On the third and fourth days of the BIEA Overseas Study Tour, a group of early-years Chinese educators visited three British nurseries with differing characteristics to learn all about valuable management experience.

The Pilgrims’ school

 The teachers first visited the Pilgrims School, an independent day and boarding boy’s primary school founded in 676 AD. Principal Tom Burden greeted the group at the door and led the teachers on a tour to introduce the background of the school.

Tom said that the school’s historical background and teaching experience helped them discover that boys and girls have different characteristics in learning styles. The distinction between boys and girls’ schools is actually more beneficial to children’s learning.

During the visit, students were taking music lessons, the teachers were there to observe the lesson. The music teacher improvised in various ways to help the children to practice vocalisation. The school had recently launched an activity based on the theme of “space”, as such the music activities also adhered to the theme. The children sang a song called “astronaut”.

Ann Bernadt Nursery

Next, the teachers visited the Ann Bernadt Nursery. This nursery contains children from all over the world. There was a map of the nationality of each child on the wall.

The director Lynne Cooper and the assistant director Levia Ostrove-Pound were very enthusiastic to welcome and lead the teacher training group to visit various indoor and outdoor activities. The wall with an explanation of different staff roles caught teachers’ attention.

 

Later, the teachers had a hot discussion about teaching quality with the director Lynne. According to Lynne, the teachers in the nurseries in the UK are divided into different grades, such as level1, level2, level3, etc. The teacher-children ratio is different for different levels. Lynne emphasized that no matter what level the teachers belonged to, she believes that they have the ability to take care of the growth of young children, although there is a difference in the division of work.

New River Green Children’s Centre

New River Green Children’s Center is a local government-managed children’s centre that provides comprehensive childcare and education services for children aged from 6 months to 5 years. It also provides parents with a variety of services including courses, counselling, etc, such as breastfeeding, family support for children with special needs, and more.

Home cooperation can be said to be a major feature of the centre. The centre helps to promote the development of young children through the establishment of a good home cooperation model. The teacher training group was very interested in this model and had an in-depth discussion on how the nursery should carry out practical cooperation with the home environment.