About the Host School
The school campus is located approximately 13 kilometers southeast of Yinzhou District. From an elevated position on campus, one can see Dongqian Lake. The campus is fully equipped with science labs, dining halls for teachers and students, sports facilities, multiple auditoriums, a geography garden and a library. Since it is a boarding school, there is also a small store and dining facilities. The school grounds are beautifully maintained and contain two ponds, gardens and a stream. The school has won numerous awards and has hosted many exchange visits with delegates from all over the world. The underlying sentiment that forms the basis of Ningbo Foreign Language School’s ethos is the desire to provide the best possible education for our students and offer students a diverse array of educational choice as well opportunities to explore and grow. This desire is highlighted by the investment in modern facilities, and the provision of a rigorous calendar of academic and extra-curricular opportunities for our students.
About the AP Centre
In 2011, the AP Center was opened with 83 students and a teaching staff comprised of 5 foreign teachers. This has increased to approximately 240 for the 2016-2017 school year, and a total of 14 expatriate teachers. The students in the Center are highly motivated.. This has led the Center to branch out and offer a broad range of academic courses. In addition to Advanced Placement (AP) or Pre-AP courses, students take Chinese courses each year in preparation for Zhejiang Provincial examinations.
The AP Center itself is equipped with numerous classrooms and offices. In addition, the school library is located in the same building as the AP Center. Most classrooms are equipped with a smart-board and internet. The Art Studio has received a significant upgrade and three new classrooms became are operational in 2015-2016.
Perhaps the biggest difference between positions at Ningbo FLS and teaching at an international school is the fact that this is a public school. In addition to teaching students, one has to frequently interact with Chinese counterparts who may teach students a similar subject in the Chinese curriculum. There are also extremely high expectations incumbent with a position at Ningbo Foreign Language School. Students have lofty goals and expect teachers to provide instruction that will help them achieve these goals.
The campus is lovely and the students are wonderful. Ningbo is an extremely livable city with a plethora of parks and a small but vibrant expat community. The location on Dongqian Lake is quite beautiful and most teachers live within the Wanda area of Yinzhou District
The lifestyle available to teachers in Ningbo offers great variety and there is a thriving social scene. While there is obviously not the Western expat community that exists in Shanghai or Beijing, Ningbo does have an active group of expats. We have teachers who have participated in local triathlons, marathons, bike races, swimming activities, attended guest lectures at the University of Nottingham-Ningbo, etc.
What Ningbo also has is public space! There are numerous parks that are not crowded and Dongqian Lake is very accessible. Aside from the wonderful setting and benefits of living in Ningbo, the best thing about the school is the wonderful opportunity the teachers have in working with such gifted and motivated students. In addition, the daily commute from the city to Dongqian Lake is a somewhat scenic commute through alternating urban, peri-urban, and agrarian land. Teachers have found it rather easy to assimilate into Ningbo. The public libraries are spotted throughout the city and are easy to use. Our teachers range from single to married with families and all have found Ningbo to be a delightful place to reside.
Teacher Case Study
My greatest joy as an educator is to see how different global educational practices come into play in shaping the world in terms of technology advancement and fusion of different cultures.
Before I joined NBFLS, I had been an educator for 13 years, having taught A levels and on an IB program and had also authored high school Chemistry and Physics textbooks. My teaching started way back after graduation, when I taught in both national and international schools in Nairobi, Kenya. I then moved to Streetsboro High school, USA, where I familiarized myself with the teaching of an American high school as part of an International Leadership in Education Program that I undertook at Kent State University before moving to RDFZ Xishan-Beijing as an AP Physics/Chemistry teacher.
NBFLS AP Center offers an educational service that follows Western pedagogy. Each teacher is focused on a student-centered, constructivist and humanistic approach to educating young Chinese talent. I am delighted to be part of a strong team where each teacher is a facilitator and promoter of learning. As an AP Physics/Chemistry teacher, I design, develop and deliver student-centered activities that allow learners to be in charge of their learning process as a way of nurturing their investigative skills.
By working in affiliation with one of the top public high schools in China, NBFLS ensures that students have all the support, expertise and direction they need for their current and future development. The students at NBFLS are exceptionally well behaved and very driven to excel in class, particularly in external exams. I am privileged to teach some of the smartest brains in the world, who secure admission to top-notch universities in the USA and UK. When I am not teaching, I am usually preparing my students for external competitions such as ASDAN and the University of Waterloo Chemistry 13 exam.
NBFLS AP Centre is surrounded on three sides by mountains and faces Dongqian Lake, the largest fresh water lake in Zhejiang Province. The campus contains 70,000 sq. meters of green space and 80,000 sq. meters of floor space. From the artistry of the bridges, the beauty of the geography garden, to the top notch athletic facilities, this is a fantastic campus.
I am very fortunate to work in Ninbgo, one of the top five favorite cities for expatriates in China, due to its beautiful scenery, less traffic jams and clean air. I live near Nottingham University of Ninbgo, a serene environment with a beautiful park, where I do my evening jogs. For shopping, there are plenty of shopping malls and international supermarkets such as Metro, Walmart and IKEA.
Student Case Study
Lillian Pengwen Chen
My school life is just like other students in our AP Center here at Ningbo Foreign Language School. However, I always want to excavate some intriguing ways of school life no matter whether studying or playing. Studying is tiring due to the whole-day classes and short breaks. Sometimes I have class at noon during a shortened lunch break or in the evening that last until 20:30. But after I became used to this kind of schedule, I find it quite fulfilling. Not only can I study the normal classes like AP Physics, AP Calculus, AP English Language and Composition, etc., but I can also learn many supplementary subjects like AP Economics, AP Human Geography, and even our second foreign language—three years of German culminating in AP German. Also, all of the students in the AP Center are required to take Chinese curriculum in order to have more open horizons. Students should speak English in the hallways or teachers will drop one participation point. This is all part of my daily life.
However, for extra-curricular activities, I have to mention the summer camp I attended last summer vacation. I went to South Africa for summer vacationand participated in the Global Scholars Program at African Leadership Academy. I previously had a lot of negative bias towards Africa, but after I attended this program by cooperating and making friends with people from all over the world, those biases gradually disappeared. We learned some African history and went to the hometown of Nelson Mandela, getting more information about the African liberation activities. Also, I realized more about what “culture” is by dealing with different people who are distinct from me. I also took my own Chinese culture into class, and my classmates would also be shocked by some things about China (they don’t believe Chinese people could usually not use Apps like Facebook).Then we did several experiments and little games to train our leadership skills. In general, that was a great activity!
Overall, being at Ningbo Foreign Language School AP Center has been a great experience and one that has given me lots of opportunities to grow and explore the world.