Report on 3rd International Forum of Leading Schools and Confucius Institute

Diaoyutai State Guest House, Beijing

24th to 26th October 2007

 

 

Organised by the CHEER Foundation on behalf of the government of the People’s Republic of China

Hosted by the High School Affiliated to the Renmin University, Beijing

(See brochure attached)

 

Board of Directors include Mr Tony Little, Headmaster of Eton College, and Mr Graham Able, Headmaster of Dulwich College. Speakers included Mrs Carolyn Shaw, Headmistress of Rodean School.

 

The Forum was opened by Madame Liu, Principal of the High School Affiliated to the Renmin University, Beijing, who is also worldwide Director of the Confucius Institute, set up by government of the People’s Republic of China to promote Chinese language and culture, modelled on British Council, which now has 190 centres in 60 countries.

Opening speakers included assistant to Minster of Education, and the Director of Education of City of Beijing, who described the High School Affiliated to the Renmin University, Beijing as “Our window on the world”.

 

China, as described by these speakers, is open to the world and recognises that its education system needs to adapt to Western patterns in order to prepare its youth for current and future challenges. The schools represented at the Forum are all authorised to establish two way exchanges with schools in the rest of the world. Many are already doing so, and have working links with schools in the UK, Finland, USA, Canada and Australia. I was able to talk to Headteachers from all of these countries and was reassured that these experiences have been entirely fruitful and that home stays with local families have been safe and happy.

 

More than 100 Principals of Chinese schools attended the Forum.

 

Mr Graham Able explained that at Dulwich College in London all students learn Mandarin from Year 4 onward and it is offered as an option at GCSE.

 

Ann Puntis, Chief Executive of CIE, Cambridge International Examinations was present to celebrate the signing of an agreement to include a CIE component in the Chinese state Pre-University system, and to give full details of the CIE Pre-University Diploma, a mix of the best of A level and IB, which has been developed with the top UK private schools and is to be launched in September 2008.

(See leaflet attached)

 

The last day of the Forum was spent at the High School Affiliated to the Renmin University, Beijing, after we had attended a concert by their students which was recorded by the CCTV television company for future broadcast. The concert included various dance groups and the school symphony orchestra of 100 players which last year won the International Youth Orchestras Competition in Vienna. The orchestra rehearses twice a week after school for 3 hours, and orchestra players receive substantial Pre-U credits for their contribution.

 

The High School Affiliated to the Renmin University, Beijing has 4,000 students of the three pre-university years on one campus, taught by 600 staff. There are numerous foreign teachers and a group of foreign students who study A level there.

 

We were shown around by students with excellent English who are self-confident and charming.  The day concluded with a football competition of international schools. Competition and celebration of success are powerful forces in the undoubted success of this model school.

 

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