At International House Belfast, we recently hosted a 55-member group of teachers from Pudong, China. We worked in partnership with other schools and organisations to offer an educational and enjoyable stay. The visit, which focused on personal and professional development, centred on attending institutions from Early Years to Post Graduate Education.
The induction took place at Rockport School, Hollywood, where the delegation was greeted by staff from both Rockport and IH Belfast. The guests were given a tour of the school and its unique surroundings followed by a memorable visit to Stormont buildings. After a bus tour which visited Belfast Castle, the Titanic Quarter and Queens University the teachers relaxed with a taste of home in Belfast’s Sun Kee restaurant.
Day two signalled the start of the busy working schedule; the group arrived at International House for training adopted from our 4-week CELTA (Cambridge TEFL) programme. Input sessions sampled the methodology and techniques used by CELTA/DELTA trained teachers.
Following the in-house training, we organised visits to primary and secondary level education whereby the visiting teachers joined in class activities and met and shared ideas with their Northern Irish counterparts. Our visitors gave positive feedback on all schools and noted how “global learning” was introduced at a young age in the schools they visited. The delegation later enjoyed a session focusing on how global learning is delivered in the classroom. Hosted by the Belfast Activity Centre, Laura from the Centre for Global Education demonstrated activities she has used to highlight issues such as inequality.
Setting one day of the visit aside for third level education allowed the delegation to meet those charged with educating our teachers. Coleraine University’s Paul McQueen delivered an excellent presentation on ‘The Good Teacher’, he combined personal and professional experience to show how our modern curriculum was formed and produced. The Ulster University visit also incorporated a tour of their facilities and an introduction to staff from the international department.
Included in the packed 6-day schedule, we also covered the essentials of any trip to Northern Ireland including a trip to the Giant’s Causeway, a visit to the Titanic Museum and a taxi tour of Belfast’s famous murals.
The success of the visit lay in the interactions with local teachers and students and so we would like to thank the following schools and organisations:
All partnering schools:
Stranmillis PS, Pond Park Nursery, Pond Park PS, Dunmurry PS, Ballinderry PS, Oakwood Integrated PS, Forge PS, Victoria College, Rockport, Belfast Royal Academy, Steiner School, Friends school, Antrim Grammar
Paul McQueen – University of Ulster School of Education, Global Education Programme/Centre for Global Education and the staff at Belfast Activity Centre.
And our partners
Shanghai Pudong Institute of Education Development.
Follow the school: @ihbelfast
Join the mailing list: www.ihbelfast.com