CCC visit to Hangzhao Dong Fang High School

In November 2019, representatives from Calamvale Community College had the pleasure of visiting Hangzhao Dong Fang High School in China through EQI. During the visit the Secondary School Principal and Head of Program (Teaching and Learning) shared practices with our Chinese and other International Colleagues through workshops, cultural tours and many other amazing experiences.

The welcome and hospitality of the staff at Hangzhao Dong Fang High School were highlights of the visit. Principal Lee guided us through a tour of the school, which showcased the impressive facilities, the students and the culture of the school. The immaculate grounds of the school include beautiful gardens, and extensive facilities for the boarding students of this school. Through the grounds, there are reminders of the vision and philosophy of the school in both Chinese and English, reminding students to achieve their best through effort, persistence and positive attitude.

During our workshops, we worked with teachers from international backgrounds, sharing expertise of the Queensland Senior Curriculum and pedagogy in Australian and Chinese school settings. These highly interactive professional exchanges helped us to appreciate how Chinese students approach learning in the Queensland Curriculum, as well as sharing processes and experiences to support the teaching, learning and assessment of the curriculum.

Whilst we were at the school, we immersed ourselves as many aspects of school life as possible, from eating local Hangzhao food in the school canteen, to running with the students during their morning exercise session. Seeing a school cafeteria menu which included Bullfrog and Duck Feet as menu items was an experience, and very tasty! We were very impressed by the spirit of the students during the daily exercise, and pride and responsibility taken by each class for the cleanliness of the learning environment.

Not only were we able to experience and share the life of Hangzhao Dong Fang School, but our hosts kindly guided us through the sights, food and experiences of Hangzhao. Experiencing Hangzhao food and the sights of area was a highlight of the visit! We ate street food and local delicacies on our first day in Hangzhao along the banks of the Grand Canal. Hot Pot was definitely a favourite, with different types of meat, mushrooms and lotus. We attended banquets which featured a huge variety of local dishes, including stinky tofu, jellyfish and deep fried lotus, and we learned how to eat fresh local crab the Hangzhao way!

Our visit to Hangzhao included many famous local sights. A night cruise down the Grand Canal deepened our appreciation for the history and ingenuity of the Chinese people, and the beauty of the canal banks. Visiting West Lake, a famous scenic spot by night was also a highlight. We would also like to thank our hosts for taking us to the Lingyin Scenic area, with its ancient temple and Zen Buddhist statues, and for introducing us to the varieties of local tea during the tea ceremony.

Thanks to EQI, we returned to Calamvale Community College with a heightened appreciation, not only for Chinese culture and food, but also for the perspective of Chinese students studying in our College. As a school with a significant number of students from mainland China who come to study at our school, this visit has helped us to appreciate and better understand how our students must feel when they first arrive at our College. Through this visit, we have developed a greater connection to China and to the experiences of our Chinese students.