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Education Insight | English Teaching in Huili School Hangzhou

14 Oct 2021


The English curriculum at Huili School Hangzhou Junior High is one that develops pupils as international citizens. Our course aims to give pupils the skills and expertise to strive for the first language English IGCSE course, an internationally recognised qualification, but also to have the confidence to lead and inspire others.



Our curriculum is therefore an understandably challenging one. Each lesson is taken from Cambridge resources that are tailored to meet the needs of our learners at the school. These lessons immerse pupils in English: presenting them with new vocabulary, challenge their reading comprehension skills, and scaffolding and supporting their writing. It is our vision that, with time practice and the dedication from individual pupils that we expect at Huili, all candidates will be able to not only read sophisticated, challenging texts, but also craft them as budding writers themselves.
Within each academic year, pupils progress through a range of real-world topics to help broaden their minds and develop their capacity to function as global citizens. For example, in grade 7 pupils will consider the impact of construction on green space and the environment using their English skills to discuss and debate the merits of alternative solutions to housing crises around the world. In grade 8 pupils look at food for the future, exploring the plausible solutions to food shortages and how to find sustainable alternatives to current food trends across the globe. Finally, in grade 9 pupils begin the formal iGCSE course as critical, resilient learners who are proficient in speaking, writing and communicating in English.



Pupils are regularly monitored and assessed in English. Within each unit, lasting three weeks, pupils will be checked on their reading and listening skills using materials appropriate to their current attainment. An extended speaking or writing task will also be assessed. These responses will inform teachers’ forward planning to ensure pupils make excellent progress over time.



Teachers’ lessons have a significant impact on pupil progress and attainment, but so too does pupil effort. We help to cultivate independent learners through setting regular English homework tasks that are planned to complement lesson content and either consolidate new learning or introduce new vocabulary.
In all, our English course is one that not only enables pupils to take a challenging route through the subject and the language, but also gives them the confidence to communicate their ideas about the world in which they live.


At Huili Primary School Hangzhou, the teaching of English is one of the core elements in our constant endeavour for academic excellence. We aim for children to  learn English as a language but also reach for it as a means of instruction so that children can be taught other subjects through English. We also look to develop an appreciation of the language from the perspective of first language learners.



We work towards those aims through a rigorous curriculum primarily derived from the English National Curriculum. This is then adapted to ensure that language acquisition is a priority. These adaptations ensure that what we teach can cater to the needs of language learners while also preparing them for a first-language environment.
Our Huili curriculum is delivered through teaching strategies designed to teach real, authentic language through engaging and exciting activities. We make wide use of an approach called ‘Talk For Writing’, which was developed in the UK to make the teaching and learning of writing a more intuitive process. This breaks down learning a text into three stages:

Imitation, where children learn a model text deeply and analyse it

Innovation, where children practice writing similar stories in a structured way

Invention, where children use all of their learning to create an independent piece of work

In practice, it is very effective with language learners as it providesstructured opportunities for developing speaking and listening skills alongside useful grammar and sentence structures in an authentic, context-rich environment and with lots of opportunity to practice these skills with increasing independence.



As children learn we continuously monitor the four main language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Pupils’ outcomes in these four skills are tracked against rubrics taken from the key learning objectives which enables teachers to track and monitor pupils’ progress towards successful outcomes. This assessment is holistic using regular marking as well as through end of unit and end of semester checks.

Huili pupils are given great opportunities to develop their English skills through a varied and engaging range of activities and approaches by an experienced, detail-oriented team of teachers who join with their pupils in always striving for the best.