YCIS Teachers focus on the Future of Education

There is no doubt that the rise of COVID-19 around the world and the way that countries and schools have responded and adapted have changed how we teach and learn. But the exploration of new transformative approaches to education had started long before the pandemic began, and will surely continue even after the virus is defeated.

While YCIS Shanghai, Pudong’s new and returning teachers continue their training to prepare for the new school year, education expert Brett Schilke joined them virtually during the In-Service period for an interactive online session on the future of education.

Mr Schilke is a world-renowned psychological researcher, start-up founder, and author, among others. His approach to teaching and learning for the future relies on rich experience in human behaviour, intercultural dynamics, and design. Mr Schilke’s books, curriculum, and content have been used by more than a million people across 75 countries, as well as by some of the largest companies and education groups in the world, from Stanford University and GEMS Education to Deloitte and General Electric. He has advised and led projects with the US Congress, UAE Ministry of Education, the Interamerican Development Bank, and the G20.

In the interactive keynote session, Mr Schilke shared insights from a fascinating and deeply explorative 15 years of research into societal change and education. Through the lens of psychology, neuroscience, and storytelling, he introduced his theory on the future of learning, that plots the skills and competencies necessary for tomorrow, alongside unexpected tools and breakthrough technologies that will help students upgrade themselves through each step of their learning journeys. The teachers listened intently and were given the chance to ask Mr Schilke pertinent questions on how they could incorporate these ideas into their teaching and interactions with students at school and develop these more with their students going forward.

Training, career development, and inviting guest speakers such as Mr Schilke to deliver sessions like this are a testament to YCIS Shanghai’s continuous innovative and forward-thinking approach to learning. Where our teachers benefit, they carry this knowledge and learning on to our students. Mr Schilke’s presentation has paved the way for some stimulating discussions among our teachers and staff that will have positive repercussions throughout the school year and the years to come.  A parent webinar will be held at a later date to share some of the key takeaways from the training.

Celebrating IGCSE & IB Results

Written by: Ian Lee,  IGCSE Coordinator and Matt Grady, IB Coordinator

IB Diploma Results (Year 13)

YCIS Pudong again continued with the tradition of excellent IB Diploma results for the 2019-20 academic year in what has been a challenging year for IB students worldwide. We are exceptionally proud of the resilience, dedication and performance of our IB students with them scoring an average of 4 points above the world average. We were also very pleased to report a 100% pass rate for all of our full IB Diploma candidates. Eight of our IB students received the prestigious Bi-lingual Diploma demonstrating proficiency in two first languages. In addition, IB school statistics noted that the average subject score was a very strong 5.66 marks out of a possible 7 points which is testament to the excellent teaching and learning that continues to run through YCIS Pudong.

It was also wonderful to see that 5 of our top scoring IB students have been with YCIS since either ECE or Primary reflecting that these results are a product of a whole school effort at YCIS Pudong. Along with these terrific results, the breadth of leadership, service and co-curricular opportunities were also instrumental in contributing to another fantastic set of University and College placements for our cohort of 2020.

IGCSE Results (Year 11)

The Class of 2022 came through the toughest year of their lives with a superb set of IGCSE scores from Cambridge Assessment. There were so many success stories that it is hard to know which to highlight. Special mention must go to over 30% of our students who achieved a full set of 10 A*/A grades across every subject, staying focused and connected when the world was going through Covid-19 lockdowns around them.

All IGCSE Drama students attained A* or A, as did all IGCSE Music students, showing that the restrictions on having public performances did not hold back YCIS performers. It was a similar story with our creatives, with IGCSE Art and Design and IGCSE Design and Technology students all achieving excellent grades. Science was also particularly strong this year with almost all extended students attaining an A or A*. Not only that,  every single student passed IGCSE Mathematics, with the vast majority of extended students achieving A*/A. Special mention to the Year 10 Mathematics Advanced students who sat IGCSE one year early and were all awarded A*.

The English and Chinese departments once again demonstrated the strengths of our bilingual core, with every student passing their language and literature courses, and once again dominated by A*s and A’s.

We are so proud of our students who might not have received multiple A* and A grades, but who worked equally hard to achieve passing grades in their subjects. In many cases, it is those students and their work, and the work of parents and teachers to get them there, which isn’t celebrated enough when exam ‘results’ messages are released, so we want to end on a huge congratulations to everyone on their great success.

Introducing the New Senior Leaders at YCIS Pudong

In preparation for the 2020-21 academic year, we made some new senior leadership appointments at YCIS Pudong. We are delighted to share these with you.

New Leaders at YCIS Pudong

Kian Ji, School Business Manager

Kian Ji will join the School Leadership Team (SLT) as the new School Business Manager for YCIS Pudong.  Kian has been with YCIS Shanghai for over ten years in various Admissions roles and most recently Deputy Head of Admissions for YCIS Shanghai.  We are really pleased to have Kian join the SLT with the Co-Principals, Damien Hehir and Mary Yu.

Sissy Shen, ECE and Primary Vice Principal

Sissy Shen has been promoted to the new position of ECE and Primary Chinese Vice Principal.  Sissy will partner Mr. Rob Watson as co-leaders of the ECE and Primary sections of the school.  Sissy has been with YCIS Pudong for over ten years and is well known to our parents as a CAL teacher, team leader and most recently Head of Primary Chinese Department.  We congratulate Sissy Shen on her appointment.

Cathy Yang, Head of Primary Chinese 

Cathy Yang has been promoted to the position of Head of Primary Chinese, replacing Sissy Shen.  Cathy has been at YCIS Pudong for many years, teaching and leading CFL at Regency Park Campus.  Cathy will join the Primary Leadership Team and we look forward to working closely with Cathy in her new role.

