Summer Sees a Series of Facility Improvements at YCIS Pudong

As always, the summer months have been a busy time for YCIS Shanghai staff, who have worked incredibly hard to complete a series of renovation works across our Pudong campuses.

Regency Park Campus has seen a flurry of remodeling activity:

  • An expanded area in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Library to provide a Learning Community space for our youngest learners.
  • Outdoor lighting has been added on the playing field to give the participants in evening activities the best possible sporting environment, particularly during the winter months when the nights draw in earlier.
  • A new Music Technology Lab has been set up on the third floor in Room 309 for Primary students
  • Additional classrooms have been made available due to increased student demand.
  • In alignment with YCIS’ stringent Child Protection policies, we have added doors in all washrooms to completely separate adult and child facilities.

At our Century Park Campus, our beautification efforts continued across the buildings and grounds:

  • Including the installation of a stunning new covered walkway, which is both aesthetically pleasing and extremely practical. The elegant glass and wood construction provides natural light and shelter for our students as they stroll from the main building to the cafeteria, gym, and theatre.
  • Some fantastic new displays were also installed in the hallways, giving information on the University Guidance process as well as Learner Profile traits, which are a critical part of the Secondary Programme of learning.
  • A new technology centre can be found on the fourth floor to support the advancement of our students’ ICT studies.
  • The Staff Lounge facilities at the campus have also been improved to enable additional collaboration opportunities for our teaching staff, and the space includes cooking facilities, which students may have access to during future Co-Curricular Activities.

The YCIS Pudong Co-Principals, Mr. Damien Hehir and Ms. Mary Yu, were thrilled with the works and commented, “We are always looking for ways to improve our facilities for staff and students alike, so we are delighted with the results of the recent summer renovation works.”

At YCIS Shanghai, we take pride in our continued efforts to create learning environments for our students that are uplifting and inspiring. We strive to create campuses that are not only modern and well-designed, but also safe and secure, allowing our students to focus their efforts on learning and growing both individually and academically.

YCIS Pudong Students Receive Stunning IB Exam Results

We would like to congratulate our YCIS Pudong Graduating Class of 2018 on their outstanding IB results, which are amongst the highest in Shanghai and the best worldwide. The graduates attained an extremely impressive average score of 38.8 out of a maximum of 45. Incredibly, this is nine (9) points higher than the 2018 global average of 29.8. They also scored an astonishing average of at least six (6) points (out of a possible seven (7)) in individual subjects undertaken. We are immensely proud and impressed by both the individual and group achievements, as are our IB programme leaders.

According to Mr Matthew Grady, the Upper Secondary IB Coordinator, “The IB results for the Class of 2018 are sensational, and these results are a reflection of the hard work and thorough preparation of our IB students, many of whom started with YCIS Pudong in our Early Childhood Educationand Primaryprogrammes. The results stemmed from excellent parental support, which we truly appreciate, and are also a testament to the dedication, experience and careful guidance of our IB teachers.”

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is an internationally-recognised educational programme, which is offered to students in Years 12 and 13 at YCIS Shanghai, providing them with the tools needed to go on to study at some of the top higher educational establishments across the world. In recent years, YCIS Shanghai students have always outperformed the worldwide average, but this year is particularly notable for our YCIS Pudong cohort.

A key incentive for taking the IBDP is that it surpasses entry requirements for many international higher educational establishments and therefore enables students to seamlessly enter universities across the world without the need to take supplementary examinations or qualifications. This year, the graduates will matriculate at globally-renowned universities and higher educational establishments, including:

  • McGill University
  • New York University
  • Penn State University
  • University College London
  • University of Hong Kong

Our University Guidance Counsellor, Mr. Timothy Gartz added, “The Class of 2018 at YCIS Pudong had a banner year in terms of university acceptances. Students earned exceptional placements at prestigious universities around the world. Future classes at the school will look up to this year’s graduates as the benchmark for what is possible. We wish our students outstanding success as they begin their respective studies.”

Beyond their academic successes, this cohort included students who have made a difference in the lives of others with their charity work and community service, talented athletes who competed at a high level in a wide range of sports, artists who have exhibited in galleries, actors who have shone on the stage, musicians who performed to crowds of hundreds, and award-winning science and technology students.

We look forward to hearing how our newest alumni are doing as they set off on their journeys to university, and their how their achievements inspire the forthcoming Class of 2019.

Introducing the Teachers New to YCIS Pudong

Being a transient international community, YCIS Pudong welcomes new teachers to our school each academic year.  We have strong working relationships with recruitment agencies and as YCIS is well known and respected within the international community, we are well placed to attract the best teachers to our school.  We are delighted to introduce this wonderful group of new teachers who will no doubt add greatly to our already strong academic team.

The new teachers have introduced themselves in their own words. Let’s find out more about them:

Rachel Blijlevens, K2 Co-Teacher 

“My name is Rachel and I am an ECE teacher from Aotearoa in New Zealand.  I have been teaching in Early Childhood Education for twenty years, and believe our children learn and develop best when their culture, community and social connections are valued and respected.  My daughter will be in Year 4 in the Primary School”


Juliette Broomhall, K2 Co-Teacher

“This is my first-year teaching with YCIS. Prior to my arrival here I have been teaching ECE in New Zealand, my home. I have had 7 years experience and a part of that has been as a Head Teacher. I am really excited to be a part of the early years team and create foundations for all children to be competent and confident lifelong learners.“

 Krystal Yao, K2 Co-Teacher       

“I am really happy to join YCIS Pudong.   It is my pleasure to contribute my teaching experiences and professionalism in the ECE. I have been a Kindergarten teacher for 10 years; I enjoy working with children and love to be a teacher.  I believe that interest is the best teacher, I will try my best to raise the interest of the children in learning. I look forward to working with you in the future.

