The city of Hangzhou was a major consideration in the location of the Hangzhou CIS programme. It is a cultural classroom unto itself as both one of China’s oldest cultural hubs, with myriad historic and literary sites, and also one of China's most progressive metropolises, with up-to-date amenities and a booming technology sector.
Students have many opportunities to go out into the city, with appropriate supervision, community service, and for leisure activities.
For the service learning component of our curriculum, students explore their rights and responsibilities to implement service as action in the community. Building on their interests, students partner with an organisation in the community and design a solution to address particular needs. After learning relevant knowledge and skills, students will go in small groups to visit their organisation regularly throughout the year to implement their plan.
Hangzhou local community partners include:
- Qimingxing Educational Centre for autistic children
- Huiling Work Therapy Station for mentally disadvantaged people
- Greentown Yuhua School community
- WABC: NGO that promotes art therapy for adults with special needs
- Children's Hospital in Hangzhou
- China Grassroots Football, NGO promoting football education for underprivileged youth
- Hangzhou Social Welfare Centre
- Jinlin Reading Centre, for children of migrant workers
- The Nature Conservancy, NGO promoting clean water and sustainable development
"Connections" is a core part of our Hangzhou CIS programme, aimed at helping our students connecting authentically with the world around them.
Our key goal is to create an experiential learning environment for our students to become more intellectually curious, compassionate, ethical and responsible citizens members of our local and global community. The growth of the whole person is at its heart.
Our Connections programme achieves this aim in the following ways. Students are provided with the opportunities to:
- Create authentic connections to explore Chinese culture and language more deeply;
- Connect their classroom learning in an experiential setting to Hangzhou and other parts of China;
- Take ownership as students to build their own experiential learning experiences in China;
- Apply skillsets acquired in the classroom and which they are still developing in all experiential setting.
- Continue to create connections between classroom learning and the real world;
- Continue to build their 21st century skillset for further learning.
"Beyond" is a two-and-a-half week period of concentrated endeavour, in which we create the conditions learners to reach elevated levels of achievement and engagement. Students complete Beyond projects that match their own interests and learning styles. "Beyond" sees students use China as their classrooms as they learn experientially.
We aim to create conditions for our community to:
- Create personalised approaches to learning and discovery by tailoring learning journeys together;
- Connect, pursue and be driven by personal interests;
- Experience heightened engagement and fulfilment through purposeful and meaningful learning;
- Continue to develop an understanding of "self";
- Experience the phases of sensing, crafting, experiencing and savouring as part of a journey to fulfil personalised objectives.
"Beyond"’s motto is…learning can happen everywhere and anywhere...always!
"Beyond" draws upon all aspects of our Hangzhou CIS living and learning visualisation.
The 4 pillars (China, Community, Challenge and Character) and the 4 pathways to learning (Experiential, Personalised learning, Interdisciplinary learning and Learning in depth) are all integral components to the success of the programme. The "Beyond" design creates conditions for our learners to flourish beyond what they thought was ever possible.