YCIS Pudong 21 – Planning for the Future

Written by Damien Hehir, Co-Principal YCIS Pudong

One thing that we can always be sure of in Shanghai and China in general is that the future is hard to predict and that change is inevitable.  A few years ago, with more international schools opening up and less new families coming into China, we decided to move our Year 5 students back to the Regency Park Campus.  The landscape has changed dramatically since then.  Over the past few years we have seen far less withdrawals across the school and a significant increase in new student intakes.

In order to accommodate these changes, we have informed our current Year 4 parents that when their child is in Year 5 in August 2019, they will be based at Century Park Campus.  This will enable us to continue to grow the Early Childhood and Lower/Middle Primary School, as well as continue to develop the Century Park Campus as a site for both Upper Primary and our Secondary.  We explained the many benefits of the Year 5s being at Century Park Campus and the opportunities this would present those students in the letter we sent home.  Click here if you would like to read the full letter where this was communicated.  The students were ecstatic when we informed them and they can’t wait to make the move.

One key new component of our School’s revamped Mission, Principles and Practices document which was officially launched in 2018 is the development of Learning Communities.  As stated in the School’s new guiding statements:

We believe that ‘Learning Communities’ best enable students and teachers to creatively and holistically explore different fields of knowledge, fostering individual and collaborative learning skills that are critical for the 21 Century.

Learning Communities is an innovative approach towards student learning which focuses on the individual needs and learning styles of the students.  It starts with creating flexible learning spaces for students in which they can: collaborate, direct their own learning, have spaces for quiet and reflection, have spaces for being creative and showcase their learning.

The model of sitting in rows and listening to a teacher talk for most of the lesson is dated and doesn’t meet the needs of all learners.  In order to make this all happen, we will be starting to develop flexible learning spaces for our Primary Students at Century Park Campus.  This will no doubt make their learning more engaging and fun, and we expect parents will notice a difference in them.


We will also be setting up a flexible learning community space in the IB wing in 2019-20 for the Year 12 and 13 students. Again, the re-modelling will be based around meeting the needs of the students, enabling them to work with each other and key staff, and giving them the best possible learning environment to enable them to be successful.  We have been working with staff to start to shift their thinking about classroom spaces and pedagogy and will continue to work with parents to better explain our model and plans for the future.  These are very exciting times to be a YCIS student.

As we moved to a new School Leadership Team (SLT) structure for 2018-19 with whole school Co-Principals and a Business Manager working together to oversee all aspects of the school, we felt that a 3 Year strategic plan for the school was a good way to start.  We hired an Education Consultant to lead us in this process.  We looked at an incredible amount of data including: survey information from parents, staff and students; assessment results, Admissions and Withdrawal information and then worked with leaders across the academic and non-academic sections of the whole school in Pudong to identify key strengths and areas of growth and development.   After an initial two-day retreat, we formed a taskforce to continue to work on the plan and began the process of implementation.  The culmination of this work for the past eight months will be the official launch of Pudong 21 on the evening of January 16. At this evening we plan to share our vision and major goals for the next three school years, taking us to July 2021 (hence the 21).


Members of our community are welcome to attend this special launch of Pudong 21 on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at the Century Park Campus Theatre, beginning at 6:00pm.

During this event, we will share the following with our community:

  • Introduce our ‘Pudong 21’, our three-year Strategic Plan, explaining the areas of focus and how this will benefit our students;
  • We will highlight recent successes and opportunities for our students;
  • You will hear stories from our students, alumni, and some of our parents;
  • A student panel will answer questions from parents; and
  • We will share major renovation plans for the Century Park Campus.

After the presentations have concluded, parents are invited to join us for a reception, where there will be a number of booths set up for parents to visit and speak with our specialist leaders in subject areas including Performing Arts, Chinese, Mathematics, English, Physical Education, and many more. In addition, our section Coordinators for ECE, Primary, Lower Secondary, IGCSE, IB, and our University Guidance Counsellor will also be available to talk with parents about the programmes the school offers and to answer questions.  Doors will open from 5:30pm and staff will be available to talk to parents from that time onwards.  If you have not yet registered and would like to do so, click here.  There will be limited spaces so don’t wait, register now.

We are excited about the future at YCIS Pudong and we want you to be a part of it.   As always, we are very grateful to our parent community and we thank you for your ongoing commitment and support.

