Tuesday 04 March 2014

Kunming Study Tour

The VCE in China initiative is an exciting and innovative offering for senior Chinese students wishing to complete a VCE qualification in their home country and provides a unique opportunity to gain a globally-recognised qualification, opening up pathways to higher education and career opportunities.

During the last week of February a group of 18 students from Kunming Middle School in China completed a study tour as part of their Pre VCE course. They took part in classes and mingled with teachers and students on campus. The group of students will begin their Year 12 VCE next year along with the current batch of Year 11 students.

The VCE Offshore program offers a range of benefits:


  • Students are able to study the VCE and experience a western style of education without leaving their home county
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  • Students have the opportunity to be exposed to Victorian teaching and assessment practice
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  • The VCE program has several layers of quality assurance to ensure the integrity of the qualification for all students who study for the certificate
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  • Students gain an internationally recognised senior secondary qualification.
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The VCE Offshore Program is currently running in schools throughout the world including China, Vanuatu, East Timor and The United Arab Emirates and is likely to expand to numerous countries in the near future.The VCE is currently taught in China under licence from the VCAA and Ivanhoe Grammar School delivers the program in partnership with two schools in China – Weihai number 4 Middle School and Kunming Middle School.

At this stage, the program involves five Ivanhoe teachers in the area of EAL, Chinese, Chemistry, Physics and Maths Methods. During the year, Ivanhoe teachers spend a month conducting intensive training at The Ridgeway Campus for the teachers from its partner schools to deliver the VCE in China. Once the teachers return to their home country, the mentoring role continues via electronic means throughout the academic year.

In December, Ivanhoe teachers in conjunction with Haileybury, travel to China to facilitate a conference with over 100 delegates in order to provide further professional development opportunities for the Chinese teachers. It is here that the mentors and their counterparts discuss the exams and examiner reports, pedagogy and assessment preparation for the following year as well as cross marking and critically analysing the finer details of the curriculum. In the days following, Ivanhoe teachers then travel to the partner schools to further conduct professional development including observing lessons, conducting demonstrations lessons, reviewing resources and assessing student performance.

Ivanhoe teachers involved in the program have expressed how it has allowed them to critically reflect on the way in which they teach in Australia and in particular, the practices which can further support the international students in their class. Incidentally, teachers gain a world perspective of instruction, and have embraced the similarities and differences in culture to improve their own teaching. The close cooperation with Haileybury in delivering the program has opened the doors for sharing of resources and ideas. This coupled with the close relationship fostered with both the Chinese teachers and Ivanhoe teachers themselves has allowed each teacher to learn and develop further through their involvement with the program.

The quality of the VCE in China program is reflected in the results of recent graduates. Just under 20% of students finished in the top 10% of students studying the VCE in Australia and oversea and 50% were ranked in the top 20% of the state. All graduates also attained places in leading Australian universities, with students choosing a diverse ranges of undergraduate courses in the Sciences, Commerce, IT, Architecture and Media.