Head of Secondary – Welcome

Dear XLIS Community Members,

Welcome to the new academic year 2022-2023. This year will mark new chapter In the history of XUS. We have completed a five-year review of all our IB Programmes and WASC accreditation and we are ready to embark on a new journey turning XUS from a good to a great school.

I am honoured to head the Secondary department this new academic ye The foundation has been set and we will focus on academic excellence in this new year. Our students have engaged in various activities that have developed their confidence and engagement in the community. They will continue to build their confidence serve their community, and meet the goal of our mission statement” to build confident open-minded global citizens through lifelong learning and a sense of community.

Good teaching is at the heart of a great school, and our teachers are dedicated to developing our students’ academic skills. Learning at XLIS is student-centred and the teacher acts as a facilitator to create a conducive learning environment. We have introduced several events this year which will enhance the academic rigour at XLIS. Years 1 and 2 of the MYP will engage in project-based learning, and they will present projects that will be interdisciplinary. The MYP3 will take up the Community project which the IB recognizes as the culminating project for the MYP3 students. The high school will focus on preparing for exams in May. MYP4 will complete a mini personal project, and MYP5 will undertake their Personal Project and sit for the IB e-assessments. The aim is to prepare the students for the rigour of the Diploma Programme. Our DP cohort 2023 will continue to put their effort into meeting the deadlines for the EE and all the Internal assessments.

We at XUS believe that our students should find the right balance between academics and activities. We will continue with our sporting events, Dynasties and Week Without Walls. This year the Middle School (Yrs 1-3) will have their trips for WWW in November and the High school in June. All details will be sent to parents in time. This year, we have also added the Science Fair, which will take place in March. This event has been in great demand, and we are excited to see what our young scientists can come up with. Another exciting event is the Work experience week for the MYP 5 student^ which we believe will help them decide on their future careers. There are many new happenings this year, and we hope to achieve all we have planned.

This will be a very busy year, and we hope that we will be able to go through this academic year seamlessly, without interruptions due to Covid. We look forward to another exciting year at XLIS.

Head of Secondary

Mrs. Jaimala Quinlan

Secondary Years Programme (MYP)

The secondary school at XLIS is made up of students from eleven to sixteen years old. We use a curriculum framework called The Middle Years Programme (MYP), which is designed around the best of research practices in education.

Xi’an LiangJiaTan International School was authorised for the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in the year 2014. The MYP at XLIS aims to exemplify a 21st-century teaching model and lead education through student-centered, innovative learning. MYP students learn are encouraged to think expansively and make connections between subjects and the real world.

The MYP at XLIS focuses on a concept-driven, inquiry-based curriculum, where students build upon their strengths and meet challenges through embedding ATL (Approaches To Learning) skills. The ATL skills clusters are framed to support thinking, self-management, social, research and communication skills.

The programme empowers students to inquire into a wide range of issues and ideas of significance locally, nationally, and globally. The result is young people who are creative, critical, and reflective thinkers.

Students learn concurrently through different subject groups for all-round and holistic development. Apart from subject disciplines students are engaged in project-based learning through META-Project, SDG Week, and Personal Project. Personal Project is the culminating project for MYP Year 5 where students are required to participate and complete a major self-directed project over the course of one year. These projects are assessed externally and have consistently earned scores above the world average.

At XLIS, students are engaged in service-learning activities through ‘Week Without Walls’ trips in China and Asia and through ongoing projects in the local community. Service learning is also integrated into the MYP curriculum units. Students learning and achievements are celebrated through annual subject awards and bi-annual IB learner profile awards. Students demonstrate  conceptual understanding and transfer through their learning engagements and through the Student-Led Conferences. XLIS aims to encourage resilient and responsible individuals who contribute to the sustainable development of the world and represent all the attributes of the IB Learner Profile.

Subjects Taught at XLIS

The middle school at XLIS host many student workshops, and collaboration events, focused on effective teamwork throughout the year. 

Language & Literature

Language Acquisition

Individuals & Societies


Sciences Integrated

Physical & Health Education



Visual Arts

XLIS Secondary School Handbook


XLIS provides a non-profit education focsued on enabling confident, open-minded global citizens through life-long learning and a sense of community.


To lead education through innovation and a student-centered, community-driven approach.

International Baccalaureate MYP and DP

We are an IB world school, running the five-year Middle Years Program and the 2-year Diploma Program.  We are proud to be part of the network of IB schools and to align our pedagogy within the IB curriculum framework of MYP and DP. Our mission aligns with the mission and aims of the International Baccalaureate. We strive to innovate and go beyond the framework of the IB and to integrate best practice and contemporary wisdom in whatever we do.

Our School Wide Learning Outcomes (SLO) - IB Learner Profiles


We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry, and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.


We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.


We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.


We show empathy, compassion, and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.


We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.


We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global signi­ficance.


We express ourselves con­fidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.


We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.


We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.


We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

SDG Projects

Over the past four years at XLIS, we have moved from a superficial, surface understanding of the goals to a deeper one with this more embedded approach.

We strive to connect our units with the Sustainable Development Goals in meaningful ways across the secondary. Since 2017, we have run multi-age level, multi-disciplinary SDG Projects. We have replaced final exams for Middle School and Grade 9 (and this year Grade 10) students with these non-assessed projects. Students engage with issues of local and global significance and demonstrate social, research, thinking, and communication skills.

SDG’s have been imbedded across some subject units and inter-disciplinary units over the past four years. SDG’s are focus points of our Week Without Walls trips. Each trip has two-three SDG’s that are a central focus. We have started our MYP5 Personal Projects and MYP 1-4 META (PBL) Projects with the Goals and Targets and will work to embed these further at the start of the coming year.

META Projects

Since 2018, we have dedicated 1-2 hours of homeroom time per week to META Projects for all MYP 1-4 students, where students lead the learning, create and document a project of their choice over the course of the year. In 2019, some of the classes used the SDGs and Targets as a starting point. They started by reflecting and considering their own interests and passions and abilities (macro) then looked at SDG and targets (micro) and came up with a plan. These are un-graded projects and students devote a good deal of time to them over the course of the year.

Week Without Walls

Our service trips which have run for the past three years at XLIS focus on service, action, and creativity.

We have run annual trips over the last three years with a focus on service, action, and creativity. We have developed trips to Yangshuo, China, and Bali, Indonesia for Middle School and Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Xichong, China for High School. We embed the SDG’s into the trips. Students are involved in leading and planning over several weeks leading up to the trip and leading reflection and presentations after the trip. The trips have run in November over the last years but are planned to run in June next year because of the global pandemic.

Our Service as Action Coordinator has also introduced the Duke of Edinburgh Award and we will begin to implement this program over the coming year. Students will pursue the award through personal challenges and develop their skills and ability.

Student Led Conferences

In October and January, we run three-way conferences with student (at the centre), and parents and teacher. We do not hold Parent-Teacher Conferences for Teacher and Parents to talk about students, we always involve the students fully in the dialogue. We talk with and not about students. This philosophy of talking to students about their learning also is evident in our semester report cards and ATL Progress Reports. All communication is written directly to the student instead of about them. It is their learning journey.

Since 2016/17, we have been running Student-Led-Conferences for all MYP and DP students. These conferences are not focused on content and “what” students learned but rather, the focus is on conceptual understanding and transfer between subjects and the outside world. Our students spend 30 minutes, sitting alongside their parents and talk about their learning.

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