Two Days in One!

Two days in one today, time ran away yesterday!

 We had a very exciting day as it was our teaching day. We taught English and Dodgeball to 7 and 8 Year old students from the Gold Apple. This was the first class teaching experience for the students and as expected they rose to the challenge magnificently. Students worked in groups of 3 and had a class of 30! They introduced themselves, taught bingo – for sentence construction – questions and responses, ‘rapido’ to develop and learn new vocabulary and then finally the ubiquitous heads shoulders knees and toes, this is rapidly becoming the Jack Hunt Anthem for China! There were many happy faces, of our students and the primary students. Dodgeball taught a warm-up, a skills practise, a game and a warm down, again this was something that the students had planned themselves, some even bringing resources (pre-prepared) from the UK to use. This was a huge success, and will be developed for when we teach at the migrant workers school next week.

 In the afternoon, the students packed / threw clothes  from one case to another! We made sure they all had their gifts and some clean clothes for the homestay… One or two have also snuck in some laundry! There was a presentation by the school principal and then the students went off on thier homestay. School seems quiet now as all students have gone away for the weekend… our corridor, usually the loudest in the entire school is very quiet indeed. Mr Crawley had a call from Tapiwa today that went along the lines of….."where are you having lunch Sir? We are in the most expensive restaurant in Shanghai and have had lobster!" Unfortunately Mr Crawley was too slow on the uptake to ask for a doggie bag to be sent round to us!

Yesterday evening the staff were invited to a meal with the senior leaders of the Gold Apple School and the wife of the schools owner – the ‘Board Lady’.  It is clear that the partnership is held in very high regard. The 6 school link through the British Council and the support that we have given them to establish the Cambridge International Exams – IGCSE and A level - have really cemented the work that we do together. The school is part of the Yalong Group – a very sizable company with money to invest – as seems to be happening throughout China, and the conversation between the Board lady and myself soon turned to the possibility of her buying a school in the UK! I was tempted to put Jack Hunt on the market and negotiate a good price, however I thought that Mrs Kilbey would not approve of this! So instead I guided her to look at Tutorial colleges in Cambridge! Something that she is seriously considering.

The meal ended with formal presenting of gifts – the school pennants and also some engraved glassware which we brought from England, and somewhat embarrassingly has a sticker on it stating that it was made in in China! Rather than cause embarrassment I think that this was taken as a sure sign that we are doing everything we can to support the country!

Today Marco and I went to Nanjing to meet Eleanor Kilbey and James Cresswell – through them we are looking at the possibility of students from Jack Hunt undertaking GAP years in the Nanjing University of Business and Economics – this would involve an opportunity to learn Chinese. We had a tour of the university and its facilities and were amazed at the scale and the opportunities offered. James Cresswell will be coming to the UK in June and will give more details to students then about how to go about planning for and applying for the GAP year. Whilst Marco and I were busy working hard in Nanjing there was the opportunity for the other staff to see some of Shanghai. So with great enthusiasm Miss Wilkins, Mrs Akhtar and Mr Crawley spent the day shopping for handbags! I am not sure that Mr Crawley had the greatest time, however in a small gap in the shopping he did get a haircut… A rather novel souvenir of China!            

We have only been here for 5 days, but it has been very busy indeed, we hope that the students will return well rested and ready for next week as we have more teaching and school visits to undertake, as well as the opportunity to see some of the sights of Shanghai.

Best wishes

Martin Barwise

Assistant Headteacher