Prep School

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis

Head of Prep School
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Andrew Willis

Andrew was educated at the Universities of Sussex and Liverpool. In 1991, he began his teaching career in Kirkby on Merseyside before moving to the Channel Island of Jersey in 1995 and was appointed to his first headship in 2006. In 2012, he transferred to Samarès School with a mission to raise aspiration and standards of achievement in addition to building a strong community that gave effective support to families. As a result of this work, he was recognised with the 2016 Inspirational Leader of the Year Award.

Andrew is married to Janet, who teaches in year 2 at Wellington. They have two daughters, Lucy in year 12 and Rosie in year 9. Both girls were born in Jiangxi Province and were adopted at the age of 1. The family returned for one year to China to teach at an international school in Suzhou in 2009. They travelled extensively throughout this incredible nation, from Xinjiang and Tibet to Fujian and Yunnan. Shanghai was always a favourite destination and so they are delighted to be living in this amazing city.

Away from work, Andrew often enjoys nothing more than being talked to by his daughters. When he does have a break, he pursues his lifetime goal of sporting mediocrity and can be found in football C teams and slow-running clubs. He is well-known on the golf courses of Jersey for getting value for money by playing as much golf as possible per round.

Fiona James

Fiona James

Deputy Head of Prep School
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Fiona James

Fiona has joined Wellington College International Shanghai from Stowe School, an independent school in the UK. Fiona was a housemistress of a girls boarding house, looking after year 9-13 pupils. Fiona also taught mathematics across all age groups. She was widely involved in the extracurricular coaching of many of the school hockey teams. Prior to Stowe, Fiona taught mathematics at Wellington College UK as well as being an assistant housemistress, sports coach and becoming involved in the CCF program.

Before teaching, Fiona worked as an engineering consultant in the oil and gas industry working closely with many of the major operating companies. Before working as a consultant, Fiona served in the British Army as an engineering officer for a number of years, deploying all over the world.

Fiona was educated at Eastbourne College and the University of Nottingham where she read mechanical engineering. She completed her PCGE at Buckingham University.

Fiona is an active person who enjoys spending her time outdoors, playing sport and travelling. Along with her husband and twin boys, they are excited about the opportunities to travel and explore China.

Emma Hambling

Emma Hambling

Head of Upper Prep
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Emma Hambling

Emma was one of the founding teachers at Wellington College International Tianjin. She has also taught at schools in Spain, Qatar and, of course, the UK.

Emma has a BA in business and Hispanic studies from the University of Birmingham. After living in Spain for several years, she returned to the UK to complete her PGCE at Newman College.

Emma enjoys spending time with her family, travelling and attempting to find time to train for a half marathon.

Lucy Palmer

Lucy Palmer

Head of Lower Prep
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Lucy Palmer

Lucy graduated with a Bachelor of science degree in psychology. After working with asylum-seeker children in a school for several years, she had a change of heart and decided to gain a career in teaching. Lucy followed this path and achieved a PGCE. She has taught in England and Dubai and has been teaching for a total of fifteen years.

Lucy decided to move to Shanghai with her husband Carlton Palmer, director of academies at Wellington College, Shanghai. They are both in their third year living in Shanghai. Lucy believes that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. It is her desire as an educator to help children meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing a secure and happy environment in which they can thrive through Wellington’s core values.

She says: “I am extremely enthusiastic and motivated to be part of this exciting journey at Wellington College International Shanghai. When I first visited Wellington, it was a building site, a mere hole in the ground; it was hard to imagine the outstanding structure it is today. I am truly privileged to be part of the whole encounter.”

Robert Hicks

Robert Hicks

Assistant Head Academic, Prep School
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Robert Hicks

Robert began teaching English in 1995 in China, and worked in the country for over four years before moving back to the UK with his family to pursue a career as a mathematics teacher. He has subsequently devoted the last twelve years to his role as a mathematics and ICT teacher at Severn Vale School in Gloucester, one of the county’s leading and most innovative academies. Robert moved to Shanghai with his wife, Helena, Wellington’s director of Chinese studies, and their niece, Suzi.

Robert believes that mathematics is a universal language and an elegant tool for problem-solving, and is at its most exciting when presented in the context of its real applications. As such, he seeks every opportunity to link mathematics to science, computing, finance and day-to-day life. He also shares his sense of wonder at its intricate forms and patterns, particularly those found in nature, with his pupils. Few things delight him more than the solving of a particularly challenging problem, and even more so the pride of a pupil who achieves a solution of their own with independence. Being part of the mathematics department of Wellington College Shanghai is a thrilling opportunity, and he feels privileged to be part of an institution that delivers such innovative and first-class education.

Victoria Doamekpor

Victoria Doamekpor

Stanley Housemaster (Prep School) / Head of Prep ICT
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Victoria Doamekpor

Victoria (Vicki) Doamekpor gained her Bsc (Hons) in computer science, mathematics and management at Lancaster University. Then Vicki went onto Manchester Metropolitan University where she obtained her PGCE in secondary ICT and business. Vicki has previously taught in the UK and the Netherlands at primary schools.

Vicki hopes as a teacher to instil a love of learning in all her pupils by sharing her own passion with them. As a caring, compassionate, dedicated teacher, she challenges every one of them and provides experiences that stimulate curiosity, providing opportunities to ask questions, problem-solve and reach a higher level of knowledge. She provides pupils with opportunities to become confident, creative technological learners, equipped with an essential skill set that they can use to enrich and extend their learning.

Having worked in international education for the past eight years, Vicki now feels very privileged to be joining Wellington College in Shanghai. Vicki is proud to be working at a school with such a wonderful ethos and history. She is looking forward to getting to know Shanghai and also intends to travel around as much of South East Asia as possible.

Kelly Edwards

Kelly Edwards

Lynedoch Housemaster (Prep School) / Art Teacher
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Kelly Edwards

Kelly attended Thomas Telford School in Shropshire until 2003, where she completed her GCSEs and A-levels. Following sixth form, she was accepted on to a foundation degree at Bournville School of Art. She then moved onto a BA Fine Art degree at Margaret Street, Birmingham, where she specialised in 2D media, particularly painting and drawing.

