China-England Mathematics Mastery Exchange

The first leg of the China-England Mathematics teacher exchange organised by the DFE & NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) has begun! Since gaining a place on the exchange, I have been really excited about the opportunity to see the teaching of Maths in Shanghai, have been looking forward to meeting the Chinese teachers and, of course, to visiting this bustling city.

Last year, I completed training to become a Primary Maths Mastery Specialist and was able to observe Chinese teachers visiting England. Now, I am delighted to have the opportunity to learn more about their approach & to get to know the teachers before they visit Tubbenden for 2 weeks in January where they will be working in our school to further develop Mathematics teaching. As I will be here for 2 weeks, I will try to share some of my experiences with the Tubbenden community on the school blog.

Day one in Shanghai

After landing on Sunday, feeling tired from an overnight flight, I had a chance to explore the city which is beautiful, busy and jam-packed with looming skyscrapers. We had a welcome meeting with Debbie Morgan (Director for Primary Mathematics for the NCETM), Charlie Strip (Director of the NCETM), Nabil Ali (Head of Curriculum implementation for the DFE) and Richard Hoy (Senior Policy Advisor for the DFE) where we learnt about the coming weeks and shortly after we all retired to bed ready for the next day.

Day two

We enjoyed a tasty breakfast before making our way to Shanghai Normal University. The morning began with welcomes from various Chinese dignitaries from the Chinese Ministry for Education. We then had a lecture about Variation Theory and it’s applications from the highly respected Professor Gu. He discussed how the choices teachers make when posing problems to children should allow them to understand a concept deeply, to build on prior knowledge & know why procedures are effective in Mathematics.

After a traditional lunch where I was a little too keen and poured what I thought was a soup onto my rice, only to realise too late it was for pudding, thus not complementing the pork belly very well (!), we met our partner teachers. Miss Dai has been a Mathematics teacher for 14 years & Lynn Fu is a newer teacher who obviously has a strong passion for Maths teaching & an excellent subject knowledge. They are both very excited to have the chance to teach at Tubbenden in January and really keen to open their classrooms to me & my partner teacher from England.  We discussed teaching styles, what our schools are like and learnt about what we will be doing over the next 2 weeks in school.

Tomorrow we visit Miss Dai’s school. We will be travelling there using the Shanghai metro and need to leave at 7am – so I am off to bed for an early night, feeling excited about my day in a Chinese school!

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