Distinguished Chairman Qiu，teachers and students, happy new school year to you all!
It’s the first day of the 2021 academic year and also the beginning of QDHS’s eighth year. We have 213 new G10 students and 4 new teachers. Our campus is now full of new blood and therefore new energy. On behalf of all faculty and students, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you. QD now has 114 faculty and staff (73 Chinese and 41 international) and 617 students. We are enjoying steady growth at our school.
Over the Summer, our staff never stopped working and our students never stopped learning.
We sincerely thank our logistics department and the team of parents who gave us significant support on design innovation and construction as well as inspection of the new facilities. We have a brand new dormitory (go and take a look when you have time!). We also have a greenhouse for environmental science research, two mini conference rooms and an outdoor coffee patio.
We are also glad to share the college application achievements and IB scores. We had 172 graduates this year. Among them, 94% of the graduates got an offer from the US and QS Top 50 universities and liberal arts colleges. 60% of them got an offer from the US and QS Top 30 universities and liberal arts colleges. 150 students got full diplomas and our average IB score was 39.3, which is amazing! We have two students (Jessica Yin and Irene Chen) who got full scores and eight students who got scores of 44.
Ten A-Level students took the AS physics, chemistry and economics and the A1 math test for the first time. All students achieved Bs or higher and six students achieved As and A*s.
The G10s in IGCSE Math, English and Computer Science all made tremendous progress. Our pass rate in the history, geography and political studies Shanghai Academic Proficiency Exams was over 98%, continued excellence.
In addition to all this, many students participated in various activities and competitions and won impressive awards. Selina Xue won first prize in the Shanghai Song Qingling Teenage Invention Award. Hermosa Huang and Jacky Fu won the 2021 Global Gold UK Chemistry Olympics. Robin Fu and Hongwei Zhang won the 2021 Global Gold UK Physics Olympics. In addition, I would like to congratulate Teressa Tu, our new G11 student. She was awarded the Outstanding Freshmen Scholarship of 50,000 RMB and has been enrolled at QDHS following a full A assessment and an academic score of 41 in Grade 10.
Thank you to all teachers for your hard work and dedication and congratulations to all the students for their achievements.
2021 is a monumental and unusual year.
The world is again seeing vast change. The US withdrew its army from Afghanistan; Meanwhile, the Taliban assumed rule there. Different countries took different attitudes, positions, and approaches to the pandemic that has triggered turbulent changes in the political, economic, and military landscape.
In 2021, China celebrates the centenary of the Communist Party. Chairman Xi announced: we have achieved the first 100-year goal and built a moderately prosperous society and are moving towards the second 100-year goal of a great modern socialist country. We are standing at the midpoint of two 100-year periods. What does that mean? I would like to share my thinking with you: How do we enter 2050? Two key themes.
First: be inspired to learn. Most of you are 15-17 years old now. In 2050, you will constitute the most important group in society. What you are learning will contribute to the second 100-years of our country. You will be the architects of that second 100-years, as participants and drivers. Confucius said: At fifteen, I set my heart on learning. Now you are at the age of aspiring to learn. What will you learn? In western history, Socrates first discussed what was knowledge and said virtues were knowledge. In our IB curriculum, we have the core course TOK which is about knowledge. What is knowledge? Where does it come from? How do we know we have acquired knowledge? China began to explore life from the time of Confucius and Laozi, seeking the unity of man and nature, and seeking the best of life. So, in ancient times, when a person reached the age of 15, he began to aspire to study “Great Learning”. This “Great Learning” is not what we call university (higher education) but refers to learning to be a good person. What Great Learning teaches us is to cultivate illustrious virtues and focus on a high level of goodness, put simply. Regardless of East or West, ancient, or modern, being humane and kind-hearted are always at the core of what we learn to do and to be. Dear students, in learning to be humane and kind-hearted, you will be able to live up to the mission of the second 100-years.
Second, learn to become one with the world. In Jan 2021, UNESCO published a report: Learning to become one with the world: Education for Future Survival calls for education to be reimagined and reconfigured around the future survival of the planet. Human forces have fundamentally altered the planet’s geo/biospheric systems, triggering a cascade of ecological crises and threatening the future of life on Earth as we know it, including that of our own species. (To some extent, the pandemic that we are experiencing can be interpreted as a serious warning from nature to mankind.) The core of the report is that human and planetary sustainability are one and the same thing. We are an inseparable part of the ecosystem. It tells us that any attempts to achieve sustainable futures by continuing to separate humans from the rest of the world are delusional and futile, even if the intentions are well meaning. Education must play a pivotal role in radically reconfiguring the ways we think about our place and agency within this interdependent world, and therefore the ways we act. Generally then, humans and nature are inseparable. Humans should respect nature. Education can change the way people think and behave. In other words, our world is not a world of humans. It is a world of co-ownership and interdependence between humans and nature. There is you and me in the world. All countries are related to and dependent on each other. As humans, we are also interdependent and connected and people need to learn how to cooperate. The report especially pointed to the fact that by 2050, individualism will be past. We reconfigure education around the principles of interdependence and interconnectedness. By learning to be helpful and kind, everyone and everything becomes part of the Earth's ecological community. “Respect” and “Cooperation” are our virtues, which are more about “us”, not me or you.
When we step into 2050 and stand at the intersection between these two 100-year periods, our students are expected to adhere to our Seven Virtues. I hope you will set your dreams, plan well and take action. Build a solid foundation to achieve and I wish you every success in this new academic year.