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Sister City Status

Date: 25/11/2008           Category: Learning and Achievement

New links with schools in China may soon see Mandarin being taught in Medway’s schools. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks has signed a formal declaration with Changcheng, a region of Foshan in China, to establish links between Medway and Changcheng’s education departments. The new sister city status has taken four years to develop and will pave the way to help build stronger links between teachers and students in both Medway and China. Last week, headteachers from eight schools in Medway travelled to Changcheng to start work on joint curriculum projects and gain ideas for promoting the teaching of Chinese in Medway. During their visit the teachers will be paired up with a school similar to their own in Medway that they will then work with on projects to teach children about the different heritages and culture. There will also be opportunities for teachers and students to visit their twinned school to establish long-term friendly partnerships. Cllr Wicks said: “This comes at the end of looking closely at what both cities can offer their young people. They are excited by what they have seen so far in Medway and are keen to have their young people develop their learning of English through us. “Similarly, we see that Changcheng offers a great deal of opportunity which I would be keen to see our children and teachers take advantage of. “China is very important and Changcheng is one of the most developed parts of that country and is ideal from our point of view. “I really hope that a lot of young people and teachers will gain a lot from the beginning of this agreement.” Cllr Wicks and Feihu Lin, the Director of Changcheng District Education Board, signed the landmark agreement on 12 November during a visit to Chatham Grammar School for Boys. The sister city status document will be on display in the Mayor’s Parlour at the council’s headquarters, Gun Wharf. The schools taking part in the exchange are: Cuxton Community Junior School in Bush Road, Cuxton. All Saints Primary School, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham. Rainham School for Girls, Derwent Way, Rainham. Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School, Maidstone Road, Rochester. Chatham Grammar School for Boys, Maidstone Road, Chatham. Robert Napier Secondary School, Third Avenue, Gillingham. Bradfields, Churchill Avenue, Chatham. Barnsole Infants School, Sturdee Avenue, Gillingham.