Fantastic Renovations Enhance Learning Experience

When YCIS Pudong students were warmly welcomed back to school in August, they were delighted by a number of very exciting changes that had taken place over the summer holiday. Several major renovations to both indoor and outdoor facilities changed the landscape and look of both YCIS Pudong campuses.

At the Regency Park Campus, Lower Primary students came back to see a freshly-resurfaced basketball court and stadium lights alongside the pitch which will allow our young footballers to keep developing their skills even after the sun goes down. In addition, after they work up an appetite at recess, the students can now enjoy their lunch in the beautiful cafeteria which saw a complete renovation and expansion over the break. Complete with coffee bar and special café seating that parents are very welcome to use, the new cafeteria is a hub of activity throughout the day!

Just down the road at the Century Park Campus, there were also some amazing changes for our students. For our Year 5 and 6 students, what better way to celebrate moving to a new campus than getting to know their innovative Learning Community environments! The youngsters were delighted when they had the chance to experience and explore these state-of-the-art areas for the first time, as were their teachers. According to the Year 5 Leader, Mr. Jon Banks, “The students are really excited, and the teachers are ready to go and explore this new type of learning and teaching.” The IB students in Years 12 – 13 also moved into a dedicated new Learning Community space this year, and the feedback from students, teachers, and parents has been tremendously positive.


The advantages of the Learning Community spaces include enabling a new way of working and studying for the students and a modern way of delivering classes for their teachers. This is something that was emphasised by YCIS Pudong Co-Principal, Mr Damien Hehir, who shared that the open-plan spaces “support a more collaborative, inquiry-based approach.” Mr Hehir added that, “unlike traditional classrooms, these more-flexible spaces can be re-purposed to suit a wide range of learning activities and student interests.”

YCIS Pudong students also came back to school to see some new additions to the campus, including brand new lockers and incredibly – a double football pitch that was installed by a leader in professional pitch surfaces, as well as professional field lighting. This new outdoor space will host a number of tournaments and events this year, providing our students with increased sporting opportunities in which they may participate.


All of these renovations were made to benefit the entire school community and to improve the learning experience of every YCIS Pudong student. We look forward to another wonderful year ahead.

A Sensational Night of Sport at YCIS Pudong  

For students, families, and staff at the Century Park Campus, last Thursday night was an incredible beginning to the sports season for the school. The evening, which featured the first-ever ‘CISSA Sports Night,’ celebrated all of the sports that the school participates in under the China International School Sports Association (CISSA) umbrella.

For Upper Primary students, CISSA offers nine inter-school sports programmes for students from participating international schools in Shanghai. Each sport runs for approximately seven weeks in length, and is coordinated between all of the schools to align schedules for fixtures. By rotating through the various sports, which include Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, Table Tennis, Floor Hockey, Cross Country, Track and Field, and Tennis, students are able to develop experience in a broad range of sports.

In CISSA, the focus is on the players’ development rather than on quantitative outcomes of the fixtures, and the results are seen in the students’ skill development, personal growth, team collaboration, their development of knowledge and tactical awareness of the sports, and in the growth of their confidence through participating in the different sports.

In order to highlight the broad range of sports on offer at the school, at the beginning of the school year the Sports Department announced the CISSA Sports Night event to the community and it quickly garnered huge interest. Students were excited to try out the various sports and get a taste of what is to come over the course of the year.

There was a palpable energy on campus as the event kicked off, with upbeat music playing in the background as the students tried out different sports and activities and parents gathered on the sidelines to cheer on and enjoy watching their children participate in the games. The Ambassy Club was on hand to provide a range of delicious barbeque items which were perfect for a warm, late-summer afternoon, and a number of community partners shared more about their organisation with event attendees. From Five-Star Sports, who are partnering with YCIS Pudong to bring their professional coaches with NCAA experience to offer basketball on campus this year, to longtime YCIS Pudong partner, MultiSport, which offers a range of sports activities across the year at the school, to the Ambassy Club, which is the home of the YCIS Pudong Swim Squad. The event also highlighted the school’s exclusive partnership with the Glasgow Rangers and the Rangers Academy football programme. In addition, community-based fitness group, Fitfam, physiotherapy clinic, Up Clinic, and the Shanghai Elite Triathlon Club had stalls to meet with guests.

The event culminated in showcasing the new sports facilities at the campus, with the launch of the fantastic new double football pitches. After a series of training exercises on the pitches, three games took place, including the SISAC (Upper Secondary) Championship-winning girl’s football team playing a 7-on-7 match, the Rangers Academy U11 versus the YCIS U11 team, and finally the SISAC (Upper Secondary) boy’s team with some special alumni players versus the might of the staff team.

