Interview with Yew Chung, a Leader of an International School in Chongqing

      1.What's Yew Chung's educational philosophy?

At Yew Chung Group, we believe in providing a balanced education. All round development of the child not just solely academic growth. We look at character and have a character-based education programme and we also examine learning skills through our learning profile. This aims to give children not just academic excellence but the life skills needed both personally and professionally such as how to collaborate and work independently, how to be resilient and how to evaluate and take risks.

2. What are Yew Chung's practices in international education in CQ?

In Primary and ECE, we aim to have out local and western teachers collaborate in a co-teaching relationship, which provides children with an excellent range of perspectives and teaching styles borrowing from both Western and Asian advantages.

Our students also work with a range of teaching staff rather than a set teacher, giving them a greater variety of teaching and lesson styles.

For students who don’t have English as a first language, we provide structured learning with a focus on the curriculum and practical application of English in their studies.

3. Is English the main teaching language?

English is the primary language, but obviously some students who join us are still very new to the language so support them through their first language to quickly and effectively grasp English. This creates a bilingual environment which provides an excellent and vibrant study environment.

4.From your perspective, what qualities should a good student have?

We encourage self awareness and reflection, both academically and personally, as well as consideration for others. In addition we also encourage them to have a risk-taking approach to study, and overcoming fear of failure.

So if you get an answer wrong, to see that as a learning opportunity not a failure. We don’t want them to not feel judged by their peers or teacher and just have a go and be imaginative.

We also want them to know that there is not always a correct answer, especially in arts or sports. But it's really about breaking down those barriers of doesn't always have to be right and you learn through your mistakes and become better from that mistake.

We aim to create students who are ready for the 21st century and all its challenges and requirements for creative leadership, being a problem solver, being an innovator. We aim for them to understand the difference between fact and opinion, and learn to make their own evaluations. In higher school there is then the focus on theory of knowledge, which is part of the IB diploma program.

Our priority is getting the children to reach their potential and providing them with the scaffolding to build that and provide them with the opportunities to get there. And we know that not everyone does this at the same time, maybe some excel at university, whilst others may flourish later in life, but we give them the tools so that when they have the opportunity they can seize it, as well as the character, values and manners that make a truly balanced person.

Over all, it is a strong balance of academic and pastoral care coming together in an holistic style education.

5.What international curriculum does Yew Chung offer?

We offer K3 and K4 for students, they follow the early years framework, this is a UK-based system used in many schools around the world.

When the students move into year one through to year nine, we use the Yew Chung curriculumwhich is based on the UK curriculum. Year 10 and year11, we follow the IGCSE program via Cambridge Examinations, and then in years 12 and year13 we follow French-based IB diploma.

Students also participate in the Activity and Service Project (CAS), which involves doing projects within the local community, either voluntary work or sports or arts.

In previous years our students worked to raise money and support the building of a school in an economically deprived area in Cambodia. On visits, they would help with building wells, setting up computer systems, and a range of other activities as part of CAS.

    6.Could you share with us the achievements of Yew Chung and its students?
Several of our students have had academic results that were amongst the highest in their exams field globally. For instance, in IGCSE Korean, last year one of our students took the highest mark worldwide.

Meanwhile, our school itself has just been awarded the excellence in pupil development award, in recognition of the support and nurture we give to character values and health and emotional wellness.

7.As a leader of an international school, what is your major challenge?
 In terms of serving an international community at the moment, our biggest challenge at the moment is obviously COVID, because we love to get our parents on to campus and get involved as well as join our regular parent workshops. Things like this have obviously become much more difficult in the past two years. However, we have endeavoured to continue our parent-teacher interaction in venues off campus as much as possible.