Exchange Programme with Hockerill
By Julia Duerr and Ashley Ng
On the 4th of June, we visited Hockerill College for an exchange programme. At 8am sharp, we donned our full school uniform, excited for the day ahead. Once we stepped out of our coach, we were immediately greeted by the biting cold wind that gnawed at our knees. However, the cold shivers were immediately forgotten when we met with the warm and kind students from Hockerill.
We, the students of Hockerill Anglo-European College were visited by a group of friendly students from Eunoia Junior College. Through all differences, we also discovered many similarities between us, as we were all excited, young learners with an international mindset. Even as the rather quiet and shy person I usually am, I found myself immediately engaged in conversation, and most of all, countless jokes.
My group sat through their English (more of literature actually) and Math lessons. We were shocked by their level of critical thinking and knowledge of their literature text, The Great Gatsby. At first, a chemistry teacher, Mr. Pollard, was teaching the class. You might think that it weird, in the Singaporean context, but I was extremely dumbfounded by the intelligent questions that he asked the class and the depth of their discussion. After Ms. David took over the lesson, she swiftly got into the book and started asking questions such as “To what extent are characters defined by possession?” Immediately, many students raised up their hands willingly. Ms. David then gave each one of them a number so that they could speak in order. I felt like it was an actual discussion and the teacher was not just feeding them the answers, instead merely tying up all of their answers. There was no trace of negativity; instead, Ms. David was perpetually very positive, engaging and enthusiastic. It was a very fruitful discussion. Besides that, the freedom to use their computers in class and the level of trust the teacher places on them is truly remarkable. All in all, the small differences that made all the difference here was truly enlightening, and opened our eyes to so many different angles education and learning could take for the most conducive learning environment!
Cultural issues and life in and around the school were discussed along with more personal things such as pets, siblings and food preferences. As we went into lessons together, we all discovered more about learning around the world and were all impressed by each other’s strengths.
A classroom in Hockerill College
We also attended their Math lesson, where the teacher was teaching graphs. It was a pretty simple class and we did also engage in discussions with our peers. The teacher used incredibly fun ways to engage the students and help them remember how to draw their graphs – with dance! It was hilarious to watch the students flail their arms around and try to show the curves. It did also help us recap our own graphs concepts from school at home to use for the mid-year exams.
Personally, I was especially amazed by how easily you fit into lessons you had never been to before and engaged as if you would have been here all year. Far too soon, our little insight into life on the other side of the world had to come to end. Even though we only got to spend a few hours together, we all felt really close immediately and thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
Finally, at 3pm, we had to say goodbye to our newfound friends from Hockerill. We took pictures, exchanged gifts and said our farewells before boarding the coach with heavy hearts. Even though there was a chance we might never get such an experience again, it was one we will hold fond to us forever.
Our gift to Hockerill College
In the name of all Hockerill students, I would like to thank you for coming to us, we hope to see you again soon.