Top 6 Things To Remember if You Leave Shanghai This Christmas

Written by Amber Reynolds, Former EAL Teacher and Member of the Environment Professional Learning Community

6-leaving-home2Are you going over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house this Christmas? Are you headed to the beautiful beaches of Thailand or another place near the equator, where you will find yourself in your second summer of the year? Or are you flying to your home country to be with your family at this special time of year?Are you ready for the long winter Holiday Break? I know I am ready to fly off to a far away land.We all may be ready for the long awaited break, but is your house or apartment environmentally ready for a break?

Here are some tips to consider before you go off on your long winter break:

    1. 6-leaving-home-4Make meals with the food that is left in your refrigerator that may rot over the time that you are gone.
    2. Turn your water heater temperature down. Turn the temperature down, but don’t shut the water heater off completely. There’s no need to have piping hot water available at the turn of a tap while you’re not there to enjoy it!
    3. 6-leaving-homeTurn off the water at each toilet, sink, dishwasher, and washing machine, or if possible, shut the water to the house off entirely.
    4. Unplug any small appliances or electronic devices that don’t need to remain plugged in while you’re gone. This will save electricity and energy while you are out.
    5. 6-leaving-home3Put your lights on timers. This will give the illusion that the home is occupied, even if you’re many zip codes away. Then the lights will not need to be on all the time. Or shut the lights off completely.
    6. Enjoy your holiday!

Wherever you go this holiday season, may you enjoy time with your family and be secure in knowing that your home is environmentally friendly, as you do your part to keep this planet.

GO GREEN! Happy Holidays.

Top 5 Things to do during Christmas in Shanghai

Edited by Roseline Yang, Community Relations Officer

Since only international schools are on a holiday break, staying in Shanghai during the Christmas Holidays can be a very lucky opportunity for you!

1-You can do all the usually-busy tourist attractions during weekdays!5-1



2-You can also go to the most popular indoor play areas during weekdaysdole-trampoline

  • E Cube Club,
  • Little Bugz,
  • NBA Playzone,
  • Dole Island trampoline Park,
  • Jump 360

Click here for more information

3.Your child can go on a Christmas camp if you are working

Shanghai Community Center is organizing two camps for children aged from 4-12 years oldscreen-shot-2016-12-16-at-10-26-16-am

  • Session 1 (December 19-23)
  • Session 2 (December 26-30).
    Click here for more information

Sports for Life will be running 3 camps from December 19 – January 6. These will include sports and activities to keep the children busy, learning and entertained. Click here for more information.

5-5Naked Discovery offers 3 themed Winter Camp Packages for 4-6 and 7-9 year old children.

  • Session 1 (December 19-23)
  • Session 2 (December 26-30)
  • Session 3 (February 6-10)

Moreover, if you are a YCIS parent, the early bird discount is still valid for you! Just show your child’s YCIS pick-up card! Click here for more details.

4-You can do some Winter sports related activities5-3

  • Go ice-skating!
  • One favored winter tradition is not to be missed out on in Shanghai. For more information about ice skating places in Shanghai, click here.
  • Go Skiing!
  • Didn’t know skiing was an option in Shanghai?There is an indoor skiing center in Minghang district, so for the slope-lovers among you this is a perfect way to chill out at the weekend. Click here for more information

5- Of course, it’s not Christmas without a Christmas market5-4

If you want to enjoy the Christmas markets, there are still some on during the holidays!

  • Jingan Kerry Center An outdoor Christmas market with traditional wooden huts displaying a wide variety of Christmas delicacies, from Gluhwein to hot chocolate, plus pies, kebabs and many more mouth-watering goodies to celebrate this joyous time of year.
  • Every Friday and Saturday through December 24, experience a bustling Christmas Market in the heart of Lujiazui as Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai transforms its outdoor terrace on level 5 for the holidays.

Secondary Seeds of Hope Trip

Edited by Roseline Yang  (Community Relations Officer)

4-1-copyThe Seeds of Hope project is not just abour raising funds for the schools.  An important aspect of Seeds of Hope, is the experiences our students have at the schools and experiencing life in these rural areas.

During the EOTC week when Secondary students travel around China, the Year 11 students, accompanied by teachers from Regency Park and Century Park campuses went to experience life in Lixian. Leo Lazo, our Character Education Coordinator, explains to us what is so special about this trip!

Before we talk about the trip, could you tell us what Seeds of Hope is?

picture1To make a story short, Seeds of Hope comes from the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake Educational Development Fund. (S.E.E.D) created by Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF).  The project was supported by the generosity of the parents, students and staff to rebuild the Minzhu Primary School which had been severely damaged during the earthquake.

Since then, the YCEF has partenered with the China Youth Development Foundation to establish “Hope Schools” in various parts of rural China. The aim is to bring educational “Hope” to children lacking in opportunity and the funds raised across the year, and for example at Charity Week, is to help local government organizations to build schools.

