New partnership facilitates student and teacher exchange
Ipswich Girls’ and Junior Grammar School has formalised a partnership with the Basic Education Group Attached to Shandong Normal University, Jinan City, Shandong Province of the Peoples Republic of China to facilitate student and teacher exchanges.
The partnership follows a number of successful exchanges over the last couple of years, and aligns with the Australian cross-curriculum priority of “Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia”, as well as the School’s vision to nurture every young woman, girl and boy to become confident, well-educated and prepared for higher learning, local and global citizenship and life.
Principal and CEO Dr Peter Britton says the student and teacher international exchange program is an exciting addition to the School’s education program.
“The experience of living in a foreign environment and joining the local community educates students about new cultures and lifestyles,” said Dr Britton.
“It is an exciting adventure and a challenging process. Students are exposed to many new customs, habits and ideas and learn that adjusting to a new culture does not mean they must change their own values or beliefs but that it is important to be open-minded and respect those of other people.
“Students who complete an international exchange also strengthen their appreciation of their families and their own culture. Being thousands of kilometers away in a foreign country and needing to be more independent helps students appreciate the love and opportunities that they receive from their families at home and their nation,” he said.
Dr Britton added that host students also benefit from the exchange opportunity.
“It is wonderful to see the excitement and anticipation in the eyes of our students when the Group’s students arrive at school. Our students warmly welcome the Group’s students to their School and into their friendship groups.
“They work together in classrooms, play sport and music beside them, teach them about the local customs and the operations of the School.
“Teacher exchanges are also an exciting part of international study tours,” he said. “Visiting teachers are welcomed into the host’s classrooms and observe classes from the Early Education years to Year 12. The teachers discuss curriculum design, assessment and reporting. Host teachers explain their school’s unique teaching framework to the visiting teachers thereby expanding their pedagogical repertoire of effective practices.”
The partnership with Shandong Normal University Basic Education Group will also see Ipswich Girls’ and Junior Grammar establish a China Centre in a school in Jinan City, Shandong Province, China, which will become the base for its international education program in China.