Our New Head of College, Garry Russell, Talks 21st Century Skills

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Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong

​We are extremely pleased to welcome Dulwich Pudong's new Head of College, Garry Russell. Mr. Russell brings to our College a wealth of experience as an educator and as a leader.

He has over 20 years of experience in international education, including three years as Headteacher at Regents International School in Thailand and, more recently, six years at the British School of Guangzhou as Head of Secondary and Vice Principal.

We asked Mr. Russell to elaborate on an important topic: equipping young people for future success.


It has become clear that one of the biggest challenges for schools today is equipping students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to thrive in a complex and dynamic world - a world that is increasingly impacted by rapid technological and social change. 

Developing 21st century skills and responsibilities, which will allow students to confidently pursue their passions, sits at the heart of my vision.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • critical reading, thinking, and writing
  • complex problem solving
  • communication, collaboration and negotiation
  • creativity
  • resilience
  • digital citizenship
  • global awareness and social responsibility
  • motivation and self-direction

I am pleased to be joining Dulwich Pudong, an organisation with nearly 20 years of experience in forward-thinking education. Our students consistently achieve excellent results in IGCSE and IB examinations which are highly valued by the world's best universities. Our alumni network extends across the globe, and our graduates are making a tremendous impact in their chosen fields.


How have we managed to equip our students with the skills to be so successful? 

It all starts with great staff. By attracting the best teachers from around the world, we create an environment where every day is full of outstanding learning opportunities for our students. Our teachers are both passionate about their subject and also life-long learners themselves. Our approach to pedagogy is clear and consistent with our bespoke Learning Principles shared across the College. Centered on evidence-based research and a commitment to Professional Learning, we ensure that our students come first.


Of course, education is no longer constrained by the school day nor the classroom. By harnessing the power of technology, our curriculum supports learning in new and exciting ways. Our pioneering Dulwich Digital Difference (D3) Project will significantly increase our resources and capabilities, allowing flexible and personalised learning for both teachers and students.


The development of 21st century skills must be underpinned by a sense of happiness, self-worth and wellbeing. Feeling physically, socially and emotionally strong removes barriers to learning and allows students to thrive. Dulwich Pudong is globally renowned for its commitment to wellbeing, as reflected by our recent shortlisting for the World's Best Schools Awards for supporting healthy lives. 

A robust home-school partnership is central to our success. Research shows that student outcomes are improved when parents play an active part in their child's learning journey. This year, for example, we are really excited to be launching our Parent Academy, which will enhance the channels of collaboration between parents and teachers.


Through all these approaches, along with our commitment to holistic education, our students continue to thrive and make a positive difference to the world. Whether through our academic programmes, music, sport, technology, visual and performing arts, service activities or co-curricular activities, we challenge our student’s thinking, develop their skills and capacities and, of course, have a lot of fun along the way! 

We all know there are significant challenges ahead, but amazing opportunities as well. Our commitment is to empower our students to grasp these opportunities, thrive, and make a difference.


Finally on a personal note, my family and I are extremely excited to be here in Shanghai, a vibrant, globally connected city, perhaps the most dynamic place in the world. I look forward to meeting students, staff, parents and prospective parents over the coming weeks and months.