King’s School Signing Ceremony
The King’s School, Canterbury opening its first overseas international school in Shenzhen, China
The King’s School, Canterbury, U.K., the oldest school in England with a rich history spanning over 1400 years, has entered into a formal agreement with the Heng Yu Group, Shenzhen to develop its first overseas international school in Shenzhen. A formal signing ceremony of the co-operation agreement between Dr. Robert Willis, Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Kings School and Mr. Kung Chun Lung, Chairman of the Heng Yu Group was held on 19 January 2018.
This is the first time in history that King’s has decided to build its first overseas branch outside of the UK, the location will be at a prime site in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen. The new school will be a very modern purpose-built school of the highest quality in every respect, and it will be an international co-educational K12 school with cutting edge facilities to be designed and built by the Heng Yu Group and co-designed by the London-based architect firm, Walters & Cohen.
The ceremony was attended by over 200 guests including Mr. Gao, Vice Mayor of Shenzhen, Ms. Lian, Deputy Head of Nanshan District, Mr. Liu, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC Nanshan District Committee and Director-General of the Education Bureau of Nanshan District together with various other local government officials and leaders from the banking industry in Shenzhen. Over 20 Chinese media outlets were present with broadcasts on local and national TV channels.
In his speech, Dr. Willis spoke of the ethos of The King’s School, Canterbury, being one in which the creative gifts of every individual were encouraged and respected. Although Kings looked back on 1400 years of history, it was the story of continual reinvention to embrace changing educational ideals and practice sustained by the stability of a community, which is most valued by its members. The culture of China had even deeper roots, but its energy, as demonstrated by the growth of Shenzhen showed the same quality of embracing the present and preparing for the future. The agreement signed by Dr. Willis and Chairman Kung would ensure sharing of creative educational gifts between the two schools and cultures to the mutual advantage of each.
In reply, Chairman Kung explained how delighted he was to be joining with such a prestigious school going back to 597 AD. His company is a major developer in Shenzhen and has a long history of supporting educational charities.
Representing the city, Mr. Hong from the Education Bureau of Nanshan declared this to be a very significant signing leading to shared growth and new glory. He offered heartfelt congratulations from the District of Nanshan. He went on to explain that Nanshan is the most prosperous area of Shenzhen (the home of technology) and that building a King’s School in Nanshan would help to fulfill President Xi’s vision of bringing education of the highest quality to China.
The new school will be directly managed by The King’s School, Canterbury and the curriculum will follow closely those of the school in the U.K. including our multi-faceted co-curricular activities with additional local features such as compulsory Mandarin lessons. Special exchange programmes for both staff and pupils from both campuses are designed to ensure we function as one big family. There will also be sharing and exchange of resources within our two schools to truly reflect our global nature.
Our target is to open the Nursery and Pre-Prep sections in September 2019, followed by the Prep and Senior Schools in the following years. We are extremely excited by this development and the opportunities it will bring not only to extend the very special ethos of King’s education to Shenzhen, but also in terms of global benefits for our pupils and staff. More details of our Shenzhen school will be available in the very near future and we look forward to bringing you one of the best schools from UK and Europe.