From the original school in Sichuan, YCIS now has 7 Hope Schools throughout various provinces in China. YCIS of Shanghai visits Lixian, Qufu and Xiuning on a yearly basis where our students and staff provides lessons and activities to their students.

What were the activities in which students were involved during their visit to the school?

4-3Our Secondary students were involved in delivering lessons, games and activities in all subject areas with all age groups.  They also demonstrated Michelin Star prowess as each team took turns cooking meals for the whole group.  The washing up at the end, while not the favourite activity, was executed with the same level of teamwork we witnessed throughout the trip.

Little things we do can affect others greatly.  Alice Ho 11B

What did students learn from this visit to the school?

They learned to live the life of student in a rural school. Lixian is 3 hours from the capital city. It was very cold and students experienced sleeping in the classrooms and there was no bathroom to take a bath every day. However, students were exceptional in their ability to interact, excite, and inspire the Chinese students with their creative approach to learning.

Having moments throughout the trip where I realized how fortunate I was to have such an amazing group of friends and teachers with me on this trip.  Hannah Gan 11B

Is there anything you would like to share about this visit?

4-4The Seeds of Hope trip to Lixian was a fantastic experience; it was a combination of problem solving, team work, endurance and lots of laughter.

We all received an overwhelmingly warm welcome from the school community as we drove through the school gates. Staff, children, parents and grandparents were there to greet us and help unload our bus of supplies.

And the last day took on a surprising twist, as the whole community, unbeknownst to us, had been practicing a singing and dancing cabaret of twenty-two acts for a whole month in our honour. We witnessed professional dancing, amazing costumes and an afternoon of fabulous entertainment.

In return, our students delivered a stunning performance of Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes followed by the Macarena!  The audience loved  it!

To read more about their whole trip, you can check the Secondary News Blog (password: family).

Raising Funds in Y6–Student Blog

Written by Bryce Carey (Year 6  Student)

3-img_6487My name is Bryce and I am a Year 6 student. I am currently working on a project to get a fundraiser up and running in my year level. I would like all of the Year 6 students to learn about food, the problem of hunger and how we can help those that are in need.

What I want to do is to find out how much people are spending on their food consumption in a week and try to encourage students to donate that amount of money to the school. The money will go to supporting the charity Shanghai Baby Home. I want to raise the awareness of students so they can realize how much they actually have.

3-2Shanghai Baby Home will benefit because the students of Year 6 are going to try raise the highest amount of money they can so this charity can really help orphans have a more full life. The students will also benefit because they are gaining knowledge on how much they spend in a week for food and the struggles of other families who cannot afford to pay for important things in a human life. I chose Shanghai Baby Home because someone I know who is currently fostering a baby that used to be an orphan inspired me.


Thank you for making the world Greener!

Written by Elizabeth Hambleton, Year 6 teacher

2-1A big thank you to the many parents who bought Christmas decorations at our Christmas concerts and assemblies, and also to the students who helped us sell!

By purchasing an ornament, you have helped us to provide more funds towards our YCIS Pudong Forest as part of the Million Tree Project.

Stay tuned with our action in 2017 and remember that if you want an easy way to be more environmentally-friendly, you can always buy a re-usable cloth bag that will help us fight the effects of desertification in Inner Mongolia as well as make the world a greener place. Please contact Ms Hambleton ( if you would like to purchase a bag.

2-2    2-3


YCIS helps the community this Christmas!

Edited by Roseline Yang, Community Relations Officer

img_0346Sometimes, we do not realize that by doing something small, it can bring so much joy to others. In fact, every step counts and contributes to making a big difference: Going shopping to buy the goods, bringing your contribution to school to donate it, putting it under the Christmas Tree with the class, helping to sort the goods into different boxes, packing the boxes, carrying the boxes to the transportation van and delivering them have all contributed to bringing a big smile and love to the hearts of others.

Click on the blue ‘Giving Tree’ and ‘Christmas Tree Lighting’ to see all the photos of each event.

Thank You Word from Priyanka Chaturvedi, Giving Tree Coordinator and POP Core Committee Member

1-2By the end of the two days we were able to pack about 30 boxes for each of  the  foundations. This would not have been possible without the tremendous support of our parent volunteers who came in and helped us pack all the donations and within the two days itself we were ready to send out the boxes to the respective charities.  At POP, we would like to once again thank our YCIS families for not only sending the donations but also finding time to help us in packing and delivering the donations. Without your help we would not have achieved this.

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-12-03-07-pmPOP Liaison Officer Nadine Runkel together with some POP Core-Committee members delivered the boxes on Tuesday.  Shanghai Baby Home Co-Founder, Daisy Zhang, shared the following comments:

Your Giving Tree boxes arrived in our place just at the right time! The ayis were saying that we were already running out of toilet paper! We are so grateful for the milk powder and nappies as they are essential for the babies! Now, we have one thing less to worry about! A huge thank you to all YCIS families and we hope that you will come to visit us again. The children were very happy to be able to interact.