After university, Kelly was accepted on to a Graduate Teacher Programme run through the West Midlands consortium, achieving QTS, graded Outstanding, in 2010. From here, she was appointed as an Art teacher at her training school of Madeley Academy and spent four more years there, holding a variety of responsibilities in the department. Her second teaching appointment was at Al Sahwa Schools, Muscat, Oman where she worked for two years and helped to establish a dynamic and successful department.

Kelly enjoys being active and has always participated in a number of sports. She enjoys developing her artistic practice in her spare time and developing her knowledge through art galleries and workshops.

Shane Hambling

Shane Hambling

Combermere Housemaster (Prep School) / Swimming Coach
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Shane Hambling

Having previously taught at Wellington Tianjin, when Shane Hambling heard the news that he secured a position at Wellington Shanghai, his first comment was: “I am coming home, home to Wellington and to China.” His previous experience working and living in China, a fascinating, fast-paced and exciting country, left him wanting more. He believes that to have the opportunity to live and work in what is arguably one of the greatest city in the world is a rare privilege and one that offers unique challenges and adventures.

Shane is a qualified STA swim teacher and his previous international postings beside Tianjin, China included also Doha, Qatar. The Wellington swim department aims to develop techniques, fitness and passion not just for competitive swimming but also for a lifelong passion for all things aquatics for younger pupils, from those who are just learning to swim, all the way through to the elite swim squad members.

Chloe DEVA

Chloe DEVA

Hopetoun Housemaster (Prep School) / Drama Teacher
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Chloe DEVA

Chloe Spencer has come from Oakham School, a British independent boarding school, where she taught in both the Prep and the Senior School. She is a firm believer in the holistic education that independent boarding schools bring. She expanded her horizons by running a volunteering trip for the 6th form to Uganda and directing a performance for a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This is Chloe’s first experience in an international school but has previously lived in Mexico and the United States of America.

Chloe gained her BA (Hons) from Queen Mary’s University of London and her Post Graduate Certificate in Education through Lancaster University. She has been an NQT mentor and has a passion for the development of teaching styles.

Chloe’s interests include going to the theatre, learning how to cook and watching her local English football team. She is extremely excited to begin her new adventure here at Wellington College International Shanghai.

Craig Northedge

Craig Northedge

Wellesley Housemaster (Prep School)/ PE Teacher
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Craig Northedge

Craig studied a four-year BA (Hons) Degree in Physical Education with Qualified Teacher Status at the University of Brighton. He taught in the UK for 10 years before deciding to teach abroad and has now been working in Shanghai for the last six years. During Craig’s 16 years of teaching, he has taken on roles such as Head of Boys PE, Deputy Head of Middle School, Head of Year, Head of House and now as Housemaster for Wellesley.

Football, Rugby, Cricket and Judo, were all sports that Craig played during his younger years both in school and at representative level for Jersey – competing in national and international tournaments and competitions. Football was Craig ‘s ultimate passion and as he grew older, it became necessary to focus his dedication to this sport – playing at university and semi-professional level. Fitness and sport will always play a huge part in Craig ‘s life and indeed. Over the last six years in Shanghai Craig has turned his hand to Boxing – regularly training and coaching the sport in this amazing city.

Man-Yee Coleman

Man-Yee Coleman

Head of Prep Science
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Man-Yee Coleman

Man-Yee Coleman spent one year in Kazakhstan as a teaching consultant. Prior to this, she spent ten years as the head of science at Prior Park College. She has experience of teaching 10-18-year-olds in both the state and the private sector. Man-Yee moved into education later in life, having worked as a senior buyer in the finance sector, among other roles.

Man-Yee has a BSc (Hons) in neuro psychology and an MSc in science understanding and research in education.

Her interests include a love of music, theatre, dancing. An ideal night out would be listening to a live band or seeing a show. An ideal night in would be reading while enjoying a glass of wine.

Mark Polatajko

Mark Polatajko

Head of Year 3
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Mark Polatajko

Mark Polatajko began his career in the British Diplomatic Service and has worked in a number of different roles in countries across the globe. After over twenty years working with people from many diverse backgrounds and cultures, Mark changed his career to share his experiences and energy for life within the classroom.

Mark worked at Dulwich College Shanghai for two years before joining Wellington College International Shanghai. Mark believes that the energy put into building a rapport in the classroom, sharing personal experiences, and ensuring cooperative working, encourages children to learn. He believes that this approach builds the perfect foundation for learning. Mark is married with two children, aged 16 and 13 and so has experience of the importance of developing a child holistically.

Mark has a BSc (Hons) degree from the Open University and a PGCE from Sunderland University. Mark says that learning never stops, and is therefore studying a Master’s in international education. Mark has lived in China for seven years and has travelled extensively across the country. He is a keen adventurer, and has visited both the western and eastern parts of the Great Wall. Mark is excited to continue his adventures in Shanghai and China, and to sharing these with his class.

James Exall

James Exall

Year 3 Class Teacher
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James Exall

James was a secondary school student at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys in Kent, UK before studying a degree in business management at the University of Surrey, UK. At University, his group won the 3I Prize for Entrepreneurship after creating a business plan for a new restaurant. In 2014, he completed a PGCE in primary education at the University Of Brighton,UK.

For the past three years, James has taught at a primary school in West Sussex, UK. He was also PE coordinator and actively involved in organising sporting events and raising awareness of sport and fitness for young people in the local area.

Outside of school, James has a passion for attending sporting events. He also enjoys keeping fit and playing a variety of sports, particularly football and golf. He is a keen Southampton FC fan and has travelled across UK watching them compete. He is a self-confessed ‘movie geek’ and likes to unwind by going to the cinema with friends and catching the latest movie releases.

James is very excited to be joining Wellington College and meeting his new class and the parents!

Rachael Foster

Rachael Foster

Year 3 Class Teacher
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Rachael Foster

This will be Rachael’s first overseas teaching post and she is relishing this unique opportunity. After completing her PGCE, Rachael spent four years working in London. During this time, she learned the importance of building a rapport with her pupils and ensuring all voices, no matter how quiet, are heard. Before coming to Wellington, Rachael has worked in a wide range of schools in both London and York. Before coming to Shanghai, she worked in a small Prep School in York teaching both year 3 and 4.

