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NACIS Boarding: Our Executive Superintendent Shares His Boarding Life

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Our boarding facility can accommodate for over 450 students. At present, more than 100 students live in a specialized boarding building. Transferring from family life to boarding life, students find a second "home" at NACIS Shanghai. 

Boarding students have a structured schedule and adequate rest after class. The homely boarding facilities allow them to relax and they have access to mentors and staff to support them.

 

In the last one of the "NACIS" series, let us explore the boarding life at NACIS Shanghai.

 

“Time”

 

Boarding students start their day at 6:30 am. Our boarding coordinator and mentors lead students to the special dining area and enjoy the delicious Chinese and western breakfast.

After a full day at school, students return to the dining hall for dinner. The daily meals for boarders are carefully planned with reasonable combination of meat and vegetable by the Executive chef of our catering partners and are cooked by school chef with less oil and salt. In addition, we also provide snacks for boarders twice a day to ensure that each student can get suitable nutrition.

 

At 6:00 pm in the evening, students start their academic prep.

To ensure that students are able to focus on their study efficiently, mandatory academic prep will be a single two-hour session from 6:00-8:00. During this time, students are supported by boarding staff and subject teachers who offer individual and group guidance to students.

For IB and pre-IB students with more academic tasks, they have an extra hour to participate in sports training or complete their group project from 8:00-9:00. This is a privilege for our older, responsible students.

 

One of our boarders:

With more flexible time in the evening, I can finish my homework first, and then complete IB group homework with my classmates.

 

Jenny (Grade 10 boarder) ’s mom:

Jenny has more time and energy to develop her interests. During the four-year boarding life, she joined the swimming team and participated in swimming training at 6:30 a.m. four times a week for nearly two years. Avoiding the inconvenient traffic, she has enough time to attend the basketball and handball trainings and friendly matches, so as to improve her ability. Devoted to the basketball sports, she was awarded the 2019 best girl player in NAE inter-school basketball competition and the NACIS outstanding girl athlete. During the summer, Jenny signed up for basketball training and played in her own team. With more thoughts and feelings about sports, the emblem RAM she designed was chosen as the official mascot of NACIS. We believe that the boarding program helps develop the ability of time and energy management and plays a positive and effective role in Jenny's learning journey.

 

After completing learning tasks, students in each grade prepare for bedtime following the schedule, such as washing, packing the bag, tidying up the room and talking with parents. Starting from 9:30 pm., the lights will be turned off one by one.  Students are required to hand in their electronic devices again to guarantee over eight-hour quality sleep.

 

Time is a priceless and finite resource.

-Benjamin Fisk, Head of Boarding

 

For students, time is always the most valuable treasure. Boarders are able to avoid the traffic, make rational use of every minute, focus on learning with best state, and grow into self-disciplined "time managers".

 

"A Rehearsal "

Students who grow up in a safe and friendly school atmosphere can not only have rigorous and regular learning life, but also build up the power of self-reliance, self-discipline and self-management. Boarding at NACIS Shanghai is a rehearsal of studying abroad to ensure every NACIS student can make a smooth transition to overseas college life.

For this reason, we adopt the form and mode of overseas college life in boarding facilities and management.

 

We have a specialized boarding building with a hotel-like design. Compared with traditional dorms, the facilities we have at NACIS are exceptional, lovely 4 person rooms with en-suite toilet and shower. The communal spaces including TV area, computer area, reading area and recreational area are designed to allow students to relax and enrich their after-school life. To ensure the safety of every student, boarding mentors are on duty on each floor every day. With the requirements of the epidemic control, our boarding facilities are disinfected daily.

 

Living away from home is an important challenge that every child has to face. We require that our boarders learn to take good care of themselves and plan their own lives. NACIS boarding program is committed to helping students grow into self-reliant, self-disciplined and self-driven global citizens.

 

Students are encouraged to create and run their own boarding community clubs based on their passions and interests. Managing these clubs involves using important skills that will set them up for the future.

