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Impington Village College

Shanghai Exchange - Livia Mitson and Cambridge Maths Hub

Impington staff and students benefit with Shanghai maths teacher exchange

We spent two weeks in shanghai in the middle of November.  My partner Rosie Hanson (Norfolk and Suffolk maths hub) were welcomed to our partner schools.


While over there we were in two secondary schools and two primary schools.  We were only in the primary schools for one day, and were working with our primary partners for those days.

This shows Rosie and myself with our primary partners in the exchange, Fiona and Beth, both experienced primary teachers who work in Cambridgeshire and went out there to also look at the maths lessons in Shanghai and learn from them.

During the time we were in the two secondary schools, we observed many maths lessons.  We had a translator with us, but the maths was surprisingly easy to follow from the algebra and the pictures.

The exchange is part of the Secondary Mastery Specialist programme, and as part of this we analysed a number of the lessons we had seen using the framework developed to allow for cross-cultural comparison of teaching styles.

We also had the opportunity to look around the schools and look at their super-curricular provision, including music.

The return leg began on January 11th, and Impington is currently hosting two Shanghai maths teachers from the secondaries that Rosie and I visited in November.

The Chinese teachers have co-planned a unit of work designed to show the strengths of shanghai maths teaching so that we can consider what we as maths teachers can learn from them to improve our own practice.

As part of this they are teaching two groups of year sevens.

On Thursday 17th January we welcomed our first group of teachers to the day-long CPD session.

They observed two lessons taught by the Shanghai teachers.

and were also able to reflect on the similarities and differences in maths teaching in the two cultures.

The year seven students have also been reflecting on the differences and similarities that they see; one group has been journaling their thoughts and reflections on the experience, and what it has taught them about different cultures.

The Shanghai teachers have also had a chance to see some other opportunities that Impington offers; they were very keen to attend an iCas Code-breaking session and enjoyed it very much.  They felt that extra- and super- curricular opportunities really enhance the student experience, and wanted to develop this further in their own schools.

On Friday 18th January we welcomed 42 teacher trainees to the hall, where they observed a lesson taught by one of the Shanghai teachers and took part in a Q and A session to explore the nature of the lesson, and the cultural differences in styles of teaching.

We have four more days or part days of CPD planned, and over the whole return leg we will have welcomed to Impington for CPD about 150 teachers and trainees to observe lessons and reflect on what they can take from the experience.