During the recent April school holidays, Ms Joanne St Hill represented DHS at an Educational Forum in China with 12 other school leaders from Australia. This wonderful opportunity showcased Australian teaching and learning methods to a forum of 600 Chinese Principals and Government Officials. During the 10 day educational tour, Ms St Hill visited and taught in several secondary schools and universities. There was also a brief opportunity to visit The Great Wall of China, the Ming Tombs and Tiananmen Square. DHS gifted the Hangzhou Middle School a photo of our local area and coins from the Australian Mint and in return we received a Chinese calligraphy scroll with a poem.
Interesting facts about Chinese middle schools in the City of Hangzhou:
  • ​​​​school starts at 7.10 am and finishes at 5.10pm
  • each student has 7 one hour lessons per day with a ten minute break between each lesson
  • students do not bring any food or technology to school
  • there are no garbage bins only paper recycling bins
  • the school feeds all students once a day in a large cafeteria for 30 mins at lunch
  • water dispensers outside each classroom have both chilled and boiling water for tea
  • teachers teach one hour lesson per day, all other time is for marking and preparation
  • clubs run after school 5.10 – 6.10 pm eg drama, robotics, calligraphy, sport, handicrafts
  • it is expected that middle school students work on homework until midnight
Front entrance to Hangzhou Middle School

The main entrance to Hangzhou Middle School

Assembly at Hangzhou Middle School

School assembly at Hangzhou Middle School, girls at the front, boys at the back.

Collaborative learning task

Grade 9 students working on Ms St Hill’s collaborative learning lesson.

Hangzhou Middle School

The beautiful manicured entrance to the Hangzhou Middle School, equipped with a security gate and guard.

Main quad

The main quad and sporting fields of Hangzhou Middle School.

Me at Aust Embassy

The Australian Educational Leaders were guests at the Australian Embassy in Beijing.

Tianamen Square

Revolutionary statues outside Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.

Yr 5 student

Year 5 students were involved in a demonstration lesson for the Educational Forum.

Yr 9 English class

A typical Grade 9 classroom in the Beijing Academy.

Collaborative learning task

Grade 9 students involved in collaborative learning lessons.

Front entrance Hangzhou Middle School

What a school entrance! Newly built for the state school of Hangzhou Middle School.

Gift to DHS from Hangzhou Middle School

The Principal of Hangzhou Middle School has presented Dapto High School with a calligraphy scroll containing a Chinese poem.


This was a wonderful experience and Ms St Hill gained deep and authentic insight into Chinese schools and education philosophies.

Hanging pots