1、What is the educational philosophy of Huijia Primary School?
We always promote the bilingual and bi-cultural concept, combining Chinese traditional culture with the international advanced pedagogical thoughts and teaching methods, to create a teaching model with unique features.
We hope we offer a safe learning environment and a multi, broad and balanced curriculum which helps each child to reach his full potential. We believe that students’ academic success derives from the mutual respect between students and teachers and the trust and happiness they enjoy when they explore and learn together. While we help students to improve their academic attainments and intelligence, we also emphasize the development of their health, social skills and emotions. The students are given the opportunities to improve their research skills, critical thinking skills and analytical abilities, and to enhance their creativity and exploring spirit.
Like all other IB schools in the world, we educate students from different areas and countries to be knowledgeable thinkers, open-mined communicators, principled risk-takers, and to be well-balanced, reflective, caring and principled persons.
29、What are the benefits and advantages of IBDP curriculum?
Currently there are 3510 schools in 144 different countries worldwide that are members of the IB diploma program offering IB curriculum synchronously. Worldwide IB students share the same curriculum and syllabus and take the same final IB exam each year. The problems appearing in the examination, the scoring criteria and the scoring process are all planned and managed by the IB headquarters.
Students in IB program graduate with the IB diploma which are granted by the IB headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland and they are recognized by thousands of colleges and universities of higher education worldwide. IB diploma holders enjoy the benefits of being able to enter worldwide colleges and universities without the need to take local college entrance examinations. Usually IB diploma holders only need to pass the lowest admission IB score when making the college applications, which makes the applicants well aware of the directions to go even before the IB examination. Many universities give special preferences to IB graduates with high scores, for instance, some excellent IB graduates may be waived of all courses for the first year in college and they may directly start as sophomore students; others are waived of some first year courses partially.
For examples, these special preferences given to IB graduates are readily available in Oxford University, Cambridge University, London School of Economics and Politics, the Imperial College in the UK as well as Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University in the US. The IB diploma program not only requires a high academic level but also it takes into consideration the respect for different cultures and dynamic language backgrounds of students. So whether students come from an English speaking country or a non-English speaking country, they can all compete in a fair way under the IB structure, striving to make their highest academic achievements to enter top universities in the world.
22、What are the features of MYP at Huijia Middle School?
The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is designed as a five-year programme for students of grade six through grade ten. It aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are life-long learners and globally-minded citizens committed to creating a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The MYP has been guided by three fundamental concepts -- Holistic Learning, Intercultural Awareness and Communication – whih are rooted in the IB mission statement. The areas of interaction provide the MYP with its unique core. They are: Approaches to Learning (ATL), Community and Service, Health and Social Education, Environments and Human Ingenuity.
2、What are the unique features of the curriculum of Huijia Primary School?
At Huijia Primary School, we implement the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization. The written curriculum is based on National Curriculum Standards in China. All the subject contents are taught under the framework of PYP curriculum.
At Huijia Primary School, languages, the arts, physical education, mathematics, science and social studies are taught according to the national standards. In addition, we use some international standard curriculum documents for reference. It was shown that these documents have followed the principle of gradual improvement of children learning. For the children at different ages, the documents elaborate clearly on the knowledge they should know, the skills they should have and the concepts of different subjects they should understand. Based on these tables, teachers can map their students and provide differentiated teaching. We always strive to a comprehensive internationalized curriculum system.
30、How are the academic scores on the high school transcript evaluated and converted when students a
Usually only course grades for the first and second years in high school are needed for college application. The GPA calculation formula is listed as follows:
The final grade for each course in each semester in Huijia IB High School (raw score total 7, consistent with IB standard) comprises of 30% regular performance, 30% mid-term score and 40% final exam score. So the final grade is not taken from one single exam.
23、How are the courses set in the Middle School?
Core subject areas include Language B (English), Mathematics, Language A(Chinese), Science (Biology, Physics, Chemistry), Humanities (Geography, History, Politics), Technology, Art, and Physical Education. All the 8 subjects are equal and are connected in an interdisciplinary manner through five areas of interactions.
3、What are the features of the PYP teaching at Huijia Primary School?
