2019 Conference: Chinese Curriculum Workshop

Our 16th Annual Chinese Teaching Conference, ‘Looking Back, Thinking Forward,’ will take place on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th June. James Stagg, Mandarin Consultant and Specialist Leader of Education at the Harris Federation, will deliver a workshop on Saturday 15th June titled ‘Looking forward to a new ‘curriculum-based’ Ofsed framework’. We interviewed James for the 2019 Conference blog series about his workshop and his tips for implementing the Chinese curriculum in schools.

To book your place at the Conference, please go to the Conference Booking Page.

Hello James. Can you please give us a brief introduction to your 2019 Conference workshop, ‘Looking forward to a new ‘curriculum-based’ Ofsed framework’?

This session will look at the upcoming changes to Ofsted’s framework, and its implications for the Chinese curriculum in schools. We will look at the ways in which teachers can think about effective provision and what this will entail, relating to the new Ofsted framework.

What inspired you to do a workshop at our Conference about this topic?

As Mandarin Chinese is a relatively young subject in this country, it is important to understand how curriculums will be implemented in schools and how we can best serve students and the school. Ensuring we have an awareness on updates like this will be highly effective in making sure that schools begin to see Chinese as a regular, on curriculum subject that can and should be accessed by all types of students. I’m intrigued and motivated by a more curriculum-focused (as opposed to outcomes and results focus) framework which I believe gives a real opportunity for the Chinese subject to solidify itself on a national scale, as a subject option that instils in students not just a language, but a vast array of cultural capital, learning an entirely new, entirely different culture, nothing like anything many students will have seen in school before.

What are your top tips for teachers implementing the Chinese curriculum in their schools?

The balance between depth and breadth is an ongoing struggle for all subjects, but particularly in Chinese where we are effectively teaching students two languages, pinyin and Chinese characters. In my experience, when designing curriculums it is always best to go for the depth of knowledge rather than breadth. Ensuring students fully understanding the implications and knowledge they are studying is crucial to creating effective, life-long language learners and linguists who will continue to pass on what they have learned. Not only can this be a powerful tool for supporting students to gain understanding of the language, but also, not spreading the curriculum too thinly can be a powerful motivator for students in the classroom, ensuring success throughout lessons and full understanding of what students and learning and why.

Thank-you James!

To find out more about the 2019 Annual Chinese Teaching Conference, please visit our Conference webpage.