We ended a fantastic week at our second partner school by visiting their other campus, which is a few minutes' drive away. This week we have observed a variety of different age groups learning Maths- Mrs Harris and I also taught a lesson to Grade 5 pupils! We really enjoyed working with the pupils- I am not sure who was more nervous but the pupils responded really well to the learning about shapes. We were observed by a number of Shanghai Maths teachers, including the principal of the school and the principal of a school from another province in China too. They all enjoyed watching our lesson and told us that they had got lots of ideas from us too- we were so happy that this visit has been one of sharing teaching and learning ideas.
I will be sad to leave Shanghai as it has been an amazing and informative experience; I can't wait to get back to share all of the brilliant learning with Kersey's teachers and the other teachers I am working with in Suffolk. We have made some lifelong teaching friends and I am looking forward to supporting Stanton Primary School with hosting our partner teachers in January 2019.
After a busy weekend of learning, lectures and walking, today we visited our second partner school, Shanghai Daning International Elementary School, for the first time. We were amazed to see the extent of the resources available to all of the pupils- great care is taken for the pupils' well-being and creative arts. Their school motto is 'Smile Every Day.'
Because the school is in the city, there is limited green space, but there is a small traditional Chinese garden and a play area as well as a playground on which the pupils do PE. As well as two fantastic Maths lessons, we also watched a PE lesson on football, which was taught in English. The Maths lessons that we saw today showed us that we do not always need to record learning in books or in written form and the power of very carefully chosen tasks is once again vital to the teaching for mastery. The teachers we saw also gave 'non-standard' examples to show the pupils what the Maths learning isn't. I can't wait to share these ideas with our staff.
As we walked around the school, it became clear that there is also a focus on teaching Chinese culture, with rooms dedicated to teaching calligraphy, Chinese chess, Chinese zither (musical instrument) and the ancient art of tea.
Tomorrow, we will watch some more Maths lessons as well as some Science and Art.
We have finished the week at our first partner school. We have seen many great Maths lessons and it has given us plenty to reflect upon- I know that I have some ideas that I would like to try out in Owls class when I return. Maths lesson here only last 40 minutes, but the children are focused and keen to learn throughout this time. Today we watched lessons on ratio and geometry; yesterday's lessons were on the Magic Square and the distributive law of multiplication. The teachers work through very 'small steps' of learning so that every child understands the new concepts before moving on- teachers' planning is carefully designed to make sure that every problem builds on the previous one, as well as building on the children's previous learning. They ask lots of powerful questions to extend the children's learning, rather than giving them bigger numbers to work with or work for the year above. This is the essence of Maths Mastery- to deepen learning for all.
It was sad to leave the school today- we were presented with some wonderful gifts by the Head teacher and our partner teachers too. Owlbert now has a friend! He is the school mascot of our partner school- his name is Juybao.
At the end of the school day, we were invited to a traditional Chinese tea ceremony- the tea shop is owned by a parent from the school. It was such a joy to experience this peaceful and friendly tradition. We tried two different types of tea- black tea and oolong tea. We watched how the tea is prepared and found out more about the teas we were drinking. We also visited the China Art Museum in the China Pavilion- this building is enormous! This evening we were treated to a Cantonese dinner in the Xintiandi area of Shanghai. This area consists of old buildings (that once used to house 3 to 4 families) that are now high class shops and restaurants.
As it is the weekend tomorrow, we will enjoy one day off; we will be going to the top of the Shanghai Tower. It's very high indeed!
At 1am this morning, my luggage finally arrived! Would you believe it had travelled all the way from London Heathrow to JFK airport in New York? Then it was sent from New York to Seattle and from there it came to Shanghai! I wonder if it has travelled further than me?
Owlbert survived the whole debacle and is now enjoying visiting our partner school and seeing the sights of the city.
Today we observed 2 more Maths lessons - this time we saw some subtraction and some work on angles. It has been really useful to see how mastery is used in Maths here and I already have lots of ideas to bring back and try out. One thing that I have really noticed is how all the pupils, even those in grade 1 (that's our year 2 age), know their times tables facts so well.
After we have visited the school each day, we have met with other teachers to talk about what we have found out.
As well as visiting schools, we have been able to see some of the sights in Shanghai including the Bund and the Jing'an Temple. It is a very big and very busy city!
Update from Miss Nunn ...
Today we visited one of our partner schools for the first time- Shanghai Yangjing-Juyuan Experimental School. There are over 2000 pupils there! It is in the financial district of Shanghai. We had a tour of the school and watched a Maths lesson to Grade 4 children which is Year 3 in England. We spent an hour after the lesson talking about it with lots of teachers. We enjoyed a Chinese school dinner too! It was tasty!