Last Tuesday, we attended the primary orientation for foundation year and Grade 1 at newly opened Keystone Academy. Once all the paper work is taken care of, new students take a seat with parents and grandparents before being given the full introduction to their brand new school.
Head of School, Malcolm McKenzie, begins his welcome speech by asking the young students to stand up, an acknowledgement as the school’s very first Grade 1 class. He begins with the more traditional request of asking the children to thank their parents for their education. He follows with a message for the students:
“I want this building, this school to be your second home. I want you to feel at home with teachers in your classroom. If you feel at home and relaxed, you’ll be able to enjoy learning. I want all the children to know where my office is and for you to come see me.”
Following McKenzie’s welcome speech, orientation attendees are treated to a “Meet Our Teachers” video, in which the school’s primary teachers are introduced. In the entertaining introduction, each teacher answers a few of questions about themselves ranging from if they prefer rice or noodles, what animal they would choose to be to what their favorite subject was in school was.
Head of Primary and Middle Schools, Mary Jew, and Assistant Head of Primary School and International Primary Curriculum (IPC) Coordinator, Gary Bradshaw, also welcome the students and families with brief speeches. McKenzie’s and Bradshaw’s speeches are translated to Chinese by McKenzie’s assistant. Afterwards, families and children are taken for the grand tour of their new campus and classrooms. The primary campus opens with 190 students and a total of 13 classes.
For those who aren’t familiar, Keystone Academy takes from the best aspects of prestigious boarding schools in the US combining them with international education principles, practices and traditions of Chinese history, culture, and education, to form a wholly new education model. The first day of primary school was Wednesday, September 3 while the middle school’s first day was Friday, September 5. The first round of boarders, about 40 students total, are set to move in mid month. In the primary years, Keystone will use the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), the IB Middle Years Program, and the IB Diploma Program in the final years of high school.
For more information about keystone academy, see contact info below.
Tel: 5825 6008
Photos: Courtesy of Keystone Academy