As Suzhou, China, has grown from an ancient region of culture and trade, into a bourgeoning new high-technology center, the educational needs of the area have expanded and changed as well. In addition to continuing to teach ancient Chinese culture, Suzhou’s elite schools have changed to include multi-cultural high-technology education as well, taught to all students interchangeably both in English and Mandarin Chinese.
The history of the expansion of the old original Suzhou Middle School, and the subsequent creation of the new Suzhou High School – SIP campus, is an example of such forward-looking adaptation to the demands of a new modern economy, while at the same time respecting and honoring a very long and distinguished history as an ancient center of trade and culture.
The original Suzhou Middle School was founded, in the Southern Yangtze River Area, by Prime Minister Fan Zhongyan, of the Northern Song Dynasty, in 1035, and has been in continuous operation since that date. Originally the Suzhou Middle School taught scholars who were studying for the Imperial Examinations. Today its mission continues to be the multicultural education of tomorrow’s leaders. The School is renowned for its excellent teaching staff and talented, hard-working pupils. Over 80 percent of its graduates go on to attend leading universities, situated both at home and abroad.
Creation of Suzhou High School – SIP
As the City of Suzhou expanded beyond its old boundaries, to encompass surrounding growing high-technology areas, the educational needs of the citizenry grew in proportion. Because the original Suzhou Middle School is constrained by its location within the “Old Town,” still surrounded by the Old Moat, the decision was made to expand Suzhou Middle School into three campuses, to better serve the surrounding new high-technology areas. The newest such branch campus is Suzhou Middle School – SIP, which is described below.
Suzhou High School – SIP is located within the large new Suzhou Industrial Park or “SIP.” Suzhou Industrial Park lies to the east of Old Suzhou, and surrounds nearby Golden Rooster Lake, with its many parks, walkways, first-class restaurants and new residential and commercial centers. SIP is soon to be serviced by a new subway which will run to and throughout the old Downtown area.
Suzhou High School – SIP was founded in 2003 and opened its doors in 2005. The campus holds six grades (Grades 7 – 12) in 28 classes, currently containing a total of 984 students, with 137 supporting staff. The students range in age from 12 – 19. All students are taught both Mandarin Chinese and English. Most of the teaching staff is bi-lingual. Many teachers have studied abroad, in the U.S., the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, etc.
Suzhou High School – SIP is the only public boarding school in Suzhou. Students live on campus and visit their families on weekends or holidays. Living in a boarding school helps the students to live a regular, orderly life. They learn to live independently, to cooperate with each other, and to be tolerant of other’s differences. Many parents report satisfaction with the improvements they see in their children’s attitudes and behavior, after their children have become accustomed to boarding school life.
Sports are popular with the students, and a variety of classes, and after-school activities, are available, from basketball and soccer, to Taiji, Gongfu, Taekwondo, Yoga, Sword Practice. The School has a resident Taiji Master, who teaches both Taiji and Chinese Gongfu, to those students and staff who are interested, both in formal classes and after school. Every year, the School holds also a Sports Meeting, where students compete with each other and with students from other schools, in a variety of sports.
Many after-school classes are also available, for example, Biology Research, Chorus, Chinese Musical Instruments, Reading Clubs, Embroidery and Cross-Stitch, Japanese, Suzhou Culture History and Archaeology, Geography, Astronomy, Model-Making (the School has a fully-equipped model shop, containing a variety of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and other lathes, milling machines and related equipment.)
A variety of field trips are undertaken by the students each year, from visiting local historical sites, to engaging in kite-flying competitions.
Suzhou High School – SIP enjoys valuable sister-school relationships with schools in other countries throughout the World, and regular exchanges take place between sister schools, from faculty visits to student exchanges. For example, last year, 12 students and 3 teachers from our school visited a sister school in Melbourne, Australia, and were warmly welcomed there. Then last month, 12 students from Australia returned the visit, staying on campus here, participating in school activities, chatting with the other students. We feel that this kind of cultural exchange is very helpful in developing cross-cultural understanding and cooperation between students, from different countries, who will in the future become leaders in their own societies. It is useful to have friends in other countries.
To further improve international cooperation, Suzhou High School – SIP is working closely with the prestigious Dulwich College, headquartered in London, England, to establish a Sino-British cooperative school here – Suzhou Dulwich Integrated High School, as well as a British-funded international school, Dulwich College, Suzhou, which will occupy a portion of the existing new Suzhou Middle School – SIP campus.
Our School Motto is
Behave with Honesty, Treat People with Sincerity.
Our aim is
The Integration of Western and Eastern Cultures, of Traditional Culture and Contemporary Culture.
If you have any additional questions, you are welcome to contact us. Please visit us, and walk around our spacious new campus!
Suzhou High School – SIP
360 Gangtian Road
Suzhou Industrial Park 215021
Suzhou, Jiangsu, P.R. China
Zip Code: 215021