Friday, January 23, 2009

Chelmsford County High School for Girls

(Yr 8 students)

It's the end of our fourth day at CHSG and it's about time I wrote something on this blog.
Zoe and I have been having a happy and busy time, and have felt very welcomed by all the people we meet.

(The Samba Band rehearsal)
Zoe has been hosted by a couple of girls from her Yr 7 class: Georgia and Anna. They have been terrific - showing her around and helping her with the class work. They have become very good friends. Today, Zoe changed timetables so she could spend more time with Anoushka, the girl who is having her over to stay for the next two nights. The two of them had a lovely time today getting to know each other better, and left school this afternoon feeling very excited about the evening ahead.

(Yr 7 English class)

I have been kept very busy by Peter and Tara's action-packed program. It's been non-stop class observations and meetings with important people. It's wonderful to be able to see other teachers at work; an opportunity we rarely get. I have seen Latin, French, Religion, English, PE, Drama, Art and lots of Maths classes. All have been dynamic and engaging. The girls are getting a great education at this school. Since it is a select entry school, all the girls are keen learners, and they come well prepared for all lessons and eager to be involved. It is unfortunate that the UK has such an extensive and intensive assessment program, as this seems to keep too much pressure on both students and staff. All feel they have to constantly jump through hoops. We are lucky in Australia not to have to work under this much pressure but to have time for a bit of exploration, and the flexibility to pursue interests specific to the class, rather than those dictated by the system.
I have had the opportunity to talk with the teachers responsible for Leadership, Student Voice, Languages Outreach and Citizenship. I have got lots of new ideas to take back to my school.

(Yr 7 Art class)

The girls have been very helpful in finding my way around. They are keen to ask questions about Australia. I showed them some pictures of the girls from my school and they thought our school shoes were hilarious!

Five more school days to go and then Zoe and I will be ready to go home. We miss Greg, and my Mum and Dad. Two weeks of exchange is about the right length of time - any more would seem just too long!

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