Rachael studied ancient history at University College London as her undergraduate degree. This passion for history has continued to this day and she is often found reading a new history book. After completing her degree, Rachael spent a year as a teaching assistant in a reception class and found her passion for teaching. Having decided that this was what she wanted to do for a career, Rachael completed her PGCE at Greenwich University.

Due to her background in ancient history, Rachael is hugely looking forward to investigating the rich history of both Shanghai and China. Rachael is a keen dinghy sailor and previously gained her RYA instructor qualification. She also enjoys trying other watersports, including gaining her PADI open water certificate. Rachael enjoys music and plays both the clarinet and bassoon.

Ben Edwards

Ben Edwards

Year 3 Class Teacher
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Ben Edwards

Abigail Nesseth

Abigail Nesseth

Year 3 Class Teacher
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Abigail Nesseth

Abigail received her bachelor degree in Social Work from Minnesota State University.  She holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on teaching culturally, linguistically diverse and exceptional learners. She also holds an advanced certificate in teaching and learning from the International Baccalaureate.

Abigail has been working in Shanghai for the last 10 years. She worked in social work in the United States before transitioning to teaching. She spent many years in early childhood education before moving up to teaching at the primary level. She enjoys cycling, hiking, volleyball, golf and trying Shanghai’s newest restaurants.

Lewis Butterworth

Lewis Butterworth

Year 3 Class Teacher
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Lewis Butterworth

After graduating, Lewis taught for three years at a primary school in Lancashire where he taught in KS2. Further to his role as class teacher, Lewis also led whole school curriculum developments in mathematics as subject leader. He oversaw developments in the teaching of reasoning, problem solving and helped to embed a mastery approach to teaching mathematics.

Raised in the North West of the UK, Lewis achieved a first class honours degree in Primary Education at York St. John University. During his studies, Lewis was a youth support officer delivering innovative educational projects.  Lewis’ teaching philosophy centres around building excellent relationships with his students and holding a fundamental belief that every student can achieve the highest standards.

Outside of the classroom, Lewis is has successfully led extra-curricular clubs, including a year 3 and 4 football club, a sports and journalism club and a multisport club. During school holidays, Lewis enjoys travelling around the world and immersing himself in different cultures. He has many hobbies including running, playing and refereeing football, swimming and following Burnley Football Club.

Dean Clayden

Dean Clayden

Head of Year 4
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Dean Clayden

Dean Clayden is from Scotland and has been living and working in Shanghai for six years. He previously worked at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi where he worked as year 1 and year 5 leader. During his time there, he also supported staff in adopting the teaching principles of guided reading while completing his middle leadership training.

Dean graduated with a first class honours degree in primary education from the University of Edinburgh. During his degree, Dean taught English as a foreign language at a school in the Maldives as part of a voluntary project. After graduating, he taught for three years at Peel Primary School in Scotland, where he gained experience across different levels of the school and helped to coordinate whole school concerts.

Dean is passionate about scuba diving and enjoys improving his underwater photography skills at different locations across Asia. Dean has logged over 200 dives and is hoping to continue to add to his tally. He has also recently taken an interest in street photography in order to further develop his skills. Dean is continuing to learn Mandarin and is currently studying for his HSK level 3 examination.

Jonathan Garnett-Smith

Jonathan Garnett-Smith

Year 4 Class Teacher
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Jonathan Garnett-Smith

After completing Batchelor of Science degree at the University of Plymouth, Jon worked as a software and database developer before completing his PGCE at the College of St Mark and St John (Exeter University). In 2007, he began teaching at a number of local Plymouth schools offering regular supply and private tuition. By 2010 he had become the Head of PE at an inner city school, Riverside Community Primary, largely due to his extra-curricular qualifications in coaching.

In 2011, Jon began working at Woodford Primary School where he would spend 5 years, working most recently in Year 4, and really developed his love for leading in Mathematics. As Head of Mathematics, he was invited to write an article for the NCETM Primary Magazine which was published in April 2016. His teaching career has taken him to Kenya, USA and more recently, China, where he hopes to enjoy many years learning about the culture and language. Modestly, he explained “Wǒ de zhōngwén bù hǎo. My Chinese is not good. I am enjoying learning though. Southern China and Hong Kong is an amazingly vibrant and diverse place, and I look forward to finding what Shanghai and Wellington College International Shanghai has to offer.”

Jon is an avid Manchester United fan and enjoys both watching and playing football. He loves to explore new places and has recently visited Iceland, Finland and Koh Lipe in Thailand. He enjoys skiing, cycling, and watching films that make him laugh.

Anna Mount

Anna Mount

Year 4 Class Teacher
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Anna Mount

Anna grew up in rural Cornwall, in the south west of England. This upbringing has given Anna her love of the outdoors, science and nature, which led her to study biology. After graduating from the University of Bristol, Anna began a short-lived career in customer service and account management. Quickly realising that office work was not for her, she sought out an exciting new challenge as a teacher.

Anna undertook her training in London in inner-city Church of England schools. While the demographic of the students varied and contained a high proportion of children with English as an additional language, the ethos of these schools was powerful: loving, nurturing environments which she has since sought.

When she completed her training, Anna returned to Bristol to start work in a two-form entry academy. She completed her first year in year 3 and loved every minute. She planned numerous school trips, including an end-of-year celebration in a hired outdoor pool. Following this, Anna moved into year 6 and enjoyed working with the older children too. Anna particularly enjoyed working on the end of year production and participating in year 6 camp.
Anna is very excited to begin working at Wellington College International Shanghai and living in China.

Samuel Miller

Samuel Miller

Year 4 Class Teacher/ Boarding Tutor
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Samuel Miller

Samuel has now been in Shanghai for a total of five years, and during that time he has had a wide variety of teaching experiences. Samuel joins Wellington College Shanghai after working at SUIS Pudong for three years. During his time there he taught both Grade 2 and 3. He also adopted positions of responsibility within the school. Samuel was appointed as the Grade 2 curriculum lead and as the Co-ordinator of House for Primary school. Before he joined the international school community, Samuel taught in both private and local state schools across Shanghai. During this time, he taught English speaking to primary students, and Science in Chinese private schools.

