The Dulwich College Beijing (DCB) Year 4 teachers team for this year comprises five members, all highly experienced in international education.
With over twenty years of teaching experience, team leader Nick Corben has worked in Saudi Arabia, the UK, and South Korea before moving to China. Josie Latham and Gillian Moore have worked in different countries including Qatar, Wales, Spain, Japan and the UK, while Dani Harris and Nick Richards bring their knowledge and pedagogical experiences from the USA, Vietnam, Malaysia and the UK. This surely demonstrates Dulwich College Beijing Junior School's dedication in searching the globe for the best teachers possible with a rigorous interview process to identify the best candidates to suit the diverse nature of our students.
Let’s get to know them better!
01. Your strengths as a team
At the time of writing, as a newly formed team, we are finding out about each other and the students. We each have a unique experience as humans and teachers of small humans of Planet Earth. So, we bring a different perspective to teaching and planning discussions, as well as to our students in Year 4.
We can already see there is a good team spirit and camaraderie as fresh ideas, and initiatives are being trialled running alongside the tried and tested curriculum.
We are also working closely with the Student Support Services and our valuable Assistant Teachers to get the best out of our students
02. What makes a good Junior School teacher?
Junior School teachers at DCB are professional, caring and fun to learn with. As skilled practitioners, we have to be organised and hard-working as there is always so much going on! Being versatile is a must as we cram a lot of different activities and learning opportunities into each and every day. When making decisions, we know that “students come first” and this runs in the culture and ethos of the school. As every day is a new challenge, we wake up each morning excited and enthused to see what the day brings.
03. What are the key skills you want your students to develop?
In Year 4, our primary focus is to get the students from being dependent on the teacher to being responsible independent learners. The Dulwich Values help students to develop the soft skills which help them to become global citizens and to Live Worldwise.
04. How do you guide your students to build up those skills? What is the most challenging for them?
We encourage students to take responsibility for themselves as learners and human beings, from being on time to school, to organising their school materials or their writing and their thinking.
At this age, being able to take on responsibility for themselves and their learning requires a big change in mindset for children of this age. Children develop at different rates, and some will find it easier to take on personal responsibilities than others.
Our students are busy in school with school academic work and extra-curricular activities (music, ECAs, other commitments) as well as tutoring after school. This can lead to them being overtired and mentally overloaded. We, as teachers, need to consider these pressures and be fair and caring and support our children to make progress towards these skills.
05. How is that learning integrated with the Junior School learning journey?
Students can apply their skills in almost all areas of school life, from their roles as school councillors and House captains to their individual roles in being helpful, kind and caring students in individual classrooms. Our Dulwich value system encourages students to exemplify the values of respect, resilience and open-mindedness.
06. Any top tip you’d like to give parents to better support their children?
To be an effective parent in a high achieving school, you must know what the class expectations and routines are. There are lots of communications from the school in the form of student diaries, emails, Seesaw posts and WeChat class groups. Keeping on top of these will help you and your son/daughter navigate the homework, reading, Chinese and PE requirements. In Year 4 commenting on student work on Seesaw and supporting with reading.
07. What makes teaching at DCB different?
At Dulwich College Beijing, there is an embedded system of values that teachers and students model on a daily basis. These values underpin all that we do at school in order to help our students grow into well-rounded people, and include integrity, resilience, open-mindedness, respect and kindness. We also embed Talk 4 Writing and White Rose Maths in our curriculum to provide our students with rich learning experiences and a hands-on approach to their education. At DCB, there are many enrichment opportunities to provide students with a broad range of academic, creative, sporting and musical experiences.
08. A final word…
DCB is an amazingly busy place and there is always so much going on. Each and every day, something different or exciting is happening. For us, as teachers, we can see the real buzz and family-like atmosphere within the school and it’s great to see the students excelling.