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Celebrating our cultures at Huili Nursery Hangzhou

21 Jan 2022


As Chinese New Year fast approaches, I look around the increasing amount of red in the corridors, hear the drums beating and smell the fantastic food being cooked in the classrooms all around me. Going from room to room, I think how lucky I am to be surrounded by this, to experience and begin to understand firsthand the many aspects and ancient history of Chinese culture. As I do, I reflect upon what I was told when I first applied to be a teacher at Huili Nursery:

‘Huili Nursery is a bilingual, bicultural school.’



Or is it? Too often, people and even organisations sell themselves short. After more than two years in this school, I realised Huili Nursery is not a bicultural school. It is not even a bilingual school.




Huili Nursery is a multicultural, multilingual school. We are fortunate enough to have children and staff representing 11 different nationalities from five different continents, with over 13 other languages spoken within our walls. Each of those children and adults brings a unique perspective and culture to the school that strengthens us and enhances the learning your children experience. Though there are many, many wonderful examples, here are just a few:


And in EY4, the children have taken their love for their class teacher and turned it into their project. They are learning more about some of the countries and cultures of Africa with their resident expert Mr Kofi to guide their learning.


Our focus is on both British and Chinese language and culture (and that in itself is a misnomer with both countries celebrating multiple native cultures and languages within their borders). These two will always be at the heart of everything we do, and we know and expect each child to receive the very best education in both these languages. But by embracing the other cultures present in our school, taking the best they have to offer and incorporating it into our practise, we can provide something that no one else has. Something that is uniquely Huili whilst still becoming commonplace in our increasingly globalised world. 



So, for now, I will sit back and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells around me. Take in every aspect of this vibrant and festive time of the year. Then, I will add it to my other ways of celebrating the Lunar New Year from other countries I have lived in. And upon returning from the break, I, and every other teacher in Huili Nursery, will continue to impart the best of the cultures we have lived in and experienced into our daily experiences with the children around us.