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St Martin's School

St Martin's School

Virtual Learning Site

Dalian Royal School, China and St Martin's School, Caerphilly share classroom teaching experience

Dalian Royal School, China and St Martin's School, Caerphilly share classroom teaching experience

As a world fighting the pandemic of the COVID19, Dalian Royal School continues to share its practice and learning about how China, its teachers and students have adapted to the challenges of continuing education online.

Senior High School students have continued to work on their AS and AL courses using distance and online learning for the last 10 weeks. Teachers have worked hard to ensure the disruption to learning has been minimal, showing their professionalism and care for the students at DRS.

Academic Principal May received a request from a school in her hometown in the UK to lead a discussion session with the Senior Leadership team of St Martins School. Headteacher, Lee Jarvis, led the questioning, with the whole team asking Principal May about her experiences in China and how teachers and students were managing.

Principal May shared the school’s journey to online teaching, the training received by teachers and the involvement of parents and students in the organisation of the schools structure. The UK team found the approach fascinating and compared it very openly to their current experiences. Live teaching, training teachers in the use of technology, attendance of students, engagement and wellbeing were all areas discussed.

Mr Jarvis, who will be responsible for the schools re-opening plan was interested in the work that the Education Bureau and school teams were undertaking to ensure the safety of teachers and students.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Ms Claire Manson, St Martins Assistant Headteacher in charge of learning and teaching, joined some of the online classes the gain an experience of life for our students and teachers. Firstly, Ms Manson joined the AS Grade 11 Economics class with Jennifer Yuan, where the students explained in depth how to develop essay writing and the use of diagrams within AS level. Ms Manson was impressed with their English fluency, their knowledge and ability to explain and apply their Economics learning.

Ms Manson then visited a Psychology class with G10 students and teacher Mark Roberts. Students were considering Learning Theory as an explanation of addition. The group were fully engaged in a discussion about conditioning. Students debated around different types of addiction and why these occurs. They used subject specific terminology well, showing their knowledge and understanding. Through Mark’s guidance, students were able to apply these to theories to practical and real life examples, which supported the students in mastering the knowledge and making it stick.

In a Biology lesson with John Hamhill, Ms Manson saw students engaged in discussions on their research topics, with John using a ‘critical friend’ approach in breakout rooms, allowing students to learn from each other. She also observed one to one sessions where John gave feedback and advice to students.

Following the lesson, Principal May and ESC led Yolanda Zhao  met with Ms Manson to discuss her learning. She was very impressed with the students knowledge and the questioning used by teachers to make students think deeper. She also liked the way sessions were structured and commented on the positive engagement of students in their own learning and their willingness to learn from each other. The schools discussed the possibility of further connections, with the opportunity to join ‘Teach Meets’ used for professional learning of teachers.