16 Nov, 2018
10 : 00
Character Education is a core part of the Yew Chung International School of Beijing education in Primary, designed to help students develop into compassionate and responsible individuals. While it encompasses charity work and giving, it also involves teaching children about important character traits such as enthusiasm, respect and appreciation.
We speak to Mr Casey Fanning, who leads the Character Education programme at YCIS Beijing, about the programme this term.
What has been the aim of Character Education this term?
Our main aim has been to tie together our key character traits with the school’s recently refined dimensions of learning. For example, I have been working with the children to understand how a concept such as “perseverance” (one of our dimensions of learning) ties in with the character traits of courage and enthusiasm. This approach is helping to align all our teaching, and is designed to encourage our children’s social and emotional development.
How have you been working with the Primary students?
I explore these themes with the children in Years 2 to 5 through a combination of class time and assemblies. I recently gave an assembly on “innovation”, and how this links to creativity and responsibility. We want to open up these conversations with our students, and encourage them to think more consciously about how to put their abilities to good use.
In what ways do you get students to engage with Character Ed?
Charity work and engaging with the community is a great way to get kids thinking about these traits. At the moment, we’re working on a big donation project to our Seeds of Hope sister school, the Xilian Primary School in Wananzhen, Lixian County, Hebei. We will be sending them a donation of musical instruments, technology items and learning resources, and I will be accompanying a group of children and other staff to go in person to the school on Monday 26th November. Our students have been excited to donate lots of their own items such as old books, and are already forging a connection with the school. This is a brilliant lesson in charity and generosity.
There are other ways too, that don’t necessarily involve charity. We have just returned from the Guangzhou ISTA (International Schools Theater Association) Trip. Around 100 students from schools in China, Sri Lanka and Russia took part in the three-day drama workshop, learning from professional drama artists from all over the world. The students had the opportunity to write and perform, interact with a very diverse group of students and really build their confidence and creativity. This is all part of our Character Ed programme here – not just charity but about educating the whole student through different and exciting projects.
Are there any upcoming projects or events that you’re working on?
In December, our Christmas Bazaar is taking place. Students will be running stalls selling items in aid of chosen charities. In March, we have our second trip to Manila where we are funding the construction of a Secondary school. That is sure to be another memorable experience for our students.