Head of Junior School Johnnie Kittermaster
As I write this article, much of the road around campus is covered in rice drying in the sun which, once dry, will be safely stored.
In an English oral lesson, I asked students whether any of them had noticed what was on the road. The majority had not, and even those who had, were unsure what it actually was. Being early in the morning, with the sky overcast, I then asked what they thought the weather might be like today. Many students replied that they thought it might rain. However, I suggested that perhaps the sun would come out, which meant that the farmers knew exactly what they were doing and so, could indeed dry their rice, and we could discuss some maths problems, guess number of grains and etc.
This example encapsulates exactly what a Malvern education is all about. It encourages students to think as individuals, in pairs or as part of a group. Our pupils are not spoon-fed answers, instead our teachers act as facilitators encouraging them to think for themselves. We offer a broad education, not one based solely on the passing of exams.
Of course, academic achievement is at the heart of any good school, but here, we encourage our students to be observant, to question and to be aware of the wonders of the natural world around them. We wish for them to be respectful of the planet and, in this particular case, to have an understanding of the weather as well as to understand where our food comes from, and importantly to express their opinions in English.
We aim for our students to become critical thinkers and to work collaboratively with each other. We want them to be tolerant of others and to develop an international mind-set, whilst also having the solid base of a Chinese heritage and education.
We aim to ensure that a Malvernian is a well-rounded student who has an appreciation of music, drama, dance and art. We also wish to ensure that all our students have hard-wired habits of good manners, knowledge of healthy eating, an appreciation of the importance of regular exercise and, of course, a strong work ethic. We want them to understand the importance of teamwork through team competitions, not only to help develop their skills and tactical thinking but also, to ensure they gain respect for officials and learn to win and/or lose with good grace.
We will constantly ensure that the Malvern Qualities of; resilience, humility, self-awareness, open-mindedness, independence, ambition, risk-taking, integrity, curiosity, collaboration and kindness, as discussed in weekly assemblies and/or form-time, become an integral part of each pupil’s character.
Each student will be placed into a House; either Confucius and Bingxin from China or Sanger and Foster from the famous Old Malvernians of the UK. The house system will give every student a sense of identity and belonging. The system will also provide an excellent means of competition either academically, through sport or artistically. In addition, it will allow for leadership development through our House Captains or those who have a voice on the School Council, the Food Committee or our Eco Warriors.
I believe that every child deserves their moment in the spotlight. Our Extra-curricular programme offers a tremendous range of activities, be they cerebral, sporting, artistic/musical or Chinese activities. We firmly believe that every child excels at something and we strive to celebrate each pupil’s personal skill in school as we believe that it helps to build thier confidence.
We communicate with our parents, daily through homework diaries, weekly via emails, and additionally through our Form Representatives, our half-termly Grade cards, Parent meetings and, of course, written reports. In addition, a member of the Leadership team is on hand by the school gate every morning so that minor issues can be addressed immediately.
Our aim is to maximise the potential of all our students and to ensure that they have a global outlook with a Chinese heart.
I look forward to welcoming you to Malvern College Chengdu.