We adopt the PYP transdisciplinary teaching method. We hope students can get better understanding about the situation of human societies and find out the common natures between different cultures, organizations and groups. In the past, when we learn history we need memorize different historical events and the wars that occurred in different countries at different times. In PYP learning, students need learn these historical events, but also discuss the concept of “conflict” in groups with their different viewpoints, different experiences and different backgrounds, and find out the reasons that caused the conflicts. They will find out the differences and common natures of wars at a deeper level.
In PYP, there are six significant transdisciplinary themes, which provide students the opportunity to discuss domestic and international problems they come across during learning in a universal way. The related subject knowledge, like languages (Chinese and English), mathematics, the arts and physical education, are integrated in the units of inquiry. Students are challenged to think beyond the surface of knowledge. For example:
31、What are the characteristic abilities of IB diploma holders after going through the IB curriculum
In addition to the ten great merits possessed by IB graduates, feedbacks from universities in different countries confirm that IB graduates tend to excel in the following aspects:
Critical thinking, not inclined to follow authorities blindly
Knowing how to learn
Ability to carry out independent research and good collaboration ability
Effective communication skills
Understanding of different cultures and international mindedness
Mastering two or more languages
Huijia IB high school was authorized in October 1997 and it has been 22 years since Huijia admitted the first batch of IB students in 1998. Huijia is the first IB high school in China to admit Chinese students. In Huijia’s 22 years of experience, a number of excellent management staff and talented teaching members have come to Huijia and choose to stay here to form a strong IB education team. Many of the IB teachers here in Huijia are really experienced (many are IB examiners themselves).
Huijia teachers are very familiar with Chinese students and they know the advantages and disadvantages of our students fairly well so that they can better lead the directions and help students avoid potential pitfalls and go straight to academic success by entering top universities to their satisfaction.
24、What’s the difference between an English only classroom and a bilingual classroom?
The only difference of the two classrooms is that the instruction language is different. In an English only classroom, all the subjects are taught in English; while in a bilingual classroom, subjects are taught in both English and Chinese so as to meet the needs of the students who are of lower English level. But the contents taught are the same. Students will be grouped into different classrooms according to their English language levels for the convenience of differentiating.
4、What are the features of students' learning ways at Huijia Primary School?
We hope we can help students to obtain the life-long wisdom and high quality life.
In order to ensure all the students to obtain their academic, physical, social and emotional development, at Huijia, the students learn thinking, communication, social, research and self-management skills, which are important for both children and adults.
We do not give children a lot of information to memorize, which is only useful for training skilled workers. The students are given the opportunity to learn by themselves, to ask questions, to find out reasons and they are willing to continue their own study. We teach students to get research skills, to know how to find out the right information and how to collect information to solve their own problems. We help students to be aware that learning is based on communication and cooperation.
Students always think over what they already know and what they want to know further. They ask questions about the learning contents. All these are indispensable parts in students’ learning process. Teachers always show respect to students’ points of view and encourage them to ask more questions.
32、How are the IB courses compared to the AP courses in terms of level of difficulty?
The AP courses work as a kind of supplement in the US high school education system. The AP courses cater excellent US high school students to study the college level courses in advance when they are content with the basic high school courses and want to push further to a higher level. But the AP is nothing but an examination of knowledge with the only goal to help good students to save time, money by transferring credits when entering college. While the IB curriculum forms a self-complete education and evaluation system putting its goal in fostering the ten great merits possessed by IB students. It is ability cultivation oriented through the carrier of knowledge. Only in terms of knowledge difficulty can we claim that the higher level IB courses are on par with the AP courses.
25、What extracurricular clubs and activities does the Middle School provide?
In addition to academics, the school recognizes the importance of extracurricular activities, and as such, arranges a wide array of clubs and activities to encourage students’ development and creative expression. Teachers are involved in sponsoring the clubs and club activities, and those sponsored by foreign teachers also give students the opportunity to interact in English to further develop their English language skills. Examples of various clubs include: Art (painting, pottery, drawing, and photography), Sports (baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, bowling, golf, etc.), Drama, Science, Music, Dance and English. Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of talent shows, school performances and drama/speech/debate competitions, as well as many field trips and community service projects.
5、Why the students of Huijia Primary School sit at the round tables?
We provide students the opportunity to cooperate in groups and to learn from each other.
Our classroom arrangement meets different learning requirements. Sometimes students learn individually, in other times they learn in couples or in bigger groups. We hope we can create a constructivist classroom, in which students can participate in a series of teaching activities designed by teachers. To maximum extent, we use the teaching methods of inquiry. We create authentic learning environment, which helps them to actively participate in their own study, to ask their own questions and to design their own way of inquiry.