Suzanne Watt K3 Co-Teacher

“I have now been teaching for 5 years in England across Early Years, KS1 and Lower KS2. My biggest passion is Early Years Education. I am looking forward to helping children be creative, enthusiastic and independent in their learning at YCIS.”


Helen Campbell, K4

“Halò. My name is Helen Campbell. My family come from Scotland (Alba), but we live on a tiny island in the south of England called the Isle of Wight. I have been teaching for 18 years, mainly in Early Years Education in the UK. For the past two and a half years I have been working in Tianjin at another International School. Early Years Education is a joy and a privilege to work in. I am looking forward to playing and learning with my class at YCIS.”

 Tina Wu, Year 1 Co-Teacher

“I joined YCIS in 2017 as a Chinese supply teacher. I have also been the secretary of a research projects group on Chinese Ming Dynasty literature, and worked on teaching primary Chinese language and literature as well.  I not only have insight into students, but the passion for contemporary Chinese culture and art, international communication and teaching methodologies as well. I believe that all students have great potential in finding beauty and a heart for associations, and that my role is to help them develop creativity and to gain confidence.”

Hannah Powell, Year 2 Co-Teacher

“I have recently moved to Shanghai and am just starting my first year teaching at YCIS Pudong. For the past three years I have been teaching a Year 2 class in my home town, Devon, England. Before this I also had experience teaching in various classes from Year 1 to 6. This year I am looking forward to enriching the children’s learning; enabling them to achieve the best of their ability. In addition, I am eagerly anticipating working with the international philosophy of YCIS.”

Francesca Newell, Year 2 Co-Teacher

“I started my teaching career in the UK after graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University in England. Since leaving the UK I have worked abroad in a British international preparatory school in the middle east for three years. I enjoy creating engaging and supportive lessons that challenge students and help them grow into lifelong learners. This is my first time in China and I’m very excited to be joining the YCIS team.”

 Elaine Gu, Year 2 Co-Teacher       

“I joined YCIS in 2017 and I am excited to work in this team. I grow up in Beijing, China. After graduated from the university, I finished a full year culture exchange program in US where I had classes in English and Culture and Child Education. My teaching career began in September, 2008 and I also had work experiences in training adults in companies and one year work experience in Princeton, US. I always encourage students and strive to make every lesson engaging, fun and relevant.  As I came from a big family and I travel a lot to visit them each year, I believe I could work well with different families in different cultures.”

Tom Powell, Year 3 Co-Teacher

“This will be my first year at YCIS Pudong. I have taught in Primary schools within the United Kingdom for several years. I am looking forward to teaching with my co-teaching partner and intertwining our cultures for an enriching learning experience for our students. Furthermore, I am anticipating the great work all staff, parents and children will make together during the year.”

 Paul Cartwright, Year 4 Co-Teacher

“Back home in England, I taught for four years in Key Stage 2, working in Years 4, 5 and 6. Before this, I worked as an EFL teacher in South Korea for three years. My main passions in education are sports and exercise. I am looking forward to my first post at an international school, working alongside such a diverse range of pupils, parents and teachers.”


Victoria Parr, Y4 Co-Teacher

“I’m Victoria Parr, from England, UK.  This is my first year at YCIS but prior to joining I spent 4 years teaching in Beijing.  I’m happy to be in Shanghai and to continue to teach in China.  I’ll be a Year 4 teacher and I’m looking forward to being part of the school community and creating some lasting connections with students, teachers and parents alike.”


Sheng Lingling, Year 4 Co-Teacher       

“Ijoined YCIS in 2017.  I have taught Chinese both locally and abroad. Before I joined YCIS Pudong, I taught Ancient Chinese literature to students in a famous institute in Shanghai. Besides that, I also has overseas teaching experience at the University of Auckland, New Zealand for one year, where I taught Chinese courses at three local primary schools. I appreciate good teaching practices from eastern and western education. I love kids and have a great passion for teaching. I enjoy and am looking forward the new challenges and opportunities in YCIS.”

Jon Banks, Year 5 Co-Teacher (Year Leader) 

“I am originally from the North West of England and I taught in the UK, before moving to Shanghai over 10 years ago. The opportunity to work alongside so many amazing students, teachers and families from all around the world and from so many different cultures is one of the many reasons why I love teaching.   With a young family, Shanghai is certainly home and we are very excited to be joining the YCIS community.”

 Robert Garth, Year 5 Co Teacher

“I am from Preston in the North West of England and have been teaching for 6 years, all in Liverpool, England, most of which have been in Years 5 and 6. I am looking forward to this new challenge of working at YCIS, with its commitment to education and unique opportunities. I am sure that this year will be extremely rewarding and fulfilling for the pupils and myself!”

Emily Feng, Year 5 Co-Teacher

“This is my first teaching year at YCIS Pudong.  After graduating, I spent 12 years working at a local Primary School, where I acquired various Chinese language teaching strategies and accumulated rich experiences in teaching Chinese as the First Language. In the last 12 years, I have been honored with lots of achievement and teaching awards. I love students and firmly believe that love is the only key to opening the hearts of students.”

Holly Xue, Year 6 Co-Teacher       

“I joined YCIS Pudong in 2018 as a Chinese language and class co-teacher. My teaching career began in 2011, and for the past seven years I have developed my teaching skills greatly and have gained experience in both local and International schools. I strive to treat students as individuals and to encourage each one to achieve their full potential. I am adept in finding the characteristics of students and adopting different methods to accommodate their needs. Not only through knowledge but also using the ability of inquiry and creative thinking is key to my  teaching. ”

 Karen Franklin, Primary EAL Teacher

“I joined YCIS in 2018 bringing nearly 30 years of experience in bilingual/EAL and dual-language education instruction and leadership. China is my third international assignment; I have also taught in the United Arab Emirates and Costa Rica, as well as in my home country, U.S.A.  I am thrilled about my role as Primary EAL teacher and I am pleased to be a part of the YCIS Pudong family.”

