Student Co-Presidents Talk Leadership

During the assembly on Monday, September 10, seven candidates each spoke for several minutes to stake their claims for the two top seats at the Student Council table for 2018-19. Voting took place during the week, and later the two 2018–19 Student Council Co-Presidents were announced.

Congratulations are in order for Alexandra and Shu Min, who were re-elected for a second term in office. “We are excited to continue representing our school in the best way we can, and we’re also thrilled that the students have continued to have faith in us to lead them,” said Alexandra.

It is essential for the Student Council to interact with the student body, so communication is something the pair want to work on in the coming year. “We want to make communication between the students and the Student Council more effective,” said Alexandra. This will mean testing various methods, which could include suggestion boxes or monthly surveys for the students. “We want more of those [interactions] if we’re going to encourage the students, listen more closely to their voices, and to make sure that they’re heard,” said Shu Min.

Being elected to the Student Council provides students with a fantastic opportunity to garner leadership skills that they can use both in school and in their future endeavours. The leaders are aware of how they can implement such skills. “Based on the types of activities we organise, we need to have different styles of leadership,” said Shu Min. Shu Min believes flexibility is integral to the role. “We have to listen to the demands of Year 6 and Year 13 students, and they will have differences between their needs.”

Being a Student Council Co-President comes with its challenges for the incumbents. “For me, it was about learning how to work with others. Throughout my school life and projects, I’ve usually been more independent. Learning how to plan is also really important when you have your school work and exams,” said Alexandra.

So, it’s not just about giving the candidates experience; it’s also about giving back to the broader community. “It helps us expand in our leadership skills, but it helps others, too, and I think that’s what YCIS always strives to do,” said Alexandra.

Gaining leadership skills and taking on extra responsibilities isn’t limited to those on the Student Council either, as there are plenty of opportunities for students to develop these skills by participating in Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs), or Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) projects. “Our school doesn’t limit us by saying, ‘If you’re part of the Student Council, your responsibilities lie only there.’ They really encourage everyone to get involved,” said Alexandra.

So, is it all worth it? “Definitely!” enthused Shu Min. We look forward to seeing the pair take their enthusiasm to the next level for another successful year as Co-Presidents!

Staff Focus: Amita Patel, Technology Director

Written by: Roseline Yang, Community Liaison Officer

Amita Patel first joined YCIS in 2007 as a parent of her two boys who started at YCIS.  Amita went on to join the teaching staff in 2012, as a Technlogy Teacher in the Primary section of YCIS Pudong.  In the earlier years of her working life, Amita set-up a computer institute for kids in Pune, considered the Silicon Valley of the Eastin India back in the late 90’s.

Amita also sits of the ACAMIS Technology Committee, and the team’s responsibility is to plan an annual Technology Conference for international schools in China, Mongolia and Hong Kong. Amita is always full of amazing ideas and solutions to help people be better at what they do. We caught up with Amita recently and talked to her about her important work in the school.

Amita, it’s such a pleasure to interview you for our YCIS Pudong School Newsletter, especially now that you are the Technology Director; a totally new position at the school. How do you feel about this new role?

Thank you, Roseline. I’m really honored to be interviewed. I am really excited because this role really helps to build the technological proficiency of our students as they move from each section of the school from ECE all the way up to Secondary. I am happy to be part of a bigger team now because our individual strengths help to further develop the whole technology programme at the school.  We are varied – New Zealand, British, Ukrainian – very talented pool as we come from different parts of the world with different experiences.

I remember you made a presentation about Technology at the final Parent Coffee Morning last academic year where you presented a vision for the department from ECE to Secondary. I see that you have already implemented in Secondary the equivalent of the family contract we did last year with Primary students after Screenagers.

Yes, during Orientation Day, when the Secondary students were given their iPads, they had the opportunity to discuss the responsible and balanced use of technology with their parents and sign a YCIS iPad Programme Pledge, which helps parents to be aware of their children’s digital life. Technology opens to a world of wonderful opportunities for being creative and using 21stcentury skills, but it is necessary to know how to set rules and boundaries just like in the real world. Children of the 21stcentury are digital natives, and for them, technology is embedded in their life. It’s also part of our lives as parents, but we are able to differentiate between the physical and the digital world, while our children need to constantly be reminded about these differences.

