SMART path: How Pathways Helps Students Start the Year Right

Dulwich College Beijing
Student assembly

Dulwich College Beijing is widely known for students’ outstanding academic achievements, and our IGCSE and IB results support this every year. However, academic performances are a reflection and a testament to our students’ broad and holistic learning, which extend to many other aspects in a student journey. Our recent Pathways meetings are a good example of this.

In Senior School, it’s not only our teachers who plan for the new school year. During Pathways meetings, students sit down with their parents and their Form Tutor to reflect on the past year. Together, they devise three holistic targets aimed at helping students develop as individuals, as students and as global citizens. Together with their support network in the room, they determine ways to provide the best support to achieve these objectives. 

At DCB, we believe that student agency is a key motivator that drives our students to succeed in their chosen endeavours, whether academic or extracurricular. No two students are alike, as Assistant Head of Senior School: Key Stage 3 Roger Smith points out. “The academic success of our students lies in their holistic learning and development of the whole person.”

Mr Roger Smith with Senior School students

Mr Smith was also in charge of Pathways for this year’s Key Stages 3 and 4 and shares that goal setting is vital for students at the start of the school year. During Pathways meetings, students are asked to set three targets that will be revisited later in the year at the review meeting. These targets include SMART goals for the following areas: 


1. Approaches to Learning (ATL) skill 

We encourage our students to have a Learning target by looking through the list of ATL skills and deciding on which they would like to develop throughout the year that will help them in their studies across multiple subject areas.


2. Good Life Goal

A fundamental aspect of learning at DCB is harnessing our talents and skillsets to create a positive impact, be it in their communities or on a larger scale. This perspective is intricately woven into our curriculum, shaping our approach to all subject matters. This is why in preparing their objectives for the new academic year, our students are also encouraged to take a closer look at the different SDG goals and decide on one that they would like to focus on in the new school year.  

good life goals

3. Values

Developing good character is crucial not only within our school environment but beyond as well. Students share a Dulwich value they would like to focus on developing during the new academic year, and specific plans for developing these values, such as taking part in leadership roles, creating something for the community or participating in an ECA.  

DCB values

Mr Smith adds, “Pathways meetings can be a very powerful motivation for students to develop themselves and to see that they have the support of their Form Tutor and parents to help them achieve their goals for the year. It can be an opportunity for students to combine their passions in life with developing what we believe our students should be; academically successful global citizens with a strong foundation of values”

At Dulwich College Beijing, we firmly believe that education is not just about achieving high grades; it's about developing well-rounded, compassionate individuals who are equipped to make a positive impact on the world. Through initiatives like Pathways, we continue to uphold these values, ensuring that each student's educational journey is not only academically enriching but also personally fulfilling.