Merchiston International School (MIS) is a brand new, purpose-built centre of learning in Shenzhen, China, a booming metropolis next to Hong Kong. Its founding school, Merchiston Castle School, was founded in Edinburgh in 1828 and is one of the leading independent schools and intellectual, cultural, sporting, and artistic institutions in Scotland.
MIS opens August 2018 in a quiet suburban neighbourhood in an area of Shenzhen that is becoming more and more residential. Shenzhen and Hong Kong are both excellent hubs for exploring the Chinese mainland or other Southeast Asian countries. There is excellent ferry, train, and road access between the two cities; the newly-opened, high-speed city rail line links to Central Station in Hong Kong in only 14 minutes. The international airport in Shenzhen offers direct flights to 128 cities world-wide, and there are many port facilities for sea travel.
A co-educational day and boarding school, MIS will open its doors to 200 students, aged six to 18, and a staff of 95. The school delivers a British curriculum similar to that of its founding school, but modified to reflect its Chinese setting and international outlook. Years 1–9 will study an adapted version of the English National Curriculum (covering Key Stages 1–3), which is a broad and balanced study of a wide range of subjects, with a strong IPC-based thematic approach in Juniors. Years 10 and 11 students will work towards their IGCSE examinations, and in Years 12 and 13, students will prepare for and sit the GCE A levels. The school says of its approach:
“Learning at MIS will extend far beyond the school gates as we expect all students to participate in experiential learning challenges every school year. . . MIS will be a happy, positive community that celebrates curiosity, perseverance, and shared success . . .Young people will be given the time and space to develop resilience, tolerance, and emotional balance in a safe and secure environment.”
MIS’s facilities will support its plan to become a centre of excellence in the visual and performing arts, including music and theatre. Art, drama, and performance will be a significant part of life at the school, with exhibitions, recitals, and concerts appearing as regular features of the calendar. Partnering with organisations such as the Royal Conservatoire in Scotland, the Royal School of Music, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, as well as visiting Musicians- and Artists-in-Residence, will further enhance MIS’s excellence in these areas.
Fundamental to school life will be students’ participation in their “clan” activities. From matriculation, each student is assigned to a clan and remains a member there for his or her entire stay. Clan events – a point of pride for all – are a major part of school life, with a focus on participation and leadership. Students’ lives will be further enhanced by taking part in service learning projects – either on campus or in the wider community. MIS is also serious about its sport and will ensure it has an appropriate place in the lives of students, through both the PE curriculum and the sports activities program.
MIS is interested in hiring singles, as well as married couples, including those with a non-teaching spouse. Candidates must hold an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching as well as appropriate teacher training certification. The school will also consider exceptional, newly-certified teachers. To obtain a work visa in China, certification is required, and teachers must be under 60.
The benefits package for MIS includes a moving allowance, monthly housing stipend, and annual airfare home, extending to all dependents. The school will also help with shipping expenses and all fees related to visas. MIS will waive tuition for up to two children, and the school will offer all teachers the opportunity for rich professional development. The school contributes to a retirement plan, starting at 7% and increasing 1% each year of employment up to 10%. Worldwide health insurance, with the exception of North America, is fully covered. This coverage includes emergency evacuation, long-term disability, dental, and life insurance. A MIS package offers a great opportunity for savings or the chance for a family of four to live on one salary.
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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.