for the future through progressive teaching practices. Teachers at Huili are skilled at dealing with problems using information technology while focusing on teaching innovation. For example, deep learning supported by new technology enables pupils to understand the inner logic of what they learn and then use it to tackle practical problems. With the help of information technology, educational resources are further optimised, which can offer each pupil personalised learning support and make education keep pace with the times. Pupils, who are taught the methods of independent learning, have the ability to spark their own passion for learning in their abundant independent learning experiences. Their eagerness to learn equips them with the lifelong learning ability and contributes to their continuous development. 

The pandemic became a driving force for burgeoning online learning, and information technology plays a critical role in abundant educational resources. All these factors enable us to get an insight into our future education through the lens of “internet plus education”. Huili school’s efforts on constructing digital education ecosystem also came to the fore during these times. Schools have the responsibility for preparing children for the future and helping them to fulfill themselves. This requires schools to be progressive with innovative quality contained in their gene. Thus, education will not fall behind the times.   5 Long-term education plan The disagreement over the pandemic has caused conflicts among many countries. Those studying abroad are also affected by the strict visa application rules and cancelled cross-border flights. Renowned writer Charles Dickens described the age of Industrial Revolution as, “it was the best of times and it was the worst of times”. It seems appropriate to use this quote to describe the current development of international education. Choosing which educational path will benefit children most is the common worry of parents who guide their child’s growth. Although currently the process of globalisation has been paused by the pandemic, we clearly understand that globalisation is an irreversible trend and no country can be immune from it when ‘grey rhino and black swan events’ occasionally occur. Living on earth makes all human beings unite as a community with a shared future. That is why in an ever-close environment, global vision, a holistic view and empathy become increasingly important qualities.

Moreover, future generations desire to play their roles on a bigger stage, and qualities including a global vision and love of their country will facilitate them to achieve this. If children can receive international education earlier, they will become more prepared to step onto the bigger stage and seize every invaluable opportunity. The pandemic will pass, and children’s schooling will continue. When safety is no longer the major concern, we still need to consider children’s development and self-fulfillment. Flexible education plans focus on the long-term benefits that education brings to children while paying attention to any changes occurring in this process. The ultimate goal of this is to help them live a meaningful life. What we believe is that Huili School Shanghai is committed to achieving its original vision and mission and will continue to adhere to it.