My colleague Emma and I were priviledged to go on an exploratory visit to China last month. We had the opportunity to visit primary, junior and senior high schools, alongside visiting two kindergartens and even undertaking a lecture at a University! We also supported Spark China in their launch of their EYFS software at the GET 2018 exhibition.
So what did we learn? Well aside from the fact that Beijing is a huge city, with even more enourmous buildings than I have ever seen, we discoverd the Chinese have a love of eating – lunch is traditionally the main meal – and we were treated to some amazing food and most courteous hosts. We were guests of honour at one kindergarten and alongside an interesting mathematical activity display from the children, we enjoyed some informative and excellent dialogue with Chinese teachers and Headteachers.
Kindergartens in China are very different in size than those in the UK, they have many more children to educate than we do. Our gallery below shows some of the highlights from our visit. We found there are certainly some things we can learn from them in regard to expectations of children and their regime of physical exercise. We also found that whilst children are learning and developing, they are doing this mostly through group work and rote learning, which means there are many things we can teach them through our EYFS practice.
We’re excited to explore now ways in which we can help and support the further development of the philosophies of the EYFS in China. So watch this space for updates over the coming year.
After such a busy week we had very little time to stand still or even sightsee. Although we did manage 17,000 steps on the day we went to Tia Na Man Square, another massive space, holding up to a million people, and then the outer parts of the Summer Palace.