Schools have a responsibility to prepare students to participate fully in society. It is clear that an understanding of our global society is a key skill for citizens of the 21st century. Ideally our students will also acquire language skills, but certainly they should be comfortable with the challenge of working and interacting in a multicultural and international environment.
Cherrybrook THS is an ideal environment to develop and nurture a real understanding of other cultures. A range of activities, including International Day (or Night) and International Week, allow students to showcase talents, explore their understanding of other cultures and challenge stereotypes. The school has actively promoted partnerships with overseas schools in an effort to expand the opportunities available to students. Currently, we have partner schools in Germany, France, Japan and China.
Languages other than English
Cherrybrook THS offers a wide range of languages other English. French, German and Japanese are taught from Year 7-12*. Many other students study background languages through the Saturday School of Community Languages.
All students must study a language in Years 7 and 8, but it is optional thereafter.
Each language program offers opportunities for students to spend time overseas. Year 10/11 students may spend 3 weeks with a partner school extending their communicative skills.
* Chinese is being progressively introduced into the curriculum from 2011.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
A wide range of support is available to students requiring additional assistance with English. Students in Years 7 & 8 are assessed and their progress is monitored and supported where required. In Years 9 & 10 students are able to join a special elective course. In Years 11 & 12 ESL English classes are available for eligible students. In addition, students are able to work in small tutorial groups with the ESL teachers on areas of particular concern.
At CTHS, 53% of students have Non-English Speaking Background (NESB). The range of cultures represented is remarkably broad, with some 60 countries and languages represented. Language backgrounds of students include Chinese (18%), Indian (10%), Sinhalese (7%) & Korean (5%).
International Day (or Night) is a strategy that was first introduced in 2000. This is a wonderful opportunity for the school to fully appreciate the range of cultures and heritage present in the community. The event is largely planned and implemented by a Student Committee under guidance of the Multicultural Student Leaders.
NESB Parent Forums
NESB parents have been able to learn more about the school, the education system and other social issues through NESB Forums. These meetings are supported by interpreter and translated materials. They form an important part of the school’s strategic plan.
Interpreting & Translating
Interpreters are available on request, and are typically used to assist parents during interviews, Parent Teacher nights and similar events.
The school is continuing to promote Asian perspectives across the curriculum. This reflects a national government policy and influences curriculum content, challenges stereotypes and incorporates contemporary ideas into educational programs. A well established sister school link with a school in China represents an important aspect of this strategy. Mandarin Chinese will be taught in year 7 classes from 2011, subsequently expanding into years 8-10, according to student interest.