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Study trip to bring Singapore into New Zealand classrooms

Study trip to bring Singapore into New Zealand classrooms

New Zealand children will be able to interact with their Singaporean counterparts after their principals and teachers participate in an Asia New Zealand Foundation study tour.

Five New Zealand schools will be paired with schools in Singapore on the Foundation's Singapore Cultural Connections Trip from Sunday 6 July to Saturday 12 July. Principals and teachers from the two countries will set up formal partnerships and discuss ways to communicate on a regular basis – such as through Skype, student blogs, school visits and teacher exchanges.

The school visits will enable the teachers to connect with a range of Asian cultures and languages, including Chinese, Malay and Tamil. The group will also be briefed by Singapore's Ministry of Education, meet with the New Zealand High Commission and visit the National Institute of Education.

The participants are:
• Beckenham Primary School, Christchurch – principal Sandy Hastings and year 7 and 8 team leader Nicky Dunlop
• Carisbrook School, Dunedin – principal Ben Sincock and teacher Byron Sanders
• Henley School, Nelson – principal John Armstrong and teacher Leeanne Kyle
• Lincoln Primary, Canterbury – principal Vivienne Butcher and deputy principal Tracey Riley
• Orewa College, greater Auckland – principal Kate Shevland (a member of Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye's 21st Century Learning Reference Group) and HOD English and media Meryl Howell

Asia New Zealand Foundation director of education Jeff Johnstone says the Foundation has led delegations of principals to Singapore for several years. “These trips have given school leaders a new perspective on the importance of Asia to New Zealand and helped them meet the needs of their students in the 21st Century.

“This year's study tour has a focus on setting up formal school partnerships, which are a fantastic way to build intercultural understanding among children and teachers in New Zealand and Asia. The teachers will also get insights into Singapore's education system, one of the top-ranked internationally for science, maths, literacy and problem-solving.”

The study tour is one of several professional development opportunities offered by the Asia New Zealand Foundation to school leaders to help build Asia-equipped schools in New Zealand.

Carisbrook School teacher Byron Sanders, a member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation's Leadership Network, says the school already incorporates many Asia-themed experiences in its curriculum through arts, languages, cooking and reading programmes. He is looking forward to giving his pupils the opportunity to interact directly with children in Asia.

“For our pupils to grow and be successful in a competitive global marketplace where Asia is a key leader, they need to know how to interact with people from this continent. This is the perfect starting point to learn these skills.”

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation dedicated to building New Zealand’s links with Asia through a range of programmes, including business, culture, education, media, research and a Leadership Network. The Foundation is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year.

For more information about the Foundation's education programme, visit: http://asianz.org.nz/our-work/educating-asia

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