Beijing Huijia (IB) Private School is opening a new international department this September. For now, the International Department will be for pre-primary and Grade 1 classes, the first step in building an International IB World School.
The existing primary school at Huijia, which will continue operating as usual, uses Chinese as the first teaching language. The new International Department, which will later become the International Primary School, will teach in English as the first language and follow the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Program (PYP). The International Primary School will be run like a traditional Western school, and teachers will manage time in blocks, not definite 40-minute intervals, allowing them to be more flexible with learning timetables of the students.
The new founding director for the International Department is Michael Bowmer, who recently moved to Beijing from Tabubil, Papua New Guinea, where he was a principal at Tabubil International School. Bowmer obtained his Master’s degree in education at the University of South Australia and has 30 years of education experience, 18 of which he spent as a school principal. Bowmer is also trained and qualified in the PYP program that the new International Department is adopting.
The PYP is experience-based, so field trips and guest speakers will be regular parts of the International Department’s curriculum. According to Bowmer, “being able to use Huijia’s vast experience and expertise in education to combine the rich cultural heritage of China with the vibrant and creative Western philosophy of education will produce a unique educational experience.”
The school is currently accepting applications for pre-primary and Grade 1 students for the fall semester. Applicants to the pre-primary are required to be 5 years old by September 1, 2012, and Grade 1 students must be 6 years old by the same date. The admissions policy states that applicants should have a working knowledge of English, but language support in both English and Chinese will be provided to students who require it. All homeroom classes will have an English-speaking teacher and a Chinese-speaking teacher to help with language transitions. Huijia currently does not have the specific staff or support for students with learning and/or physical disabilities.
While Beijing Huijia (IB) Private school is an accredited IB World School, the International Department itself has not yet been officially accredited. However, Huijia is already accredited, as are Bowmer and two teachers.
Photo courtesy of Huijia