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.
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.