Christmas Performances Bring a Festive Spirit

Christmas is fast approaching, and at YCIS Pudong, students have been ensuring that everyone is getting into the festive spirit! After the fantastic school-wide Winter Concert, and the joyous Christmas Tree Lighting event that kicked off the seasonal celebrations, students from YCIS Pudong Primary have been keeping parents and staff entertained with a series of Christmas concerts. Nothing says “Christmas” like the sound of holiday songs performed by groups of enthusiastic student singers.

Over the past two weeks, the Primary students have been making the short hop over to the Century Park Campus Theatre to participate in different pageant-style shows. Each of the shows included short, scripted sections and original songs to keep the audiences entertained. Starting off the fortnight of Christmas cheer were the Year 1 students with their delightful ‘Santa’s Hat’ production. Next up were the Year 2 students with their heart-warming tale ‘A Christmas Toy Story’. The students from Year 3 gave a rousing performance of ‘The Elves’ Impersonator’, while the Year 4 students left the audience smiling with glee after their show, ‘Elfis and the Sleigh Riders’. The Year 1-4 Concerts even had a special guest dressed in red, drop in from the North Pole, much to the excitement of the performing students on stage.

To cap off the week, students from Year 5 and Year 6 joined together for an ensemble variety show/Christmas assembly.  For Year 5 and 6, this is just the beginning.  They will follow up with their much-anticipated Spring Musical next semester. We can’t wait for that show.

The Year 1-6 students have all produced some magical performances, making this special time of year even more delightful for all in attendance. And, of course, this magic was supported by the Performing Arts department, the Visual Arts department, and our year level teachers who have all done a wonderful job with the fantastic set designs, the overall organisation of the events, and helping to prepare our talented students for these incredible performances.

From everyone at YCIS Pudong, we wish you a very MerryChristmas and a HappyNew Year!

Esteemed CIS Consultant, Susie March, Visits YCIS Pudong

Earlier this month, YCIS Pudong was delighted to welcome back a very special guest, Ms Susie March, a world-renowned Council for International Schools (CIS) Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), and Personal, Social, Health & Economics (PSHE) consultant. During her visit, Ms March met with ECE, Primary, and Secondary parents, as well as Secondary students to help share relevant information in these areas.

Ms Susie March’s career began as a practice nurse in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), where her focus was on sexual health, women’s health, and family planning. When an opportunity came for her family to move to Germany, Ms March’s career took a new trajectory. After spending time at her children’s international school, she saw an element of the school curriculum that she thought needed some extra help: the education of children around their sexual health. This presented her with an opportunity to use her skills to do something positive for the school and its students. Ms March spent the next five years volunteering for the school, during which she completed several courses and earned various pedagogical qualifications. Her reputation grew, and, in 2011, she founded her consultancy business, initially working with schools in Germany, the Netherlands, and France, and now with schools across the world. In October 2017, Ms March spent time with educators at YCIS to help advise on the school’s Well-being programme. This year, she revisited YCIS Pudong to help further build on the school’s now very well-established Well-being programme.

Where should a school start when it comes to CSE and Well-being for its students? According to Ms March, a policy is vital. “For schools to have their programmes supported and not undermined, they need to have a policy in place. So, I help schools to not only support their students but also to put in place a curriculum with a clear policy,” she said. “Schools need to have a child protection policy, and they also need to have a sexuality education policy. We have policies for many things – for bullying, or school trips, for example. The sexuality education policy underpins everything within a schools’ curriculum to do with sex education,” added Ms March.

Having a programme that is integrated into the curriculum and that has recurring elements throughout the school year is key to its success. The programme also needs to develop across the year groups, so a student moving through the school will receive a streamlined and consistent message during their time at the school. Having the whole school on board is crucial for this to work. “What YCIS has done, which is really key, is that they’ve worked as a whole school on the programme,” added Ms March.

During her visit, Ms March talked to students from the Upper Secondary school, focusing on how to help them with student life at school, but also to help prepare them for life after school. “We want to ensure that they have the skills to make the right decisions for themselves”, March added.

