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[Parent Sharing] How Making Small Changes Can Help Children to Grow

The impact of parents on children is far-reaching and crucial. Learning how to educate children is compulsory for every parent. This time we have the honour to invite the mother of Flora W. to share her experience with us, Flora is the new Head Girl of Dulwich International High School Suzhou.

01 Change

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Flora is a very assertive child. She chose international high school during her second year of middle school. She wanted to cultivate stronger subjective initiative and more diversified self-development and improvement. After learning about Flora’s thoughts, Flora's parents respected her choice and decided to let Flora follow her heart. But respect does not mean blind obedience. Flora's mother comprehensively and objectively analysed her child's unique personality and learning habits before she confirmed that Flora could benefit from the international high school system.

Flora said that Dulwich has given her a lot! From working in small groups every day, to the wide variety of events and competitions, you can benefit from it as long as you grasp every opportunity. Group assignments isn't common as homework for public school students. This seemingly trivial thing can actually develop your child's teamwork and assignment skills, as well as develop responsibility, leadership, and interpersonal skills. In Dulwich, students’ daily performance, presentation and homework performance have an important impact on the final grades of the students. This requires students to take each task seriously.

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In addition to the group work, Dulwich International High School Suzhou also provides students with a variety of Co-curricular activities as well as sports activities. The Co-Curricular Activity programme this year has over 80 teacher-led CCAs. Flora participated in many of these activities and developed herself through Dulwich:

  • As soon as Flora entered Dulwich in the first year, she participated in The International Award Trip (For details, please click: 爱丁堡公爵奖见证学生的汗水与毅力 | The International Award Trip), challenging outdoor cycling and climbing activities exercised Flora’s body and mind!
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  • Flora also founded Dulwich’s Taekwondo Club, recruiting members and conducting activities. In the process, Flora has developed her leadership and organizational skills, process management skills and teamwork spirit.
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  • Flora is an all-around sporty child: She has participated in the school basketball team, volleyball team, and also played in various sports competitions.
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  • Flora also used her spare time to organize donations for children suffering from leukaemia. She even went to Xuzhou to learn about the children's hometown with her team to raise funds.
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Flora's mother thinks that the biggest change since Flora entered Dulwich is that she is becoming more confident. Unlike public high schools, which place emphasis on purely academic achievements, Dulwich attaches great importance to the performance of students outside the classroom. Flora has gained recognition from teachers and classmates by participating and organizing various internal and external activities, and is, therefore, more confident. In addition, Flora is clearer about her own planning. Through her study and daily life in Dulwich, Flora has a clearer understanding of herself and is, therefore, clearer about her goals. Flora is very interested in biology and computer science because these two directions represent a future trend. Students who combine these two will have great scope for development in the future. Of course, the setting of this goal takes a long time, Flora has been hesitant as she didn't know what to choose. In this process, Flora's mother was just a bystander, while Flora explored the path that was right for her, step by step towards her goals.

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Flora was selected as the Head Girl of Dulwich International High School Suzhou. The school leader said: Flora is the girl who will speak out in an ambitious manner in front of the principal. She is very managerial and demonstrates great leadership skills. She has served as a charity leader before. 

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On 17 January this year, the new student council presidents participated in the Student Leadership Conferences with all eleven Dulwich schools in Shanghai. This conference allowed them to learn a lot and communicate with native speakers from other schools. They felt the gap between their English language ability and that of native speakers. So they realized that it is very important to improve their English ability. When they communicated with student heads from other Dulwich schools, they learned some ice-breaking skills, which they will apply in the student council activities in the future. They received the guidance of professional public speaking teachers and amongst other techniques, learned how to improve their public speaking skills through body language. 

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The four student heads have held student leadership positions in junior high school, laying the foundation for their role as a student head in Dulwich. Flora and three other presidents have officially taken office on April 19th Founder’s Day, they often meet together to discuss student work and are very confident that they can make a difference in the school

02 Suggestion

Flora's mother thinks that every child is unique and needs to be taught in accordance with their aptitude. However, from personal experience, the following three suggestions are worthy of reference.

  • First, we must cultivate the independence of children. Flora's mother believes that the child is responsible for making decisions and is responsible for the decisions they make. Parents only play a role in advice and guidance at critical times so that the child can be independent. "Allow failure" is her consistent attitude towards her child. At this age, children must experience ups and downs, so that they know how to face and overcome difficulties, which is the real growth.
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  • Secondly, information is very important. This is an information age where information can broaden horizons and allow students to make the most accurate decisions. For freshmen, Flora's mother's advice is to communicate with the seniors and communicate actively, so that they can learn about school and life in the shortest possible time. Every newcomer will be assigned to different houses after coming to Dulwich. The house system is a good platform for socialising with senior students. There, Flora made a lot of friends and learned a lot. "In Dulwich, no one tells you exactly what to do, everything is up to you and you decide whether to do it or not," Flora’s mom said. By grasping every opportunity and actively communicating, we can obtain information and make correct decisions.
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  • Third, learning isn't the only thing. In this highly competitive and stressful educational environment, Flora’s mom didn't send Flora to a variety of training centres like most parents. Instead, she took Flora out to see the world during the holidays and experience the beauty of nature. "Children have been working very hard at school. Taking her out to play is to give her time to ‘charge’. Only when she has enough energy, can she study more effectively."

Thanks to Flora's mother for taking the time to share valuable feedback and suggestions with us. We also hope that Flora can seize every opportunity in Dulwich and make great progress and move towards her goal!