Visiting Group


On 12th May, the eighteen participants met with Archie for a debriefing sharing in Tsung Tsin Christian Academy in Hong Kong.  Towards the end of the meeting, Archie posed a series of questions/issues and invited us to write our views, our response to the questions posed.  A summary of the responses follows under the questions posed by Archie.

Scottish man 3

  1. What was the professional highlight of the week?


  • Teachers at our partner school provided ample opportunity for Students to interact with their peers through discussion and sharing and this was further supported and guided by teachers’ constant encouragement so as to build up Students’ confidence.
  • As a professional educator, we need to implement our BELIEFS. E.g. Strike for Excellence, establish good attitude.
  • Exchanging ideas of e-learning (the focus of this exchange was about language teaching/ just fascinate that colleagues in Scotland are also into e-learning). Discussed the possibility of flipped classroom using different e- platforms and cloud server. Getting hold of a new technology that I could promote in Hong Kong (In microchip)
  • Catering for student’s diversity. In a Maths’s lesson we observed, the teacher was taking one of the whole classes while some slower learners were doing some games with computer. And the high achievers were helping the teacher make teaching materials. The whole class was involved in different activities.
  • Share the vision of the school of Education.
  • Teacher-Student interaction
  • Keep their promise. Although the Royal High school was facing big challenge (Closure of part of the school buildings and the death of the Principal’s mom), they kept their promise to welcome us. Panel and his colleagues are really professional teachers. We had a fruitful visit in Royal High School.
  • I can view their heart and devote though their teaching and learning.
  • I really appreciated the individual character + strength of each of the partner schools PLUS their commitment to working together for the good of students and the community. The decision of 19 secondary schools in Fife to value their affiliation to a common educational authority; the sense of unity of purpose between private and state schools in Edinburgh. In comparison, the different sectors and the schools in HK have yet to develop a stronger culture of collaboration.
  • Involve-Both teachers and students were fully involved in learning and teaching.
  • A very wide range of subjects is offered in Scotland, especial of the development of physical education.
  • The most impressive issue is that the lessons are designed as ’children-centred’. Teachers are not talking all the time but give enough rooms for students to explore and create their own ideas.
  • It was a design lesson I observed where students are using 3D software in PC to design a building with the help of the teacher. It’s about how the teacher believes that students can fulfil their potential by challenge them.
  • The focus should be on the students, on how much and how they learn, and not on the teacher teaching. We teach but students may not learn. Allow students space to learn according to their own space and capability & capabilities.
  • High quality education with professional teacher team under the professional leadership team in Edinburgh.
  • The Student Forum in the Zoo was amazing. Without knowing the audience Archie managed to engage the students straight away. During the opening ceremony, educators sat down and started discussing about the difference of Scotland and Hong Kong. Teachers learned how to facilitate discussion in such a way that they are not dominating the discussion and at the same time make students speak, ending up with meaningful and fascinating output/ideas.
  • Opportunity to compare and contrast professional practices in quite different contexts
  • Meeting staff from so many different schools both in HK and in Edinburgh to share ideas to promote a common goal.
  • Building professional learning communities with schools – both in Edinburgh and in Hong Kong
  • Meeting school leaders from  a very different context

