22 Feb, 2019
10 : 00
On Monday Primary leaders from YCIS Chongqing visited Yew Chung International School of Beijing to learn more about our Learning Communities. We speak to Head of Primary, Mr James Sweeney, about the visit and how we make the most of our Yew Chung network.
Who visited on Monday and what did they do?
We had four visitors from the YCIS Chongqing Primary School leadership team. A large part of their visit involved observations – watching how our teachers use the Learning Communities and talking to students about their learning. Nearly all the schools in our Yew Chung Foundation are using Learning Communities, and the purpose of this visit is to ensure consistency in our practice and allow our staff to learn from each other.
What was the purpose of the visit?
At YCIS Beijing we have implemented an important new approach to our Learning Communities, The Three Ts. These are:
Teams – how we group teachers and students for the most effective teaching and learning
Time – creating time for teachers to work together
Tracking – How we keep track of students’ academic progress
Our visitors wanted to get under the skin of this approach so that it could be implemented in their own Learning Communities.
What are the benefits of working in a Learning Community model?
We have spoken a lot about the benefits for students. Soft skills, peer-to-peer support, flexibility, personalised learning and varied learning are all enabled by these Learning Communities, more so than in a traditional single cell classroom.
However there are many benefits for staff too. Teaching as part of team and working together in the collaboration room is like ongoing professional development. We can learn from each other and support each other. Two heads are better than one.
Chongqing were also interested to understand the challenges of Learning Communities. What do you consider these to be?
In order for a Learning Community to operate at its best, teachers need to be willing to share, cooperate and take collective action. This is a different mind-set to traditional teaching. Fortunately, the teachers at YCIS Beijing are very invested in the Learning Community model and it is indeed one of our selling points for staff.
Next week you will be visiting YCIS Shanghai. What is the purpose of this visit?
I will be continuing to introduce our method and approach to our partner schools. I will present to YCIS Shanghai’s Pudong campus before their teachers pay a visit to our school to see the Learning Communities in action. It’s great to be recognised for what we do here and we love to share our knowledge.
To understand more how our Learning Communities operate in Primary, click here to sign up for our Open Day!