Children are playing table games with volunteers
Children enjoy a full variety of games and activities
■Text by Reporter Gu Wu
Under the full-course care of teachers and volunteers, children can play flight chess, bridge games, Rubik's cubes and Lego, or read picture books and do their homework...... For the implementation of the requirements of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and other departments on extending the free after-school service time for primary school students from 17:00 to 18:00, recently, on the basis of widely listening to the views of parents, students and other parties, education authorities in Jing'an District introduced a characteristic "three-stage" after-school service plan on campus, which has been piloted in some primary schools in the district. Over the past few days, the reporters have visited Shixi Primary School, Zhabei No.3 Central Primary School, Zhabei Experimental Primary School, Sanquan Road Primary School and other schools to learn more about how these schools combine the "three-stage" model with the actual needs of parents and students in their schools to enable those children who cannot be picked up on time to enjoy the two and a half hours of colorful, pleasant, sweet, healthy and safe after-school activities.
"Three-stage" After-school Services Attach Great Importance on Elaboration
The reporters learned from Jing'an District Education Bureau that the "three-stage" after-school services mainly divide the two and a half hours from 15:30 to 18:00 after school into three time periods: the first period is from 15:30 to 16:00, named "Happy 30 Minutes", during which students are able to "enjoy activities and show their personalities" through self-selection, help seeking as well as cooperation and sharing; the second period is from 16:00 to 17:00, named "One Hour for Self-service", during which students are able to "grow independently and develop comprehensively" through planning learning tasks, completing homework independently, participating in sports activities, carrying out labor education, and upgrading the technical and art specialties according to their own learning and development needs; the third period is from 17:00 to 18:00, named "One Warm and Sweet Hour", which aims to help students " communicate leisurely and enjoy the care and love" through quiet reading, partners communication, arrangement of school things, manual craft work and home-school communication. According to the relevant person in charge of Jing'an District Education Bureau, when implementing the "three-stage" after-school services, primary schools can conduct personalized and flexible operation in terms of time and content in accordance with the demands and actual situation of parents, children and school.
In the first period, all the instructors serving the students are in-service teachers of each school, but the time and content of activities in each school are different, which is mainly due to the different needs of the staying students. For example, Zhabei Experimental Primary School has carried out a series of short and fast-paced games such as 24-point brainstorm competition, Nongtang games and super-light clay craft, folding and cutting craft, and rhythmic gymnastics in this period, with more than 180 participants. Zhabei No.3 Central Primary School has nearly 300 students participating in this activity. But among them, there are students taking the initiative to accept the love coaching from teachers because of weak study foundation, there are also students taking part in sports and entertainment activities such as playing basketball and animal chess. Thereinto, the activity time of the latter is generally 1 hour or so. Similarly, Shixi Primary School also adjusted this activity period to one hour.
In the second period, there are mainly in-service teachers from each school providing services, as well as some external professionals in the field of technique and arts. During this period, some students choose to do their homework, while more students choose to participate in various kinds of club activities according to their interests and hobbies. Like Shanghai Shixi Primary School, there are hundreds of students taking part in Lego building, body beauty aerobics, happy football, origami and other club activities. Nearly 200 students from Sanquan Road Primary School have participated in diverse club activities like baseball, tennis, football, taekwondo and safe escape drill, among whom, over 60 have engaged in the women's football club activities. In the meantime, through the mobile learning system, about 200 students from Zhabei No.3 Central Primary School have involved themselves in such activities as bridge, dragon and lion dance, calligraphy, child drawing, and chess games.
During the third time period, school teachers, community volunteers and retired teachers provide services for students. 1/3 of the faculty of Shanghai Shixi Primary School has registered for the students caring service. Despite that only 11 students are involved in this time period, 3 teachers have been arranged by the school each day to accompany students on reading picture books, as well as teach them eye exercises. As for Zhabei No.3 Central Primary School, it has re-employed two retired female teachers to accompany 57 students at different grades on finishing homework, playing puzzle games, watching science fiction movies, and helping pack school bags each day. Shanghai Successful Education Experimental Primary School has employed 2 community volunteers to accompany students on reading pictorials, making handicrafts and playing board games from 17:00 to 18:00.
Strong Sense of Responsibility for Caring Safety
During the two and a half hours in three time periods providing after-class caring service, the caregivers of all primary schools have displayed strong sense of responsibility. Competent education sectors of Jing'an District have required all primary schools, by upholding "safety and convenience" as their tenet, to allow parents to free select the after-class caring period for an individualized service according to the service time and content. Procedures handling and identity confirmation shall be conducted if the time of pick-up and person who picks up children change.
In order to meet the demand of parents for changing the pick-up time, Zhabei No.3 Central Primary School has specially designed the Check List for After-Class Care, on which, the head teacher of certain child shall give the signature, and then corresponding caregiver shall confirm the signature. Embodying similar strong sense of safety responsibility, care-giving teachers of Shanghai Shixi Primary School have been required to call the roll of students concerned. Moreover, the school has built a WeChat group consisting of head teacher of students in after-class caring class, school volunteer teachers, grade leader and administrative chief guider to manage the after-class caring class, so as to rise to emergencies for timely communication and handling. For instance, on one occasion, school teacher Miao found out that a student of Class (4), Grade 1 surnamed Wang was absent when calling the roll at 17:00, the teacher immediately reported the situation to the head teacher. After knowing that student Wang was absent due to a bad cold, the teacher was relieved.
Favorable Caring Service Commended by Parents
Parents have sung their praises for the free in-campus after-class service within two and a half hours, especially that has been prolonged from 17:00 to 18:00. The mom of a student named Cao Yuchen of Grade 3 in Shanghai Successful Education Experimental Primary School told the reporter that since she gets off work at 17:30, while her husband at 18:00, they had to make the child wait for their pick-up in front of the school gate. This circumstance makes them worry about the safety of the child, and moreover, the child being unhappy. However, in this semester, the school has prolonged the caring period to 18:00, which has not only assuaged their worries and hurries, but also improved their child's performance by virtue of the loving tutorship from the teacher after class. In addition, the time reading and manual skills learnt in the caring service have made the child more cheerful. Furthermore, the dad of a student named Qiao Feixiang of Grade 1 praised that the after-class service prolonged by 1 hour is truly timely help. The truth is that previously Qiao Feixiang was picked up by his grandma after class. But before the Spring Festival, the elderly was diagnosed with cerebral infarction, which does not allow her to pick up and take care of the child. "When we can find no way out, the prolonged caring service of the school has resolved our extreme urgency. And the child can finish his homework at school basically. This is quite a 'timely help'!"
It is known, since March 20, all public primary schools in Jing'an District will extend the period of free after-class service from initial 17:00 to 18:00, so as to actually offer assistance in parents for assuaging their worries of being unable to pick up the child on time.