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    Staff Development Week: Being the Best We Can Be


    17 Aug, 2018

    10 : 00

    • This week has been staff development week at Yew Chung International School of Beijing. With thirty new teachers preparing to start a new school year across ECE, Primary and Secondary, existing teachers and senior leadership have been busy ensuring everyone is settled into school life.

      Mission, Principles and Practices

      A particular focus this week has been on our school Mission, Principles and Practices which were revised ahead of the new school year. All staff have received training on our school’s core mission:

      To raise globally competent and compassionate leaders with a servant’s heart, who aspire to, and act for, a better world.

      In support of our mission, our principles and practises around character formation, student-teacher relationships, Learning Communities, and bilingualism are intended to underpin all our teaching. Staff have received training to ensure that principles and practises are aligned with their teaching for a coherent and effective learning experience.

      Maintaining International Standards

      YCIS Beijing is proud to be accredited by CIS, or the Council of International Schools. Over the next 18 months, all staff are preparing for the school’s re-accreditation. This involves contributions from all academic and non-academic staff, and documentation of the school’s teaching, employment practises, protocols etc. Accreditation is a valuable opportunity for our school to assess itself, and make adjustments where needed, to be the very best we can be. This week, staff have been organised into committees, all of whom will be contributing towards our very important re-accreditation.

      Embracing Innovation

      Our Learning Communities are innovative and state-of-the-art. For many teachers, it will be their first time utilising these open plan spaces. Mrs Maryanne Harper, Ms Jane Kang and Ms Farah Sun all led specialist inductions on their Learning Communities – the philosophy behind them and how to use them to enhance teaching. Our Vice Principal / Head of Primary, Mr James Sweeney, has held individual meetings with each Learning Community to build confidence and encourage experimentation within these exciting new spaces.

      “For staff new to the Learning Community, it’s about finding your comfort zone and your niche”, explains Mr Sweeney. “But then I want to encourage staff to try something new, be flexible and discover the potential of the space. It has the capacity to really free-up teaching and create an exciting and differentiated experience for students and teachers alike.”

      Happy Teachers are Good Teachers

      “One of the main focuses of new teacher orientation and staff development is week is to help our new staff feel comfortable, confident and settled into school and Beijing,” explains Ms Eurika Foster, Primary teacher and one of the organisers. “Part of this is through professional training, but also a very significant part is about helping teachers with things outside of school life – how to get around, setting up WeChat and Alipay, where to eat, see a doctor and pay your bills. We have been giving teachers talks on all of these things, as well as tours around their housing complexes and nearby areas. Every new teacher has also been provided with a buddy who is there to help and answer questions. I hope that by the time students are in classrooms, every teacher feels happy and excited to be in Beijing.”