Samuel studied English Literature at Newcastle University as his undergraduate degree. Once qualified, he did various jobs before deciding to commit to teaching full time, as his passion for education exploded. Samuel became a qualified teacher after successfully completing the PGCE programme at Sunderland University.

Samuel enjoys travelling to new places and exploring new cultures with his wife and friends. He has recently taken up photography as a result of his travelling. He has always had a keen interest in films and as such Samuel has collected a large DVD collection over the years. He also enjoy trying new dishes from different cultures and trying local cuisines.

Christopher Hill

Christopher Hill

Head of Year 5
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Christopher Hill

Chris joins Wellington College International Shanghai from Licensed Victuallers’ School in Ascot where he was a Year 6 class teacher and also coordinated Mathematics across EYFS, Key Stage 1 and 2. He started his teaching career in 2012 at Harmans Water in Bracknell, where he went to Phase Lead for Years 5 and 6. Chris studied Education at St Mary’s University in London for four years, whilst working in a school to gain experience.

Having begun his career in a large school, Chris quickly understood the importance of getting the children to stand out as individuals, even within a large classroom or sports field. This is central to his teaching practice today where he says, “Two, three or even four minds are better than one.” This is something you will see in all of Chris’ lessons, an openness amongst his class and a willingness to work together to achieve great results.

Outside of school, Chris is a keen footballer and previously founded and ran a men’s football team where he lived, in Berkshire. He is keen to share that they won two league titles in their first two years of playing. Chris is also a keen cook and is excited to try many of the new foods on offer to him living in Shanghai, as well as try a range of new techniques and ingredients in the kitchen.

Tia Luker

Tia Luker

Year 5 Class Teacher
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Tia Luker

Tia Luker is a Canadian teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience. She has taught in English, French, Korean, and Chinese communities, learning a lot about culture and language along the way. Teaching has given Tia many opportunities within teaching, as she has taught a wide variety of subject areas and age groups, moving from teaching French immersion in high school to finding a passion teaching science in elementary school.

These opportunities brought her to China, where she has been for the last four years. While in China, she has had the opportunity to grow science programs in new schools and develop professional training for teachers. She also developed a curriculum for a school-based charity that is now a nationwide integrated education program in Australia. This year, Tia joined the staff at Wellington College International Shanghai and is teaching year 5.

Tia has a Bachelor of arts in French and world religions, a Bachelor of education in French and ESL, and a Masters in science in elementary education. During her free time, she enjoys doing yoga, hiking, and being with family and friends.

Jeanne Webster

Jeanne Webster

Year 5 Class Teacher
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Jeanne Webster

Jeanne Webster graduated from the University of British Columbia, Canada, with a double major in Japanese and political science. After graduating, she returned to the UK where she worked in corporate public relations in London for six years before moving to China in 2002.

Jeanne spent her first year in south-west China learning Mandarin in Kunming, Yunnan Province, then moved to Shanghai. After having children and volunteering at their kindergarten, Jeanne decided to retrain and become a qualified teacher. Following the successful completion of her studies, her first teaching position was at Shanghai United International School (SUIS) as EAL coordinator and teacher. She joins Wellington College International Shanghai from Yew Chung International School (YCIS), Pudong, where she has been teaching for the past six years.

Jeanne is half Japanese, half English. She grew up in Asia and has lived abroad for most of her life. As a ‘third culture kid’ (TCK) herself, she understands the issues of identity that children of expats can face, and gives talks on the subject. She enjoys travelling, and is a self-confessed ‘word nerd’, so reads up on etymology and solves cryptic crosswords in her spare time.

Ester Keuning

Ester Keuning

Year 5 Class Teacher
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Ester Keuning

The Netherlands, France, Kenya, Indonesia, Cuba, China and India make up the list of amazing countries where Ester Keuning has taught and lived with her husband and three daughters over a period of twenty-three years. These experiences have provided her with insight into the various issues and challenges that come with international teaching. It also helped her understand pupils and their families in transition better, a very important part of teaching internationally. Ester Keuning was one of the founding members of Wellington College International Tianjin as Key Stage 1 coordinator and a year 2 class teacher.

After completing her PGCE and a Master’s in international education from Cambridge University in the UK, she worked as an educator, using curriculums like the IB Primary Year Program, IPC and English National Curriculum. Speaking English, Dutch, and French fluently and Spanish on intermediate level, she will quickly feel at ease at any international school.

When Ester is not working, she loves to spend time with her family, travel, cook and meet up with friends. She is excited to joining the Wellington family again after two years teaching in Mumbai, India.

Michael Hetherington

Michael Hetherington

Year 5 Class Teacher
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Michael Hetherington

Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne in the north east of England, Michael is a passionate and enthusiastic UK-qualified primary school teacher. He studied language, literacy and communication (BA Hons) for three years at the University of Manchester, where he discovered his passion for teaching by taking part in a sports volunteer project delivering physical education lessons to primary school children.

Michael has four years of teaching experience with the UK National Curriculum working in Key Stage 2: he began his career teaching year 5 at Bengeo Primary School in Hertford before moving up to year 6 and helping achieve two successive years of positive SAT results. Michael’s teaching philosophy is rooted in delivering dynamic, creative and engaging lessons where all children are encouraged to be independent learners who develop their individual curiosity and inquisitiveness.

Outside of the classroom, Michael has organised and led many extra-curricular activities – mainly focused around sport and exercise – including coaching U12’s football, cricket, rugby and basketball; chess club; setting up boys’ reading clubs and running ICT Clubs. In his spare time, Michael enjoys travelling to new continents and countries to experience different cultures and customs and cannot wait to explore Shanghai and China!

Alex Han

Alex Han

Teacher of Chinese
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Alex Han

Alex majored at the East China Normal University in Chinese language and literature before completing a Master’s Degree in teaching Chinese. While studying, she also worked for the Council on International Exchange as a Chinese teacher. She comes to us from St. Patrick’s Catholic School, New Zealand, where she has developed a deep understanding of pedagogy and an appreciation of the needs of learners from different backgrounds. Outside the classroom, Alex is keen on drama – enjoying both watching and performing. She is also an avid reader and writer, and her writing has won several awards.

