Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong
Promoted by Nord Anglia International School Pudong

From Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong to the world’s top universities

Amanda Yong was only eight years old when her family moved from her home country of Malaysia to the city of Shanghai. It was a big transition and her parents felt it was their duty to find the right school for her and her older brothers.

They decided on Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong (NAIS Pudong). As the longest-running British school in China, NAIS Pudong has over 20 years of experience in educating promising young leaders. It has a reputation for excellence both inside the classroom and out — helping many students achieve the best academic results and to attend the top universities in the world.

Looking back, Yong remembers feeling “shocked,” “scared” and “nervous” on her first day at NAIS Pudong. Still, she had an inkling that her time here would be special. “I was thinking — wow,” she says. “This is going to be so different from what I thought it would be and I was right. I had the best time of my life there.”

Her first impressions? The modern and futuristic campus she would now be learning on — a common trait of a Nord Anglia school. “I was truly amazed by the facilities on offer,” she shares. “NAIS Pudong had a big field, an indoor pool, a basketball court, volleyball and tennis courts, a gymnasium and more. It was very different from what I was used to.”

NAIS Pudong focuses on educating the whole child, and this starts from early years all the way up to upper secondary. For Yong, her journey here began with exuberant classroom activities in primary school

Small class sizes mean that Yong had more time to question and engage with her teachers. “We’re really lucky because we have brilliant ratios, small class sizes, and lots of space,” says Head of Primary Richard Thompson. “And so within those small classes, we get such an affirming rapport between students and teachers.”

Nord Anglia International School Pudong

At Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong, learning is made to encourage wonder and imagination. Source: Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong

Along with other teachers in primary school, Thompson has created a curriculum that effectively prepares its students for the demands of secondary school. “We start with quality scaffolding because we want all of our students to access the same learning objective, but at the level that is appropriate for them,” he explains.

“With every lesson, we then try to capture the wonder and imagination within each learning objective in fun and exciting new ways. We see the most creative, extraordinary learning hooks that take place in our primary classrooms.”

Yong agrees. “Our teachers always organised activities that didn’t just require sitting down and reading,” she says. “We used to make mummies and paper mache, for example. We were also assigned tasks outside of school. I remember having the opportunity to go home and ask my mum to help me make something for class. It was really nice because that became a bonding activity for us.”

Such activities encourage students to work together, too. “Our students are supportive of one another and very kind,” says Thompson. “We really try to champion that in everything we do. We want them to understand that good leadership is about being considerate, respectful and kind to everyone from all walks of life.”

Indeed, students at NAIS Pudong come from all over the world. Together, they represent at least 50 nationalities — making for a vibrant global community.

Nord Anglia International School Pudong

Students from all walks of life gather at Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong, making for a vibrant global community. Source: Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong

Such preparation did wonders to help Yong transition to secondary life. She joined a cohort of students who strove to shine in their IGCSEs — the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16-year-olds, but also one of the most demanding examinations. But with the combination of hard work and a love for learning, instilled from primary school, they thrive.

When they were not preparing for exams, students like Yong were busy collecting experiences — the kind that let them discover new talents or nurture existing passions. “For example, we had ‘project weeks’ where we would travel to a different city in China and do some service work for their communities,” she says. “Or the Duke of Edinburgh award, where we’d go camping and have to learn basic survival skills.”

This led her to her final years at NAIS Pudong — and by far the most challenging. Yong, now an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme candidate, took six subjects — three at the standard level, three at higher — as well as wrote an extended essay. It wasn’t easy, but the support she got from her teachers and peers helped her through.

“This IB journey is supposed to help you find out what you’re passionate about in life,” she says. “I won’t lie — having to write a 4,000-word essay was quite difficult, but it got to a point where I became so passionate about the topic I was writing that it didn’t feel like a chore. I felt like I was able to really understand and learn about what I wanted to do with my life.”

Nord Anglia International School Pudong

Source: Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong

The topic she wrote about — psychology — ended up being her calling. Today, Yong is a proud first-year student at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she plans on majoring in Psychology. Many of her other peers have gone on to pursue ambitious degree programmes at top universities around the world, too.

Today, she looks back on her time at NAIS Pudong with fond memories. “It was incredibly special to watch my friends grow up with me,” she says. “As an international student, your community becomes your new family — and so we were able to have all these milestone experiences together, from primary all the way up to secondary. It’s an experience I will always be grateful for — and hope to never forget.”

Nord Anglia International School Pudong

Source: Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong

Follow Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube