On the 19th of August, Sharron Fogarty, Head of Early Years at BIEA, and Yang Feng, Marketing Director of BIEA’s Chinese Office, visited Beijing Soong Ching Ling Science and Technology Cultural Exchange Centre. There the two individuals had a discussion with the Deputy Director and Director of the Centre, Hongtao Su and Jun Zhao, respectively; and the Deputy Director of the International Cooperation and Exchange Department of the Soong Ching Ling Foundation, Hua Yang, about the prospects of cooperation between the UK and China on early years education. Both sides reached a consensus with the intention of cooperation to allow for exchange of early years teachers. In addition, the consensus also called for the implementation of forums for the international early year’s directors. The goal is to strengthen communications between parties and allow for the easier transfer of knowledge, it was agreed that the forums will be capable of making the goal a reality.

Deputy director and director of the Soong Ching Ling Child Care Centre Jing Liu and Shufang Li escorted a visit to the Soong Ching Ling Nursery. Among attendees, the visit stimulated an understanding of the system and curriculum currently implemented in Chinese nurseries. The visit laid the foundation for the two parties to learn from each other and establish cooperation.

Jing Liu (second from left), deputy director of the Child Care Centre, introduces the nursery to Sharron Fogarty (first from right), Head of Early Years of BIEA

As of present times, China’s early years education is welcoming an important stage of reform. The British EYFS has established itself internationally as a highly prestigious system in early years education. Since its implementation in the UK in 2008, the programme has put at the forefront its advanced educational philosophy and flexible teaching methods. China is open to adopting the British standard into its nursery’s curriculums, allowing for the elevation of children’s education in an ever more demanding global market.

During the visit to Soong Ching Ling Nursery, the children of Soong Ching Ling Child Care Centre greeted BIEA with a very warm and welcoming hospitality

More Chinese early years educators should learn the advanced international early years education concept, allowing for the integration of the programme into Chinese cultural characteristics. There by, enabling the cultivation of global talents in China and influencing a major trend in current educational development. The parties are confident that the discussions between BIEA and the Soong Ching Ling Foundation on Sino-British teachers’ exchanges and the educational forums for directors will be of a great benefit to both parties, but most specifically, the discussions will have a huge adverse benefit for young the children who will be participating in the higher level of education.

The children of Soong Ching Ling Nursery presented a traditional Chinese clay door knocker to Sharron

BIEA and the Soong Ching Ling Foundation have previously had an on-going relationship. Prior to this meeting, BIEA Board Chairman Gareth Bullock led the team to meet with the Chinese Soong Ching Ling Foundation in Beijing and was welcomed by the Vice Chairman of the Foundation, Qun Yu. In addition, Qun visited and cheered for the Chinese team during the BIEA 2019 International STEM Youth Innovation Competition. It is believed that after the discussions cooperation between the two parties have grown stronger.