How is it that you always positive, easy-going, so kind and helpful to anyone at any time of the day…while you have so many tasks and responsibilities to take care of?  No matter how busy you are, you always find time to make people’s ideas or wishes happen even if it is out of your scope of responsibilities? What is your secret?

The constant for technology is change, so having a positive attitude is very important. I have observed from many educators around the world a common trend for their success is their positive attitude. They always consider that others are coming from a good place. So, I always try to tell myself before I talk to someone: “Am I coming from a good place?”.

Your other question about my availability: Well, this is my main role: to support teachers so that they can use technology in their teaching. So, whenever they need help, this is then my priority. Actually, most importantly, when I understand about the needs or problems teachers or the school leaders are facing, I am able to provide them with some creative help thanks to technology. For example, the creation of blogs helped to keep all information available and accessible to everyone in one place. Before, teachers kept the information on the server and folders while parents received information through paper or by email. I love technology and it’s my mission to teach and spread the use of it to make life easier for everyone .

Thank you! Ok, last question: What advice would you give to our parents & children as an educator and as a parent?

Technology is a great tool and we use it sometimes to an extreme without realizing how it is affecting people around us. It is essential to balance time for yourself and your family. For example, I have a rule at home that once I enter our house, I keep my computer and phone in a fixed place. At night, we have a centralized place where all our devices are charged. This is a rule for everyone at my home and we try to stick to it.

Being a role model is important as children observe and emulate everything that their parents do.

Finally, set time aside for you and for your children to have regular conversations about life in general and things that interest them and help them to make healthy choices.

Parent Involvement at YCIS

Written by: Roseline Yang, Community Liaison Officer

Parent Volunteers

Many of our parents and even grandparents give their time to the school helping out with various activities. Why do they do it?

According to Chong Lao Lao  (K4 Chloe’s grandma, YCIS student since K2 in 2016):

When your child comes home with a smile every day, you feel very grateful to the people that are taking care of your child, especially when she only says good things about every single teacher she has. Participating in workshops and getting involved at school helped me to better understand the learning environment of my grand-daughter as well as better support her according to the school’s philosophy and practices. Last year, helping the Parent Organization with sorting and sewing uniform as well as for Staff Appreciation was a great way for me to pay back to the school community. Last but not least, my grand-daughter admires my involvement and is happy to see that I care about her and her school.”

Jutta Petznick, in her 6thyear as a YCIS Parent and 3rd year as the Girl Scout Coordinator (mother of Y7 Amelie, YCIS student since Year 1 in 2012) says:

I like volunteering at school because it makes me feel like part of the community, the place where my daughter spends a lot of time and feels like home.  At the beginning when she started at YCIS, she was still was very shy. So, it helped her to settle faster and easier into school knowing her mom was also connected to school. It gave me the opportunity to try out new things and meet a lot of people and connect.”

Sports Coach

The school has added many new sports teams in recent years and we rely on our parents to help out as coaches.

Andreas Kolf, is in his 4thyear as a school football coach (Y5 Benjamin’s dad, YCIS student since K2 in 2011).  He told us:

I’m very glad to spend my time with the kids coaching football and to have the opportunity to develop their attitude and skills on and off the pitch. The team has made significant progress over the last couple of years and I’m very proud of my team. “

Bruce Robinson is a veteran coach in his 13thyear as a YCIS Parent and Basketball Coach (Y13 Oliver YCIS student from K4, Class of 2016 Spencer YCIS student from Y3, Class of 2014 Miles YCIS student from Y5 in 2005).  According to Bruce:

Volunteering at school helps me share my passion for basketball and fitness with my sons and YCIS students. Our parent community has many outstanding and experienced individuals that can share their areas of expertise (science, arts, music, sports, etc.) with our school community and add to the quality of education our children are receiving by attending YCIS. I think that the spirit of YCIS comes from our close-knit community where we care about one another and take an active interest, and joy, in seeing any of our children grow and succeed academically, athletically, musically, etc. whether it is being successful at ACAMIS sports tournaments, World Scholars Cup or winning IGCSE Best in China or the World Awards.”

Class Parent Representatives
Each ECE and Primary class has Class Parent Reps and these parents are a great help to the class teachers and play a key role in building class communities amongst the parents.

Huey Loke, 2nd year Class Parent Rep (Y2 Sarah-Joyce, YCIS student since K4 in 2016) tells us why she volunteers:

“I volunteer at YCIS because “it takes a village…“ and we have the nicest, most accepting and generous village at YCIS.  I get to learn new stuff, share stuff and have a hoot doing things I have never dreamt that I would be doing. Thank you!”