Thank You Word from Pilar Tan, Founder of WILL Foundation

1-4WILL Foundation has been blessed for the third year of having been chosen as YCIS Pudong campus’ beneficiary of Giving Tree recipients!   On Monday afternoon, the children were so excited and so happy to receive and discover what was inside the boxes. When I asked them why they were so happy, one said “there are so many things for us!”, another said “we are so lucky that there are good people caring for us”, and a teacher overwhelmed by the joy of the children said “I feel like crying”.   We had YCIS parents and teachers visiting us in the past and I hope soon some current teachers and parents will also visit us next year!

Once again thank you for such a wonderful Christmas gift to our children and household! Wishing you all a wonderful and blessed Holidays.

Thank You Word from Anne Teh, Y4-Y5 Parent and coordinating the bake sale at the Christmas Tree Lighting

1-5It was my first time joining the Christmas Tree Lighting at the Century Park Campus and I was inspired by the spirit of joy and giving from the YCIS community, the powerhouse that lit up the splendid evening! The generosity of the parents who baked was greeted by many eager helping hands from both campuses, who remarkably sold out all the delicious cookies to the supportive YCIS community.

image-3Each packet of cookies was sold at RMB10. We raised a total of RMB3,990 to cheer Walk into Life and Learn (WILL) Foundation on to build an Eco home for the disadvantaged children to be sustainable and flourish in life. A big thank you to all who have participated and given generously to the WILL Foundation.

Here is the Scoop!

wechatimg30Four Year 7 boys helped sell bears at the Heart to Heart (H2H) booth at our October Bazaar and with the sale of the bears they helped sponsor a child for surgery. Jonathan and Nathan had been to the Yodak H2H hospital a while back to deliver gifts to 3 children that YCIS had sponsored with the Gala Dinner last school year. We received a tour of the hospital and visited the children. Our H2H Host DJ was very passionate and inspiring and so the boys did not hesitate when they were asked if they would like to work the H2H booth at the bazaar. They convinced their friends Sasha and Justin to help as well.

Thank You Word from Karen Carrington, Volunteer Executive Director of Heart 2 Heart Shanghai

1-1The YCIS Year 7  project (done by Justin Shih, Sasha Sia-Jacob, Jonathan Lim, and Nathan Shih) has given a child the greatest Christmas present ever….The Heart to Heart child the project helped sponsor for heart surgery is currently in Yodak Cardio-Thoracic Hospital in Shanghai.  She is Chen Xiaolu – an eleven year old girl from Sichuan province.  She had the cardiac catheritization she has needed for years yesterday (December 10) is doing really well.  She can already take visitors!  You are, after all, a big part of her life now.  Little things can make huge differences. Thank you for making this possible!

Testimonies in This Caring Community

Edited by Roseline Yang, Community Relations Officer

image11YCIS values involvement from parents and encourages platforms that allow parents to share and exchange ideas on how to educate their children and help them find meaning in their lives. In this context, Anne Teh took the initiative to hold workshop sessions based on an Alpha course to offer an “Oasis of care and love” to the school community.

image2The global Alpha Course, offered in 70 countries, helps parents to explore life’s big questions to build a strong foundation for the family guided by Christian values. Held over ten weeks, parents have the opportunity to come together, in a casual and relaxed atmosphere, to look at different questions.

Tracy Oei, Year 3C and 5C parent found the interactive discussion and sharing sessions with “like minded” parents helpful to guide her along in daily parenting, learning and imparting essential, positive values to her children.

image4Faye William, Year 3D new parent at YCIS felt welcomed and was happy to meet other caring and supportive parents to help her settle in a new school environment and feel at home.

Livia Soekarno, Y4B parent, who has been in China for 14  years and over the years accustomed to the transient expat community, where the stability of friendship is often uprooted when families repatriate, shared that this workshop is refreshing and different from other parenting courses she had attended, in the sense that Alpha transforms the community to be an oasis of love and care that reaches out to one another as a caring community.

img_4209Livia and Tracy found joy in sharing delicious home-cooked meals with the group in each session.

Another parent, Sally Chiu, Year 5A enjoyed the insightful videos and engaging sharing, it impacted her to make the most of out her life and gave her the compass to plan the next steps for her family.

fullsizerender1Anne Teh (Y4D&5A Parent), Debbie Shih (Y4A&7A Parent and POP Co-Chairperson) and Mr. Leo Lazo (YCIS Character Counsellor) as co-facilitators shared that this series of workshops was an enriching journey for all participants as it helped to build a close knit community.

Alpha workshop began every session making everyone feel at home, sharing a home-made meal and ended with a thanksgiving and Christmas celebration.