A Billericay school celebrated Chinese New Year last week as part of a new partnership with a Chinese school.
Downham CE Primary School marked the occasion last Friday, February 8, with a day of festivities including Chinese dance workshops, brush painting classes, kung fu lessons and a Chinese lunch with chopsticks.
Headteacher Sue Crace said she had committed to teaching her pupils about Chinese culture after attending an international headteachers’ forum in China last year.
During the visit, she entered into a twinning agreement with a primary school in Wuxi, China, where she spent time observing lessons and helping to teach English.
Future plans include welcoming a group of Chinese students to Downham, sending some Downham staff to Wuxi to teach, introducing some basic Mandarin lessons into the school curriculum and encouraging long-distance friendships between students from the two schools.
Sue said that in some ways the two schools were ’extremely different’, with the Chinese school having 4,000 pupils.
But, she said,
“I was particularly encouraged by the way there is an identifiable love of learning in both schools and teachers work extremely hard in their different ways to ensure that children are given a broad curriculum where there is an expectation of high standards and good progress. During conversations with the headteacher, it was evident that we could gain a great deal by working together to add to the learning experiences of both the pupils and the staff of Downham and Wuxi alike.”
Students from Wuxi are currently scheduled to visit Downham in July.
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