In January, 2020, an exciting new partnership between SUIS Qingpu and Pate’s Grammar School (in the UK) began.
If you would like to understand the British secondary education system, you need to know something about Grammar schools. Grammar schools are one of the most historical classifications of schools in England. In the beginning, grammar schools were schools that taught Latin. Now, the term refers to the British secondary schools which have the best academic results. Grammar schools are public “key middle schools” in Britain.
Pate’s Grammar School is a grammar school with academy status catering to students aged 11 to 18. The school was founded in 1574 and became a co-educational school in 1986, when Pate’s Grammar School for Girls merged with Cheltenham Grammar School. Pate’s has been awarded the ‘State Secondary School of the Year’ twice by The Sunday Times in their Good Schools Guide (2012 and 2020). In 2013, Pate’s was given an ‘Outstanding’ judgement by Ofsted, the main governmental inspecting agency for educational institutions in the UK. Year after year, many Pate’s graduates have been accepted to top UK universities, including Oxbridge!
Through our cooperation with Pate’s, both schools will gain from our mutual exchange and from learning opportunities and experience sharing. Soon after the launch of our partnership, teachers from both schools began to work together via a Microsoft Teams platform that has been constructed solely for the purpose of our collaboration. Teachers from both schools have been sharing on good practice and exchanging teaching and learning resources for IGCSE and A-Level subjects – our collaboration has involved the subject areas of biology, chemistry, English, economics, mathematics, physics and others. Several professional development sessions have occurred already and more opportunities have been planned for the near future.
Students at SUIS Qingpu also benefit from our collaboration. For example, the sixth form team (teachers in Grades 11 and 12) at Pate’s have been providing targeted guidance for our Career and University Guidance counsellors and have met with our Grade 11 and 12 students both individually and in groups in order to support them with their university selection process, admissions preparations and university interviews.
This semester, a new collaborative activity with Pate’s will commence – the Mandarin Excellence Programme. This collaboration will involve Pate’s students interacting with SUIS Qingpu students in real time, using both Chinese and English to discuss topics on language, culture, sports, food and more.
In the future, after the COVID pandemic situation improves and travelling once again becomes free of restrictions, we will be planning a series of study visits for both teachers and students, thereby providing great learning opportunities for our own students and teachers as well as bringing the broader benefits of cultural and academic exchange to SUIS Qingpu.