We do not want teachers to tell students all the information, but allow students to create their own knowledge. Teachers only play the role of assistants. PYP teaching is much more difficult than that with only textbooks. PYP teachers need devote much more thinking and creativity.
This is the education we provide to students at our school.
33、What kinds of students are more appropriate for the IB curriculum?
As all courses in Huijia except the Chinese course are lectured exclusively in English, the primary qualification is the English ability of the students; the second requirement is the self-initiative in independent study. Therefore, students with relatively good English ability and strong learning initiatives are especially welcome to join the IB diploma program in Huijia.
26、What are the qualifications of teachers hired in Middle School?
The school recruits highly qualified Chinese as well as foreign teachers, and all of them have a college or higher degree with practical teaching experiences. All the teachers are required to take IB MYP workshops regularly. Most of the foreign teachers come from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. And all of them have teacher’s certificates.
6、What textbooks do you use?
We cater for all the students’ learning needs. We provide authentic teaching experiences.
The textbooks universally used in China’s classrooms have their own advantages. All the teaching aims from National Curriculum Standards in China are edited into one set of books, which makes teachers’ job easier, but leave not enough learning spaces for students with different learning features and abilities. It is also difficult to meet the needs of differentiated teaching.
All the activities in textbooks are presented with imaginary pictures, which cannot meet the learning requirements of different learners. In elementary education, children learn through five senses. Children need to see, to smell and to touch real stuff so that it becomes possible for them to understand abstract concepts. Only if teaching activities are related to real life, children will know learning exists at every place and the purpose of learning is to get armed for living in the real world.
Our teachers spend a lot of time in thinking and preparing their lessons. They transfer the teaching aims in textbooks to activities related to children’s real life, which is more fun and conform to children’s cognitive ways. If you visit our classrooms, you will find, with teacher’s assistance, the students participate in different activities in different groups and complete different tasks. These activities are designed at different levels to cater for different learning needs.
We emphasize the authenticity of learning. Before class, according to different needs of units of inquiry and teaching aims, teachers need prepare various teaching materials and reading resources. During units of inquiry, experts are invited to school to give lectures and students are shown to related spots, which help to make connections between students’ learning and their real life. Teachers always encourage students to make connections between the knowledge they learned in classroom with the happenings in the world. Students are given the opportunity to put knowledge and concepts into practice.
34、What is the IB diploma acquisition rate? What if some students cannot get the IB diploma when the
The IB diploma acquisition rate is about 85% each year. Those graduates without the IB diploma can still go to college (especially the US colleges and universities), because most colleges and universities appreciate the advanced IB education principles and the rigorous scientific evaluation, as well as the strong abilities and overall personal quality of IB students. Academic performance is not the only evaluation criterion for college admission.
27、What do students who stay permanently during weekends do?
During weekends, the school will organize activities or field trips for students. The dorm teachers will also help them with their homework. Some of the students would take English course, like TOFEL.
7、How would you educate students’ thinking abilities? How to think?
We provide a challenging curriculum. Students are always challenged to think from different aspects. It is the symbol of people with international visions.
At Huijia Primary School, we use many strategies to educate students’ thinking skills. While students take part in many interesting activities, they also grasp different thinking skills which they will benefit through their whole life. We encourage students to think about different viewpoints and find their connections. In class or their real life, students are encouraged to rethink of their own views about one issue by considering others. We always try to make students feel their thinking in class are always supported and appreciated. At Huijia Primary School, it is our aim to respect students’ thinking, cooperation and inquiry in different group activities. We always try hard to build a thinking culture.
35、What is the proportion of Huijia students admitted by the US top 30 universities and colleges?
There are quite a few numbers of different rankings for US universities and colleges based on different kinds of classification, for example, ranking based on overall index, ranking based on a certain major. In addition there are regional differences for such ranking too. In Huijia, roughly more than 200 students graduate each year. Data in recent years shows that more than 50% of them entered the top 50 US colleges and universities.
28、How does the school communicate with parents?
Effective communication between the school and parents is very important. The school will email parents the School Newsletter regularly so that parents know what is going on at school and how their kids are. We also encourage parents to communicate with teachers and school leaders, too.
8、How would you cater for children of different abilities?