After the highly successful launch, the pitches will soon be used not only for training by the Rangers Academy and YCIS Pudong teams, but also for community leagues and competitive tournaments. With opportunities for YCIS Pudong students to grow and develop athletically in the pool, on the courts, or on the pitches, it is certain to be another exciting year of sports at YCIS Pudong.

Stellar Results and University Acceptances

Written by: Ian Lee, IGCSE Coordinator; Matthew Grady, IB Diploma Coordinator; Timothy Gartz, University and Guidance Counselor

Academic results at YCIS Pudong in the IGCSE and IB programmes continue to lead our students to earn top university offers. For our IGCSE students (Years 10 and 11), results were spectacular and the best in the history of the school. 74% of all exams taken achieved A*/A. Multiple subjects achieved only A* and A grades, amongst them Computer Science, Year 10 Maths, Design Technology, and English as a First Language. In particular, Mandarin and Music scored 100% straight A*s. We were especially pleased with the students who had received additional support through the year, and as testimony to the care and support that they received succeeded in attaining multiple A*/As.

Meanwhile, the tradition of earning excellent results continued in our IB programme as our Year 13 students scored an average of 5 points above the world average. We were also very happy to report a 100% pass rate for all of our IB Diploma candidates.  In addition, IB school statistics noted that the average subject score was a very strong 5.33 marks out of 7 connecting with the excellent culture of teaching and learning taking place at YCIS Pudong.

With this wonderful work in the IB, our students were able to secure attractive university offers from around the world. This work of applying to university begins early in Year 13 as parents and students meet with our university guidance counselor to confirm university choices and to review requirements and timelines for submission. This individualized approach is the hallmark of our school’s teaching and learning and matches our counselor’s efforts as students prepare their very best applications. Results speak for themselves, as students have received more than 60 offers (averaging 4 per student) and plan to matriculate into seven different countries including: Canada, Hong Kong SAR, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, USA and the United Kingdom. Perhaps most importantly, with the assistance of Mr. Gartz students have chosen their university courses carefully that should lead them to exciting and successful careers at:

Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne (Switzerland): Hotel Management and Tourism
Kings College of London (UK): Global Health and Social Medicine with a specialization in Neuroscience
National University of Singapore: Communications and New Media
Nanyang Institute of Technology (Singapore): Finance
Northeastern University (USA): Engineering
Queen Mary University of London: International Relations
Santa Clara University (USA): Film Studies
Skidmore College (USA): Biological Sciences
University of California Riverside: Natural Sciences
University of California Santa Barbara (USA): Business Administration
University of East Anglia: Psychology
University of Rochester (USA): Double Major in Film and Music
University of San Carlos (Philippines): Communication and Tourism
University of Toronto (Canada): Business Administration

It is rewarding to see our students’ success and we wish them the very best in the future!

Sports Lighting up Century Park Campus

Written by: Matt Uffindall, Athletic Director

It is no secret that at YCIS Pudong, we are sports mad. From the students to the staff, parents to the local community, sport plays a huge part in so many people’s lives. We are all incredibly proud of our extensive programme, and our partnerships with community groups but we always wanted to take it to the next level.

Discussions began last November as we wanted to invest in our facilities and make Century Park Campus a real focus for sporting success. The decision to make one, significantly large ‘grassed’ area was made, and the outcome is simply amazing. Our new, state of the art football pitches will allow our teams to train with confidence and feel like professionals. The impressive floodlights extend the time that we can offer practices, no more worrying about the sunset!  Having two 7-a-side pitches now means we can proudly host major sports events, such as ACAMIS, as we will in April when teams from international schools in China and Mongolia will come to YCIS Pudong.  We will also host the SISAC Girls Cup finals in the same month.

The surface is perfect for a wide range of sports, meaning that PE lessons will take place on it and with four 5-a-side pitches running across the fields, we can safely divide the area for our different age groups. The Glasgow Rangers Academy will be running their Monday and Friday sessions here, as well as hosting a number of high-profile tournaments and coaching clinics throughout the year.  We look forward to celebrating many successes on these fields over the years to come.



Top 5 Things That Excited Y5-6 Students

Written by: Rob Watson, ECE & Primary Vice Principal

The school year is now well and truly underway, and the students have settled well into their new classrooms. One of the main sources of excitement at the beginning of the year for the Year 5 and 6 students were the new learning communities. It was great watching their faces light up when they entered the classrooms for the first time on the orientation day.

