Language program opens door to a new culture

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Calista Primary School deputy principal Louise Hughes visited students in China.
Camera IconCalista Primary School deputy principal Louise Hughes visited students in China.

Calista Primary School students are being encouraged to learn about different cultures, with a Chinese language program implemented at the school.

Following a $270,000 donation by Tianqi Lithium, a Mandarin language program is being offered to students from pre-primary to Year 6 for the first time in several years.

Deputy principal Louise Hughes said the language program encouraged students to embrace cultures other than their own and provided new opportunities for staff and students.

“It provides a whole other aspect to their learning,” she said.

“Teachers have been weaving it into their history and geography classes as well. It’s really opened their minds that the world is larger than just Kwinana.”

Louise Hughes with a student.
Camera IconLouise Hughes with a student.

Ms Hughes recently returned from a seven-day China Study Tour organised by the Confucius Institute, where she learnt about the Chinese culture and visited schools to learn about their language programs.

She said the trip provided her with insight, knowledge and understanding of Chinese education, which inspired her to raise the profile of Chinese culture at Calista Primary.

“For me that was the main purpose in going — to see what learning in schools looked like in China,” she said.

Tianqi Lithium general manager Phil Thick said the Mandarin language and culture program would provide new opportunities to local students and staff.

“From the moment we started constructing the new plant in Kwinana we have been planning how we can contribute something useful and beneficial at a local level,” he said.

“Providing support at grassroots level, such as Calista Primary’s Mandarin program is something we’ve been very happy to start and excited to continue into the future.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails