I am delighted to welcome you to our website. I am sure it will provide you with a flavor of what makes our campus so special, but you will only appreciate that flavor fully by visiting us in person.
Whittle School & Studios is a new and very special type of school. It benefits from many assets: the quality and experience of its leadership, people drawn from some of the best schools in the countries from which they come; from the ability, idealism and commitment of its faculty and its support staff; from the brilliant design of its buildings; from the technology and resources available to it.
Most schools will say these sorts of things about themselves and claim that they make them distinctive. Whittle School & Studios in Shenzhen recognizes that a great school must be more than the sum of its parts. What is it that makes us so distinctive?
Our distinctiveness can be summarized in one word, our culture. Cultures are difficult to define, but we have a straightforward understanding of what the word means for us. It is, simply, the ways in which we do things here. Our website explains all that, but there are three overriding cultural characteristics I will mention here.
First and foremost, we put our students at the centre of our community. Everything we do is focused on their best interests. Academic work is obviously of vital importance, but the vast majority of us achieve most when we feel that we are known properly, supported strongly, and guided appropriately. Thus, at the center of our ethos is our emphasis on pastoral care, effected by our advisory system.
Secondly, we aim to prepare our students for the world of the future in which they will live and work. Of course, no-one can know what that will be like. However, we can say with confidence that it will be fast-changing, prone to disruption, and highly competitive. To succeed in such a world, it is essential that people develop the personal qualities that make them self-aware, flexible, adaptable, resilient, strong communicators, and, not least, capable of leading and collaborating as part of a team. They will need to be creative, a capacity which is based on knowledge and a consequent desire to explore, to think critically, and try things out Our fundamental belief is that they should also be good people. Our whole program is aimed at developing these qualities.
Finally, school should be happy places. We all have to learn throughout our lives. We’ll do that much more effectively if we enjoy learning as well as everything else that school life has to offer.
Great schools “feel” right. You can only experience a feeling, so come and visit us and see, and feel, for yourself. You will be most welcome.
Rhiannon Wilkinson MA (Oxon), MEd (Manchester)