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Big Trouble in Little China...
14/11/2019

How does maths teaching in a secondary school in Shanghai look and feel to experienced observing teachers from secondary schools in England?

Two Mastery Specialist teachers from North West England are among a group of teachers from Maths Hubs who are visiting Shanghai to find out – including our very own Head of Maths, Mrs Sharples.

Every year since 2014, groups of British and Chinese teachers have visited each other’s schools to share expertise and discuss effective methods.
During the exchange, teachers from England spend two weeks observing how maths is taught in Shanghai schools. Lessons are observed and lesson design and delivery are discussed, with a view to understanding how teaching for mastery can work in local classrooms.

Later in the school year, they host partner Shanghai teachers at their own schools in England for a fortnight.

UHHS Maths in Shanghai

Mrs Sharples will be sending us a log of her visit to China as the Representative of the Secondary Northwest Maths Hub. She will be working with Colleagues looking at their approach to the teaching of Maths Mastery. The agenda is extremely intense and our school and others in the Northwest Hub will benefit greatly from this CPD opportunity.

Day 1

I have arrived, visited the Bund in Shanghai but passed on sampling the local cuisine (see image below)...

Day 2

Today I’m meeting with the teachers from the Shanghai exchange partner school. School sessions begin tomorrow.

Day 3

Another fantastic day. Watched a lesson on ratio following on from yesterday which was excellent. Also had the opportunity to watch one of the English groups teach a lesson to the Chinese. 

Been to the Yangpu District maths TRG where a representative from all schools in the district was present. (photo below with the head of the district for maths for grades 8 and 9). Fantastic ideas on how to best use CPD time to improve T&L.

Also went to a bookshop with our Chinese teachers to buy samples of all the textbooks and examples that form their schemes of work starting with their grade 5. In addition bought a copy of their assessments from grades 6-9 from the past 5 years. Also picked up some of their numeracy type practise books which include different calculations but with variance.

Also got the opportunity to watch their exercise routines at the start of afternoon lessons, and on Tuesdays they get a choice of lessons to participate in which are not necessarily academic. We got to drink tea made by the students in one of these lessons. Feeling very privileged to be here.

Day 4

Last day at our first school today. Seen some fantastic lessons and had some great discussions regarding sequencing of topics. Seen the same lesson taught by 2 different teachers and discussed best practise and also ideas for improvement from TRG. Looking at the primary school tomorrow. Attached a picture of the maths team at our first school, Fudan experimental high school.


Day 5/6

Sure you will have been missing my updates over the weekend....

New week, new school. Opening ceremony do our arrival, names announced and photographed on stage in front of 1500 students (picture to follow).

Today's school has pupils of Lower mathematical ability, but is famous in Shanghai for its development of pupils and the head is famous throughout the country. It is fascinating to see that its fame is based on qualitative data on pupil well being and stress as much as on achievement. Can definitely see a better blend of East and west teaching principles. Some great ideas to bring home.

On another note, I am about to become famous. My trios lesson will be reported and broadcast on Wednesday. A daunting prospect. Will try and get any copies, as am sure it will be interesting to watch 😮😮😮

Day 7

Taught a lesson on adding and subtracting Algebraic fractions to a year 8 class today. Scarily watched by a lot of teachers and the press. It has been filmed by the school and the press and we were even interviewed after. I will be famous in China ha 👍. It went really well. Definitely a highlight. I have also attached the stand out picture of this trip. The students were so excited to be taught by us. Brilliant day 😊