New year, new adventure – On 3rd January 2020, Wellington College China made an historical stride. As the groundbreaking ceremony for Huili School Nantong comes to an end in Sutong Science and Technology Industry Park, Nantong, the College welcomes its third Huili sister school following the founding of the Huili Schools and Huili Nurseries in Shanghai and Hangzhou. Having an enrolment capacity of 2000+ and offering a complete 15-year cohesive education system with boarding options for students starting from primary school age, the new Huili School in Nantong is set to be the group’s largest flagship school.
On 3rd January, leaders of Sutong Science and Technology Industry Park, consuls of the British Consulate-General Shanghai, leaders of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, and representatives of Wellington College China attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Huili School Nantong. More than 100 local and international guests gathered together to witness this milestone moment for the new Huili School.
Built as a 15-year all-through school, Huili School Nantong has a total planned area of 80,000m2 and adopts the same Victorian architectural style as Wellington College in England with teaching areas, boarding accommodation, school halls, the library, an indoor sports hall, a swimming pool, and outdoor football and rugby pitches. All facilities are designed to resemble its premium British counterpart.
The College expects to start admitting Chinese nationals upon completion of the campus construction in September 2022. Having an enrolment capacity of over 2000, the College also offers boarding options for approximately 900 students, starting from primary school age. The new Huili School is set to be Wellington College China’s largest flagship school.
Panoramic model of Wellington College China's Huili School in Nantong
As a close partner of Wellington College in England, which was founded by Queen Victoria 160 years ago, Wellington College China will leverage its close relationship and decade-long experience and resources in China to ensure the quality construction of Huili School Nantong.
Aligned with the British school’s five core values of courage, integrity, kindness, respect, and responsibility, Huili School Nantong adheres strictly to Huili’s vision, “to cultivate talent with kindness and establish role models with morality,” and is committed to providing world-class bilingual education for 3 to 18-year-old Chinese students. The College will nurture Huili students to develop the five characteristics that make up the Wellington identity of being inspired, intellectual, independent, individual, and inclusive, whilst also becoming outstanding Chinese nationals with a global perspective by the time they graduate.
Ms. Joy Qiao, Founder and Chairman of Wellington College China, with Queen Elizabeth II in 2009
Thanks to the network of teaching and non-teaching talent Wellington College China has built over the past ten years, Huili School Nantong will receive full support from its sister schools in China to ensure its teaching quality is as excellent as all other Huili Schools when it opens.
Huili School Nantong adopts the British Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for Early Years students, and the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) immersive bilingual teaching programme for students whose ages are entitled to compulsory education in China. In line with requirements set by the Chinese government for all educational programmes, the School has added special school-based subjects such as Performing Arts, Design and Technology, and Pastoral Care. The Wellington Academy Programme also offers a wide variety of extracurricular and co-curricular activities, allowing students to make strides in their academia while simultaneously developing their hobbies and other interests.
For high school students, the School expects to teach the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. The School provides full and personalised support to students and endeavours to equip them with adequate academic abilities to enter some of the world’s top universities.
To prepare for the opening of the Huili Schools in Shanghai and Hangzhou, Wellington College China spent four years establishing the Huili Institute of Learning, a teacher training and development programme that conducts research on bilingual education. By designing advanced teaching methods and facilitating teacher training courses, the Institute aims to promote a proactive self-learning culture among teaching and non-teaching staff.
Since its establishment two years ago, the Institute has been well-received by local markets. Its achievements have been widely recognised by parents and education bureaus in Shanghai and Hangzhou.
From teaching philosophy to resources and curriculum, Wellington College China is ready to embark on a new journey and establish a new Huili School in Nantong.
Ms. Joy Qiao gives a speech during the groundbreaking ceremony
Ms. Joy Qiao, the Founder and Chairman of Wellington College China, said during the groundbreaking ceremony for Huili School Nantong, “We are very happy to welcome Huili School Nantong to our Wellington family. There is a Chinese proverb that says, ‘It takes 10 years to sharpen a sword’. Over the past 10 years, Wellington College China’s partnership with the British Wellington College has been extremely successful. We are confident we will be able to provide the best international bilingual education for our children. After years of experience running three international schools in China, we have decided to step up our efforts and establish more excellent private bilingual schools in China.
"Upon the founding of Huili School Shanghai and Huili School Hangzhou in 2018, we announced our plan to open schools in Nantong and Jiashan. The opening of Huili School Nantong represents a beautiful union of luck and human effort: conveniently situated in the middle of the Yangtze River Delta, Nantong is only an hour away from Shanghai. The rapid growth of private education in China, as well as the national plan to map Sutong Science and Technology Park under the Yangtze River Delta integrated development strategy allowed us to make expansion plans. After 10 years of learning and growing, all Wellington family members are ready and eager to embark on a new journey to open this Huili School in Nantong.
"We understand how complex and taxing running a school can be, but we look forward to seeing Huili School Nantong grow in the Sutong Park, while helping to facilitate development of international education in Nantong. We are proud to be part of the team contributing to the development of the Yangtze River Delta Integrated Innovation Industry Park."
Mr. Chris Wood, British Consul General in Shanghai, speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony
Mr. Chris Wood, British Consul-General in Shanghai, mentioned during the groundbreaking ceremony that education has become an important element of the strategic partnership between China and the United Kingdom (UK) and the opening of Huili School Nantong, in particular, is an exemplary model of educational exchange and cooperation between the two countries.
The Consul-General noted that British schools are not just about academic performance, they pay close attention to the character development and holistic education of students as well, with a particularly heavy focus on sport and arts education. He remarked that Wellington College China has excelled in preserving this heritage and believes the College is one of the most successful British brands to have set up branches in China.
"I look forward to seeing these distinctive offerings of an excellent UK education being ever more accessible to students here in China," said the Consul-General, toward the end of his speech. It is his hope that the UK can borrow and learn from the strengths of China’s education through bilateral exchange, so both countries can achieve mutual benefits and facilitate development in education in both countries.
Speech from Mr. Zhiwei Jin, Deputy Secretary of the Party Working Committee of Sutong Science and Technology Industry Park
Mr. Zhiwei Jin, Deputy Secretary of the Party Working Committee of Sutong Science and Technology Industry Park, as the Nantong municipal government representative, extended a warm welcome to Wellington College China for its settling in Nantong, "Sutong Science and Technology Industry Park is an important location to the Jiangsu province in its implementation of China’s coastal development and the Yangtze River Delta integrated development strategy.
"The Sutong Park maintained a strong development momentum and achieved important breakthroughs in attracting investment and capital in 2019. The settling of Huili School Nantong will surely help enhance the quality and allocation of education resources in the Sutong Park and help introduce talent to the Park as it continues to grow."
End of the groundbreaking ceremony for Huili School Nantong
The groundbreaking ceremony ended with bursts of royal gun salutes. We sincerely hope Huili School Nantong will become an exemplary model of private education in the Yangtze River Delta, and that the School can benefit generations of Chinese in the vicinity and help contribute to the innovation of education in China.