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Day 3

We spent our first day in Xinhua Private Junior High School, located in the Hongkou District of Shanghai.

There are approximately 1400 pupils in the school and 120 teachers. They are in the top 4 of high performing schools in all of Shanghai.

We were greeted by the headteacher and given a formal introduction and tour of the school. We were shown the classrooms, music and sports facilities. They are particularly proud of their new swimming pool, and in honour of the exchange programme, invited us to participate in pupil-teacher swimming race on Friday afternoon.

We had the opportunity of visiting two lessons and were blown away with the mental arithmetic, processing and algebraic skills displayed by a class of Year 7 and Year 9 pupils. The pupils are expertly guided through a sequence of well designed examples that start with concrete concepts, moving swiftly to abstract algebraic representations of number facts and generalisations. The complexity and challenge of the work that the Year 9 pupils encountered would have some Year 12 and Year 13 UK students feeling uncomfortable.

We took part in a Teacher Research Group (TRG) meeting following the lessons and were able to contribute to the discussion about how to improve that lesson and plan for the challenge of the next.

The day ended with Sarah and I joining an English lesson to give pupils an opportunity to practise their spoken English. The pupils loved it!

I have no pictures today, I only took videos. I will send some pictures tomorrow.

Gavin.

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