Talking Heads – Developing Chinese in your school
Join us for the opening of day 2 (Saturday 13 June) when our very own panel of ‘Talking Heads’ will share some top tips on sustaining and developing Mandarin in your school.
Each Head has valuable personal insights for how to make Chinese grow in your school.
Pat Howarth is Principal of Hummersknott Academy in Darlington. He was among the first UK state school headteachers who committed to
introduce Chinese in the timetabled curriculum. Back in 2006 his school became one of the UK’s first Confucius Classrooms – schools officially designated for their excellence in the teaching and learning of Chinese.
Over the years, Pat has invested in and maintained his deep commitment to Mandarin Chinese, not only in his own school but also supporting schools in the north east region. As the Chair of our National Headteacher Steering Group for Chinese in Schools, he plays a pivotal role in guiding the work of the IOE Confucius Institute for Schools and promoting the teaching and learning of Chinese language on a national level.
Ewa Kolczynska is Headteacher at Gumley House Convent School FCJ in Hounslow, Greater London. Ewa’s school has been teaching Mandarin as part of the timetabled curriculum since 2008, and this year over 160 students are learning Mandarin. Pupils and teachers visit China regularly and the latest Mandarin GCSE results have been excellent with 100% A*-C and 61% A*-A. It is no wonder that the number of students starting Mandarin as their principle foreign language in Year 7 has increased.
Ewa became Head at Gumley House in 2012 and is determined to develop the school’s experiences in teaching Mandarin even further. The school is already highly successful in training PGCE students and hosting Chinese teachers as part of a Hubei Training Programme, and supports other local schools through outreach activities. Ewa herself recently took part in the Headteacher Visit to China this May 2015, embracing the opportunity to explore what schools in the UK can learn from the Chinese education system and nurturing long-term links with schools in China.
Jay Naidoo is Head of Languages at Alexandra Park School, North London, where Mandarin has been embedded in the curriculum for six years. Mandarin began at Alexandra Park through lessons from a visiting Hanban teacher from a nearby Confucius Classroom. Jay was inspired to learn Mandarin himself and participated in one of the first Experience China courses.
Now, all Year 7 students learn Mandarin and approximately 80 students continue the subject throughout Key Stage 3, with almost half continuing into GCSE. Students participate annually in the Hanban/UCL IOE Confucius Institute China Summer Camps and in homestay exchange visits with the school’s partner school in Beijing.
Jay is a fantastic role model for anyone who is interested in setting up a long-term Mandarin project at your school, or just taking some exploratory first steps with the subject.