This made us wonder what else Year 5 and 6 students were really excited about, so we decided to survey them and have created the Top 5. Whilst we were not surprised at some of the results (lunch was high on the excitement list!), there were some answers which we hadn’t anticipated. Take a look at the list below, and see if you would agree!

  • Meeting their new teachers
  • Collaborating in a Mathematics project-based unit
  • Enjoying lunch
  • Taking part in new lessons, such as drama
  • Using their new lockers!

Student Success in Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Written by: Tracey Cooney & David van Wyk, DoE Co-coordinators, Century Park Campus

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award, equipping young people for life. Over the past 60 years, the Award has transformed the lives of millions of young people in more than 140 countries and territories worldwide.

The Award is available to all young people aged 14 to 24. It is voluntary, noncompetitive, enjoyable and balanced, and requires sustained effort over time. The Award encourages young people to design their own programme of activities, set their own goals and challenge themselves to achieve their aims.

Each level of the Award (Bronze, Silver and Gold) has four sections:

  • Service: Participants volunteer in their communities, make a positive contribution to society and demonstrate social responsibility.
  • Physical Recreation: Encourages participants to improve their fitness and performance, and enjoy healthy lifestyles for good mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Skills: Enables participants to develop their talents, broaden their abilities, increase their self-confidence and improve their employability.
  • Adventurous Journey: Participants discover a spirit of adventure and gain a deeper understanding of the environment and the great outdoors.

The recent award winners chose a range of activities to complete their Skill, Physical and Service sections that show a great commitment over 3 -12 months, depending on their Award level. We had students pursuing Show Jumping, Cycling, Environmental Awareness Committee and Drama and Theatre Skills, just to name a few.

Last year the Bronze students completed a 2-day hike at the Beijing Knot section of the Great Wall, and braved the rain in the Yellow Mountains (Huangshan). The Silver students spent their 3-day, 2-night journeys hiking in the hills of Hangzhou and Moganshan. These experiences give students the opportunity to experience cooking on stoves, camping in tents and navigating their way around the various trails traversing the mountains.

For more information on the Award please contact David van Wyk or Tracey Cooney, or visit

Reflecting on My YCIS School Life

Written by: Ruth Lim, Y13 student

What are you excited about learning this year? Can you share what you love about studying at YCIS, whether it’s the community, classes, teachers, etc.?

Studying at YCIS is an ever-changing experience, and I’m always intrigued to see what is going to change next. This year, I’m particularly excited about the new flexible learning spaces that we have for IB students. We have a whole hallway just for IB, complete adjustable rooms and new furniture fit for different types of learning. I’d say my favourite thing is this diner-like booth area which is so cozy and makes you feel like you’re not even at school!

As I’m go into my final year at YCIS, I’ve begun reflecting back on my experience at the school. From kindergarten to high school, I’ve always loved YCIS. Maybe it’s the fact that the classes are small, and you really get to know the people around you. Maybe it’s the teachers, who are always there to help even outside the classroom. Maybe it’s the entire community: it’s tight-knit and warm, and even with all the people who’ve come and gone, there’s still so many I’ve known for so long.

There’s no doubt about it — without studying at YCIS, which has been my home for over 13 years, I wouldn’t be who I am today. It sounds so cheesy and clichéd, but it really is how I feel. When I’m older and I look back on my school days, I’m almost certain I won’t remember half of the things I’ve learnt academically. It’s the memories I’ve made and the experiences I’ve gained that will stay in my mind, hopefully for a long time.

Even though sometimes I complain — school is, after all, hard work — no matter what anyone else says, I know that YCIS and its impact on me is something that I will treasure forever.

A Wish To Be Granted in 2019-20

Written by: Roseline Yang, Parent Relations Officer

In some cultures, volunteering and caring for others is a quality to practice daily. In other cultures, cultivating hard work and striving for excellence is part of their DNA.

The uniqueness of YCIS has created a space for a multi-cultural community to flourish, always seeking to plant the seeds of hope in our children, who will be key leaders in the world of tomorrow.

YCIS Pudong started 20 years ago with ECE classes located in Seasons Villa. At that time, parents actively supported class teachers by reading stories or helping to enhance the learning inside and outside the classroom. These parents were what today we call parent class helpers. With the growing numbers of parent volunteers, the role of a parent class representative emerged to channel support and provide help to the class teachers.

