The 2018 Annual Chinese Teaching Conference will take place on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th June. The Conference will host a range of teaching workshops as well as plenaries on subjects such as bilingualism. Jo Wallace, who is the headteacher at Kensington Wade School, will be delivering a Conference plenary about her school, which is Europe’s first dual language (Chinese and English) Prep School. Jo very kindly spoke to us about what we can expect from her plenary in June.
Hello Jo. Can you tell us a bit about Kensington Wade School and how long it has been open?
The idea for the school was born in 2008 and the founder, Professor Hugo de Burgh of the China Media Centre at the University of Westminster, has worked tirelessly since then to make his dream a reality. I joined the school in April 2017 and we opened in September 2017 with our first cohort of 3-5 year olds.
How are Chinese and English used in lessons at Kensington Wade?
We have an English classroom with teachers who only speak to the children in English and a Chinese classroom with teachers who only speak to the children in Chinese. Children spend half their day in each environment and experience exactly the same learning opportunities. The only difference is that the teachers are speaking in Chinese rather than English.
How have people reacted to ‘Europe’s first dual language school’?
We have had a huge reaction and a lot of fantastic publicity. The first few months have been really busy with visits from UK and Chinese media companies – people say the school is quite famous in China, particularly on WeChat! Initially parents were tentative to try something new for their child’s education but, once they have seen the progress that their has made in English AND Chinese, they are bowled over by what we are doing.
Jo’s plenary will take place on Friday 15th June. To see the Conference programme, please click here.
To book a place at this year’s Conference, please follow the link: Conference Booking Page