In addition to talking with students, Ms March also led sessions with parents of students from ECE, Primary and Secondary. The meetings gave the parents the opportunity to highlight questions and concerns about the subject matter. Ms March described how the sessions created an open dialogue between parents, saying “We did an exercise where the parents looked at over 40 topics that students might need to know about, and they had to rank them. They said what they felt were the most important ones, and what they’d like their children to know about more. It’s a great opportunity for them to talk about this with each other.” Ms March stressed the importance of the partnership that occurs between the parents and the school, and how the CSE and Wellbeing programmes will support, not undermine, their values. “We give the students the tools to make decisions, but the parents still have their values from home that underpin all of that. We need to ensure that parents can be partners in this support for their children. Education by the school is actually such a small element of what happens,” said Ms March. According to Ms Zoe Andrews, School Counsellor and Child Protection Officer (ECE and Primary) at YCIS Pudong, parent feedback had indicated this type of education was very welcomed. According to Ms Andrews, “We had very positive feedback from parents. They were saying ‘We don’t know how to teach our children this, and we appreciate the help and guidance.’”

Ms March also shared some tips for parents on how to approach CSE with their children. For example, what should parents do if they’re asked a difficult question? “My first thing would be to ask them to repeat the question slightly differently”, she said. “‘I don’t quite understand what you mean by that? What do you know about that?’ Because, actually, they might be asking something completely different,” advised Ms March. She also said answers don’t need to be too detailed at first, that parents should avoid being too personal with their responses, and they should never ‘make up’ answers. Being factual, and not being afraid to say when you don’t know the answer are all critical, according to Ms March. What about starting conversations with children? Ms March recommended using the things around us every day to start up conversations, such as books, TV shows, or the radio. Another way to engage young people is to have screen-free (no phones or other devices) dinners together as a family – when possible – and to have a choice of topics that can be discussed throughout the meal. These topics can be pre-written and selected by children, parents, and any other family members at the dinner table.

Overall, it’s safe to say Ms March was impressed by YCIS Pudong’s progress since her last visit, remarking “Wow! From what I’ve seen, the work that has been done in the past year is phenomenal,” she enthused. Ms March’s recent visit was not only educational and insightful for all in attendance, but it also built on the school’s continued efforts to provide the safest possible learning environment for all students and staff.

Parent Volunteer Opportunities for Sem 2

Written by: Roseline Yang, Community Liaison Officer

This week is the 17th week of school.  The school year is almost half-way through,  and if you look back, you will see how much we all have grown and improved as individuals and as a community. By investing our time and our efforts in education, the class and school activities, we have contributed to the ongoing improvement of the place we care about, for the benefit of all the members of the school community.

We hope that parent will continue to get involved and provide support in the second semester, especially with the celebration of Chinese New Year coming-up in January!  If you are wondering how you can get involved in Semester 2, here are some ways:

Class Involvement and Decoration for School Events

As in the first semester when parents read stories during Book Week or helped to decorate the corridor’s board on the theme of Dinotopia, class teachers may again seek parent help to organize activities related to Chinese Culture and/or to decorate the board outside the Primary classrooms for ECE & Primary Chinese New Year Celebration Week – January 21-25.

Joining our efforts to celebrate diversity in our School Community

The Parent Organization Pudong (POP) Global Child Day Committee is looking for support again to work in cooperation with the Academic team’s Chinese Culture and Chinese New Year Celebration Week for the following items:

  • Prepare a presentation to share with students during their school assembly
  • Prepare a performance for the Chinese New Year Celebration Evening
  • Prepare fun activities related to Chinese New Year to share with students
  • Prepare a table booth at the entrance of the cafeteria on the theme of Chinese New Year

Remember that everyone is welcome to get onboard in preparation for the Global Child Day on May 25.

Growing by Helping Each Other and Sharing our Talents in the School Community

POP has created a WeChatgroup for parents who would like to support with their time and energy to support the school and upcoming events.  Examples of how parents could help out include: helping the Primary Librarian during the second-hand book exchange, helping the Primary Art teacher with displays, selling YCIS Spirit items during events, or supporting fundraising activities. We are always very grateful to receive help offered by parents.  Thank you very much for supporting POP whose aim is to support the school!

In the second semester, POP will be looking forward to receiving your support for the Staff Appreciation Day on March 13!  Meanwhile, help is always welcome for the secondhand-uniform team on Tuesdays and Chinese translators are always needed, especially for the upcoming parent workshop by licensed counselor Catherine Humpherys on January 10.  English translators might also be needed for the Chinese Painting Workshop offered by Pr. Mou Yue on January 15 & 18.

