Learn English Locally,

Apply It Worldwide!

Enjoy Regular Practice

What Exactly Makes a Good High School Good?

And yes, you can identify the exact ingredients for the formula – they are dedication, hard work and the belief in success. Both teachers and students must sustain these traits and a positive attitude on behalf of the students is also expected.

I live very near the best high school in Donghai, on the North-Eastern coast of China. One of my students just revealed their scary-tough daily schedule to me. Here’s a question to all those readers who’ve been complaining about having a little homework to do in their free time at home. The students at this high school don’t have homework – everything is done at school, during their normal classes - you might think that’s learning heaven.

Check this one out and tell me if you’d even dare considering enrolling at this school or you’d find a way of being grateful you have it as you do at your own school, wherever that may be in the world.

My student gets up at 6:20, to have breakfast at 6:30 and she leaves home by 6:40. She doesn’t live far from school, so she arrives by 6:50.

    First thing they do is to read an article chosen by the teacher every day;
    7:00 – 7:45 => 1st class (one of the following: Chinese, Maths, English, Geography, Art, Music, Computer Studies, Political Studies, Biology, Chemistry or P.E.)
    7:50 – 8:35 => 2nd class
    8:35 – 8:50 => 15min of running around the playground. This activity is compulsory to all 3,000 students within the school  – only very sick students are excused!
    8:50 – 9:00 => 10min rest, toilet break, etc.
    9:00 – 9:45 => 3rd class
    9:45 – 10:00 => 15min of listening exercises in English
    10:00 – 10:10 => 10min break
    10:10 – 10:55 => 4th class
    10:55 – 11:05 => 10min break
    11:05 – 11:50 => 5th class
    11:50 – 12:25 => lunch break & siesta, if they’re eating at school OR…
    11:50 – 14:00 => lunch break, if they’re going home
    14:10 – 14:20 => the whole school sings the monthly song (inspirational and motivating students to study hard and do their best)
    14:20 – 15:05 => 6th class of the day
    15:05 – 15:15 => 10min break
    15:15 – 16:00 => 7th class
    16:00 – 16:10 => 10min break
    16:10 – 16:55 => 8th class
    16:55 – 17:20 => running around the playground for 25’
    17:20 – 18:05 => 9th class
    18:05 – 18:35 => having a 5 course dinner in the school canteen
    18:35 – 19:00 => watching the news or doing exercises, if they’ve missed any
    19:00 – 19:25 => 10th class [only for 25’]
    19:25 – 20:10 => 11th class
    20:10 – 20:25 => 15min break
    20:25 – 21:10 => 12th class
    19:25 – 20:10 => 11th class
    21:10 – 21:55 => 13th class
    21:55 time to go home and have a life!

My student arrives home by 22:10, takes a shower and she’s ready for bed – I’m not surprised!

They do this for 3 years, during grades 10, 11 and 12 and the majority of these students get into the Oxford and Cambridge Universities of China – the cream of the cream in terms of candidates.

I've seen a storm of cars driving onto that street and then out again round about 10pm one evening and I wondered if they had a parents' meeting scheduled for that day, but now I realise this is a daily routine for everybody involved with this school! I wonder how do the teachers cope with this timetable.

English Corner Weekly E-zine

Packed with knowledge, published on Tuesdays.

Get yours here!

Enter your email:
Enter your name:

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you English Corner E-zine.

Our Archives:


Our lessons in the names and sounds of letters, short & long vowel sounds, CVCs, CCVCs, CVCCs, sight words, vowel and consonant contrasts, etc.


Our lessons will help increase your vocabulary, word recognition, find meaning in context, skills for TOEFL tests and other games, for fun.


Here we shall build some lessons to help you improve your writing skills.


Lots of lessons: cause & effect, comparisons, linking signals, relative clauses, presenting information, expressing emotions and grammar games, of course. We had more lessons on: intensifying adverbs and phrasal verbs, expressing various concepts such as addition, exception, restriction and ambiguity. Lately we started some exercises: likes/dislikes, frequency adverbs (twice), verb tenses, etc.

Website Building

Learn how to build a website, by using the SBI! system - start from the basics, developing a site concept and a niche, supply and demand, learn about profitability and monetization, payment processing, register domain, website structure and content as a pyramid. Also learn about the tools I'm using to build this website. We also covered how to build traffic, working with search engines, building a good system of inbound links, using social marketing and blogs with the SBI system, how to use Socialize It and Form Build It, how to publish an e-zine and how to build a social network in your niche

Our Weekly Game

We looked at a few games by now: Countable & uncountable nouns, Free Rice, Name That Thing, Spell It, Spelloween, the Phrasal Verbs Game, Preposition Desert, The Sentence Game, Word Confusion, Word Wangling, Buzzing Bees, and The Verb Viper Game.

Be prepared to play and learn  more pretty soon.