Jon Banks, Primary Coordinator

Jon Banks has been promoted to Primary Coordinator.  Jon has been with YCIS Pudong for two years and has been the Year 5 Leader.  Jon replaces M. John McEnhill who left us at the end of last academic year.  Jon will oversee Years 2-4 and will work closely with Melissa Shaw and the rest of the Primary Leadership Team.

David Watson, Athletics Director

David Watson has been promoted to the position of Athletics Director for YCIS Pudong (K2-Y13).  David will replace Matt Uffindall who moved on at the end of the last school year.  David has been with YCIS Pudong for a few years now and has taught PE across the whole school from ECE to Secondary and has coordinated and coached a number of teams and programmes.  He will oversee all aspects of physical education and sports programme in the school. David will be supported by Ms. Kirstie McLeod who will oversee sports programmes at Regency Park Campus.

We congratulate all these leaders on their appointments.  We are sure our YCIS Pudong community will fully support them in their new roles.

Introducing the New Teachers

As with every new academic year, we have the opportunity to welcome new teachers to our YCIS Pudong community. This year of course has been more challenging for new teachers as many were hired prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some were hired from within China, so they were able to get to Shanghai very easily, whilst those hired from overseas had greater challenges.  Most are either here already or in the process of making their move to China. With new teachers needing to go through 14-day Quarantine before starting at school, we expect most new staff will be in place after the October holiday.

We are absolutely delighted with the high-quality teachers that YCIS Pudong is able to attract to our school and of course the students are the beneficiaries of this.  We have compiled a photo and bio for each new staff member so that you can learn more about their background, approach to teaching and their personal interests.

ECE New Teachers 

Kasey Zhang, K2C Co-Teacher

Ms. Kasey has been working as ECE teacher for six years. Originally, Ms. Kasey worked as a class teacher in a demonstration kindergarten, and taught Mandarin for K2 and Year 1 children in another international school in Shanghai.

Ms. Kasey graduated from Shanghai Normal University where she received an undergraduate degree in early childhood education. She embarked on a  masters degree from Nankai University where she specialized in psychotechnics.

Ms. Kasey is an open-minded, caring and a whole life scholar who likes to explore her love for education. She is always thinking about how to bring out the best in children. Ms. Kasey strives to motivate the children to learn problem-solving skills, emotional management skills and the habit of inquiry.

In her spare time, she likes playing guzheng, belly dancing and listening to Xiangsheng (stand-up comedy).

Laura NAND, K3B Co-Teacher

Miss Laura joined YCIS Pudong in 2020 as an ECE teacher. Originally from the UK, Miss Laura studied dance at university and then moved to China in 2014 to begin her career in full-time English Teaching. After gaining her Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Education at the University of Southampton she moved to Bucharest for a year to teach Early Years. She is thrilled to be returning to Shanghai, a city that she feels has become her second home.

Miss Laura is passionate about growing each learner as an individual and providing a nurturing environment for children to explore the world around them. She likes to use music and movement in her class and finds creative ways to encourage early reading and writing development.

In her spare time, Miss Laura enjoys cooking & baking, reading fiction books, running, dancing, playing board games and travelling.

Harriet Chan, K3D Co-Teacher

Ms. Harriet is a passionate, patient early childhood teacher with 4 years’ experience teaching in Hong Kong. Originally from Hong Kong, Ms. Harriet completed her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education (YCCECE) in 2020. She is certified as a kindergarten teacher, special childcare worker, and childcare supervisor.

While studying at YCCECE, Ms. Harriet taught in both local and international schools and spent her after-school time teaching English to a range of different age groups in a Hong Kong learning center.

After gaining 4 valuable years of learning in YCCECE, Ms. Harriet has a well-rounded understanding of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme at Yew Chung International School.

As well as being passionate about her subject area, Ms. Harriet enjoys promoting healthy eating. She has spent her final year of studies researching about food choices at home.

Beyond teaching, Ms. Harriet loves reading, traveling, and connecting with people from other cultures.

Joanne BEAUMONT-BATES, K2 Co-Teacher

Ms Joanne is joining YCIS Pudong as a member of the ECE team. She is from Nelson, New Zealand and hopes to be arriving in Shanghai early November 2020 to take up her position as an ECE co-teacher. Prior to moving to YCIS, Ms Joanne has been teaching and researching for over twelve years.

Ms Joanne values academic knowledge and this is reflected in her own academic transcript. She holds a Bachelor of Teaching (BTchg), a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDIPEd), a Master of Education (MEd) and is currently working on her doctoral thesis for the qualification of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) through the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Ms Joanne is passionate about play based child-centered pedagogy, digital technologies, inclusive and equitable learning and children’s rights. She believes that every child is a unique individual and has the right to realize their full potential. This begins in the classroom by developing responsive, reciprocal, relationships with children and their families from the outset.

Ms Joanne believes in creating supportive learning environments that encourage curiosity, active exploration, critical thinking skills, self-regulation and resilience. These are some of the key skills essential for developing a positive character and shaping capable and confident global citizens.

In her spare time Ms Joanne enjoys playing ‘the great highland bagpipes’ and in 2019 she travelled to Scotland to participate in the World Pipe Band Championships. She also enjoys travelling, good food and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Ms Joanne is joined by her son, Brock who will be attending YCIS Pudong at the Century Park Campus. Brock is also excited about starting his new adventure at YCIS.

Primary New Teachers 

Marc LAWRENCE, Y1A Co-Teacher

Mr Marc Lawrence joined YCIS Shanghai, Pudong in 2020. Originally for Australia, Marc completed his Bachelor of Primary Education at the Australia Catholic University. He went on to achieve a Masters of Education, majoring in School Leadership, at the University of New England.

