St Paul’s Girls’ School has built its reputation on innovation and progressive development. We have continually evolved to take advantage of the best opportunities for our students. We now begin an important new chapter in our school’s history: the opening of our first international sister school in China. This is the foundation of a network of SPGS International schools, in China and beyond. As the network grows, we will implement meaningful links between our schools, drawing upon local and global inspiration to enrich education for all our students.

SPGS International

SPGS International is a wholly owned subsidiary of St Paul’s Girls’ School. SPGS International works with international school operators and developers to establish schools modelled on the ethos and values of St Paul’s Girls’ School. Although SPGS International schools operate independently from St Paul’s in London, they are grounded in a close partnership to incorporate the most brilliant aspects of a St Paul’s education and seek to replicate its extraordinary achievements.

Our team of highly experienced international advisers provides guidance to our partners on the set-up of each school, including leadership and teacher recruitment, curriculum planning, policy development, and student assessment. Once a school has opened, SPGS International provides oversight of standards and supports ongoing professional development for staff.

Boy and girl in classroom at SPGS International school Chengdu, China.

Life at SPGS International schools in China

Students follow an enhanced version of the English National Curriculum, including Chinese language and culture and SPGS school directed courses. Students are taught in small classes and the curriculum is revised regularly to incorporate the latest educational practices. This approach enables students to achieve academic excellence and to play a leading role in the world beyond school.

A joy in learning, intellectual excitement and creativity in thinking permeate St Paul’s and this ethos is distilled into our sister schools. SPGS International schools provide holistic learning programmes that challenge and excite. Highly qualified and experienced teachers share best practices and benefit from ongoing professional development.

By recognising students’ individual strengths and talents, SPGS International teachers educate the whole child and develop independence, curiosity and resilience.

A core element of SPGS International schools is the opportunity for cultural exchange and shared learning for students and teachers. Long term links with St Paul’s in London are built through joint projects in technology, music and the arts, educational visits and teacher and pupil exchanges.

Children playing on slide at SPGS International school in Chengdu, China.

Our family of schools


SPGS International Chengdu is a co-educational, international school aimed at the expatriate community. It caters for students aged three to six years old and will expand over the coming years to educate students through to 18.

The school is located in Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province, rich in culture and natural beauty. The province is home to panda conservation and takes pride in its biodiversity and natural sources of energy. The school will have strong links with the area’s hi-tech industries and will benefit from its growing international business environment, mirroring our ambitions to develop new and emerging technologies within the curriculum at St Paul’s.

Junior school

The junior school is led by Phil Farrier-Price, who has nearly 20 years’ experience working in international and bilingual schools in China. Phil graduated from Durham University with a degree in Education and Business Management and specialises in early years and primary education. Under Phil’s leadership, students at the Chengdu school receive a broad and rounded education, based on the UK Early Years curriculum. Academic excellence is underpinned by a wealth of co-curricular activities, with a focus on the creative arts and the kindest pastoral care. This allows each child to reach their full potential academically, socially and emotionally.

Student studies at SPGS International school in Chengdu, China.

Senior school

The senior school will open in August 2022 led by Peter Hawksworth, Founding Headmaster and Head of Senior School. Peter brings to this role over ten years’ experience in education, including six years at Headship level. He leaves his position as High School Principal at the Harbour School in Hong Kong to join the team in Chengdu. Peter received a first-class honours degree from Durham University, before completing a Master of Music from the University of Manchester and further post-graduate qualifications in music and special education. Peter has a passion for Chinese culture and a desire to fuse Chinese language and values with the best aspects of a St Paul’s education.


SPGS International School Chengdu Celebrates Lunar New Year

1 February 2022

Students and staff at SPGS International School Chengdu marked the Year of the Tiger with plenty of activities including learning and performing traditional songs together. Students enjoyed making toy firecrackers and creating tiger masks and wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year. 

A Typical Day at SPGS International School Chengdu

20 January 2022

How do students at SPGS International School Chengdu spend their day? With specially selected monthly learning themes, outdoor classes and a mix of music, art, science and drama classes, younger children in Junior School are always excited to explore and discover new ideas. Watch the video for a quick glimpse into their typical activity-filled school day. 

Inaugural Headmaster and Head of Senior School takes up post

Headshot of Peter Hawksworth

2 November 2021

We are delighted to announce that Peter Hawksworth has been appointed as Inaugural Headmaster and Head of Senior School at SPGS International Chengdu. He will join the team in Chengdu in November, ahead of the opening of the Senior School in August 2022. Peter relocates to China from Hong Kong where he is currently High School Principal of The Harbour School. He received a First in Music from Durham University and completed a Master of Music at the University of Manchester. Peter has built his reputation on a commitment to excellence underscored by compassion. He says “When you encourage children to have a real passion for learning, you empower them to take risks, experiment, and reach genuine, deep learning.”

SPGS International School Chengdu Celebrates Mid-Autumn Festival

Students with teacher, doing crafts to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival.

28 September 2021

After a busy start to their first term, students clearly enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival with their teachers and friends. Mid-Autumn Festival is China’s second most important festival after Chinese New Year.

Also called the Moon Festival, this three-day public holiday allows people working across the country to reunite with their families, celebrating together by preparing elaborate dinners, worshiping the moon and lighting paper lanterns. In SPGS International Chengdu, young students made lanterns and traditional mooncakes – the roundness of the moon symbolising the reunion of the family.

Meet the team

Sara Brazendale
Managing Director

Sara established SPGS International in 2019 on behalf of St Paul’s Girls’ School. Sara was born in Hong Kong and grew up in the UK. She studied Mandarin at Durham University with post-graduate studies at Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. After graduation, Sara trained in journalism at Thomson Reuters before moving into media management in Hong Kong. She later joined Bloomberg in Hong Kong where she led marketing and product development for the South-East Asia region.

Headshot image of Sara Brazendale.

In 1995 Sara moved to France to study for an MBA at INSEAD after which she joined Bain Hong Kong as a strategy consultant. Sara later returned to Thomson Reuters as Head of Strategic Planning for Asia and founded an internet start-up in Beijing.

In 2016, Sara joined Wycombe Abbey to lead its new school partnership in China, helping to establish Wycombe Abbey Schools in Changzhou, Hangzhou and Hong Kong. Sara joined St Paul’s Girls’ School in September 2018 to develop a new international business for the school.

Sarah Harrison
International Development Coordinator

Sarah has over twenty years’ experience in international project development, marketing, and journalism. She graduated from the University of Leeds and later studied with the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing. She has worked and volunteered at commercial and charitable organisations in the USA, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. Prior to joining SPGS International, she was Director of the arts charity, the Lettering Arts Trust.

Join us

We are looking for outstanding and committed staff to work at SPGS International schools. Vacancies can be found on our dedicated recruitment page, where opportunities are regularly open for applications.

SPGS International Senior School Chengdu opens in August 2022 and recruitment is underway for several roles.


SPGS International Ltd, Brook Green, Hammersmith, London W6 7BS.

Email us at international@spgs.org, and explore the SPGS International website here.

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