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Today I was left truly astonished at what I saw in Shenzhen! After breakfast - yes, it was KFC - we went to present to the Bao’an Education Bureau (district) at Xiaode school. Xiaode is a new school, having been open for only 3 years. It pioneers many things, including new forms of technology - which was the focus for our presentation this morning. It also pioneers smaller class sizes of 38 - 40 children. Normal class sizes in Shenzhen range from 55 - 60 ...somewhat different to Fair Oak Junior School. The school also caters for just under 2000 pupils. We had a brief tour of the school, including seeing some fantastic resources ranging from a museum showcasing the local Jade, to Augmented Reality sand trays! After our tour we went into the lecture theatre to speak to 300 head teachers and education officers for Bao’an. It was wonderful to show them our school and to introduce the people of China to the Fair Oak Family. It was also fascinating to hear the presentations from our Chinese counterparts about how technology is used to support learning in Shenzhen. After the presentation we met the Bao’an Minister for Education - somewhat of a celebrity in the area. It was a privilege to speak to him and to find out his vision for education.
After the presentation, we went to another two school to see teaching and learning. The children in both schools were friendly, warm and engaging. I was increadibly impressed with the resources the children have access to and the huge sense of hard work that they put into their learning. This is epitomised by the children’s choice to carry on the school day to partake in co-curricular activities to a world class standard - whether GCSE level art (being carried out by 7 to 12 year olds), Traditional Chinese Orchestra, Computing (Robotics and Augmented Reality), Opera, Martial Arts or beating their teachers in Draughts. That sense of hard work is incredibly impressive and you can clearly see the fruit of their labours in their learning around the school. I’m really looking forward to talking to parents about the visit to China at PIPs on the 6th of November. Please email into the office to book a space.
After a Cantonese dinner, we went for a walk to see the Ping An tower. A marvellous end to a truly inspirational day.
Mr De Silva