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 Hu. The campus is fully equipped with science and computer 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 opportunities to explore and grow. This desire is highlighted by the investment in modern facilities, continuous professional development provided for both Chinese and Western staff, 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 170 for the 2013-2014 school year, and a total of 11 expatriate teachers. The students in the Center are highly motivated and have a good background in English. 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.
In addition to academic strength, students at Ningbo Foreign Language School are encouraged to participate in sports and arts. We currently offer extracurricular activities that include: STEM, Advanced Microsoft Applications, MUN, Drama, Business, Toastmasters, Calculus for Statisticians, Art Critique, Music Appreciation.
The AP Center itself is equipped with computer labs, an auditorium, 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 are operational.
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. This occasionally includes passing a brace of ducks being herded down the road, which never ceases to amuse the staff.
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
Richard Wilkin, Centre Principal
For the previous three years prior to coming to China, Richard Wilkin worked in United Arab Emirates as a teacher trainer where he trained English teachers and helped these teachers improve their pedagogical skills through regular classroom observations, feedback, and coaching.
Previous to this experience, he spent 6 1/2 years in South Africa. For the first 27 months, he was an Education Resource Volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in a rural village in Limpopo Province. Following that, he taught for four years at an international school in Pretoria.
The role of the CP involves leading the teaching team, teaching classes, building relationships with the host school, seeking out opportunities for students, coaching, and mentoring students.
Perhaps one of the best things about this school is the location near Dongqian Lake. It is an amazingly beautiful and tranquil location. The campus is pristine with two ponds connected by a stream. (AP Center staff have an office overlooking one of the ponds.) From the artistry of the bridges, the beauty of the geography garden, to the top notch athletic facilities, this is a fantastic campus.
In addition, Ningbo is a great city in which to live. It is very livable for a family and Richard and his daughter Rorišang love the environment here. They enjoy the parks and the vibrant expat community. However, if one prefers more cultural immersion, it is possible to go for long periods of time without seeing many foreigners outside of work. Richard and Rorišang enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle and like to take advantage of the local library, where there is a play area and many programs are put on for infants and young children. He also loves taking Rorišang for morning jogs or bicycle rides through the parks found throughout the city.
Overall, Richard and Rorišang are very happy to be living in Ningbo and feel blessed by this opportunity.
Student Case Study
Hu Jiayu (Yuki)
I entered the AP center in my 10th grade. I am the first generation of students who will complete the full-three- years of AP education in our center. I consider my experience in the center as one of the most valuable journeys in my life.
After spending nearly three years in the AP Center, I am more convinced than ever by Nelson Mandela’s words, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." The education I received here changed my life trajectory and my mind.
I have gained confidence after presenting lots of speeches. I understand how to take initiative and own my own determined dreams. I have learned how to seize the moment and take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. I have matured and am more self-possessed after adventuring for two summers in the USA by myself.
The language definitely was a challenge when I got into the English-speaking center at the beginning. However, bravely speaking out and daring to make mistakes are the best ways to overcome this challenge. Our program requires us to take a double-course which means the combination of eleven Chinese lessons and at least seven AP courses in our senior high school. The limited time and intensive courses keep the students busy all the time.
I am planning to apply to some liberal arts colleges. I will also apply to a few larger universities and to several art schools. Each type of school could offer me a different type of education and opportunity. I want to see what offers I receive but I really want to go to a liberal arts school.