 - Benjamin Fisk, Head of Boarding

 

In order to encourage students to develop their hobbies and interests, our school facilities are open to our boarding students, such as the dance studios, music practice rooms, running track, school field and gymnasium. In the boarding building we have table tennis, board games, a reading and art room, and additional desktop computers for students to use for studying.

With the support of boarding facility, we currently have the Dance Club, Drama Appreciation and Dragon’s Roar Club. In the fantastic Halloween Party, students took part in cosplay and played “Make a Mummy”. Staff are working with a team of students to plan the next big boarding event, which will be themed around Winter and Charity.

 

Benjamin Fisk, Head of Boarding, said: “In the future, we want to offer more ECAs specifically for boarding. Whether these are in IELTS, maths, basketball drills or creative film making, we want students to have the best opportunities to develop their comprehensive abilities under the philosophy of Be Ambitious.”

 

Jenny (Grade 10 boarder) ’s mom:

After four-year boarding life, Jenny has greatly improved her comprehensive ability and become matured in academic or interpersonal communication, problem-solving, self-management and so on. We are very confident about her ability to study abroad and control future development direction independently, because independence and self-confidence are the basic guarantee for a good future life. What children learn is important, but the ability to face an uncertain future is more important to our parents.

 

“Accompany”

 

The boarding program relies on a support team with "various skills".

 

The day to day logistics of the boarding program are overseen by the Boarding Coordinator Joanne. Our four Dorm Mentors organize activities, host weekly meetings, liaise with parents, and check schoolwork in academic prep time. Our five Boarding Ayi are essential to ensuring our students live in a safe and happy environment. Our subject teachers provide after-school guidance for the boarding students in turn, while the psychology teachers provide the necessary counseling for the adolescent students. Our boarding staff take care of the students' life with careful supervision. Mr. Benjamin Fisk, Head of Boarding, will bring more positive changes to our boarding program with rich practical experience.

 

Mr. Benjamin Fisk graduated from the University of Hull with a BSc in Psychology with Philosophy and MA in Social Work. He has been registered to practice as a Social Worker in the UK and had vast knowledge and experience in community development and operation. Prior to NACIS, he worked in South Korea as the Deputy Manager of an international school boarding program and obtained a deep understanding of Asian culture. As a lifelong learner, he has just completed his studies for an MSc in Educational Leadership and Management from the University of Portsmouth.

 

It is better to teach a person to fish than to give him fish. To survive in the future world, we need to develop the ability of growing up independently. As a school, we should create a good environment for students so that they have more opportunities to develop their abilities and face a more challenging college life in the future.

 

Mr. Christopher Short is an alumni of a well-known boarding school in Scotland. He is deeply impressed by his 9 ½ years of boarding life. He believes that students who have been trained in boarding program will gain unforgettable memories for a lifetime, as they face more challenges independently.

 

Boarding for me really helped develop my independence, my self-reliance, my self-discipline and my motivation both academically and socially. The facilities were rather basic with large rooms to sleep in and 6 of us sharing a study room in a wooden building that was 40 years old (they are still there 30 years on!). We had flexibility to manage our time between working, activity and socialising. I very much enjoyed my 9 ½ years of boarding and have some lifelong friends I still communicate with most days – even though we are across 4 countries and 3 continents.

 

NACIS Shanghai has some wonderful facilities that boarders can use – one lovely feature is boarding students supporting our sports teams in their fixtures in the evening. The boarding team become an extended part of the family and there is a special bond between boarders that will no doubt endure (like friendships) for life.

 

Jenny (Grade 10 boarder) ’s mom:

The three girls who live with Jenny help and encourage each other. They have made great progress in the academic assessment of last semester and built up a deep friendship. These positive life experiences have a great impact on Jenny's learning journey. She is happy and full of spirits during the learning journey.

 

Words in the End

 

School life is perhaps the most enriching period in each of our lives, which contains a variety of colorful memories and experiences, such as a taste, a school uniform, or fun of living in the same room. We hope boarding at NACIS will also bring our students a warm and memorable time.