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This morning we visited Shiyan Public School in the Bao’an District. Fair Oak Junior School is considered (by UK standards) to be a very large school with 5 forms of entry and just under 600 children. However, Shiyan has an impressive 7,000 children, with 3,000 of them boarding during the week! Due to the large nature of the school, it was no surprise that it had world class facilities for its pupils, who range from Year R to Year 13. I’m surprised at the number of all-through schools in Shenzhen, although given the nature of the Chinese core curriculum, I see how this is done so successfully. In the vast majority of schools we have visited, we have seen statues of the Chinese Philosopher, Confucius, and many schools have been inspired by his teachings - and this was evident by Shiyan’s values of Responsibility, Respect, Cooperation and Friendly. In that vain, I asked whether it would be possible to have copies of some of their maths books, so that I could have a full range of the maths learning journey (as I had some books from yesterday). Thankfully the school was very generous and gave me some books to take home.
After a very yummy lunch of Pizza Hut (including the interesting smell and taste of Durian fruit), we made our way to Luohu District, which is on the east side of Shenzhen and consists of about a million people. We were in Luohu to present to the Education Forum. I talked to the forum about our Fair Oak Family and about the parts of our school that are unique to us. It was wonderful to talk to so many Chinese and foreign teachers about teaching and learning at Fair Oak Junior School and for them to get a real understanding about what makes our school so special. At the end of the presentation, we signed agreements with sister schools in the district and I look forward to sharing best practice of teaching and learning with them in the near future. After the signing, we saw two ‘master class’ lessons. These were fascinating to watch, as they were both English lessons. I could see so many similarities between the teaching of English (as a second language) and our own INSPIRE maths curriculum, as both encourage children to learn in incremental steps (procedural variation).
The Luohu Forum was our last formal commitment and I am sad that our time in China is coming to an end. It has been a real privilege to have brought along Miss Coxhead and Mrs Tuxford, as they have both been inspired by this experience. Having seen teaching in China - which is of a high standard - I can safely say that your children are in very safe hands at Fair Oak Junior School. I am so proud of my whole staff team and this learning trip to Shenzhen has really cemented my belief in my staff...our staff. If you would like to find out more, please do email the office to book a space onto PIPs (6.11.19).
I’m looking forward to visiting the world-famous Tech market tomorrow, as it will showcase all the latest technology. I can only imagine how happy Mr Emerton would be if he were coming with us tomorrow.