As we reach the end of a most extra-ordinary academic year at Britannica, we take the time to review and reflect on what has been achieved by our students, teachers, and the school.
The last five weeks since returning to school have shown that Britannica has ridden the challenges and difficulties that the current global crisis has presented to all students, teachers, and parents with exceptional resilience and adaptability.
As we look at the challenges facing other Shanghai schools, we have been grateful for our ability to provide an immediate safe return to school for all our students. We are equally thankful and pleased to be confident that on re-opening in August, we will be able to continue to provide our promise as Shanghai’s Best of British Education provider to all our students and their parents.
Parents continue to be committed to the school with a record number of current parents re-registering their children for the next academic year and a steady flow of new parents signing up their children to join us.
Despite the challenges that teaching and learning have had during the extended school closure in the Spring and Summer Terms, our children and their teachers have made some amazing accomplishments. In addition to the achievements made in a highly productive Autumn Term, we have gathered together in this post a reminder of those and the other achievements made during e-learning and after school re-opened to share with our readers.
In House Events and After School Activities
Throughout the academic year, including during the school closure period, a considerable number of events took place, which allowed students to show their skills, passions, and talents in different ways. These included annual events such as Pumpkin Palooza, Winter Concerts, National Dress Day, Chinese New Year Festival, and new events such as the Winter Art Competition, the Student Leadership Exhibition, and the Science Fair Competition. Congratulations to all who took part and contributed to their success in any way.
Interested parents and families can review many of these events on our school website or by clicking School Events on our WeChat account's menu bar.
Upgrade to Our Specialist Native Chinese Programme
At Britannica, in addition to the provision of the non-native Chinese programme for students whose native language is not Chinese, children with a native Chinese background follow a native Chinese programme. This programme has been adapted from China’s national curriculum. The Chinese Language and Literature used fully meets students' needs in an English-speaking school and provides continuity with what is learned in the local school system.
This year, the total number of Mandarin classes for our Specialist Native Chinese Programme students increased to seven lessons a week for all students from Reception to Year 9. This increase reflects one of Britannica's goals to enable our students to have bilingual fluency in both English and Chinese. This level of Mandarin teaching makes us unique among International Schools in Shanghai.
As a result of the programme upgrade and consistent dedication of our Mandarin teachers to deliver high-quality teaching, our Primary and Secondary students made noticeable progress in many ways and enhanced their overall language abilities. Earlier this year, Britannica students won 2nd and 3rd prizes in the Chinese essay competition ‘Shanghai, the City I Live In’, organised by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, in which all the international schools in Shanghai participated. This achievement further demonstrated our schools' success in offering native language education.
Success in integrating e-learning with in-class learning
Remote e-learning has contributed to the provision of new insights in school education for many throughout this crisis. Students, parents, and teachers have risen to the challenge, and we congratulate them on their achievements.
Since the school’s full re-opening in June, when the pandemic risk decreased to an acceptable level, Britannica has provided a mix of both e-learning and classroom teaching. Students unable to attend school were offered access to e-learning, which reflected what students were learning in class.
We want to take this opportunity to again congratulate our students for their resilience and achievements while e-learning. We also extend our thanks to all Britannica teachers for their commitment to your children during the e-learning provision and the support that parents have given.
The school will now take the learning opportunities that have been provided through e-learning to strengthen the use of IT as a learning tool in the classroom during the next academic year. CANVAS, the school’s preferred virtual learning platform, will be introduced into Primary from August 2020, as well as a ‘bring your own device’ policy for our older Primary students.
We offer our heartfelt congratulations to all students and teachers on all of their remarkable achievements during 2019-2020.