Interview with Atholl Campbell - Principal of Eton House, Dongguan     02/05/2013 15:21

Tell us a bit about the school. How does EtonHouse work and what students do you accommodate?

EtonHouse International School, Dongguan offers pre-school classes from 2 to 6 years of age. At present,there are 170 students at the school coming from more than 20 nationalities. Each of our classes has at least two teachers – an international teacher and a locally trained English-speaking Chinese teacher.

At the moment the school has ten classes – two for 2-3 year-olds, three for 3-4 year-olds, three for 4-5 year-olds, and two for 5-6 year-olds. EtonHouse has a policy of low student:teacher ratios and this ensures each child receives high levels of personal attention. There are also specialist classes for Chinese Mandarin, Physical Education and English as a Second Language. The school is in its eight year, and is situated in Dynatown, a very attractive gated community in the Dongcheng area of Dongguan.

Being an International School your students are being taught in English. Right?

Yes. The children at EtonHouse come from all over the world and English is the main language of instruction. By the time the children are in our 5-6 year-old classes they can write, read and speak in English. Our curriculum is based on the England-Wales model, with our philosophy following the Reggio-Emilia approach. We have a strong focus on thematic studies and an inquiry learning approach.

Our curriculum is supported by the EtonHouse organisation based in Singapore, and there are many EtonHouse schools throughout Asia.

Do you offer after-school activities?

Yes. There is a range of after-school activities to cater for a variety of interest levels – ballet, hip-hop, model making, kung fu, taekwondo, Brazilian capoeira, Chinese chess, art etc. Most of our after-school classes have specialist trainers and teachers.

Tell us a bit about your background

Before coming to China in 2009, I worked in New Zealand education for 30 years. I am a trained Primary and Middle School teacher, and have also been Principal of New Zealand schools. My first Principal’s job was in a school with two classrooms, and with promotions I moved on to bigger schools. After many years as a Principal, I became an advisor to the New Zealand Ministry of Education. My duties included appraising Principals and Teachers, and also helping to develop teaching and learning programmes in schools. Along with teaching and with leading schools, I also completed Bachelors, Masterate and Doctorate study in education and educational administration.

Working and Living in China has been an exciting challenge, and I have really enjoyed seeing our school grow and develop over the past few years.

by Julia Koehn

来源:Delta Bridges     Editor:谭晶