Wednesday 29 Nov 2023

Since its foundation, DSAS has been through so much no matter developments and obstacles.

Wuxi Dipont School of Arts and Science (formerly Nanwai King’s College School) proudly celebrated our 5th anniversary on October 28th.

History Heritage

Brendan Law, Executive Principal of Wuxi Dipont School of Arts and Science (formerly Nanwai King’s College School)

Mr. Law mentioned that our school has achieved remarkable development in just five years. Our school is committed to building a solid foundation of Chinese culture for students. It is dedicated to shaping children into well-rounded individuals, emphasizing equal importance in art, sports, and academics. The curriculum is diverse, providing students with personalized pathways to success. The school has gained more international recognition and accreditation, broadening students' international perspective. It has achieved outstanding academic results, college admissions results, and competition achievements.

Zhengjing Dong, General Principal of Wuxi Dipont School of Arts and Science (formerly Nanwai King’s College School)

Principal Dong stated that ten years ago, on behalf of NFLS, I was invited to join leaders of Wuxi government and colleagues from Dipont to embark on the new mission of conceiving and creating an innovative and highly internationalized bilingual school on the brink of the beautiful Taihu Lake. At the outset, we have set for ourselves the lofty mission which aims at marrying the best of eastern and western education to nurture the spirit of innovation, collaboration and social responsibilities among young talents of tomorrow with a Chinese soul and a global vision, for Wuxi and for China. The words heritage and new fronts perfectly capture the essence of the evolution of the school from conception to birth and to take-off.

Over the past five years, DSAS has brought together an exceptional team of teachers and leaders from nearly thirty countries in the world. Together, they have created an open, inclusive and motivated learning community with nearly 2,000 Chinese and expat families. Drawing from the rich legacies of NFLS and KCS, we have developed distinctive academic programs featuring small class size, flexible grouping, bilingual immersion and personalized advisory. CCA courses in the afternoon provide ample opportunities for students to explore and cultivate their interests in music, sports, fine arts, and academics. We have combined the role of Chinese home-room teachers with that of British tutors to create a multi-faceted pastoral care and parental communication system. In the house system, students find additional networking opportunities and social spaces beyond traditional classrooms and activities. The trees and flowers that Principal Shen Maode arranged to be planted in the campus 5 years ago have now grown into a vibrant garden on the fertile soil and in the careful hands of the gardeners, whose canopy shelters our children and whose flowers nourish their hearts.

Last but not least, we strive to build a learning community aspiring for excellence. In order to do this, can I ask that everyone of us first learn to unlearn, to unload what we knew and deemed universally true, and start learning with an open mind and a humble heart. And only when the process of collective relearning begins can we then say with confidence that we are a true leaning community aspiring for excellence and that a culture of persistent advancement and innovation has taken root, and that we as a school has become, in the hearts of the students, the parents and the community, an ideal place for education. It is my wish that my colleagues and I will hold our mission dear to our hearts, build on our achievements, and march ahead with full force.

Glen James, Director of King’s International

Mr. James mentioned that as a director of King’s International, which is working with Dipont in relation to Wuxi Dipont School of Arts and Science, I have been proud to witness the educational success that the School has achieved over the last 5 years. It is particularly encouraging that over 90% of the class graduating from the School in 2023 have been accepted into their first-choice universities. And many of these universities, whether here in China, or elsewhere in Australia, the US or the UK are amongst the most highly ranked across the world. Not only does this evidence the academic progress that the School has made, but also it vindicates the School’s international approach – its emphasis on foreign language tuition in an environment that seeks to integrate Chinese and international cultures.

Benson Zhang, CEO of Dipont Education | Chairman of the Board of Directors of DSAS

Mr. Zhang indicated that it’s fair for me to say that the Dipont’s growth story is an epitome of this fast-evolving age and we have grown together with the international education sector in China. Fast forward to 2018, Wuxi Dipont School of Arts and Science (formerly known as Wuxi Nanwai King’s) was officially opened. The birth of our school has not only represented the marriage of what’s best in the Chinese and the British basic education systems, but has also made us a trailblazer of the 4-party model where the government, the company, a prestigious Chinese partner school and a renowned British partner school are in it together with a shared vision of international education. It has meant a lot to Dipont, to the school, to Wuxi and to the reform and innovation of China’s basic education at large.

There is no fixed model or a correct answer to what future-oriented education looks like. Innovation and exploration, in nature, indicate uncertainties, imagination and risks. If we can stand the test of error trying, self reflection and even self denial, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel, leading us to self growth and breakthroughs.

Principle Shen, a veteran educator with 40 long years of experience, the principle of a huge number of talented students across the world, told me that although our school is just 5 years old, it is already a vibrant school full of diversity and charm. No matter where you go on campus, you can feel for yourself the vigor and vitality of the students, their curiosity and sense of responsibility, and their adventurous spirit and distinct personalities.