Sammy Weng
, 4th year YCIS Parent and 1st year Class Parent Rep (Y5 Kyle Hsiung’s mom, YCIS student since Year 1 in 2015), explains why she volunteers.

Volunteering at school helps me to be more involved in my child’s school life and lead by example and teach him that there is a lot to learn and grow when volunteering and contributing at the same time to the community.”

Wei ai Luo, 2ndyear YCIS Parent and 1styear Class Parent Rep (K2 Wayne and K4 Lola’s mom, YCIS student since 2017) also explains why she wants to get involved:

“Being involved at school is a way to know more about the school, meet and learn from other parents. Since I have already had experience with my first child, I volunteered to help new parents navigate in the school.”

POP Core Members
Members of the POP Core Committee are extremely giving of their time and energy. Being on the POP Core involves commitment to helping others and the school.

According to Karen Shih,3rdyear POP Core Member & 3rdyear Girl Scout Leader (Y7 Julia and Y9 Justin, YCIS students since Y4 & Y6 in 2015):

“Volunteering at school gives me some insight into how my children spend their time away from home. By helping with the Girl Scouts and with POP, I get a chance to interact with my children, their classmates and teachers in ways that I would never have, if I just came to performances and school conferences. Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people who share a common interest! Last but not least, it’s a way to give back to the community: There are always opportunities to help out at school, and it feels good to share your skills and time with people who appreciate them.”

Linda Yang, 4th year YCIS Parent and 2nd year POP Core member (Y3 Sky, YCIS student since K3) explains why she volunteers to help the school, even though she is a working mother:

“Originally, I volunteered at school to help represent our Chinese speaking population at YCIS. As a full-time working mom, balance between work and family is not always easy. However, since I became a parent volunteer for our Parent Organization Pudong, I feel more connected to the school because I understand better about the activities in which my son is involved and I got to see for different matters how efficient, gentle and diligent the school reacts and tries to solve parents’ issues. Last but not least, I feel that my son is proud of me as part of the school community.“

Harmony Strohm, 1st year POP Core member (Y2 Isla YCIS Student since Y1 in 2017) is one of our newer volunteers.  She tells us:

“Considering your children spend 35+ hours of their week at school, the school community (teachers, staff, students, parent volunteers) become an “extended family” that we entrust the care of our children to. This is why it is important to be part of that “extended family”.  It is even more important as expats, being far away from our homes and actual families. Because of my work schedule, I tried to join afternoon parent volunteer activities.  This is how I came to know about the POP core committee and all their activities and was happy to join in. “The cherry on the top”, my daughter’s face breaks out into a big smile every time she spots me around school volunteering.”  

Parent Involvement in the Secondary School may look a bit different than in the ECE and Primary section of the school. The core element is still the same though: being informed about their child’s education, joining meetings and participating in events organised by the school. There is always space for parental involvement and initiative, such as sport coaching or parent-led activities.

A Secondary parent of two, Patrizia Pierini, 4th year YCIS Parent and 3rd year Parent Book Club Coordinator (Y10 Zen & Y12 Maxene, YCIS students since Y6 & Y8 in 2014) explains how she gets involved:

“Joining the Parent Coffee Morning and the events organized in the Secondary School allows me to be informed, engage with the school leaders and support the values and spirit of the school where my children are spending a vast amount of their time.”

Endang Kusianingsih,12th year YCIS Parent (Y12 Ruth joined from K4 and Class 2017 Rachel joined from Y3 in 2006) is a YCIS veteran.  She also enjoys participating in the coffee mornings:

“It’s a useful platform where we can meet other parents to discuss about our kids’ problems and exchange parenting tips with each other. It’s also a great opportunity to meet the school leadership team and ask questions to them directly. They are very helpful and I really appreciate all they have done for my kids. “

Groundbreaking in the Philippines!

Written By: Chris Perks, School Chaplain (YCIS Shanghai) and Seeds of Hope Coordinator (Mainland China) 

This past week I was very privileged to represent the Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF) at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of a new Secondary School building at the Cuatro Christian School (CCS) outside Manila in the Philippines. Seeds of Hope (SoH) is partnering with Kids International Ministries (KIM) in this new fundraising venture to complete the school with space for Grade 11 (by June 2019) and Grade 12 classrooms the following year. The new building will include science laboratories, design and technology workshops and more. CCS is already bursting at the seams with the 487 students (Grade 1-10) on four existing properties.