Aliki Watson-Jones, Music Teacher  (Primary and Secondary)

“I am new to the YCIS community this year, and I am looking forward to teaching both Primary and Secondary students at both Regency Park and Century Park campuses. My home country is Australia; however, I have spent the past 5 years working as Head of Music in a school in London, UK. I am excited to share my passion for music, especially singing, and to collaborate with students, staff, parents and the wider YCIS community.”

 Emma Dodds, Primary Art Teacher

“I joined YCIS in 2018. I am from Durham City, England, and taught in the U.K. for 16 years. I am passionate about raising children’s awareness of global and environmental issues. I am also looking forward to inspiring the children to explore and express their creativity through art, and to help them develop skills that they can transfer to other areas of their lives.”

 Kirstie McLeod, Primary Physical Education Teacher

“I studied Physical Education in Edinburgh and have been a primary P.E specialist for three years. My hometown is Glasgow, Scotland and YCIS is my first international school. I am looking forward to meeting all my new students and sharing my passion for P.E and lifelong learning.”


Erin Hardie, Primary Resource Teacher

“I am now in my second year in Shanghai and at YCIS having moved here from Australia. I joined YCIS in 2017 as a casual supply teacher. I am very excited to begin a fulltime role this year continuing in a supply capacity and also working with the Learning Resource Team. I am looking forward to getting to know the students and teachers across all year levels at the Pudong Campus.”

Andy Clapperton, Secondary Head of Learning

“Originally from England, I have spent over eleven years teaching languages in China. I have been Head of Department and Head of Year, working especially closely with IB Diploma students in recent times. I have a great love of travel and the outdoors and have been able to bring this into my professional life by leading International Award expeditions. I am excited to be joining the team at YCIS, and very much look forward to developing a new role in the school.”

Brandi Burtts, Secondary Drama Teacher  

“I am excited to be joining the YCIS team as the Secondary Drama teacher in Pudong. Having lived in Shanghai for six years I have always wanted to be a part of such a vibrant school community. The best part of my job is being able to inspire my students. I can’t wait to share my passion for drama with the students of YCIS and to learn as much from them as they hopefully will from me.”

Omar Sheikh, Secondary Computer Science and Mathematics Teacher, and Technology Integrator

“I have worked in schools within the Middle East as Teacher and Digital Learning Coordinator since 2013 and now I’m excited to be joining YCIS Pudong.  I was born and raised in London and look forward to newer cultural experiences and the opportunity to work within the school’s rich and vibrant international community where I hope to able to offer my skills and services for the development of young minds.”

Zoe Zhu, Secondary Chinese Teacher

“As a Chinese teacher of CFL and CAL, I joined YCIS in 2018. My hometown is Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province. My love for Chinese has made me committed to Chinese teaching. I have had three years of Chinese teaching experiences at home and abroad. I am looking forward to spending a creative year at YCIS with the children, parents and staff, bringing happy and inspiring Chinese lessons to the students in Y6 and Y8.”

Sarah Chen, Secondary Chinese Teacher

“I joined the YCIS Pudong in January 2018. I started my job here as a supply teacher and helped out in the office. This gave me a great opportunity to get a better understanding of our students and school’s philosophy and objective. This year, I will teach Chinese in both Primary and Secondary at Century Park Campus. I am passionate and enthusiastic about education.  I am looking forward to embracing the opportunities of this new academic year where I can help students achieve a lot and get along well with everyone in the community.

Introducing the School Leaders for 2018-19

School Leadership Team (SLT):

We are pleased to share with you our new leadership structure forYCIS Pudong campuses.

The Co-Principals Damien Hehir and Mary Yu, along with the School Business Manager Ray Zhang, will work together as the School Leadership Team (SLT). With oversight of the two Pudong campuses, Regency Park and Century Park, the SLT will provide leadership across academic and non-academic sectors, creating a seamless and consistent flow across ECE, Primary, and Secondary.  The Pudong campuses will be working towards forming more connections across the locations, sharing expertise and experiences to a much greater degree and increasing communication between parents and staff to support and guide our students to achieve academic and personal success.

We would first like to introduce ourselves.

Mary Yu, Co-Principal

“I joined YCIS Pudong in 2000. I have worked as a Chinese Co-Principal for the past 8 years. It’s a great honor for me to witness the success as well as the continuous development of YCIS Pudong. I am looking forward to working closely with our students, parents and staff to have another successful school year.”


Damien Hehir, Co-Principal

“I have been with YCIS Shanghai for 17 years, having worked at campuses in Puxi and Pudong.  I have been in various leadership roles at YCIS Pudong since 2007 and have spent six years as a Co-Principal.  I am excited to work alongside my partner, Mary Yu and the School Business Manager, Ray Zhang to lead this wonderful YCIS Pudong school community.  I am originally from Australia and have two daughters at YCIS.  I look forward to a great academic year in 2018-19.”

Ray Zhang, School Business Manager

“I joined YCIS Pudong in January 2018. Before embarking on this journey, I have accumulated operation management experiences in logistics and the media industry. I am confident that those experiences will help me better serve students, teachers and parents as our school’s business manager. It is no doubt my greatest honor to be part of this vigorous and adventurous team. I will do my very best to ensure a safe, organized and delightful learning environment for students, parents and staff.”

We are delighted to introduce you to all our YCIS Pudong Leaders for 2008-19.  Each leaders has introduced themselves, in their own words.

New Appointment:  Assistant Principal

The SLT will be supported by Ms. Jane Xie who will be the Assistant Principal across the whole of YCIS Pudong.

