In today’s increasingly interconnected and globalised world it is important that we provide our pupils with as many opportunities as possible to prepare them for the global workplace which they will enter. A significant percentage of the jobs which our pupils will compete for are yet to even be developed. Therefore, those young people who enter the employment market with the required soft skills and global awareness will be those who are best placed to be successful.
International mindedness and international collaboration during the formative years results in more rounded individuals, encouraging our pupils to see things from different perspectives and helping them to make informed decisions, acquiring transferable skills that will be useful to them and will remain with them for life. According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters, companies cannot find enough applicants with the requisite skills to operate in an international market place, indicating that greater efforts by schools in fostering International mindedness and international collaboration are needed to best prepare our pupils – and ourselves – for life in the 21st century. With this in mind, we have engaged in a collaborative relationship with the city of Chengdu in Szechuan Province. Chengdu has become an “engine” of the Western Development Program. The city has become a focus for the Chinese government and has resulted in the development of a ‘High-Tech’ zone in the city where over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies have opened major offices. In addition to the High-Tech zone, Chengdu is home to the Giant Panda has established the world-renowned breeding and research base for giant pandas. In June, following Common Entrance, our Year 8 pupil have the opportunity to spend a week in Chengdu and, in doing so, will spend time visiting Fortune 500 multi-national businesses in the High-Tech zone and spend time at the Giant Panda research base. At the same time, pupils will also spend time in Fangcao Primary School, the highest performing school in the High-Tech zone, where they will experience Chinese education, most notably their methods of teaching maths. To support our pupils in integrating during their visit, we are trialing a virtual classroom in school where pupils travelling to Chengdu will be taught Mandarin by a teacher at Fangcao Primary School.