07 Feb, 2023
10 : 46
Staged on the 90th anniversary of the founding of the first Yew Chung School, the musical ‘Mother’s Legacy’ recounted the story of the two education pioneers, Madam Tsang Chor-hang and her daughter, Dr Betty Chan Po-king.
"At the end of the play, Dr Chan walked onto the stage. I wasn’t paying much attention to what she said, but I could feel that overflowing love which surrounded her, her love for her students, love for knowledge, and love for the cause of education. This dedicated educator, adept at teaching and raising the young generations, is doubtlessly the engineer of human souls."
These were the few paragraphs written by Hong Kong writer Xiao Bing after the premiere of this original musical last December.
Five years in this making, the two performances by YCIS Hong Kong students finally took to the stage. As the curtain lifted, Dr Betty Chan, CEO & School Supervisor of Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network (YCYW), excitedly walked onto the stage, hugged the children and congratulated them on their amazing performances.
It was that heart-warming moment that moved the audience, one that exemplified the YCYW legacy and led us to the extraordinary milestones in celebration of the network’s 90th anniversary in 2022.
Aside from the musical that was staged in Hong Kong, the list of celebratory events extended from North to South throughout 2022 amid the challenges put forth by the pandemic.
On 10 May, YCYW Planet Leader Series returned to YCIS HK by popular demand. Mr Vic Lee, co-founder of Tencent and founder of Catalyst Education Lab Foundation, shared his insights on the future of technology titled, 'The Future is at your doorstep: Humans vs Technology.'
On 30 September, the YCYW 90th Anniversary Art Exhibition was held at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, showcasing over 400 pieces of artworks from YCYW students and artists, who expressed their thoughts and reflections on Chinese culture, characteristic features of Hong Kong, as well as global issues.
On 14 October, YCYW schools from around the world joined hands to celebrate the 90th anniversary Founder's Day with the acknowledgement of nine distinguished alumni at the Alumni Hall of Fame. The day saw the unveiling of Yew Yew, the YCYW mascot, as well as a collaboration with sports fitness app KEEP in a fitness campaign themed "Train. Shine. Achieve", where participants were rewarded with great prizes for achieving a total of 30-kilometre run.
On 3 December, the YCYW TEDx event was held in Shanghai with nine campuses joining forces to create the largest TEDx in YCYW history. People of different ages gathered at Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai to share ideas and showcase achievements. The one-day event hosted lectures, concerts, science and technology exhibitions, art exhibitions, and workshops. The event was the talk of town.
On 10 December, seven YCYW Schools in Northern China worked together on the Online Art Day for the first time. Over 20,000 visitors participated virtually for an array of activities including art exhibitions, music performances, art workshops, and calligraphy appreciation in this two-hour event.
In addition, we have created a series of 90th anniversary commemorative souvenirs that are available for purchase from the YCYW website. Each item serves as a unique memento of the YCYW legacy.
The secret to YCYW's steady development over the last 90 years lies in its exceptional learning and teaching program. It rides on a curriculum framework based on a core mission that guides the academic team with direction and focus.
"Learning Community" is the core concept and methodology that YCYW has focused on in recent years, as it is seen to best enable teachers and students to explore different areas of knowledge in a creative and comprehensive way. Last year, the YCYW Curriculum Department developed a bilingual education framework, which aims to promote self-learning without any subject boundaries, promoting collaborative teaching and learning among students.
The biggest challenge of the "Bilingual Learning Community" is that the academic team consists of both Chinese and international teachers. They carry out genuine in-depth collaborations based on an understanding of their respective curriculum, which is doubtlessly a higher level of requirement compared to a teacher doing the same in a single language.
To overcome this challenge, a curriculum map was created to illustrate the connections among disciplines. On the micro level, we require a lively and engaging platform to present different opportunities for evaluating the quality of students' learning in addition to highlighting their achievements.