Scottish woman 1

  1. What was the cultural highlight of the week?


  • The weather never ceased to amaze me. 4 seasons in a day. Are you kidding me? Nah, it was a great experience and I believe that the weather in Scotland has treated us well.
  • Teachers and students are friendly and welcoming. They are very confident.
  • Scottish people are good at “expression”. Most of the teachers, students I met were full of confidence and self-expressive. H.K. teachers and students are more passive in expressing ideas.
  • The free and open-mined atmosphere, in most classrooms, Teachers accept multi-cultural characteristics. Teachers are more like facilitators.
  • Students share with confidence.
  • I could see the pride in the eyes of the Scottish students who were wearing their traditional costumes. They are proud of their culture.
  • They are important to communicate with their pupils.
  • Experiencing a city and its schools and its students being modernly proud (without any boastful imposition) of such an immensely rich cultural heritage yet with such a modern, forward-looking outlook, and so inviting to visitors like ourselves. We are not that good at welcoming visitors to our city and HK people have a lot to learn about civic pride.
  • Friendly- Scotland is a very friendly country, no matter people or environment.
  • The citizens in Edinburgh are so proud to be Scottish, they wear the tartan, and they eat Haggis, They just love their country.
  • Scottish people are always proud to be Scottish! They are having a very strong sense of belonging to their country.
  • How Scottish value their history and culture. Edinburgh is a city with traditional buildings and people there are proud of sharing their history, e.g. wearing kilt.
  • The teachers and students are very polite in Scotland. They respect one another. They are very courteous and polite. Here in Hong Kong, teachers expect students to respect them more than they respect the students, if any. Also politeness between teachers.
  • Joyful and optimistic people who are aware of how to enjoy their living and want to make friends to keep the friendship.
  • The whole city was a story to tell. The architecture, the stories behind that made one curious, like little ones waiting for Granny to read the books. The pebble stones on the road made one wonder about the footsteps on that! Who have walked on that!? It’s all a city of history, of wonder that kept you there! I remember the walking tour we had on the Royal Mile. Every building is a book to read.
  • Learning more about and sharing Performing Arts. Lancy’s ‘Be happy’ attitude to life is inspiring!
  • Presenting of interesting gifts
  • Learning so much about the commonalities and similarities between Hong Kong and Scotland
  • The opportunity for my pupils to meet people from Hong Kong and to hear first hand what school is like there.

  1. What to “import” to Hong Kong?
  • Students sense of pride in learning. I was particularly impressed by Students willingness and motivation to learn, they were very eager to present their opinions and they showed great initiative in their learning.
  • Actually, I wish they could import their passion of teaching to H.K. When we observed lessons in our partner school, no matter English lesson, German lesson, computer lesson, all teachers engaged the students well with the subject content.
  • Bring up students confidence by creating a student-centered classroom. Allow them to speak up, design leadership programs so they are used to expressing themselves.
  • The teaching approach. More child-centered inspiring rather than knowledge transferring. E.g. In the theme of WWII, Teacher asked students to find out what their grandparents did at that period. To link up this historical event rather than giving notes about the war.
  • Nurture the youth. Let the youth while they are still in their early childhood, they could enjoy learning, collaboration to try and to learn.
  • Willing to share with others with confidence.
  • Principals Cluster, their sharing culture is very much appreciated. Despite keen competitions among schools in Hong Kong, this will still be feasible for principals who have mutual trust.
  • “Young leader” We can try more ways to listen to our students and also let them try to plan some project. They will have a sense of belonging.
  • Without a doubt, “How good is our school” and the commitment to school improvement through self-evaluation.
  • Confidence- The students I met in Scotland were very confident when they were speaking in public, it can be brought into HK.
  • I guess most of the members of HKSSIP did mention the same things, Child-centered education.
  • The ‘sense of belonging to our own country’ should be imported to Hong Kong.
  • The way that language teachers there decorate the classroom with symbolic items of the country of target language, with some basic bilingual help card is what I want to imply in HK for my NCS students to offer an authentic learning environment.
  • I would like to see a balance of the academic aspect as well as the well-being aspect the students to be cultivated here in Hong Kong. Teachers tend to focus more on the academic achievement, and at times we do neglect students’ well-being and health.
  • Everyone in Hong Kong should aware what’s the first priority to improve the environment of H.K.
  • Student engagement is what I would promote more in my school. I was impressed by the scale of student engagement in lessons and in other activities in schools. With student engagement come student’s leadership skills, presentation skills – all come together to be a responsible, presentable and confident young adult.
  • I’m happy to hear from HK partners and will be guided by them on what they would like u sto contribute to the partnership.
  • Willing to share and happy for our HK partners to select what they might find useful
  • I’m happy to export anything that would be considered valuable by our colleagues in Hong Kong!
  • I am happy to continue informal contact with our primary school as and when we can.