John Han

John Han

Teacher of Chinese
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John Han

John graduated from East China Normal University with a Master’s Degree in Global Chinese Language and Cultural Education. He started his teaching career as a courtesy Chinese instructor in the University of Oregon in the United States. After coming back to China, he taught language and culture in both local Chinese high schools and British international schools, which helped him better understand and practise the eastern and western styles of teaching.

As a member of the growing Wellington Mandarin team, John teaches Mandarin Chinese across various age groups and is currently developing the new cultural studies curriculum to enrich pupils’ knowledge of China’s profound cultural heritage.

Outside the classroom, John enjoys reading and playing board games. He also has a passion for languages and cultures around the globe and wishes to know more about them through travelling and communication.

Ruya He

Ruya He

Teacher of Chinese and Coordinator for Second Language Chinese
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Ruya He

Ruya He has many years of experience within international education. Ruya is familiar with American curriculums, IB, and British curriculums, including IGCSE & GCSE. She holds both a Master of Education, K-12, from Plymouth State University and a Bachelor of Language Arts degree from Shanghai International Studies University. Besides Mandarin teaching, Ruya set up the Mandarin program at Campbell College, UK, a prestigious school of more than 120 years, and became the Chinese Ambassador to Campbell College. While at Campbell College, Ruya was interviewed by the BBC, NI connection, and Belfast telegraph about the Mandarin program. After returning to China, she was also invited to join a round table discussion and published articles about the BBC documentary “Are Our Kids Tough Enough?” in the Shanghai Daily and other local journals.

A life-long learner, Ruya brings her passion and commitment for working with children and the skills to meet the unique challenges and opportunities that a diverse student body brings. Ruya is excited to be part of the Wellington family and enthusiastic to learn and to share with this like-minded group of talented and devoted educators. Having visited over twenty counties, she has a passion for travelling and looks forward to sharing her diverse personal and professional experiences with students and staff alike.

Sarah Qian

Sarah Qian

Teacher of Chinese and Coordinator for Beginners Level Mandarin
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Sarah Qian

Sarah has gained twenty years of experience in education during her time at local and international schools across Shanghai and the USA. She has taught Mandarin as a foreign language, native language and Chinese culture at international schools as well for primary schools and junior schools. She has organised Chinese New Year celebrations and many other cultural and educational events. She set up the Mandarin curriculum at Bishop Verot Catholic School, FL, USA, which is ranked as one of the best fifty senior schools in the country.

Sarah graduated from East China University where she majored in International Chinese Studies. She is fully qualified as a teacher in both China and the USA.

Sarah enjoys loves travelling, reading and playing sports in her spare time.

Carry Wang

Carry Wang

Teacher of Chinese
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Carry Wang

Carry graduated from Shanghai Normal University where she majored in primary school education before taking further studies at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She taught for six years in a local public school before spending a further eleven years teaching Chinese at Yew Chung International School. There she developed an international perspective that is reflected in her dynamic teaching style. In her spare time she is an avid reader, devouring Chinese and Western classics with great enthusiasm.

Doris Zhang

Doris Zhang

Teacher of Chinese
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Doris Zhang

Doris graduated from East China Normal University, one of the most important universities producing well-trained teachers in China, majoring in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages. During her study time, she has got National Teacher Certificate Examination and Certificate for Teachers of Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages.

Doris has worked as an intern in Wellington College International Shanghai for 10 months. Her transition to the main teaching team is a reflection of her diligence and capability, and is a steady progression for my career. Doris loves being a teacher because she derives infinite pleasure in Chinese language teaching process, as she can teach children about the elements of the language and share with them the profound culture surrounding the language.

Doris is passionate about culture and history, and love the atmosphere with music. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and exploring new places for fun and photographing.

Delia Xu

Delia Xu

Teacher of Chinese
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Delia Xu

Delia graduated from Shanghai International Studies University with a BA in Korean and English and an MA in teaching Chinese. During her studies, she spent time at Ewha Women’s University in Korea and Lincoln Park High School in Chicago, where her understanding of the needs of foreign learners of Chinese was greatly enhanced.

Since graduating, she has worked as a Mandarin teacher in Spain, at the Universidad CEU San Pablo, and as a teaching assistant here at Wellington College International Shanghai. Her transition to the main teaching team is a reflection of her incredible hard-work and capability, and is a natural progression for her career.

In her spare time, Delia enjoys a wide range of activities which include photography, badminton, travelling, playing the violin and singing. She maintains an interest in the arts, and is a regular visitor of art and design exhibitions.

Sherry Zhao

Sherry Zhao

Teacher of Chinese
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Sherry Zhao

Sherry worked at an international school in Shanghai for thirteen years before coming to Wellington, having taught IGCSE and IB for over a decade with great success. Sherry enjoys working with children and is interested in using the strengths of Chinese philosophy and Western methods in education. She loves to see children’s smiling faces as they progress and enjoy their learning.

Sherry joined Wellington in 2016. She completed her degree in Chinese Literature and Teaching in 2003 and earned her PGSEi from Nottingham University in 2013.

In her spare time, Sherry likes Chinese dancing and reading.

Sean Dooley

Sean Dooley

Head of Prep English
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Sean Dooley

After gaining a BA Hons degree in English from the University of Exeter, Sean continued onto study for a PGCE in English and Drama. In 2010, Sean completed his Masters degree at the University of Cambridge, studying at Corpus Christi College. His thesis explored creative ways of teaching Shakespeare at KS3 and his later article on using stop motion animation to teach ‘Macbeth’ was published in NATE’s ‘English’ magazine.

A keen writer, Sean has two plays published by LazyBeeScripts which are performed around the world by amateur theatre companies. Sean also enjoys camping in his tree tent, unicycling and has achieved the level of 3rd Dan, Black Belt in ninjutsu.

