The Collaborative recognises the importance of its role in supporting the teachers of the future and is developing as a learning hub for student placements. In 2016-17 over sixty students will carry out placements in Kirkby Collaborative primary schools across Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Seven students also have placements in Kirkby secondary schools.
A number of psychology students also have placements in Collaborative schools.
The Edge Hill University Confucius Institute provides opportunities for its students, trainees and partnership schools to teach Mandarin and learn more about China.
There has been a major growth in the use of Mandarin language in business, health professions and teaching in schools. As well as being the first language spoken by more people than any other, the sustained economic growth of China means that knowledge of Mandarin is becoming a key employability skill.
Five Collaborative schools have engaged in activities with the Confucius Institute this year.
Recently St Michael and All Angels, St Joseph the Worker and St Marie’s celebrated Chinese New Year with a visit to the Confucius Institute to take part in Lion Dance workshops. St Joseph the Worker and St Marie’s also got involved in the Chinese Street Market (Arts/Crafts) in the Hub.
In the Summer term 2017 schools will be taking groups of children to Edge Hill University to raise aspirations. Opportunities will include campus and accommodation tours, use of the facilities, lectures in theatres, and also meeting students.