He also hopes that our school can serve as a window of the city of Wuxi so that more talents with international exposure would love to come here and drive the economic and all-around growth of the entire region. Hopefully our school will be the cradle of many more talented young people with a Chinese root, a global perspective, a sound character, and an independent and innovative spirit.

Liu Pengzhi, Member of the Central Museum of Literature and History | Former Counselor of the State Council | Honorary President of the General School of RDFZ United Schools

Ms. Liu mentioned that she has been to many schools both domestically and internationally. Today, she came here and deeply felt that the school's architectural style, campus environment, enriched curriculum, and senior leadership team have reached an international first-class level. From the results board of the 5th anniversary of the school to the promotional video that has just been broadcast, many graduates of the school have been admitted to world-class universities during the five years, and student's speech, behavior, and temperament are outstanding. Wuxi Dipont School of Arts and Science is already an international first-class school and a socialist school with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

During the ceremony, both parents and students performed splendidly. Shostakovich's duet for two violins showcased that students not only possess a solid foundation in traditional cultural knowledge from their education, but also have an international perspective and versatile artistic attainments.

The classical dance and ballet performance presented by the NKCS Parent Academy Mom's Art Troupe reflects the collaboration between parents and the school in building a learning community, promoting home-school education, and becoming a force to encourage children's healthy growth together!

Professor Alan Macfarlane, Emeritus Professor of Anthropological Science at the University of Cambridge | Life Fellow of King's College | Fellow of King's College, Cambridge | Fellow of the British Academy

Prof. Macfarlane suggested that as an innovative and new kind of school based on the NFLS model, this kind of education interests him very much because he has spent his life trying to think about how education works in the West, based on his own education at elite schools and in the universities and in the East, and looking at the best of Chinese schools. Education now, of course, has to change to another world where we are facing new challenges of leisure, artificial intelligence, new economic and technological spheres, which have not been with us until recently. And so the fact that the Wuxi school, as he gather, is based on a new kind of philosophy, putting the child at the centre, encouraging creativity and a crossover between arts and sciences, all this sounds very exciting. And it's not surprising, therefore, that with this kind of education in its first five years, the school has sent its pupils to some of the best universities in the world, Oxford, Cambridge, Chicago and other American universities, because the philosophy behind education needs to be adjusted to a much more creative, innovative, imaginative model.

Mr.Hu Jinbo, National Governor's Education Consultant | Former Vice Chairman of the Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference | Former Party Secretary of Nanjing University

Heritage is by no means repetition of the old but a process of reinvention with change of time. We hope, in the next phase of development, the school continues its great heritage of openness, transparency and the pursuit of a happy school while forging on with enhancement in quality, efficiency and motivation. The school should embrace the new philosophy of progress by passing down its vital success in adhering to the vision, embracing external resources and the forward-looking attitude. The school should follow a growth strategy that is innovative, balanced, eco-friendly, open and benefiting to all. To take the school to a new level of development, it is imperative that the school adhere to its vision of creating a school that values individuality, nurtures skills and builds on top of its strengths. Only through that can we further fulfill our duty of serving the people and to be better at advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through Chinese style modernization.

Mr. Qin Yongxin, Deputy Mayor of Wuxi City Government

Five years ago, as a major endeavor to build Wuxi into a more international community and to advance our education to become more global, the Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government of Wuxi, in conception of a high-quality, internationalized school, founded Nanwai King’s College School Wuxi, now Wuxi Dipont School of Arts and Science, through the collaboration of Dipont Education Group, Nanjing Foreign Language School, King's College School, Taihu New City Group, Management Committee of Economic Development District and other parties. I am very pleased to see the brand new school growing into an exemplary platform for the internationalization of education in Wuxi in 5 years, thanks to the full support of Dipont Education Group and the joint efforts of the leaders and faculty members at the school. The school features a modern education philosophy, a beautiful campus, a rich curriculum, and a strong and capable team of global educators. For three years in a row the school has graduated young talents who take pride in their Chinese soul and global vision. In the past five years, the school has made tremendous efforts to explore the integration of Chinese and Western methods, the implementation of competency-oriented whole-person education, the creation of an educational model with deep roots in China and characteristics of a global education and has strived to fulfill a highly personalized skill-oriented model. In the process the school has created a distinctive brand of "international education" and has showcased an example of the "future school". All of these add incredible value to the internationalization of the city and of its education.

