Link forged with Shenzhen STEAM school
An International School Partnership has been struck between Larrakeyah Primary School and Nanshan Chinese International College – Immersion School (NCIC-Immersion) in Shenzhen, China.
The sister schools will benefit from language and cultural interactions. But Larrakeyah Primary School is also keen to explore the strong STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) focus of the Guangdong province school.
The alliance follows a 2019 tour of NCIC-Immersion by three Larrakeyah school staff, including the Coordinator of the Chinese Language and Culture program, Rick Collister.
Mr Collister said both schools have “very progressive leadership”, a common bilingual program, and robustly develop STEAM as part of their curricula.
“Students at both schools are being taught Mandarin and English, and STEAM is a big focus at NCIC-Immersion and Larrakeyah Primary School,” he said. “We are eager for students from both schools to collaborate on STEAM projects.
“Larrakeyah preschool to Year 6 students have lessons in Mandarin and Chinese culture each week. When unrestricted visits become possible, exchange visits will enhance the linguistic proficiency and cultural understanding of students from both schools.
“We want our students to learn about each other’s way of life, and that although we live in different countries, speak different languages and have different customs, people are still very similar.
“We expect to get a lot of new knowledge from NCIC, and impart knowledge in areas where we are strong.
“We will be looking for new ideas and new ways to teach. Since her visit to China with me, our arts teacher Angeline Vrettis has already incorporated Chinese art and music into her teaching program.”
Mr Collister said the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented travel to Shenzhen.
“The coronavirus delayed a term 3 visit to discuss programs with the NCIC-Immersion School principal and staff,” he said.
“It would have allowed us to plan the first visit by our students, and reciprocal visits by NCIC-Immersion School students.
“The school year is just ending in Shenzhen. It restarts in August. We’ll introduce our students to NCIC-immersion from the beginning of term 3.”