First day back to school and it's playtime!

It was back to school after the long summer break for more than 1.9 million students today.
Dong Jun / SHINE

Fifth-grade students make tie-dye scarfs at Fahuazhen Road No. 3 Primary School on the first day back to school. Tie-dye is a listed intangible cultural heritage in China.

It was back to school today after the long summer break for more than 1.9 million students.

For many it is the start of another exciting year in education at one of the city’s over 3,200 schools. And to get the kids warmed up for the forthcoming academic year, several schools arranged varied activities, including security education, cultural activities and sport games on the first school day.

At Fahuazhen Road No. 3 Primary School in Changning District, the new semester began with intangible cultural heritage to enhance awareness in preserving and passing on traditional culture.

The school had asked students to spot and record cultural heritage on their summer travels, and the children displayed their findings in the morning with photos and stories. In the afternoon, they attended courses on intangible heritage, learning paper quilling, herbal cake making, glass mosaic producing, clay molding and pad dying.

At the Tianshan No. 2 School in Changning District, a professional team was invited to perform some fancy rope skipping.

Yang Guang, Party secretary of the school, told Shanghai Daily that it launched a program last year to encourage students and parents to exercise and it started with rope skipping.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Students play the rope-skipping game on the playground at the Tianshan No. 2 Primary School in Changning District yesterday.

“We tried it one year and found it motivated students in doing exercise,” he said. “But we also found that parents became bored with mere basic rope skipping and began to lose passion for it. So we are now planning to teach students fancy rope skipping and re-inspire their interest in the sport.”

Yang added that all students will be able to learn fancy rope skipping once a week and can teach their parents at home. The best skippers will be selected to form a school team.

To meet increasing demand for educational opportunities from the growing newborn population caused by the relaxed family planning policy, 61 new schools and kindergartens opened today.

Thirty-three new kindergartens are expected to provide up to 14,580 vacancies for preschool children.

One of the new schools is the Putuo Experimental School Affiliated to the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, which will provide education for students from grades one through nine.

This year, it recruited 68 first-graders and it wishes to run with a full capacity by 2021. Putuo District also joined up with Tongji University to set up a high school.

The Shanghai High School of Science and Technology Affiliated to Tongji University grew out of a nursery program between Tongji and the Caoyang No. 2 High School to allow its students to attend prerequisite courses and innovative projects in the university.

For the last six years, students of the program have performed outstandingly in gaokao, the national college entrance examination in China. This inspired the government and the university to build the new school to connect high school education with the university.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Students at Aurora Foreign Language Middle School in Huangpu District learn first-aid skills as their first lesson of the new semester.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Yangpu District traffic police hold a fire drill on the campus of Yangpu Elementary School before the new semester begins.

To reduce pressures on students, the Shanghai Education Commission reiterated on Thursday that schools cannot arrange paper exams and rank students according to scores during the first two weeks of schooling.

According to the commission, the first week will focus on security education, including traffic security lessons and emergency evacuation drills from school buses, as well as inspection on campuses to get rid of hazards.

Traffic security has been a key issue for students. As shared bikes are popular and have caused tragedies on young students, the commission reaffirmed that schools should require students, aged 12 years old and younger, not to ride either private or shared bikes on the road.

At the Aurora Foreign Language High School, nurses gave the teenagers a lesson on emergency rescue skills at a local hospital.

Dong Jun / SHINE

Students at the Putuo Experimental School Affiliated to the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology attend the inauguration ceremony.

Dong Jun / SHINE

Members of the girls' soccer team at Meilong Middle School are in a training session. The team was invited to take part in a youth soccer game in Norway during the summer vacation and won the championship.

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