Jane Xie, Assistant Principal

“My journey started as a Chinese Language teacher for five years in a prominent high school of Shanghai before I joined YCIS Pudong in 2004.  I have experienced working at all three YCIS Pudong campuses and have taught students from Y4 to Y13, including the IBDP Chinese A: Language and Literature course, in which I am an IB examiner.  In addition to being an educator, I’m also a badminton enthusiast and play badminton with my daughter on weekends. I believe that everyone should be a lifelong learner and that YCIS helps students to achieve this.”

 Secondary Leadership Team:

Fred Runkel, Secondary Principal

“Having grown up in the USA and starting my international career in Germany, I’m now pleased to be in my third home country.  This is my 5th year at YCIS, having previously served as Director of an international school in Germany before coming to China. I enjoy the well-rounded program here at YCIS where the development of character is of foremost importance, with the school showing emphasis in academics, extra curriculars and service learning, leading students to act for a better world.   It’s a privilege to be working with this team of dedicated and passionate educators who have the interests of the children at the forefront of everything that they are doing.”

Dusten KentSecondary Vice Principal

“I have been with YCIS for 13 years and have seen the school and its programmes grow into fruition from our early days in Seasons Villas, to Regency Park, and now Century Park where I have the privilege to serve as Secondary Vice Principal. I am originally from the Canadian west coast of Vancouver Island but have been teaching and working overseas in education for over 20 years. I strongly believe in a holistic approach to education to support the development of each and every student’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical and creative potentials; an approach that is at the core of our YCIS Mission, Principles and Practices.”

Amy Yang, Secondary Head of Chinese Department

“I have been working at YCIS Pudong for 14 years.  My teaching experience includes Y3 Chinese up to IB DP Mandarin course. I’m a local Shanghainese, and enjoy sharing my culture knowledge and eastern mindset with students and colleagues. I’m looking forward to this year’s journey to transform the school experience and maximize learning for each individual student.”

Andy Clapperton, Secondary Head of Learning

“Originally from England, I have spent over eleven years teaching languages in China. I have been Head of Department and Head of Year, working especially closely with IB Diploma students in recent times. I have a great love of travel and the outdoors and have been able to bring this into my professional life by leading International Award expeditions. I am excited to be joining the team at YCIS, and very much look forward to developing a new role in the school.”

Janelle Garrett, Lower Secondary Coordinator

“I have been the Lower Secondary Coordinator at YCIS Pudong for the past 2 years. I also teach History and Spanish. I am originally from the United States, but a product of international schools myself, having grown up in Argentina. Prior to YCIS, I taught in China and in Brazil and Bolivia. I am passionate about learning in and outside of the classroom and am looking forward to continuing to help our students develop as learners.”

Ian Lee, Upper Secondary IGCSE Coordinator 

“This is my seventh year at YCIS Pudong, having joined in 2012. Originally from Liverpool, England, prior to joining YCIS I was a Deputy Headmaster at a boarding school. My title at YCIS Pudong is IGCSE Coordinator and this primarily involves guiding young students through the ages of 13-16 to make good academic and life choices for themselves to set up their futures. I love teaching at the school and witnessing children grow into exceptional young men and women. I sincerely believe that the most important element to this is helping students to believe in themselves and being there for them when, for whatever reason, they don’t.”

Matthew Grady, Upper Secondary IB Diploma Coordinator

“I have been with YCIS Pudong for 11 years since it opened its doors on Century Park Campus and have been very fortunate to witness the campus grow into a thriving hub of educational opportunity and exceptional student support.  I am from Adelaide Australia, and before YCIS I taught at Concordia International School in Hong Kong, and worked as a solicitor in Corporate Law prior to that. In recent years I have served as the IB Diploma Coordinator, and IB History and Theory of Knowledge Teacher. I firmly believe in developing passion and enjoyment in learning and enjoy the challenge of seeing our students develop resilience, and reach their potential in the midst of the challenges faced as they prepare for tertiary study.”

Timothy Gartz, University Guidance Counselor

I call the “atomic city” of Los Alamos, New Mexico home which is famous for its National Scientific Laboratory. With a wealth of experience in counseling, I came to YCIS after 10 years in Hong Kong and several years in the USA. I am a holistic counselor who cares deeply about the emotional, social, intellectual, academic and future success of each of my students.  Since coming to YCIS, I have developed an outstanding university guidance program that takes into account each of these areas of student development. I also enjoy partnering with our YCIS parent community in university events, career seminars and our job shadow programme in continuing an outstanding track record of connecting students to the world’s best university programmes. I will give my all in helping students become successful. When away from work, I enjoy time with my family of 5, being outdoors and exploring new cities and cultures. 

ECE and Primary Leadership Team:

Rob Watson, Primary Vice Principal

“I originally started working at YCIS Pudong in the very first year that the campus opened in 1999. It was of course a very different school at that stage, with only 8 students on roll! Over the past 19 years, it has been great to watch the school grow and mature. This is my fourth year as Vice Principal and I am looking forward to continuing my journey with YCIS over the coming year and beyond.”

John McEnhill, Primary Coordinator

“I have worked for YCIS for 8 years, including 2 years as a Teacher and Year Leader at YCIS Beijing and 3 years as Primary Coordinator at YCIS Qingdao, before joining YCIS Shanghai in 2016. I am originally from London. I am looking forward to an exciting year of learning together with the students, parents and staff who make up our school’s vibrant international community.”

