Seven teachers from Jeju in South Korea, Kingston’s partner town, are working in local schools and staying with local families as part of a cultural exchange.
Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, Burlington Junior School and Coombe Girls’ School in New Malden are all hosting the teachers, who are here until early November.
The qualified teachers from the province in South Korea have been observing, learning and sharing their best practice examples with their UK counterparts.
Mrs Marie Baxter, Headteacher of Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, said: “We feel really privileged to have Miss Cheon, Miss Kang, Miss Kim and Miss Lee with us this term. Here at Corpus Christi we have always celebrated our Korean cultural connections and have many pupils of Korean origin amongst us. Having the Korean teachers working with our own staff is a wonderful way of strengthening our links with Korea, promoting intercultural learning and broadening our pupils’ horizons in an era of increased globalisation.”
On taking part in the exchange, Miss Yoon Jeong Kang, one of the teachers visiting from Jeju, said: “I am very excited to be here at Corpus Christi. It is really interesting to see how the British educational system differs from our own in Korea and we can learn a lot from each other. There are many aspects which I will bring back to Korea with me. The staff and pupils have been really welcoming and of course New Malden is quite unique for the size of its Korean population. In many ways this is a home from home.”
Cllr Andy Johnson-Creek, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Internationalism at Kingston Council, said: “The value of cross-cultural exchanges like this is incredible. We were approached by the Provincial Government for Education in Jeju and asked if we would be interested in an exchange, which we knew would offer fantastic learning opportunities.
“I’m sure both sets of teachers have learnt a great deal and I look forward to seeing more exchanges take place in our Royal Borough.”