Students and Staff Welcome Japanese Educators
Today the school was visited by some lovely Japanese teachers and education professionals, interested in how ICT is used within our school. They began with a presentation in our school hall, which aimed to answer many of their questions about the school's ICT infrastructure and the resources used by students and teachers to improve learning.
They moved on to a tour where they were able to visit three different lessons demonstrating ICT use across the curriculum. I accompanied a group on their tour; our group did not include a translator and so there were some communication difficulties and a few amusing incidents requiring us to act out what we were trying to say, with lots of pointing and smiling.
They enjoyed looking around and seeing what the students were working on, they were very polite, one of them insisted on opening every door for us. Keen to see as much as they could, they kept us on schedule and soon told us when they had had enough of looking at something! They even had a stop off to look at our goats and were fortunate to visit on the day when we also had two alpacas visiting. (What an international and welcoming school we are!)
They stopped to take a lot of photos, particularly enjoying the lovely view from our school and the flags we have hanging up in our languages corridor. They asked about the ages of students, the subjects they were taking and how many hours of computer access they were allowed. They were able to see what they were working on and even got a demonstration from one of technicians of how the designs students were creating on the computer were brought to life in plastic via our 3D printer. We were surprised to learn that students in Japan do not complete this level of ICT work until the age of 18.
They were also interested in the students use of computers at home and how we set homework online for students to access remotely. Alice was able to log in and show the visitors her current science homework.
On the whole they were very surprised and impressed by the use of technology within the school. Our students have a lot more access to technology then students typically do in Japan. They commented that our students are a lot more independent in their learning and in their ability to use the technology. Lessons in Japan are structured very differently, with less ICT resources available. They have left us saying that they hope to develop more schools like Varndean in Japan by 2020! We look forward to visiting them.