Excellent day today. I met up with Brian Lockwood, presently Director of IT at the Nanjing International School in Nanjing. Brian and I have been communicating with each other on Twitter since the early days, 7 years or so perhaps. I remember that Brian was working in Yokohoma at the time and I was always fascinated by, and dare I say, envious of his blog posts concerning his life in Japan.
Brian saw that I was travelling to China and sent me an invite to catch up and explore the Nanjing International School. I travelled with family friend Crystal from Shanghai to Nanjing via the high speed rail network.
Brian met us at the front gate and showed us around this remarkable school. The school’s philosophy of inclusiveness and its willingness to push the boundaries of teaching and learning is evident in its diverse innovative programmes and the design of the school itself. It has superbly equipped design, drama and art spaces as well as first class sporting facilities. And, it is an Apple school. Nice!
Brian and I spent much of the day talking about the possibilities and future of education and the need to think outside the box. I particularly shared with Brian how that national Naplan examinations in Australia and archaic examinations such as the HSC in NSW and the VCE exams in Victoria are having such a deleterious impact on schools, students and teaching in general. Education back home is being driven by examination results, school league tables and an executive more seemingly concerned with marketing and their own self-interest.
I think Nanjing International School would be quite an interesting school at which to work. The school has a strong community based focus and the parents are generally involved and interested in the life of the school itself. I think that is the mark of a good school that has the best interest of the students, teachers and parents at heart. It simply shows. You can feel it. Please have a look at the gallery below for additional photographs. I feel they will give you a better idea of our excellent day ^_^.
Brian very kindly took us out for lunch and also showed Crystal and I around some of the local landmarks in Nanjing prior to our return to Shnaghai on the 6.00PM train. Brian was a gracious and most generous host and the day will always be fondly remembered. Thank you Brian!