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

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 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.

G5P Homeroom Teacher
Sandi Forrester

I’m Sandi Forrester and I am from Jamaica, which is a small island in close proximity to the United States of America. I’ve spent nine years in China studying, working, eating all kinds of delicious food and enjoying the undeniably profound culture. After completing my bachelor’s degree in my home country, I moved to Shanxi where I studied Chinese language and history, and achieved HSK level 5. I then moved to Beijing to complete my Master’s degree at Beijing Normal University, taught in Chinese. Shortly after, I obtained my teaching certificate and entered the education sector as an English teacher full time. 

I’ve been a curriculum developer and a teacher to Chinese students from as young as six to adults. This is my fourth year at BWYA and it has been a fruitful process of educating young, eager students as well as continuously developing my skills as an educator. 

I enjoy collaborating with parents to ensure that students receive complete support throughout the school year and keeping parents abreast with what is happening both inside and outside of the classroom. I am excited for another year of great learning and a fantastic time for my students. 

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
Ioannes Oliveira

Math Teacher
Fu Yan Yan

Math Teacher
George Marx

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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