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Sixteen years ago, Melbourne’s Caulfield Grammar School looked to China to give its year 9 students an immersion experience as part of their normal academic program. Since its initiation, the program has gone from strength to strength with over five thousand students from Year 9 and about one thousand students from Year 11 participating in their China cultural program.
Caulfield Grammar and the High School affiliated with Nanjing Normal University jointly established a campus inside the grounds of Nanjing Middle School in a building designed by Caulfield’s school architect. The partnership has given Caulfield Grammar a base in the heart of Nanjing. Currently, a team of 14 staff, most of whom are appointed from Australia, work with students in Nanjing.
Chinese language was first taught at Caulfield Grammar in 1989 and it has remained a core subject in Primary year levels since 1994 and an elective subject throughout secondary level. The added stimulus of the China program has had a significant impact on encouraging large numbers of students to continue their language studies through to VCE.
Through the immersion experience in China at an early stage, Caulfield Grammar encourages its students to become aware of their future in a globalised world in close neighbourhood to Asia. Students build leadership skills and develop adaptability and resilience.
These skills and capabilities are increasingly important as Australia enters a new phase of deeper and broader engagement with the world around it.