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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.
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