Penny Lewis

Penny Lewis

English Language and Literature Teacher
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Penny Lewis

Penny graduated from the University of Warwick with an LLB in Law. For 6 years she worked in a variety of legal environments including the Ministry of Justice, prosecution services and leading international charities. It was during a lectureship at Waseda University, Tokyo that she realised her love of teaching and so decided to move on to pastures new, swapping her law books for novels.

Penny began her teaching career in West London, achieving QTS (Outstanding) and a PGCE from the Institute of Education, UCL. In particular, she is keen for students to develop a deeper appreciation of the written word and to find their own voice through an exploration of poetry, drama and creative writing.

Penny moved to Shanghai in 2018 with her husband who is also a teacher. In her spare time she enjoys practising yoga badly, writing her never-ending novel and attending any event that sounds interesting. She hopes to get a cat.

Nicola Edwards

Nicola Edwards

English Teacher
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Nicola Edwards

In 2005, Nicola graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and English. After working a variety of lifeless office jobs, she enrolled at Durham University to pursue her true vocation: teaching. With a PGCE in hand, Nicola’s first job took her south to teach English in a pleasant, leafy middle school. After she cut her teeth there, Nicola then moved to the UAE, where she taught a range of subjects and quickly gained the responsibility of several different departments including Humanities, Citizenship and Moral Education.

Like most international English teachers, Nicola enjoys reading and traveling. She is also a writer of fiction, especially Young Adult fantasy. At the present moment, much of Nicola’s spare time is occupied by her Masters in English Studies, which she is undertaking by Distance Learning from Nottingham University UK. When time allows, Nicola’s other hobbies include strength-training and taking long hikes in the country. Being slightly inclined to the geeky side, Nicola is an enthusiastic if incompetent player of table-top role-playing games.

As a teacher, Nicola’s guiding principle is to create a warm and caring classroom environment in which students feel safe to take risks in their learning.

Bethany Lowery

Bethany Lowery

EAL Teacher
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Bethany Lowery

Bethany Lowery is from Nottingham, England. She holds a first class honours degree in fashion design from the UK. Since graduating, she has completed a CELTA and has worked as a teacher of English as an additional language for the past four years. Bethany completed her PGCEi last year. She previously worked as an EAL coordinator for Tenby International School in Ipoh, Malaysia. She enjoys teaching English to enable pupils to fully express themselves, reach their potential, and thrive at school and beyond.

Bethany continues to use her creative background through her hobbies which include painting and weaving. She also practices yoga and looks forward to running the lower-prep yoga CCA. Bethany has been lucky enough to travel with her work and has seen much of Asia in her holidays; her favourite places include Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Myanmar. She loves to explore new places, try new vegetarian food and discover new cultures. She also enjoys learning new skills, such as scuba diving and salsa dancing.

Colin Wray

Colin Wray

EAL Teacher
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Colin Wray

Colin began his teaching career in small language schools in Bangkok, before taking up posts at various well-known Thai universities. In the late 1980s Colin accepted a lecturing position at the university of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi-Arabia, after which he returned to Thailand to teach at St John’s international school, before moving to Harrow International. A spell at St Andrews followed, followed by the chance to join the staff at Wellington.

Colin graduated with an undergraduate degree in social science before completing a degree in law (LLb). Colin has an interest in language acquisition, generally, but is particularly keen on exploring children’s lexical development, successfully completing a doctorate in the subject some years back. He continues to carry out research projects with a view to developing new teaching practices.

Apart from just relaxing with his family, Colin is an enthusiastic laser dinghy sailor, having competed in several Thai national championships and numerous other events. He enjoys squash and badminton (lumbar vertebrae permitting) and has an interest in computer programming -especially designing educational software that he hopes proves useful to colleagues and students.

James Dyson

James Dyson

ICT Teacher
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James Dyson

James studied history at the University of Lancaster while working on the college IT helpdesk. Having completed his degree, he then completed a primary PGCE at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle.

After completing his PGCE, James has worked in both independent and state schools in the UK and abroad. Initially teaching in Northumberland, James had trained teacher educators in Nekemte, Ethiopia, led the ICT department for Braeburn School, Nairobi in Kenya before returning to the UK to lead ICT at Orchard House, Chiswick and later Hazelwood School, Oxted.

He enjoys computing in and out of the classroom and can often be found tinkering with Raspberry Pis, programming and various linux boxes. James is interested in outdoor education and enjoys exploring with his family.

Nick Muzyczka

Nick Muzyczka

Music Teacher
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Nick Muzyczka

Nick Muzyczka has over ten years’ experience as a music teacher in the UK, Canada and now China, where he has lived for seven years. He has worked for many years as a professional musician, playing jazz, reggae, afrobeat and electronic music, and has had the opportunity to tour internationally in the US, UK and China.

Having come to the school as a visiting piano and theory teacher, Nick fell in love with the music department and wanted to commit full-time. Now in his second year as a classroom music teacher at Wellington College International, he specializes in digital music, improvised music, piano and music theory. In the years immediately before his life at the school, Nick owned and operated a recording studio in Shanghai.

Nick is an avid player of football, squash, chess and weiqi. In his spare time he plays in four original music bands in Shanghai, playing Irish/Scottish folk music, dub reggae, live electro-acoustic music and ska. Nick spends his holidays either performing or hiding away underground in his new recording studio.

Helen Heatley

Helen Heatley

Drama & Dance Teacher
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Helen Heatley

When Helen was 18 years old she started work as a professional dancer with the famous Bluebell Girls dancing on the world’s largest stages in the show ‘Hello Hollywood Hello’- Reno. Her dancing career allowed her to travel and work in South Korea, Japan, America and Europe. Helen’s real ambition was always to become a professional actress. She attended the BA acting course at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) a top London Drama School, where she was trained by The Royal Shakespeare Company as well as top professional actors, actresses and directors.

After years ‘treading the boards’, Helen decided to spend time with family in the UK and qualify as a Performing Arts Teacher through the University of Gloucestershire. Helen is an outstanding teacher with many years’ experience in both secondary and primary schools in the UK. Helen secured the Gold Arts Mark for her last secondary school. Helen supported the school and was instrumental in helping it to become a leading Performing Arts specialist school in the UK.

