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Posted on: 2 April 2019

TPS Links with Schools in China


Following the success of our first Chinese student exchange visit to TPS earlier this year, last month Mr Marande was invited by the 'UK-China Culture and Exchange Centre', based in Guildford (and Guangzhou in China) to visit ten Chinese schools to explore further exchange programmes for Chinese and TPS students. The links created will generate additional resources for TPS and this visit was fully funded by the agency. The Chinese schools are also very keen to investigate headteacher and teacher training opportunities for their staff by having them come over to spend time at TPS to learn about how we do things.

He was accompanied on this visit by Mr Markham from Herne Junior School and other teachers from the Bohunt Education Trust. They were invited to speak at several education conferences and taught some UK style 'demonstration' lessons, including one on stage in front of 250 Chinese teachers, which very much felt like a spectator sport! Speaking of sport, Mr Marande was also comprehensively defeated by the Chinese students at table tennis. The differences between UK and Chinese education are fascinating and there is much that can be learnt from each side. The Chinese system is very strong at creating high levels of knowledge expertise and they are very interested in how the UK education system produces students with excellent critical thinking skills.

The schools he visited were in the cities of Chengdu and Guangzhou, both considered to be world mega cities due to their huge populations. Guangzhou has a population of over 25 million people which is bigger than the population of London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all combined! The density of these cities is also astonishing to UK eyes with Chengdu having 6500 people living per square kilometre compared to just 1500 people per kilometre in spacious London. China is predicted to become the world's largest economy (overtaking the USA) before 2030, when most current TPS students will be in their mid-twenties. It is vital that we place our students in a good position to take advantage of this seismic shift in the world and we will continue to explore ways in which we can, always with a critical eye, seek to give them more insight and understanding into Chinese culture. Our new Mandarin Club, launched at the start of this year, will hopefully just be the beginning.

As the ancient Chinese proverb states "learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere".