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Located in the south of Hubei, known as "the South Gate of Hubei", Xianning has great renown for “Chibi old haunt of the Three Kingdoms, inland nuclear power city”, which has great advantages of its "mountain", "water" "geography","location","culture","scenery","energy"and the trend of development. Xianning is a suitable place to do ...[more]
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Jiayu No.1 Middle School: Success Unveiled
http://English.xianning.gov.cn 08-09-07
 

  The secret to have made five in a row

  Year

  College Entrance Examination Score

  Top Scorer

  2004

  School record breakers and No.1 in Xianning in terms of all indicators

  Li Wei

  Tsinghua University

  2005

  Accounting for one third of the students who scored 600-plus points in the region and taking a lead in its counterparts

  Yang Gang

  Peking University

  2006

  The number of students who scored 600-plus points and reached lowest criterion of key universities took the lead in its counterparts in Xianning

  Tong Yijian

  Tsinghua University

  2007

  The number of students who scored 600-plus points and reached lowest criterion of key universities left other schools in the Xianning far behind

  Zhao Yong

  Peking University

  Every year, the announcement of the College Entrance Examination results marks the most glorious moment for Jiayu No.1 Middle School. In 2008, Chen Shen was admitted to Tsinghua University with 663 points. In addition, it accounted for one third of students in Xianning who scored 600-plus points this year, and the number of students who reached lowest criterion of key universities left other schools far behind, thus took a lead in its counterparts in Xianning. Over the past five years, more than 1000 students have entered first-class universities in China, such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, Wuhan University, HUST, Fudan University, SJTU, NKU, Zhejiang University, USTC, etc.

  According to sources, each year, two China’s top universities--Tsinghua University and Peking University--only recruit 100 odd high school graduates in southern-central province of Hubei, most of whom come from such top middle schools as the No.1 Middle School Affiliated to Central China Normal University (CCNU), which is located in Wuhan. For students of county-level middle school, it is difficult to be enrolled at those universities. Located in a small county with a population of only 0.3 million, Jiayu No.1 Middle School stands out despite fierce competition, channeling graduates to the two universities for five consecutive years. Recently, it has also attained a series of honorary titles for its excellent teaching achievements and school construction. Furthermore, it was designated by Tsinghua University as the online education base, producing numbers of outstanding students for key universities.

  How, you may wonder, did it attain such desirable results and why? What can we learn from it? With these questions in mind, this correspondent set out for the school. Secret had been gradually unveiled as I knew more about it: the spirit of unity, dedication, struggle and endeavor, coupled with its updated educational philosophies and orderly and innovative management.

  The Prerequisite for Running School Successfully

  “Out of admiration for Jiayu No.1 Middle School, I sent my child here all the way from Honghu (a city of Hubei Province), because I have made some thorough observations before. I’m impressed not only by its beautiful environment, but by its fine academic atmosphere, pragmatic concepts, delicacy management, and the style of work demonstrated by those dedicated teachers. I can rest assured now.” Mr. Xiao, a parent, spoke his mind at the beginning of the semester.

  Just like he said, its teaching style can be condensed to only one word: love. Love for their students, their careers, the school, and the whole society. By several conversations with those teachers, who are incredibly proud of their school, their strong sense of calling and responsibility were felt. With team spirit and professional ethics, they are heading for a bright future. As for those students, their love for knowledge and life were felt, and for teachers and classmates. Their diligence, ambition, and indefatigability were felt. Their strong sense of pride as the students of Jiayu No.1 Middle School was also felt. They are always full of vigor and vitality!

  Back in the early of the century, new leaders of the school, after summarizing the 60-year development, put forward its philosophy of schooling, that is, “equal chance of development for everyone”. It set up a development strategy of “establishing good reputation by putting people first, managing school by democratic rules, and developing school through scientific research and the quality of education”. Guided by the principle of “taking moral education as the priority, teaching as central tasks, growth as the theme, and quality of education as lifeline sustaining school”, it also formed a “diligent, aggressive, standard and integrated” academic atmosphere, with teachers amiable, rigorous and innovative, and its leadership honest, pragmatic and effective. Bearing in mind the school motto of “establishing lofty ideals, working perseveringly and pursuing beauty”, students have picked up good habits of thinking more and raising creative questions.

  Over the years, Jiayu No.1 Middle School has further illustrated its ideology to keep up with the times and closely follow its rules. It has also strived for “three developments” (development of professional ethics, disciplines and class culture), “three accomplishments” (accomplish the moral refinement, the quantization of teachers’ work and the improvement logistics support services), and “two shifts” (shift from extensive management to fine management and its development goals shift from scale to content). All the faculty members and students, each of whom performs their own functions, have worked hard to enhance quality of education and upgrade the school image, thus contributing their due share to the development of this middle school. All school personnel, while enjoying the prosperity of their school, are mindful of possible retrogression. To achieve a higher level of sustainable development, they have forged ahead, through concerted efforts and the pooling of innovative ideas, a string of fresh reform measures, especially to enrich the number of teachers, enhance teaching methods and research capabilities, and promote the quality of education. Those measures were later approved in the Faculty and Trade Union Congress and came into effect.

