Of all the curriculum areas, Chinese is the one I get the most 'feedback' from parents on, which to be honest, has somewhat surprised me at times. It runs the full range from bricks to bouquets. Parents want more, or less, or only rote, or inquiry based, or more traditional subjects, or celebration of festivals or no celebration of festivals...and I have come to the conclusion that the best I can do is simply my best!
My thinking is that Chinese should be taught by the best teachers I can find, who have the best professional development I can offer, who have the right resources, organisation and support that I can give. I think we have this at Bradbury and our recent reorganisation would support this. Most of all, I want our students to feel how special it is that we live in this amazing place, surrounded by this rich culture and we have the opportunity to embrace it.
A language to me, is the essence of a country's culture. In it is reflected all the values, ideals and beliefs of that culture. I love sitting in on Chinese lessons and hearing the story behind how characters are formed, it offers a rich glimpse into a sophisticated and ancient society.
Another thing about Chinese I really enjoy is learning and enjoying other aspects of the culture, such as its music. Today, we had the musicians from the Music Office Chinese Ensemble perform for us. They had around 16 traditional Chinese instruments that they not only played together, but also explained about and performed individually. Most I had never seen before-It was fantastic!
I very much support this whole school approach (today's performance was organised by the music department) to embracing and celebrating this wonderful culture which surrounds us!