Some years later, a small group of parents came together to offer support to the school as a whole, creating the first core committee of the Parent Organization Pudong in 2005. Their dream and intention was to support the school leaders in their endeavors and extend the learning opportunities for the students to make the best of this international environment and holistic education. YCIS was a school whose values and philosophy aligned closely with their own: a community spirit that cares about developing in every student a strong and kind character to embrace the world of tomorrow and become a change maker.

Tess Robinson and her family have been an example of living the YCIS spirit.  A mother of three YCIS Pudong graduates, Tess was one of the founders of the Parent Organization Pudong (POP). The Annual Picnic & Bazaar and the annual Global Child Day are a living vestige of the significant bricks she and some parent volunteers added to YCIS school life.

Her husband Bruce alsocontributed to the growth of our school by getting involved in one of his passions: basketball. He coached his sons and other YCIS students for several year which helped further build our athletic department and spread the spirit of YCIS. They both still living in Shanghai and still act as YCIS Ambassadors.

As role models, they not only impacted other parents, they inspired their 3 sons to get involved and leave a strong legacy at YCIS Pudong.

For the last three years I have spent here, I witnessed various parents volunteering their time and energy at different levels of the school. The ones that I have been admiring are the previous POP Liaison Officer and the core committee members who relentlessly put on events and activities to support the school. They did so because they cared about the people and the place in which their children were spending most of their time. They just wanted to be part of their learning journey. Thesesame faces have been leading these community events and learning activities over many years for the whole community.

This year, we are going through a building process and we hope that you can be part of it.

Fortunately, we already have leaders for the main community events. One recent example is the Back to School Picnic & Bazaar that was run by one parent volunteer Kathy Hall, mother of 2 who was the POP Co-Chair for the last two years. We hope that you will make our school events a priority in your calendar as this is your unique opportunity tohavefantastic encounters with members of our school community: our students, teachers, staff, families and even our community partners.

In my new role as Parent Relations officer and with the help of the newly formed POP core committee who I see as community builders, we have this same wish for 2019-2020:

To engage everyone and to build a community where everyone finds its place of comfort, regardless of our origins, gender, age, experience, life-style and language.


No matter how you contribute … from acknowledging the reason why you decided to join the YCIS community and reflecting on how you can share in it, to respecting our philosophy and abiding by our school regulations, from getting your child ready to come to school to actively cooperate with the class teachers, from giving a hand to the classroom and specialist teachers when asked, from labeling your child’s belongings and keeping the second-hand uniform cupboards tidy after use, to offering your expertise or helping lead an event … every single action will make a difference for this school year 2019-2020.


We are all the sum of our different parts, and if alone we can do little, together we can achieve so much more. That is why if your child is at YCIS, we need you, because you are a part of the big picture too.

If you want to learn and grow together with your child in this YCIS adventure, there will bean open door at YCIS Pudong, Regency Park Campus … Room B113 next to the parent room with the glass doors. If you cannot find anyone, please leave a message on the desk or email:

Staff Focus: Dwayne Todd, PE and Life Skills Teacher

Written by: John McEnhill, Primary Coordinator

Welcome to YCIS, Dwayne! Can you tell us a little about your background, and how you have come to be in Shanghai?

I was born in South Australia and grew up in a small country town until I moved to Adelaide to go to University. I played Australian rules football and cricket throughout my childhood and during University. My first teaching experience was working in London as a supply teacher with my wife, Kate. We managed to do a lot of travel in this time, experiencing different cultures. I was a Primary School homeroom teacher for the first 8 years of my career working at Prince Alfred College in Adelaide and The Scots College in Sydney. I then spent 15 years at Immanuel College where I moved into Middle Secondary teaching Physical Education. I was also the Year 9 Coordinator and developed and implemented an Adolescent Transition Program. I also spent some time as a student counsellor in recent years. Over the past 10 years my family I have had many conversations about working abroad and the opportunity arose to join the YCIS team this year, and here we are!


Your twin daughters, Georgia and Lily, are joining you at YCIS, in Year 12, and your wife Kate is also accompanying you to Shanghai. How are they feeling about the move and how are they settling in?

They are all settling in well in the short amount of time we have been here. Understandably, it was difficult for Georgia and Lily to leave their close group of friends in Australia and get out of their comfort zone. They are adjusting to a new culture, school and curriculum. The students and staff at YCIS couldn’t have been more welcoming and supportive in their transition. They are enjoying the volleyball program and are looking forward to other CCA opportunities. They are also looking forward to their EOTC trip to Thailand in October! The girls travelled for two months throughout Asia in 2017 and have been lucky enough to visit Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. They are looking forward to exploring many more places in Asia and other parts of the world while based in Shanghai.

