Essex schools are teaming up with their counterparts from China as part of a project that aims to further enhance the county’s international links and develop much-needed skills.
Over the last 27 years Essex County Council has developed a close relationship with Jiangsu Province in China, working collaboratively in areas such as education, culture, sport, trade, investment, science and technology.
Essex County Council and the Essex-Jiangsu Centre for Chinese Studies have already helped 117 schools across Greater Essex develop links with Jiangsu schools, with many taking part in exchange visits, joint curriculum projects, and exchanging letters and artwork.
The partnership has also helped promote the teaching and learning of Mandarin and Chinese culture in Essex.
The Essex – Jiangsu STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) School Partnerships Programme is among the latest projects schools have been taking part in.
It aims to improve teaching and pupil attainment in the STEM and language subjects by sharing resources and best practice, as well as helping schools establish new links with STEM industries and universities.
The programme has culminated in a school partnership exchange visit, with seven Jiangsu schools currently in Essex visiting the county’s schools.
The Greater Essex schools taking part are:
- Shenfield High School
- Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow
- Colchester County High School for Girls
- Becket Keys Church of England School, Brentwood
- Fawbert & Barnard's Primary School, Harlow
- Harris Academy, Chafford Hundred
- SS Peter & Paul's Catholic Primary School, Ilford
Pupils from Jiangsu were welcomed to the county at a launch event at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford yesterday (Thursday, 7 July).
Four Jiangsu schools and 11 Greater Essex schools also took part in a Bloodhound school rocket car challenge, organised by the Essex Employment and Skills Board.
Several of the Essex schools have arranged visits to Jiangsu in October.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “We are committed to ensuring all pupils in Essex receive the best possible education and continue to work closely with the county’s schools to help them develop opportunities for better collaboration both here and abroad.
“International education partnerships such as this are not only beneficial in improving the teaching and learning of key subjects such as science, technology, engineering and maths, but also encourage pupils to have a wider global outlook and improve their language skills.
“I hope those involved in this project enjoy the exchange visits and embrace this fantastic opportunity to further their education.”
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Partnerships, added:
“Essex has been developing links with Jiangsu for almost 30 years and I am delighted the relationship continues to flourish.
“By sharing best practice and resources through the Essex – Jiangsu STEM School Partnerships Programme, schools can improve the teaching of vital STEM subjects.
“I hope this will encourage more young people to pursue a career in STEM industries, ensuring Essex has the vital skills needed to ensure the county’s economy continues to grow.”