Visit to Chengdu Experimental Foreign Languages School
By Michele Sharp, Head of Languages
In January, Mrs Godfrey and I travelled to China with the view to form a sister school relationship with Chengdu Experimental Foreign Languages School (CEFLS).
We were very impressed by the excellent academic achievements of the school, diligence of the students and teachers, and the facilities at CEFLS. Our values and school culture align well with the CEFLS philosophy: Virtue, Diligence, Creativity and Excellence. Consequently, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between our schools took place on 9 January 2019.
Upon arrival, we were given a campus tour by two senior students who introduced their school with pride, and we were impressed by their impeccable spoken English skills. CEFLS currently teaches three foreign languages, English, French and German, and there are approximately 7000 students and over 700 faculty members at the school.
Like Radford, students are able to attend from Kindergarten through to their senior studies. Approximately 90% of the students live on campus, even if their homes are nearby. Their typical school day starts at 6:30am when they have breakfast at the school cafeteria and lessons start at 7:20 am. They have 8 classes a day and usually finish at 9:30pm for the junior high school students, and 10pm for seniors. Students generally only see their families when they return home on weekends, or during holiday breaks.
We were pleased to be able to attend a lesson in both the junior and senior school during our visit. The enthusiasm displayed by the junior school class during their English lesson was impressive. We were then treated to a presentation from the senior class detailing the geography, history, sightseeing opportunities and gastronomical highlights of Chengdu.
Teachers from CEFLS escorted Mrs Godfrey and I on a sightseeing excursion which included the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, which I am sure will be a highlight for our students when they exchange with CEFLS.
We look forward to a long relationship with Chengdu Experimental Foreign Languages School and thank them for their kind hospitality during our visit. We expect that the first CEFLS students will visit Radford at the end of July this year, and we hope to welcome them with equal warmth and generosity.
In other Chinese news, as part of the 2018 Year 8 End-of-Year Program, students were treated to a Chinese cultural incursion.
In addition to a demonstration, students were able to experience different stations showcasing aspects of Chinese culture.
These included lion dancing, Chinese percussion, Wushu and self-defence.