Xi Wang Le Yuan (Place of Hope and Happiness)
Our Education Project
At Xi Wang Le Yuan, we aim to bring out the full potential of our children, through an holistic approach that focuses on the development of the ‘whole child’. These children will contribute positively to their ‘families’ and the community and become independent and worthwhile citizens.
Our goal is to ensure that the curriculum at Xi Wang Le Yuan is dynamic and relevant and that a supportive learning environment allows the provision of quality differentiated teaching programs for our students. This requires that, to the best of our ability, we will learn as much as we can about each child and create flexible learning programs that will cater for their individual strengths and weaknesses.
History of Xi Wang Le Yuan (formally known as The COAT school of Hope)
In 2001, we had a donation of $1,000 to employ one teacher for one year. It took a lot of negotiation before we were allowed to begin.
The aim was also to allow these children, as much as possible, to be part of China's future as this great nation takes it's place on the world's stage.
The COAT School became official in 2003 with the grand opening ceremony attended by a number of important officials from the Jiaozuo Government.
Since that time, we have had many trials and many victories as we negotiate the children's needs while staying within the policies of the Communist Party. The Jiaozuo Department of Civil Affairs is very supportive and very proud of what they call 'their' school. The truth is, it is a joint effort between the Department of Civil Affairs and our registered Chinese Unit named Meng Lin Ertong Jia Yuan (Linda's Dream Children's Homes).
The Chinese Government have given us generous grants to provide all the things we need in our homes and our school. The Australian Embassy in Beijing has also given us generous grants over the years. All we have to do now is raise the funds to pay the wages of our 30 staff. This has been quite difficult for the last two years because Covid-19 has prevented us from reaching our target of AU$27,000 per month just to pay wages.
In 2014, enrolment of the school had grown to accommodate children from Eagles Wings Foster Homes, local foster homes and children from several other floors of the orphanage plus some disabled children from local families.
In 2021, with a rise in strength from the Communist Party, we are having to comply with their policies more and more. We are doing our best to circumnavigate this for the sake of the children. We are glad that we are registered in China as a unit because our relationships between other countries and China have weakened making our position in China a little precarious. But we soldier on for the sake of the children. Every Child! Every Day! Happiness!
Our Principal Zhang Ying
Zhang Ying came to Eagles Wings as a translator in 2008. Since then her impact has been felt throughout all our homes as she willingly and tirelessly works to implement the Eagles Wings vision. Zhang Ying is a qualified teacher and has a number of other diplomas.
In 2011, Zhang Ying was asked to take on the role as Principal of Xi Wang Le Yuan. She is married with two children. Zhang Ying's passion for education has been fuelled by our training, particularly from Michelle Baumgartner, our director of education. We are very blessed to have Zhang Ying as part of our team.
Our Little Learners Classes began in 2015 thanks to a generous grant from the Australian Embassy in Beijing. The idea behind these classes is to enable the youngest children from the orphanage to participate in a loving play based program. It gets them moving and enables children to meet development milestones. Children in these classes are aged between 8 months and 2.5 years. It is our continued goal to reduce the age of the children entering these classes and increase the number of children attending. Children go on regular outings in the orphanage grounds and make use of the indoor activity room each day.
Beginner, kindergarten and preschool classes
Our beginners class is taught by Li Hui Jun and caters for children aged 3-4 years. Children in this class learn basic literacy and numeracy concepts as well as lots of oral language and social skills. There is an emphasis on play and making learning hands-on and fun.
Our kindergarten class caters for children from 4-7 years and caters for children from 6-13 years. Both classes follow the Chinese kindergarten curriculum but with small group activities and hands on learning.
Children in these classes also enjoy music lessons, art/craft lessons, library lessons, outdoor activities (or indoor activity room physical activities during winter) and access to ICT. Individual needs are catered for within these small groups.
Preparations classes (1, 2 and 3)
Preparation classes have been set up for children who are just entering our school system or who are not yet able to access the regular school curriculum. Three classes cater for children of differing ages and abilities. Children study a modified Kindergarten curriculum as they learn what school entails including learning to play, learning to work with others, share and take turns. They also participate in music and movement activites and outdoor activities (indoor activity room during winter). Children in these classes range from 4- 16 years.
Daycare classes are for our high needs children with multiple impairments. Children range from the age of 4-17 years. Two classes cater for small groups of children as they are involved in play, oral language activities, stories and music. They go on regular outings in the orphanage grounds when whether is warm enough.
Children in our Special class work on a modified Kindergarten curriculum. Many of these children are intellectually impaired. The children, aged 10 -15 years of age, work in small groups to best meet their individual needs. Children also participate in lessons in Art/Craft, library, computers, outdoor activities (indoor activity room activities in winter) and music.
Children in senior class are aged between 9-16 years of age. These children mostly have physical impairments. They are all working on individual programs between 1st and 3rd grade of the Chinese curriculum. Children also participate in lessons in art/craft, music, library, computers, science, outdoor activities (indoor activity room activities during winter), Chinese history and geography and English.
Each child attending school requires sponsorship of $100AU per month. Each child that lives in our Eagles Wings Homes also attends school and they require sponsorship of $500AU per month. Our ayis (carers) and teachers require sponsorship of $900AU per month (which also covers their pension and insurance as required by Chinese Law). If you wish to sponsor a particular child or staff member, please note their name and class group so that we can match you with that particular child. If you wish to make a regular donation towards general staff sponsorship, that can also be arranged.
Our School Staff
Directors of Education
Our Directors of Education are COAT Management Committee Members, mother and daughter team Carolyn Wood and Michelle Baumgartner. Based in Australia, the Directors of Education oversee curriculum management and development, educational adjustments to meet individual needs of children and staff training. They are regular visitors to Jiaozuo and also liaise with educational volunteers. In 2015, the team comprised of special education teachers, an artist, a paediatric physiotherapist and an occupational therapist. In 2014, they arranged a month long professional learning tour of Australian special schools for our Principal ZhangYing. She has endeavoured to put many of the ideas she learned on this trip into practise at Xi Wang Le Yuan. In 2015, Michelle travelled as part of an advisory group to the ZhengZhou orphanage to view their education practices and provide staff training.