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25 years of preparing students for a successful life


For 25 years, Concordia has prepared students to thrive in the modern world. Many elements have made it effective in nurturing young minds. From its challenging curriculum, spirituality and service learning and variety of extracurricular activities to the exceptional teaching staff, college counselors and personalised learning, Concordia ensures all its students benefit from a holistic approach to education.

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Education has evolved. Gone are the days of blind memorization and awkwardly parroted facts. Now schools focus on critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, and digital literacy. Learn is active, filled with explorations of real-world problems and innovative solutions. Technology is pivotal, providing access to vast resources. Classes put students in charge. Global awareness and cultural competence are nurtured, preparing students for a diverse and interconnected world. 

“As an educator, I have noticed a new popular catchphrase that is being thrown around today in pedagogical circles,” says Steven Sgourdos, High School Social Studies teacher at Concordia International School Shanghai. “That catchphrase is ‘21st Century Learning’. So, what does it mean to prepare students for the 21st Century? Applied Learning? Technology integration? Inquiry-based learning? I would argue that not only are these skills important, but are critical.”

The institution’s values-based, American education is set to cultivate good behavior and character, which include positive qualities such as respect, honesty, justice and compassion. What does this values-based learning look like? It features a positive learning environment, social and emotional programmes, service learning and more. A great example is the Concordia Student Leaders, the grade four leadership club which works towards making an impact in their school community. They prepare to lead student assemblies, new service projects, and school jobs.

Insightful learners

Effective communicators

Active global citizens

Reflective spiritual beings

Principle-centered leaders and team members

Concordia aims to transform students into:

Championing authentic, values-based learning

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The school’s Learning Support (LS) program gives students individual support to help them personally and academically. With this help, students learn how to function responsibly and independently. They find practical ways in which to advocate effectively for themselves. The program’s support comes in many forms, including in-class help, small group pull-out instruction or Core Support classes, co-teaching, and one-on-one instruction as necessary. There is an in-house educational psychologist as part of the LS team, who works with students, families, teachers and counselors to create a safe and supportive school environment for all.

“For this to be truly successful, we spend time building trust, teaching compassion, modelling patience and exercising forgiveness. We provide opportunities for students to observe and practice good character and values through activities such as free play, group work, collaborative problem solving, as well as academic discussion and service projects.”

“It is vital to the development and growth of a school community that values be placed at the heart of the organisation,” says Angela Beach, ES Assistant Principal.

Offered to 11th and 12th-grade students, this course closes the gap between theoretical knowledge and the real world. From Applied Learning courses in Creative Writing and the Writer’s Craft to Scientific Research, there is a wide variety of classes so students can choose what best suits their interests. “Applied Learning Business & Finance was mainly born out of my passion for business and finance,” says Sgourdos. “It also stemmed from the realization that financial literacy is not taught in most schools today, even though it is perhaps one of the most critical subject areas we can teach our kids.”

Curriculum is flexible and fuses several subjects. “Students in this course are introduced to key business and finance principles through hands-on activities and by applying these principles to business case studies and real-world simulations,” says Sgourdos. “Major areas of study within this applied context include the fields of: business psychology, marketing, investment finance, management, business entrepreneurship, and capital markets.”

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Concordia’s programs teach life-long skills, making students adaptable to the changing world of disruptive technologies. “Harvard professor Dr. Tony Wagner would say they are ‘survival skills’,” says Sgourdos. “These survival skills are at the heart of the Applied Learning Business & Finance course and the inspiration behind each one of the designed challenges the students undertake.”

Focusing on transferable skills for the future

High school students can focus on extracurriculars that align with their passions, leading to more opportunities for competition and collaboration. This includes travel through Asia via the Asia Pacific Activities Conference (APAC).

Concordia offers extracurricular programs across grade levels that are intentional and age-appropriate. For elementary school, these activities feature further exploration in STEAM, literacy, art, exploration, movement, athletics, service and leadership. In middle school, athletes can participate in inter-school competitions through the China International Schools Sports Association (CISSA) and Shanghai International Schools Activities Conference (SISAC).

Fulfillment outside the classroom


Concordia Presents speaker events


athletic championships


performing arts ECAs


extracurricular activities (ECAs)

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It’s not colleges choosing you but the other way around — this is the adage that Concordia’s high school counselors tell every student. It’s also not about picking the best-ranked, most prestigious institutions. Rather, it’s about finding the colleges and universities that fit each student’s personalities, interests, financial situations, and other personal or family considerations.

And find they did. The 64 students from the class of 2023 applied to an average of 7.5 universities and have been accepted to the likes of Imperial College London, Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, McGill University and more. Among those heading to US institutions, an impressive 40% are attending US TOP 25 national universities and 67% to TOP 50 national universities (2023 U.S. News Ranking).

Proven results for a successful future

Want to know more?

Parents are welcome to schedule an individual Zoom meeting or an on-campus tour to get a feel for the facilities and environment or check out the virtual campus tour.

Your child’s successful future is ensured at Concordia International School Shanghai.

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