Introduction to Grade 4

Our Mission

Beijing World Youth Academy strives to provide members of our community excellent learning opportunities that incorporate critical investigation, exposure to different cultural perspectives and assessment against objective criteria.

Our mission is to develop principled, open-minded thinkers who are capable of integrating with diverse international communities and who are empowered to shape their environs for the improvement of quality of life for themselves and others.

Our Values

We are committed to excellence and united by our values:


We respect and empathise with the rights, opinions, culture and feelings of others.


We believe that honesty, integrity and reliability in ourselves and others forms the cornerstone of our community.


We value harmony and oneness while recognising the individuality of each person in our community.


We recognise that the development of the student is the shared responsibility between the student, the family and the school.

Principal's Welcome
Aaron Wise

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of our families to the 2020-2021 school year at BWYA. As we start the new school year I would like to invite all families to continue to work with us to make the primary school a fantastic place for all our students to learn and grow. 

A famous person once said “the only real mistake we make is the one from which we learn nothing”. This year the students at BWYA, and in fact all of us whether we like to admit it or not, are all going to make a lot of mistakes. Some of the mistakes the students will make will simply stay mistakes, while the students will learn from others and become better people because of the mistakes they made. 

As parents and educators, one thing we must realise is that how a child responds to a mistake depends on us. How we respond to our children’s mistakes, will teach them, in turn, how they should respond to their mistakes. If we simply identify a child’s mistake by telling them that they have done the wrong thing, then we have not really taught them anything except that they failed. 

This year, as we commit once again to helping all the students at BWYA learn and grow to their full potential, I would ask all parents to join with us in the important task of helping the students learn from their mistakes so that they can improve for the future. Hopefully then, they will also help us to learn from the mistakes that we make as well. 

Head of UPC
Andrew Abbey

I am very happy to be welcoming back our students to another year at the Upper Primary and welcoming the families of students who will be joining our school for their first year.

Last year was an extremely successful year for us, in spite of the difficulties faced both locally and globally by the COVID-19 pandemic, together with families, students and teachers worked extremely hard to give fantastic learning opportunities to our students.

I am very excited to see our students grow, both academically and socially over the course of this school year. I look forward to forming a strong partnership with all parents at the school and seeing all of our young students reach their potential.


Head of Learning Support Team
David Dee

Dear Parents,

My name is David Dee and I come from Scotland in the U.K. I have been a teacher for nearly twenty years now. This is my third year at BWYA and I have taught at both LPC and UPC. Beijing is an amazing place to live and I am enjoying learning about China.

I am very excited this year to be taking on a new role as the Head of the Learning Support Team. I am looking forward to working with the children, parents and staff at BWYA to make sure that every child has the support they need. We all want every child to reach their full potential.

Grade 4 Teachers

Head of Grade 4, G4Y Homeroom Teacher
Diana Bodeman

Dear Parents,   

My name is Diana Bodeman and I am the Head of Grade 4. This is my fifth year in China and I enjoy learning about Chinese culture and language. It is also my fifth year teaching at BWYA and I am excited to be working with this new group of children.    

I was born in California, USA, though I grew up in Brazil. I have been teaching elementary students for over 20 years, and I have previous experience with students at 3 different international schools in Brazil and Venezuela.     

As a teacher, I do my best to provide students with a wide variety of learning opportunities and experiences. I think positively, and try to bring out the best in my students.  In my opinion, teaching is more than just academics, and I do what I can to reach my students and make learning a meaningful experience for them. I also value the cultural differences in each class, and encourage students to share these differences with their peers.   

I believe that education is not just about school. Parents, teachers and the student all work together as a team to achieve the common goal of giving your children the best education they can have. Communication between the parents and teachers is key and I hope to build a strong relationship with you all.   

G4P Homeroom Teacher
George O'Brien

My name is George O’Brien and I am the G4P Homeroom teacher.  I am from England and have been in China for three years. I graduated from Lancaster University, England, with a degree in History. I have also obtained my Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate.  

I am very excited to once again join the Grade 4 team this year. Last year I was the G4B Homeroom teacher, the G3B Homeroom teacher for UOI and Science and I was also a part of the Learning Support Team. 

As a teacher, I enjoy getting to know the students and helping support them in their academic success. I also believe my role goes beyond this. I aim to try and teach my students valuable life lessons that will stay with them forever, and hopefully aid them to become successful individuals. I hope to work with you to ensure your child’s success and I aim to support your child in their endeavors. 

G4R Homeroom Teacher
Gary Bush

My name is Gary Bush and I am from a small town in Pennsylvania, USA. I graduated from Bucknell University with a BA in Anthropogy, and also obtained my Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificate from Arizona State University. I am now extending my teaching qualifications through completing a Masters of Education degree. I am thrilled to be the homeroom teacher for G4 red. I will be teaching the G4 students Language Arts and Unit of Inquiry. 

