New International Shenzhen SchoolNews

Introducing KSS Head of Kindergarten


We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. John Astbury as the Head of Pre-Prep of The King’s School Shenzhen International. He will take up the appointment in the summer of 2019.

Message from John Astbury

When I first saw the position at King’s School Shenzhen, my feeling was one of real excitement. How amazing to have the chance to be in a school like this right from the beginning, to help set up and create a school and aim to be the best place for children to learn and for teachers to work. Until that time I had never been to Shenzhen, though I knew a lot about it from my Chinese friends who have visited. When I travelled for the interview, I was fascinated to see how modern and clean the city is, and how friendly people are. I am thrilled to be making this move, after 11 years in China’s amazing capital city, being in Shenzhen is going to mean so much for my family and I.

I am full of energy and ideas and ready for this new challenge both in King’s and in Shenzhen, I really want to be at the centre of the school, to see every child and parent each morning, to greet you all with a smile and to find out more about you. Inside school, we want the children to be in a safe and interesting environment, to build strong relationships with all the adults in the school. If we can get this part right, then we will be on our way to having a strong and supportive school community and success in all areas of the curriculum. We will see a school full of confident and creative children who are always eager to learn and to engage with the world around them. I can’t wait to start!

I look forward to meeting you all!

Brief personal biography

John Astbury first arrived in China in 2001 and has worked in one of Beijing’s leading international schools since 2008, when he arrived during the Olympics. During his time in Dulwich College Beijing, John has moved from being a class teacher to having positions of leadership, most recently as Deputy Head of the Early Years section of the school. John has studied at three UK universities, completing his first degree in North East Scotland at Aberdeen University, doing an MA in the East Asia department in Leeds University and more recently completing another MA in the field of education with Leicester University. His twin interests in life are the history and culture of East Asia and the education of young children. Working in China brings these 2 interests together and John enjoys finding new and interesting links and ideas when working with children here.

John’s family will be together with him in Shenzhen. He is married to Baoshu, a teacher from Northern China and their 2 children, Alexander, 10 and Daphne, 7, who are both bilingual and very excited about the upcoming move. They are especially looking forward to getting outdoors a bit more and enjoying Shenzhen’s weather.

In his spare time, John loves to listen to music and buying records, reading as much as possible and following English football.

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