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  • New executive principal for Nanwai King’s

    Tuesday 31 Aug 2021

    Peter Derby-CrookExperienced educator Peter Derby-Crook MBE has been confirmed as the new executive principal at Dipont Education independent school Nanwai King’s College School Wuxi.

    Taking over from current principal Dr John Kennard, Peter will lead the school as it begins its fourth year. He joins the school from Dipont, where he has served as Director of Education since 2019. He will continue to maintain oversight of Dipont’s Education Team.

    Peter is a leader with a passion for educational reform. Over the past 40 years, he has led several schools in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Dubai, and other countries, to become leading local and even global educational institutions.

    Dipont: Congratulations on your appointment Peter. What attracted you to join NKCS?

    Peter: I must congratulate the leaders and all the staff and students and parents because what they’ve done in establishing this school is simply miraculous. Everybody just does such an amazing job. Founding a new school is difficult and it’s made more complex because NKCS is a bilingual school with a mixture of cultures. Not to mention the challenges that covid has brought to school life.

    I have huge respect for everybody and my view is that NKCS will continue to grow to be one of the best schools in China.

    So why would I not want to join such a great school? I love being a principal and being involved in schools and school communities. I just couldn’t resist this opportunity! Dr John leaves big shoes to fill, he’s done a great job but I’ll follow and do my best!

    I am so excited about working together with the community. Whenever I’ve visited in the past, I’ve always felt incredibly welcome – all that attracted me to this position.

    D: What are your ambitions for NKCS?

    P: We are hoping to be the best school in China with a dynamic learning community that nurtures and inspires everyone to be the best they can be. We aspire to create a community where we’re learning and following our passions. Children who study with us will be confident and able to communicate and speak confidently.

    If, as a school, we can help students to become lifelong learners, they will go on to achieve their goals. We need to nurture and inspire students to take responsibility for their own learning journey, to be collaborative and creative and take those skills beyond school. We need to teach them that you continually grow throughout your whole life.

    D: As a school offering A-level and IBDP courses, what are your expectations and goals for NKCS in this new phase?

    P: What I would be very keen to see in this school is that children have life experiences as well as academic experiences. So if students do A-levels, they also need to have other experiences in their curriculum to give a well-rounded approach to their growth. We need to provide care and counseling to help them deal with the pressure and stress that they’re under and we need to support parents so that they know how to support their children during these important years.

    With the international baccalaureate, there is a broader experience and it forces you to take subjects outside of your favorites. It makes you think about knowledge, where it’s come from, and how what you’re doing fits into it. But it’s difficult because the academic challenge is very, very high, and there’s not a lot of space for other things. So, we will have to be very creative with the timetable and the balance of subjects and skills in order for children to be healthy in mind and body.

    I would also hope that all children, whether they do A-level or IB, will have a community, action and service aspect to their lives to develop good habits and commitment.

    D: What would you most like to say to NKCS students and parents?

    P: If I only had one word, it would be “congratulations” because I’m coming to a school that is so well established and has already achieved great things. But it has also potential to grow and develop and be even better. And I think ‘Aspiring to Excellence’ is exactly the right approach.