Marc began his career in 2008 in Canberra, Australia teaching a lower primary class. In 2010 and 2011, Marc worked for two years in London, England at Pembridge Hall, teaching a Year 2 class. In 2012 and 2013, he taught for two years in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea at the Ela Murray International School working in the upper primary.  For the last five years, he has been teaching in Sydney, Australia as an assistant principal at Dobroyd Point Public School. He possesses an abundance of enthusiasm, a passion for student progress and achievement and is committed to all aspects of school life.

Mr. Marc Lawrence is joined by his wife Megan and his two daughters, Harriet and Charlotte who are also very excited about starting their journeys at YCIS Pudong.

Beyond the classroom, Mr Marc Lawrence enjoys watching and participating in world sports, exploring new places and experiencing their respective local customs, traditions and foods.

Sherry Cui , Y1D Co-Teacher

Ms. Sherry Cui began working at YCIS Pudong in 2019.

Ms. Cui obtained her Master degree of Teaching Chinese to Students of Other Languages in East China Normal University. Ms. Cui always believes that each student is unique and full of potential, she often encourages kids to solve problems in different ways. She likes working with students and teaching Chinese with some interesting activities. Ms. Cui is also a good learner, she enjoys learning new methods and improving her teaching skills.

Beyond teaching, Ms. Cui also loves reading, travelling, listening to music and Chinese traditional instruments. She likes playing the Chinese zither in her spare time.

Lei LEI , Y3D Co- Teacher

Ms. Lei joined YCIS Pudong in 2019 as a Chinese co-teacher.

She obtained a MA Degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language from East China Normal University and a BA degree in literature from Wuhan University. Ms. Lei loves spending time in class and teaching Chinese to students from different cultural backgrounds. Before taking up teaching posts at YCIS, she worked as a Mandarin teacher in Australia and USA.

Ms. Lei believes that Interest is the best teacher; her teaching pedagogy includes a strong focus on building interest in students through reading and activities. As an educator, she alsobelieves that each child is unique and she encourages students to discover their own way of learning with positive learning attitudes.

Beyond education, Ms. Lei enjoys yoga, photography, hiking and travelling the world. She recently tried to develop the skills on vlogging life to keep the memories alive.

Xing LYU ,Y4B Co-Teacher

Xing Lyu holds a master’s degree in teaching and learning Chinese language from Hong Kong University, and a bachelor’s degree and post-graduate diploma in Education (PGDE) from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Xing was originally from Shanghai and has been studying and living in Singapore for 15 years.

For the past 7 years, Xing has been a class form teacher as well as a Mandarin teacher in a Singapore public school, where she gained teaching experience working with a group of Chinese and non-Chinese students across 6 levels.

Xing believes in the concept that “Every student can learn”. To her, every student is unique and has great enthusiasm to learn. With this in mind, Xing does all that she can to help students in her class to unlock their potential. Xing always find innovative ways to make her Chinese lessons engaging and inspiring. It is so heart-warming for her to witness pupils embracing challenges, overcoming difficulties, and achieving their best.

Outside of the classroom, Xing loves to explore new things, experience new cultures, meet new friends. This is how she keeps herself open-minded and satisfies her curiosity of discovering this fascinating world.

Angelica Escobar ,Y4C Co-Teacher

Ms. Angelica Escobar is originally from Colombia in South America. Her studies include a B.A. in psychology, a teaching certificate and a Master’s in Education. She is certified as an International Positive Discipline Trainer for teachers and parents and has completed additional training in all areas of the education field, including ESL and safeguarding level 3.

Back in Colombia, Angelica worked for 7 years in an IB school, supporting children and teachers in and out of the classroom as the Learning Support Coordinator. She also taught pastoral and wellbeing to all the students in the primary school.

Later, Angelica moved to Tianjin, China, where she taught Year Three for three years and Year Four for two years in an international school. She was also the Years Three and Four leader,aHead of House and one of the boarding house assistants.

Angelica is joined by her husband, Saul, along with their daughter Emilia and their son Mati, who will attend the Primary School at YCIS Pudong.

Angelica is a creative and active person. She loves dancing, traveling and discovering more about people and their culture.

Lilian Liu, Y4D Co-Teacher

Ms Liu has worked at YCIS Pudong since 2019. She has been studying Chinese language and literature over seven years and has obtained a master’s degree in this field in Shanghai.

Ms Liu is an enthusiastic and responsible teacher who believes that every student is distinctive. She sees that her role is to motivate them to play imaginatively and creatively in the course of Chinese learning. Ms Liu encourages students to learn Chinese both in and out of the classroom.

In her spare time, she prefers to improve her teaching skills through different media and enjoy splendid languages and cultures.

James Dyke, Year 4E Co-Teacher

Mr. James Dyke is adynamic, passionate, primary teacher with over 15 years’ experience teaching at outstanding schools around the world.

Originally from England in the UK, Mr. Dyke completed his Bachelors degree in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Surrey. He went on to gain a PGCE from the University of Worcester before taking up his first post teaching a Year 1 class in England.

After gaining 4 valuable years of experience teaching the English National Curriculum, Mr. Dyke took up his first international teaching position in Bangkok, Thailand. Here Mr. Dyke spent 6 years teaching a range of different year groups. For the past 5 years Mr. Dyke has been working in Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

Mr. Dyke combines education with entertainment, ensuring all those who are taught by him make maximum progress as well as having a great time.

Mr. Dyke is joined by his wife Paweena and his two sons, Eddie and Nicholas who are also very excited about starting their journeys at YCIS Pudong.

Outside of the classroom Mr. Dyke enjoys most sports and is a huge England cricket fan!

Ruby CHEN, Y5A Co-Teacher

Ms. Chen began working at YCIS Pudong in 2016. Before working as Year 5 Co-Teacher, Ms. Chen was a Year 7 Co-Teacher in the Secondary school at YCIS. She was also the Chinese teacher, teaching both CAL and CFL courses. In Primary, Ms. Chen will focus on teaching CFL courses for students.

