BBC NEWS England Southern Counties College makes Chinese compulsory: “An independent college is becoming the first in Britain to make Mandarin Chinese a compulsory subject.

The move at Brighton College, in East Sussex, was said to reflect China’s position as the fastest-growing economy in the world. “

An interesting move, and probably very well considered. I’m sure there will be people deploring the decline of traditional subjects in schools, but Mandarin has the most native speakers in the world. (English has the most speakers, but most of them are not native). China’s economy is growing at an amazing rate as the economic landscape changes and will certainly become more nd more of a political heavyweight as time goes on.

However, most people won’t actually use it for much more than insulting their friends and ordering food as few schoolkids retain their school language unless they end up using it regularly.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Call to end sex education opt-out

This came out of the LibDem conference, and I’m all in favour of it. I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as an opt out, which just seems insane. I hope we never get to the state in the UK as they have in the US, where sex education is thought to encourage sex. The UK already has the second highest teenage pregnacy rate in the developed world (the US having the highest, they must obviously have too much sex education).

BBC NEWS | Technology | Pupils learn through Myst game

I found this interesting. The game Myst being used in class to improve visual literacy skills for children. The results?

The national average attainment of Level Four literacy levels for that age group is 75%. At Chew Magna, the number attaining Level Four have shot up from 76.5% in 2000 to 93% in 2004.

What is more convincing is the level of achievement for boys. The national average for Level Four achievement has stayed at 70% between 2000 and 2004. At Tim’s school, the figure has gone from 66.7% to a full marks score of 100%.

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