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Runcorn pupils who learn Mandarin Chinese have world of opportunities
MOST Halton pupils learn French, Spanish or perhaps German as a foreign language.
Children at St Chad’s RC and CE High School in Runcorn have been studying Mandarin Chinese for the past 10 years.
They have established close links with a partner school in Tongling, Halton’s twin town in China and staff and students host regular exchange trips.
BBC TV cameras visited the school in Grangeway as part of a series of programmes on the north west growing connections with China.
Staff recognised the dominance this country played in the global economy and set up its own unique language college.
Head teacher Andrew Keeley said: “Some people were surprised when St Chad’s first started teaching Chinese but we have always seen this as part of our aim of giving our students the very best education that will allow them to compete with students across the world in this global economy.
“The announcements of huge Chinese investments at Manchester Airport and Liverpool Port confirm the advantage that students who speak Chinese will have over others.”
Pupils in every class can learn to speak and write Mandarin, with expert tuition from Chinese teachers recruited from Tongling.
Many students go on to study GCSE, A level and even a degree at university.
A group of pupils and teachers will be visiting Tongling in March next year.
Mr Keeley added: “St Chad’s is one of only a handful of schools nationally to have been awarded Confucius Classroom status which recognises us as a centre of excellence in the teaching of Mandarin Chinese.”
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