Michael O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Cambridge International Examinations, blogs about an inspiring school visit during a recent trip to China.
A leading private school on the northern outskirts of Beijing, Beijing Royal School, offers Cambridge IGCSEs and International A levels to a Chinese student body. The school teaches 2,000 students in a rapidly expanding middle-class suburban area. For commuting professionals and business people who send their children to the school, it offers good prospects of admission to top universities in the UK, USA and elsewhere.
Yet for all this western orientation, the newly built campus is rich in traditional Chinese architectural features, and a well-proportioned statue of Confucius dominates the central court. East meets west and ancient meets modern. The school lies, by no accident, precisely on the ancient meridian line of Beijing. A straight line drawn from Confucius’s brow through the flagpole, if extended for about 15 miles, would precisely bisect the Forbidden City.
The huge signboard above the main entrance (pictured above) reflects an old tradition of welcoming visitors with an enthusiasm verging on flattery. It is also a fully automated piece of modern digital technology, and with a few key strokes can usher in the next honoured guest.
Chief Executive of Cambridge International Examinations
Michael was in Beijing, along with Group Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment, Simon Lebus, to announce the launch of a partnership with CollegePre designed to set to set a new standard in digital education. Cambridge ClassServer has already been piloted successfully at Dulwich College, Beijing, which Simon visited during the trip. Headmaster David Mansfield said, “We have road-tested the first version of Cambridge ClassServer and can immediately see it’s potential… opening new doors into the world of learning technology.”