A huge thank you again for all your effort and contribution to our school! Feel free to contact: rpcp.parentrelations@sh.ycef if you would like to get involved no matter how!

Winter Drama Productions Dazzle Audiences at YCIS Pudong Secondary

Drama is an excellent way for students to express themselves, and to build confidence in public speaking and performance. Recently at YCIS Pudong Secondary, students from Year 7 and Year 8 took to the stage to perform the play, ‘Hoodie’ – a play based on the demands and challenges facing young people as they navigate their way through adolescence – while students from Upper Secondary performed a version of English playwright Michael Frayn’s ‘Noises Off!’, which lifts a lid on all of the backstage drama and hilarity that can occur when making a play.

The fantastic production of ‘Hoodie’ took a speedy trip through the trials and tribulations of teenage life, covering themes such as body consciousness, biological changes, and fitting in with peers. Set against dramatically minimalistic backdrops and wearing coordinated costumes, the ensemble cast did a stellar job in front of the rapt audience. Their confident performances were peppered with humour but still ensured that the play’s serious themes hit home. It can be easy to forget what it is like to be a young person, with challenges to face and overcome. The cast of ‘Hoodie’ did an excellent job of delivering these messages in entertaining ways, leaving a lasting impression.

For those who have wondered about what goes on behind the scenes of a successful theatre production, the story of ‘Noises Off!’ followed a cast of nine, as they practised and performed a play-within-a-play, while a complicated relationship drama involving several of the cast members unravelled. The student actors did a fantastic job of each taking on multiple roles, and delivering performances packed with humour. The revolving set design was integral to the play’s storyline, with all of its doors, stairs, and even a plate of sardines being utilised for comedic effect.

Drama teacher Ms Brandi Burtts did a fantastic job directing these productions, and the casts of both ‘Hoodie’ and ‘Noises Off!’ demonstrated that YCIS Pudong has some serious thespians across its year groups. We look forward to more plays in the next semester, and are keen to find out which other members of the YCIS Pudong student body are going to appear on stage!

Students Focus on STEM in a Fun-Packed Week at YCIS Pudong

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are all subject areas that are highly valued in the modern world today and are also of the utmost importance to the Secondary curriculum at YCIS. It is for this reason that YCIS Pudong recently celebrated the values of STEM subjects in their annual ‘STEM Week’.

The activities organised for STEM Week revolved around the core STEM subject areas, and in addition to being mentally stimulating and physically challenging, the week’s events were fun and memorable. Activities included code breaking, mathematical problem solving, scavenger hunts, a marathon relay, a building challenge, as well as a STEM-themed dress-up day.

Expertise was shared and developed throughout the week, with students gaining knowledge in the various subject areas. The week began with a computer-science-themed scavenger hunt, which tested mental and physical speed and agility. This was followed by a paper airplane making competition which produced some clever engineering marvels. Year 6 and 7 students joined forces to build fantastic structures using household materials like barbecue sticks and marshmallows, enabling them to discover just how difficult it can be to keep a structure standing. Later in the week, students representing Years 7-13 took part in a marathon relay, with 14 runners attempting to complete a continuous relay around the school’s athletics track for a total distance of 42.195km, with the aim of beating the incredible 2:01:39 record time set by Eliud Kipchoge. In the end, the students completed the distance in a very competitive 2:27:01. Throughout the relay, another group of students recorded the biometric data of the runners for analyses by our sports scientists in future classes. At the end of the week, students also engineered some inventive group costumes representing various STEM principles. Alongside this, other groups of students worked together to crack codes and solve mathematical problems, which required serious focus and teamwork.


Most young people entering the workforce in today’s world are required to possess more technological knowledge than previous generations. With the rise of computers, smartphones, social media, and the internet, YCIS students begin learning about and with the aid of technology from a young age. Being equipped with technological skills and experience benefits our students upon their graduation. The combination of mental and physical activities, as well as the range of activities presented, gave the students an insight into the breadth of STEM and an inclination of where their studies might take them in the future.

YCIS Eco-Warriors Take Action!

