About the Host School
Situated in Ningbo, a coastal city in Zhejiang Province of southeastern China, XIAOSHI HIGH SCHOOL was founded as a private school in 1912, and is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012.
Xiaoshi has been viewed as a top school, whose honors have grown from being named a “Key School in the Province” to one of the “Best Key Schools in Province”, to “the Best First-Class Key School in Province”. In 2005, 2007 and 2009, Xiaoshi won the honor three times in a row as one of the “100 Famous Schools in China”. In 2007, Xiaoshi held the final for The 24th National Olympiad for Physics.
The school has always been known for its high standards in teaching of both science and art. Xiaoshi takes great pride in having outstanding teaching staff, many of whom have won special titles from the national, provincial and municipal government. Xiaoshi students, besides having good foundations, are also known for being highly competent and having great potential for further development. In 1999, Xiaoshi moved to its present campus. It covers an area of around 20 acres with a construction area of 38,500 square meters. It consists of a classroom building complex, an administrative building, a laboratory, an audio-visual center, a library and several dormitory buildings with three cafeterias. The library has a collection of 110,000 books. A well-equipped gymnasium stands in the southwest of the campus. There is a standard 400-meter sports field with track. Several tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts are all around it. The teaching facilities are being improved at a miraculous speed and the school is on its way to being a first-class school in the nation as well as a modern one.
About the IB Centre
The Centre was established in 2012 with 57 students on roll and 5 staff. We obtained authorisation to run the IB Diploma in 2013 and we now have 112 students on roll, with 11 foreign teachers, 2 Chinese teachers and 5 Chinese support staff. Students work hard, are very ambitious, polite and engaged in class. Facilities include well-equipped science laboratories, 12 classrooms all of which have Smart Boards, teacher staff rooms, computer suite, a new International Resource Centre, gym and excellent outdoor basketball courts and athletics track.
Xiaoshi High School has been striving to create those traditions which are the hallmarks of all good schools: a respect for the integrity and individuality of each student, a faculty and curriculum which inspires a lifelong learning for its own sake and an ethos which promotes personal responsibility. Being new, we are able to choose the most clearly proven and successful models of teaching and pastoral care and to combine these with the most modern educational technologies and principles. The new Dipont Centre was regarded as a major part of the 100 Year Anniversary Celebrations for Xiaoshi High School.
In terms of extra-curricular activities, we share those with our Host School and they include basketball, chess, scrabble club, debating club and volunteer groups. The IB Centre also joins the Host School to compete in inter-grade sports activities, drama, cultural and debating competitions.
IGCSE classes take English, Additional Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Combined Science. IB Diploma students take Chinese, English Language, Mathematics and a choice of three other subjects from Humanities, Science and The Arts (including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Business Management, Economics, Art and Music). They also study TOK (Theory of Knowledge), work on Extended Essay and CAS projects.
Inquiry based learning is used as much as possible. Students are also encouraged to be reflective learners. Our role is to also prepare the students for a western style of education at university level and they are extremely smart and motivated individuals who are not satisfied with less than their very best effort. They push us to be our very best!
Teachers can choose to order whatever reference books and resources they need to support their subject. There is also a personal computer with internet access and printing facility available to all teachers. Subject leaders employed by Dipont are also able to provide valuable resources.
Key benefits, in addition to the commitment and attitude of the students, include working as part of a very supportive team and a consultative leadership team. The challenge is the depth of subject teaching required - the commitment to learning is such that students are in school much longer hours and are very exam result focused.
Ningbo is set 20km inland and has a number of historical sites linked to its importance as a key port throughout China's history. Tianyige Library is said to be the oldest surviving library building in China. It also has all the shopping and leisure facilities typical of a large city and Ningbo dishes feature local seafood. The airport has flights to many Chinese airports, including Hong Kong.
The countryside around Ningbo is lovely and there are numerous temples and pagodas to visit. A few hours by boat north of Ningbo and south of Shanghai is the island of Putuo Shan – it is one of the four Chinese mountains sacred to Buddhism, and a charming, isolated place with sandy beaches, green hills and monasteries.
Please view the following sites for further information:
Teacher Case Study
Jenna Farmer, English Teacher
I completed my teacher training in English in 2008 and then spent the next four years working as a Secondary School English Teacher in the United Kingdom before joining Dipont. Whilst I really enjoyed my teaching in the UK, I was looking for a new challenge and wanted to gain experience in an international setting. Working for Dipont has given me the opportunity to do both of these things.
Being involved with the opening of a new centre has been really rewarding and has given me the opportunity to gain a wealth of experience in the delivery of the IGCSE and IB curriculum. In turn, the children are a real pleasure to teach. They are focused, driven and enthusiastic. There are also many opportunities to pursue personal areas of interest. In my case, I am responsible for running the centre’s Drama club as a weekly extra-curricular activity.
Working in China has been a fantastic experience so far. It is a fascinating country, with lots of culture and offers plenty of opportunities to travel to other parts of Asia. In my opinion, Dipont offers a very generous salary package and this- combined with the low cost of living- provides an excellent opportunity to save.
My overall experience of working with the company so far has been excellent. I came to China with my husband (who has since found employment as a kindergarten teacher) and both of us were a little daunted at the prospect of living overseas for the first time. The company could not have done more to accommodate both of us and to make the transition from the United Kingdom to China a smooth one.
We are both very happy here in Ningbo and look forward to exploring as much of China as possible!
Student Case Study
Eva, Student at Ningbo Xiaoshi High School
I started the programme in September 2012. The experience has been fantastic really. I was amazed and excited about the curriculum here, as I got the textbooks, I got a sense of yearning to eat them up. The lessons are vivid and impressive and time arrangements make me content. Teachers never discourage us, which persuades us to be brave enough to try to express ourselves. Creativity is always there. I hope to speak English as fluently as our teachers and gain skills for collaboration. I love art. I aspire to study the depth of art and design, and contribute creativity and beauty to the world. Hopefully, I can study in a university where it is filled with artistic beauty. That would be enjoyable. I really love all of my teachers, they are all people of virtue, who set good examples for the students.