A Global Family: YCIS Beijing Welcomes Students from Silicon Valley
Yew Chung International School of Beijing is one of six Yew Chung International Schools. Our furthest afield member of the family in in Silicon Valley, San Francisco. On Thursday we were delighted to welcome 5th Grade students from YCIS Silicon Valley to YCIS Beijing, where they spent half a day learning with and getting to know our year 6 – 8 Learning Community.
The 12-day trip to China is an annual trip for 5th Grade Silicon Valley students and is always a memorable one for students, teachers and accompanying parents. Visiting YCIS Beijing is an important part of the tour – reminding students of our global family of schools and of an education brings together East and West. “I really enjoyed playing games with my Beijing classmates, I think I could make friends here too” said Gretta from Silicon Valley.
The day began with a Chinese lesson for both YCIS Beijing and YCIS Silicon Valley students. “I was pleased, because I understood everything”, said Mark. Like YCIS Beijing, much of the teaching is conducted in Chinese and English in Silicon Valley. It means that when children from sister schools visit us, they can slot in to normal school life and feel at home, even half way across the world.
Following the Chinese lesson, Silicon Valley students joined Beijing students in their Performing Arts and P.E. lessons. In performing arts, YCIS Beijing students put on fantastic shadow puppet shows for their classmates. “They have been working on their shadow puppets in small groups, cutting out and assembling the puppets and writing and directing the scripts themselves” Ms Atkins explained. Tales from Chinese and Greek mythology were brought to life with characterful cut-outs and lively performances.
For the last period of the morning, students assembled for G100 Genius Hour. Genius Hour is an opportunity for our students to pursue a personal project of interest to them – generally emerging from the curriculum. This was new to Silicon Valley students who were really inspired by the idea. Mark started to draw up plans for his project – using coding that he has taught himself to design and model a super strong titanium suit! Anne said that she would like to try to make a hologram, after seeing one in Beijing. “I really love Genius Hour”, she explained, “it’s great to have a chance to focus on your own interests.” YCIS Beijing 6-8 students Shawn, Fred and Seunghyun, presented their own Genius Hour projects to Silicon Valley. It was great to see the discussion that ensued – with Silicon Valley students even offering up ideas and improvements.
Outside of the classroom, the Silicon Valley students spoke animatedly about the fantastic sightseeing they have done around Beijing.
Amongst other things, they have seen an acrobatics show, and walked along the Great Wall. “The Great Wall was full of steps,” said Gretta, “but it was really worth it when we got to the top. You could see forever!”
“All the tours we’ve had here have been given in Chinese”, one parent explained, “so it’s really been fantastic language practise for the children.”
The morning ended with a tour of our YCIS Beijing campus and a much-appreciated lunch in the dining hall.
“It’s been a really busy and successful day”, said Mrs Martin, Y6-8 Learning Community Leader. “It’s great to see our students find they have lots in common with YCIS students half way around the world. It’s also been really rewarding to see them learn together and support each other in the classroom. I’m really looking forward to hosting YCIS Silicon Valley again next year.