Currently, Wuxi is actively deepening comprehensive education reform, striving to build a modern "education strong city". The modernization of education cannot be separated from internationalization, nor can it be separated from the innovative development of private education. As pioneers in the international education industry, we sincerely hope that Debund Education Group will continue to actively support the development of education in Wuxi, introduce excellent teaching teams to Wuxi, bring high-quality curriculum systems to Wuxi, and actively enhance the internationalization level of talent cultivation in Wuxi. We hope that Wuxi Debund School, taking this innovative development conference as an opportunity, will be the first to explore and try out the future-oriented education model with the care and support of the group, and cultivate students with exploratory and innovative thinking qualities through curriculum and teaching reform and innovation, and cultivate talents with both Chinese foundation and global competence, striving to become a demonstration and vanguard in the innovation and characteristic development of international education in the Yangtze River Delta. We sincerely hope that students and alumni will cherish their ideals and work harder. We hope that regardless of where they are in the future, they will care about their hometown and motherland, and strive to become international talents who have ideals for Wuxi, responsibility for the nation, and contribution to the country. The municipal government will continue to care about and support the group's education in Wuxi, fully guarantee the autonomy of the school and the legitimate rights and interests of teachers, students, and staff, and support the school in continuously optimizing its educational conditions and improving its educational level, so as to steadily develop and explore the path of education internationalization.

Current Educating

In recent years, strengthening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education has become a strategically significant research topic. STEM education focuses on transforming fragmented knowledge and mechanical learning processes into an interconnected process of exploring the world, thereby enhancing students' interdisciplinary learning abilities and problem-solving skills. By successfully applying for and receiving the establishment of a key school for engineering education by the Education Bureau of Wuxi, this positions and guides the school's efforts in the next five years to enhance students' scientific literacy in areas such as technology and design, artificial intelligence, and engineering competence.

Song Xinchun, Deputy Secretary of the Wuxi Education Committee and Director of the Education Bureau and Yang Jianping, Secretary of the Party Working Committee and Director of the Administrative Committee of Wuxi Economic Development District, presented the plaque of being a key school for STEM in primary and secondary schools to Ms You Xiaoyan, Head of Finance and Administration of NKCS.

Mr. Li Qiufeng, Minister of Wuxi Publicity Department and Ms. Zhou Ying, Deputy Director of National People's Congress, Education, Culture, and Health Commission of Jiangsu unveiled the plaque for the SERC Gifted Education Center. Mr. Shen Maode, Chinese Principal of NKCS received the plaque.

Mr. Karl Gross, Deputy Principal of King's College School Wimbledon, Mr. Liu Congrong, Vice President of Dipont Education Group, Mr. Zhu Feiyi, Vice President of Dipont Education Group, and Ms. Wang Di, Vice President of Dipont Education Group, presented the 5th Anniversary Service Award - Plum Blossom Award to representatives of the founding faculty at NKCS.

Over the past five years, NKCS has been committed to encouraging the development of outstanding students. Since its establishment, it has set up scholarships for gifted education, aiming to reward students who have demonstrated excellent academic performance in the Lower and Upper Secondary school levels, as well as outstanding students from other schools who enroll in our Upper Secondary School. Meanwhile, Wuxi Nanwai King’s Educational Development Foundation has awarded a total of 106 students with scholarships of 12.724 million RMB. Some of these students are currently studying at top universities overseas. This year, another group of excellent students will step forward to receive their scholarship.

Mr. Tang Jiajun, former Vice Secretary-General of Wuxi People's Congress Standing Committee, and Ms. Xu Min, Member of the Wuxi Education Committee and Deputy Director of the Education Bureau, presented awards to students who received a quarter scholarship.

Mr. Gu Wenlong, Vice Secretary-General of the Wuxi Municipal Government, and Mr. Wu Fengfeng, former Deputy Director of Wuxi People's Congress Standing Committee, presented awards to students who received a half scholarship.

Mr. Li Chunlin, Executive Chairman of the China Innovation Talent Education Research Association, Mr. Yang Jiujun, Honorary Chairman of the Jiangsu Education Association and renowned expert in Compulsory Education, Mr. Gu Chunming, Director of the Compulsory Education Department of the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education, and Mr. Liu Qianshu, Party Committee Secretary of Nanjing Foreign Language School, presented awards to students who received a full scholarship.

John Galloway, Deputy Principal of King's College School Wimbledon,John Javis, Vice Chairman of the Board of King's College School, former Chairman, Executive Director of Wuxi Yiduo Group Investment and Development Co., Ltd, and Xie Lingyun, Vice Chairman of Wuxi Nanwai King’s Educational Development Foundation, presented the Cambridge Outstanding Scholars Award to the deserving students.

Future New Frontier

After the ceremony, Mr. Hu, Ms. Liu, Mr. Qin, Mr. Dong, Mr. Zhang Bowen, and Mr. Karl Gross planted two oak trees representing Sino-British cultural exchange in the hope that the school will continue to explore new models of international education and bear one educational fruit after another with the support of various parties.

Chinese Dream, Global Connections, Patriotism, Having a global perspective is the responsibility of the youth in the new era. Looking towards the future, emphasizing capabilities, Having global competence is the key focus of student development in schools. Nurturing talent for the country, cultivating individuals for the party, Training builders and successors of socialism, This is the historical mission of all educators. Reflecting on the past five years, with genuine companionship, Looking ahead, filled with anticipation, Happy 5th Birthday to Wuxi Dipont School of Arts and Science!