At Helen’s last primary school there were 29 different languages spoken. Ofsted observed Helen and noted that Helen is an outstanding teacher who gives every child confidence to believe in themselves and develop their communication skills.

Kate Mcneil

Kate Mcneil

Mathematics Teacher
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Kate Mcneil

Kate moved overseas from the City of Bristol, England where she attended university; studying Mathematics and Education. She taught in an outstanding Bristol Primary School, which was also a ‘teaching school’. This gave Kate the opportunity to further develop and share best practice in Maths teaching; delivering training for, and supporting local schools and university students.

Kate is moving to Shanghai from Malaysia, where she is currently teaching in an International School. She has previously worked at a school in Beijing as a Year 6 class teacher and teaching Secondary Mathematics in her final year there.

Kate enjoys working in Asia, not only due to the opportunity of working in schools with both high academic expectations and a holistic approach to education, but also for the incredible travel opportunities it offers. Loving adventure, Kate has travelled widely; recent trips have also included a gorge swing and white water rafting. She has visited many places in China, but has hardly begun to check off the list of stunning locations in China that she would like to explore.

Alaeze Ugoala

Alaeze Ugoala

Mathematics Teacher
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Alaeze Ugoala

Alaeze attended the London Oratory School in Kensington & Chelsea, where he completed his GCSE’s & A-Levels. Following sixth form, he continued his education with a degree in Mathematics at Manchester University.

Upon graduating from Manchester University, Alaeze worked for several years as a personal trainer in a boutique studio in Notting Hill. After a few years, he decided this wasn’t the career for him and pursued his persistent interest in teaching. He completed his PGCE at London Metropolitan University, before securing a position at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial school, one of the top comprehensive schools in the UK.

Alaeze has many different hobbies that he pursues in his own time, ranging from comic books to Dungeons & Dragons. He was born and raised an Arsenal supporter, though their recent results have left him somewhat disenchanted. He also likes to listen to music and watch period dramas on television.

Darren Simpson

Darren Simpson

Head of History
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Darren Simpson

Darren qualified as a History teacher in 2014 after having completed his PGDE studies at the University of Glasgow, a year which involved undertaking placements at two large secondary schools in the south side of the city. He achieved a first class honours degree from the University of Dundee in 2007, specializing in twentieth century Irish history in his final year. Earlier this summer he submitted a dissertation on the promotion of social justice through educational assessment as part of a Master’s of Education programme at the University of Glasgow.

Prior to qualifying as a teacher, Darren worked in the financial and legal sectors in the UK, before travelling to South Korea to spend two enjoyable years teaching English in public schools. This period provided his first experience of Asia, and he loved getting to know the country, the people, the customs and culture. His time in Korea moreover enabled him to combine his passion for travel and teaching, and copper-fastened his desire to pursue teaching as a career. Since qualifying in 2014 he has worked in Crieff High School in Highland Perthshire and George Watson’s College, the largest independent school in Edinburgh. Coming to Wellington College International Shanghai again presents him with the opportunity to activate his passion for teaching in one of the most respected and renowned schools in the world, while simultaneously discovering the dynamism of this truly global city.

Outside school, Darren enjoys football and music in particular, and travelling whenever possible. He also likes to escape to the outdoors when he can do a bit of hiking. At home he likes to read, cook and watch movies and documentaries, but also enjoys heading out to try new food and new places, something he is very much looking forward to in Shanghai.

Nick Starbrook

Nick Starbrook

Director of Sport
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Nick Starbrook

Nick was educated at De Montfort University where he gained a BSc in Sports Science and a PGCE in Secondary PE and enjoyed a full sporting career. A county level player in three sports, Nick was also youth player with Millwall FC and QPR FC and played NCAA Division One football in the US.

Previously Nick worked at three independent schools in the UK, St Columba’s College (St Albans), Forest School and Highgate School (both London) before starting his international career at The British School, Jakarta, Indonesia. At each school Nick coordinated large sport programmes and is experienced in the provision of sport from Key Stage One to IB.

“It is my aim to foster a fun and enjoyable environment at Wellington College International Shanghai and develop students from both ends of the sporting spectrum. The philosophy of sport and PE here is underpinned by two factors: opportunities and excellence. It is the aim of the PE department to provide opportunities at every level of physical activity from recreational participation to competitive sport, also to make the sporting experience here at Wellington the best it can be”.

Stephanie Kyprou-Westwood

Stephanie Kyprou-Westwood

Head of PE
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Stephanie Kyprou-Westwood

Stephanie’s teaching career has predominantly been in British education. She studied at Brunel University and has covered all six areas of the physical education National Curriculum as well as sports science modules. She has taught a range of sports including gymnastics, athletics, hockey, netball and volleyball. Stephanie taught in the UK for three years before embarking on her international journey. Before Wellington, she spent two years teaching in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

While Stephanie enjoys all aspects of physical education, she is particularly well-qualified in teaching field hockey, having coached both school and club hockey up to the age of 18. She herself has represented Brunel University and Old Loughtonians, playing in the Women’s Essex Premiership Division.

The opportunity to inspire young people to become physically active and help them to realise their own potential was Stephanie’s driving force in becoming a physical education teacher. She is highly ambitious and is completely committed to achieving the highest standards while maintaining a sense of humour and perspective.

Grace Wang

Grace Wang

PE Teacher
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Grace Wang

Grace joined Wellington College International Shanghai as a swimming teacher in 2015. Currently she holds ASA Level 1&2 certificates and a lifesaving certificate. She has been teaching Early Years swimming lessons, swim CCAs and in the swim Academy.

Grace was a competitive swimmer during her childhood. Her enthusiasm for swimming has been passed on to the next generation when she met her husband who was also a competitive swimmer in the Italian national team, as her whole family is now enthusiastically engaged in swimming.

All her three children love swimming and are involved in different aquatics activities. Grace loves to inspire and motivate the children through her chosen area of sport. She believes swimming is one of the most beneficial sports for children. She would like to bring to Wellington College International Shanghai not only her teaching experience and knowledge but also her passion and enthusiasm for swimming.