Written by: Anita Dai,  Primary Art Teacher 

In this day and age, almost everyone understands that the earth is in serious trouble. We know that polar ice is melting, the coral reefs are dying, and the rainforest is dwindling.
Knowing all that, sometimes there is still a little voice in your head saying, “These problems are so big! Whatever I do, it won’t make much of a difference anyways.”

It certainly is easy to be so overcome at the thought of a bleak future that we respond with cynicism, apathy, or denial. Not so for the YCIS Eco-Warriors. A group of students from Years 3, 4, and 5 met every Friday after school this past semester to talk about some of the issues affecting the environment and to come up with ideas for how to make a difference.

Here are some of the ideas they came up with:

We don’t enjoy wearing masks and staying indoors on Red Air days. Chloe Xiang (Y4C) has some helpful suggestions: “We should plant more trees. We can use bicycles so we don’t pollute the air.” Chloe Cai (Y3A) is also very passionate about the air. She says, “We should keep the trees safe. It is the best way to help everyone because trees make the air. If there are no more trees, people AND animals will die.” Yi-Qing (Y3D) laments, “Almost all the creatures in the earth will die if the trees are cut down and air pollution, water pollution and litter is everywhere.”

All the students are very concerned about the animals in the ocean. Jerry (Y5A) recommends, “Don’t throw plastic anywhere because it will hurt the animals that live in the water.” Matthew (Y3B) takes it one step further: “Don’t use single use plastic. Because you can only use it one time and then it goes into the trash.” Lily (Y3D) exhorts, “Stop using plastic bottles and bags because the wind blows them into the sea. And then the animals like turtles think they are jellyfish and they eat them and die.”

So what are some solutions? Kyle (Y5B) suggests, “Use re-usable things like a metal water bottle or a cloth or silk bag.” Luiza (Y5B) is practical and knows it is impossible to avoid all single-use plastic packaging. Her recommendation? “Re-use single-use plastic items.” When containers of food like peanut butter or honey come in a plastic container, wash them out when they’re empty and they can become handy holders of pens or dispensers of home-made salad dressing.

What is most important is that we don’t sit around and expect other people to come up with the solutions. If each of us develop environmentally- friendly habits, all those small actions will build up and make an enormous impact. Luiza wisely states, “We can act immediately instead of waiting and thinking that our planet can heal magically. I would switch off lights to save electricity.” Kyle says, “Take shorter showers so we don’t waste fresh water.” Ivy (Y4C) suggests, “Help endangered animals by trying to be a vegetarian.” That statement sounds funny, because the meat we usually eat, like beef, pork and poultry come from animals that are not endangered. However, the cultivation of these animals is only possible because land that formerly was home to wild animals has been taken over to make room for these animal farms. The more meat we eat, the more likely we are kicking endangered animals out of their homes. Even if you just take one meal a day, or one dinner a week and make it vegetarian, the cumulative effect can be quite significant.

The Eco-Warriors do not want endangered animals to go extinct. Isabel (Y3C) suggests, “Try to be more healthy so we don’t have to kill more tigers to make medicine.” When probed further, however, she admits, “Even if we get sick, we still shouldn’t use tiger medicine.” Chiara (Y3B) makes an important point, “Taking care of the earth is important because we want our children to see tigers.” As parents, we of course want to make sure that our children and our grandchildren are able to appreciate the natural wonders and amazing creatures that we have been privileged to experience and see. Unfortunately, according to forecasts by official institutions such as the UN, if changes are not made immediately, by 2060, our world will be vastly different, with some cities and coastlines underwater, pollution that makes blue sky days the anomaly instead of the norm, and ecosystems that are becoming less and less diverse. Extreme weather conditions could also lead to many disasters that threaten people’s lives. Yi-Qing shows her compassion and makes an even more critical point when she says we need to take care of the earth, “not just for your children, but also for the animals!”

Like many of our students at YCIS, Chiara (Y3B) has had some experience taking action. She suggests that one thing students can do is to “make fundraising projects, and then give the money to people who protect animals. Like in Girl Scouts, we sell all the cinnamon rolls and the money went to help homeless puppies and cats for their vaccinations.”