Sissy Shen, Primary Head of Chinese Department 

“I joined YCIS Shanghai in 2008 as a Chinese co-teacher. Before becoming the Primary Head of Chinese Department and Professional Development Coordinator, I have been the Y1, CAL and CFL Curriculum leader and Co-Teaching Facilitator, as well as teaching Chinese from Year 1 to Year 6. I enjoy working closely with my colleagues from different backgrounds to strive to provide a holistic education for all the students, supporting their social and emotional development, as well as their academic development.  I also enjoy preparing students for the wider and longer experience of life and to nurture the whole person and appreciate the differences in life. “

Melissa Shaw, Primary Coordinator

“I joined YCIS in 2005 and have worked in both ECE and Primary. My home country is Australia! This is now my 5th year working as the Primary Coordinator. I look forward to having the opportunity to work and collaborate alongside all the year levels; supporting each of our Teachers which in turn, supports our students.”


Andrea GriegoStudent Support and Wellbeing Coordinator    

” This will be my fifth year working with YCIS students, staff and the school community. I am from the United States, but have previously worked in Dubai, UAE and Cartagena, Colombia. I am excited to continue my support of students and teachers to further their successes and growth in all ways possible. “


 Veronica Martin, ECE Coordinator

“I have been with YCIS for 8 years and am passionate about Early Years education. I began as a K4 Teacher and moved into the ECE Coordinator role. I am from Australia and enjoy sharing my culture with others. I am looking forward to a year where children are encouraged to explore and learn with curiosity and wonder.”

Michelle Wang, 
ECE Coordinator

“I joined YCIS Pudong form 2003, starting as a Kindergarten teacher, progressing to a Year Level Leader and then stepped into the ECE Coordinator role. I believe strongly that a teacher’s job is not to tell the students what to believe or value, but to equip them to develop a worldview for themselves. I strive to motivate and support teachers’ work, implementing and working with the ECE team to strengthen the Early Years Programme.  I am also looking forward to building partnerships with parents to enhance the children’s learning and development. “

YCIS Pudong K2-Y13 Directors:

Nick Adgemis, Performing Arts Director

“I am now entering my sixth year with YCIS, having originally joined at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.  I previously taught Music, Drama, English, EAL, Humanities and Learning Support programmes at several secondary schools in both Australia and the UK.  I feel extremely privileged to work at YCIS, where I’ve been fortunate to work with our talented students and staff in our vast and diverse Performing Arts programmes.  I’m very proud of the variety of Music and Drama opportunities available at YCIS and particularly of the efforts made by our Performing Arts staff team to constantly grow the quality and quantity of opportunities on offer.”

 Matt Uffindall, Athletics Director

“I joined YCIS Pudong in the summer of 2017 as Head of PE, having taught in the Middle East for the previous five years. Originally from North Yorkshire, England, I completed my PGCE in Secondary Physical Education and taught in the UK for seven years. As well as teaching PE, I teach geography to IGCSE level. A passionate sportsman, I still remain as active as possible, playing rugby and football here in Shanghai as well as spending most of my holiday time exploring new places, hiking, skiing or surfing. The highlight of my career was without doubt winning an international rugby cap and representing Qatar. A true believer in the importance and power of sport, I believe that all students can benefit and gain from time in the subject. Understanding the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle is vital in the ever-demanding world in which we live.”

 Amita Patel, Technology Director

“I have been a part of the YCIS family since 2007, first as a parent and then joining the teaching staff since 2012 as the ICT Teacher in Primary. Over subsequent years, I managed the role of Technology Coordinator for ECE & Primary.  I am excited to take on the new role of Technology Director for all of YCIS Pudong, covering ECE, Primary and Secondary.  I come from India and lived in Thailand before moving to China. I am very passionate about technology as a key enabler for building 21st century skills in our students. I look forward to stimulating creativity and innovation in our community.”

Officer Leaders:

Jenni Wang, Assistant to the SLT / Head of Office

“I joined YCIS Regency Park Campus as the Office Administrator in 2015. I was born in Shanghai and studied and worked in Canada for 10 years.  I have really enjoyed these 3 years working here in the YCIS community.  And I am looking forward to another successful year to support and work with our parents and teachers.”

Helen Huang, School Office AdministratorRegency Park Campus

“I joined YCIS Pudong in 2006, and started when the school was based in Seasons Villas. A few years ago, I moved into the main office at Regency Park Campus and has been the Office Administrator Assistant for five years. I ready enjoy working in the YCIS welcoming community. I am looking forward to continuing to work with and support students, parents and teachers, in my new roles as Office Administrator for YCIS Pudong, Regency Park Campus.”

Elia LI, School Office AdministratorCentury Park Campus

“I joined YCIS Pudong at the Century Park Campus in 2011 and have worked as the Office Administrator Assistant for the past four years. I was born in Shanghai and have previously studied and worked in the USA. It will be my first year as the Office Administrator for YCIS Pudong, Century Park Campus. I will collaborate with my colleagues to support our students, parents and teachers. I am looking forward to making a successful school year. “

 Ivy Li, School Office Administrator Assistant

“I joined YCIS Pudong in 2013. I love young children and have been honored to serve them at Regency Park Campus during the last six years. From this school year, I will be based at the Century Park Campus. It is wonderful to see the little children we serve at kindergarten and lower Primary are now growing into bigger and stronger teenagers. Thankfully I have the privilege to continuously serve and witness them to grow into physically, mentally and spiritually healthy young adults and enjoy life to the full. YCIS is my family and I am looking forward to working with and serving my family members – staff, parents and students from all over the world. May we all enjoy this journey and be blessed! “

School Counselors / Child Protection Officers:

Zoe Andrews, School Counsellor / Child Protection Officer – ECE and Primary

“I have worked as the School Counsellor at YCIS for 3 years and am also the Child Protection Officer at Regency Park Campus.  I am originally from the UK, where I qualified as an Art Psychotherapist.  This year, I am looking forward supporting students and families through the school counselling services and our new Wellbeing curriculum.”

