As week nineteen of Huili School Shanghai’s very first year draws to a close, we thought we would take time to look back on everything that’s been accomplished and how the pupils have settled into the school. Four of our pupils, Suby and Clark from grade 4 plus Doris and Harry grade 5, share their experiences of what it feels like to attend Huili.
Doris: I did feel slightly nervous on my first day but when I arrived it did not take me long to get excited and it helped that the teachers are very kind and like to tell jokes.
Clark: I did not really blend in on my first day but it only took a few days to make friends and get used to being here.
Suby: I love my teachers and the new friends I have made, it helped me feel part of the school very quickly.
Harry: The first day was a bit daunting because I did not know anybody, but the teachers were very helpful. They were always showing us exactly where we needed to go and what to do. I also really liked how good the equipment was. We have six science labs and really impressive technology in them. Sports are great at Huili too, I really like swimming in the big pool and playing football on the pitch.
Clark: I like being part of the house system because it makes you feel part of an important team. It is fun to earn house points too, I recently got one when my teacher saw me picking up trash.
Harry: We had houses in my old school but they mean more here. We get together with our houses a lot, we have competitions, earn house points and make friends from different year groups.
Doris: I really like the house competitions, we recently had a swimming gala which was a lot of fun because you could swim any stroke you like and earn points for your house.
Suby: I enjoy getting house points for doing well in homework and for being kind to others.
Handling the challenge of bilingual education
Harry: Bilingualism is a very useful ability to have; if you don’t understand the English part of your lessons you can use Chinese to translate. Learning languages equally at the same time is very cool. Sometimes grammar is tough though, it is all the little details! Still, our teachers are always there to help with that.
Suby: I really love learning languages, I can speak in English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and French. It is a lot of fun to learn about different cultures and think about how to use your words in different ways.
Clark: I think speaking in English is important to improve your communication skills. Sometimes I do not know which one to use for writing, so then I ask my teacher or I just write it in both languages for practice!
Doris: I think it is so useful to learn English as well as Chinese, because I really enjoy travelling and when I go to the UK or America I can communicate with the people there. I go to a summer camp in America every year, so bilingual learning has been a big help for my confidence and letting me express myself when I am there.
Exploring co-curricular activities (CCAs)
Doris: I loved being involved in the bakery CCA this term because I love cooking and eating the nice things that we make! I can make dessert now. Next term I want to try debating because my friend is in the debate club and I find it very interesting to learn how to express different opinions clearly.
Clark: I have been trying basketball, netball and hip-hop dancing. You have to make up some of the movements yourself and use your own style. It is lots of fun and really good exercise.
Suby: I really like being in the drama club because I enjoy performing and playing different characters. I also want to give bakery CCA a try because you get to make yummy things to eat. There are too many good choices for CCAs!
Harry: I was in the swim team at my old school so I wanted to keep swimming here at Huili. The CCA is great because the facilities are very professional, the diving blocks are especially great. I am really glad that we are putting more sports teams together.
Sharing school experiences with parentsHarry: I like being able to come home and tell my parents what I enjoyed at school, the new things I learned and the knowledge I have. They enjoy hearing about my day.
Suby: When I get home I talk with my family about the good things I have done that day and it makes them feel happy to know what is happening with me at school.
Clark: I share the interesting things that happen at school with my parents, they like to know the highlights of my day.
Doris: My mother also likes to check that I had a good lunch with enough to eat! Luckily, I can tell her that the food is really good here.
Harry: I thought at first that science was going to be really boring. But in my second class, I got to see some live experiments involving fire, which was really cool, so now I enjoy learning about science.
Suby: I really did not like singing at first but our music teacher is so funny and he makes lessons so enjoyable for us. His class is now one of my favourites.
Clark: I did not think I would like Chinese lessons because I thought it would be very basic, but the teacher makes it exciting and interesting, it is important to learn about the culture of China as well as the language.
Doris: I was not sure whether I would like performing arts, but I immediately enjoyed playing drama games and learning about all different kinds of performing styles. It is so expressive.
We feel that the opening semester at Huili has been a resounding success, thanks largely to the fantastic efforts of the teachers and pupils, as well as the incredible support of their parents. We hope that everyone at Huili has enjoyed settling into our new shared home and that you all enjoy a relaxing Chinese New Year holiday.