My name is Jacinth Gurdon, and I am pleased to introduce myself as the new Head of Junior School at Dulwich College Beijing.
I feel incredibly privileged to join a school whose vision and philosophy match seamlessly with my own. With over 20 years of teaching experience, including 15 years as a senior leader, I have gained a BA (Hons) in Special Education from Goucher College, a Masters of Education in Elementary Reading and Literacy from Walden University and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from National Louis University.
I have lived and worked in New York City, Florida and Dubai. The large majority of my teaching career has been with Junior School-aged children at a British international school, notably leading on curriculum implementation and the teaching and learning of the British National curriculum. Over the years, I have held various leadership roles, including a Reading Coach, Head of Learning Support and Student Services and most recently, Deputy Head Teacher of Academics.
My plethora of experience has cemented my firm belief in inclusion. I think that the primary emphasis of a school is to develop every child's full potential. No two children are the same, and each child has different qualities that need to nurture and develop. I will relentlessly advocate for the inclusion and achievement of all students. Children learn best when they have fun and are engaged in practical, real-life activities, and this approach will continue. I also believe that we are educating children for jobs that are not created yet. Therefore, we need to teach children hard skills (reading, writing and maths) alongside soft skills. Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character traits, attitudes, mindsets, and social and emotional intelligence (teamwork, collaboration, flexibility, problem-solving, innovation, perseverance and decision making). These skills are transferable to any future job and will remain indispensable.
My core values are kindness, respect, responsibility, challenge and collaboration. These values match with DCB's, which strive for happy, confident and resilient learners. Children are unique individuals who need a secure, caring and stimulating atmosphere to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially. Under my leadership, I will ensure that DCB Junior School continues to support all children to meet their fullest potential by providing a safe environment that promotes risk-taking, collaboration and thinking outside of the box.
I fully recognise the impact that fostering strong parental partnerships plays in students achievement and wellbeing. I believe that strong relations with parents and the wider community are vital in ensuring that children are supported as they move through the school. To that end, I celebrate the home-school partnership.
With a passion for educational excellence and an unwavering determination to see the best in all children, I will drive and maintain positive change, motivate and inspire others to improve in their practice while working toward a shared child-centred vision of global citizenship for all. I am excited to provide a new perspective to the Junior School, ensuring Dulwich College Beijing maintains its place as a global leader in providing a world-class education. I will work closely with the Head of College, Head of Early Years and Head of Senior School to guarantee a smooth transition as children move through the schools.
Outside of school, I love to travel and experience different cultures, primarily through food. I am a big foodie and live by the saying, "I'll try anything once (most of the times)." I am thrilled about relocating to Beijing and cannot wait to discover and explore my new home city and country.
I am delighted to be working together with students, staff, parents and everyone else involved with Dulwich College Beijing for all the children's success, achievement and welfare. I look forward to seeing you in school!
Meanwhile, feel free to watch my virtual onboarding with the Junior School student leaders!
Video credit: Zoe N and Annika M