At Huili School Hangzhou, we aspire to create a caring, bilingual community that develops well-rounded individuals with solid values and the skills to thrive within an ever-changing global society. Community is at the centre of all we do at Huili. We continuously strive to work with our parents, staff and pupils to develop that strong sense of community that makes our school unique. In this series of ‘We Are Huili’ articles, we aim to tell our families’ stories and highlight their special contributions to our community.
For the first “We are Huili” this academic year, we interviewed Ms. Chang, John's mother. John joined Huili School Hangzhou in 2019 and is currently in Grade 10.
Please give us a brief introduction of the family and John.
John joined Huili in 2019 and has been a Huili pupil for three years. He has a wonderful personality and is a good athlete, listener and communicator. Having an engineer father and a mother who is a doctor, he has excellent logical thinking ability.
What was your first impression of Huili School Hangzhou? What attracts you to choose Huili for your child?
As parents, we want John to lead a happier and more meaningful life, which requires a strong cognitive ability. For me, good education must go beyond the accumulation of knowledge; it is also about how we acquire knowledge and how it is perceived from a broader viewpoint. This is what Huili values and aspires to achieve and why we chose Huili compared with its many counterparts.
What was the biggest challenge for John when he first joined Huili, and how did he overcome it?
I would say it was to learn English well. John completed his primary education at a traditional school, where he hadn’t had an ideal performance in English listening and reading. Hence, he struggled when he first transferred to Huili, as some lessons were taught in English. Nevertheless, he was able to talk to his expat teachers within less than a semester and kept up with all his lessons. John benefited enormously from Huili’s immersive English learning environment. With many English native speakers teaching at Huili, John has been given opportunities to communicate in English daily, where his linguistic ability naturally significantly improved. His English level is above average now, and he is even confident to sit the IGCSE English First Language examination in the future.
John has achieved an outstanding A*, the top grade, in his IGCSE maths examination. What do you think it is that contributes to his success?
I believe it is his interest and dedication. People say that interest is the best teacher. John loves maths, and he has established intact maths thinking. He also likes his maths teacher at Huili, Ms. Li, who excels at delivering differentiated teaching based on her pupils’ ability, interest, and performance. For children with outstanding subject performance like John with maths, teachers at Huili devise personalised learning plans to tap their potential further and encourage active and independent learning.
John won multiple awards during the last academic year. Could you please introduce them? How did you feel about these achievements and celebrate them at home?
John has won honours like Excellent Student in Xiaoshan District, Boarder of the Year, and Maths and Science Academic Attainments. We are delighted and proud of him. Thinking the best present from parents is to give their child an opportunity to see the world, we travel together to experience different cultures and enjoy quality family time for every holiday.
Ms. Perry presenting the Boarder of the Year Trophy to John
From a parent’s perspective, are there any positive changes, academically and personally, you have observed in John since he started boarding at Huili School Hangzhou?
Academically speaking, John’s English listening and writing have improved dramatically. His writing used to lack lexical and syntactical changes, but now there are rich expressions and complex sentence structures in his writing, making it hard for me to understand nowadays. The other most significant difference is how his independent thinking skills have grown. Instead of following others’ ideas, he can form his judgment and opinion, which I believe is of vital importance.
What expectations do you have for John at Huili and life beyond?
I expect John to keep strengthening his independent thinking, enjoy learning and grow at his own pace.