Before joining YCIS, Ms. Chen worked as a Chinese teacher in Donghua University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language in Shanghai International Studies University. She likes kids and enjoys spending time with them. She pays attention to the development of every student and focuses on cultivating students’ interest and good study habits.

As well as a passionate teacher, Ms. Chen likes to play Tai Chi. She offers Tai Chi CCAs to students at YCIS Pudong. She also loves DIY, cooking, playing badminton, and traveling.

Kelly Lyons, Y5C Co-Teacher

Ms Lyons is originally from Sydney, Australia. She gained her Bachelor of Teaching/ Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Newcastle, Australia. Ms Lyons has over 18 years’ experience, having taught in Australia before embarking on her international teaching career 2 years ago. She has taught the Australian curriculum, as well as the IB PYP curriculum across a range of year groups.

Ms Lyons is passionate about Mathematics, student engagement through making connections with their learning and the world around them and student’s achieving their personal best through having a growth mindset.

Ms Lyons is joined by her 2 children, Chelsea and Tristan who will join YCIS Pudong in the Secondary section.

Ms Lyons enjoys participating and watching a variety of sports, trying new activities, creating quilts and exploring new places. She enjoys being part of a team and was a patrolling surf life saver at her local beach before moving to China.

Caroline Haigh, Y6C Co-Teacher

Miss Haigh is joining YCIS Pudong in 2020 as a Year 6 teacher. Originally from the north of England, Miss Haigh started her career working in Early Childhood Education with a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies. This entailed working in Early Childhood settings in London and in Australia. She then completed a PGCE specialising in Upper Primary and teaching various year groups in the North of England.

Alongside teaching Miss Haigh completed a Masters in Education where she carried out research looking at different education systems in Finland, Zambia and Hong Kong. In her previous school she carried out the role of Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator which entailed completing the NASENCO qualification. In addition to this, she was the assistant safeguard lead and formed part of the senior leader team in her previous role. Miss Haigh has experience leading KS2 school performance, sporting activities and residential visits which she values as part of developing the whole child.

In addition to teaching Miss Haigh likes to keep active though running, dancing and exploring new destinations around the world to learn about different cultures. Miss Haigh is very excited to be joining the YCIS team and continuing to develop her passion for teaching and learning in an international setting

Claudia Du, Y6B Co-Teacher

Ms.Claudia Du began working at YCIS Pudong in 2019.

Ms. Du obtained her Master’s Degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language in Capital Normal University. Ms. Du worked as a Chinese teacher in Confucius school in Bilbao, Spain before joining YCIS Pudong. She has a passion for Chinese teachingand class management. Ms.Du enjoys maintaining a good relationship with her students, and likes to motivate them in different ways.

Beyond education, Ms. Du has a passion for life. She loves swimming, travelling and she is also keen to learn about different cultures.

Primary New EAL and Specialist Teachers

Temisha S. Willis, Primary EAL Teacher

Miss Willis joined YCIS Pudong this year as a member of the EAL team. She is from the United States but has resided in Shanghai since 2018. Prior to moving to Shanghai, Miss Willis taught in the USA for 21 years.

Miss Willis has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education K-8 and a MA in Teaching and Learning K-12. Prior to moving to China, Miss Willis started studies towards her EdD in Leadership and Management.

While living and teaching in the USA, Miss Willis taught grades K and G5-G8 as well as served as a Curriculum and Instruction Specialist for schools servicing grades K-8th.

Miss Willis knew that teaching was in her blood from a young age. While her peers were outside playing, she would be inside holding class with her baby dolls and teddy bears. Nothing delights her more than seeing a child light up and the “I did it” glow when they have acquired a new skill or figured out a solution to a problem.

The one thing Miss Willis does with passion is to encourage children to read. Read as much as possible and whenever possible is her mantra. She always shares with students that reading allows them the ability to see new places and explore the unknown without ever leaving the room.

Aside from working with scholars, Miss Willis loves to cook, tries to travel as often as possible and loves spontaneous photography. Shopping used to be at the top of the list prior to moving abroad.

Song Wong, Y5 EAL / Resource Teacher

Ms. Song joined YCIS this academic year as a Y5 EAL Teacher and Resource Teacher. Originally from California, Ms. Song has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard University. She worked for a number of years in the hotel, real estate and finance industries in San Francisco, Singapore and Shanghai. Keen to explore entrepreneurship while raising a family, Ms. Song started Shanghai’s first American-style bakery in 2008, called Sweet Ever After.

Mother to four little ones, ages 2 to 9, Ms. Song loves being around children. Motivated by her interest in the field of education and teaching, Ms. Song completed her certificate of teaching from Moreland University and completed her student teacher practical in a Y2 classroom at YCIS Pudong during 2019.

Ms. Song believes that learning never ends and growth is always on the horizon. It is with a passion for learning and growth that Ms. Song approaches teaching.

Kevin Pham, Music Teacher

Mr. Pham joined YCIS Pudong in 2020 as a Primary and Secondary Music Teacher. He completed his undergraduate degrees in music education and secondary education at Fort Hays State University in Kansas, USA. Before working at YCIS, he taught band and general music at Plainville High School and coached the percussion sections at Shawnee Mission East High School and Olathe South High School in Kansas City. YCIS marks Mr. Pham’s sixth year of teaching and his first year at an international school.

Mr. Pham seeks to inspire students to help them find a passion in music in hopes that it becomes a meaningful and enriching part of their daily lives. In addition to teaching, Mr. Pham pursues his own musical ventures through performing and arranging. He also has interests in recording music and video editing. Outside of music, Mr. Pham enjoys exercising, pretending to know to how cook, and going on adventures to learn more about different cultures of the world.