Another important way our students can make a difference is to help communicate information. Surprising as it is, most people do not understand the impact of single-use plastic. To this end, the Eco-warriors created a display about all the steps we can take to reduce waste. If you want ideas for what you and your family can do, just take a look at the bulletin board on the first floor outside of the POP room. Finally, to inspire everyone to take action, the Eco-warriors took a popular song, “Animals” by Maroon 5, changed the lyrics, and created their own music video about plastic.We hope you enjoy the above video and take the time to reflect on some environmentally-friendly habits you can also adopt. The earth says thank you!

Book Week a ‘Roaring’ Success at YCIS Pudong Primary

Reading and writing are two critical skills in a child’s early learning development, and it is essential for children to form a solid foundation in these areas to build on for future learning in all of the other subjects they encounter in their academic lives. At YCIS Pudong Primary, we, therefore, encourage children to develop a strong interest in, and appreciation for reading and writing from an early age. One great way to promote this is to build and nurture students’ interests in these areas through fun and engaging reading and writing-based activities.

During the recent Book Week, YCIS Pudong ECE and Primary students were treated to a week full of reading and writing activities, workshops, and guest speakers to pique their interests and inspire them to get reading. Students from all year groups were involved in the celebrations of books, which included book sales, literary-themed costumes, door decorations, and a very special visit from two children’s authors.

The week began with a visit from acclaimed British children’s author Ms Nicky Dee (the ‘Dee’ is for ‘dinosaur’). Ms Dee flew to Shanghai from London especially to meet and inspire the young learners at YCIS. For those who don’t know, Ms Dee’s work revolves around the fascinating subject of dinosaurs, and over the course of the week during several talks, she wowed our students, teachers, and parents with her boundless knowledge about our pre-historic friends. She even brought a dinosaur claw for our students to admire! This was an excellent opportunity for the students to engage with someone who has built a career around writing about her passion. The students had plenty of questions for Ms Dee, which she was delighted to answer.

The dinosaur theme was prominent throughout the week, which featured a range of activities including some very creative dino-themed door displays, as well as a fantastic costume parade as a fun finale! The students also had the opportunity to expand their home libraries by attending a book sale which had a selection of hundreds of titles on offer for both ECE and Primary children. To encourage our young learners to develop their reading and writing skills in both English and Chinese, the school was also pleased to welcome Chinese author Zhou Rui, who spoke to the students and signed copies of his books for the long lines of eager fans. All of these activities were fun and engaging, and they created an environment that showed the students how essential reading and writing are to our lives, and how rewarding they can be.

The aim of Book Week is not only to foster a love of reading and writing in our students, but also to show them the world of wonders and opportunities they can access through reading. Books are the window into new worlds, and activities like Book Week help spark their young imaginations to grow in many different ways.

Secondary Students Travel Down Diverse Paths on their EOTC Learning Journeys

Every year, students from YCIS Pudong Secondary embark on a series of excursions across China and Asia as part of their Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC). The trips aim to extend the learning experiences of the students and to allow them to escape the hustle and bustle of the booming metropolis of Shanghai and give them the opportunity to experience the great cultural and geographical diversity that China and the Asian region have to offer. Each year group goes on a different trip, meaning that over their time in YCIS Pudong Secondary, students will amass a list of unique places visited and activities participated in that they can remember and cherish for years to come.

For their first EOTC trip with YCIS Pudong Secondary, students in Year 7 took to the ancient Chinese city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province, where they soaked in the historical culture of one of the oldest cities in China. As well as the visit to see the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, the students saw the city’s landmarks including the Drum Tower and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda as they took a 14km bike ride along the city’s Ming-dynasty wall. They even had time to experience a martial arts and lion dancing extravaganza at a famous local kung-fu school. What a great introduction to EOTC for these students!

Meanwhile, the Year 8 cohort made their way to Shandong province in the northern part of the East China region. The group visited a traditional Confucian temple and cemetery, after which they took a historical quiz to see how much knowledge they had learned. They then went to a local village, followed by Tai Mountain for some serious hiking. After all of this, they still had the energy for some team-based activities including an adventure course, and even some dancing! It was an excellent opportunity for team building and bonding for the students.

The sandy beaches of Xiamen and the mountainous areas of Fujian province provided the scenic settings for our Year 9 students. Spirits were high, and the students participated in many activities during their EOTC trip. This included tandem biking along the coast, a temple visit, doing a cultural scavenger hunt, exploring food and shopping streets, a 40km cycle through luscious landscapes including tea plantations, and an incredible experience going to a village featuring Fujian ‘tulou’ – traditional rural dwellings unique to this region. The final night provided time for the students to perform comedy skits for each other before heading back to Shanghai with incredible memories.

