College principal Anthony Coles talks about student life in international schools – This is Beijing

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Full house is a regular series where we chat with a notable person from the education industry in China.

With school resuming next month for the fall, there is a lot of planning by faculty and staff to make this a successful semester. Considering the dynamic changes in education over the past year and a half, student life in international schools in China has also changed in some ways. We reached out to Anthony Coles, Principal of Dulwich College Beijing, to find out how his team is preparing for the fall semester, trends in the education sector and student life at international schools in China.

Anthony Coles, Principal of Dulwich College Beijing

What preparations do you need to make as a College Principal before the start of the fall semester at DCB?
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of anticipating and preparing for any eventuality.

We focused on our purpose (which we call our guiding statements: vision / mission / values) and direction and set our priorities for College 2021-2020 based on data collection and feedback. They will be clearly communicated to our old and new staff to align the entire College around these key points.

This will help establish clear and achievable college-wide expectations for all staff.

The integration of our new staff is, of course, a key priority, and they will be supported in their transition to Beijing and introduced to our school culture.

How has student life in an international school in China changed in recent years from your perspective?
We firmly believe in the integration of technological tools to improve student learning. The past few months have shown the value of staying connected from different geographic locations.

The introduction of powerful videoconferencing software will allow us to connect 10,000 students across Dulwich College’s international network and develop even more impactful collaborative projects.

AI will of course be a game-changer by personalizing student learning and tailoring content and feedback to each student.

Educating our students to become global citizens involves giving them more opportunities to be exposed and connected to the real world beyond the DCB bubble. We want them to develop the skills and confidence to face challenges, grow as researchers and problem solvers and develop life skills and values ​​such as open-mindedness, flexibility, collaboration.

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Graduation ceremony 2020

What trends in the online education industry are you most keen to see in the future?
“Students Come First” begins by placing the health and well-being of our students as our top priority. Their socio-emotional needs have been proactively monitored and supported over the past 18 months.

Our students thrive not only in their studies, but also in their extracurricular activities. The pandemic has slowed down the engagement of the local community, strongly impacting traditional regional and international travel such as residences, service trips and sports competitions.

However, this has resulted in a demand for high quality extracurricular activities to balance the strong academic program with more creative ways of showing commitment and service to the community.

How have you managed to have an impact on DCB since your arrival?
The challenges posed by the pandemic meant that my leadership team and I had to bring our community together through clear communication and efforts to support our students as well as our parents and staff.

We have spent the past 12 months reviewing all of our programs and operations in conjunction with a set of rigorous standards and practices as part of our Global Accreditation Process (CIS / WASC) which will be peer reviewed in November 2021.

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[Images provided by DCB]


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