Danny Howe, PE Teacher

Mr. Danny will be joining YCIS Pudong this year as a member of the Physical Education Team. Originally from Chicago in the USA, he received his BA degree in Physical Education & Health for levels K-12 from Northeastern Illinois University. After spending three years teaching PE in the USA, he started his international teaching career in Shanghai where he spent six years educating students in PE & Health covering a range of different year groups. He has spent the past year teaching in Romania and is very excited to be returning to Shanghai.

Mr. Danny is passionate about encouraging students to challenge themselves in physical activity, and helping them achieve their personal bests. He believes that educators have the wonderful opportunity to help shape the overall character of their students and provide them with the tools they need to be successful in the future.

In his spare time, Mr. Danny is a true adventurer! He has visited 76 countries around the world and has future plans to visit many more. When he is not trekking around the globe, he enjoys playing competitive sports such as softball, basketball and golf. Discovering new music is one of his true passions, and you will rarely see him without a pair of headphones in his ears.

Secondary New Teachers

Kyndra Douglass, University Guidance Counsellor

Kyndra Douglass joined YCIS Pudong in 2020 and has been working in Shanghai as a University Counsellor for the previous 4 years. She grew up in Los Angeles, California and after finishing her B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Kyndra has been living around the world.

After teaching English in Seoul, South Korea and Tainan, Taiwan for several years she went on to earn a Masters degree in International Higher Education through Loyola University Chicago. Kyndra is extremely excited to be a part of the YCIS community after hearing about it’s amazing reputation. She feels extraordinarily fortunate to support such hardworking and unique students in their university preparations and applications.

Carolyn Chieng, Mathematics Teacher

Ms. Chieng joined YCIS Pudong in 2020 as a Secondary Mathematics Teacher. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the National University of Singapore and a Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education from Columbia University. She started her career in banking before pursuing her passion in teaching. With over 14 years of experience teaching in Singapore and New York, Ms. Chieng was also a Tech Mentor who led teachers in using technology to enhance students’ learning.

When Ms. Chieng was in primary school, she was among the first group of students to learn Mathematics using the Singapore Math method and was always fascinated by the visual representation of Mathematics. She was curious about the connections between Mathematics and the real world, and wants her students to appreciate the beauty of Mathematics.

Outside the classroom, Ms. Chieng enjoys cooking with her two sons who are enrolled at YCIS Pudong. They love making costumes and look forward to exploring Shanghai on their bicycles and trying new cuisine.

Holly MasonScience Teacher

Miss Mason joined YCIS Pudong in 2020 as a Secondary Science teacher. She is originally from the UK and studied Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry at A level then continued on to higher education where she studied a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacology at Newcastle University.  Upon completion of her degree, she realized teaching would fulfil her passion for Science and enjoyment of working with children. Miss Mason completed her teacher training in 2016 and has taught Science in a secondary school and sixth form until 2020.

Miss Mason aims to inspire a scientific curiosity in her students and together explore new scientific ideas and theories.

When she isn’t teaching, Miss Mason enjoys traveling, reading and walking.

Jennifer HeckerEnglish Teacher

Ms. Hecker joined YCIS Shanghai Pudong in 2020 as a Secondary English teacher.  Originally from California, Ms. Hecker has a BA in international relations and Spanish language and literature from the University of San Diego.  She completed a post-baccalaureate degree in writing at UC Berkeley.  After obtaining a teaching credential in Secondary English, Ms. Hecker earned a Master’s in Secondary Education from California State University Fullerton. Ms. Hecker has taught English and Spanish in the USA, Korea, and China.

Ms. Hecker enjoys reading fiction and non-fiction in order to learn more about the world around her.   She enjoys traveling in order to learn about the culture and politics of nations, and to gain understanding of the universal human experience.  She strongly believes that understanding and compassion are the key to a better planet.

When she isn’t teaching, traveling, or learning Ms. Hecker enjoys exploring Shanghai and finding the hidden gems of the city.

Mahriar Hussain, Social Sciences Teacher

Mr Hussain joined YCIS Pudong in 2020 as a Humanities and ICGSE History teacher. Originally born and raised in Hong Kong, he moved to the UK in 2002 where he obtained a degree from Oxford Brookes University in 2005 and then moved to London and obtained a Masters degree at the London School of Economics in 2006.  After working for a number of years he decided to turn his childhood passion of history as a means to develop a fulfilling career, so he trained as a history teacher and obtained his PGCE in 2017 and taught history in schools in London.

As a passionate historian Mr Hussain likes to continually update his subject and pedagogical knowledge in order to deliver enjoyable lessons. He believes history is an incredibly important subject as it teaches students how to analyse and think critically. If you were to walk into his classroom you would see Mr Hussain encouraging his students through discussion to interrogate the past with analytical rigour. In addition to teaching he also worked as a GCSE history examiner for one of the UK exam boards and has shared the insights gained there to teach students how to write and communicate effectively.

Aside from teaching History, Mr Hussain enjoys practising martial arts, reading and travelling.

Michael Henderson, PE Teacher

Mr. Henderson joins the Physical Education department at YCIS after 11 year’s experience of teaching internationally. Originally from the city of Glasgow in Scotland, Mr. Henderson completed his BSc with Honours in Sports Coaching and Development in 2005. After a short spell coaching football in The United States, he returned to his studies to gain his PGDE in Physical Education at the University of Strathclyde. Eager to see more of the world, Mr. Henderson moved to Qatar in 2009 for a P.E. teaching position. Since then he has held Head of P.E. department roles in Oman, Malaysia and most recently in the United Arab Emirates.

Enthusiastic about the opportunities and skill acquisition that sport can provide students both in and out of school; Mr. Henderson is an ardent supporter of extra-curricular activities for all age groups and for any level of expertise.

Away from teaching, Mr. Henderson enjoys playing golf and football and has an interest in aviation.

Richard Garrison, Mathematics Teacher

Mr. Garrison is originally from Cleveland, Ohio in the United states where he got his degree in Mathematics at John Carroll University.  He taught for 2 years in the United States, then for 1 year in Guangzhou, and for the past 4 years he has been teaching at Tsinghua International School in Beijing.