As such, there will be a cross-campus YCYW Bilingual Film Festival, which will encourage students to select a book from the school's recommended reading list to use as inspiration for their film creation. Ahead of the official launch of the festival in the upcoming semester, the organising committee has invited Chinese and international film and video professionals to conduct workshops and to provide guidance for the students.
In a bilingual education framework, Chinese language has always been the focus, not only as an independent subject but also key to promoting the effective learning of other subjects and activities. This year, our curriculum experts have further strengthened the foundation of Chinese language learning.
After an in-depth study of the Chinese National Curriculum (CNC) Standards, Yew Chung Curriculum Standards, curriculum documents, and academic literature issued by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), the YCYW Chinese Language Curriculum Guide has been carefully revised to improve the YCYW Integrated Language Competence Indicators and Chinese Proficiency Progression of the Chinese Language Curriculum. The amendment provides a clearer and more detailed guide for primary and secondary teaching related to the Chinese language on every campus.
To promote Chinese language learning, the CPT (Chinese Proficiency Test), our in-house assessment tool, will be upgraded this year. This system will evaluate learners' Chinese proficiency in a more intelligent and efficient way and provide students with better learning support. The system has now entered the patent application stage.
'Breaking the Academic Boundaries' has always been a core value of the YCYW curriculum, and this year, the 'cross-campus' feature of the curriculum has been particularly prominent. The Reading Project, Super Curricular Activities, YCYW Online Courses, YCYW Bilingual Film Festival, and Parent Webinar Series are just some of the examples of how we leveraged on our shared resources, inspiration, and creativity between different campuses, showcasing the irrefutable advantages of YCYW Education Network.
Furthermore, the release of Global Curriculum Design this year highly reflects the first-rate design of the YCYW curriculum, highlighting the internal relationship between curriculum and educational concepts, values, and educational objectives.
The experts from the Curriculum Department have spent months working through the Subject Curriculum Guide and Resources, YCYW Learner Portrait Character Rubric, YCYW Learner Portrait Competency Rubric, and a new framework for YCYW Bilingual Education Success Criteria, laying a solid foundation for an effective implementation of the curriculum.
With the world still under the doldrums of the pandemic, some of our schools have experienced static management over different periods of time. YCYW has always considered its staff as its most important assets and have shown their care by arranging deliveries of supplies, compiling practical anti-pandemic guidelines, and arranging a hotline for psychological counselling during those critical moments.
The efficacy of daily operations has been enhanced by optimising the recruitment process of expatriate teachers, improving the staff feedback channel, and creating a staff self-service platform.
YCYW has always been keen on providing continuous learning opportunities for staff, and PD Mondays are run throughout the school year. The YCYW Leadership Development Programme, Aspiring Senior Leader Mentoring Programme, and child protection training and seminars have been held continuously during PD Mondays.
In February, over 1,400 teaching and non-teaching colleagues from more than 20 campuses joined a two-day Professional Development Day event, exchanging experiences and knowledge through webinars.
In 2022, we launched the first Teacher Trainee Programme to attract talents from different fields and industries to join the teaching team. A total of 43 applications were received and six candidates were selected to undertake a year-long training journey.
YCYW was honoured to be one of the three finalists of China Schools Awards by British Chamber of Commerce in China —Staff Development and Wellbeing Awards in 2022, out of over 100 schools for the outstanding contributions to the professional and personal development of its staff.
YCYW has been progressing and forging ahead with determination for 90 years. We are committed to continuously improving the quality of education and to create an educational environment that is most conducive to the growth and development of our students. In addition, we work to expand our educational footprint so more students can enjoy YCYW’s quality education.
In 2022, YCIS HK ECE K29 Campus had a facelift. New school buildings of YWIEK Chongqing Fudi and YWITDC Chongqing commenced operation. Proposal for the Phase II Construction Project of YWIES Guangzhou has been completed, and new campuses in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai are also well underway.
We are making exciting progress across all regions!
As we bid farewell to 2022 we would like to thank every colleague student, parent, alumni and our community who were on same journey with us. Despite the challenges over the past 365 days we will continue to move forward for a better tomorrow.