Overseas learning broadens horizons

Updated: 2014-03-26 10:11

By Wang Mingjie in London (chinadaily.com.cn)

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What is unique about the programme is that Yu Cai has sent its own teachers with the pupils, so that the children can study their own maths and Chinese curriculum during afternoons while focusing on active English in the mornings.

Overseas learning broadens horizons

The group has also had the opportunity to visit local primary schools, where they took part in joint activities with British children.

With a total commitment to "Learning by Doing", the Bell program has given the children the opportunity to bring their language to life through craft, music, science and sport. They are immersed in English every minute of the day, and trips to London, Cambridge and other places have real educational value, quite different from the more tourist-focused "Study Tours".

Jim Kell, director of education at Bell, said the experience is all about confidence building. "Parents are investing in a real education experience for these children, not just a superficial visit". He says the programme aims to broaden pupils' horizons, develop cultural knowledge and enrich life experience. It will develop constructive and creative thinking and build up incremental confidence in listening and speaking.

"I've visited Yu Cai School in Wuhan twice now and it is a real ‘gem' of a primary school. I was so impressed by their attitude. The headmistress believes in the holistic development of her pupils, not just exam results. Their decision to send pupils to the UK during term time shows real educational leadership, and the benefits of this experience will run deep in the children's veins for a very long time."

Course director, Elena del Boz Derozhinsky, said it has been a delight to have the Yu Cai children at Bell St Albans. "We will all miss them terribly! They have been part of our lives for four weeks now, and we've been so proud of the improvements they have made during their stay here."

She added that, for such young children, "they have developed an awareness of how they can improve their English in future, and they have also created a lasting cultural understanding of UK schools."

Jim Kell contributed to this story

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