19 Aug, 2013
10 : 00
Just before the start of the school year, Early Childhood Education (ECE) staff from all Yew Chung International Schools (YCIS) in China gathered together at YCIS Shanghai Regency Park Campus for an annual conference on Early Childhood Education. More than 60 ECE teachers and curriculum Co-ordinators from YCIS Shanghai, YCIS Beijing, and YCIS Qingdao attended the conference. The meeting was led by Ms Elizabeth Randall, Superintendent of YCIS ECE, and was jointly supported by the YCIS Shanghai ECE Co-ordinators.
According to Ms Randall, the objective of the conference was to “help teachers know and understand the YCIS approach, and enhance their skills and knowledge”. Hosting the annual session in Shanghai the week before receiving students has proven to be immensely important, and has ensured consistency in every classroom. Ms Randall noted, “The teachers all get the same message, at the same time.”
The focus of the training this year was on understanding and implementing “The Enabling Environment”, building upon the important foundational training from the previous year’s conference, during which teachers received a thorough introduction to the philosophies and objectives at YCIS. This year, teachers collaborated to share best practices in developing a learning community in which all students will thrive. The discussions were about the topics of daily routines, managing the learning environment, and the effect of environment on language development. In conjunction with part of the YCIS motto “to align with science and technology”, teachers were also instructed regarding how to access technology resources, and how to contribute to internal school ECE forums throughout the school year.
Professional development at YCIS is a continuous process, and the learning that takes place at seminars and training in other countries is shared with colleagues, in order to extend the learning. Ms Veronica Martin, an ECE Co-ordinator, and Ms Zoe Zhang, an ECE teacher, both at YCIS Shanghai Regency Park Campus, recapped their training experience at the PECERA Conference in South Korea during the summer holiday, where they focused on empowering children’s empathy in ECE. Many teachers at YCIS take advantage of the summer months to further advance their professional development, and participate in training all over the world.
The gathering was also a time to honour teacher achievements, including four Chinese teachers who were recognised for their dedicated years of excellence in education. These teachers were awarded with Master and High Potential (HiPo) teacher status, which is presented only after careful review by a panel assessment system, and is reviewed regularly.
The ECE Conference, and professional development during the course of the summer are some of the ways that YCIS maintains its position as a leader in international education. The experienced, knowledgeable teachers, along with the unique ECE programme, guided by the YCIS philosophy and objectives, continues to support students with incredible results, year after year.