Saint Gregory’s is a founder member of the Bath – Sino Educational Partnership, linking schools in China, mainly in the Shanghai and Suzhou areas, with a number of Bath schools.
The Partnership activity fosters good relationships between teachers and students by welcoming incoming groups to school, with Year 7 students joining us for a 10 week ‘language immersion’ experience, in the summer terms, where they follow an English schools’ curriculum and homestay with Saint Gregory’s families.
The Chinese students share insights into their own culture through a weekly China Club, with topics like Chinese costume, calligraphy, language games, cooking and Kung Fu.
A similar, shorter experience is offered to Sixth Formers in the spring.
The aspirations of many Chinese students and their families are to spend some of their education in English schools or universities, and certainly to become fluent in the English Language, as the International language of commerce.
Our return trips are of a shorter duration, but equally exciting, as a group from Saint Gregory’s joins other Bath students for a 10 day exploration of some of the major cities and sights of China in October.
The partnership also supports two-way teacher visits, which are an important experience for both countries, who can see first-hand how their respective education systems operate.
Chinese schools are keen to develop their teachers’ skills and see the UK connections as very beneficial in bringing in new styles of teaching, familiar in the UK, with students becoming more independent learners.
Now that Mandarin is a language option and with the dynamic advance of China economically, this partnership helps us see and prepare for changes and new opportunities for our young people.