Sorry but this form will not work without cookies enabled. Please adjust your browser settings to enable cookies to continue. For more information on how to do this please see our.

EMERGENCY NOTICE
  • Outstanding Location

    Located directly on the shores of the scenic South Lake (Nan Hu), we offer your child a respite from busy city life each day.

    South Lake Campus

  • A World-Class Curriculum

    We are the only school in Guangzhou to offer your child premium access to the English National Curriculum.

    Global Choir

  • Activity & Responsibility

    Your child will be offered world-class opportunities designed to develop confidence, skill and responsibility.

    BSG Graduating Class of 2017

  • Highest Quality Staff

    Our teaching staff are the finest in Guangzhou. All are police verified and fully qualified with UK or international teaching experience.

    Hollie Slaughter

  • Welcome to Guangzhou

    You won't just receive an excellent education for your child, you'll also be joining our growing international community.

    Nursery class at BSG

  • New Opportunities

    From our choir to our sports teams, every day something wonderful happens at The British School of Guangzhou.

    Students playing basketball

  • Tell us about your child

    Your child is our focus. Tell us about them and we'll help you make the right choices.

    Nursery class at BSG

Danielle McKenna

6 questions with our Head of Early Years, Danielle McKenna

From an advisor at the Department of Education in Northern Ireland, to an academic leader in Beijing, Danielle's drive to create teaching strategies for every child's needs has taken her across the globe. Danielle joined us in August with her family after falling in love with BSG's green environment and warm, welcoming staff.

  • Danielle McKenna

Could you please introduce yourself and let us know what attracted you to Guangzhou?

Hi I am Danielle McKenna - wife and mummy to three primary aged children; Pearse Year 5, Broghan Year 4 and Claddagh Year 3. I have been a teacher for over fifteen years and three years ago we decided we wanted a change and China called!

I worked at the British School of Beijing, Sanlitun before coming to GZ and we loved every second of our time in the amazing, vibrant, cultural capital. We had not planned on leaving Beijing as it was home to us and my sister also worked at the school, however, when the opportunity to develop my career and become Head of EY, I was eager to visit Guangzhou to see how life would change for my family if we left Beijing.

Walking into the campus past the lake and past the playground, I was sold! I could visualise my children attending the Primary and after meeting Mr Thomas and the other staff I knew I would enjoy BSG & GZ as a place to live and to work.

What are your first impressions of the British School of Guangzhou?

Everyone knows each other at BSG, even though we have over 1400 students, everyone speaks to each other, even if just a quick hello. It is the friendly, family nature of BSG that makes it such a beautiful place to be. The teachers really care about the children and are interested in challenging and supporting them.

What is the most challenging thing about being the Head of Early Years of the largest international school in Guangzhou?

 My role is challenging but I enjoy every second of it, which cancels out the challenging part.  I am very lucky to have a highly committed staff who also love their job and it makes Lakefront a really positive, vibrant place to be.

There is never a dull day and there is always an activity scheduled to make sure the children are stimulated in their learning. As I walk around each morning, I am consistently seeing great activities taking place and I often think “Oh I must do that this weekend – I would love to do that with my own children”. We are very busy in Lakefront and always have a jam packed schedule but it is all fun and worthwhile and we can see the outcomes on the children’s faces at home time everyday – big smiles!

The hardest thing for me, is what most of us face working in an International School – being away from family back home. My sisters have both had their first babies and it’s difficult to Skype and see them growing up and not knowing their cousins. They do understand why we are away and when we show them photographs of our children in the pool in December after school in Nanhu they get very jealous and all is forgiven. I can see a few more of my family moving here in the future – it really is such a safe, sunny place to raise a family!

BSG in 3 words: Big, Family and Stunning – where would you go to get a view like Nanhu Lake after a day’s work? Danielle McKenna

How does our ‘be ambitious’ philosophy help our students and our staff?

We are part of an International network of schools, with children from all over the world. That is the first step in ‘being ambitious’;  stepping outside our comfort zone, exploring and seeing the world for all its beauty, different cultures and different experiences. It still amazes me when I talk to different parents and they tell me how far they have travelled, what they do and where their job takes them. When I speak to some of our students and hear that they are fluent in four or five languages at 8 years of age, I am in awe at what they have achieved and the dedication their parents put in to making them globally aware.

As a Head of Early Years, it is vital that our students are all confident global citizens prepared for the ever-changing learning environment. I am from a small county in Ireland and jobs are still very much vocational in nature and subjects can be limited. We have the world at our finger tips in China, with technology, language, culture and diversity. I think we are all ambitious in our outlook on life and what we want for our children and students. We realise how lucky we are to be here and we are happy. That is the definition of ‘ambitious’ to me.

What is the one lesson that you want your students to take away with them at the end of the academic year?

That one is easy – self motivation.

We teach the Core Values to our youngest learners; integrity, respect, commitment and responsibility. We share examples of when the children can show us these skills and we provide opportunities to ensure we know they can achieve them.

We encourage our students to be self-motivated and interested in learning and collaborating with others. We strive to influence, interest and create a love of learning through an exciting curriculum with wonderful topics that are interactive and multi-sensory.

These experiences need to be enjoyed and to become part of our children’s outlook for life – if they are self-motivated they will challenge themselves, be ambitious and also strive to be their best.

What do you do with your spare time in Guangzhou?

We have limited time at the weekends due to my children’s busy social life with activities and friend’s birthday parties – poor mum and dad have no time!  

We enjoy staycations and there are some beautiful hotels in GZ that we will  try during our time here. We recently visited Shenzhen and enjoyed walks along the promenade and of course the restaurants and book shops.

We try to do something new each weekend; visit the mountains, the temples, new streets and restaurants and of course squeeze in a tasty brunch somewhere or a good movie – I love the popcorn at IGC, a little too much though!

Danielle McKenna

Read Danielle's profile

See more