Scottish man

  1. What to “export” to Scotland?
  • The use of IPad should be promoted in daily teaching in the classroom. So as to foster teaching and learning.
  • Humble is one of the advantages which most of the Chinese has equipped. This is because the Confucianism affected us for thousands of years; I would like to export the Confucianism thoughts to Scotland.
  • A well structured Chinese curriculum that is coherent and Sustainable. It should suit the level of learners. The culture of collaborative support from teachers as it’s really hard to promote language with only 2 teachers.
  • The curriculum of Mandarin teaching. How to implement it in context.
  • Scottish people may need a chance to taste the HK Speed.
  • Teaching hand-outs
  • Import to Scotland- Efficiency, multi-tasking.
  • “Long working hours “they can taste our long working hours and working with students.
  •  I’d like to “export: many more of our secondary school graduates to further their study in the University of Edinburgh and other Scottish universities! Our students are HK’s future and HK’s best assets. They will contribute to greater intercultural understanding between Scotland’s and Hong Kong/China’s young people and future leader.
  • Diversity- HK is a fuel of different culture. It can be introduced to Scotland.
  • The effective Maths lesson, apart from the teaching method or mind games. It’s also our tradition, “Waste not, want not” is a maxim. So that we’d like to learn maths to ensure we don’t pay extra money for the bill.
  • The idea of specialist teachers teaching each subject, especially for Mathematics should be exported from Hong Kong to Scotland, to teach students some in-depth mathematical concepts.
  • HK has a good history of hiring qualified native language speakers to teach languages and to some extent that is why language teaching is successful in HK. Having someone who has high language ability and knows how to teach is essential.
  • Students in Hong Kong tend to have higher academic achievements in Maths as compared to the students in Scotland; perhaps teachers of the Maths subject could share the metrologies/ teaching Skills with the Scottish Maths teachers.
  •  Keep good relationship different countries such as China to let the new generation learn more Chinese culture to enhance something they want.
  • We could share with Scottish school the curriculum and pedagogy in Hong Kong, esp. on maths.
  • Approaches to teaching mathematics in Primary schools.
  • Primary Maths being taught by specialist Maths teachers rather than general Primary teachers
  • Learning and Teaching approaches to maths and numeracy;