This year will be Mr. Garrison’s first year at YCIS and he will be teaching Mathematics from Years 8 through 12 as well as coaching volleyball.

In his spare time, Mr. Garrison enjoys watching live music, playing sports and scuba diving.

Vish KapilaComputer Science Teacher / Technology Integrator

Mr Kapila joined YCIS Pudong in 2020.  Originally from North Manchester, UK.  he studied in London, Manchester and West Yorkshire to complete his BSc Computing.  He then completed his PGCE (QTS) in 2003.  Since then Mr Kapila has achieved a TESOL (English language teacher qualification) and a Master of Education MEd – Leadership and Management (from the UK).  As far as teaching goes, Mr Kapila has been working as a teacher in the UK from 2003 to 2014 up to leadership level.  However, due to an interest of travel – over the last seven years Mr Kapila has worked in Kazakhstan as a Teacher Trainer, Director of IT Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Computer Science teacher in Suzhou and now proudly working at YCIS.

Mr Kapila believes that Education is the way forward of making our world better.

Mr Kapila has his son aged 11 with him and his wife who is also a qualified primary school teacher.  His interests include internet technology, cars, cooking, learning about cultures, playing and watching football, studying history, etymology and philosophy.  Mr Kapila speaks fluent Arabic, Punjabi (Hindi/Urdu) and has basic level French, Russian and Chinese.

Alumni for life – Connecting YCYW Alumni Around the World

Written by:Rachel Zhao, Director of Institutional Advancement (China)

At Yew Chung Yew Wah, we define whoever studies at YCIS or YWIES for over one year as alumni. Former parents, staff, faculty and friends are part of this network as well. With the mission “to build pride, participation and commitment in support of the school and our graduates” in mind, we run a series of programmes that engage alumni, inspire them in their career or personal growth, connect them via various communication channels, and provide opportunities for giving back to both the school and the community.

So what are the activities that your children can be involved in the future? Every year, at school level, we coordinate to holdreunion events in which alumni are able to go back and meet their teachers to share updates. We also take these opportunities to invite them into classroom, sharing their industry insights or wordsof wisdom with current students. Globally we also organize gatherings in a number of major cities where many of our alumni reside, such as London, Manchester, New York City, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Additionally, we connect resources to offer internships, career sharing workshop, as well as e-mentoring programme through our internal alumni communication platform “Yewtopia”. With the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic, we went digital this year and organized an alumni virtual day on June 3rd, to share topics such as the adventures and challengesof study abroad and how to deal with uncertainty.

Picture left: Alumni reunion lunch with teachers and Co-Principals on Aug. 21, 2019
Picture right: Ms Cher Lee (Class of 2009), Mr. Jackson Chow (Class of 2009) and his wife, Ms Adrianna Ma with Dr. Chan at YCIS Puxi Primary (Hongqiao) Campus Building, Nov. 13,2019.

Meanwhile, we recognize the importance of empowering, so we invite alumni leaders to run a local alumni chapter. The YCYW Alumni Shanghai chapter was established in June this year. With the support of President Mr. Able Chang (Class of 2009, YCIS Puxi) and Vice-president Mr. Liping Lin (Class of 2012, YCIS Pudong), we look forward to providingthe community with ongoing opportunities to share experiences and traditions. Together, we build alumni for life.

Picture left: Volleyball game among Alumni, current students and teachers on Aug. 23, 2019, YCIS Pudong;
Picture right: Alumni panel discussion hosted by UGO_Jan. 7, 2020

Please stay connected by scanning the follow alumni WeChat QR code

 Please click here to watch a video made by our Alumni community as they send love and care during COVID-19.

The Power of Connectedness

Written by: Roseline Yang, Parent Relations Officer

The main purpose of our Parent Organization Pudong (POP), with the support of our Parent Relations Officer, will be finding creative ways to be connected in this “new normal“ and continuing to develop long-term bonds in our school community.

At YCIS, we are all connected to one another for the same reason: our wish and commitment to create a safe, caring and inspiring environment for our students, so that they can fully develop their full potential and become globally competent and compassionate leaders with a servant’s heart, who  aspire to, and act for, a better world.’

The first point of connection for parents comes from their choice to send their children to YCIS, a school with an established history, committed to offering a global education through a unique blend of East and West, and an International Curriculum that focuses on developing human qualities. As our students learn to explore, discover and interact with people of the YCIS community, parents also have the same opportunity, because YCIS is a school that encourages all members of the community to come together in a warm and collaborative way.

However, as we return to school, we must also comply with new rules and regulations due to the pandemic, and so it is essential that we continue to follow the directions given by school leaders. Their top priority is the safety and well-being of the students in order to continue to enable the whole school community to creatively explore different fields of knowledge and develop learning skills critical for the 21st century.

This is the context in which I begin my fifth year at YCIS Pudong and second year as Parent Relations Officer. I hope that everyone can keep a positive mindset towards the school’s efforts and offer innovative solutions to stay connected as the Parent Organization Pudong: “To engage everyone and to build a community where everyone finds its place of comfort, regardless of our origins, gender, age, experience, life-style and language”.

During these first few months, our focus will be to make sure that everyone has settled in and understands how to communicate and be supported, especially for the new families and the ones who are still abroad. In the meantime, as we clarify with the faculty and school leaders how parent involvement will look while they are not physically allowed on campus, we will focus on building a network of parent helpers for:

  • parent class liaison for supporting class teachers in ECE and Primary/year level coordinators in Secondary
  • parent country liaison for helping new families coming from abroad or from other regions of China navigate inShanghai (we already have for Korea, India, Brazil, Latin America, Spain, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, UK and USA)
  • parent volunteers for supporting student-life & leadership initiatives (e.g. lost & found, second-hand uniforms/books, house team spirit, etc.)
  • parent volunteers for supporting parent & family life (e.g. parenting skills tips, health & fitness, discover Shanghai and other cultures, book club and other activities, etc.)
  • parent volunteers for supporting traditional POP events & projects – Giving Tree, Christmas Tree Lighting, Chinese New Year Family Celebration, Global Child/Community Day, Staff Appreciation)
  • parent editors/writers/translators for sharing tips and stories on the POP Blog, which was originally created by parents for the parent community.