I have been living in Beijing for 7 years, during which time I taught ESL students aged 7-14, and led teams that designed curricula for online STEM, ESL, and writing classes. My time in China has been a wonderful experience, and I plan on living here with my family indefinitely.  

As an educator, one of my roles is to inspire a love of a learning in my students. I believe strongly in providing my students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning; we can achieve this together by building an environment where students feel safe to make mistakes and learn from their mistakes. I am looking forward to a wonderful year. 

G4G Homeroom Teacher
Bukky Rufai

Hello, I’m Bukky Rufai. I’m from London, England. This year marks my eighth year here in Beijing. I’m well immersed in the culture and traditions here in China. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in the UK at Middlesex University, then pursued my Master’s Degree here at 北师⼤ in World Economy & China.

After graduating, I focused on obtaining my teaching qualifications and becoming fluent in Chinese. I’m currently completing my iPGCE. I have over 7 years teaching experience working at various schools with different age groups from primary through to middle school.

This will be my third year at BWYA and my second year as Grade 4 homeroom teacher for the Green Class. I am really glad to welcome you and your child to my classroom this year. I’m looking forward to a fantastic year of learning and fun! As homeroom teacher, I will be teaching your child English Language Arts, Science and Units of Enquiry.

G4B Homeroom Teacher
Galina Mamontova

Dear parents,

My name is Galina Mamontova and I am excited to be the G4B Homeroom teacher this year. I am truly happy to join BWYA team and to have an opportunity to work with Grade 4, teaching Language Arts, Science and Unit of Inquiry.

I was born and raised in Russia, where I attended Vladimir State University and earned a Master’s Degree equivalent in Teaching English and German Languages. I have been working as a teacher since then, and moved to China in 2016, which eventually became my home. I used to live and work in Guangdong Province before and moved to Beijing this year.

As a teacher, I believe that my role is not only to help students achieve their academic success, but also to provide safe and understanding environment by gaining trust and respect from the students. Let this year be great, both for students, parents, and teachers!

Chinese Teacher
Zhang Cai Hong

Chinese Teacher
Zhang Ying

Chinese Teacher
Ma Jian Hui

Chinese Teacher
Xin Xin

Chinese Teacher
Wang Jun

Chinese Teacher
Zhang Meng Xi

PE Teacher
Luan Kleynhans

Math Teacher
George Marx

Math Teacher
Fu Yan Yan

Math Teacher
Elie Moussallem

Math Teacher
Zhao Dan

Math Teacher
Zhang Ran

Drama Teacher
Quintus Aslett

PE Teacher
Andries Nel

PE Teacher
Martinus Horters

Art Teacher
Du Li Mei

Music Teacher
Alexandre Ferreira

What We Teach

Language Arts 

Building and applying literacy skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in English.


Building a deep understanding of a broad scope of scientific areas


Building fundamental numeracy skills.


Developing a student’s confidence and creativity in performing dramas on stage

Unit of Inquiry

In this class, we focus on achieving mainly Humanities and Science learning targets through topical units of inquiry. English literacy and numeracy skills are also built as part of these studies.

Chinese Language Arts

In Chinese class, we focus on building literacy skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in Chinese.

Physical Education & Health

In PE class, we focus on building spatial awareness, coordination, movement and teamwork. We also focus on topics that relate to healthy living and individual well-being.

Visual Arts

In Visual Arts class, we focus on building both knowledge of art history as well as familiarity and proficiency with different media and techniques.


In Music class, we focus on both music appreciation and performance using voice and instruments.

Extended Homeroom

Every Friday morning, we focus on building understanding of different Virtues as part of our character development programme.


Technology tasks will be integrated into Unit of Inquiry and Language Arts activities.

Character Development

At BWYA Primary School, our definition of learning is:

Learning is a continual process of acquiring knowledge and developing skills, positive attitudes and dispositions that lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

At BWYA Primary School, our definition of International Mindedness is:

Opening our eyes and minds to understand and develop our identity within our own culture while being mindful and respectful of others’ ideas, values and beliefs whether we see similarities or differences.


Yanlin Zhang

Dear parents, 

My name is Yanlin Zhang (Yan), I am the school counsellor for the Upper Primary. This marks my first year working at the BWYA and I am thrilled to be part of the BWYA family and counselling team. 

I received a Master’s Degree of Social Work from University of Melbourne where I was honed to become a professional in counselling and youth work. Prior to joining BWYA, I have worked with children and parents/guardians for several years both in China and abroad including Australia and the United States. 

Our counselling team offers quality counselling services to support the various needs of student and parents, including emotional, social, and/or behavioral needs. We aim to support students to build healthy self-esteem and essential life coping skills. You are very welcome to reach me via email at 

Programme Administration

Primary School Principal
Aaron Wise
Head of Lower Primary
Betsy Greenway
Head of Upper Primary
Andrew Abbey
Primary School Campus Manager
Ji Fei
IPC Programme Assistant Upper Primary Librarian
Tona Miao
Head of Learning Support Team
David Dee

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