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Xin Fuxue Debuts to Foster 21st Century Learners

September, 2017
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In ancient China, the term Fuxue meant a state-run school at the city-level. Now, a newly opened school in Beijing takes the name, but is dedicated to offering education with a global view and a bilingual approach.

0j7a9369e589afe69cac1Beijing Xin Fuxue International Academy is located in Shunyi District, eastern Beijing and started classes in early September. It is open to students ranging from Kindergarten through to Grade 12. The school campus features classrooms equipped with modern technology, including flat-screens that teachers can use through their laptops. Clean air ventilation and a purified water system are installed throughout the building and classrooms, in addition to a series of sports facilities for basketball, badminton, tennis and soccer. A bubble dome is also being built to cover the playground when air quality is poor. A swimming pool is under construction as well.

In its inaugural year, the school welcomed about 200 students, including roughly 60 in the K to Grade 9 classes and about 140 in Grades 10 and 11. It expects to grow to an overall scale of 1,000 students in the years to come. 

The objective of Xin Fuxue is to nurture well rounded 21st century learners that will be able to place well either overseas or stay in China, said Gary Dimitratos, Principal of Elementary and Middle School. Dimitratos has over twenty-five years’ experience in organizational management and has worked in the field of education in Beijing for the past eight years, with three as a classroom teacher and five as principal.

0j7a8966Academically, the school will adopt both Chinese national standards and Western ones, with a bilingual atmosphere made possible by Chinese- and English-speaking teachers.

On the Chinese side, an overarching strength of Xin Fuxue is its math teaching, which will be backed by Shuntian Fuxue Education Center, the major sponsor behind the school that over the years has built its reputation for excellent education in mathematics, according to Dimitratos.

As for the English side, the school is to utilize the California State Common Core Standards (CCSS), which describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In the beginning, the school will assess students using the Columbia University Reading Assessments, which gives the proper grade reading level of each student, and then help the students accordingly so that they can fit in. Xin Fuxue has also been approved to adopt the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), Dimitratos added.

The key is to bring together the Chinese and English teachers so that they could collaborate well and support each other, Dimitratos pointed out, saying, “we will align the curriculum. Align what the Chinese teachers do with what the English teachers do so that they teach in a coordinated manner.”

At Elementary and Middle Schools, there are nine foreign teachers from countries like Canada, the US, UK and Australia, and a group of experienced Chinese teachers. Those teachers will take care of the nine classes from Kindergarten through eighth Grade in the Primary and Middle School.

0j7a94811In the long run, Dimitratos plans to build up a Xin Fuxue curriculum that supports both Chinese and English, while maintaining its strength in math teaching. And there is also consideration that the school will seek authorization for the International Baccalaureate (IB) programs in two or three years. The school already has already been associated with IB, and a group of IB leaders are coming in October for a seminar at the school.

In addition to the academic side, Dimitratos is determined to put emphasis on moral education at Xin Fuxue, because he believes that moral education is a worldwide need. “This year our motto is Building Great Character One Pillar at A Time. We are enriching our students with education in the Six Pillar of Character, which includes Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Caring, Fairness, and Citizenship. We believe in providing all our students with the building blocks that will assist them in becoming well-rounded citizens. This year, we have focused on a pillar each month and discussed it during assemblies and classrooms, and given out pillar of the month awards,” he explained.

0j7a94631According to Cui Shaozhou, Executive Principal of High School at Xin Fuxue, curricula targeting exams such as SAT and A-Level are offered for the High School students, who normally have already made up their mind as to which direction they are going.

And Grade 11 students will be able to choose to either stay with Xin Fuxue to finish their High School education or go directly overseas for their Grade 12 studies. Xin Fuxue has set up partnership with a number of public and private High Schools in the US, Canada and Europe, which provide the students a variety of options. In order to diversify student learning, the High School also offers selective language courses such as Spanish and Korean, Cui said.

 

BY QIN CHUAN,
LITTLESTAR MAGAZINE

 

 

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