Courtney Leedy
, School Counsellor / Child Protection Officer– Secondary

“I joined the YCIS Pudong Secondary last year as the Secondary School Counsellor and Child Protection Officer, based at Century Park Campus.  Prior to that, I was at the YCIS Qingdao campus as School Counsellor & Parent Liaison for two years. I am from the United States. The best part of my job is getting to know the students and families that make up our unique community and helping students realise and reach their full potential. I am looking forward to another exciting year at YCIS Pudong!”

Parent Relations:

 Roseline Yang, Community Relations Officer 

“Joining YCIS in 2016 has been a dream come true.  Working at YCIS Pudong these last two years has been such an incredible experience, because this has been the most fertile and caring environment ever for me to learn and grow. The clear vision of the founder, the open leadership, working with Nadine and YCIS parents along with the dedication of the whole community is what makes the difference.   2018-19 will be my third year at YCIS and also the 25th year of the establishment of the school in Shanghai.  Hop on and be part of the adventure as this year will be spectacular!!!”

Nadine Runkel, POP Liaison Officer

“This will be my third year as the POP Liaison Officer here at YCIS Pudong, and in this role I work closely with our parents, teachers and administration, and enjoy supporting our Parent Organization in all their ventures. I am from Germany and my 2 children have been attending YCIS Pudong since 2014. I look forward to an exciting year, with fun events and strong community building.“

Student Focus: Eric Wen, Co-Principal for a Day

Written by Andrea Griego, Student Support Coordinator

Eric Wen from Year 4B became the “Principal for a Day” after putting in the highest bid at the live auction at the POP Brunch in April.   Eric said that he was happy to receive this opportunity but was even happier that he was able to donate money to a charity that helps children receive life-saving heart operations.  We recently caught up with Eric so he could tell us about his experience as Principal for a Day!

What was your favourite part of the day?

I loved handing out the awards at the whole-school assembly. It was my first time so it was really exciting.

Do you think being a principal is difficult?

Yes, kind of…. You have to deal with many things. Today I had to deal with things like a fire drill and gate duty. So many other things too that went by so fast.

What was something that surprised you most about your day?

I was so nervous at the whole-school assembly. I was in front of all the students and teachers and I was afraid I was going to say something wrong or make a mistake. It takes a lot of courage to be up there and speak to everyone. I was scared but I did it!

Is being a principal something you would consider as a career?

Yes! It feels good being the boss! Also, you get to eat teacher’s lunch which is better than the student lunch.

Nice job Eric! YCIS is glad that you enjoyed your day as principal and that you were able to donate money to a worthy cause.

Staff Focus: Lynn Xie


Written by Roseline Yang, Community Relations Officer 

Lynn Xie has been in the spotlight recently with the organization of two special events involving not only YCIS community with Daddy Daughter Dance last Sunday, June 10 but also the wider Shanghai community with her cultural CCA concluding with a visit to the Lianyang Hospital. After 12 years of working at YCIS, this year will be her last.  We caught up with her recently:

When did you start working for YCIS and why are you leaving us?

I started here in 2006. Last year, I received my 10th year service award with YCIS! I first started at YCIS Beijing and then moved after a semester to YCIS Shanghai Pudong at Regency Park Campus to follow my husband to Shanghai. And now, I will be going to Hangzhou where my husband will start a new job! The loop is closing! Heading for new adventures!

Why did you choose to work at YCIS?

My husband is Chinese, so I really liked the idea of bilingual education. I thought it was a perfect match for me as a teacher and for my daughter who joined YCIS from Year 1. At that time, only YCIS was offering this now well-spread bilingual education in other international schools.

Oh, yes! The famous Anna who got all these IGCSE Awards last year and who just graduated from YCIS Pudong recently. Her speech at the Year 13 Graduation Ceremony was so full of humor! Anything you would like to share as a parent?

I am very appreciative of the strong YCIS curriculum and the great foundation my daughter got for her education. She had such awesome teachers at YCIS. From Primary to Secondary, it has been a nurturing environment for Anna. She is an introvert but you see how confident she was on stage. Through the nurturing environment at YCIS, teachers have known Anna well, and in Secondary School, teachers have been able to help her identify her strengths and weaknesses to bring out the best in herself. I just cannot imagine having her study anywhere else.

What are the changes you have witnessed about YCIS throughout all these years you have been here?

The growth of our school of course! Not only in size but also in quality.  Within my first three years here student enrollment nearly doubled. Just look at now: when I started, there were only three Y1 classes. Next school year, there will be five Year 2 classes and there will be an additional EAL Teacher, which brings the team to six EAL Teachers.

Every year, our school keeps improving. I believe that attaining and maintaining CIS Accreditation helps the school to set ambitious goals. Within China we have taken the lead on some key initiatives that other YCIS schools have also adopted.  Here’s a small example with the English Professional Learning Community I join every two weeks with other colleagues.  We have worked on reviewing writing prompts for assessment, and revamped writing criteria and level descriptors for the Criterion Scale adapted for YCIS Writing assessment.

Another anecdotic to share: Did you know that when I first joined, there was no Century Park Campus? All Secondary staff were located in this same EAL room (312) where I teach:  including current leaders Mary Yu, Jane Xie, and Amy Yang!

Ok, let’s talk about your work now! What do you enjoy in your job?

It is so much fun! I love my job! I love to be an EAL teacher as I am able to focus on the subject I love the most: English. This is a wonderful and very rewarding job as I am able to witness rapid progress from the students as they are sponges in their language learning. Actually, the students are at their developmental stage so they will learn in spite of me, but seeing them thrive after EAL and seeing them fully integrated in the life of our school is what brings the most joy!

You, have been amazing for my daughter. She came with half-broken English from local school and after just one semester, she was reading chapter books. Today, she cannot stop reading. How did you do?