Any two students coming to school have different knowledge and abilities. They are two different individuals in both social activities and emotions. Our differentiated teaching is shown in different teaching processes, different teaching contents and different ways to present academic attainments.
Teachers design various teaching tasks for students to make their own choices.
36、How are new students supposed to choose the right courses after entrance?
New students to Huijia will be provided with detailed instructions and advices on course selection from experienced teachers and senior teachers, who will also give lectures to lead students to the right track. Some students from the 10th 11th grade will also be invited to the lecture to share their course selection experience. Generally speaking, new students will be given about half a month to try out different courses. The mid-term exam in the first semester will be corresponding adjusted to make sure that new students successfully sign up for their desired appropriate courses.
9、What are the features of teaching environment?
At Huijia Primary School, there are plenty of teaching resources and the teaching environment is related to our real life.
We believe teaching environment is the third teacher of children. We carefully design the environment with our teaching purposes. Students’ work pieces are displayed. They feel they are accepted. Lots of resources are available for students to inquire. They will become independent gradually. It is a warm and friendly place where students would love to stay and study.
10、What are the unique features of language study?
Both Chinese and English are taught at our school. We think language teaching need help students to develop their language abilities in all aspects, like listening, speaking, reading, writing and viewing, not only teach them simple language concepts.
Language learning permeates the whole curriculum at our school. Students always practice their listening, speaking, reading and writing in authentic situations. They also use language as a tool to know the world and to understand things. It is important we educate students’ research skills in language, which will help them to use various strategies to find out verbal meanings when they meet unfamiliar knowledge.
11、How do you assess?
We use a variety of assessment tools to assess students’ mastery of knowledge, understanding of concepts and their attitudes as learners.
At Huijia Primary School, there are three categories of assessment:
Personal mastery: unit tests, mastery of specific sets of skills and knowledge. Assessment data supports teachers in designing learning experiences according to the needs of their students.
Growth over time: Students’ learner portfolios show their growth over time in skills, attitudes, changes and development.
Applied understanding: using a variety of assessment tools to assess students’ ability to solve authentic problems with their own understandings.
Students can set their goals after examining their own strengths and the parts which need to be improved. They need communicate with teachers all the way to reach their goals. It is more important that students realize they are active participators. Goal setting at school is very important, even adults sometimes find it difficult to reach their goals. Teachers expect students to be responsible learners.
Teachers regularly inform parents the overall valid assessment information.
Score / Storytelling Rubric
Integrity of stories
It is a whole story, including the beginning, middle and end. The time, place and characters of story are related clearly.
It is not a whole story. Storytellers miss out beginning, middle or end of story. The time, place or characters are not very clear.
Story is often interrupted, important details forgotten. The time, place or characters are not clear at all.
Facial expressions while retelling stories
Storytellers change their facial expression to show the emotions expressed in the story. The vivid facial expression attracts the audience.
Storytellers only have some facial expression to show the emotions expressed in the story. The story is not very vivid.
Storytellers look very nervous. They only tell the story with little facial expression.
Fluency of stories
Storytellers know the story very well. They tell the story fluently, without any stop.
Storytellers know the story. They can tell the important plot of story. Sometimes they need stop to recall the story.
Storytellers do not know the story very well. Some important plot of the story is missed out. They often stop with some "um's"
Storytellers can tell the story loudly. The audience can hear it clearly. They often change their voices to show different characters of the story.
The audience can hear the story. They try to change their voices to show different characters of the story.
The voice of storytellers is very low and flat. The audience cannot hear it clearly.
The above table is one of examples we use to assess students’ specific skills and knowledge, which will help them get prepared for future study.
12、What kind of students will my kid study together with?
Now the parents who choose Huijia all pay close attention to education. They hope their children can have more experiences and the knowledge at school is closely connected with the real world. Many parents are willing to participate in our school education, to make connections between school, families and society, which will help students to get ready for their future life. At present, about 2,400 students from 15 countries and regions are studying at Huijia, which enable all the students of exposure to different languages, cultures and backgrounds.
13、What are the arrangements for students after dinner?
After dinner, dorm mothers will lead students to walk around or play games on campus. In the evening, students of different apartments take turns to read in the library. On Tuesday nights all students need read in classrooms. On Thursday nights all students pack up their luggage. Monday and Wednesday nights are flexible, students may attend some cultural activities or life skill trainings and so on. Some students need attend art group activities. Sometimes movies, heath lectures or performances may be arranged according to different year levels. At night, students can contact their parents at dorms. After washing, students of lower year levels go to bed at 20:45, higher year levels at 21:00.