It was such a joyful occasion, as we celebrated the purchase of the ground and talked about the hope and coming reality of a new building, soccer field and more. This will mean so much to the community and be a “seed” of “hope” to these families and students, as they will be able to continue on to Higher Education. I am looking forward to taking our Year 11 students there for our SoH/EOTC trip in October, where we will be able to participate in “Love and Charity” in very practical ways: by physically helping on the new property, by being involved with a feeding scheme in the community, by connecting our students with the local community, and so much more.

Throughout the year, YCIS Pudong will be able to support this project through various fundraising events and also consider practical ways we can support them, every time we visit the school.

The excitement amongst the school community was palpable. The anticipation, excitement and hope that filled every heart at the ceremony demonstrated the best of what service means to me and our large YCIS Pudong community. There is so much to look forward to!

Focus on Child Protection at YCIS

Written by Damien Hehir, Co-Principal, YCIS Pudong

Applying a culture and set of procedures built around Child Protection and Safeguarding has been one of our major focuses at YCIS Pudong over the past few years.  We now have a foundation-wide Child Protection Policy for all Yew Chung and Yew Wah schools, and we have implemented numerous safeguarding proceedings to ensure we create the safest environment possible for our students.

The principle guiding all of this can be seen in our Child Protection Policy:

Yew Chung and Yew Wah Schools and Kindergartens recognise their responsibilities regarding child protection. We aim to create a safe, secure and supportive learning environment for our students, free from any form of harm. The welfare of all students is of paramount importance to each YCIS, YWIES and YWIEK school community. Members of each school community are required, ethically and legally, to act promptly and professionally to ensure the protection of our students in instances of suspected child abuse. All suspected cases of child abuse should be reported to the child protection officer immediately.

The impetus for developing our Child Protection procedures came initially when we employed new School Counsellors a few years ago, and tasked them with this important work. However, we also knew that the school leaders also must take a major role in supporting and leading this process. Our Accreditation agency, Council of International Schools (CIS) has been driving this process of educating international schools on Child Protection practices and what schools need to do to make their campuses as safe as possible.  We have invested in professional development for staff in this area, ensuring our Counsellors and Principals are well trained.   We have also ensured we have had professional guidance along the way; seeking out consultants including the Jane Group and Susie March.

YCIS Pudong formed a Child Protection committee consisting of School Leaders and Child Protection Officers / Counsellors across all sections, and we meet regularly to review and improve our procedures.  We are proud to share some of the achievements of this team:

  • Putting in place the Child Protection Policy and Procedures document
  • Creating a Code of Conduct for all adults who work at YCIS including outsourced staff, service providers (CCAs, LearningAssistants, Therapists etc..) and visitors.
  • Implementation of rigorous visitor procedures
  • Implementation of Safer Recruitment practices
  • Training provided for all YCIS staff and outsourced workers
  • Development of an Anti-Bullying policy and procedures document
  • Appointment of Child Protection Officers and Deputies (including documentation and procedures to support them)
  • Development of a Wellbeing Curriculum to teach students about Child Protection matters which impact on them
  • Providing resources and trainings for other schools within our organization
  • Providing training and workshops for parents

Parents may be interested in reading our Child Protection policies and procedures.  We encourage you to go to each section blog, using the following links:

If you have any concerns regarding Child Protection or would like any further information, please reach out to our Child Protection Officers:

ECE / Primary

  • Child Protection Officer – Zoe Andrews,
  • Deputy Child Protection Officer – Sil Lee,


  • Child Protection Officer –
  • Deputy Child Protection Officer –

You can also contact them through the relevant school office.

If you ever need to make a Child Protection report, please refer to our reporting email addresses:

  • ECE / Primary –
  • Secondary –

We would like to thank our whole community for your support in helping us develop these Child Protection procedures for YCIS Pudong.

Co-Curricular Activities at YCIS

At YCIS, all students are individually acknowledged for their uniqueness, and the school continually strives to provide students with opportunities to hone their existing abilities, develop new skills, and to discover passions they never knew they had. This attitude toward student support and self-discovery extends beyond the classroom and the academics. It is for this reason that YCIS Pudong is so excited to share its extensive list of Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) available at both the Century Park and Regency Park campuses.