It’s actually a team effort. Within EAL classes, we can focus more heavily on improving some of the language learning gaps. Apart from English strategies, my bigger aim is mainly to connect children with books. I let them choose what they are interested in reading. I want them to enjoy reading and talk to their friends about their reading. When they are hooked, this is it!

When I was in 3rd grade, I loved to read books by Beverly Cleary, and I read all of her books because I could relate to them. My favorite time at school was to go to the library and hear the librarian read a story to us.

You have also been involved in charity.  Why?
Well, several years ago there was an opening for leading the charity committee, and I was happy to take it since this particular aspect of the school motto, “YCIS will align with Love and Charity,” fits so well with my Christian faith and the biblical values that I cherish.  It was always a pleasure to help with organizing, together with colleagues, charity events such as Charity Week, Quiz Night and the Daddy Daughter Dance. This year was the 9th year that I was involved with Daddy Daughter Dance, and I am confident that it will continue as a strong YCIS tradition after I leave the school.

Where does your interest in charity come from?

I used to live in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where I had the opportunity visit in the homes of minority families. Of course, it is much more prosperous now that China’s overall economy has improved, but when I first came in China, it was quite a poor area. Once I got the opportunity to take a trip to rural areas with the UN World Food Programme, and it was eye opening to witness some of the impoverished areas there. I am very pleased that our school is focusing on the UN Global Goals such as Quality Education and Gender Equality. Events like the Daddy Daughter Dance, where the proceeds go toward empowering girls from less privileged backgrounds to continue their education beyond primary and middle school, are tangible ways that our school families can take a positive action, again reflecting part of the school ethos “Love and Charity”.

Is there something you would like to share with our community?

It is never too early to teach children that we can be a blessing to other people and that we can share from our own abundance. This follows the biblical principle that God does not bless me simply so that I can be blessed, but so that I can then be a blessing to other people.

At the recent Year 13 Graduation Ceremony on June 1, Secondary Co-Principal Mr. Runkel asked the Year 13 students to reflect on what heritage they want to leave to YCIS. It is clear for me that Mrs. Lynn Xie, our Primary teacher for EAL is leaving many students a life-long love for reading and, to the parents who have been supporting her, a sparkle of love for the charity organizations she has supported. And to her colleagues, she will also greatly be missed but fortunately Hangzhou is just 2 hours away from Shanghai!

YCIS Parents Playing a Key Role at YCIS

Written by Roseline Yang, Community Relations Officer

The mission and vision of the Parent Organisation Pudong has always been to embrace the whole parent community, and the school states it “Once your child joins YCIS, you automatically become a member of POP, Parent Organisation Pudong”.

YCIS believes in the partnership between the School and parents for the benefit of the student and offers many different avenues for parents to be informed and get involved in the life of the school and also in the learning environment of the students.

As you may know, there are two main groups of parent volunteers identified as:

Class Parent Representatives who take on the role for the whole school year to act as main communicators between the class teachers and the parents of the class, as well as a channel of communication from Parent Relations staff to the parents.

POP Core Committee members who take the responsibility for the whole year to support parents’ initiatives and organize meaningful activities or events for students and parents to celebrate the school community spirit, especially making the school motto alive, ‘Aligning with Love and Charity’.

Lately, we have observed that our parents have been exploring the part of the school motto “Align with Culture and Art” and “Align with Science and Technology” through their involvement and support of our Art teachers, culminating in the Annual Art Show. Other examples are the creation of the YCIS Parent Band, or parent involvement as coaches for our Primary and Secondary sport teams. Some parents have also taken the lead in offering CCAs related to Design and Technology.

Other parents have taken the school signature line “YCIS – Committed to Global Education” to another level by partnering with our academic team and offering classes related to the world awareness and environment through gardening and recycling art activities.   Not to mention YCIS Girls Scouts Troops, which work on the UN 2030 Global Goal “Gender Equality” by offering an avenue for our female students to develop their leadership skills thanks to the endeavor commitment of our parents. “Quality Education” has also been supported through parent and student involvement in ChariTea, helping support Secondary students from Zhejiang to continue their education in rural areas.

We have also seen the development of a strong parent advocacy regarding our school during our panel discussion at the CP Open Morning last November celebrating the 10th year of  creation and successes of Secondary section at Century Park Campus. Our Secondary students also receive great support form the parent community through internship opportunities for the Job Shadow and Summer Program Activities, and the newly formed and parent run YCIS Spirit Squad further enables our community to show their support and empowers them to be #proudtobeYCIS!

As a result, our POP Core Committee together in partnership with our Parent Relations Officers and with School Leadership support have come up with a new structure aiming at encompassing all parent initiatives and needs and we would like to reiterate, that there is an open and structured space for everyone to be involved and to be heard!

Parents are also always welcome to contact our POP Core members at: or our Parent Relations Officer Nadine and Roseline at: if they want to get involved in the school community.

Five Ways to Minimise Summer Learning Loss

Written by Veronica Martin, ECE Coordinator

Summer learning loss is a well-researched and documented phenomenon in which students regress in their learning over the long summer holiday. Of course, summer is a time for children to catch up with family, who are often far away, and to enjoy a well-earned break. However, there are a few steps you can take to limit the effects of Summer Learning Loss without impacting on your family’s quality time together. It is worth noting that the amount of time needed to prevent Summer Learning Loss is relatively small: just 2 to 3 hours per week has been found to be effective.

  • Use the school’s online subscriptions

School may be closed, but Mathletics and Raz Kids stay open! Both these apps are great for keeping students up to speed with Mathematics and Reading respectively over the long summer break.  Ensure you remember to take down the website and log in details before you go away on holiday.

  • Read, read, read

We suggest your child reads every day over the holiday period. Books can be taken on planes, trains and automobiles-or anywhere else you may be! Reading in the morning, before other plans cause distraction, is a great idea.

