Dartford Grammar School

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Headmaster signs Memorandum of Understanding with Beijing National Day School

Mr Oakes and Ms Fengqin Wu, Deputy Head at Beijing National Day School have signed an important and historic Memorandum of Understanding to establish a key school partnership for the years ahead. Ten years ago, just after the Olympics, Mr Oakes visited the Shixi High School in Shanghai to establish our first partnership with China, and recently thirty Year 11 students have returned from this annual and ‘long-standing’ exchange: the mood music from Shixi High School has been utterly complimentary about the enthusiastic engagement of our students. To establish a new link with another highly prestigious school in China was important for the sustainable future of real exchanges in one of our foremost languages. It is after all sensible, that as we work with two schools in Japan, we should also develop links with two schools in China. The facilities at the National Day School are outstanding and it is hoped that our first exchange will take place in October 2019, to be repeated every other year afterwards.

Mr Oakes’ visit to Beijing coincided with a request from Peking University to deliver a lecture to the School of Chinese as a Second Language. The Campus for PKU, in the centre of Beijing, was impressive, a mini gated city within an enormous city. The students were attentive and highly motivated. They showed real enthusiasm for travel and the opportunities to teach Chinese abroad.   A reward for speaking at the university was supper in one of the local popular restaurants where Dr Yang, the Dean of the School, and Ms Zhao encouraged Mr Oakes to try and enjoy chicken feet soup.