No matter how you want to be connected or how you want to support our community, any help is always welcome and appreciated. In this “new normal” and ever-changing environment, the Parent Organization Pudong is the place where every member has the opportunity to make a difference while learning to be flexible, proactive and reactive.

If you need help, want to connect with other parents from the community and/or if you want to be part of our community builders and helpers, feel free to contact our Parent Relations Officer Roseline Yang at: rpcp.parentrelations@sh.ycef.com

“I hope you will get to know the fantastic people I have had the chance to meet and work with: The power of connectedness at YCIS definitely goes beyond the walls of our school and the people registered for 2020-2021.“  Roseline Yang, Parent Relations Officer


Innovation and Technology at YCIS Pudong

Technology is embedded in our school’s DNA and it is flexibly and creatively applied in different ways for learning and teaching. However, when the COVID-19 epidemic began, adaptability and innovative thinking were still required to make the transition to e-Learning as smooth as possible. By making full use of existing hardware and software and newly introduced tools and technologies, students were given the chance to continue their learning in the best possible environment.

Since the very beginning, students displayed creativity with their use of resources, becoming ever more comfortable with technology and significantly increasing learning efficiency. They showcased their learning through different formats that taught them multiple skills, including submitting PPTs, posters, podcasts, videos, and reports, which teachers could then quickly and efficiently assess. The teachers produced all sorts of solutions to undefinable problems, using cameras, laptops, and ‘MaxHubs’ in different combinations to accommodate the students’ needs, and they were given the freedom to choose whatever new tool they considered the best fit for the subjects they were teaching, be it in English, Mathematics, PE, or Drama.

“The children have developed their computational skills by using programs such as Microsoft Word and PDF editors to change how they would usually complete their worksheets in English, Mathematics, and Topic.” Ms Jennifer Stain, Year 4 Leader at YCIS Pudong

“For English learning, we adopted a variety of online resources to support our students based on their individual learning needs. One of the go-to platforms I’ve used extensively thus far has been ‘Padlet’, that allows us, as a class, to work collectively in real-time on various projects and tasks.” Mr Anthony Yu, Secondary English Teacher at YCIS Pudong

“Fitness Challenge students were able to create exercises that they would then lead for the rest of the year level cohort making them the fitness instructor for 1 minute.” Nathan Pearson, PE Teacher at YCIS Pudong

“Our production of ‘Alice the Musical’ had to be postponed, but I wanted to provide students with as much incentive as possible to continue to develop their creativity and performance skills in Drama. Luckily, many online resources became available, including a full virtual musical production kit. Students engaged in learning about script interpretation and used materials that they had at home to make improvised sets, props, costumes, and lighting. Parents and siblings helped create home videos of each scene, which are currently being collated into a hilarious account of what happens in the theatre department when ‘The Show Must Go On… line!’.” Ms Renae Livermore, Primary Music and Drama Teacher at YCIS Pudong

“Students rapidly improved their computer technology skills and extended their learning community into cyberspace.” Ms Lydia Xu, Upper Primary Chinese Studies Leader at YCIS Pudong

“All students who engaged in the e-Learning activities were able to use their creativity in response to each of the art assignments. They showed extra resourcefulness and were inspired to make art using only discarded materials.” Ms Anita Dai, Primary Art Teacher at YCIS Pudong

Just because most students have returned to school doesn’t mean that all this technological adaption and know-how is going away. Many of the tools and resources used during e-Learning will continue to be integrated into the school’s regular, in-class curriculum, as Ms Amita Patel, Director of Technology at YCIS Pudong, explained: “Teachers and students have started using technology more in their day-to-day teaching and learning. They are now seeing the power of innovation more than ever before, so many of these changes are bound to stay. Teachers are already thinking of how, going forward, they can use some of the platforms that they have adopted during e-Learning. This has changed the way classes operate, and we will continue to see these patterns in the years to come.”

This sentiment was echoed by Mr Aazar Munir, YCIS Pudong Business and Economics Teacher and EE Coordinator: “As teachers, we were able to learn how to use new apps like ‘Canva’ and ‘Zoom’ at the same time as the students. Moreover, as a class, we discovered a lot of hidden features in apps we already use, such as ‘OneNote’ and ‘Teams’. Even though we are now using blended learning, I find that we have managed to grow as a class regarding the appropriate use of technology, and it will, therefore, play a much bigger role moving forward.”

The e-Learning period has shown how YCIS Pudong teachers and students can take an unexpected and difficult situation and turn it on its head, making it a valuable opportunity to learn and upskill. Whether it’s live streams, webinars, meetings across campuses, online classes, in-class learning, or virtual tours, innovation is most certainly here to stay at YCIS Pudong, and everyone is looking forward to exploring more opportunities to further integrate technology into the school’s curriculum and daily practices.

YCIS Pudong Graduation – The Class of 2020

Written by: Tim Gartz, University and Guidance Counselor                   

On Friday, June 12, our YCIS Pudong our Year 13 students celebrated the school’s first ever, live streamed Graduation Ceremony. This was an exciting evening filled with happiness, laughter and well-wishes as we reviewed individual and group accomplishments marking the course of our graduates’ time in our school – with some as far back as the earliest days of Early Childhood and Primary. The evening offered many moments of celebration as our students received their YCIS diplomas and took their place as honorable alumni.

