After seven years of Confucius Classroom status, Finham Park has been recognised on the world stage for its development of Mandarin teaching and long standing links with sister schools in Shanghai. At the 12th Confucius Institute Conference, held in Xian, China today, Mark Bailie, our Executive Headteacher accepted an award for Global Confucius Classroom of the Year! He stated "This is a fantastic achievement for Finham Park and for Coventry within a few days of being announced UK City of Culture for 2021. I would like to thank Helen Lewis, Danni Yan and the staff of our MFL Department, together with the students and their parents for supporting this initiative and making it so successful.”
The Vice Premier of the State Council, People’s Republic of China addressed the Confucius Institute conference. The Confucius Institutes Conference was held in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. Over 2,000 delegates, including university presidents, scholars and educational officers, attended the annual event.
There are 525 Confucius Institutes and over 1,113 related courses in 146 countries and regions around the world. In 2017, they had a total of 2.32 million students, and over 12.7 million people attended cultural events organized by the institutes.
Progress test results from pupils on the Department for Education’s Mandarin Excellence Programme indicate that the first cohort of almost 400 pupils from 14 schools across England - including those from Finham Park; Finham Park 2; and Lyng Hall - are excelling when it comes to learning Mandarin Chinese.
Delivered by the UCL Institute of Education in partnership with the British Council, pupils on the programme spend an average of eight hours per week studying the language. This includes four hours in the classroom which is a significant increase on the time usually spent on a language in school with the results showing that the Year 7 pupils’ skills are developing at pace.
Mark Bailie, Executive Headteacher of Finham Park Multi Academy Trust said: We are proud to be Mandarin Excellence Programme. Mandarin Chinese opens up a world of opportunity - as the most spoken language in the world, it can connect speakers with an exciting and dynamic culture as well as boost career opportunities. We are delighted with students’ progress. Finham Park School was one of the first 14 schools in the country to be part of the MEP, with Finham Park 2 and Lyng Hall joining shortly afterwards.
Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, and is seen as important for young people in the UK to master in order for the country to remain globally competitive in the future. Ultimately, the programme will see at least 5,000 pupils in England on track towards fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020.