Established in September 2018, HD Qingdao Wanda School (HD Qingdao) is a private bilingual boarding school that strives to integrate the best of Chinese and Western cultures. The school aims to develop the talents of the children it serves while fostering a global perspective. Rooted in Chinese traditional culture, the school seeks to create Chinese cultural ambassadors, able to adapt to and be successful in an international context.
HD Qingdao has opened its kindergarten and primary school sections, with plans to open middle and high school sections. Each class will be co-taught by an international and national homeroom teacher. For the younger grades, a bilingual learning facilitator supports the school’s innovative approach to bilingual education. Authorized by the Chinese Education Board, the school currently enrolls 100 K–5 students, mostly Chinese, with 5% from North America and the U.K. The teaching staff of 22 includes 13 from China and eight from North America and the U.K. In addition to the Montessori Program, HD Qingdao Wanda School delivers the U.K. Early Years and Primary Years Programmes.
Through a variety of different projects, HD Qingdao cultivates its students' spirit of daring to try, while fostering their creativity, teamwork, and communication skills to equip them for future challenges. To these ends, Design Thinking (DT) is a key part of the educational experience at HD Qingdao. The DT process consists of six parts: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Collaborate, and Test/Reflection. These six steps can be used and repeated, in any order, based on a project’s requirements and progress.
Based on the learning objectives for different ages—from pre-primary to upper secondary—as well as specific content and academic subject, DT teachers lead students in weekly design thinking lessons, which might range from creating educational games for children to making research videos with iMovie. From the campus canteen to the off-campus supermarket, everywhere can be a DT classroom, and there is never a standard answer to a question. The school says on its website,
Everyone is a teacher, and every detail is worth exploring. From the cultivation of innovative thinking habits to the cultivation of their own initiative, students will gradually become the discoverers and solvers of real-world problems, become more resourceful, brave in exploration and become leaders of the future world.
Residential life at HD Qingdao is modeled on the British tradition, with a housemaster’s family-like environment, a variety of educational and fun extracurricular activities, and world-class pastoral care. The school benefits from the support of its sister school, Hurtwood House, one of the U.K.’s foremost co-educational schools. Renowned for the outstanding quality of its boarding programme—delivered for over half a century—Hurtwood House aims to develop self-confident, compassionate, respectful, and independent young people through community life.
Currently, weekly boarding is offered to all HD Qingdao students at the primary level, with plans to expand to secondary boarding in the future. Boarders in the junior years will share a room with up to three fellow students to begin to learn the value of living together. Each boarding house is led by a Housemaster/Housemistress and a team of House Parents, all of whom report to the Assistant Principal of Boarding.
During the week, boarders benefit from the use of a wide range of on-site facilities, supervised evening homework time, and a range of social and extra-curricular activities, including themed “House Nights” where boarders take part in a range of competitions and games organized by House teams.
The Extra Curricular Activity (ECA) Programme at HD Qingdao is also central to school life. By choosing three ECAs each semester, students are offered a chance to develop a broad range of experiences and interests. The school uses outside vendors to supplement the range of opportunities that the staff can provide. Examples of offerings include: classical music, tap dancing, baseball, football, and basketball. As the school develops, it will also be able to offer academic ECAs to support student success and confidence in the classroom. HD Qingdao hosts Open Day at the end of each semester, when parents are invited to come see the progress their children have made in each ECA.
The school prefers to hire certified singles and couples, including those with a non-teaching spouse. They will also consider outstanding newly-certified candidates. Teachers must hold their academic degrees in the subject they will be teaching. Certified teachers up to the age of 55 may obtain a work visa to work at the school.
Benefits include a monthly housing stipend along with moving and settling-in allowances and annual airfare. Tuition is provided for up to two children, and worldwide health insurance—except the U.S.—is covered, including emergency evacuation. The school provides professional development for its staff. This package allows for some excellent savings.
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Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.