At the Century Park Campus, CCAs are divided into categories including Sports and Athletics, Performing Arts, and Clubs and Activities. Similarly, at the Regency Park Campus, CCAs are grouped under Academic, Active, Artistic, and Creative Categories. Within these categories, there are more than 50 activities at each campus from which the students may choose. This could be something that’s ideally suited to their passions and strengths, or an activity that is entirely new for the student. Throughout the year, students are encouraged to participate in activities across all of the categories.

For Secondary students, although it is just the beginning of the school year, there has already been strong participation in traditional sports, such as Basketball, Football, Hockey, Swimming, and Volleyball. CCAs as diverse as Environmental Awareness, Global Issues, Golf, Knitting, Model United Nations, Photography, Peking Opera, Rock Bands, Tai Chi, and Wellness are also all garnering interest from the student body. Many CCAs are led by our dedicated teaching staff, and there are also activities run by professional organisations, such as the Brother’s Hoops basketball programme.

For Primary students, it has also been a fantastic start to the sporting season with a buzz around the swimming and football programmes, and students actively engaged after school in ballet, gymnastics, Chinese calligraphy, junior choir, computer game design, Lego Robotics, Chess, and much more!

For both Primary and Secondary, we aim to nurture the students’ talents both inside and outside of the classroom. We believe CCAs are a fantastic way of expanding students’ horizons and introducing them to activities that supplement, enhance, and help balance their learning experiences at YCIS Pudong.

POP Back to School Picnic

The cloudy skies didn’t stop YCIS Pudong families from turning out in high numbers for the annual Parents Organisation Pudong (POP) Back to School Picnic and Bazaar at the Regency Park Campus earlier this month. The seas of YCIS blue t-shirts, banners, and tents were enough to brighten up the morning until the sun came out to stay later on in the afternoon.


The POP Picnic is a fantastic community-building event and is a chance for students, families, and staff to come together and celebrate the beginning of the new school year in a relaxed and comfortable setting.

The event included booths featuring an array of community partners, ranging from home furniture, to arts and crafts, healthcare providers, and even an onsite barber providing haircuts for attendees! The second-hand book stand was particularly popular with parents and children and was a fantastic and sustainable way to share the joy of reading within the community.


As well as the various stalls, the youngsters enjoyed playing on the bouncy castle, taking part in some gentle gymnastics, and testing their aim in the ever-popular ‘Big Dumpling’ dunk tank, where students had the opportunity to dunk their teachers in a massive tank of water! The soundtrack for the day was provided by a host of student DJs who kept the music going, creating an uplifting mood throughout the event.

By lunchtime, everyone had worked up quite an appetite, and fortunately, no one was left hungry, as there was plenty of options available with Eastern and Western cuisines, including snacks, smoothies, juices, and hearty meals, as well as delicious desserts.

Families could take their pick of the food, spread out on blankets across the playing areas, and enjoy a lively lunch together.


The festivities continued until the middle of the afternoon, when the families started to return home and enjoy the rest of their weekend activities outside of the school. The event was indeed a success, with both attendees and organisers delighted with the day, and looking forward to coming together again for another POP event very soon.

Learning Communities in the ECE

Written By: Veronica Martin; ECE Coordinator

The way we view learning has changed over the years.  Learning should be viewed as a moving, exciting and wonderful thing; something that children engage with. Environments and spaces should invite the learner into the area and they need to be flexible and adaptable to the audience that is using the area. With this in mind, during the recent summer holidays a large wall was knocked down in the ECE Library to  create an adaptable learning space for all. The environment is a space that encourages creativity and social engagement.

Each week the ECE children engage in what we refer to as the Class Community Learning programme (CCL). The CCL programme is where we bring the whole year level together for a period of time into a large, creative space. The programme begins slowly as we need all the children to be comfortable with the new space and the ability to confidently move between inside and outside, weather permitting.  K4s start first, then the K3s, and by October the K2 children are also engaged in the CCL programme.

The space has an open feel to it and children are able to move freely between the indoor and outdoor learning space, creating opportunities for them to work creatively together.  This allows the students to build confidence outside the standard classroom, and gives all teachers the opportunity to interact with all students in a warm, supportive and stimulating environment. Emphasis is placed upon group activities that encourage children to problem solve and develop further in their mathematical and language skills. Currently the K4 students have already started participating in CCL.  They are engaged in different areas such as building, reading, creating and working together. These sessions are held each week and all you hear are children talking and laughing with each other.