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18 November 2013

It is not so long ago that schools had one main focus which was imparting knowledge. I am sure many parents will have experienced such a system in their school days. In today’s society however, schools have a duty to support the development of children in other ways which are equally important. Knowledge will only get young people so far, the development of character and social contribution is also essential. This is a core belief of everyone at the British International School Shanghai, Pudong.

Our school produces outstanding academic outcomes and we are also committed to a strong focus on developing those vital human attributes which we all wish to see as children grow up. For those who may not be aware, the core Values which we as a school work with the students to develop are to be:

  • Kind
  • Respectful
  • Honest
  • Trustworthy
  • Committed

Two weeks ago students from Year 6 to 12 went on Activity Week. This week they have been reflecting on their experiences, recording and sharing them in their classes. Activity Week traditionally provides an opportunity to take part in outdoor activities which may not be available in Shanghai. This year the aspect of Service has been added such that every student spent a large part of the week working to improve the communities which they visited. I know from many students that making a difference to others, often children in difficult circumstances, was the highlight of their week. Already our students are working on ideas that they can carry through the remainder of this year for when they can help those children again in the future.


Service is already a key part of our school and will continue to be so. All students from Infants upwards will have an opportunity to help others every term. This culture within our school will make a difference both to the world around us and, very significantly, to the students themselves as they grow into the individuals we wish them to be.

I will end by sharing with you a wonderful quote from one of the people who helped link us with the local school which our Year 11 students visited. In advance of the trip our students raised money and were able to purchase 33 winter clothes for 33 Tibetan children, 35 winter blankets and 6 heating machines for the Tibetan school.

“The Principal (also Tibetan) almost cried last night when he heard the British International School Shanghai not only is going to put the wooden floor for them but also provide so many things for the local kids to spend the winter.”

Patrick Horne