Q) What is the essence of an IB education?
A) To really understand the full depth of the IB takes a long time and much learning on the part of parents. However, the focus of an IB education is producing students who demonstrate the Learner Profile: Inquirer, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicator, principled, open-minded, caring, risk taker, balanced and reflective.
Q) Will my child lose their identity in an IB programme and be just a world child?
A) The IB focuses on promoting the child’s first language and culture. All lessons and units begin with local knowledge and understanding and progress to global solutions and problems and the CNC inform our teaching.
Q) What is the difference between your school and the other international schools? What is your student teacher ratio?
A) We have the strength of the IB behind all of our planning and practice, and their demand and support for our ongoing teacher professional development. Our student/teacher ratio is 1:7.
Q) Are your teachers qualified?
A) China will not allow an international teaching visa without 2 years experience and a bachelor’s degree in the field of work. The IB demands constant upgrading of teachers’ professional development and this must be demonstrated at each programme review: each 5 years.
Q) Where do your graduates go?
A) Our graduates all go to foreign university. They vary between the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia. The full list of universities which have offered places to our graduates is here.
Q) How do you evaluate students without constant examinations?
A) The IB works on formative and summative assessment. Our community – parents, teachers and students – understands that while a student is learning a skill, they must practice. This is formative activity. When they have spent an amount of time learning the task, they can be assessed on their progress. This is a summative activity. Our assessment is a combination of formative and summative.
Q) What is your CCA programme like?
A) Each year we try to extend our after school offerings. We have activities with outside instructors in Chinese, and with our own teachers in English, the areas of: the arts, sport, science, language and culture.
Q) Can my child easily transfer to another school system or to another IB school if we move?
A) The IB is well known world-wide as there are now over 6,000 IB schools all over the globe. Schools will understand IB school reports. Transferring to another IB school below the level of IB Diploma programme is seamless.
Q) Does the school have a 24 hours CCTV monitoring system?
A) We have multiple cameras in and around the school buildings and in classrooms for security purposes. These cameras are reviewed by administrators only.
Q) How much homework do students get.
A) Since most of our younger students are studying in a language they are still learning, they are weary at the end of the day. We ask them to do as many CCAs as they can after school and do not want them to spend too long each night on homework. The amount will vary as they progress through the school.
Q) How do I find out about the school bus and the uniforms?
A) The staff at reception will help with all logistical inquiries.
Q) What is the process for enrolling in the school?
A) The whole application and enrollment process is handled by our admissions staff, a link to Lily Li who heads this team is on the website.
Q) What is the advantage of the PYP interdisciplinary way of teaching over the traditional methods?
A) As children master pieces of knowledge and skills, they make connections between different types of knowledge and ways of knowing. This is what leads to critical thinking. This can only happen if the students can inquire and explore what they are learning rather than memorizing facts.
Q) What are the requirements to enter the MYP programme, and, later, the DP programme?
A) A combination of language and math ability, a willingness to work hard and an attitude of wanting to take part in these programmes is what we look for in students coming into Middle and High school.