Since 2011, Dulwich College Beijing (DCB) has adhered to the global standards set down by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Great schools are reflective organisations and invite dialogue and constructive criticism. International schools like DCB have several options to collect data on their performance as a school. The most obvious of these is to invite an accrediting agency to evaluate the school and provide feedback on how the school is performing overall. DCB has two accrediting agencies: the Council of International Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Accreditation is an ongoing process based on a 5-year cycle, and DCB is required to continually meet the highest standards in staffing, academic programmes, and campus facilities with a strong focus on students’ learning and student wellbeing.
I am delighted to inform our community that during the recent festival holiday, we received the news that DCB has been fully re-accredited by our two accrediting agencies, with immediate effect. I am so proud of all our teachers, staff, and the self-study which took more than a year to compile. Thank you again to our Director of Professional Learning, Mahesh Selvaraj, for coordinating the process and to all the domain committee leads and participants for their efforts in evaluating and evidencing DCB’s performance in 8 key domains against more than 50 standards. This self-study was a lot of work, but good work, because the process was an opportunity to reflect and review.
The CIS/WASC evaluation team was very complimentary about Dulwich College Beijing. The evaluation team’s report identified many commended areas including our guiding statements, student engagement, our dedicated staff, curriculum development, student wellbeing, EAL provision, staff professional learning, and community support described in over 40 commendations. In addition, the report identifies a few areas for continuing growth that focus on digital citizenship, curriculum review processes, along with finding more collaborative time for staff.
I feel it is important to share with our DCB community the Conclusion section of the 200-page re-accreditation evaluation report:
Overall, the self-study provided a precise and professionally critical overview of the community survey, domains, standards, and planned actions, which accurately reflected a school community deeply committed to, and invested in, their school improvement process.
All stakeholders demonstrated a drive to continue improving the school's overall quality, both in terms of academic achievement and personal health and well-being.
The school enjoys excellent infrastructure and facilities and is supported by a committed and talented support staff including the IT department, facilities team, government relations department, and human resource team. This support has been especially necessary during the recent restrictions and times when called upon to help navigate changes due to COVID-19 related government mandates.
Students across the school demonstrated a high level of enthusiasm for their learning. During the evaluation visit, the students we spoke with were keen to share their knowledge and understanding spontaneously and openly with the team. As the evaluation team visit was virtual, it was a challenge for the team to experience classroom teaching and learning directly. However, the caring and understanding relationships between the faculty, support staff, and students was evident in all of the conversations and confirmed by parents and students. The teachers and support staff are dedicated and conscientious professionals. The climate of respect that the school fosters was evident in all relationships and online interactions between all groups.
The teachers demonstrated considerable care for their students and are concerned with their development, growth, and well-being. The school demonstrated a strong desire to develop a consistent process to collect internal and external assessment data to help with teacher planning. Students reported a strong bond with their teachers and consistently shared stories of teachers supporting their well-being beyond the classroom.
This summary sums up the amazing spirit of DCB and the whole report confirms that the College is continuing to deliver a world-class, well-rounded and challenging programme for our students. We have all the ingredients: great teachers, a robust rich curriculum, and third-party accreditation agencies like CIS/WASC and the IB to hold us all accountable for improving student learning. Our CIS/WASC re-accreditation is a great honour for our school and everyone in our community because it verifies and assures us that we are on the right track with all of our programmes.