DCSZ Founder's Day-The Zhou Family

Following last week's article - The Hastemir Family, this week we present you- The Zhou Family to share their story with us. Our Founder's Day, which is coming soon on 20 May, is co-organised by Friends of Dulwich (FoD) and the school, and Ms Anna is our Chair of  FoD this year. Let us see her experience at DCSZ and the story behind the FoD and Founder's Day!

If you don't know what Founder's Day is, please click this video to get a better understanding!

Hi Ms Anna. You are our Chair of FoD. Could you share with us your experience as a FoD chair? Are there any fascinating stories you could share with us? 

Being an FoD Chair is a way of growing. We are the bridge that connects our school to our parents, and seeing our parents participate in our events and have a joyful experience or helping those less fortunate than us through our fundraising events, makes our job feel so rewarding and valuable. The sense of accomplishment we feel is indescribable. The connection and friendship I have developed with our team this year is extraordinary.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this volunteering journey has been uncovering hidden talents that I never knew I possessed. I am equally impressed by the unique strengths and talents of each of our FoD committee members. 

I also have fun and enjoy doing things. By doing so, I made lots of friends, completed many activities and have a sense of accomplishment. I personally love the video of our Christmas choir we made last Christmas. That’s the most fascinating thing I have ever done. Last Christmas was the time just after the pandemic. The song brought our community hope and love.

How will you prepare for this year's Founder's Day? Could you share with us some highlights?

Founder’s Day is a big day for celebrating our rich cultural background and heritage as an international school, but it is also our biggest fundraising event. This year’s Founder’s Day, the meaning behind it is hope, love and prosperity. So, we value charity spirit very much.

One of the highlights of this year’s Founder’s Day is the Lucky Draw. This exciting and fun event is new to our community. The Lucky Draw is not just for fun; it also allows you to contribute to changing another person’s life as all the profit generated from this event will go directly to help support the four charity projects for Founders’ Day. What’s more, we also have pony riding and golf this year, waiting for you to come and join!

What does Founder's Day mean to you?

To me, Founder’s Day means embracing love, diversity, and a vision of hope for the future. As expats, we live a life of constantly adapting to new environments, but we should always try to enjoy our lives with our families and friends, keeping an open heart for love and compassion!

We have been living in China for over ten years, spending three years in Shanghai before settling in Suzhou for the past seven years. My children have been studying at DCSZ for seven years, having joined in the Autumn of 2016. 

We previously lived in Silicon Valley, California, for over a decade, we have always appreciated a tranquil and nature-filled lifestyle surrounded by friendly and open people, along with innovation and excitement, we were surprised to find that Suzhou was the perfect fit for us. 

Before moving to Suzhou, we researched international schools in the area and found Dulwich College to be a well-known and reputable public school with a history of over 400 years in the UK. When we visited DCSZ, we were impressed with the nurturing and welcoming environment, which aligned with our educational philosophy. We loved it immediately. The school has consistently demonstrated excellent academic, extracurricular, and holistic qualities, with educators who view our children as whole individuals and encourage them to develop their strengths and learning skills.

Over the past seven years, we have seen both of our children flourish at DCSZ. Our older one has transformed from a tiny, stubborn little girl into a (not as) tiny, stubborn teenager, while our younger daughter has become an active participant in various activities, including art, writing, and athletics. Although the learning journey has had its share of challenges, our children have developed academically and personally, with the help of their exceptional teachers even during the difficult three years of the pandemic.

As a mother of two wonderful children and one of the most senior parents at DCSZ, I wanted to take a moment to share some heartfelt advice with our parent friends. Our kids grow up in the blink of an eye. So it is important to cherish every moment we have with our children.

That's why I believe that being present at school for your child as much as possible is so essential. Our kids need our love and support not just at home, but in their educational environment as well. I still remember the joy of bringing lunch to school for my daughters when they were younger, just to spend some special time with them and show them how much they're valued. And as they have grown, I've continued to make an effort to attend the school's Parent Academy and take part in workshops that help me become a better parent and lifelong learner. Over the years, I've also found so much joy in contributing to the school community as a volunteer. Whether it's as a guest reader, parent representative, classroom reading buddy, or FoD committee member, giving back has given me a sense of belonging and purpose as an expat. And most importantly, by seeing me devote myself to the community, my children have been encouraged and inspired to develop a sense of service and generosity.

I strongly encourage our parents to take an active role in their child's education and school community. By doing so, you not only show your children that you care about their education, but you also set a positive example for them to follow.

Thank you Anna for your hardwork and contribution. If you want to know more details of Founder's Day, please see our WeChat second article this week!