Thursday 31 Aug 2023
Meet the Principal

Richard Nunns
Head of Secondary

Having first taught in China in 2001, Richard Nunns joins us from Dulwich International High School Suzhou, where he has served since it's opening in 2012, playing in key role in the growth and development of all aspects of the school, with a particular focus on teaching quality and student success. Richard believes in an innovative, holistic approach to education, where skilled teachers know, understand, and support each student's personal growth, and each member of the community is valued.

Recognised by Kinglead as a '2022 Global Top 10 Principal', Richard's professional training includes foci on school development, instructional supervision, and assessment.

"I'm thrilled to be joining NKCS at such an exciting time in its development, and am looking forward to continue the journey of excellence in all aspects of school life. I'm very much looking forward to getting to know you and your children and working with the entire faculty to support each and every child on their journey from Wuxi to success at top-class, best-fit universities worldwide.

Welcome Back

I come from York, which is in the middle of the UK. When I was at university, I met some wonderful Chinese students. And I decided to explore China for six months. Started off in Guangzhou, where I was teaching kindergarten and primary school. Then later in Nanjing, at Jinling High School, I was teaching Maths and Further Math. And actually I was awarded Dipont Teacher of the Year for Maths at that time.

For the past 11 years, I've been a leader at Dulwich High School in Suzhou, preparing students, mainly Chinese students, for success at universities worldwide. So I'm really looking forward to joining Wuxi Dipont Schol of Arts and Science here to continue that journey, to make every student succeed.

01 About China and NKCS.

It's very, very interesting that the more I learn, the more I find how much there is to know. There are some things that I'll never understand but I think yes (do understand partially). I think particularly because I understand a bit of Chinese. It helps me to form quite a strong relationship with parents and students, to understand what they want for their children and the challenges that they're facing and then hopefully support them to overcome those challenges.

I've been watching this school with a telescope over the last five years to see how it's been developing. And I think it has some really unique aspects, and really strong points.

First of all, I think the fact that we are all-on-one campus that we have everyone from kindergarten up to Grade 12. We have international altogether. We have A-Level; We have IB. We have customized courses. All part of one school, I think is fabulous. The fact that we can have such shared programs like Co-curricular so our students have a choice that you're just not going to find elsewhere. And the other thing is I think when I walk around the school, it's just a joyful place, where students are happy and teachers are happy. We are purposeful but we're enjoying the school and our time here as well.

02 My Keywords

I have two keywords;The first is holistic. And the second is individualized.

And I think they're really important, so if we talk about holistic first.

To get accepted at university, you need to pass exams. I wish it wasn't the case, but universities still insist on exams. But I think we must avoid being too exam focused. We must take a much broader view. We must look at academics, we must look at pastoral, we must look at developing as a citizen as being equally important. You know, it's not about just getting into university. It's about having the skills, the dispositions and the language. So that our students can be successful when they get there. That's why it needs to be a really holistic approach.

And the second is individualized. It's about looking at the individual's interests, looking at their strengths, looking at where they are now. Looking at where they want to be in the future, and figuring out a customized pathway for those students. So they can get to where they want to be, which results in increased motivation, increased interest and increased success.

03 Expectations for the future

There's so much great work that has gone on for the last five years, and I'm here to build on that. The school is no longer a child, the school is now a teenager. As we all know, the teenage years are very challenging, but at the same time, they're very exciting. We've got lots of choices to make, and we've got lots of systems that we need to improve. We've got lots of areas that we need to strengthen, so that we can become a mature school. We need to move from being a good school to being a great school, and to being an excellent school. And that's what we're going to do step by step.

I think the first one is improving the way that we are supporting students' language, so that they are ready to learn in English when they go abroad. You know, every teacher is an English teacher but I want to work on upskilling our teachers, so we're more effective with this. I want to work with the students to try and increase their motivation at using English on a daily basis.

04 A word to students and parents

Continue to work hard, and remember that school is about far more than exams.

I would like to say THANK YOU to the parents for trusting the school with your most valued possession. We will look after your children like small pandas. We will support them every step of the way.

Our school is very welcoming to students from a wide range of backgrounds so long as you are happy to work with your child, and work with the school. We will do all that we can for your students' future success.

I believe that your children are your most precious possessions.

Your children are also our school's children.

We have to work together for your children's further developments.

A learning community aspiring to excellence.