Glenda Perks, Secondary English Teacher says “Literature opens up the worlds of those both alike and different to me. It allows me to experience their lives, feelings, hardships, joys and ultimately it shows me the truth that we are all flawed human beings, wanting to make our way through this world, trying to find out who we are, make a difference to those around me”.

  • Stay active

Physical activity can also take a hit over the summer. There is a link between physical and mental fitness, so combat brain drain by taking walks and cycle rides, encouraging your child to play team games, or even taking up a new sport, such as swimming, tennis or rock climbing.

  • Take advantage of local opportunities.

Lots of our families travel overseas during the summer. Take the opportunities to visit local museums, libraries, and art galleries with your children, and have them journal, either in words or pictures, or using technology, about what they have seen. Of course, if you are staying in Shanghai, there are fantastic opportunities to do these things here as well.

  • Let them play!

Children learn so much through play. However, you can maximise the value of their play by talking to them about what they are doing, asking them to explain their games to you, and joining in with them to provide language rich opportunities. Much discussion we have with children is directional: telling them what to do. See the summer as an opportunity to discuss with your child things they love doing and gain perspective on how they see the world. Add in some drawings or painting time to let them express their creative side.

Make some playdough for children to play with for hours. See recipe below, or you could buy some ready-made. If you make it with your child you can have mathematical conversations as they measure ingredients out.

Cooked Play Dough

3 cups flour
1 cup salt
6 teaspoons cream of tartar
3 cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Food coloring

Mix flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large saucepan.

Blend water and oil together in a bowl.

Add to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.

Add several drops of food coloring until you get the right color.

Cook for about five minutes.

Take the play dough out of the saucepan and put it on a cutting board or counter and knead for a few minutes.

Add flour if it’s too sticky.

This play dough should last around three months if you keep it sealed in an airtight container or plastic zip-lock bag. It’s so smooth and fun to play with when it’s still warm.

We wish you a wonderful summer holiday, wherever you are in the world.

Art CCA Project Becomes a Community Event

Written by Lynn Xie

Recently a small class of Year 6 students acted as ambassadors in a joint effort with students from the Shanghai Puming Primary School directly across from the Century Park campus. These artistic students created a large banner using the letters and characters for Shanghai. Their final creation displays many of the things that come to mind for people who love this city that we all call home including the famous landmarks, the cuisine, the colors and the culture.

Together the students, a few of the students’ parents and teachers, visited the Lianyang Hospital where their Shanghai banner will brighten the children’s ward. After seeing where their art will hang to be appreciated by the public, everyone was invited to visit the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Cultural Experience Center on the second floor of the hospital where they learned about some of the famous practitioners of TCM and even got to make a packet of Chinese medicine to take home, which help students to have a better understanding of Chinese traditional medicine and cultures.

Although the end results of the few hours that the students spend together is a piece of art that is pleasing to the eye, one of the main purposes of the project was to foster interaction between the neighboring schools and the local community. Throughout the project each of the students served as a worthy ambassador of the school they represented.

Lianyang Community Center also reported this news. If you are interested in reading it, please click the link.

Girl Scouts Builds Girls of Courage & Confidence

Written by Janelle Garrett , Lower Secondary Coordinator

YCIS Pudong is proud to be part of the global scouting family through Girl Scouts providing so many opportunities for many of our students. Girl Scouts is ultimately about building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. It is a proven leadership development programme that provides a variety of experiences that foster collaboration over competition and help girls to stretch themselves beyond their limits, and transfer valuable knowledge and skills gained to any environment, both now and in the future.

Last week, our Girl Scouts (Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors) celebrated their achievements over the year with an End of Year Celebration and Bridging Ceremony. From gaining outdoor skills and making memories camping with their friends and families, to collaborating with Girl Scouts on global challenges on World Thinking Day, to working through Learning Journeys on topics ranging from caring for themselves, others, animals and their planet to learning how to become advocates, organize initiatives and project manage to become real agents of change in their community, it is clear that this has been a year of incredible growth for our girls.

In their own words…

“Girls need to be brave so they can change the world. In Girl Scouts, we learn about girls and women who are smart, courageous and strong…we also learn to think about how we can be like them… Girl Scouts gave us the idea to do more than what we do in class to make a difference to stop climate change that is hurting the environment. We came up with ideas and worked with Ms. Roseline to make a video to show how we can be superheroes for our planet.”

Chiara and Lily, Daisy Scouts, Year 2

“I liked working with my family to build a car for the Pinewood Derby. We won a trophy and my friends jumped…but the fun part was building it and making it go fast.” Moya, Daisy Scout, Year 2

“Girl Scout camping is one of the most interesting activity of all. It provided me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and it turned out to be a lot of fun!” Sophie, Brownie Scout, Year 3

“Girl Scouts means a lot to me. It helps me to have friends after school and share something special with other girls all over the world. I also like to work with older girls and help the youngest. Girl Scouts gives me the opportunity to practice and learn many things I was afraid to try before joining.” Ana, Brownie Scout, Year 3 

“I was excited to do a big project like the Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior can obtain. Making a welcome website for families new to Shanghai and planning each step out was different from what we normally do in school. I liked the teamwork, with each girl responsible for her own task, but also helping each other. I’m thrilled to be a Cadette next year, completing a new journey exploring and learning new stuff. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn, work, and have fun with my Girl Scout friends.”Amelie, Junior Scout, Year 6

Watch the video about the creation of the website to introduce new children to Shanghai 

**Please Note: Girl Scouts is a completely volunteer parent-run organization. It is only possible to offer Girls Scouts these opportunities with amazing parent troop leaders and parent volunteers. Consider volunteering with Girl Scouts next year as it is a great opportunity to learn and grow with your child.

Contact Jutta Petznick: email: if interested in being a volunteer!