Open Morning | A Window Into Our Classrooms

Friday 6 Dec 2019

Nanwai King’s College School were proud to welcome our International School parents in Grades 1 to 8, onto our campus and into our classrooms for two very successful Open Mornings this week.

The Open Days saw nearly all of our students joined side-by-side in class by either Mum or Dad. May of the lessons held also gave the parents the opportunity to join in on the activity and challenge themselves to keep up with the pace of a our International School classes.

While fun and exciting for both parents and students, our Open Days serve four key purposes for our school community: 

Sharing: We want to celebrate the great work that happens in our school and also show the outcome of the dedication and commitment that our staff show towards their students. Work samples and classroom displays along with engaging and child-centred lessons are all aspects of our school that we are keen to share. 

Insight: Many of our parents did not attend an International School themselves and often when children move to China, NKCS becomes a family’s first ever experience with international education. Giving parents a chance to see a diverse classroom in action, how we support language learning in a practical sense and the way that different cultures are embraced and celebrated is an important part of our open mornings. 

Context: We all learnt to read and we all learnt mathematics at school, but so often when children return home and talk about their school day, their parents imagine it in the context of their own educational experience. By opening the doors to our classrooms, parents are able to see what a reading group is or understand that a mathematics relay is a great way of learning, and they understand more easily what their children do each day at school. 

Conversation Starters: By giving parents the chance to see the inside of the classrooms and experience how learning occurs, they can take home ideas that will assist them in talking to their child about school. “How was your day?” can become, “What was the Fact of the Day, today?”, or, “What subject were you grouped in the animal groups for today?” Knowing the right way to ask about school can open up rich conversations that assist parents in sharing more easily in their child’s school experience. 

It was a pleasure to see so many of our International School parents deeply involved in the lessons with their children and at times, working beside them to help solve problems and learn more about our curriculum. 

Mr Matthew Conn

Head of International School

Parents Reflections

 

I was so happy to be invited into the classroom today. It was lovely to get an insight into the day to day running of the classroom and being able to watch my boys in a learning environment and see how they are developing- not only academically but socially.I personally found this visit very useful and enjoyable. I am looking forward to the next one.

——G1 Harry and Edward’s Mum

On Dec 3rd, I went to school with my son at 7:55am on a beautiful sunny day. Students are having a normal school day, yet parents are about to start an exciting International Open Day.

Head of International School, Mr. Conn gave us a warm welcome and a short presentation on today’s schedule and the purpose behind running these Open Days. He also advised us how to observe the class and interreact with the class when invited. Students are having normal lessons, so parents shall try to understand how they response and think in class. Executive Principal Dr. Kennard was joking that parents are not having Math lesson, but the students. Parents shall just relax and enjoy, see how our children are doing in class.

The first lesson was Math. Ms. Zikmann is leading G5 students in solving one of the tough Math questions from yesterday’s homework. The question was very fascinating and challenging, it asked:  What will the interest rate be in eight years if the current rate increases by 7% each year?

With the teacher’s guidance and help, I can see students were trying to understand, figure out and answer the question. In the next twenty minutes, students were given new tasks where they needed to search any percentage related questions from the posters on the wall and try to answer them. On the entire Math lesson, Ms. Zikmann was leading the students and the topics they learned were linked with real life situations. Whenever Mr. Wang saw a student feeling confused, he would quickly approach and help them.

The second period was English. Students were doing historical fiction writing and proof reading. Ms. Zikmann gave them some proverbs first, and then some cards to provide more information. The students were doing a really good job in expressing their own ideas. Ms. Zikmann chose some student’s writings examples and read them out; she asked students to comment on it as to how, and in which ways, this writing can be improved. Ms. Zikmann then gave feedback so students can then re-edit their writing to produce their final piece.

Through the Open Day, I got to see how important it is for students to stay focused in their lesson. Also, I saw how balanced their curriculum is with various topics included in their learning, and some are really challenging, students need to keep up by reading more and enrich their life experience.

At last, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the International School and our teachers for a wonderful and informative Open Day. Open Day is a real reflection of their actual class and parents are so pleased to see their children’s life at school and see how devoted and hard – working our teachers are. Thank you!

——G5 Bruce’s mum

I went to G6, Mr. Booth’s English lesson today. The students in class were very engaged in answering the teacher’s questions. The parents were very pleased to see the active class participation. We enjoyed the way Mr. Booth delivered his English lesson, and we can see our children enjoy learning English too.

I then attended the Mathematics lesson. In this class, we were invited to work with the students to solve the mathematics problem, we did the puzzle together, too. As a parent, we used to think learning was boring and difficult. From the Open Day today, we were able to see how much our children enjoy their learning here; we are so very happy for them. It was a great opportunity, and we appreciate the teachers’ passion towards teaching.

——G6&7 Elia and Elly’s mom

 

Teachers Reflections

It was amazing that so many of our parents took the time to visit Grade 1 International on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was extremely beneficial for the students to feel supported by their parents and to be able to showcase their learning. It was wonderful to see the parents and the students collaborating and communicating in the classroom.

 

The Open Day gave Grade 1 the opportunity to demonstrate all the amazing things they have learned throughout the year and to also share more detail about the topics we are discovering now. The day also provided an opportunity for the parents to witness how the students engage with the curriculum, teachers, and how the students take ownership of their learning.

We are extremely proud of Grade 1 and we are glad that we had the opportunity to share all that we have accomplished this term.

Nanwai King’s just had its second Parents Open Day and hearing the words “Open Day” is sometimes enough to send any teacher running for the hills. However, as soon as the day approaches and you have 6 to 10 excited parents sitting in your classroom, you realise that this is your chance to give them an authentic experience of what is really happening in your room on a daily basis.

We do not always get to control what the main point of reflection or conversation is that goes home at the end of every day. We can only hope that we made a difference in a student’s life, that they enjoyed the lessons you prepared, that they feel they learned something and, that they are excited to share all of that with their parents.


As teachers we want the parents or our students to be satisfied, we want them to feel confident about sending their children to us. Open Days gives us as teachers the chance to give that reassurance to parents. And as always, I had a great time allowing the bringing the best out of the students while their parents were there.

I’m overjoyed when parents join in a lesson, and I can see how excited and proud the students become to have their parent there to witness their achievements.

Well done to those teachers who end up not running for the hills, but who stick around to advocate their love for teaching. Well done too, to the parents who are taking the time and showing an interest in their children’s learning by joining us in the classroom and learning with us.

Thank you and see you next year!

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