Introduction to Grade 5

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

Dear Parents, 

My name is Andrew Abbey and I am the Head of Upper Primary. It has been my pleasure to work at BWYA for the last six years and I am looking forward to another tremendous year of learning with our students. 

Last year was one of the most challenging in our school’s history, but I am extremely proud of the efforts of our staff, students and parents in adapting to the challenges given to us as a result of COVID-19. Now we have entered a new and exciting period with the move to our fantastic new campus. It has been fantastic to see the reactions of students to our amazing new facilities and I am very happy they will be able to call this building their home during the educational development. 

Together, teachers and parents need to work closely to give the support and encouragement to students for them to find their passions, overcome challenges and reach their potential. I am very proud to work with such an excellent and committed group of teachers who understand the need to communicate clearly with parents to help them, and their children, with everything they need to be successful. This academic year will be another to successful one for our students and families at BWYA! 

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 5 Teachers

Head of Grade 5, G5B Homeroom Teacher
Matthew Turner

Dear Parents,

My name is Matthew Turner and I am the Head of Grade 5 as well as the homeroom teacher for Grade 5 Blue.

I was born in the United States and have spent most of my childhood and early adult life in my hometown of Prescott, Arizona. This is my ninth-year teaching and my fifth year with BWYA. I have completed my MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University, and I am a licensed teacher in the state of Florida.

No matter their background, people share many of the same basic needs. Every individual wants to experience success and personal growth, and I strongly believe that it is our duty as teachers to give students that opportunity. As a teacher I strive to develop a student’s motivation, inquiry, and thirst for knowledge, while simultaneously giving them the tools and skills needed to pursue their academic goals both in BWYA and beyond.

I look forward to sharing your child’s successes and collaborating with you this academic year.

G5R Homeroom Teacher
William Bolton

Dear Parents,

My name is William Bolton, and I am the homeroom teacher for Grade Five Red. I am from Manchester, in the United Kingdom, where I completed my university degree. I have been teaching in Beijing for 5 years and I am looking forward to spending many more here in China.

As a teacher I endeavour to create a fun and exciting learning environment that encourages self-learning and co-operation. Motivation is the key to self-improvement and my goal is to provide the spark that students need to drive their interest in the classroom and beyond.

I am very happy to be part of the team at BWYA and I am looking forward to working with you so that your children reach their full potential.

G5Y Homeroom Teacher
Megan Lucas

Dear parents,

My name is Megan Lucas. I am the homeroom teacher for Grade 5 Yellow. I am from a coastal town in South Africa called Richard’s Bay and I have been teaching in Beijing for 4 years. Having already met your children, I am very excited to guide them in the direction of realizing their full potential.

Our aim in Grade 5 is to equip our students with the tools they will need to confidently move into the middle school phase of their education. We do this by encouraging both academic and social independence not only inside the classroom but also in the outside world. In my classroom, my goal is to nurture motivated and inquisitive young minds while developing a strong sense of self-respect and respect for others.

I am looking forward to working with you and all of your children to ensure this is a fun-filled year of learning and growth.

G5G Homeroom Teacher
Aoife Quigley

Dear Parents,

My name is Aoife Quigley and I’m from a small town called Enniscorthy in Ireland.

Having completed my degree in English Literature and Irish Language, I moved to France where I was given the opportunity to teach English in a small village school. This is where I fell in love with teaching. In 2017 I moved to Beijing to continue doing what I loved. During my second year here, I was promoted to a managerial position within the company and became a member of their teacher training team. This allowed me to gain extensive knowledge into the field of teaching.

With 4 years of teaching experience behind me, I accepted the position of Grade 5 homeroom teacher from BWYA. This role allows me to continue to do what I am most passionate about. I have already had the pleasure of meeting the most kind, polite and intelligent students of G5G and I am very excited to continue working with them. I hope to inspire them as much as they have already inspired me.

Chinese Teacher
Zhang Cai Hong

Chinese Teacher
Zhang Ying

Chinese Teacher
Ma Jian Hui

Chinese Teacher
Xin Xin

Chinese Teacher
Dai Yun Yun

Chinese Teacher
Zhang Meng Xi

Chinese Teacher
Yan Xiao Wei

Math Teacher
Ioannes Oliveira

Math Teacher
Fu Yan Yan

Math Teacher
Elie Moussallem

Math Teacher
Zhao Dan

Math Teacher
Zhang Ran

PE Teacher
Andrew Abbey

PE Teacher
Andries Nel

PE Teacher
Martinus Horters

Art Teacher
Du Li Mei

Drama Teacher
Quintus Aslett

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.

This Year's Units of Inquiry

The Holiday Show (Semester 1)

We will be finding out about our responsibilities as tourists, and the impact that our choice of holiday and travel destination can have on the human and physical environment.

The Great, The Bold and The Brave (Semester 1)

The history of western civilisation begins with the Greeks and the Romans. Their expanding empires helped to spread ideas about architecture, food, entertainment, literature, science, medicine and politics across the globe. As their empires ended, other cultures rose to prominence, absorbing and passing on their own ideas and cultures – creating the world we know today.

Earth as an Island (Semester 2)

Islands used to be isolated places, with unique cultures, geographical features and ecosystems. In today’s increasingly-interdependent global community, even the most remote of islands are being ever-more affected by human existence. Explore the impact of humans on islands.

Making the News (Semester 2)

We are processing more news and information than any other generation before us. Now, more than ever, we need to understand how best to interpret and use these opportunities to share information with an audience, so that we can become skilled and responsible 21st century communicators.

  • Scientists at Work (S1)
  • Matter and its Interactions (S1)
  • Transfer of Energy and Matter through Organisms in Eco Systems (S1)
  • Motion, Forces and Interactions (S2)
  • Earth and Human Activity (S2)
  • Earth’s Place in Space (S2)

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.


Vickey Zhu

My name is Vickey Zhu. This is my third year with Beijing World Youth Academy as a primary school counselor. I have been a caring counseling professional for 10 years including 4 years’ overseas living and working in the USA. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in school counseling. I also hold a Chinese teacher qualification certificate and an American school counselor licensure. I believe education is about assisting and guiding students in becoming better people, and fostering in them the passion to explore themselves as well as caring about others. 

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