Scottish woman

  1. Paragraph capturing the essence of the exchange visit – the summary and the impact


  • Though only a short journey of 7 days, I was able to experience the culture of another country, delve into the Scottish education system, explore the historic city and gain insight to inspire my work. This experience reminds me that I need to stop and challenge the limitations that my experience has created in my own thinking. As a teacher, we should think globally and understand that an everyday perspective is only one way to look at the world. This experience has also led me to consider what new opportunities we can craft with students so that they can have more meaningful and experiential learning.
  •  The most important issue for this visit is that we are doing the same thing in H.K. For example, we start the student-centered teaching in our junior forms. (Just like grouping interaction among students). Although we are still a little bit behind, / our school is on the same track compared with Scotland.
  • Give before you take. Try before you reject. Exchanging programs isn’t all about concrete materials. It’s about the ethos and ideas. Getting to know how educators think in Scotland is very important, Knowing how they shape the curriculum and the ‘1+2’ language policy had broadened my horizon.
  • It is glad to see many enthusiastic educators gather together to work for children in two different cities which are far away apart. Because of this common goal, making all the strangers come together, I believe that would make impossible possible.
  • I look for a continued partnership with them, not just to my partner school but also exchange in students and teachers level.
  • 1+2 language policy, trying to be multi-lingual person. Plant a deep root for this school improvement project. Created more opportunities for both sides to be linked up.
  • Meeting professionals who are passionate and devoted in the field of education, it’s great to get to know them and build up link with them so that we can explore what we can do together for the benefit of our young people.
  • I’m impressed with educators’ passion. And also I know I need to improve my video technology.
  • The visit has really deepened my understanding that good schools all focus on the quality of human relationships, all the well-being and achievement are inextricably linked, for students as well as teachers. The broadening of thoughts for students and teachers in HK & Scottish schools, the benefits of specific exchange and collaborations, the excitement and passion of experiential learning. All contribute to the key purpose of school improvement in order to empower our young people to make the world a better place.
  • Seeing the bigger picture of local and global citizenship, Understand the decision making by government, we should search for the common goal just like our team HKSSIP, we will succeed just the matter of time.
  • This is such an eye-opening trip! The way of teaching and learning style is different from Hong Kong. I have never imagined that the foreign countries which are very far away from China can be so enthusiastic in learning Chinese and getting to know the Chinese Culture. To reflect on myself and Hong Kong, even though we are in as international metropolis, our English, in general, is not of a very good standard. Passion is needed indeed to push our city forward. Hong Kong people should learn from these Scottish people in this aspect.
  • The passion of changing to get better is what impresses me the most during trip. Having learned English, the most popular international language, students and teachers there are still passionate to learn Chinese, a language that is described as the most difficult one in the world. They see the value of Chinese, and they decide to learn it despite the difficulty just because they think they can get better.
  • It was an eye-opening trip, I learnt to treat my students with more respect and that I am only the facilitator/stimulator in each lesson. A very fruitful trip after which I need to do reflection as a teacher – my personality and my teaching skills. How the lessons should be conducted.
  • During this trip, I saw the people such as School Principals, Head teacher’s students, who are very nice and friendly. The Scottish curriculum is of so high quality and efficient that can help the students attain their achievement. I learned more self-awareness.
  • The visit was eye-opening. On one hand, we are assumed of the direction we have laid for the school – globalization, Student engagement and inter-disciplinary collaboration. On the other, we can be more confident when we promote the essence of personalized learning, assessment for learning in our school. Of course, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to form the partnerships with James Gillespie, a true loving school.
  • This exchange programme allows me to more effectively look outwards and further and to , more richly, critically evaluate how we are doing against an enhanced and extended set of performance indicators. Our partnership will facilitate us working collaboratively with like minded, professional and enthusiastic educators from different contexts. Working together will enable us to critically review our practices and make adjustments after appropriate adaptation.
  • Sharing ideas and bringing an International dimension to our thinking broadens the mind and opens up opportunities for future creative thinking to enhance education in its broadest sense. Some of our pupils and staff had already visited our link school (TTCA) in HK so the impact was heightened for us by being able to contextualise the experience and imagine taking things forward relatively easily. We have now had the further experience of our first joint etwinning project which we designed together on the last day of the HK visit at Abden House. EA pupils prepared a presentation on the Autumn Moon Festival in Chinese and TTCA pupils prepared a presentation on Burns’ Night celebrations in English. These were delivered classroom to classroom across Skype at 9am UK time (4pm HK time) on Friday 3rd Following the presentations each group asked questions in the opposing languages and then one of the EA students performed a Rap and the TTCA students performed a Chinese song to add extra fun to the general experience. All enjoyed it and we hope to have more etwinning projects in future in between exchange visits which are a hopeful next step.
  • The essence of the visit was about building new relationships and partnerships to promote international exchanges and collaborative learning, and to improve outcomes for all of our learners with the sharing of ideas and best practice. There are many potential gains from the partnership and I am excited about building on the opportunities created. There is a great potential to improve our individual and collective leadership and foster international mindsets and aspirations in our pupils and staff.
  • Essence -was how important leadership at all levels  is in school improvement . The similarities and differences exercise was interesting and promoted reflection on how much our ‘values’ underpin our vision for our schools and pupils.
  • We were not able to participate fully due to restrictions on staffing and time in a school of my size but I am more than happy to keep in contact and participate as and when we can.