The sights and sounds of Beijing were enchanting for our Year 10 students. It’s not every day you can say that you climbed the Great Wall of China as part of a school trip, but our students did just that! The hiking-based adventure included camping in the wilderness in the shadows of the Great Wall and the picturesque Baihe Canyon. The group cooked healthy meals together daily, with an emphasis placed on food safety, proper knife skills, and safe cooking procedures. There was a strong focus on teamwork throughout the trip, and as well as yoga in the morning and stretching exercises, the group were encouraged to challenge themselves mentally and physically during the hikes. Overall, the very successful trip benefitted all of the students in attendance.

The Year 11 first-ever EOTC visit to the Philippines humbled our students. The trip was in coordination with the school’s charity, Seeds of Hope (SOH), and Kids International Ministries (KIM). Visiting a rural area of the country gave our students an insight into the lives of those less fortunate than themselves. The students worked incredibly hard to contribute to this rural community by volunteering at a medical clinic, helping to build a wall, and meeting students from the Cuatro Christian School. This was a great example of the students putting “Love and Charity” from the school’s motto into practice.

For Year 12 students, this year’s EOTC was bittersweet, as they knew it would be the last they would attend as YCIS students. They, therefore, made the most of their trip to Thailand with a series of educational activities. The trip included multiple field trips that tied in with their IB Learner Profiles, meaning that the students had many opportunities to fulfil Creative Activity Service (CAS) requirements for their IB diplomas. Staying near Chiang Mai, the students began by learning about Thai language, culture, arts, and crafts. They visited a night bazaar, shopped at local markets, and experienced local cuisine. Other highlights included visiting a royal residence, an elephant reserve, staying on a houseboat, and completing a jungle canopy adventure course. The group arrived back in Shanghai after a long week with another incredible EOTC experience under their belts.

Not only do the EOTC trips provide the students with excellent opportunities to explore places they may have never been and cultures they may have never seen, they also act as a great way to strengthen the bond between students and their peers, as well as their teachers, and to instil a sense of community among the year groups. Upon graduation in Year 13, our students recall EOTC trips as some of their fondest memories of their time at YCIS, and it’s easy to see why. EOTC trips like these give our students incredible learning experiences in some of the most diverse locations across China and Asia, providing them with extraordinary memories and personal growth opportunities that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Global Child Day Goes Monthly!

Written by: Roseline Yang, Community Liaison Officer

Every year, Global Child Day is organised by the Parent Organisation Pudong, with the help of parents from our school community. The aim of the event is for children to celebrate the diversity of all the cultures represented at school. Every year, there is a theme chosen by the Global Child Day Organizing Committee.

This year, the theme is ‘Festivals and Holidays’ and it has already started with our Indian community at YCIS who have recently celebrated Diwali, the most important family festival in India. Please see below how our Indian parents & teachers have been celebrating this event for the 5thconsecutive year!

This year, Global Child Day will be led by Macarena Pedrero, our Chilean parent who volunteered again this year to lead this international event. Last year, just one month prior to the birth of her baby, she joined the Parent Organization Pudong Core Committee to add to the diversity of our parent representatives. Through her co-leadership of the event, she introduced different initiatives, including the involvement of Chartwells, our food service provider; they prepared dishes from 5 different countries the week prior to Global Child Day last year. It was great to see students interested in the flags and decorations prepared by the parents of the country whose dish was on the menu, and getting them excited about the big event!

For Maca, “celebrating the diversity of our community is a key component of being in an international school. Having parents from all nationalities represented at Global Child Day would be a great opportunity for our kids to see and know who and where their peers and teachers are from”. This is a first step in our children developing a deeper intercultural understanding.

If Maca has been your class parent representative or if you have ever interacted with her, you would know that she is a kind, considerate person, full of enthusiasm and ideas, and someone who makes things happen.

The month of December will be the celebration of ‘Christmas Around The World’.
The month of January will be the celebration of ‘Spring Festival Across Time and Space’.

If you want to join the team and explore the celebration of 2019 May 25thGlobal Child Day together as a community, please email: poppd@sh.ycef.com!