At YCIS we have a very talented group of PE teachers, and we are looking forward to seeing what you are bringing to this group. What sports do you particularly excel in or enjoy?

Throughout my career I have taught a large number of sports to a range of age groups and have coached AFL, Basketball and Cricket. I was the Strength and Conditioning coach for my last school’s First 18 footballers which is a passion of mine. I will be doing some work with the sports teams at YCIS to assist in building their strength and endurance which will improve their performance. I hope to bring some new ideas to the PE team as we taught a number of International Sports at my previous school. We are currently looking at broadening the PE curriculum at YCIS to give students exposure to a variety of new sports. It is exciting to be a part of this, encouraging YCIS students to be active, healthy and, most of all, to enjoy playing sport.

I understand you are also teaching Life Skills this year in Secondary. Can you explain what that is and why it is important for our students?

Life Skills is taught across all year levels, from Early Childhood to Year 13, and I am lucky enough to teach it to every student from Year 7 and above. The most overwhelming part of this is that I have to learn every name in the Secondary section but what a privilege to get to know every Secondary student! Life Skills is about assisting students to form their own identity by understanding who they are and where they have come from. Hopefully they will gain a better understanding of their own physical, emotional and social wellbeing and develop strategies that will assist them with resilience in the future. They will gain an understanding of their rights and ways to stay safe at school, online and out in the wider community. We will be discussing the changes that take place throughout adolescence and how they can stay safe, happy and healthy. It is also important for young people to understand healthy and unhealthy risk taking at this age while the brain is still developing. My ultimate goal would be that YCIS students leave school knowing what it is to be a successful adult in society!


You have been here now for a couple of weeks: can you share with us your first impressions of the school and especially the students?

YCIS is a very professionally run school and their induction program for new staff was excellent. YCIS has a great community feel about it. The students are respectful to each other and to the staff. My feeling is that the students work hard to achieve high academic standards but also enjoy the co-curricular opportunities given to them. The students are able to put their hand up to get involved in a wide range of different activities. The students I have taught are very passionate about their PE lessons. My first impression of the staff is that they work very hard, not only to provide quality teaching practice, but also to build a very good rapport with the students they teach.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am passionate about music and have a large collection in a variety of genres. One of my hobbies is DJ’ing which I have enjoyed doing over a number of years. I also enjoy staying fit by, jogging, doing weights and swimming when possible. I follow the Richmond Tigers in the AFL and enjoy watching football games. To be honest, I like watching all sport! I also enjoy venturing out on weekends exploring new places to see and restaurants to eat at with my family. I also enjoyed spending time at the beach and getting out in the garden in Australia.

Student Focus: Year 5 Student and World Traveler Cherry Liu

Written by: Andrea Griego, Character Ed. & Life Skills Coordinator

Year Five student Cherry Liu has attended YCIS Pudong since she was in K3. Since then, she has met students from around the world at school and that has been part of the inspiration for her and her family to travel to faraway places.

Cherry says her first big trip was to the United States where she visited many cities but the most memorable were San Francisco and the great Southwest. This first trip to a far away land made her hungry for more world travel.


Cherry and her family’s travels have spanned from the North Pole in Russia to the South Pole in Antarctica. While in Russia, Cherry attended the Men’s Soccer World Cup and said, “I used my English, but I used my body language to communicate more.”

This past summer, Cherry traveled to South America where she visited Mexico, Cuba, Peru, the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador. She was excited to go to the middle of the globe when she visited the equator in Ecuador, but she was most impressed with her experience in Cuzco, Peru where she witnessed a two-day traditional children’s festival. The Peruvian children wore their school uniforms, sang, danced and marched in a parade. She says, “It was very different from Chinese traditions.”


Cherry loves meeting people from different cultures and learning about their traditions. She says her most prized possessions from traveling are her photos because they help her to remember the beauty of the places she has visited.

Mr. Kitts says, “Cherry is quite the adventurer and shares her travel stories, either through postcards or when asked questions. She visited Antarctica in Year 3, when I was her class teacher, and she sent me a delightful postcard (complete with penguin paper clips). She most recently visited the Amazon Rainforest, but I’ve yet to find out more.”

Other places Cherry has traveled include Hawaii, Japan, Australia, Europe and several places in Asia. Cherry is most definitely a well-travelled student and hopes to continue to travel the world duringher holiday breaks.