Champion meets China’s Supersize schools!

Just returned from central China where, as part of a team, we have been developing long term partnerships and sharing best practices in education. This project has enabled NW educationalists to study the education system in China, build effective partnerships and develop future opportunities for Liverpool schools to develop their cultural programme.

This is also a unique opportunity for schools to introduce Mandarin into their curriculum. Already in Liverpool, several schools have made trips to China and provided language classes to develop the skill. Schools in Liverpool, from Primary to Secondary, will have the opportunity to develop links with Chinese schools and establish cultural partnerships, with Headteachers and school management being given the opportunity to visit schools in China.

I am already in the process of organising a conference in the New Year for those wishing to expand their schools programmes, linking China with project based partnerships that support teaching and learning, English language, sports -especially football, teaching philosophy, the professional development of teachers and the exchange of teachers and students.

In the UK, foreign language A-levels are being dropped by sixth form colleges because not enough people want to study them. However there have been increases in students taking Arabic, Chinese and Italian at A-level and GCSE.
This Chinese cultural programme has been running for several years and is aiming to deliver a minimum of 5,000 speakers of Mandarin on their way to a higher level of fluency by 2020.
Already Liverpool John Paul II School has established cooperation with one of China’s biggest schools. The Education Department of Sichuan Province University Experimental Middle school with 4,000 pupils will develop a learning partnership with the Liverpool school, based on school management issues and creative thinking.

This opportunity to globally reach out to another culture will help raise standards of learning, attainment and school improvement, giving teachers a professional development opportunity like no other. An opportunity to visit China’s pop-up cities, high tech infrastructure, advanced classroom practices and supersize schools is not to be missed.

After a visit to China, teachers will return with renewed enthusiasm, and a dynamic confidence, prepared to motivate and lead their schools to a higher level of attainment and show a glowing CPD portfolio of professional development gained through their comparative study and examination of Chinese educational practice.


Liverpool’s New Cultural Citizens!

Since January, five Liverpool schools have been working with Curious Minds (a national arts organisation) and their Arts Coaches to visit, experience and participate in arts and cultural events around the UK.

The schools that participated in the project included, St Francis of Assisi, North Liverpool Academy, King’s Leadership Academy, De La Salle Academy and Harmonize Academy.

Each school identified twenty children who, based on a survey taken, have a low/no engagement with arts and culture and with a budget of £3,000, each group made decisions on places to visit, things to see, and with the added extras like ‘great food’.

If you would like to hear about their journey into the world of art and culture, then check-out the event at FACT Liverpool 13th July 9.30am and be amazed at their journey into the world of art.

This event will be both a celebration for the young people who have taken part, and a chance for them to voice their feedback to arts organisations that they may have visited, as well as discussing their experience of engaging with arts and culture.

I am particularly interested in the evaluation of this project, as are my colleagues who are heavily engaged with the culture business; for obvious reasons, being a lot older and not having the £3,000 .
as a starter.
Interest on my part lies in, how the money was spent, the choice of venues, the ‘great food’ encountered, how the project developed other subjects in the pupils curriculum and how the pupils developed socially, and whether also, if family members became engaged with the spin-off effects of the project. I would be interested to see the pupils journals/portfolios of the project and their diary and if ICT was engaged with entries of thoughts and recommendations… many questions……and, as so many of our cultural experiences are free, does this give the pupils project opinion that, culture costs?

All will be revealed at the FACT Thursday 13th July. 9.30am

Africa Oye This Saturday 17th-Sunday 18th June

The UK’s biggest live festival of African Music and culture celebrates 25 years this Saturday in Sefton Park 12.30-9.30 both days.

FREE admission gets you to the most vibrant atmosphere amongst the best festival audience in the world.
With the weather looking good this weekend, you can dance, smile, eat, drink (responsibly) and most of all, enjoy a brilliant few days.

The field looks bigger than ever with, a celebration of African music, culture, heritage and arts combined in a cultural village of extravaganza in the form of Trenchtown, Freetown and the Afrobeats Zone.

All for free and open to everyone with a special kids area for children and families to get involved.

This year the festival features the Oye village enjoying storytelling, face painting, drumming workshops, arts and crafts and so much more delivered by top local and international companies.
Kids of all ages can have the chance to participate in FREE music, dance and art workshops.

The Oye Active Zone has my old friends Movema with a bumper 25th anniversary rock Oye programme focused on promoting health and wellbeing, learning and participation….so get down there and shake! Young dancers! Unlock The Box Youth Dance Battle comes back for the 5th year so if you are 18 or under be ready to show what you are made of, with exciting prizes to be won.

So, this weekend journey to Sefton Park and checkout the stellar line-up of African and Caribbean music, local and international but all a showcase of incredible sounds that make for a diverse music scene right on our doorstep.

See the Mokoomba one of the finest young bands in Africa, Hajamadagascar and The Groovy People’s sensational sounds, Jupiter and Okwess in electric free-fall and my favourite….. Dizzy Mandjeku and Odemba OK Allstars, unmissable and an act guaranteed to get you dancing.

Stay around for Katumba, Liverpool’s renowned drumming and movement group with over 80 drummers-and-counting…..diverse and multicultural with louder than loud music, movement and visuals.

This weekend see the full line up on and get involved! Sefton Park Needle ‘Review Field’ 12.30

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