Daniel and Rebecca
Geography & Drama Teachers
What attracted you to Dulwich College International High School Suzhou? Do you expect to be here for a while? Are you interested in moving within the group to further your career?
We had spent seven years in Bermuda before moving to China and needed a change. Seven years is a long time on 21 square miles and we fancied something completely different! We knew very little about Suzhou but were well aware of the Dulwich name. We had both taught a handful of Chinese students in the past, and jumped at the opportunity to teach a British curriculum in a Chinese school.
We would love our daughter to be fluent in Chinese, so we plan on being in China for a few more years yet.
How do you find the atmosphere among the teachers in the school? How involved are you with colleagues in other DCI schools?
The teachers in our school are incredibly hard working and it was great to start together as a new team. We have all had the opportunity to help shape the school and there is definitely a strong community spirit and sense of ownership. There have been a number of collaborative days and events that a variety of departments have been involved with, and a few that have been held at our school.
How do you find student engagement in the school?
Rebecca - Honestly, the first few weeks were a little daunting as Drama was a new subject for some of these students. I have, however, been thrilled with how keen they are. This has really helped me to get them to step out of their comfort zones and become more engaged, confident and creative.
How much interaction do you have with parents?
Daniel – There is obviously a language barrier, but we manage with the help of translators. I have found the parents on the whole to be incredibly supportive of what we are working to achieve.
Do you think there is anything different about working for Dulwich compared to other schools you have worked in?
Rebecca - I had never worked for a school group before. Being part of this group and having a 'family' connection with other schools is definitely interesting!
How involved are you in extra-curricular activities? Which ones do you do?
Daniel - ECAs are important at our school. Chinese students and parents have embraced them and even formed their own. I run the International Award, which has attracted 350 students this year, 70 of whom are doing the gold level.
Rebecca - As a member of the Visual and Performing Arts Department in our school I am responsible for coordinating numerous extra-curricular activities and am the staff leader of the 'Glee' group. We organise a variety of events with our students to allow them opportunities to shine in the arts, such as talent shows, the Shakespeare Festival and the VPA Festival.
How do you find living in Suzhou?
We can't believe how lucky we are to have ended up in Suzhou where old and new China sit side-by-side. Everything you need is on the doorstep (Marks and Spencer's has just opened) and it is relatively clean and very safe. Suzhou is a great city for a family – there are massive pavements, it's easy to cycle around the city, and there’s a big lake to walk around. This has been a great location for us to travel and explore as a family. We have been to places that we would never have imagined visiting when we were in living back in Wales 10 years ago and we plan to do more!