Farah Sun: Physics and Family
In this week’s teacher profile, we talk to Farah Sun. Farah is our Head of Science and has been at Yew Chung International School of Beijing for five years. During our conversation, Farah shares stories from her life lived between Manchester, Tianjin and Beijing, and why she loves being part of YCIS Beijing so much.
Please introduce yourself
I’m Farah Sun, Head of Science here at YCIS Beijing. I am originally from Manchester in the UK, but I don’t really have the accent anymore as I’ve spent so much time abroad! I first moved to China 13 years ago, when I took up a Physics teaching post in an international school in Tianjin. Tianjin was very different back then - foreigners were a rarity and I used to be stopped in the street!
My teaching career took off in Tianjin, where I took up posts as Head of Sixth Form, Head of Secondary and finally, Assistant Principal. I also met my husband there – he and his family are from the city. We got married in China shortly before moving to Manchester where my husband completed an MBA whilst I taught.
But it wasn’t long before we returned to China, this time to Beijing. I took up a Physics teaching post at YCIS Beijing and absolutely loved the atmosphere and culture. Five years on, and my little boy Kaysan is about to start in kindergarten!
What do you most enjoy about life at YCIS Beijing?
I think there is a real sense of community here. It’s a small but very busy school with so many events throughout year – barbecues, workshops, fetes, fundraisers, performances. It means we are able to get to know parents and families really well, and forge friendships too. It’s a close-knit community, brought together by all these events and celebrations.
How does YCIS Beijing differ from other schools?
The most important difference for me is the bilingual and cross-cultural education system. It’s fantastic that when children come here, they aren’t just receiving a British education, but a Chinese one too – that includes Chinese language and lessons in Chinese culture and festivals. It’s important that children can understand and feel at home in the country they are living in, no matter where they’re from. This is really reinforced by our Co-Principals, who ensure that East and West are represented throughout school life in a really positive way.
What makes science special at YCIS Beijing?
I love teaching science here, because we have quite a unique approach to the curriculum. Between years 6 to 8, we teach all our subjects according to five concepts (identity & perspectives, power & conflict, tradition & culture, sustainability & the environment, and change & the future). It means that children can draw similarities between disciplines and understand the importance of subjects from a broader perspective. For example, teaching science in the context of sustainability and the environment is extremely relevant to conversations that are happening in the wider world – in industry, government and tech, and we’ll be joining the celebrations by the Y6-8 learning community on Earth Day this month.
As Head of Science and teacher of the Physics IB, Farah is a very valuable part of our YCIS Beijing community. We look forward to welcoming her little boy to the kindergarten in August!