  At the beginning of this semester, faced with positive progress, new opportunities as well as challenges, its leadership called upon all the faculty members and students, to move towards higher goals in the Olympic spirit of “faster, higher, and stronger”. They also showed their determination to run school “for the benefits of teachers, students and school” and stressed the importance of flexible principles and a top-down management strategy. Moreover, they have set out on the path of building a provincial model middle school and civilized unit. A rising Jiayu No.1 Middle School is taking shape.

  The Fundamental Guarantee: Excellent Teaching Team

  Teachers are an indispensable part of education; they are also the main source for the transformation of sustainable growth of a school. Therefore, an excellent teaching team constitutes the core competence of a school and the fundamental guarantee for good teaching quality, and most significantly, the driving force and key element for sustainable development.

  When talking about the success the school has attained, Chen Xuyuan, the Principal and national key teacher noted his own experience. He said that his school did not pursue unrealistic goals, but always worked in a down-to-earth way, that is, to develop its teaching team.

  First, actively carrying out training activities. To begin with, scientific research became the order of the day. Over the years, through the combination of theory study with teaching practices, the teaching abilities of young teachers have been cultivated and they have been encouraged to vigorously participate in those activities. Therefore, the variety and quantity of projects have been guaranteed. Scientific research and sustained education mingled and teachers’ performance linked to their promotion, evaluation and wages to inspire their pursuit of self-development. Next, the school has launched two projects on training teachers, especially on producing great teachers. By dividing teachers into different groups and training them for different purposes, the school has set progressive goals for them to be “masters” within ten years. The evaluation of their performances determines whether they can get to the next level of training, which requires higher capabilities.

  Then, establishing a unique development pattern for teachers: inviting experts to offer guidance, share resources with elite schools, broaden their horizon by learning somewhere else, absorb advanced ideologies, and exchange views to enhance know-how. Through these efforts, numerous young teachers sprouted. The past few years have witnessed 130-plus of them winning awards in some provincial teaching competitions and research activities and 300-odd of them winning awards, at provincial level or above, for their research papers and results. They also produced more than 120 articles, which were published on national or provincial periodicals. Under the guidance of Chen Xunyuan, the Principle and special grade teacher, nearly 100 teachers worked out the key project <the development and utilization of school-based textbooks>, which was issued during the Tenth-five-year plan period, and won the national first prize. This year, Mr. Chen was employed as a editorial board member of <learning Chinese, mathematics and English> (special pages on National Entrance Examination), an authoritative publication in Hubei.

  Second, fostering cohesion among teachers by exploring and creating school culture. To begin with, the school has been actively publicizing excellent performances of some elite teachers inside school, acting as models for others, and establishing the idea of “providing support for teaching”. Next, strengthening professional ethics of faculty members. Various activities were staged, with professional ethics as the theme, so as to instill impetus to the formation of their lofty ideals and dedication to work. Those moral models set good examples for other faculty members to follow, thus within the school, a good atmosphere has taken shape: exerting positive influence on students by remarkable teaching skills, orderly management and high-quality services. Teachers have become more steadfast and responsible in interacting with students. Their hard work eventually paid off. Among them, many were awarded national or provincial excellent instructors of the National Olympic Competition (a national discipline contests). Others, such as the mathematics teacher Huang Qin, the chemistry teacher You Anyong, Chen Zehua, Luo Laiguo, were also awarded for their hard work and marvelous results. Lan Fumin and You Changhong stood out as elite teachers of the city of Xianning. 

  The Driving Force behind Progress

  The school Party branch has constantly tweaked and innovated in the management system of the school to keep up with the time. With the concerted efforts of each individual, this system, which mingles people-oriented concepts, democracy, rules and aim, initially came into being.

  School Executive Council and meetings at Principal’s office which are held twice a week and once a month respectively, regularly begins at 6 a.m. And each day before 6 a.m. those who are on administrative duty arrive and stand ready for their work to begin, and will not come off their duty until 11 p.m. This is a perfect example of how a communist will positively affect other staff. Those communists, with their down-to-earth work, constantly practice “honesty, pragmatism, cooperation and effectiveness.”

  In practicing democratic management, the school links The Staff Congress and The Trade Union to help staff members become masters of its operation. That is, holding The Staff Congress each term to hear and deliberate reports on school work, work of The Trade Union and school finance, and to put to vote rules and regulations as well as proposals submitted to the meeting. At the meeting, the collecting and handling of proposals and democratic appraisals directed at cadres at or above middle-level are regularly placed on the agenda. All these actions, which were widely welcomed, have raised teachers’ enthusiasm to participate and awareness to be their own masters. Therefore, for three times within four years, its transparency system appeared in provincial and municipal symposiums to be referred and publicized.