The graduation began with beautiful social-fare with tables designated to each graduate with balloons, catered cuisine by Eurest and the opportunity to socialize with friends in our courtyard. Promptly at 6pm our graduates began their processional to the theater. It was such a joyful experience to see each student in their caps and gowns that was made even more special because of recent campus closure due to COVID-19 and the possibility that this event might not happen. Fortunately, for all in attendance and for those watching the livestream through the PolyV platform our community was able to share in this historic event.

The programme began with a special message of congratulations by our Yew Chung Education Foundation CEO, Dr. Betty Chan followed by an introduction of the class by our University Guidance Counselor Mr. Timothy Gartz. Year 13 tributes followed as each graduate made their way through the theater carrying a rose for their families as a token of appreciation. Special highlights and memorable moments also included: two highly technical musical numbers by Year 12 students Kevin Du and Elena Yu who sang and played an original composition called: Stars to Count. Carefully crafted videos were also shown reminiscing times gone by, the demonstration of friendship and well-wishes by past faculty and friends. Our keynote address was offered by the graduates’ Home Room advisors Ms. Danielle Thal and Mr. Andy Clapperton, while humor and caring insight reigned as this year’s Head Prefects Joey Wan and Zachary Ong shared their special insights about their classmates and all they experienced. The programme was an exciting display as each point made the event one to remember.

As the graduation continued, it was time for Mr. Matthew Grady’s IB Coordinator’s message and the granting of diplomas accompanied by our Co-Principals Mr. Damien Hehir and Ms. Mary Yu. It was exciting as each name was called and graduates came on stage to receive their long-awaited diplomas. With a countdown of 3, Mr. Grady then led the class in throwing their caps as the graduates’ excitement soared and applause reached a crescendo. It was wonderful to see the graduates smiles, knowing their hard work had accumulated in such a joyful moment of celebration. This year’s class was particularly special because of the challenges they faced together in navigating successfully through COVID-19 and months of e-Learning and campus closure. They were resilient in their approach through these unique challenges while earning top university acceptances around the world. We wish each of our graduates the very best as they confidently go forward as proud alumni of our school. Congratulations! Class of 2020.

Year 6 Graduation: A Time for Reflection

Written by: Cathal Grimes, Year 6 Leader

The Year 6 students have been reflecting on their time in Primary school, and everything that is important to them. They are thankful for the love and support of those around them, and would like to share this with the YCIS community on Friday, June 19.

While the Year 13 students are graduating and moving on to a new chapter in their lives, the same can be said of our Year 6 students. The leap to Secondary may not seem as big to those of us who have gone through it, but we must remember that it is a significant milestone in the lives of the children that are preparing to depart Primary school and begin a new chapter of their own.

Y6B student Sonya said, “Now is a time of excitement and nervousness… I am really looking forward to the next stage of school, but I will always remember Primary.” Memories of Primary school were prevalent in the speeches written by the students during their English lessons. Some talked about the Camps they went on, others the activities they took part in: sports, music, drama, and many others.

One thing that all students mentioned, was their families. The love and support they have felt from their families over the years is clearly a source of pride for the students. Families, as we know, come in different shapes and sizes. Some students spoke of the help from their parents; others mentioned grandparents, siblings, ayis, and more. Lucas in Y6C, spoke of the gratitude he felt for everything his mother and father had sacrificed to help him become a good person.

This year, perhaps more than ever before, we all must reflect, and perhaps learn something from our Year 6 students. We should be thankful for our family. The global pandemic has caused many families to be apart in one way or another. We must be there for one another in whatever way we can.

These students will go through many important milestones. We hope you continue to be there for them.

Trip.com Publish Article by YCIS Pudong Students

Written by:  Andy Clapperton, Head of Learning


At YCIS Pudong, we know that authentic learning happens when it is anchored in the real world and when we are motivated, and there is nothing more motivating than knowing your work is going to go public and be read across China and beyond. We always seek to foster curiosity with engaging activities that stimulate inquiry: everybody loves talking about, researching and, of course, eating, food, so for this project we brought together various curricular perspectives for students to delve into the eight delicious regional cuisines of China.

The project was launched by Hu Zheng Yan, Operation Director at C-Trip Gourmet List, who sparked our students’ imagination with a video calling them into action. The investigation was all-encompassing, including elements as wide ranging as climate, terrain, culture, history, religion, migration, globalisation, technology, trade and eco issues, as well as demographics and socioeconomics. They had to consider how best to communicate their research to stakeholders – readers with an interest in travel and food – and their final products are the articles that are showcased on Trip.com’s WeChat channel.

The first of these articles, (https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/z81nxN0SUOOlPXjQ3ewI4Q) put together by Samuel ’25, Bella ’25, Katherine ’25, Bao ’25 and Ethan ’25, is featured here, and delves into the little known rich traditions of food from Shandong province. The second, by Jake ’25, Dave ’25, Faye ’25, Ian ’25, Jerry ’25 and Leo ’25, is published and looks into the home of all things má là – Sichuan.


As the group leader, I would make sure my team was on schedule as we carried out research, testing and undertook the writing and editing phase. We were investigating Sichuan cuisine, which meant the food tasting was a really fun bit! Having considered a range of spicy and numbing options, we ended up choosing Koushui Ji – literally translated meaning ‘saliva chicken’ because it is so tasty it makes you salivate – as well as Mapo Toufu and Suan Cai Fish. This period of time was heavenly – a break from the written work to appreciate delicious flavours! After gorging ourselves on spicy chicken, we sadly put the last bite that everyone wanted to eat into a plastic bag for science testing. We did the Benedict’s test for sugars, then tested for protein and other nutrients, so that we could put our findings into the essay in order to inform readers about necessary health information. Food culture always includes a social element, and these studies were also a great way to further learn about teamwork, and it ended up with our group all becoming much closer friends.