My first day at school….
Tuesday 12th November 2019
Today we went to our first school Shanghai Yangjing-Juyuan Experimental School, we are at this school for the remainder of the week. It is enormous with over 200 pupils and is perfectly placed in the centre of the city with views of incredible architecture all around.
When we arrived we found the pupils waiting to greet us with huge smiles. They had prepared a welcome ceremony which is common when international teachers visit. It was really special, they welcomed us by playing music and waving British and Chinese flags. A group of adults and children were lined up in in front of a large LED board displaying our names. We felt like celebrities – our names were in lights!
The grade 5 children (equivalent to our year 6) gave us a tour of the campus, they were very proud to be part of Shanghai Yangjing-Juyuan Experimental School as they spoke so fondly of what it was like being a pupil there.
After the tour we were introduced the head teacher and exchanged gifts, she absolutely loved her Harry Potter mug! The meeting with the head teacher gave us the opportunity to ask questions about the school and the types of lessons that are taught. She explained that schools in Shanghai have different specialist subject areas as well as the regular curriculum and the speciality focus of this school is Design and Technology. A pupil presented a project that he designed and created based on the idea of saving energy within large cities. He used different materials and it even lit up!
After lunch we observed a our first maths lesson of the visit. The key learning point of the lesson was the relationship between the multiplication of 3, 6 and 9.
The lesson consolidated the mastery technique that we have been researching in the UK and was very carefully crafted by the teacher using small steps to allow the pupils to understand the concept.
The teacher began by reviewing the previous lesson with a short activity. The concept of relationship of the relationship multiplication was then introduced using a pictorial representation. The children were asked to count the coloured squares on the rectangle and by doing so, they were able to begin to find patterns between the 3, 6, and 9 times tables.
They explained their findings to the teacher and the concept was then repeated using a different representation – a number line. The small steps were pivotal to the learning and language and key vocabulary was used fluidly throughout the lesson to consolidate understanding and ensure the involvement of all pupils – it was fascinating.
After the lesson, the teacher and other teachers from the school who were also observing took part in a discussion of the learning that took place and how the pupils were given many opportunities to think, discuss and explain. We found it extremely valuable to be part of the discussion as not only were we learning from the Chinese teachers, but they were also learning from us.
After a long day we returned to the hotel where we met with all of the other English teachers to present the findings of the day. It was then a quick evening meal and now time reflect and share with you my day before sleep!
Miss you all!