13/11/2016

You learn something new every day... a source of some satisfaction

Rolling Stones Plaque

I saw this blue plaque on Platform 2 of Dartford Station last week. It's the platform that takes you back to Charing Cross. I should have realised the significance. I should literally have put two and two together....

I had just spent the morning at a meeting in the Jagger Centre at Dartford Grammar School. Mick's old school.

The purpose of my visit to the Stones' frontman's alma mater?

To cut a long story short, a student who I had taught History to at Oxted School in Surrey in the early 1990s went on to do Japanese Studies at University and, through the wonders of social media, I discovered was now Head of Languages at the school. But not any old Head of Languages (if there ever could be such a thing!) but a Head of Languages who had introduced Japanese as the principal options choice for its students. More than that, the school had just been accredited as a centre of excellence for Japanese language learning... And it was holding a briefing day for Headteachers looking to find out more about how to successfully introduce the subject into their schools' curriculum.

I just had to attend.

This was the opportunity to refine my thinking about how we could really consolidate - and then develop the -  work that we have already been undertaking with colleagues from Tokyo...

Blog regulars will be aware that for the last two years we have been hosting visits and liaising with representative from the Organising Committee for the Tokyo Olympic Games (TOCOG) and Tokyo Metropolitan Government around the development of their Values-themed education programme...

Tokyo Visit
Tokyo Visit
Tokyo Visit

In addition to this on-going advisory work, we are currently liaising with the TOCOG staff to identify a Tokyo-based secondary and primary hub to parallel our own network for partnership work in West Berkshire. It appears that an initial partnership of six schools is emerging; we have therefore matched this with a similar number of our own primary partners.

The initial focus of this work has been on a Japanese-themed 'Trail to Tokyo' primary sports festival on 26 November led by our Junior Sports Leaders and 'Tokyo 2020 Student Ambassadors'. The latter group has already been responsible for the production of the 'Living the Values' video, designed to introduce our school and it's work on the Values to potential Japanese partners featured a couple of weeks ago...

www.parkhouseschool.org/News/Living-the-Olympic-and-Paralympic-Values.aspx

Our aim is to receive similar from videos from the Japanese schools. We've already received this about cheerleading which takes place before a traditional school sports day...

During their non-competition time students will spend time in an 'Athletes Village' in which they will have the opportunity to have a Japanese language taster lesson, take part in a Tokyo-themed quiz and try some Japanese food!

And the next step...

Establishing a weekly Japanese culture, history and language enrichment club from January 2017 in our after school Monday slot.

Now, achieving all that in the next couple of months really will give me some satisfaction...

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