Ryan Briggs

Ryan Briggs

PE Teacher
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Ryan Briggs

After completing his A levels in South Africa, Ryan went on to Bath University in the UK, where he completed a BSc Sports Technology Degree. He joined Merchant Taylors’ School in 2005 where he completed his GTP. After four years at Merchant Taylors’ School as a PE Teacher, he then went on New Hall School in Chelmsford in the UK for three years where he filled the Head of Rugby position. Ryan decided he would prefer a slightly warmer climate and accepted a post as PE Coordinator at the Canggu Community School in Bali where he has spent the last four years.

Ryan believes that sport has the ability to produce some of the finest characteristics in a person and this can help shape the way they will live their lives. It is this belief that reflects the way he teaches and his commitment to his school and its students.

On a personal level Ryan played rugby for Bath University 1st XV (2002-2005). Besides rugby he enjoys keeping fit in the gym, hiking and whilst in Bali he ‘dusted off’ his surfboard and enjoyed his surfing.

Daniel Tuitt

Daniel Tuitt

PE Teacher
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Daniel Tuitt

After graduating from Brunel University Daniel began his teaching career in 2011 as a Secondary School Physical Education teacher with responsibilities for the provision and inclusive education for those with Special Educational Needs, using the National Curriculum for England and Wales until 2014.

From 2014 until present Daniel have been Head of Department at a Preparatory School and a State School for the last four years, teaching Early Years to Key Stage two, developing relevant curriculums and teaching across all areas.

Daniel has a passion for all areas the Physical Education Curriculum whether it be at Early years or at GCSE and he aims to give pupils the opportunities to develop their essential skills and to play competitively at all levels.

White Wang

White Wang

PE Teacher
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White Wang

White graduated from Tianjin Normal University in English and accounting, holding the Chinese national education certificate of pedagogy and educational psychology up to Senior High School level and Mandarin (Level A). He is also a certificated life guard and when he was a teenager he obtained 6th place in city of Tianjin as a shot-putter. White was coached by a former national badminton coach for two years. Now he has a PGCE from Durham University in the subject of PE.

His key interests include not only a wide range of sports, such as golf, badminton, tennis, football and swimming, but also travelling, aviation and reading.

Currently, White is on the third year of his education career at Wellington College International Shanghai, working in the PE department. He really enjoys sharing his life experiences, especially in sports, to inspire children and young people in establishing their own distinguished attitude towards sport. White believes sport can, and will, make children happier by embracing physical fitness, personal development and a greater sense of team spirit.

Stefanie Abbott

Stefanie Abbott

Science Teacher
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Stefanie Abbott

Stefanie has just spent the last four years working in the beautiful Shropshire hills close to the Welsh boarder. This quintessentially English backdrop is the home of Bedstone College, a small co-educational independent day and boarding school. It was at this school she had the opportunity to develop practical experiments in science and teach a broad age range of pupils from year 3 through to year 13. She was also involved in the senior boarding house as an assistant, while supporting the girls’ games sessions, assisting with the coaching of the U13s in netball and rounders and attending fixtures.

Stefanie studied biomedical sciences BSc (Hons) at Coventry University, covering a range of topics including microbes, physiology, pharmacology and biochemistry. She completed her PGCE in secondary science at the University of Bedfordshire after spending two years working with dyslexic, VI (visually impaired), HI (hearing impaired) and MLD (moderate learning difficulties) pupils as a teaching assistant.

This is her first international post and she is looking forward to the new challenges of moving to Shanghai. She has a passion for modern jive and plan to ‘pretzel’ her way around Shanghai to find the best dance floors.

Fiona Blackwood

Fiona Blackwood

SEN Teacher
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Fiona Blackwood

Fiona Blackwood began her career working for the UK government in the Ministry of Defence, firstly in their Pay and Records Office and then subsequently as an executive contracts officer, procuring and maintaining equipment for the British Army.

Through personal circumstances, Fiona became very interested in dyslexia and the negative impact this disorder has on children in the education system. Fiona studied for a basic certificate in understanding dyslexia and began working as a volunteer at her local primary school in Wiltshire as a SEN assistant. She continued working part-time in this field, subsequently working at a school with a specialist autistic unit, until moving to China in July 2014 to accompany her husband.

Fiona was absolutely delighted to be offered the opportunity to come and work at WCIS in the SEN department and is totally committed to helping all children, whatever their background or educational level, to achieve their full potential. Fiona is currently working towards a post-graduate Diploma in Strategic Teaching Support for Dyslexia and Literacy and is a full member of the Dyslexia Guild.

Fiona has personally embraced the Wellington spirit by learning to scuba dive on the school trip to the Philippines last year. She fell in love with it and would encourage everybody to never be afraid to try something new!

Olive Chen

Olive Chen

High Level Teaching Assistant
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Olive Chen

Julie Jia

Julie Jia

SEN High Level Teaching Assistant
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Julie Jia

Vivian Magnaye

Vivian Magnaye

Year 3 Teaching Assistant
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Vivian Magnaye

Ada Yin

Ada Yin

Year 3 Teaching Assistant
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Ada Yin

Sanja Velkova

Sanja Velkova

High Level Teaching Assistant
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Sanja Velkova

Arlene Huang

Arlene Huang

SEN High Level Teaching Assistant
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Arlene Huang

Sophie Xu

Sophie Xu

High Level Teaching Assistant
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Sophie Xu

Cynthia Sun

Cynthia Sun

Teaching Assistant
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Cynthia Sun

Susan Zhang

Susan Zhang

Teaching Assistant
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Susan Zhang

Mira Gao

Mira Gao

Teaching Assistant
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Mira Gao

Violet Wei

Violet Wei

Teaching Assistant
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Violet Wei

Michelle Lu

Michelle Lu

Year 5 Teaching Assistant
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Michelle Lu

Julie Zhu

Julie Zhu

Teaching Assistant
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Julie Zhu

Jenny Zhang

Jenny Zhang

Teaching Assistant
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Jenny Zhang

Marilyn Tolentino

Marilyn Tolentino

Teaching Assistant
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Marilyn Tolentino

Olivia Zhang

Olivia Zhang

Teaching Assistant
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Olivia Zhang