A beautiful weekend in Shanghai
Our weekend in Shanghai has been a combination of exploring and learning. The weather has been brilliant with many hours of sunshine.
On Saturday Mrs Prince and I decided to be the typical tourist and visit different areas of the City on a ‘Hop on hop off’ bus. It was great as it had an open top so we could enjoy the views of the city with a gentle breeze keep us cool in the heat.
Our first stop was the Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar. They are classical Chinese gardens with a Ming-dynasty design and beautiful pond-like pools containing huge koi carp all waiting to be fed their special food. Although it was Saturday, and the gardens were extremely busy, it felt like an oasis even with the backdrop of the skyscrapers. The buildings, including the historic tea rooms, are beautifully designed with swooping clay rooves and beautifully shaped carvings.
Surrounding the gardens is a never-ending bazaar with bustling souvenir and countless food stops offering many delights including the famous dumplings. It was very entertaining watching the tourists haggle. I would love to see Mrs McCollom and the staff at St Augustine’s haggle for some bargains!
Our next stop was Xintandi in the French Concession. It was like stepping into a completely different world compared to the gardens as the buildings were modern and very up-market. There were many big brand famous stores such as Tiffany and Gucci – a little over-priced for my budget!
Our final stop was a photo opportunity beneath the famous Oriental Pearl Tower. The 468m tripod with huge metalic spheres known as the space modules is one of my favourite buildings and is a symbol of the city that excites the imagination and attracts thousands of visitors year-round.
This morning, all of the teachers from the UK were invited to observe two Chinese teachers teacher fraction lessons. They were very brave as there were over 100 of us learning from them as they demonstrated strategies of how to place fractions on a number line. It was very interesting and after the lesson we had the opportunity to discuss the lessons including time to ask questions and considering how we could teach using similar strategies in the UK.
After our Sunday morning lesson, some of the Chinese teachers took us out of the city to Zhujiajiao, a Water Town known as Shanghai’s Venice with unique old bridges across bubbling streams, small rivers shaded by willow trees, and houses with small courtyards. It was built almost 1,700 years ago and once again I was taken aback by its beauty and tranquillity as we enjoyed a leisurely stroll meandering in and out of Ming-dynasty style buildings. There are many bridges that allow you to cross the small canals including the largest and most famous of these bridges Fangsheng Bridge, or the ‘setting the fish free bridge’, where locals come to release fish into the water for good luck. When we stood on the bridge we could see a small historic temple, they are dotted all over the city and are a great reminder of the rich cultural and religious heritage of China. Wow!
After a great weekend, we are off for an early night as we have a 2 hour journey to our new school in the morning located in the countryside – we’ve been advised to wrap up due to the weather forecast being very cool where the school is located.
Hope you are all having a great weekend in the UK.
I wish we could arrange a huge school trip for you all to visit China and meet children your age!