14、How is the accommodation at Huijia?
Students’ dormitory is designed like apartments. Students are grouped according to sexes and year levels. There is one leader in each building. One dorm mother is in charge of one apartment. Some students are nominated as dorm leaders and apartment leaders. There are 8 to 10 rooms in each apartment. 3 to 4 students live in one room. In the apartment, there is also a hall, constant temperature drinking fountains and telephones. Bathrooms are very large with enough shower nozzles and bathwater is available at night.
15、Will it affect children’s mental and physical health if they attend a boarding school?
We always try to build a homely atmosphere for students. Generally students return to school on Sunday nights, which ensures them to attend the second day’s classes. On Friday afternoons students are dismissed in turn from lower year levels to higher levels. Parents come to pick up their kids at school or at school bus stops. When students stay at school, teachers guide them to learn self-management skills and to cooperate with others. Parents can call their kids at night, and have talks or together attend some activities on weekends. Students can enjoy both the happiness of staying with their friends and the love from their family. To meet some parents’ needs, our school also provides accommodation to some long-term boarding students and temporary ones. Dorm mothers look after them and sometimes organize some out-going activities.
16、Are there any day pupils at Huijia Primary School?
Huijia Primary School opens day school classes for the students who live nearby. The school provides a reasonable timetable for day pupils, seven periods and club activities every day. Day pupils are supposed to arrive at school before 8:00am, and school buses leave at 4:30pm. At present, 8 lines of school buses are available for day pupils to guarantee their study and life. (Please refer to School Bus Form for Day Pupils)
17、How is the food at school?
Students are served three meals and three snacks a day. Most food is made from pollution-free green materials from Huijia Farm. The canteen provides buffet. Sets of menus are made up by nutritionists. Main food, fruit, meat and vegetables are combined reasonably. During lunch and dinner, more than 20 kinds of dishes are available. They are adjusted with season changes. Dorm mothers serve them food to guarantee the balance of various foods and control the amount of fried food. Every term, health center doctors measure their weight and height three times. For the students who have extreme light or heavy weight, we need contact their parents and discuss their diet. Three snacks include yoghurt, fruit, milk and cakes.
18、How to ensure students’ health?
In the Health Center, there is a health care center, a food safety examination studio and an air quality monitoring center. Twelve school doctors in the Health Centre provide 24-hour services to all the students and staff. Child oral cavity experts make out sets of detailed teeth care plan and provide a full range of prevention and protection services to all the students at school. Every day the Food Safety Examination Studio need check all the materials purchased by the canteen staff. The Air Quality Monitoring Centre everyday reports air quality data, which helps the school to arrange suitable outdoor activities for students.
19、Is there anything we need concern about for new students?
For many children, it is a symbol phase that they move into a bigger collective from their families, and meet many new things. At school, new students are encouraged to build safe and reliable relationship with adults and classmates. Teachers and parents will closely cooperate with each other to help students to smoothly get through this phase.
20、How does Huijia ensure teachers’ quality?
Our foreign teachers are recruited from the internationally recognized recruitment agencies. Every year school leaders attend the job fairs held in Thailand, America and Britain, so we can recruit qualified teachers. All new foreign teachers must have teachers’ certificates issued in their own countries. All new Chinese teachers are excellent education graduates or experienced teachers.
A lot of trainings are provided to help teachers to improve their professional abilities. Ms. Tania Lattanzio, an experienced PYP consultant, is employed to take charge of teacher trainings and help them to solve teaching problems in class. In addition, every year we regularly send teachers to attend PYP trainings organized by IBO in the Asian-Pacific region. Some experts are also invited to our school to provide trainings. Some teachers are sent to visit PYP schools in China, Singapore and Australia. As learners, teachers are always encouraged to inquire better ways of group cooperation, teaching, assessment and differentiation.
21、How is Huijia's further education?
Authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization, Huijia provides IB programmes for students of 3 to 18 years old. After students finish the study of Primary Years Programme, they can directly enter the Middle School to join Middle Years Programme. In High School, we provide IB Diploma Programme curriculum. Until now we have already sent the high school graduates of 2000 to 2012 to some top universities in the world.