  Systematic management grants each individual’s involvement in decision making process. And school operations should comply with rules and regulations. After the pooling of ideas, repeated adjustments and deliberations, close to 50 rules and regulations were approved and distributed to all as handouts. These handouts, the so called guidelines of school, regulated individual conducts.

  In carrying out people-oriented management, the school attaches great importance to putting people first. Valuing and safeguarding the benefit of staff members and students have always been the starting point and the ultimate goal of school work. Also, the good timing comes when oath ceremonies and the Staff Congress are staged to proceed with moral education. Various activities, revolving around “erudition rich enough to disseminate, acts moral enough to be modeled after”, further enhanced the professional ethics of teachers, thus “innovation and dedication” have been engraved in their mind.

  In setting step-by-step goals, the school carried forward a 3-year- development goal, a 5-year -development plan and other medium- and long-term goals such as growing into a provincial elite school. Also, there are management goals for moral education, quality education, coupled with goals for balanced development of students, training programs of teachers, residential apartments of staff members and school financing. These goals concern each link of teaching at all phases and combine management process with decision-making.

  The Decisive Factor to Tap Students’ Potential

  The school has created a favorable environment which is open, independent, and experiential. It has regarded “lofty ideals, noble character, refined taste” as its moral goal, and “self-education, self-management and self-development” as its moral management pattern.

  First, through winning over the support from parents and society, it has established a “trinity” moral system, connecting family, society and school. Hence transformed itself to open moral education. It also set up a school police room and a leading group for moral work, with the principal as the group leader and the vice principal and legal adviser took part in. Parents Committee was formed to supervise and give conductive suggestions regarding school work. In addition, Moral education bases outside school were installed to form a network system so as to facilitate the coordination of parents, society and school, at different levels.

  Second, it has actively explored new laws of moral education, followed the pattern of “self-education, self-management and self-development” and turned from being passive to being active. In practicing this, the school set up a leading group, responsible for routine inspections of school operations which are conducted by on-duty classes and members of student union. Various forms of social practices have enabled students to manage themselves, acquaint themselves with the outside world as well as to serve the society, during which enhanced their social responsibilities. Two days after the magnitude-8 Sichuan earthquake, which occurred in 2008, a total of over 110,000 yuan RMB was collected by the Student Union to offer assistance to victims.

  Third, it has positively explored the universal law of growth of senior high school students and instilled moral education into their daily life, colorful activities and academics learning. This contributed a lot to the formation of their moral integrity. The school attached great importance to narrow the distances between school and students, actual conditions as well as society, so that students could join in each link of education and management processes, concerning study, life, discipline, bearing, activities, etc. Furthermore, infusing moral values into such diverse activities as community service, social survey, and thanksgiving activities, so that students not only acquired perceptions and experiences of life, but also betrayed humane care to others.

  Fourth, it has promoted development of students in an all round way by vigorously strengthening school culture. The school guided students to establish correct world outlooks, outlooks on life and values, for it created beautiful environment, colorful cultural activities, fine academic atmosphere, inspired refined taste for art, and humanistic spirit, thus a kind of fine school spirit naturally formed. Impressed by school culture, guided by rules and regulations, and followed by teachers, students gradually became healthier and rich in emotion and soul. They have showed concern and love for others and a sense of calling and responsibility. At presence, there are “Five Ones”(one school newspaper, one school magazine, one school network, one broadcasting station, one culture with characters and pictures to disseminate culture), and “four commissions”(Logistics Commission, Parents Commission, Dormitory Management Commission,  Psychological Consultation Commission). From words of famous people, to rockery and to academic atmosphere, one can always feel the lingered vitality and their enterprising spirit.

  Chen Shen, who was admitted to Tsinghua University this year, put it this way: “Jiayu NO.1 Middle School is a beautiful school that I can never forget. I got an undesirable result at Middle School Entrance Examination, but teachers here have showed great love for me both in my study and life. It is their rigorous instruction that tipped my potential. My experiences here will be my lifelong spiritual wealth, and I feel so lucky to have chosen the school. Thank you, my teachers! Many thanks, my alma mater!”

  What dedicated teachers and hardworking students they are! After a series of interviews, this correspondent saw their self-explored development path despite twists and turns along the way. Their great love for students and ceaseless pursuit of education career are what constitute their impetus for a bright future. Their well- defined educational concepts and genuine work are just what is needed to create the environment for students’ growth. She, indeed, is a shining star among dozens of stars in the education of Southern Hubei. She, as many people believe, will continue to make miracles!


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